Thursday, September 03, 2020

Crazy Cat Peeking Through a Lace Bandanna


 It seemed like overkill to plant a dozen sunflowers in our small garden, but as they began to bloom just as everything else is finishing up, I knew it was a good decision. The few bees in the neighbourhood have been enjoying them as well. I'm told the petals are edible, but with plenty of nasturtiums and violas available it doesn't sound all that tempting. 

This one grew a bit taller, reaching the second floor, and has bloomed since the photo was snapped. Danny can see it from his bedroom window although the flower head is pointed in the other direction. When he was small, I planted a stand of sunflowers outside his bedroom window so he could see all the birds on the farm that came to eat the seeds. I guess that makes it a tradition to plant sunflowers outside his window, though I never suspected we'd have a 20 ft. tall example!
The lemon cucumbers keep coming. They're pleasant, have a thinner peel than traditional cucumbers, and don't have a terribly strong smell. I've been serving them with tomatoes, onion, Greek olives, and a simple oil/vinegar dressing. Sometimes basil gets added if I'm feeling fancy. That's pretty much been my evening meal all week, and I'll miss it when summer is over. 
September means prune plums, and we've already gone through quite a few.  Years ago, I was buying plums and an older woman beside me was doing the same. She said her son's birthday was in September and she always made him plum dumplings. That was a long time ago, but I hope she and her son are still celebrating his birthday with dumplings. I do pie. One for us, and one unbaked and carefully wrapped for the freezer. Holidays can get hectic, and being able to just stick a pre-made pie in the oven is as nice as having plums in the winter months. Recipe is HERE. If you make one for the freezer, omit the crumb topping and do a two-crust pie. 

September's other purple fruit, Concord grapes also make wonderful pie, but seeding them is work! First, the grapes must be slipped from the skins, then heated in a pot, then put through a sieve to remove the seeds. The pulp is then recombined with the skins and baked with sugar and instant tapioca (or cornstarch) to thicken. So, not a quick pie, but as it only gets made once a year when the Concord grapes are in season, it isn't too bad. These grapes aren't true Concords but rather a variety crossed with Thompson (green) grapes. They're pleasant for eating out of hand, which isn't always true of Concords. I wonder if my vines are still producing on the farm? Most years, the pheasants would eat more than I did! This is the grape pie, and yes-I'm still giving my pies sinister faces because, why not?!

You can also puree and freeze the grapes to make a chiffon grape pie at a later time. That recipe may be found HERE.
(old photo).

It isn't all pie around here though (not that there's anything wrong with that). 
This was Fiskebuddig (fish pudding), potato lefse, cranberries, and pickled red cabbage. The fish loaf was simple enough-some ground cod, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, salt and pepper. It gets baked in a pan set in a larger pan of boiling water-almost like making a cheesecake, except cod. The boys loved it, and wondered why I hadn't made it in 10 years( the perks of having a cookery blog to look back at). That's a good question, and I need to remember to revisit old recipes occasionally. You may find the recipe HERE. I was able to adapt if for dairy free using margarine and oat milk. 

These are homemade Runzas (also known as Bierocks). They're minced beef cooked with cabbage and onion, then baked in bread dough. I've successfully made them with soya mince, and according to Danny, there's little difference. They're quick to do as you can cook the filling as the dough rises. All told it is about an hour, which isn't too bad. I made some onion rings to go with them (just like going out for Runzas) which isn't something I do often. The advantage to frying at home is being able to use good oil to cook them. The recipe for the vegetarian version is HERE but you can easily switch it out for beef if you prefer. I also suspect ground chicken or turkey would do well in these, but I haven't tried it. 

Right, enough cooking-let's talk clothes,. Anyone else breaking out vintage gloves to wear in public? I always knew they would be useful, though I wasn't thinking pandemic chic. 
The skirt and top aren't vintage but everything else is. This was a bit more revealing than I'm used to, but somehow at my age it feels less of a big deal. I sincerely doubt anyone is checking out my elderly er...balcony, but if they are, power to them.

I've since re-potted the plants behind the purse and am hoping they will thrive in their newer, larger pots. It only took 6 months of being home to get around to it. 

This dress isn't old, but rather purchased last year at World Market. I no longer have a reason to go there as they can ship me a dozen boxes of PG Tips at a time. I only ever went there for tea, though the clothes were always a temptation and this one was irresistible in the sales. The gold is much brighter in person than the photos suggest. 
Vintage sparkly gold shoes.
And yeah, matching bracelets just because.

Excuse the toilet in the photo-it was 6 AM and I didn't notice. Also didn't notice my slip was just a bit too short. This is what I wore to do the shopping last week. I rarely get to wear my good vintage pieces anymore, so I went ahead and wore this one. I also had matching brown gloves which made for a nice retro look. 
If you've been around this blog long enough you'll remember this dress that is a firm summer wardrobe staple. 
Tiniest straw handbag.
Vintage straw shoes by Qualicraft. The heels are cork. 
I do love a good bit of embroidery. 

More summer favourites though the orange linen jacket creases a little too easily to be practical. I expect a bit with linen, but this is above what I'm willing to put up with. The rayon shirt and trousers always drip dry perfectly. 

The shirt ties at the waist and is intended to be cropped but I'm so short it lands below my waist. 

Yes, those are my legs, and no the photo isn't retouched. I was joking around with someone that it is a pity I can't run on my arms which get decidedly less of a workout. I'm back to my pre-pandemic weekly miles and I was pleased that it only took about a month to get back. What I've lost in motivation, I still kept in endurance.  For an old broad, I do a shit tonne of cardio. The shoes are crappy, but expensive running shoes aren't in my budget at the moment particularly when the running is all indoors. They'd be shit for pavement or trails but acceptable when running like a lab rat on a wheel. Anyway, they were brand new for 5 dollars at Hand-Me-Ups last winter when I never suspected I'd be where I am now. 

Alright, I'm off to pick aphids off my sunflowers. See you later. Stay well!


Emily said...

Those sunflowers are a cheerful sight!

Your World Market dress looks spectacular. I look forward to visiting the store again in person one of these days because their fancy soaps and international foods are so much fun to browse and buy.

Your "balcony" comment made me giggle. As long as we're speaking in metaphor, let's just say that my building doesn't have an ample balcony, just a six-inch ledge that nobody in their right mind would think of approaching without a helmet and a safety harness and many years of experience in rock climbing or parkour. :)

I bookmarked your recipe for runzas. Never heard of them before, but they seem like the Midwest equivalent of empanadas, which I absolutely adore.

Bibi Maizoon said...

All parts of sunflowers are edible. The flavor is a bit like mild artichoke.
The black balconette dress is divine! Was thinking about white gloves the other day looking at a pic of Marilyn Monroe, wondering if they'd make a comeback in this pandemic era.
I miss World Market & Pier 1. Blew many a paycheck there. Love that WM dress!
The gold shoes look like Daniel Greens, one of my mom's favorite brands.
The Fiskebuddig meal looks deliciously autumnal.
I've made many a bierock for Mennonite bake sales - never a vegan version though!
Bravo on the cardio! Wish I could do the same.

bahnwärterin said...

i have the same shell bracelet!
all your outfits are more them fabulous. love the black with white most and @revealing: its not. its elegant. i was thinking about vintage gloves, but i only have 2 lace ones..... most of the gloves in the vintage sector are way to small for my huge hands. (same with bangles)
your cooking is mouthwatering! the runzas remind me of "piroggen" - a russian/ukrainian/belarus kitchen tradition. will try them with beef, the BW will love that :-D
the bees say *thank you* for all the sunflowers! the giant is GIANT indeed!
i´m off to the wilderness with a bunch of other old girls....

Señora Allnut said...

woww, I totally understand that you love those prunes, they look tasty and sweet!. I have a weakness for stone fruits, they are the best part of summertime! (and sandals!). Love the idea of freezing the pie so you've got something to bake in the holidays!.
Lots of interesting recipes to inspire us. The fish pudding looks like something my mom makes (she uses fish leftovers, but we spanish people eat fish almost everyday!, lots of leftovers!). Love those Runza 'empanadas', yummy!.
And let's talk clothes: love your black&white ensemble and the cute white jewellery (ohhh, this bracelet!). Please, don't understimate your sexappeal, dear, our elderly 'balconies' look Fabulous and way more glamourous than average! ;DD
Loving your summer favourites, the embroidered dress is such a beauty and you look so lovely in it (and your accessorizing rocks!). The pants and shirt have a fabulous print, and love their vintage casual attitude which calls for a strawhat and some cocktails! (a girl can dream!).
Those sunflowers have put a smile on my face!.

Vix said...

Liking the World Market dress and your Mexican favourite. Like Beate, I've got big hands and rarely find vintage gloves to fit - not that I have much need for them, I only ever go to National Trust gardens and the charity shop where's there's vats of free hand sanitiser to use.
Aren't those cucumbers lovely? I keep meaning to make tzatziki with some of ours but invariably they end up in gin or a salad.
The sunflowers are really impressive! xxx

Goody said...


If you decide to make the Runzas you can freeze the unbaked ones for later meals-the recipe makes quite a few. If you scatter some flour on a wax paper lined plate and freeze them before wrapping in freezer paper they won't risk tearing. They can be baked from frozen by adding a bit extra time.

My beloved Daniel Green slides bit the dust. These are much less comfortable! They still make them but the new ones look and feel cheap.
I might use some sunflower petals to make vinegar as I did with the nasturtiums.

Thank you. I'm always a bit shy about letting it "all hang out" so I'm glad it doesn't appear too much.
Have a good time in the wilderness!

Thank you! I'm glad the sunflowers are cheering. I do love fish, but it is expensive where I live far from the great lakes or oceans. We rarely have leftovers. I should have considered that before I moved here :)

I'm so neurotic now I end up using hand sanitiser after taking off my gloves-just in case!
I'm going to miss my cucumbers when summer is over, for sure.

Polyester Princess said...

Wow, those sunflowers are impressive! I had no idea the petals were edible. Not sure I'm tempted to try, though. Your sinister faced pie made me smile, so thank you! I've got quite a few pairs of chic gloves. I can never resist them when I spot a pair when out thrifting. I never get around to wearing them though. And I quit wearing gloves because of the pandemic only a couple of weeks in. Not worth the hassle. Lots of gorgeous outfits, as usual. The blue Mexican one is my favourite, and I'm swooning over that bag as well! xxx

Mim said...

Mmm, that plum pie looks delicious. We've had a few apples off the tree but most were small (probably thanks to our summer heatwave and dry spell).

Your running has had impressive results! All that cardio must be really good for you. I've finally dragged Pete back into the gym, hopefully staving off his family heart attack for another year...