Shutter Party for Gundalow

Here’s Paul address the crowd….saying a few good words about the Gundalow Project and his fellow workers.  That open space in the hull is where the shutter will go.  Last piece of wood to complete the hull. 

I donated some veges. at the last minute.  Then I started cleaning out the fridge. looking for things to garnish with, etc.  Some odd combos but it looked festive which is what I was going for.

I like the canning jars for holding beans.  I fill halfway with beach stones first then top with the vegetable so it sticks up otherwise you’d be digging for the beans.  The square glass vases are filled with ice then the veges.  Keeps them cold and fresh.

This was put together so fast as I got there 15 minutes before showtime and had people breathing down my neck wanting to eat.  I actually had people reaching over me while I tried to put the display together.  Geech. Vultures.  I’m glad I brought these vegetable things as everything else was pre packaged type stuff.


Basic Cake

Marj and I have been dying for CAKE.  We mention it in every e-mail.  This is close but it’s not gooey.  Just cake.  Basic Cake!  And so darn easy.  No eggs, no dairy and probably would be wicked good Gluten Free.

Sift Dry in a large bowl:

3 C. Flour

½ C. Cocoa

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

Mix in large bowl with whisk:

2 C. cold water

2 C. sugar

1 C. canola oil

1 Tbs. vanilla

Mix dry into wet, mix well.

Pour in greased pan – cover top with chocolate chips or broken candy whatever.  This cake is covered with those mint chocolate pieces I seem to always have in my fridge.  Bake at 350 till done.

This is it prior to baking.

I don’t know where I got this recipe but it is a great one.  Incredibly moist and chocolaty.  It’s for one of those gotta have cake moments.

O.K. it’s been hot, in the 80’s every day.  This is Maine in October, weird weather.  A few weeks ago I was making soup and heavy food; here we are back again.  I’ve been swimming every day which is crazy.  I’m frolicking in 75 degree water and the leaves are falling off the trees (and into the pool) all around me.  It’s very quiet in my backyard – surrounded by trees, pine trees and leaf trees so it’s very pretty.  Green, orange, yellow, brown.  But, the leaves falling sound like tinkling glass.  Kinda cool.

An onimous sign.

I did wind a warp the other day.  I’m working on those tie’s in washable wool; a knitting wool, fairly thin.  Not sure about the colors.  I don’t usually like dark things so it may be a struggle for me to get this one going.

I was just writing my brother Mike about our taking the boat south this winter….just thinking of all those tropical blues makes me happy.  Paul Jr. and girlfriend Allie want to take it to Eleuthera.  SURF.  I’m thinking South Andros, a place I’ve never been but hear of.  We’ve never been able to sail there as it’s very shallow off shore and you would have to travel all the way back up to the Bahamas and go around but with a 3’ draft, on the power cruiser, we may be able to do that this year.  It’s always a surprise around here to all of us where we go and what we do.  We’re all so wangy.

I’m off.  We have yet another Gundalow event to go to tonight and I offered to do some veges, etc. now I find out it’s 300+ people – what is wrong with me?  Interesting article below on this link.  Nice photo of Paul – I can’t kneel like that!

Apple turnovers

Are there 12 people out there who really want an Apple Turnover right now?  Actually I have bagged them up in packages and am pawning them off on anyone I see.  My UPS and Recycle guy love me.  It’s pretty funny – my recycle guy actually told me when I trotted out to the road and offered him my latest; he preferred Ice Tea to a Sparkling Water, which is what I was offering curbside along with a pastry.  That guy is spoiled.

These turnovers are super easy.  I have block sheets of puff paste in the freezer – cut in six.  Tablespoon or so of homemade applesauce and six thin slices of apple fanned out.  Fold the pastry over itself….dust with sugar, slice air vents and fork around the edge.  375. ½ hour.  Very light, not too sweet – crumbs all over my chest!

I am experiencing a “meal slump” right now.  It’s hot out, mid 80’s, too hot to eat and I’m tired of summer food so…same old, same old, nothing creative.  I was able to get into the pool yesterday at a water temp. of 72.  As it’s almost 2 p.m. I just checked it again and it’s now 75 – I’m in.

I am working on a warp for my loom at the moment.  Men’s Ties but for women, knotted low, washable wool in a four color twill pattern.  The problem I’m having is making it small enough.  I want the pattern to be 3" across so I need to warp and weave 7" width so I can sew up the back with the extra inch.  It’s hard making an interesting pattern with one three inch repeat.  But, I think these would look really cool with a man tailored shirt as a winter neck thing instead of a scarf.  (Annie Hall ish) The color possibilities are endless.  Ruth wants me to sew beads or something in the bottom but I’m thinking that will take away from it and make it girly….not looking for that look.

Pictures soon!

Someday I’d like to write a story and actually USE all the words Spellcheck thinks is appropriate.  Outlandish stuff.  It would be funny.

Peach/Ginger Cobbler

Breakfast of yum.  For some reason I’ve gotten into making butter.  Why? Who knows.  I came across a review of butters the other day and decided to make my own.  I don’t think I’m saving any money but I sure know what goes into it.  It doesn’t take long and tastes fabulous.  My friend Natalia is from a Mexican family (the girl with the 8 sisters).  They always ate buttered tortillas when their mother made them.  Worked for me.  Folded in 4’s with a cup of coffee headed up to Portland to food shop.  Pretty nice way to spend my time. 

The butter….2 Cups heavy cream in a mixer, mix on fairly high for 10 minutes.  Add a scant teaspoon of sea salt.  Keep pressing with a spatula till most of the liquid is gone.

As it was close to noon I wanted to get to the Italian Market before everyone else did so my friend Janet and I went there first.  As we were traveling down the Commercial St. on the waterfront we started to get that creepy feeling…kind of a lot of people milling about on a rainy day.  Look at this baby – darn.  I’m not even sure how this got into the harbor.  It’s the biggest cruise ship I have ever seen.  Two photos no less – a front end and back end.

I was hyperventilating at the thought of being on that boat.  Can you imagine….all those people, all those tiny, tiny rooms and not all have windows… way Jose.  Not fun.  Think of this:  a buffet with all those people breathing on everything and touching.  Hee bee jee bees.

Somewhere in between the tortilla and driving north I put together a peach cobbler.  I had already lost quite a bit of the fresh peaches my friend had brought over – boy, those things are perishable!

It’s a regular cobbler.  I did use Demerra sugar hoping for a more caramel color/flavor in the fruit part.  I added some blueberries for contrast/color/flavor.  And added some chopped candied ginger for that flavor.  For the crust I made biscuits then rolled and crushed 12 ginger snaps then sprinkled that on top.  It’s nice.  I’m pleased with the gingerness of it all and it’s nice to see a different top.

Not sure what’s happening this week-end.  There is a Pie contest somewhere in mid New Hampshire that we may go to.  Apple pies only; no, I’m not entering although it did cross my mind.  There is a Schnitzel festival in HIllsboro, 1.5 hrs. away that is intriguing and a Seafood Festival in Portsmouth tomorrow afternoon.  Ah, so many food choices.  It’s been raining here for days so I’m thinking an adventure “out” might be a good idea.  Tonight starts FAll.  Drat.


GF Apple Muffins/Scones

Another experiment in Gluten Free Baking.  I really enjoy this GF challenge I’ve imposed upon myself.  Getting it tastier and tastier each time is exciting (dork points).

4 Eggs

¾ C. Canola Oil

Whisk in mixer while you assemble dry ingredients.

2.5 Cups GF flour – this time I used boxed King Arthur

1 Tbs. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. xanthan gum

Sift together 4 X – just keep resifting, bowl to bowl.

6 Apples, cored & shredded

Put the shredded apples spread out on a paper towel – the towel will absorb allot of liquid.

Handful of chopped Walnuts

Handful of cranraisins

Small handful of chopped candied ginger

Add the dry to the liquid in the mixer, slowly.  Add the fruit and dried things.  The batter will be thicker than you expect.

Use an ice cream scoop and scoop into a muffin tin or short of shape into a biscuit or scone.

Bake at 350 for a bit more than a half hour.

Dribble with Confectioners Sugar liquefied with apple cider.

PLEASE NOTE… this is an adjusted recipe.  The original started with two cups of sugar in the cake – I (forgot) but then decided to use the streusel top as there was a lot of natural sugar in the cake from the fruits.  I actually prefer it with no sugar – it has a nice flavor unsweetened.

I think this is yummy and maybe a healthy alternative to a regular muffin.  You can make this free of eggs by using a flax thing or applesauce and baking powder (4 tablespoons applesauce/1 tsp. powder).  I haven’t tried it.  I’m sure it wouldn’t be the same for this cake would take 4X4 Tbs. applesauce – that would certainly alter the consistency.

I took a few of these to a friend who is GF as a judge – she loved them!  I made my traveler to go:

Anybody recognize this jar???  It’s a salsa jar, Hernando’s.  Perfect size for my car cup holder, has a lid and is recycled.  I use these jars for everything.  Paul goes ballistic when he sees plastic in the house.

Beautiful day again….gotta get my garlic planted TODAY!  ciao

My little loom is up and cranking.  Cranking is making me cranky!  This loom is tiresome.  I clearly remember why I went for a bigger loom after a few months of this nonsense.  It’s wonky – doesn’t hold tension, wobbles, hard to manipulate, forget nice selvages, etc.  But, it’s functioning now so I guess that’s o.k. rather than hanging on a dusty barn wall.

I’ve been sewing all sorts of skirts for myself out of all that courdouroy I got a few weeks ago.  The stuff is like butter, nice and smooth – feels awesome!  If I could find the right stuff for my shirts, I could make them and I’d be all set in the clothes department. 

Zoe’s sweater is coming along – I just put the shoulders together this morning and as many times as I read the directions it still seems wrong but the heck with it.  It’s fine.  Sleeves next – not too bad.  Her birthday is on Halloween so I believe I’m going to get it done and shipped in time.  She’ll be two.  I think this sweater may double as a dress for awhile.

Last night we had friends over for those ribs I’ve been talking about – heavenly…seriously good.  I used my crock-pot and borrowed Ruth’s too – pork ribs.  As it was pitch dark when these guys arrived I put the ribs under the broiler instead of the grill.  It works better anyway as they fall apart too much on the grill.

I harvested some red cabbage from our garden and made a Mustard Slaw.  Yum.  Wicked hot (spicy). 

I used red & green cabbage and lots of sliced apples.


1/3 C. mustard

1/3 C. sugar

1/3 C. cider vinegar

1/3 C. Canola oil

2 Tbs. hot sauce – I use Spiracha hot chili sauce (the one with the rooster on the bottle)

2 tsp. celery seeds – use real chopped celery & lots of celery leaves

Salt & Pepper

I think the crunch and sweetness of the apples helps cut the hot/spicy part.  I know you could just cut back on that but I like the BITE, color is good too.

We had a fresh apple pie – first of the season I think, with cheddar cheese. 

My friend, Eleanor, has this wonderful farm in Nottingham with just about everything to be self sustainable.  She brought me a basket of fresh peaches from her orchard.  One year I made some kind of peach & ginger compote from her white peaches… about not only delicious but beautiful too.  I’m not sure what I’ll do with these.

Don’t you love those fake flowers?  They are all my mothers stuff from a few years ago.  Every once in awhile I dig them all out and remember shopping for fake stuff at K-Mart with her.  Ah, it’s the little things.  Funny what brings fond memories.  What I’ve learned in this life – don’t laugh at your mother cause you’ll catch yourself looking the same and doing the same stuff at some point.  I know, hard to believe, but, I’m seeing it and am horrified.  It does put a smile on my face though.  So friggin smug as a younger person and here I am eating CROW.

Gorgeous day out there – off with doggie for the walk.

little things

As I was working in the kitchen making pesto, I believe, there was yet another ad on the radio for coffee – this time McDonalds.  What is with these fancy, expensive, WICKED FATTENING coffees?  When did we get to this point of spending almost 5 bucks on a sweet coffee each day?  Check this out – is there really anything better? And, it’s made at home, hot and fresh….nothing added.

This is how coffee is made in Oakland and Berkeley – in the cafes.  People stand in long lines at the Farmer’s Market to get a cup of drip coffee.  The only thing I would do to alter this is get a glass filter carafe instead of the cheap plastic one I have.  Sometimes I drink this black or with a touch of Evaporated Milk.  Yum.  Super cheap treat!

I remember visiting my parents and sister out in Seattle when Starbucks first opened.  I was amazed at all the little vendors under umbrellas on what seemed absolutely every corner in the city.  I asked my sister what the heck was going on.  It was a media blitzing.  Funny, just prior to that whole thing I lived and worked in New York City.  I would get a coffee at Chock Full of Nuts in a ceramic cup and saucer.  No big deal. 

Anyhow, back to the pesto.  I thought of quick flashing the basil in a pot of boiling water, drying and freezing it but then remembered how much I like to drop a blob in all my soups in the winter so….

You know all those queer little ice cube trays you buy or get as gifts (thanks Ruth) that you have no use for???  Like who makes cute ice cubes?  Not me.  Anyhow, this is the perfect use for them.  Just the right size for a tablespoon of pesto in the winter.

As the basil was harvested so were the sweet potatoes.  They may have been planted too close as they sure are squiggly.  They are delicious though, very soft.  I roasted them along with everything else in the house, many squashes, leeks and greens and made a pureed vegetable soup with a big blob of pesto in it.  It’s too green for those that live with me…..brats, but, it’s yum.  I garnish Luna the dogs food with it – that’s my girl, stands by me, loves it.

A happy little note on Gomer, aka gomey! 

He wear sweaters.  It comforts him being snuggy warm.  He has been medicated now for two weeks with phenobarbital and is doing really well.  He still thinks his foot is interesting but doesn’t attack like before.  Everything is healed up.  I still insist he is autistic.  Any change in his routine sets him off big time.  I tried to take him in the car yesterday to the store….not two seconds out of the driveway he started spinning and yelping – we returned, he was exhausted and scared.  I gave up.  You can’t touch him when he’s in that state.  But, medicated and at home like he likes to be – he’s good and happy.  He even plays a bit now, not for long but long enough for Luna.

The boys – husband and son are working together (always a scary situation).  They are so similar with goof ball ideas.  I am third man out at all times when we are together.  You’d think I would learn and just go with the flow but no, not me, I have to jump in with my opinion and get dashed each time.  Currently the jr. one is siding the house with cedar shakes and building overhangs.  The older one is just “advising” for the week-end.

They are cute boys though.  If you’d like to see them from the front you can google up Men’s Journal, October 2006, Page 108 – American Craftsmen is the title and even Luna is in the shot.  Great centerfold shot and story about my husbands boatbuilding.  Cute guys.

The latest BRAINSTORM of my husbands (and son):

Here we go.  This little boat is ours.  We got it for a song.  Paul restored it and then decided to co own it with some elderly friends of ours.  The deal was they bought the hardware as needed, Paul did the labor and labor and labor.  The boat was a wreck!  But, we always liked it as we watched it pass through various elderly owners throughout the seacoast.  We’ve never used it….busy.  Paul’s newest rocket scientist brainstorm idea….just hatched this week is now – Lets take SANDPIPER down to the south for the winter….like Miami or something.  He’s talking Bahamas, Cuba again!

Of course the Jr. person is all over that one.  Everyone and his brother now want to be part of this little project – the thought is how cool to have a boat in the tropics.  I’m told it doesn’t draw much and it has a strong engine – no sails, no tipping, not to big.  My contribution is: When you get where it’s going to be let me know and I’ll drive down with the car.  I’m all done transporting boats.  Paul thinks I should help him move through New York City – why I ask? because it’s so exciting.  I hate that kind of excitement!!!!  Nope.

Anyhow I’ll be spending some time cleaning it up, making some cushions, pillows and outfitting it with some of the catering dishes I have around here.  He’ll need to be on the water with it within a month.  The big positive aspect – inside steering and heat.  That’s novel for us.

Stay tuned, there are future days ahead with more nuttiness I’m sure.  Nothing is ever consistent and planned out around here.

Pool was up to 72 yesterday even though it was cold out….I didn’t go in.  I think it was faking me.

Today’s food idea: Barbecued Pork Ribs on the grill and Apple Pie with Sharp Cheddar.  Yesterdays article in the newspaper was all about Kansas City Barbecue.  At last, I finally know where the sauce idea comes from that I like.  Yup KC.  Red sauce with molasses.  Who knew?  Carolina’s is defined as vinegar and Texas as smokey chipotle/peppery.  I’m on it.  If you go back some posts in the archive you’ll see that I crock pot the ribs on low most of the day then sauce it and pop it on the grill.  Check it out – easy.

Have a yummy day.