Monthly Archives: May 2009

Pass the butter

Gluten frees~ Avert your eyes! :)

Gluten frees~ Avert your eyes! 🙂

Yesterday was baking day for the sourdough bread from the starter that has been developing for the last 2 weeks. The process is from the book, Breads from the LaBrea Bakery by Nancy Silverton.

The process has fascinated me (and I have to admit, scared me a little at times! haha) from the very beginning of the water, flour and grape starter.
The bread is scrumptious. Worth the wait.  I wish you could smell it!


And something to wash it down?

I am looking for a cosmo recipe. Bethany got a wonderful martini glass for her (21st) birthday and we are looking to fill it! I found the most perfect recipe for a blue fruity type of cosmo in a magazine and now cannot find it again. Isn’t that always the way? I must remember to ALWAYS rip out an intriguing recipe right away.

Got any you’d like to share?


Filed under life, Making bread, Sandy's Cooking

CSI (Cats, shoes and iris)

I don't pee on the floor anymore! Mom says that is progress

I don't pee on the floor anymore! Mom says that is progress


I still chase Myron. But I'm quite the love bug, or so Mom says!

I still chase Myron. But I'm quite the love bug, or so Mom says!



New shoes:

Comfy, cute and perfect for summer!

Comfy, cute and perfect for summer!

And Iris, blooming in my yard!

A good year to be an iris

A good year to be an iris


And cupcake talk to boot!
I decided to make Martha Stewart’s Strawberry cupcakes with strawberry buttercream icing. Notice the picture at the link. The cupcakes were a small disaster. Not a huge disaster, but one that went on a different path than I expected. They were not very pretty and not very cupcakey. But more like a cake with fruit. Delicious in their own right. But not a cupcake in the traditional sense.

The buttercream frosting? I am telling you that it was so beautiful and so delicious it would make you weep. I kid you not. It was the best frosting I had ever made.  A bit labor intensive but worth it. And then? I put the strawberries in the mixing bowl. Holy frosting, Batman! I have never seen something change texture so fast as that. It went from a masterpiece to something that needed to go as quickly as possible to the trash can, curdled and awful looking. I shut the mixer off and gazed, disbelieving into the bowl. Disgusted, I left it there for a little while. I went back a while later and tried to whip it more.
No dice. It was beyond saving. I guess it was just the healthy eating gods trying to convince me that frosting is evil. Check mate, then.

I may write to Martha and seek her advice on that one. (I wonder if she’d answer me?)

But more importantly? I have stewed enough about my lack of cake making skills that I am now thinking of enrolling in the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts Techniques of Baking series.

Take that, frosting!


Filed under flowers, kitties, life, random, Sandy's Cooking, stuff

One thing led to another: Or, I have holes in my head! OR: Paula’s gonna laugh!!

It’s my birthday, did you know that?

No. It’s really not but Norma gave me my birthday gift when I saw her at the NH Sheep and Wool. (Birthday is in August, in case you are like me and now have the burning desire to know). Of course, as a gift recipient, one can only hope that she has “Forgotten” this birthday gift by then. But maybe that is just me.

Anyhoo. This is what she gave me:

Clouds. For my ears!

Clouds. For my ears!

“Silver Lining” earrings! That she bought in Utah! You could have blown me over with a feather! I love them! For those of you who are long time readers, you MUST know about my love of the sky! So, how PERFECT are these? Right?
But there’s only one thing……

I don’t have pierced ears.

Now, I have this polite gift recipient in me, ingrained and imbedded and I could not bring myself to say anything to Dear Norma.  I tried, but I could not spit out the words. And I knew the “Polite” thing (especially when you LOVE a gift so) would be to PUT THEM ON.
Alas. Not a hole to be had.

Paula even suggested that I put them on. “I WILL”, I told her!

And I will.

My ears, they are pierced!After mulling it over, I told Norma. I think she hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time. And then I remedied the situation.

Pierced Ears and I have quite a rich history. This is not the first time, no no.

The first time was with my friend, Debbie Danisienka. We were 12 years old. Her older sister pierced our ears with a needle and an ice cube. I still remember the pain. Ice. It did nothing.

My mother went on an earring buying binge for me and I wore all kinds of 12 year old things. You know, telephones and flowers and doggies. Cute.

Then I kind of stopped wearing earrings. You know what happens then, right? They close up. No more pierced ears. After all that I did to get them.

Life went on, though. Even happily.

Until I was 21 years old, had just gotten engaged to my wonderful now husband and I went to get a haircut. (none of those things have to do with each other, they just WERE) I inadvertently got a SHORT haircut. Reminicent of my grade school days when my mother butchered my hair to be like Twiggy Hair. (note to you: I DO not look good in Twiggy Hair. I would even go out on a limb and say that NO one looked good in Twiggy Hair). So my ears stuck out. And needed….SOMETHING. (You DO remember my feelings about my ears, don’t you? You can reread it here if you want)

So, I got them pierced at the mall. I had a wedding coming up and this was a good thing.

Until about 3 months later. For some reason (which I have now pinpointed to a sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide which I used PROFUSELY so that my ears would not get infected. Irony at it’s best) and I waited too long, thinking I was curing it with (you guessed it) MORE hydrogen peroxide. The doctor had to CUT that earring out.

It’s not a great memory.

So far? All pierced ear stories have the same theme, right? Pain. And lots of it.

There is one more though. About 10 or so years later, I was convinced that I still had HOLES. Which I maybe did. But not, you know? And I decided  while dressing up for some fancy shindig that I needed earrings and I PUSHED the earrings through the “holes”.

Ouch. Once again. You would think I would have known better. But there you go. One is not always wise when it comes to jewelry.

I have lived earringless for many a year.

But sometimes, a little silver lining comes into your life and leads you on a quest that you did not know you would be on.

Last weekend found me at the mall once again, getting my ears pierced. I prepared myself for the pain. I remember it as so painful.

When she shot the earring through the lobe, it felt burning hot. But not particularly painful on the scale that women use subconsciously for the rest of their lives, the CHILDBIRTH Scale. As in: sure it hurts a bit but it is not like having  a baby.  On a scale of 1 to Baby, it was about a 1 ½. Over as quickly as it started and I was on my way with the ear cleaner, which I promptly threw away. No Hydrogen peroxide injuries for me this time, thank you very much. I am using good old fashioned isopropyl alcohol. I can feel the burn when I apply it correctly and I know I will not have a seething mess in a couple of weeks.

In 4-6 weeks, I’ll be wearing those silver linings. And the other 2 pair I just bought. It is fun shopping for something I had not thought about in so long, trying to figure out my grown up earring style.

In a way, I guess it really IS my birthday.

Gifts are good.

Thanks, Norma!


Filed under life, random, stuff

Making dough

You know how it is in the internets, how you find something interesting and you click here and you click there, soon you are far away from your original starting place and couldn’t find it again if you tried?
That’s how it was with sourdough starter. I don’t know how it happened. But it did.
I found reference to Nancy Silverton’s Breads from La Brea Bakery and an interesting 2 weeks sourdough starter method involving grapes.
I mulled it over for a couple of weeks, ordered the book, read it cover to cover and decided I was IN.
I am on Day 4 so far, keeping a bit of a flickr documentary. If you are at all interested in the process, check it out. If not, well, come over for bread in 2 weeks! 🙂
The process is fascinating me and well, frankly, the family are getting tired of hearing about it.
You’d think I did not have a life or something!


Filed under Making bread, Sandy's Cooking

Lilac season

How I love my lilacs!

How I love my lilacs!

“In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white-washed palings,
Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle -and from this bush in the dooryard,
With delicate-coloured blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
A sprig with its flower I break.”

~~From When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom by Walt Whitman

the tallest of them all!

the tallest of them all!


Filed under flowers, poetry

Sheep and Wool thoughts

It seems that with all the fun and all the people I spent some time with on Saturday at the NH Sheep and Wool, I missed some too. Next time I’ll announce here that I am going so that we can all be on the lookout for each other.

So, let’s see. Sheep and Wool…It’s becoming a pleasant memory now. I bought NOT A THING. Although I was tempted by Mostly Merino. In particular, the Hebrides cardigan kit. It was a gorgeous sweater with even more gorgeous yarn. Perhaps I will be starting a coin jar for Rhinebeck. Think I can save over $2o0 in coins in 5 months? I wonder..

I did eat some delicious buffalo jerky which hit the spot perfectly. I craved tea all day long but did not have any until I arrived home around 11 pm that night. (I also visited my Mom for our Mom’s Day visit) (tea story to follow) It did not help that Terry mentioned the TEA GUY. For one thing, I had no idea there WAS a tea guy and then all of a sudden, I am looking for him around every corner. No tea for me.

I wore Town and Country every cotton picking minute of the time I was there. That was no small feat because when the rain clouds cleared away, the sun came out and steamed up the place a bit. While it was not technically HOT, it felt it in my sweater. But I was there to wear it and WEAR it I did!
As irony would have it, the next day was quite chilly and would have been the perfect wool day.

So, that’s about it. I mainly went there to talk and schmooze with people. I am sure I am a disappointment to all of the wonderful vendors.

See you there next year, right?

A tea story:

I have, as you may know, given up drinking Diet Coke. It amazes me that when a person is ready to so something and has their mind in the right place, it is not hard to give something up. But I do have to drink something.

Sure, there’s water. I drink my share and love it. But a grrl needs something sometimes.

That is when I happened across a little hole in the wall tea place at the mall called Teavana, where tea is heaven. I was hooked on the first sip. I have spent many a dollar in there since, Bethany and I picking out teas to bring home. We are now, the two of us, Tea Brewers. I look forward to a nice cup of tea and know that a bottled or bagged tea will not suffice. I’ve tried in a pinch. I need to figure out how to make this a bit portable. I cannot expect that a Tea Guy will appear whenever I am in need, right? I mean, he let me down on Saturday. My craving grew all day long. On the way home, I searched for a Starbucks, Bethany had told me their green tea was good. Not a Starbucks around.

But? I did not drink, nor even want a diet coke. That is progress people! (is  replacing one addiction with another a good idea? Pfft)


Filed under 1

New Hampshire Sheep and Wool

You know when you go somewhere and have so much fun with so many wonderful people that it all seems like a wonderful dream after it’s over?

Yeah. That’s how it was at my favorite of all wool festivals.

New Hampshire Sheep and Wool pictures.

And then my camera ran out of power. Isn’t that always the way?


Filed under 1