The 4th of July from a Brooklyn roof top:
This 4th of July I spent a week in Brooklyn with my daughter (a soon to be mother) and her husband. We spent the first few days of my stay making their lovely apartment ready for the arrival of their baby boy.
Phase one of our efforts was to move the bed into the living room – loft style. The apartment would be a true loft, with open living, dining and kitchen space, twelve-foot ceilings, wall of windows, and reclaimed wood floors except for the odd partition added to boost it into the one bedroom rental bracket. We then divided the partitioned space with part of it being designated closet/dressing area and the rest set up for the baby.
Then we moved on to completing the little odds and end jobs that tend to get put off until such an occasion as a nesting mother-to-be: hanging mirrors and pictures, re-potting plants, cleaning baseboard and organizing storage.
Little Rocco pup knows something’s up.
But not to worry, we made room on our to-do list for dining at amazing restaurants, shopping in Manhattan and visiting the Brooklyn flea, where I purchased this fabulous bag by Ryan Greer of flux productions, www.fluxproductions.net
and of course, fireworks over Manhattan – the 4th from a Brooklyn roof-top.
I’ve joined the party over at
Back to basics by baking basic bread:
I hope you had a wonderful Easter, we certainly did. Hubby and I celebrated the day of hope and promise with our son, who is visiting for a short time before heading off on yet another adventure somewhere in the world. We watched the sunrise over the ocean then later dined outside to the sound of the waves and cooled by a light ocean breeze. We spent the day together as we prepared our meal as a team, hubby on the grill, me at the oven and my sweet boy preparing the alfresco dinning area.
For some time I have been thinking about doing some bread baking, I use to enjoy baking bread but years of anti-carb rhetoric had taken away some of the joy; even though bread baking is perhaps one of the oldest life-sustaining traditions the world over. Then a few days ago I was visiting a favorite blog and came across a bread recipe that resonated with me. Diana Bauman over at Humble Kitchen (you can find the link on my home page under kindred spirits) shared a recipe she described as “Simple European Style Everyday Bread” – with a title like that, who could resist! So for Easter dinner I prepared this beautiful, and beautifully simple, bread for my family. Inspired by the tradition and simplicity of the bread I also decided to make some home-made butter; another super simple process.
Later we gave thanks and shared our Easter meal together on the porch and dined on steak grilled on Himalayan salt blocks, asparagus casserole, baked potatoes, warm-from-the-oven home-baked bread and freshly churned (blended) creamy white butter – yum!
Get back to basics by baking basic bread.
Making butter in my Ninja blender: Pour a pint of heavy whipping cream and a pinch of salt into a blender or food processor (I used a ninja blender) Blend until a solid clump forms and separates from the liquid (butter milk). I stopped the blending several time to push the whipped cream down into the blades; this process took several minutes. Strain the clump through cheese cloth, shape (I used a small bowl to shape my butter into a mound but it can also be shaped into a log and gently wrapped in wax paper. Keep refrigerated.
“Simple European Style Everyday Bread”
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, we certainly did. Our cabin on the ridge was overflowing with Christmas spirit, family, friends and joy. After months of renovating the studio loft into a guest room; the modest kitchen into my dream kitchen; and assembling enough beds and linens to accommodate an extra ten plus guests, we were finally ready to celebrate; and celebrate we did!
I had intended to share the holiday activities and festivities with you, but I got so caught up in the moment, the season and our guests that I didn’t even pick up my computer. Before I knew it, the days of my impromptu sabbatical had passed and it was time to say good-bye to our guests, the season and 2012.
Today, with the moments of the season and of the past year nestled in my memories and the promise of new ones stretching into the new year, I’m inspired to make this new years challenge: seek-out, live-in and capture the big and small, planned and unexpected moments of 2013; So begins “A Year of collecting moments!
# 1- Gathered around a bonfire with dear friends of twenty-five+ years to
say good-bye to one year and welcome in another. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Hand painted, glass, Christmas ornaments.
I love Christmas time. Spiritually the season renews hope. Socially it revives much of humanity’s focus on peace and love. For us creative spirits the season inspires the very act of creativity. And finally I love the traditions: lights and decorations; Christmas trees, cookies, cards and caroling; making, giving and receiving gifts; and of course gathering together in celebration with family and friends .
Last night many of favorite things about the season came together with an amazing menagerie of woman gathering for our annual Christmas ornament exchange. This get-together with my girlfriends is one of many gatherings and I look forward to it each year. It has become my tradition to personally create the ornament I take for the exchange, and this year I was particularly pleased with my creation – a hand-painted glass globe depicting a manger scene.
Other examples of my painted ornaments
Let the season begin with a Christmas in the country back-roads auto tour!
This year I kicked off the Christmas season by helping my sister-in-law in her lovely little shop “Just What I Want”, in Grant’s Lick, Ky. She put together a fun event for the community and local businesses, “Christmas in the Country Auto Tour”. The event was a wonderful success with a steady stream of holiday shoppers and revelers enjoying themselves despite the cold cloudy day. The stops included a seasonal open house run by a collection of crafty women, a specialty store, a small consignment mall and Just What I want, antiques, gifts and collectibles. Visitors had a wonderful selection of handcrafted, home-baked and vintage gifts to pick from; they also enjoyed live music, wine tasting and even pictures with reindeer (mini horses wearing antlers).
From big cities, small towns and country back-roads, it’s the time of year to get out and celebrate our local communities. For our little community the Christmas in the Country Auto Tour, was a wonderful success and, for me, a great way to kick off the Christmas season; I’m already looking forward to next year’s tour.