Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bits and Pieces

Bits and Pieces

Life consists in this

That two solitudes
protect and touch
 and greet each other

For many years this quotation from Rainer Maria Rilke stood framed, above our bed.

When we moved the frame got broken, and so now
the quotation
lives on the front of the fridge, with various pictures of dear ones
and beloved poetry, an ever loving reminder of 'LOVE'
and the complexity between simplicity and richness.

I am not sure what brought this to mind, except that I was adding to the grocery list on the fridge
and it caught my eye, my heart and my imagination
and I realized how very true this observation is as age creeps up on us.

Today is Similkameen Sizzle Day!!!!
the 11th anniversary of this unique festival during which
the Similkameen Valley praises the pepper, either hot or cold,
but preferably hot!!!

There is a contest to see which foolhardy person is able most effectively to
burn his throat and esophagus (I think only men are required to prove their bravery
in the face of hot jalapenos)!!!

When the Royal Purple Ladies quit 'manning' the
Quesadilla table a few years ago I stopped braving the crowds,
but the hot Mexican and Spanish music reaching us from the park
where the Festival was being held was enough to set the toes a-tapping, or the hips a-twirling, 
whichever were most nimble!!!

We had a really nice visit this afternoon.
Shaun, the son of English parents, was brought up on a ranch
in the Similkameen, joined the army and then served as Sergeant-at-Arms
in the local Legion before he moved to the Fraser Valley.

He has been a friend who has the utmost respect for Veterans and it
is always a pleasure when he comes to see us.

I was particularly pleased when he said he had found us in our town house by recognizing
the flagpole at the gate - the one which I had written about on my Blog,
and which he had READ about.  Gosh!  
Is this what fame is all about!!!!!

To put the icing on the cake our son arrived even before I expected him
after a long trip from the Cariboo with his cat, Big Paws (BP).
Lovely to give him big hugs......

And those are all the bits and pieces that made up the day. except for the neighbour's
 elegant yard sale where nothing was junk and everything
was clean and polished and laid out on lace tablecloths.
I wish I had a picture to show you.

I bought a nice cheese cutting board with a handy ceramic
drawer in which to keep cheese knives and pickle forks.

Do I need this?
Not really, but I thought it was pretty.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Loom, a loom.....!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I am absolutely delighted to have a LOOM in our home again!

It is only a small loom; a two harness table loom, - one that rests in a corner until it is time to come out and create lovely objects.

A far cry from the eight harness glimakra counter-balance with whom I had this wonderful relationship until the stiffness in my knees made it impossible for me to re-tie her treadles to produce intricate designs.

Nevertheless, I am already planning a two harness warp and a tabby weft with maybe a Brooks Lace border, - a scarf, woven with the lovely skeins of mohair and soft sheep's wool that I bought from Doe G. today.  It was Doe who lent me the little table loom, too, when I went to visit her this morning.

Charles was off to the first singing session of the fall season

Another beautiful Fall day......

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hazelnuts and Biscotti

Monday, September 10th, 2010

Weather Report:

Lovely cool morning, - sunny skies, a few white clouds in the delft blue heavens.  Just a bit over 20 degrees C at eleven a.m.  Wonderful!

Inspired first thing to mow the two little hankie lawns at the back and side gardens - as the light hand mower mower whirred away and spoke to me of the same sounds rising from my grandparent's garden, and the  carefree summers I spent there, I was interrupted in my reverie by the mower skipping over hazelnuts, blown free of the tree in Saturday night's wind storm.

Last year there was a bumper crop from the hazelnut tree, but now as I gaze up into the branches I see very few little brown nuts wrapped in their frilly overcoats.  So far I have picked up fifty-seven - hardly enough to chop up and decorate a cake.

On the other side of the house the neighbor's giant walnut trees are laden with bright green balls and the heavy branches rest on the roof of her tool shed, from where they will slide over the edge and land on the walkway between the two properties.  The walnuts we garner (with some encouragement from the owner) are enough to keep us supplied until the next harvest.

After years of growing veggies and having our own fruit trees, etc. I don't have to feel guilty about being bereft of any harvesting, - people who are still gardening are so grateful to find someone who will take their surplus tomatoes and cucumbers and squash and apples and peaches, - and especially the odd zucchini or two!!

Anyway, I do love Hazelnuts, ground up and used as flour in cookies, or chopped for muffins and cakes.
I like to make hazelnut biscotti at Christmas time - it makes a nice little gift with a mug and some hot chocolate powder. This is the recipe I use.....

3/4 cup of butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of hazelnuts

Cream together butter and sugar, beat in eggs and vanilla.
Sift together the dry ingredients and mix into the egg and creamed mixture.
Stir in the hazelnuts and shape the dough into two equal logs, about 12 inches long.

Place the logs on a baking sheet and flatten out to about 1/2 inch thickness.

Bake for about half an hour in 350 degree oven, then remove from oven a let cool.

Slice the loaves diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices and return them to the oven to bake for an additional 10 minutes, turning over once.

Cool completely and store, - delicious!

While I was in the garden this morning I found two fall crocus - a white one and a pale purple.  I had forgotten about what a lovely autumn surprise they were last year!