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

Friday, February 28, 2020

Something for the Weekend ~ Signs of Spring Cooking

Hi! Is everyone ''blown away"? ---literally, with very high winds and, to the west, deep heavy snow! We have had two days of wind advisory and wind speeds over 30 mph inland, which means worse here on the water edge. Brrr.

And yet, in the grocery stores there are hints of spring. More than just tulips and green pencils of daffs, there are now beautiful artichokes and freshest stalks of asparagus, chartreuse scallions, what my mom called spring onions.

And then the first radish crop---

my goodness these are big guys. More tennis ball than golf ball. Not as spicy as I hoped but bright red and white and deliciously crisp.

I brought home a very large bunch of asparagus and some scallions yesterday. I decided I'd make another recipe from my new cookbook:

Here is the recipe, I think they meant frittata not tortilla? A blip in the translation from British to American usage?

I'm still struggling with the English terminology, weights not Cups, grams not pounds, Celsius not Fahrenheit etc. I printed out little charts to help me get my thoughts straight.

So--smaller lasagna pan, filled with thinly sliced white potatoes [2 large] and thinly sliced sweet potatoes [two small]; a large white sweet onion, also sliced very thin. Tossed with olive oil, sea salt, tarragon and black pepper;

roasted for a kitchen-warming half hour [I did 40 minutes bec maybe I don't slice as thin as expected, though I tried.]

Meanwhile I made the binding egg mixture---5! eggs! and 1/2 cup of mascarpone mixed with milk, bec my store doesn't stock creme fraiche. [Not a whole Cup of mascarpone, a dollop of it mixed into the milk to total 1/2 C.]

Pour that over the almost cooked potatoes, add the asparagus and a few scallions,

 and sprinkle with parm.

Bake another 30 minutes.

Doesn't it look delish!

I think mine compares favorably to the book's lovely version, at least visually, don't you?

book photo

The recipe says serve hot or cold so I hope it's as good as it looks. I'll have it hot when I come in from Mo's walk, then it will be in the fridge for kids' to serve themselves, either hot or cold.

A glass of crisp white wine and a spring greens salad on the side for me.

EDIT: The casserole was good! It cuts and serves beautiful, like a terrine, all pretty green and white and orange.
The asparagus was excellent. But on all honesty, a big baked potato, a bit of sour cream or butter or grated cheese, with the asparagus on top would be as good or better/ no mess, no fuss.

 It did make nice leftovers, serve room temp, or reheat; not so good truly "cold". If I make this again, I'll add more black pepper, more onion, the juice of one lemon and maybe crumbled bacon. The potatoes are okay for gluten free, but the white potatoes aren't okay for low carb diets. I believe it is okay for vegetarian but NOT vegan.


Poor Baby Mo, he fell down the long staircase the other night.

He was headed up and BOOM suddenly tumbled back down for me to catch him. He seems fine but I'm watching him carefully. I was so scared and so worried. We really do not want to go out tonight, the wind is bitter.


Have a great weekend!

sneak peek for next-ish post: Shopping Spree!



gone to the beach.....

"summer afternoon, summer afternoon..."
We don't bother with spring fever here at the Beach, we go straight on to glorious summer!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Amaryllis and Piano Keys

Hi on a rainy Tuesday! If you're bored with my indoor gardening posts, you can now skip down for an update on my current quilt project.

My amaryllis project came crashing to an end the other day. I was ever so proud, I had recycled last year's plant and, with patience and coddling, coaxed out new growth this year. My bulb produced two tall stems, each with a bud that was opening to show four flowers on each stem. Impressive.

But then---crash. The TALL plant must have been too weighty and it fell, tipping over onto the floor. My mom's treasured Dansk hyacinth vase shattered.

I ran to the rescue  along with curious Mo, who had to be shooed away. What a mess.

I put one stem, with two remaining flower buds in a new vase;

and the bulb and the other stem, just one flower left, into a very tall Mason jar which I thought would hold it and support it all. I have the idea that the bulb requires the flowers to complete their life cycle for the bulb to replenish and survive. But then that stem was also too broken and had to be cut.

They make unusual and beautiful cut flowers!

The bulb is still in its jar of water, showing new green leaves. I plan to get some orchid medium [as advised by Dorothy] and to plant the bulb, start the growth cycle again for next year. I am not giving up.

This was the smaller hyacinth vase I was worried about, that it would topple. So far it is okay with the prop of wooden skewers,.

But this bulb---sigh. This paperwhite was the runt of the batch, no growth in the big vase, so I gave it its own place in a favorite beach-found little jar.

I love its bright white roots and that the water didn't go brown and murky.

It still is a runt, growing any which way.

And then BOOM/ crash! It too toppled over and its jar shattered.

It got its own Mason jar and looks hopeful. I don't try reusing these bulbs, so no loss except my pretty jar that is [once was] stamped with a honey bee.

To cheer myself up, I got these lovely parrot tulips from the market, only 4.99.


Rainy days, like snow days, are good for sewing. I'd love to have Blue Baskets finished by March 1st, but won't push it. I've been mindlessly sewing the piano key border. I plan to cut the 10 x 8 inch segments in half so the border isn't too big or weighty. So then I suppose they will become Chinese Coins, but probably for me they'll always be Piano Keys.

They are quite fun to make. Someone, again I think Dorothy, told me originally that my Keys were either too light or too dark, needed more contrast in value. I tried, I really did but it's not that easy. I don't have so many lights I like.

And in fact I've almost entirely used up my stash of blue shirts, unless I have a few dark-uglies stashed with the green plaids and put away. I'll need to seriously replenish if I want to someday make QB's Mama Lou Sings the Blues, which I so love. You can see her blue string quilt HERE

Off topic: there's lots in quilt-land about scrap quilts. SCRAP? Here is what I think when they mention using their scraps and I never find this mess appealing. But I am coming to the enlightenment that what is meant is  maybe smallish cuts but not floor scraps. Someone tell me? Can I throw these away or what?

Mo is not charmed by the drizzle.

We did get out and we found snowdrops in bloom. Not a showy flower but such a joy in mid winter.

Message to QuiltGrandma: I need your address to mail you the quote panel!

Have a good week.



gone to the beach...