This morning Paul was having a guest so I made some muffins as our morning toast is getting boring.  These are Rhubarb (are you surprised? It seems all I have been using lately) anyhow Rhubarb/Blueberry Muffins.  Nice and tart so I added a sugar dusting to the tops before I baked them.  Yummmy.

4 C. white flour (King Arthur unbleached)

2 C. whole wheat flour (Masa Organics)

8 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. salt

3 C. chopped fresh Rhubarb

2 C. frozen blueberries  (August is the month for us for fresh here in Maine)

Place your flours in a large bowl, dry whisk to mix….add your baking powder & salt via a sifter and whisk again.  Fold in the rhubarb & berries.

4 eggs

1 Tbs. lemon oil

1 whole lemon – the juice and the peel grated only

2 C. safflower oil

2 C. milk, usually almond milk but today it was buttermilk

Mix the wet together with a whisk then pour into dry….mix quickly without beating it to death.  Scoop into paper lined, sprayed, muffin tins. Dust the tops with a sprinkling of sugar.   Bake at 350 a half hour or so until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Pretty darn good.

Recently someone was inquiring about the Sauerkraut recipe:

4 Lbs. Green Cabbage, thinly sliced by hand

1 Green Apple, thinly sliced

2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. of Salt

1 Tbs. caraway seeds

Combine all the ingredients in a VERY large bowl.  Squeeze everything with your hands a bit, as though your doing laundry.  Place a heavy plate on top and let sit at room temp, tossing and squeezing a few more times for 4 hours or so.

Place all of it in a crock or glass container, top with a clean plate that fits inside and put a weight on it, clean can of something or other works – I think one of those ice squares that are blue would work too.  The cabbage needs to be submerged in it’s own brine by ½ inch but it takes a bit to break down the liquids so wait a day or so then add ½ tsp. salt in 1 C. water as needed.  Cover with a clean cotton cloth and keep in a cool, dark place.  I put it on a wine rack in the basement. 6 weeks total.

Every few days clean & replace the plate, stir it up and reset.  Carefully skim any foam or mold that may appear on the surface.  Mold is o.k. if it doesn’t sink but skim it off.  If it goes too long and gets into the cabbage, nix it all.

When the 5-6 weeks is up….bottle it up.  I get three big containers so I just refridgerate it and give lots away but we do eat quite a bit.

The last batch I did had ½ of a red cabbage included which made it pink.  Can you imagine what all purple would look like???  I’m doing that one next.

Well, Paul’s customer when asked if he’d like to take some muffins home said….“looks like you’ve been cooking for the church, I don’t want to take your hard work”.  No, this is just me (church?) cooking for 2…..just 26 muffins!

I have been reading a fascinating book.  My sons girlfriend gave me what I thought was a cookbook but when I pulled it off the shelf recently I was so surprised and wicked excited!  The book is called My Nepenthe by Romney Steele – Bohemian Tales of Food, Family, and the Big Sur.  What particularly excited me was it’s about this family named Fassett – now, I am a big fan of Kaffe Fassett.  He came out with these tremendously complicated but beautiful knitwear designs in the 80’s. I had just learned to knit and of course, knowing basic knit/purl, started one of his.  This was the pattern I saw that caught my eye:

I made this for Ruth, in blues with lots of colors.  It’s called Circus Stars.  She was in third grade at the time.  I was so proud of this sweater – tons of work but, to me, real art when it was done.  First day of school Ruth came home crying – the kids made fun of her “crazy” sweater.  GD, brats.  That was it.

Then I started this bag:

It is truly beautiful as all of his patterns are.  I struggled big time with needlepoint – just could not get the hang of it.  My mother in law was teaching me and I remember begging her to finish it in trade for whatever she wanted!  It’s not done; it’s around here somewhere.

Anyhow, I digress, back to the book.  It’s all about his grandparents Bill and Lolly Fassett starting the first hippie restaurant in Carmel, California and all about the visitors and crazy stuff that went on.  Of course it became an art community as Carmel grew.  But they started in 1949 and it’s still happening.  I clearly remember traveling through the Big Sur on Highway One in 1969 and when we stopped in Carmel I wanted out.  I fell so in love with that tiny, cozy, artistic town.  To this day I kick myself for not staying but we, a band of 4 girls, had a move on and were headed for destination unknown.  It was fun but I still think fondly of that place.  It’s special.

Well, one thing I’m getting at:  I saw Kaffee at a workshop in Portsmouth, NH many years ago…lots of elderly women oggling over him.  It was disgusting.  But, he, at the time was pushing fabrics that he designs for quilting so that was his market.  I remember thinking, gee, he has such a beautiful British accent.  I just assumed that although he lives there that is where he’s from.  Well, no, he’s from Carmel and an offshoot of the most interesting childhood.  Fun family, probably pretty damaging stuff but waaay ahead of their time.  Arthur Miller was one who lived with them for years and all his buddies, etc.  Good read.

I think I’ll fire up a sweater for one of the girls…..surely times have changed and kids are more tolerant of COLOR these days.  My little girls live in Oakland/Berkeley – that may help.

Ah, my Catering License.  What a fiasco.  I did pass the test, I have gotten outrageous bills from everybody and his brother (the plumber is bizzar with his numbers).  The Health Inspector came for a final review yesterday – I wasn’t home so I missed him.  They won’t call first, god forbid you know anything in advance I guess to cover up but my business is not necessarily a open restaurant so……I may not be home.  The town Code Enforcement person comes for a second look tomorrow – make sure we built those stairs with 6" risers.  One of the items necessary were covers for the lightbulbs that stick straight out from the wall in the bathroom (this is the bathroom that only I and Heather will be using) it’s not a customer facility.  Anyhow, impossible finding covers but I got this hairbrained idea to buy one of those tiny shades, cover it, including the top and poke it on.  The bulbs are silicone covered so they won’t blow out anywhere if they do bust. 

Tedious.  The worst part was glue gunning the rick rack on.  I had to put that on to cover up my lousy edge and I just about killed my fingers glueing them together.  I hate glue guns….not my thing.  And, if I could sew the fabric it would have been better but those metal rims were in the way most of the time.  It’s done.  Looks good but doesn’t really want to sit on the bulb at that angle but, covered top and sides and that is what was required!

We did some major planting last week-end.  I’ve put a Mayan Garden in where the chickens used to be.  Blue Corn:

Pretty stuff, no?  I also planted Green corn.  Supposedly I’ll be able to grind these up and make muffins or whatever.  Doesn’t matter, I just liked the colors. 

Anyhow, Corn with Green beans planted at the base of each stalk and then squashes (Blue Hubbard and Kabocha Japanese).  The thought is the beans will grow up the corn and the squash will cover the weeds and keep the soil moist and protected for the corn and beans.  Lots of planting in one spot.  Paul has put in a zillion potatoes where our corn was last year – three long rows half way around the pool.  And then an inside row of Sunflowers against the pool for my “field of dreams”.

Okay now I have this hair brained idea. I have so many but this one is kinda cool.  This year, like next month JUNE  we are going to start having a “Community Supper”; once a month, here at the house, outside, picture long tables attached to each other straight out from the house, along the garden, flowers, candles, dinner.  It will be a bring your own beverage type of dinner.  I will make some amazing food (at least I hope it will be, uh oh, pressure is on) and everyone will have a ball….get to eat food and sit and party with people you may not know.  Summertime garden dinner type of affair.  It will cost, donation style, hopefully everyone will be generous.  Heather and I will pull it together, Paul will help serve.  This will all happen sometime mid June.  I need people who want to come to send me your e-mail so I can keep you posted and do a reservation thing with e-mail or phone.

Here it is:  Contact me…..  carla.rollins@gmail.com

Super greens outside, the sun is finally out!  ciao

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