Sunday, July 30, 2017

Mad River Walk

We took a drive today to Waitsfield, Vermont, and found a favorite spot to relax near the Mad River. We brought along our chairs and books to read. I took some time to walk along a path near the river.

The path led me through a wooded area and down to the river.

walked on the stone path and enjoyed seeing the wildflowers along the way. 

A perfect peaceful day, down by thriver.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Art at Hand - Ogden Pleissner

Today Geo and I were at the Shelburne Museum for an Art at Hand presentation. Art at Hand is for persons who are Blind or Visually Impaired, The museum guides describe the artwork and provide sensory experiences of art - auditory, tactile, and even aromatic.


This morning we learned about Ogden Pleissner, an artist who worked in both oils and water colors. During World War II, he was an artist embedded with the troops. He sketched and then painted scenes of the war.  He was also an avid sportsman who painted about fishing in rivers in the wilderness.

At the museum there is a room that shows Pleissner's studio as it may have looked when he painted in Manchester, VT.

Some of his fishing attire is on display. It was described by the museum guides.

One prominent painting is of a salmon "striking" at a dry fly.

This painting was described by the guide. She then passed a raised tracing of the salmon so everyone could feel its shape.

Next we felt a very authentic- looking wood carving of salmon. The colors happened to be the exact colors of the fish in the painting.

Here's a dry fly that could be used in catching salmon.

There were several works on display of men fishing from guideboats. 

Misty Morning - Salmon Fishing, 1938

To help put us into the scene, the guides played sounds of birds singing and they even passed around branches of greens with the fresh smell of pines.

This was an informative, accessible and fun way to experience art. 
We look forward to the next Art at Hand that will take place in June.

Ernie, a service dog, just chillin' out.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Easter Eggs

Dying Easter eggs is not among my favorite Spring projects. All those messy cups with the vinegar and all the dipping of the boiled eggs with a wire egg holder or spoon...Ugh.  Sometimes I'd add oil to the colored water for a swirly effect, but for me the eggs never turned out that great. When I saw directions for using old silk neckties, however, I was intrigued. I'd give it a try.

Step #1. Convincing hubby to give up a few of his many ties he seldom ever wears.

Step #2. Cut squares from the ties, large enough to cover the eggs. Make sure the right side of the fabric touches the egg. Wrap each egg in the fabric. Secure with a twist tie. To make sure the fabric was tight against the egg, I wrapped the eggs in yarn. Next, cover the wrapped eggs with pieces of any white fabric, like pieces of an old pillowcase. I used an old white t-shirt. Secure each outer wrap with a twist tie.

Step #3. Place eggs in a pot and cover them with water to reach at least two inches over the eggs. Add about 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a full twenty minutes.

Step #4. Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon or tongs. 

Step #5. When the eggs are completely cooled to room temperature unwrap them. To make them shine, polish with a little vegetable oil. Refrigerate until you are ready to display them.

I found that the dark ties worked the best. For the sharpest imprint, the silk needs to be very tightly wrapped around the egg.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Dutch Pancake

We were out for lunch with friends when one of them mentioned something about Dutch pancakes. This reminded me that I had a pan that I had purchased for just this purpose: oven-baked pancakes. It’s been in storage for more years than I care to remember. Time to bring it back into the kitchen.

I followed the recipe on the box. All the ingredients are stirred in one bowl, so there is no need for an electric mixer or blender.

I poured the batter into my special pan, but any nonstick ovenproof or well-seasoned iron skillet should work well. Make sure the bottom of the skillet is greased well, so the baked pancake easily slides out of the pan. Bake until the pancake is puffed and golden.

Top with any fruit. I used frozen organic blueberries, thawed and slightly warmed, with a little maple syrup. I sprinkled the pancake with powdered sugar before serving.


2 T. butter
6 eggs
1 cup flour
2 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 cup milk

powdered sugar
maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat butter in pan in the oven for two minutes. Spread melted butter to evenly coat the bottom of the pan.
In a large bowl, slightly beat the eggs. Stir in flour, sugar and salt until mixed well.
Add the milk gradually and stir until very smooth. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in the  400 degree oven for fifteen minutes. Turn down the temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake for an additional 40 - 45 minutes, or until the pancake is a deep golden brown. Immediately loosen from the pan and slide onto the serving platter. Top with fruit, sprinkle with sugar, drizzle with maple syrup. Slice into wedges. Serves six.

The pan will not be going back into storage. For me, making this was a lot easier than regular pancakes, and also higher in protein because of the number of eggs.  Next time I'll try hot apples with cinnamon as the topping. A great way to start a weekend morning!

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Today's Soup - Broccoli Cheese

We had leftover broccoli from dinner last night. Why not make soup for lunch?

Today's soup is Broccoli Cheese.


2 - 3 cups cooked broccoli
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour
2 slices cheese
pepper to season
croutons (optional)


Mash the broccoli.

Add vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.

Blend a small amount of milk with the flour.

Add the remaining milk to the soup and bring to a simmer.

Next add the milk/flour mixture.

Simmer while stirring for about five minutes, 
until soup is slightly reduced and thickened.
Add pepper to taste.

Stir in the cheese until it is well incorporated.

Ready to eat!

Top with croutons.


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Soup's On - It's Mushroom Kale

When I was growing up, we had soup on the stove almost every day. For my Dad, the day was not complete without soup, mostly some kind of beef or chicken.

Today I made mushroom kale soup, very simple and tasty on this cold, gray February day. 

I started by lightly sauteing the mushrooms and kale in olive oil. 

I then added 2 cups of vegetable broth and brought that to a simmer.

Next I measured 1 cup of milk. I added a small amount of that into a jar with some flour. I shook the flour and milk together until they were blended.

The rest of the milk went into the pot with the mushrooms and kale.

I brought that to a simmer, then slowly added the 
milk with flour.

Salt and pepper were added for seasoning. Then I stirred and simmered the soup for about five minutes until it was slightly thickened. Before serving I added a pat of butter.

Serve with crusty bread. (Glass of wine, optional.)

6 - 8 very large mushrooms, chopped.
1 handful of fresh kale, shredded
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Cups vegetable broth
1 Cup milk
2 Tablespoons flour
1 pat of butter
salt/pepper to taste.

Saute mushrooms and kale in olive oil. Add the vegetable both and bring to a simmer. Blend flour with a small amount of milk. Add the rest of the milk to the soup mixture and bring to a simmer. Add the flour with milk. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer while stirring for about five minutes. Swirl in 1 pat of butter before serving.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

It's Time to Pick the Apples

We  know the Fall season is soon upon us when the apples are ripening on the trees. Two of our neighbors have generously offered us apples from their trees - all we want to pick. I've made apple sauce, apple bread, and apple crisp. Today is pie day.

I prefer an all butter crust.  My recipe for a two crust pie calls for four Tablespoons of ice water. With an all butter crust, however, three Tablespoons is enough. I add only the amount to the flour and butter mixture for the dough to clump together. Sometimes I use a little vodka or vinegar as part of the liquid for a flaky crust.

The dough is ready to refrigerate while I peel and slice the apples.

With an all butter crust, I have found that it is best to put the pie into a 450 F. degree oven, so the crust can set quickly before all the butter causes it to melt. Once in the hot oven, I cut the temperature to 425 F. degrees. This may also cut the total baking time by a few minutes, so I watch it carefully.


With thanks to our neighbors for the apples, and to Addie for apple-picking.

Monday, July 18, 2016

It's Berry Season!

Berries on cereal? Berries with ice cream? Berry pie? I thought I'd do something different for dessert tonight.

Looking through an old cookbook I picked up while traveling in Georgia years ago, I came across a recipe too easy not to try. Three ingredients, then add the berries.

Blend together one small can of limeade concentrate, one can of sweetened condensed milk, and one regular size Cool Whip. (Well, I substituted REAL whipped cream for the Cool Whip.) That's it! Add strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries. Done.

One variation: Spoon mixture into a graham cracker crust.

My inspiration from an old cookbook from the state of Georgia.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Springtime - Here It Comes, Here it Goes

We have had a very mild winter. In early Spring, however, the weather seemed unseasonably cold. And lately it's been downright hot out there - a big change in usual temperatures for us.

The Spring flowers were slow to blossom. Now with the heat, it seems they are not lasting very long. So I've tried to capture their beauty with photos before they would disappear completely until another season in time.

Fragile, fleeting beauty. So, until next year...