Knitting, spinning, pets, food and other thoughts


Still catching up!

Lately, I’ve been searching for summer squash recipes, and found a couple of keepers. squash sauteSautΓ©ed Baby Squash with Basil & Feta – I had small, but not baby pattypan squash, so I cut a white one and a yellow one into wedges and sautΓ©ed them until lightly colored on each side (this pretty much eliminated the excess moisture I get with most squash preps), subbed green onions for the leeks, cut up a couple of Roma tomatoes, and totally forgot to add the cheese, but it was yummy and will certainly be repeated. Sweet peppers would be good in this too!

squash skilletAnother keeper was Skillet Mexican Zucchini – the original recipe is meatless, but I sautΓ©ed strips of chicken breast (cleaning out the freezer), then added them at practically the last minute. I skipped the pickled jalapenos, and I’m not sure if I remembered the cheese, but I did stir in some sofrito and chili powder with the garlic and onions, which gave it a bit of zing.

Yellow pattypan squash.

Yellow pattypan squash.

Volunteer butternut squash.

Volunteer butternut squash.

Since there are more squash in the garden, these may get replayed soon πŸ˜›



Mostly flowers & food

It’s been acting a bit more like May; this evening, I heard the first chuck-will’s-widow of the season, even though I haven’t heard a whip-poor-will yet (if you have cats in the house, click on the sound links and watch the reaction – it was pretty funny here!). The whip-poor-will’s range extends farther north, but we have both here – they’re rarely seen but we hear them a lot.

The Harison’s Yellow rose (heirloom rose) is in bloom, and the whole bush is loaded with buds. The other rose also has lots of buds, but isn’t quite there yet. πŸ™‚

First bloom: Harison's Yellow rose.

First bloom: Harison’s Yellow rose.



There are mayapples over by the side of the house – I’ve no idea how they got there, but they must like it, as they’re multiplying. I think that may end up as a fern and wildflower area.

plantsSome plants I picked up yesterday (lots of red for the hummers); several of the vincas, salvias and verbenas are already in planters, most of the others will go in the bed beside the deck, along with marigolds and nasturtiums, which did very well in spite of the hot dry summer last year. The 2 planters have lettuce and radishes in them. garden

Though the ground isn’t really dry enough to till thoroughly, I did make a start on it today, and it’s good to see progress!

Salt & Pepper Kingsnake.

Speckled (Salt & Pepper) Kingsnake.

I was actually quite happy to see this guy today – there used to be a larger one that lived under the back porch BC (Before Construction) and terrorized the varmints. I think this one is smaller, but maybe a descendant of the original one πŸ˜‰

The other day Toby kept barking and barking over by the corner of the fence. I never did figure out what he was upset about, but when I went to look, I spotted these, which made a nice little side dish for lunch:



Hash: leftover ham, potatoes and onions.

Hash for lunch: leftover ham, potatoes and onions.


The Ides of March …

or at least it will be tomorrow – it’s amazing how fast the year is going by, though not quite as fast as the amaryllis is growing. It’s really shot up in the past week.

18" and still growing!

18″ and still growing.

Thanks to everyone who’s Liked Joyknits designs over on Facebook – please keep visiting!

My pal Maggie’s really a serious hindrance when it comes to making the bed. She always wants to snuggle and cuddle, and all that cuteness is hard to resist πŸ™‚



Nothing like a nice big pan of mac & cheese when the weather’s cool, and having the leftovers is sure handy!

Mac & cheese.

Mac & cheese.

There has been knitting, in fact I had trouble putting it down. What I have here now is a caterpillar – once it’s blocked, I hope it will be another butterfly. knitting


To repot or not …

suddenly was no longer a question when I tried to move the amaryllis the other day. The old plastic pot practically exploded in my hands, unfortunately bumping the tips when it fell, but I hope it will recover.



in its new pot.

In its new pot.

It’s a pleasant change today not to have all the winter storm watches/warnings blaring from the media. While it’s important for people to be warned, I do think they go way overboard, and then there are always those who go out in it anyway, and have to be rescued … never mind, I won’t go there.

Yesterday was quite different – we had this on the TV (we’re in one of the pink areas) and ended up with mostly sleet, some snow and fortunately relatively little freezing rain …radarand outdoors around noon noon 0221then about an hour and a half later 0221_130I was very glad I’d gotten out to fill the feeders the day before this all hit πŸ™‚

We stayed inside and enjoyed leftover sauerbraten, cabbage (would have fixed red cabbage which would have been more colorful, but I only had green on hand) and potato pancakes. It’s a good thing that I like ginger snaps – they’re used to thicken the gravy, but you only need 6-8 per batch, and they only seem to come in 12-oz packages … sauerbraten


Happy Valentine’s Day!

We’re not doing a whole lot for the day, but I did embellish his dessert this noon – it’s the best I could do with a Reddi-Whip can on a small dish, and it IS chocolate underneath πŸ˜‰ dessert

This week I was the delighted beneficiary of Margene’s Month of Letters – her lovely note reminds me just how nice it is to receive something handwritten, an area in which I’m woefully deficient. While we do have some signs of spring outside, I’ll enjoy these flowers in here by the computer. Thanks, Margene!

Paperwhites card.

Paperwhites card.

Right now we’re on the up-side of the temperature roller coaster (supposed to change very soon), so I looked around outside. Due to a couple of pretty heavy rains, there’s actually water in the pond (bluebird house in the foreground, where a pair raised 2 or 3 broods last year) … pondcatkins on the hop hornbeam tree …

Hornbeam catkins.

Hornbeam catkins.

and snowdrops over close to the house – I really must plant more of these!




Happy Thanksgiving!

Not as much of the family could make it as last year, but we’ve had a nice day with warmer than usual temperatures for November, so we enjoyed getting outside while it lasts. It’s supposed to get colder overnight.

While the turkey was in the oven, Mary groomed her dogs – I couldn’t believe how well Stella (aka The Great White) just stood to be trimmed.

First Toby & Stella helped Mary load the dishwasher,

then they moved over to the island to help me break down the rest of the turkey, where naturally there were a few small bits of fallout.

Ever hopeful …

After letting dinner settle for a little while, we topped it off with pie.

Chocolate Kahlua Pecan Pie.

Hope your day was good too!

ETA: The pie completely disappeared – it was yummy πŸ˜›


A family & foodie weekend

My brother Bob*, sister-in-law Hiyam and nephew Eric came for a visit last weekend. We had a nice visit, and cooked up a storm! I had already made a big pan of sweet rolls from our grandmother’s recipe (one of those recipes that starts out “1 cup of water, 2 cakes of yeast, and flour to make a sponge …” – it’s in her handwriting!) – fortunately I’ve made it plenty of times, so it makes sense. We had those for breakfast 2 mornings, and there were still a few left.

Muttie’s rolls.

On Saturday, Hiyam treated us to a Lebanese dinner, hummus, and her Mom’s cookies – wow, what a feast! Hiyam brings her Mom’s cookies when we gather at Christmas; they just melt in your mouth and everyone loves them! I didn’t get a good picture of her, and since I want her to keep on speaking to me, I won’t share the only one I took πŸ˜‰


Hiyam’s Mom’s cookies.

While we were cooking, Eric (the family roller coaster fan) went up and played at 6 Flags outside St. Louis, but of course he made it back in time for dinner! His dog Buster (a rescue) stayed home with us.

Eric & Buster.

My brother, Bob & me.

*If you’re into action & adventure/pulp fiction, look up Erwin K. Roberts here, or on Amazon πŸ˜‰



Cindy and I have been trying to get together (again, after meeting once for lunch in St. Louis forever ago), and she was able to come down for a visit on Thursday. Fortunately, other than the heat, the weather cooperated, so she got the full yard and garden tour, as well as the house tour (which H loves to give). Toby was excited to have company, Amber was polite, and shy Maggie even came out to visit. In addition to yummy dog treats for Toby, Cindy brought me a lovely lavender plant, which smells wonderful πŸ™‚

It was such fun, and we visited and compared notes on our stashes of Rachel’s and Joan’s fiber and yarn (she’s got 1 of Joan’s I just may not be able to resist!).

Even more internet connections: Carole had mentioned having salmon with a yummy sounding glaze, and she kindly shared the recipe on Facebook, so my riff on that (balsamic vinegar instead of wine vinegar) was on the menu, plus little Yukon gold potatoes, and dessert was Cappuccino Crunch Bars* which I found a while ago on Noble Pig’s food blog, from which I’ve collected several good recipes. Have I mentioned that the more I use Pepperplate (free), the more I like it? My iPad is becoming my go-to cookbook!

It was over much too quickly as she had to get back and get Grover from doggie day care, but we did get a photo. I can’t wait to get together again!

Cindy, Joy & Toby.

*Recipe mods: I use dark chocolate chips instead of white chocolate as given in the recipe, and go just a bit heavier on the instant coffee and cinnamon.