I'd love to enter a pie like this in the State Fair. I wouldn't, but I'd like to. I meant to cut it from the top to expose the "brains" of blueberries and rhubarb, but I forgot. Next time!
Well would you just look at that, we've made it to August. Seems like just yesterday it was February. I never did pack away most of my winter items, so I guess that saves me the work of un-packing come autumn. See? Wait long enough, and you're right on time.
This sunflower is close to ten feet tall and is well on the way to the second floor windows of our home. No flower yet, but it ought to be spectacular when it goes. I planted several different varieties this year hoping for some variety in the late summer garden. Neighbours keep stopping to tell me how much they enjoy the garden, which makes me feel great. If you enjoy someone's gardening-tell them! It will make their day. They're pretty after they die as well, and birds will continue to peck at the stem for unseen bugs.
Climbing up poles in the front garden there's lemon cucumbers and sweet potato vines. It all makes for a colourful looking display. The tumble dryer repairman was quite taken by the cucumbers and was asking my husband about how it was working.
We haven't had many pollinators this year (it gets fewer each year no matter how much borage we plant for them) but recently a couple of bees have made their way to the garden. It is so sad. We all know what's killing them (less wild spaces, increased industrial pesticides, etc.) but don't seem inclined to do much about it. I guess in a society that has so little value of human life, we can't expect much worry over insects but be assured, when crops start failing and people can't have their almonds, there will be a panic.
I haven't cooked any of the cardoons as they're so beautiful, and the few insects we get seem to enjoy them so much. I don't have the heart to take away their source of food. As they go to seed, I'll try to re-scatter them in a corner that looks a bit bare and hope they take for next year. A few re-seeded from 2019 and are doing well.
What is this colourful dish, you might be wondering? Have you ever had carrot croquettes? This is just the same, but in loaf form. Mine is made with crushed up soda crackers, oat milk, vegan cheddar cheese, and egg replacer, but if you wanted to use heavy cream and eggs it would be just as delicious. When it gets to the end of my fresh vegetables before shopping, I like to make things that use up the remaining root vegetables, onions, and herbs. Not sure why, but baked carrots and onions always smell so good. Perhaps because they're the foundation of so many recipes. Anyway, you don't need a recipe for this sort of thing-just add enough liquid until you have something that can bake for an hour in a moderate oven without drying out. Treat it like a meatloaf. Do line your pan with parchment so it can be lifted out for slicing easily.
There's been bread baking as well, but of a much more utilitarian type. No, the challah did not have a baby! The small loaf is something I started doing when Danny was small so he could have his own little loaf baked harder for teething. These days his teeth are all in place, but he still likes having a "Dannycake." The bit of foil is wrapped around some dough to be discarded. You can read an in-depth explaination of this Jewish ritual HERE but the short version is that it is a symbolic offering. We are an interfaith family, but I still think it is good for children to understand these traditions even if neither parent is particularly observant. The rolls in the bottom photo were for sausages. Unlike frankfurter buns, these were crusty rather than soft-better to withstand a pile of fried onions and mushrooms.
I have a collection of Gourmet magazines from the early 70s I purchased years ago. Mostly from 1970-1973 (with a few later ones scattered in) they are filled with the most amazing advertisements. I wouldn't mind going back in time to buy the silver lined Georg Jensen cookware! I used to walk past their store in Downtown Chicago and admire the windows knowing I would never be able to afford those luxuries. In all my time thrifting, I've never found a piece of Jensen.If you're lucky enough to own things like that I guess they get handed down in the family.
Went out to do the big grocery shop last Tuesday. The store opens early, so by 7:30 AM it was completed and I almost made it to the car before the skies opened and it began to rain. Torrential rain. Several inches in a few minutes rain. Water spouting OUT of storm drains raining. On the one hand, Nebraska has been in a drought and really needed the rain but on the other...it had all of the last two weeks to rain when I wasn't frantically trying to keep my more-precious-than-gold flour dry. In the end, nothing was ruined save for my outfit, but I looked rather nice before the deluge.
It has now been a year and a half since I let my hair go natural. No straightening, blow dryers, etc. I've quit the regular shampooing in favour of conditioner once every 5 days and a gentle shampoo every few weeks. I'm staying in anyway, so it doesn't get terribly dirty. Overall, it seems healthier. Eventually I will want to do something more with it, but not having to spend all that time fiddling with it is so nice.
Most days, I do get dressed whether going out or not. Recently, I've started doing my Instagram posts with bags and shoes knowing full well that as soon as the photo is snapped they will go back in their storage spots. It somehow feels wrong to show a half-put together outfit, but it also seems a bit silly to go searching for the right bag and shoes when staying in all day. If nothing else, it gives ideas for accessorizing once this is over. It will end eventually, I hope.
Let's have a quick look at the outfits that went with the bags. 70s, 80s, and 90s represented. The black and white linen dress had shoulder pads but I removed them, much as I would have done in the 80s. I'm too short to carry off giant shoulders effectively. The dress could do with being shortened as well, which after looking at these photos, I've decided to put it on the to-do list for the week. That doesn't always ensure something will get done, but it has a better chance than being completely forgotten without. The pink polyester tunic and wide trousers is more peach-coloured in life. I doubt I'll wear it again as it felt like wearing a costume all day long. Some vintage really ought to stay in the past, forgotten.
Finally, what I like to think of as, Three Generations of Emeraude. This is probably a case where I prefer the modern formulation to the vintage. I remember not liking it much in the 70s, and while I don't actively hate the older formulations, the modern version has just enough citrus in the top notes to keep the heavy, resinous perfume from becoming suffocating. I have a few bottles of the modern version stashed away just in case they change it again. At some point in the mid-70s I was given a bottle for Christmas by my sister (who probably went to the drugstore trying to find something for under a fiver). I remember it being a deep green-almost like Prell shampoo, but I've never run across one like that in the vinatges.I wonder if perhaps the yellow chartreuse colour of my older bottles is just oxidation and they were once brilliant green as well. similarities they're really different fragrances. Emeraude is, in my opinion a little easier to wear. Shalimar announces your arrival before you enter the room. That's not necessarily a bad thing-it just lacks any subtlety. Emeraude, applied with restraint can behave nicely in public.
No idea what this week will bring. The Omaha public schools are going to start with 100% remote learning, but no word from Westside schools as of yet. Danny is on extended campus anyway, but it would be good to know if they plan to keep that, or put everyone on it. Our cases are surging in Omaha because of all the nonsense over not having a mask mandate. That, and opening everything back up at capacity. I take back everything nice I said about our governor early in the pandemic. After a few weeks of doing the right thing, he went back to playing politics and now we're in this mess that could have been avoided. He had the opportunity to do the right thing, and for a while it really looked like he was going to set politics aside and just govern by doing what was best for the people-it didn't last long. So yeah, , this current situation is on him, and his attempts to bully the medical professionals and public health administrators into doing what he thinks the president wants. We have teams of infectious disease experts here in Omaha at the medical center. Unfortunately, that doesn't do much good if they aren't listened to. It does feel like the last five months of isolating were for nothing. Hopefully we can learn from it, but perhaps that's optimistic. I have a dentist's appointment on Tuesday, but other than that I'm staying in. And I'm completely pissed off about it.
Stay safe everyone.