Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving to all, near and far,

past the walls, the borders and other manly man built obstacles to keep each other and humanity far apart.   I am living in uncharted waters and deeper the water gets the crazier I am getting. 
Oh Melania what were you thinking?  


I have been knee deep in pots and deadlines and have tried watching the impeachment hearing and trying to connect the dots but honestly I'm not sure anybody is connecting all the dots at this point.  So as I look down at my table and the 90 mugs and more bowls than I can count, the bunnies start winning.

I watch garden YouTube videos (I am a confessed Monty Don fan girl)  and mentally make notes on all the changes I want to make next year and the cute little bunnies just keep on com'n.  But I have noticed that in all my designs this year there is hint of the cynical.... a fox stalking bunnies, hawks hunting, rats asking for handouts, a bug with pinchers at bottom edge of a plate.  The wren calls out the warning but no one listens, the bees carry on, the bear ambles on and the hawk silently watches above.  The seen and unseen, the surprise that we never see coming, is it too late to escape?   I am loving these but wow do they take a ton of time!  But I love making them and see more stories coming as we are living in perilous times, ya I am listening to Harry Potter again too.  The more I make the less I live in this thing we now call reality or a nightmare.  GIVE ME THE BUNNIES!

It's Thanksgiving and who has time to cook?  The turkey is easy, the rest of the stuff too but I thought I really needed a new countertop space sucker and got an air fryer.  Damn those black Friday pre-sales!  It was $80 and it also dehydrates, convection bakes, air frys and keeps the dog really interested on the far end of counter and not under my feet.  Some people buy shoes, or diamonds; not me I go straight to the kitchen section in every store online or brick and mortar.  Buy me all the TOYS!! (this also includes the studio and garden stores!)  

How bad do I have this kitchen gadget disease?  I made salmon the other night, remember all that salmon I dragged home from Alaska?  I put a vacuum sealed pack of salmon on the counter and went to the studio around 7 am.  Put in 10 hours and rambled in to make dinner.  There it was, sitting on the counter staring at me.  Crap, why didn't I marinate it?  WAIT!  I dragged out the vacuum sealer and plastic container called a magic marinator.  Dumped the salmon into the magic marinator, dumped in all the yummy marinating stuff and plugged it in.  In 30 seconds I had marinated salmon!  Popped it into the air fryer and 15 minutes later I had dinner.  2 hours later I had a clean kitchen....... cleaning all this stuff, argh.  Soooo would I rather cook or clean, depends on the day!  Do they make a kitchen genie and what aisle?

The remains of the Thanksgiving dinner in pieces and parts.  I am so deep in the studio my head is just not in the kitchen too much.  Best turkey ever!  I cooked this bird breast down, butt in the air (for you yoga folks, think downward dog and apply to the turkey. for you garden folks, weeding position #1: head down, butt pointed at the sun); 325F oven.  An hour from done I flip it over and crank the oven up to 425F.  Forget that pop-out timer that comes stuck in the bird, take the internal temperature and when it hits 175F. take it out, toss a foil tent over it and go make mashed potatoes and gravy.  It has to rest and it also keeps cooking.  Potatoes from the garden were delish!  The gravy was made with my canned stock and turkey giblets, garden onions, garlic, celery, sage and parsley.  So good!  

And pie, what is Thanksgiving without pie?  I passed on pumpkin and went for mincement.  I wanted to try that homemade brandied mincemeat I canned up two months ago.  It is strong so I cut a pint with a couple apples.  The crust is made with happy pig, leaf lard and is so tender it could make the pig cry.  It is delish!  And the whole grain bread is pretty good too :) 

The poison ivy is almost gone thanks to my friends Barb and Steve who make Jewelweed Soap and spray!  I usually keep jewelweed frozen in ice cube trays, not this year!  So grateful for thoughtful friends; Mary, Barb and Steve, I am thankful 💖💖💖 
Big thank you to Images in Bloom

We have had Indian Summer too, so thankful.  A patch of summer weather sandwiched between the first freeze and/or snow and the next winter clipper.  It was a delicious 60 degrees and the beach was a place of calm before the storms of November. 

Tonight I am waddling to the studio to finish a few bowls and load one more kiln and there are leftovers for days.  The very best part of this decadent day!  
Happy Thanksgiving everybody across the borders and beyond :) 

Monday, November 18, 2019

No Water No Wheels.......

guess I'll blog........

Is this the last; don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out Mercury Retrograde?  Mercury is going direct in two days, two days.  I'm not sure I am going to make another two days of this cycle, PHEW!  I just went back and read the last post and holy crap on cracker an awful lot has gone on in less than month.  I am now back to having my annual dreams of an elephants sitting on my face and trying to breath, quite literally the crush of the season.  I truly need to make a few changes in my life, to stop this rat race part of my life...... oh wait but then it might be the glut of tomatoes.  Although I never have dreams of giant tomatoes sitting on my face. 

Awoke to a beautiful view out the back window this morning.  Did all the morning chores, ran upstairs to use the facilities and promptly blew the lid off the toilet tank.  Mid-pulling my drawers up when the eruption occurred, sending me head first into the wall.  Dropping to my knees, reaching for the shutoff valve to make it stop.  Pulled up my bloomers and dashed downstairs to slowly open a few other faucets.  Rusty dirty water exploding from every single tap.  Call the water department and learn an 18" main feeder line (many miles away) had failed.  No water for undetermined amount time.  Awesome I will brush my teeth with bourbon.

When life goes awry go to the beach.  I whipped the dog into; "WE'RE GOING TO THE BEACH!" frenzy.  Kirby leaps into the van, I crank the engine and it cranks and cranks but will not turn over.  No beach.  Kirby refuses to exit the van.  As I sit here banging away on the key board he is in the van, laying on his bed quite happy.  It's a faux ride and since the wind is blowing he thinks he is going somewhere.  By the time I finish this he will be happy to exit the van and think he has been somewhere!  So many things to learn from my dog......

Speaking of the dog........ he has been through surgery like a champ and in a week he was up and running again.  One eye out and the other was chemically treated to stop the glaucoma.  We had a check up last Friday and everything is working out as planned.  We are down to one eye drop a day in the chemically treated eye which is still a little weepy but another week and hopefully those can stop too.  He should be good for the rest of  his years.   

The day I brought him home........

Two days after surgery............
Two days ago...........

He seems so much better!  The pressure is gone, the hemorrhaging is gone, he has a silicon implant and next Halloween he will make a splendid pirate!  Eye patches are very in these days. 

And this is not my husband but it could be..........

I finally managed to get my mincemeat made.  The big hold up was candies citrus peels.  I've never made it before.  Then tracking down organic citrus was a challenge.  It took awhile to hunt and gather all the ingredients before I could start.  So here is the candied citrus peel and WOW is it good!  You get a bonus of citrus syrup I tried to freeze it in ice cube trays but there is just way too much sugar so it never froze.  It's in a jar in the freezer. 

1 teaspoon of syrup in a bit bourbon is delish!  
And this has been bourbon kind of month! 

The wood pile is stacked, the 150 bulbs of garlic got planted but yet to be mulched and the snow has been flying.  Way too early! 

The way back gardens got a good weeding before the snow started flying and now just needs a covering of wood chips.  And what would garden clean up be without a round of poison ivy? 
The parsley is tasting so much better after the first frost but I do miss the fresh dill.   

Also snagged a new Dansk pan off craigslist, ya, still working craigslist..... 

and I am contemplating a cute little All American Pressure Canner for $50...... 
It hold for 4 quarts or 7 pints and is just plain cute.  Just not sure where to put one more canner.  

Loaded Kirby in the van and delivered work to Oglebay for the Christmas Festival.  We had a few minutes to hike and see the leaves. 

Two days later took a delivery to Holden Arboretum for their Holiday Festival.  Kirby and I had a great hike there too. 

We voted November 5th, Kirby went there too....... 

Still working at the Montessori school on Wednesdays, kids are still winning.  Big news, we got a brand spank'n new kiln.  One of the kids and I moved it into place last Friday and I met with the electrician.  The rest is up to him!  We moved all the tables around to make room for a few more students and it's working out pretty well.  Kirby stayed in the van while I spent an hour moving stuff.  He was next to the goat barn and he got so excited about the goats he tossed his breakfast in the van.  Where is that bourbon to brush my teeth?  

And there has still been time bake Monday bread and make a few jars of apple butter and apple chutney. 

I am now panicked over too few pots for Winterfair in Columbus and working around the clock.  Filling a 10 x 10 booth is going to be a challenge this year.  I think I am working slower and I know I'm a bit picky about foot trimming, handles etc and that all takes time.  The first weekend in December is coming on too quick.  

Then it will be over, the seed catalogs will be in the mail, the wood stove will be hot and coffee pot on.  Pretty sure this will be my last year at Winterfair.  The expenses are too high for pots sold and time spent standing on concrete for three days, 9 hours a day.  I never sit down at shows so I am standing and even with aerodynamic insoles I'm toast by Sunday.  Then pack down and load out, it's exhausting.  Working alone is sometimes a perk and sometimes challenging, shows are challenging.   I do know that next year I would like to spend more time in the garden and less time chasing unicorns pooping rainbows.....