I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Blowsy Roses in a Cobalt Jug

Hi! The markets here have been selling what they call ''field roses"---such a sweet old-fashioned seaside summer flower.

The bunches are mixed colors and very inexpensive, about 5 or 6 dollars a dozen. And unlike fancy long-stemmed Valentines roses, these open up into tiny colorful cabbage-y blooms.


I love them in my big old cobalt Bennington jug.  It takes a lot of flowers to fill this guy, so I don't get to use it often.



They last a long time. I snipped the final buds and tucked them into a lavender Mason jar.

So pretty. And no, they have no scent. Too bad. I love them anyway.....




gone to the beach




Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thinking About Knitting. And Quilting.

Hi guys! I hope your day is as sunny and beautiful as mine is here at the Beach!

I am still not getting much done. Mo and I are working out a new way of doing things, where he can sit with me here and hold his own chewy. Yes that's my leg,lol.

Of course he'd prefer I just surrender my chair entirely. So comfy now that he has shredded and bunched it into puppy shape.

Do not be fooled! Mo is a very bad boy. "The dog ate my knitting!"

I've mentioned that I like having a knitting project on hand. Sometimes one's guests are a trifle dull or the wait at the dentist is way too long. For me a simple hand work project can stave off annoyance and jitters. (I get a big kick out of telling the very long-wait specialist MD that I knitted an entire hat while waiting endlessly for my 2 minute turn. He looks bemused and carries on, clueless as ever. Male doctors' time is important, female patients' time is of no value. You knew this, right?)

Anyway this blue hat has been on my needles for awhile. Then Mo attacked the yarn. What a mess, plus he ripped it off its needles. Yummy. Dogs may be colorblind but he loves bright colors.  I was pretty upset because I love this bulky blue and turquoise tweedy yarn. It took me hours to untangle and rewind. And reknit.

I am now at the decrease stage, just where I want to be to try out my friend Hunter's beautiful spiral decrease for a watch cap. I believe it is based on Elizabeth Zimmerman's How to's but entirely written by Hunter.

To make her complete hat I dug out some colorful worsted yarns from my stash. These are alpaca or cashmere blends.

I wish I had more of this gorgeous bulky cashmere. I am hoarding it for a headband/ ear warmer thing.

But instead of being thrifty, I treated myself to a skein of 100% alpaca worsted from Purl Soho. here

It is soft like a cloud. And how could I resist the color's name of Sea Salt? It's a beautiful neutral taupe, the color below is the most accurate, and if the hat comes out as nice as Hunter's, here on her blog, it will make a lovely Christmas gift for some neutral loving NYC-ish friend or family member.

To avoid the Mo attacks I worked outside on my deck table. I use my little turquoise stool as a yarn holder when I wind wool skeins into balls. Look at that blue sky!

I'm looking forward to starting my new hat!

And I am very excited about Lori of Humble Quilts Patriotic Flags quilt along. I dug out the bin with all my patriotic fabrics. Here is Mo helping me choose.

I had planned to use only stashed fabrics for this project but it requires some fairly large pieces of material , especially the center eagle.

You need MORE fabric, Mommy?

Off we went to Joann's . I don't have a real LOS, local quilt shop. So my choices are a voyage to Joann's or online buying. And I needed thread!

I think what I found this time is really captures the look of the quilt in the photo. Especially if tea dyed in some cases. And evrything was half price! I was a very happy girl.

Here are browns for the eagle.

No funky olive greens, though, for the spacer stars. May have to do some Rit dying when we get that far.
IF I get that far. My little helper is, well, not so good at that. But he is a great puppy!~

PS Mo ripped the hated Dustbuster off its wall dock this morning while I was showering. He tore it down, charger dock and all!---and took it entirely apart. And he was so proud---he vanquished the evil interloper machine!

Time for my swim!



gone to the beach.............


Patriotoc flag quilt is designed by Jan Patek. Quilt along is on Humble Quilts


Monday, July 21, 2014

Lavender Sky, Violet Ocean

Midsummer. July is drawing to its end---midsummer as we know it, is here.

A sunset walk. So peaceful on a cool quiet evening...

All stresses and worries float away with the peachy pink and lavender clouds.



Stripey stopped by at dusk! He is not thrilled with our new addition Mo and waits til it's dark for his dinner each night. When I go out to look for him, the darkened hydrangeas are magically lit up with lightning bugs---fireflies. Childhood memories, glowing in the warm summer night.

Wishing you all a beautiful and peaceful week.



gone to the beach....


Thursday, July 17, 2014

The *Best* Tomato Tart

Hi, guys! The first field ripened tomatoes arrived in the farmers market last week.

Not a huge crop yet.

And they aren't supermarket perfect. Field grown heirloom tomatoes are fragile and delicate, but so ripe and sweet and juicy. Yum.

I've been waiting, and thinking about making a tomato tart for weeks now.This is not a pizza! And it's just an idea I had, not a real recipe. I rate it A+ though, if I do say so myself.

Most of the online tart recipes call for puff pastry, which I don't care for with veggies, only for fruit tarts. And maybe call for a cheese and egg sort of custard which sounded like much too much work. I was trying for ''rustic'' and vaguely recalling the Julia Child tarts I made a few years again when I was working my way through the last Child cookbook.

Instead I made a traditional 2 crust pie crust.

 This mix was in the fridge so I used it to use it up. (Not great, a bit tough. But I was being lazy.)

I rolled one half out into a not very lovely circle.

The other half, the usual top crust, I rolled into little logs and used to make an edging, a little wall to hold the cheese.

Crimped it pretty. Put in fridge.

Tomatoes prep: I sliced the tomatoes a scant quarter inch.

Layered them on a plate and paper towels,

with another plate on top. I salted them lightly, too, to draw out the juice. We don't want watery soggy tarts, do we?

I let the tomatoes rest about 1/2 hour. I preheated oven to 425*, baked the tart shell for 10 minutes, unfilled.

Filling: I used two kinds of cheese: first, a very ripe brie, cut in thin slices. I set the brie slices all over the pie shell, then layered on the tomatoes. [Gently wipe off the salt as you work.]

I used lots of herbs, dried because I didn't have fresh on hand, but fresh would be wonderful. I was going for a Not Pizza vibe, so no basil or oregano. Used a lot of tarragon, fennel seeds, black pepper, lemon pepper. A sprinkle of sugar.

The second cheese is just a supermarket crumbled goat cheese. Spread on the top.

Baked for about 35 minutes.
The brie sort of melts away to a creamy sauce, the goat cheese remains intact on top.

I should have photographed the tart slice with the big sweet butter lettuce I served on the side. The tart experiment was a success! It came out just as I pictured. I loved the pop and surprise of the non-traditional for tomatoes herbs, and the sweetness of the tomatoes and the brie. (Only the crust needs work. Next time I will make homemade.)

I'll definitely make it again. we loved it!(Though I suppose it it sky high in calories?) My kids and I are not terrible fond of uncooked tomatoes so this is a beautiful way to use the farmers market's field picked sweet tomatoes.
I also reheated the leftover section of the tart and cut it into small squares to serve at ''cocktail'' time the following day. Wonderful first course.

Try it! Or a version. Stay away from traditional pizza cheeses but you can sub feta or ricotta insalata for the goat cheese.

Final market note--I must show you the last of the peonies.

 Aren't the golf ball-y buds adorable.

And here's some of her cute vintage containers. This week she used old glass milk bottles. I love it. (Te seller probably thinks I'm a nutcase, oohing and aaahing over her milk bottles,lol!)

Now on to zinnias. In coffee cans?

PS I love hearing what you all are cooking--or NOT cooking! I plan to make Kelley's mango salsa, from last week's comments, to go with a grilled, marinated pork tenderloin. Doesn't that sound delicious! Thanks, Kel!



gone to the beach.....