Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Some quick meeting baking

I grew up with a Grandmother who baked every day, biscuits, pies, breads and cakes. Once my little one came along I picked it up and baked weekly breads and weekend treats, then as she got older and busier it fell by the wayside.

I have been making a loaf of white or sourdough breads occasionally and of course for the holidays we do a lot of different baking. And don't forget the dog cookies, that's baking too. 

But I've decided that I want to do better and pick it back up again. So I had a Girl Scout Leader meeting scheduled for Tuesday night, and I thought I would bake them a treat. I checked around to see what I had available, we always have whole wheat flour in bulk, (Thanks Tidal Creek) and I had a few Bananas that we're heading to the dark side, so Banana Bread it is.

After some quick clicking in Pintrest, I found this awesome Upside Down Banana Bread. Great instructions, easy and it looks a little on the fancy side, so it's a winner.

Here's my version without the caramel sauce, I was making it almost a day ahead so I didn't want it to be too moist. I'll be making it again that for sure!

Yes, that's a 1970 something plate under that awesome bread. I have a bunch of these plates from my Grandmother, I figure if they survived us as children they should be more than sturdy for my house, and I enjoy using them especially when baking, I know she'd approve.

Thanks to the weather my meeting was canceled so my office had a nice surprise this morning. Now that I'm back in the swing of baking I think we will be adding some fruit breads and other breads and rolls to our markets this summer. 

If your stuck inside today, check your pantry and bake up something fun!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Other peoples junk

We wandered out to a local auction this weekend and came home with a few more items than we left with. I spent January cleaning out boxes left over from the move seven years ago, along with other items we just didn't need. So it's a bit ironic that we are now dragging more stuff back home.

Have no fear we do have ideas for the majority of the items..I don't know if it's a blessing or curse that we feel we are a bit crafty..

I've mentioned that we will be selling a few bedding plants at a local florist this spring and we had been thinking about display options. Then we see this and it's in rough shape but for 3.00 we couldn't pass it up. The frame is in great shape and with some modifications and our logo it's will be super cute and mobile.

This was in the boxlots and I got them all for a couple of dollars. They are old baking powder bottles, I think they'll clean up great. I have grand ideas of bath salts and other crafts for them. 

I also picked up a quilting frame, still in the original Sears box. I think it's twin size which will work great for baby size quilts and the amount of floor space I have available for it. Hopefully I'll be able to show a quilt in process on it soon. 5.00 was way too good to pass up, if only for historical value.

I also picked up a few glass "vases" for super cheap. They are on the round and squat size but I  think they would work great for forcing bulbs or a small herb garden. So I'm adding another work in progress to my list.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Inside projects

The weather has kept us in for a couple of days but we are still making headway. Chris just put the finishing touches on this great window seat. We needed more storage and seating and this was what we ended up with, As another Bonus the dogs are thrilled to have a space that they can all sit and watch the neighbors, squirrels, chickens, cats and traffic. No it's up to me to do the final part and make the cushions, so I'm looking for fabric now,and I find I have just too many choices. I hope this WIP doesn't hang around as long as some others I have!
I have stacks of Quilts, games and maybe some yarn ready to fill those spaces!
Have you guys started or finished any Winter Projects lately..

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Seeing a little green..

Here are a few of Mother Nature's works in progress that we have going right now. We always start our plants but this year we are adding a few more to the list. We have a local florist that would like to have a few veggie plants to sell this year. It's a small rural community after all. I'd personally take a nice Kale plant (or some yarn) over roses any day!
They don't look like much now but give them a week or two and they'll be real plants! It's keeping us busy with the new demand and the extended variety but I've been ready to get my hands back into the dirt. It's a great day when you get noticeable result from all of your hard work. We'll be starting seeds for another month or so, and I'm ready to get that greenhouse done, so they can move out there and really take off!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

We'd rather have had Snow

But we got Ice, not a ton but this is Eastern North Carolina. Hurricanes we can handle, with no problem. One little flake of snow and we run flailing to the grocery store for milk and bread.. why? I have no idea but it's what we do.

This is what we ended up with at our house. It doesn't look too bad and it's really not. It was however enough to keep me off the road and lots of others too. It's not snow it's ice. All Ice
I totally get it, if you're up north and wondering why I'm even talking about this, this just doesn't happen here! Chris' is a Yankee and he's used to this kind of mess, I however am a total Southern Belle and I don't appreciate it at all. Ya'll we live in the south for a reason, and it ain't just for the grits.
That's him being very heroic and cleaning the almost an inch of ice off of the car for me. Go ahead and laugh but I'll be the one working in the garden when it's 100 degrees and he's soaking up the AC in the house. My ancestors gardened in petticoats and sipped mint juleps while his swam in the great lakes, while the water was only 50 degrees...and there is the fact that he stayed down here and didn't go back to the great frozen tundra.

 North Carolina is one of those great states that have the all of the different kinds of geography that you'd want. Mountains in the west, awesome beaches and preserved barrier islands in the east. rolling hills in the middle and just enough red dirt to keep it interesting. We totally expect the west to get snow, we do ski on snow as well as water around here, but being in the eastern part we should be sheltered from the cold nasty weather, you know, being on the ocean and all. Why can't we get the make a snow man, soft flaky snow cream stuff...because we are on the coast is what I've always been told. I've been here a bit longer than I would like to admit at times and I can count snow falls that we've had on one hand. Ice is even less. That is until last year. Last year we had more snow and ice in one season that I have seen in my entire life. Weather patterns are changing my friend and I am not ready to cheer for that. Hopefully this record setting cold will move on after this week and Spring will soon follow. As for me and my daffodils we are ready for a warm up.

I can't say that everyone is against the ice at our house. 

This was the scene for the majority of the day. I don't know if they were taking advantage of me being home during the day or if they just couldn't believe that the ground was white and hard and had to keep checking it. One would go out and then one would want in. Here is the Chow on the outside, the Chocolate lab waiting to trade and Yoda supervising. The missing beast decided it wasn't worth her trouble and she retired to the bed to watch the birds out the window. The dogs barked at the cracking ice covered limbs, slid around the yard and aggravated the chickens who braved the weather and ventured out. 

As for me I ventured into work today, this is what the road looked like out our way, the "main" roads were much better and I'm hoping to see much less of it by the time I get home. I get why they call it "black Ice"  now.

 They are calling for more "snow" tonight and single digit lows for the next few days...  I did mention this is the South, right?!

Ya'll stay safe and warm, Spring is bound to show up soon...

Monday, February 16, 2015

Finally Rebuilding

I normally say that January is my down month. My month to recover from the Holiday season, no sales to attend, no crazy demands on my time, a time when I get to sit back and relax so I can gear up for the crazy mess to start all over.. Some how I missed that this year.

We had a lot more warmer days than cold this January and we've used it to try and get ahead of the yard and garden work. Which seems to have been a good decision, seeing how February is now way colder than usual. We might even get snow tonight, not much but it doesn't take much to completely shut us down. Eastern NC is just not prepared for snow, hurricanes, sure we've got that, but an errant flake can send us flailing to the grocery store for bread and milk!

Last year we lost our greenhouse in a Micro burst storm. Craziest thing ever,  That afternoon started when  I went out to gather up some veggies and try to corral the girls, since they were calling for a thunderstorm and you know the saying about "being madder than a wet hen". The Chow and I were out in the garden and all of a sudden it gets super dark and then whoosh, this gust comes out of no where and almost flattens me, along with the garden. I jump up looking for my helper and he's run for the hills, (actually it was the back door but same difference, it was away from the mess..lol) Then I hear Chris saying what happened and he's pointing to the back... something was way wrong but it took my brain a minute to figure it out. The Green house was gone.. well not gone but compacted and moved...

It could have been much worse, there are bees just to the left of where it landed. The weeds in the foreground are camouflage for the girls and an area where they can wander while being barred from the garden. Thankfully it was mid summer, and it was empty. After it was all cleaned up this is what we kept.
 They'll make a great arbor for the kiwi vines that are taking over. Having a green house land on them didn't do them any harm, in fact I think it spurred on the growth.
Now getting to the January work, this is the start of the new, frame is almost completely up now, just waiting on a semi warm day to get the plastic on.
We've got sprouts ready to go in and all kinds of new ideas for the upcoming season. I'm ready to see it completed, since I already have a bunch of WIPs waiting for me, crochet, gardening and otherwise. Be on the look out for green house updates and garden news in the coming weeks, if the weather cooperates..