Saturday, July 31, 2021

Cast Iron Saturday-Salads

   Hi everyone,

       I am a bit late posting, I needed to get some groceries in yesterday (friday) so I was at the first store around 6:30 am and by the time I finished and drove to the Amish store that opens at 8 am I only had to wait about 5 minutes. I mostly wanted to get us some fresh fruits-so I picked up a big watermelon, 2 large cantalopes, a peck of peaches, some beautiful very large plums, along with a couple ears of sweet corn at the Amish store. So By the time I drove back home-the extreme heat was on-I for sure get my exercise food shopping as I park on top of the hill-walk down the steep driveway and then walk down the stairs into the house. I did get a bit overheated for sure this time. So today I am taking a break from everything and catching up on my slow mail letters.

   The peaches were fabulous, as are the melons. yeah.

For this week I thought I would look around for salads made in cast iron.

Charred Cabbage Salad

Crack Slaw-keto and low carb

  I have found recipes from Keto cast iron's site really good

Roasted Summer Vegetables with Goat Cheese

From Food and Wine-Buttery Cast iron shrimp winter salad

  I think this salad sounds delicious and not just for winter-their site is not letting me copy their photo-but looks and sound delicious

  I thought I would close with a grilled fruit salad

          Cast Iron Grilled Fruit Salad

Happy Saturday and weekend everyone

Monday, July 26, 2021

T Stands for Tuesday and Landscape Project Continues

   Wow can you believe it? Our last Tuesday and T for the month of July. I had a feeling when May for me just zoomed on by that the summer would go fast too-and it has so far.

   We are still into some projects, the dock is not finished due to workers not showing up-sigh, we so need to sort things out at the woods house so it can get on the market to be sold-but too hot this summer, I think we will wait til things cool down.  Speaking of hot we are in for another very hot week-closing in on 100 degree f a few days. So thankful we have air conditioning here, I never grew up with it-the price was a luxury back then. and I know many countries do not have air conditioning so I am always so grateful to have it.

   If you enjoy camping recipes or using cast iron-you may enjoy my recipe share for Cast Iron Saturdays. (previous post)  I am making this a weekly post as long as there is an interest. 

    And just for fun and since it's T Day,  I love to follow John Townsend-18th century cooking and baking so wanted to share his recent post-roasting and brewing coffee in the 18th century.

  A couple posts back I shared a couple videos of our landscape project. In the front, I am working on changing all the grass over to flower beds for the hummingbirds and butterflies especially.  Since that post I have worked around 3 hours every day, except Sunday, very early before it gets hot and before the sun reaches this area. I am sorting through rock and concrete. The concrete chunks (from the brick sidewalk project) will go into two areas to help catch rain water and to eliminate weeds in those areas. The rocks will go on top of the concrete. I also want to cut down on grass. I will need to find someone new to cut lawn next year as we are not happy with who we have now. Which is always difficult to find someone.

  A couple photos 

      As you can see I am working on a hill, the last couple days I have been sitting down and using a short handled shovel to dig through the piles. Much better for my back and more comfortable-not trying to balance myself on the hill. It slopes quite a bit beyond the front of this photo.

  I love this old tree stump for character Will set up something for water for the butterflies here.

I use my cleaning bucket for the small pieces. These two piles are rocks, interesting an hour south where our woods house is we had mostly really pretty and textured rocks. These rocks are not very interesting at all-but will cover the concrete chunks.

I wasn't sure what to expect from the plants I bought online. I knew they would be small but they are a little bit smaller than I expected. Very healthy and professionally packed though-netting on the roots-in the first photo.

   These plants-bee balm and lavender were suppose to arrive on Monday but surprise they came in on Saturday. I had called the post office if I could come and pick them up when they came in-otherwise the carrier doesn't come til after 2pm. So I was happy when the post office called me early Saturday morning.  These came from New York which I hadn't realized when I purchased them-a long time in the mail for plants. I ordered one of each color of bee balm and she sent me two plants each which was a nice surprise. The bee balm colors are red, purple and blue.

This is the medicinal echinacea which came from Missouri-they were packed very well too. I just ordered another set of three plants. Thought I would plant this clump all together and then the next plants same way

Here are the bee balm plants and lavender. I am excited to grow more lavender plants too.

  I have them in a spot outdoors where they are in the shade all day til late in the afternoon-I needed to bring them indoors once the very hot sun hit them as the leaves were drooping. Don't want anything to happen to these plants. (smiles) Update: I looked for a shady spot in the late afternoon today and found one-now can keep these outdoors.

  I also found goldenseal plants on Ebay-I was amazed at all the plant choices there-I had checked out a few online nurseries but I got twice as many plants for the same money from these Ebay sellers.  I have a shady spot that will be perfect for the goldenseal I want to eventually get. I love goldenrod (no this has no allergens like ragweed) so may look for a spot for that too-great dye plant for yellows, and makes a nice tea as well. I am mixing in useful herb plants with the perennials that will attract butterflies, hummingbirds, bees. Once things are set up to plant I would like to order ground cover thyme-it is so pretty and I can harvest the thyme as well-and should keep weeds down. I may wait til next spring for that or see if I can plant it in the fall. Zinnias really bring in the butterflies too-so will scatter these seeds around-and then in the fall collect the seeds for the following year-and there are sooo many kinds of zinnias too.

  Over the weekend I wanted to make a zucchini bread-I found a keto recipe that I changed up a bit. It baked up really well-I had used half gluten free flour blend and half almond flour-I don't care for the taste or the bake using only almond flour. I used a keto sweetener but I took notes that it needed much more. My husband doesn't care for breads like this at all, and he for sure would not like this one-flavor pretty bland even though I added extra cinnamon. I liked it though-now it is getting a bit dry so will toast it in a cast iron skillet to finish it up. Makes a nice break with coffee or good for breakfast.

The recipe was using keto chocolate chips, I changed that to raisins that I soaked first so would be moist

I fixed the not sweet enough-haha-with spreadable honey with cinnamon You can just see my water glass in the back left.

A few lake photos

    Those little tug boats move docks around on the water

A sailboat-the first one we have seen this summer so far

This is a huge dock getting moved and it has a wood roof.


A storm coming in

Another Sunrise-this more was a bit hazy

   Oh and the poison ivy saga is almost over. It took a week for me to stop being super nauseated from the steroids after I stopped taking the last two pills. My worse arm still burns-strange, but I am almost back to normal finally-this has taken a month so far to get over this bad case. I hope I never get into poison ivy again-I am spotting it here at our lake home in several areas.

Happy T for Tuesday and Have an awesome new week everyone

PS here is a photo of the creeping thyme

Friday, July 23, 2021

Cast Iron Saturdays-Dutch Oven Camping Recipes

   Welcome to my recipe share using cast iron. The dutch oven is such a useful tool. Purchasing the ones with legs and the lid with a lip around the edge to hold coals makes the perfect oven substitute when you are out camping, a whole day out at a park set up for cooking over a fire, or in your own backyard.

   Searching online there are so many recipes to try.

This site has 35 different recipes  sharing a few

   Sloppy Joes

   Bacon Cheese Pull Aparts  This one is super easy-a package of dinner rolls, bacon, cheese.

   Lemon Blueberry Biscuits

    again I would not use foil-nothing at all, parchment paper, or baked in a pan on top of a trivet

This link has 40 recipes-these all looked really really good

    Vegetarian Lasagna  which can also be gluten free using gf noodles

 Chicken Cacciatore

Beef Stew and Dumplings

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Corn Chowder

  this one sounded really delicious

This site from Taste of Home has 20 recipes

  I thought I would close with one recipe from here Root Beer Apple Baked Beans-sounded good and a little different

 I would love to know if you try any of these recipes

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Our Landscape Project

   This has been a project that is a big one, and has evolved a bit over time.

       With covid most of us lost most of that year, we did for sure as we didn't want to be around younger people that we would hire for help.

     We also needed to wait til the sewer project was finished so we would know what the crew would be digging up etc.

  We still have some water issues in the basement, it has improved allot from breaking up the very very thick concrete and putting brick down for the walk way in front of the house. 

   We are on hill, which is the norm for most homes on this lake, some very steep ours is manageable for our ages I think. There are two stoned in areas that were mostly weeds with big clumps of iris's that I decided to dig up, and then kill off the weeds. On the lower level closest to the house our one friend-worker dug out all the dirt (which I will use) and laid the ground work with big pieces of that concrete that had been broken up. Him and his daughter worked a day and half on this. I decided since this is such a huge job, I would start working on this in the early mornings. I was able to put in 3 hours this morning- first day feeling better I should have just worked two hours-those pieces are heavy. I can see this will be a very huge project What did we get ourselves into haha-it will be awesome though when finished.

  I made a couple videos to share

  Yesterday morning very early I made it to the grocery store, and bought one big bag of miracle grow soil-I have plants coming in today and also on Monday that I will place in pots until I can get them in their spaces. I should have waited til the soil was ready but I found the plants I wanted and just wanted to get them Having them here will push me through this project.

Have a good day today everyone

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Journal Page for AJJ & Catch Up

   Today I can actually function-a bit-although I am still in a fog.  Sunday I was up early and since it was cool I decided to dig up areas of perrenials. I am working on getting rid of grass that is in the area in front of the house where the steps are and on up the hill to our driveway and road.

  This area is still a mess anyways as we still have rock and concrete to move from the brick walkway area build. We needed to change lawn mower service as the family we really liked last year decided not to do lawns anymore. They referred us to someone and they do a poor job and are more expensive, and they wiped out our Japanese water iris's  down in the rocks by the lake-he got an ear full of how unhappy I was and he didn't even offer to replace them-

  We needed to wait til the sewer project was done, in order to start moving the rock and concrete chunks.

   Once we can get that huge tree stump out where my outdoor cooking-baking area will be I also want to change the grass to flowers and such that will attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and some bees will probably come in as well. I ordered 3 bee balm plants different colors, and also echinachea plants. I have tried these from seed with not allot of luck. Fill ins will be zinnias, herbs  and other pollinators. Where my tomato plants are now-where the chipmunks and even a little grey squirrel are enjoying eating all of my tomatoes-they are cute-but really at least leave us a couple haha. will be turned into flowers as well. There were several big clumps of iris's that dug and trimmed and will be ready to plant-once the grass dies off and I can dig it up. Thinking I should have gotten the area ready first-oh well.

  When I came in the house Sunday I made breakfast and took another of those steroid pills-this was the second to last day of these-and wow-after an hour I was soooo sick. My head was spinning so I thought I would lose my stomach as well-this has lasted til this  morning-where I am still not good but I can finally function a bit. I so need to drive to go grocery shopping hoping I can do that tomorrow morning early. Needless to say even though one is told to never stop these steroid pills-I did I had two more pills to go. I have never been this sick on these-I noticed the name was different. The doctor will be told to never give me these again.  Next week we go for the second pfizer covid vaccine hoping that doesn't put me down again.

  So to try to stay upright today I thought I would make a journal page for AJJ's theme summer countryside

  This is mostly a collage of a magazine spread of a farm, and I cut up a slow mail card of flowers, a hummingbird, and a butterfly. I needed to add to a couple of the journal sides, and I used brown paper and then used markers to fill in.

 This journal is almost filled, just a few more pages left.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Ready for Next Weaving Project

    You may remember me mentioning that I ended up short of 100 ends (threads)  8 yards long for the warp. I had decided to go with 8 yards so I could get extra towels, not thinking to calculate the yardage I needed.  I have waited over 2 weeks in hopes Webs will get this 8/2 Valley Cotton in stock. Talked with them Friday and they just have no idea when it will arrive-was due  end of June.

    So, I decided to just use the very light grey that I have and make two stripes in the towels-will save me money in the end. I think it will add a little design element and be ok.

   I think these will weave into thicker kitchen towels as I will be putting two ends (threads) in each slot on the reed. This seems to be a popular towel pattern, as several in a weaving group on Facebook I am in, said they really liked this pattern.

   I decided to do a little video.

and a couple photos

    This is the first section of warp I did. I needed 490 ends total, which would not all fit onto my warping board. So I did the rest in two more sections to distribute the grey threads

This is allot of warp to get onto the loom-to keep it clean, I put it in this big canvas bag-perfect.

  The lake is very very busy with boats today (Saturday). Saturdays are usually the busiest in the summer months.

   Poison ivy saga update---I have two more days of the steroids, and I still have a mild rash and burning. I am not familiar with the steroid pills they gave me-but they have made me sick. Am very light headed and my chest even hurts, probably helping with the asthma as well-ugh   I really hope this will finish clearing up on it's own. I do Not want another dose of these pills.

  I don't know how to swim, don't do boats, but Larry's fishing boat he bought around 5 years ago is really nice-wider and sets up above the water allot more than some. It's been very very quiet here during this past week, so I got brave and took a boat ride to see all the lake homes around us. I really enjoyed it, no one on the lake when we were out-so I didn't freak out haha.  Wow I can see now that this end of the lake has many very high dollar lake home properties-beautiful. I am guessing many of these very large homes with allot of property are into the millions. I am thankful and feel fortunate that we found this one at a reasonable price. Our lake home needed allot of work which I think scared off some of the buyers.

   Have a good weekend everyone. oh and if you missed it-previous post is cast iron Saturdays baking cakes in dutch ovens.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Cast Iron Saturdays-Cakes

  Welcome back to Cast Iron Saturdays where I share recipes using cast iron cookware-bakeware.

   This week I wanted to search out cake recipes baked in cast iron over and under the coals. I have baked this way in the past and have really enjoyed this baking process. I sometimes think of those before me that baked this way before the convenience of indoor appliances.

   First recipe is from a blog I used to follow, the author has not posted since 2016-I have found allot good recipes here

  Cowboy Coffee Cake

Dutch Oven Chocolate Pudding Cake

   This is an interesting recipe-all from scratch-does have allot of sugar -I would change that up a bit. This one is baking in your oven, but you can use coals top and bottom outdoors.

Dutch Oven Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I personally don't like to use foil when baking. I would use nothing or parchment paper instead or parchment paper-then a trivet-then use a cake pan to fit inside the dutch oven on top of trivet-baking this way gets the cake off the bottom so won't burn or get over done on the bottom.

Blackberry Apple Upside Down Cake

You can choose your favorite fruits for upside down cakes-this recipe has oven temperatures and how to bake with the coals

Dutch Oven Dump Cake

   I thought I would share this one-many campers use a similiar recipe-using canned pie fillings, soda, cake mixes easy to take along on a camping trip Again I would change the foil to parchment paper.

Old Fashioned Sugar Cake

  This one is baking in your kitchen oven-but you can change that to baking outdoors in your dutch oven

I will close with two cheesecake recipes.

     My Wisconsin friend was challenged a few years ago to bake her famous homemade cheesecake in a dutch oven with coals top and bottom. She did it-actually just about anything can be made in cast iron over and under coals-the pioneers did it everyday.  

   This recipe is baked in your smoker

Smoked Cheesecake

Dutch Oven Cheesecake

  This cheesecake is baked in your dutch oven over and under coals

   Happy weekend everyone, prayers for those in harms way with flooding.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

The Poison Ivy Saga Continues

   Good morning-(early for me at 2:20 am) 

  Just thought I would pop in really quick I am into the second week now of the poison ivy "saga"  It's probably been around 20 years since I got myself running into this. I should know better, since I am very allergic to it, and should have been wearing long sleeves and garden gloves-but now living on the lake and not in the woods-just never thought to run into it. Wrong haha and I should have remembered as the first spring we were here I spotted some in the iris beds.

   Usually I head right to the doctors office to get a steroid shot-but the rash popped up-about 4 days after-and we were scheduled for the first covid shot-we chose pfizer shot and one is suppose to wait at least a week after that to get a steroid shot. It also popped in on my arms around 4th of July weekend.

  This is one of the worse cases I can remember getting, rash-huge blisters-burning and instead of itching more like little pins jabbing my skin.  So they got me in late yesterday-yep a very bad case-gave me a really strong steroid shot that after about an hour made me nauseated. He also gave me a week of steroid pills-high dose to low-and said important to continue with the Benadryl every 6 hours which he said was important to do.  I said oh bummer I don't feel like a long drive to wal mart-he says no need right next door to the clinic is a pharmacy-oh Wow. That saved me soooo much time. The pharmacist was explaining on how to take the pills and she said you are the forth poison ivy case today. There must be allot of it around with all the rain we have had.

  I am glad now that I didn't sign up for Fiber U which is this coming weekend, as I think I would still be uncomfortable and it's a longer drive now. Also I was really bummed that my favorite natural dye instructor was only teaching a beginning class this year and most of the spinning classes were more advanced. I love spinning but I just don't think I will be super good at it. This year they also had many knitting and crochet classes beginning to advanced. I should probably take a beginner crochet class as many handwoven garment finish the necklines and sleeves with crochet or knitting.  However, I did discover from their Facebook page that there are weavers and spinners in the town next to us-as one person was looking for a ride so that is good to know.

  I am still waiting for the natural white 8/2 cotton that I ran out of for my warp. I check them everyday. This cotton is made in Brazil and was do in end of June-hoping soon.

  So if you are working outdoors in your garden beds-be aware of the poison ivy and poison oak that could be lurking to "attack" there is also a poison sumac too-which I haven't seen here in Missouri.

 and the poison sumac which is different from the "good" sumac

Below is the edible sumac (the leaves eco print well and these berries make a delicious tea the Native Americans early settlers would use it)

   Happy mid week

Monday, July 12, 2021

T Stands for Tuesday & 8th Anniversary

   Just popping in to wish Elizabeth and all of the T gang Happy 8th anniversary.

I have enjoyed visiting all of you, reading about your doings and art over T(ea) over the last few years.

  Help yourself to tea or coffee and treats. (photos found online)