If you have two loaves of bread sell one and buy flowers. For although the bread will nourish your body, the flowers will nourish your soul.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Jeff and Cereal, and a Really Good Sandwich

it's so funny how the littlest things will spark a memory. i often think of my nephew jeff when i eat breakfast. jeff and my son adam are about the same age, and were real buddies growing up. when jeff stayed with us i had to be sure i had more than one kind of cereal available. if i set out, say five boxes of cereal, he had a bowl of a mixture of some of each. i used to laugh and shake my head. guess who now can not eat just one kind of cereal?  when i have cereal for breakfast, it's a bowl of spoonsize shredded wheat, cranberry almond crunch, and go lean crunch. topped with blueberries or bananas depending on what's available. i wouldn't think of eating just one kind at a time. 
cheers, jeff!

i've covered breakfast, so i want to share with you a delicious sandwich for lunch.  nothing earthshakingly new, but so good.  for years one of my favorite summer sandwiches has been toasted cheese and tomato. sorry...grilled cheese and tomato. i asked my grandkids once if they wanted a toasted cheese sandwich and they looked at me like i had two heads. anyway, next time you make one for yourself, add a layer of pesto. i didn't grow any basil this year so i just used store bought. i also used amish made whole wheat bread from my trip to the farmers market.  
talk about a yummers, easy sandwich. 

also, i've come to the conclusion that in order to become good at food photography one must not be hungry.  when shooting my cereal all i could think of was to get a couple good shots before it got soggy. i hate soggy cereal.
and while shooting the sandwich i hurried for a decent picture because i was starving and wanted to eat it while it was still hot. you really get a lot less choosy.
i need to work on my timing.   

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jealous...Of Me?

very seldom is there any reason for anyone to be jealous of me. but my son, adam, is.  within a period of three days, i experienced seeing a rattlesnake and being in an earthquake. now, how lucky can you get?  i guess it's all a matter of perspective. granted, i was in the protective custody of my car for the snake. and the earthquake was over before we figured out what we had just felt. also, i have to admit that neither event was one i'd like to have happen more that once. but i do have to also admit...
they were cool. 

i mean no disrespect to those who have experienced truly tragic events, but i confess, i had to chuckle at this pic posted on pinterest.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Why I Will Always Take My Camera With Me

picture this:   
a sunday drive, dirt road outside of great cacapon, west virginia. i'm driving, see a snake about 3 foot long moving across the road. noticing that this is not your runofthemill blacksnake, i stop, back up. gary says, "that's a copperhead!  no, wait, that's a timber rattler!"  i say, "holy cow...hand me my camera!".  being appropriately brave because i am inside the car, i pull the car up beside the snake, roll down the window, he obligingly coils up into this nice striking mode and i take his picture. how awesome is that?!   
now, for those of you from texas and other such exotic places, this might be an everyday occurance. but for me....this is priiiiitty dang cool.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mrs. Murray's Zucchini Relish

remember this?

well, now the basket is almost empty. i made zucchini relish this week. you have to understand. this isn't just any relish. it's the best you'll ever eat. even if you think you don't like relish. when my son-in-law first became a part of our family i offered him relish for his hotdog. he told me he really didn't care for relish. and i said, "just do me a favor...try a little bite of my zucchini relish. if you don't like it, i won't be insulted. it's just that it's different enough from traditional storebought relish to be worth a taste."  he tasted it, and i've had to keep him supplied with it ever since.  
i got the recipe from mrs. murray, another neighbor at another house than my zucchini cake recipe. that sentence makes no sense but i hope you know what i mean. 

mrs. murray's zucchini relish

grind on coarse blade:
    10 cups zucchini (seeded and unpeeled)
      4 cups onions (i had a combination of red and white onions on hand)
      2 peppers (a combination of green and red make it pretty)

combine in large bowl, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt, cover and put in frig overnight. in morning, rinse with cold water and drain well in colander.

prepare syrup: 
   2 1/2 cups vinegar
   6 cups sugar
   1 T. dry mustard
   1 T. cornstarch
   1 T. mustard seed
   1 T. tumeric
   1 T. celery seed
   1/2 tsp. black pepper

heat syrup until sugar is melted. add syrup to zucchini mixture, bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. fill hot jars and seal. 
the first time i made this recipe years ago, it made 6-7 pints. 
i now usually make a triple batch and have found that a triple batch of the relish to a double batch of syrup is perfect and makes 15-16 pints. 

this is a delicious way to use up that overabundance of zucchinis you usually end up with if you have any plants at all.  enjoy!
(i also have a really good zucchini pickle recipe i'll be posting soon.) 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Beautiful Day at Belleville

wednesday was a treat...for several reasons. first, we got to spend the day with our daughter, erin. i love spending time with my kids. what a blessing to enjoy them as adults. secondly, it was a gorgeous day. after seemingly unending days of heat and humidity, this was a jewel. the morning was cool and the highest temp in the day reached only 81, with a delightful "unhumid" breeze. we drove with the windows open and the wind in our hair. 
and thirdly, we went to belleville, pennsylvania...a farmers market and flea market in an area populated with many amish families. we try to go several times a year. i know it's a long way to go for a farmers market (a little less than 2 hours), but it's a nice drive and one of our favorite day trips. 

there are flowers....

photo by erin

(you better believe we came home with some of these!)


photo by erin

good things to eat....

 photo by erin

and good company....

what more could you ask for?

we go probably mostly for the produce. among other things, i bought 1/2 bushel of cucumbers for pickles, fresh off the wagon of an amish family, a watermelon, and homebaked wheat bread and rolls.
i didn't take a lot of crowd pictures, because it was difficult to avoid catching the amish. out of respect for their beliefs, i tried not to photograph them. it's difficult though. their simplicity and old world charm make them a desirable subject. i hope, however, their aversion to being photographed does not translate to their horses and buggies. i couldn't resist.

this adorable guy was caught napping with his chin resting on the fence.

i tried to sneak up quietly so as not to disturb him.  he opened his eyes just a slit, then closed them again and went on with his nap. 

after spending time at belleville we always head a few miles east towards reedsville where there is a row of shops with a big field beside it, where there is another open air flea market. both markets, belleville and reedsville, are only held on wednesdays. all the following photos were taken by erin.

don't you love how you can find almost anything at a flea market?

gee, i've been looking for a grenade....

"guess what...i gotta fever!  and the only prescription is more cowbell!"
(some of you will understand)

can you believe though, after all this, the only fleas i came home with was a silverplate knife and fork for 25 cents?  i just didn't find anything i wanted this time. who'da thunk?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

37 Years Today






....i think i'll keep him around. :)