Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ghosties and Goolies and things that go bump in the night

This morning, the clever and lovely Jami of Freckled Laundry posted something that she had made. I decided I would try some.  She had used vintage lace doilies to make little ghosties for Halloween. They were so cute.
I took a couple of doilies out of the drawer. They were a little rumpled, so I thought they could use a little freshening. Once I had ironed them, I decided to iron all the others. That was good, so I decided to iron all the napkins. Well, while I was at it, I thought why not iron all the tablecloths. Well, several hours later, I had the satisfaction of knowing all the linens are ironed and hanging in the closet. Good feeling.
Jami is having a linky party and since I used her idea, I'm linking to it:
freckled laundry

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lunch with a friend

A friend of mine, Mary of The Thrill of the Hunt, was having issues with her blog. I asked her to bring her MAC, come over for lunch and I would take a look at it and see if I could figure out what the problem was. She did, I did, and we had lunch!
I made a pot of soup with turkey broth, red peppers, Delacata squash, apples, and turkey.

 Typical Portland day                                                 On a sunny day

I offered some delicious sourdough bread that my daughter, Polly, brought me from the artisan bakery, Lovejoy Bakery, near her flat.

Nothing fancy, but tasty and after all, it isn't the food, it is the company that makes a good meal!
And for afters, some Brie, Gruyere, and pomegranate.

After lunch we made a quick foray to the Goodwill to see if there was anything exciting. Mary found some pottery that was half price, but I didn't find anything I couldn't live without.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Some days I feel like that

Some times when I read some blogs or Facebook comments I want to scream. When I was teaching school, I used to correct people's grammar. I was so use to doing it all day at school, that I didn't realize I was doing it. My mother would nudge me and I'd be so embarrassed. 

So, I'm providing this public service message:
  • Do we not know that there is a difference between your (belonging to) and you're (you are)? 
  • Do we not know when to use you and I? If I see someone use "he gave it to she and I again, I'm going to hurt some one. Seriously!!! It's so easy to know when to use I or me - just leave out the other person and see how it sounds. You wouldn't say he gave it to I (or he came with he) would you? (yet, I read that someone did something to, or for, or with she and I all the time) I is a subject, me is an object - easy. Please don't fall into the trap of using the reflective of me when you aren't sure of whether it is I or me by saying myself. You can only use myself if you are doing it to or with or for your self. Someone or something else can't do something to myself, now can they?
  • Do we not know what a participle is? I get a little crazy when people don't conjugate verbs correctly - it makes me want to scream. He has went? Really? 
  • And how about if I was instead of if I were. It's a conditional people! 
  •  Oh, and speaking of it, how about getting its and it's right. (hint - its is possessive, it's is a contraction of it is)
There are so many more, but these seem to be the most common, blatant transgressions I've been noticing. And don't let anyone tell you grammar isn't important - unless you don't mind sounding obtuse.  My favorite website for checking the finer points of grammar is the  Purdue OWL. 
It is my "Go-To" for all things English grammar. Easy to use and very thorough.

So, kind readers, please take pity on English teachers (and others), try not to offend their delicate ears and make them spend their last days in the funny farm. Check your grammar - please, pretty please with a cherry on top.
Please feel to spout off if you have a grammar faux pas you'd like to get off your chest.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Halloween Treat

Recently my daughter introduced me to "We Give Books" This is a new digital initiative that enables anyone with access to the Internet to put books in the hands of children who don't have them, simply by reading online.
We Give Books combines the joy of reading with the power of helping others, providing a platform for caregivers and educators to inspire children to become lifelong readers and lifelong givers.
We Give Books also helps some of the world's best, most inspiring, literacy organizations by spreading the word about their great work and by providing books to the young people these organizations support.

Read a Book  -  Choose from our growing library of great children's books

Choose a Campaign -  Choose one of our literacy partner campaigns to support with your reading

Share - The more you read, the more books we share with children who need them.

The first book we read was Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex. A parody of the children's all time favorite "Goodnight Moon", by Margaret Wise Brown. Both my girls knew it by heart from the time they could talk. This is so funny. I laughed reading it with Polly. It is so cleverly written and if you are familiar with the original "Goodnight Moon" book, you will surely be delighted, as we were.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ghostly Coffee

My #2 daughter love coffee. I'm giving her this set of Halloween coffee cups for her new apartment. I made them several years ago, to go with a set of black dinnerware I bought to use primary at Halloween.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Roast Turkey Breast

 With the mornings crisp and chilly, I begin to long for Thanksgiving - my favorite holiday. I love turkey, so not wanting to wait another month, I bought a little turkey breast to roast. I'll have some nice sandwiches and salads. I'll freeze some for later.
Turkey Breast
I picked some sage, thyme, and rosemary from my herbs. I use my french salt, butter, and celery to add to the flavor.
Ready for the oven

I let it come to room temperature to allow for even cooking. I placed it in a small roasting pan and tented it with aluminum foil sprayed with Pam. I placed it in a slow oven (325℉) for about 2½ or 3 hours.

I basted it several times during the last hour of cooking.
I removed the foil allowing the skin to brown nicely.

Not quite ready

Time to start checking the internal temperature with my instant thermometer.  No, not ready. So, back it goes, after another basting, for a little more time in the oven.
Oh, is it beginning to smell delicious. Mmmmm.


Now the temp is 180〫.  Time to let it rest so it will slice nicely. Look at that rich juice. I could make gravy, but this time, I'll cool it and freeze it for use later.
After removing the cooked meat from the bones, I used them, along with the skin and some aromatic vegetables, to make a rich turkey broth. In my opinion, one of the best parts of roasting a turkey.

Yummy turkey, lettuce, mayo on whole wheat.

47 years ago today...

My blogger friend, Honora of Pondside posted a sweet memory of her wedding, thirty-eight years ago. It made me remember that tomorrow would have been our 47th anniversary. My husband passed away 19 years ago.

To see more click the Wedding tab at the top.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rillettes de Porc

An English Facebook friend posted something funny about the rather unique English staple, Marmite.
 My daughter became fond of it when we lived in England. She ate it often when she worked for a New Zelander, when she lived in Switzerland. She likes it on toast with butter for Breakfast. Shudder! I mean, just look at the list of strange ingredients:
During our conversation, I made a face and had some rather derogatory things to say about it. She asked me if I liked potted meat. Well, my first thought was of some of those tasteless smooth tinned meat paste popular for tea sandwiches. Not much more palatable than Marmite.

Then I thought of Rillettes! Oh, the French do that so much better. Last time I came home from France, after visiting my dear friend Mimi, with a couple of pots of her neighbor's Rillettes. Oh they were so good. Well, anyway I got to thinking about it and decided to make some. Today was the day! I had enough for 4 little ramekins and a small terrine. I'll put them in the freezer so I can pull one out anytime I need to provide a tasty "aperitif" with some crusty bread, cornichons (little gherkins) and a glass of red/white wine"


    • 800 g pork belly ( Poitrine de porc)
    • 1 leaf bay leaves ( Feuille de laurier)
    • 10 g salt ( Sel)
    • 20 g ground pepper ( Poivre)
    • 50 centiliters water ( Eau)
    • 2 garlic cloves ( Ail)
    • 5 g dried sage ( Sauge)
    • 5 g dried thyme ( Thym)




Servings: 12
  • 800 g pork belly (Poitrine de porc)
  • 1 leaf bay leaf (Feuille de laurier)
  • 10 g salt (Sel)
  • 20 g ground pepper (Poivre)
  • 50 centiliters water (Eau)
  • 5 g dried sage (Sauge)
  • 5 g dried thyme (Thym)


  1. Prepare all your ingredient. (Préparer tous les ingrédients).
  2. Remove the skin from a fresh pork belly. (Retirer la couanne de la poitrine de porc).
  3. Cut the meat into 2 cm squares. (Coupé la poitrine de porc en carré d'environ 2cm).
  4. Add the pork belly into a heavy pot (i.e. enameled cast iron works well). (Mettre les morceau de poitrine de porc dans une cocotte en fonte).
  5. Add two good glassful of water. (Ajouter environ 2 verres plein d'eau).
  6. Add a tea spoon of pepper. (Ajouter une cuillère à café de poivre).
  7. Add a table spoon of salt. (Ajouter une cuillere à soupe de sel).
  8. Add one bay leaf. (Ajouter la feuille de laurier).
  9. Add the dried thyme. (Ajouter du thym).
  10. Add the dried sage. (Ajouter de la sauge).
  11. Check that you have all the ingredient inches. (Vérifier que vous n'avez oublier aucun ingredient).
  12. Cover, bring to the boil, and simmer the mixture for 3h00 / 2h30, checking occasionally to make sure the mixture does not become too dry (add more boiling water if this happens). (Couvrir et portez a l'ébullition, puis laisser cuire à feu doux pour 3h00 / 3h30, Verifier durant la cuisson que lapoirine ne se desséche pas, si c'est le cas rajouter un peu d'eau).
  13.  Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaf et move the piece of pork to a dish. (Retirer la feuille de laurier et transferer les morceaux de porc dans un plat).
  14. Strain off the remaining juices from the casserol, much of which will be pork fat, and set aside. (Tranferer tous le jus de cuisson).
  15. Use your fingersto shred the meat finely. (Utiliser vos doigt pour émincer les morceaux tres finement - triturer).
  16. place the meat in a terrine. (Transferre la pâte émincée dans des terrines).
  17. Push down and compact. (Presser et compacter).
  18. Strain the reserved juice over the meat. (Verser le jus reccuperé précèdement au dessus).
  19. The juice should stand above the meet. (Le jus devrait se maintenir au dessus).
  20. Chill the rillettes in the refrigerator for at least 180 minutes until set. (Mettre au frigidaire toute la nuit).
  21. In the morning get the rillettes from the fridge. (Dans la matinée sortir les rillettes du frigidaire).
  22. Ready to serve with crusty bread and gurkins. Enjoy also with some wine before to start the Lunch or the dinner). (Deguster avec du pain et des cornichons. A midi ou dans la soirée avec un petit coup de rouge ou de blanc comme Graioun).


Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Steve Jobs, RIP

When people learn of your death on devices you invented.
Posted with my MacBook

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Pumpkin time

As far as the eye can see

Not too far from where I live is a wonderful farm that welcomes visitors to pick the perfect pumpkin. That is harder than it sounds when you see the abundance of perfect pumpkins!
Pumpkins as far as the eye can see

All colors and sizes

Polly and Red the Dog

Sunday, October 02, 2011

An Apple a Day...

We drove out west of here (about 3 miles) to our favorite apple stand. The area around here is famous for Autumn apples. We like to buy a small (½ peck) bag every few weeks. Each apple variety peaks as the weeks go on, starting in late summer with the Gravensteins, and this week we bought Gala and Johnagolds. We didn't wait to get them home, but began munching while walking around and taking pictures. Nothing like an apple fresh off the tree on a crisp, cool, Autumn day!

We'll be back for pumpkins and more apples soon.


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