Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Friday, October 18, 2019

Bald Cypress Update

Remember the bald cypress who was plucked bald this summer at our July bonsai meeting?  I promised to give you an update...

Here is the 'before' when she was all summer shaggy.

And by the end of the meeting she looked like this!

John brought her back to the September meeting to show us how she has progressed.

With the leaves off he was able to do some pruning to improve her overall shape.  Sometimes it is easier to see the tree without the leaves!  

And as you can see, her leaves are coming back beautifully!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Monday, October 14, 2019

Suminagashi Class (Japanese Paper Marbling)

Recently Himself and I had the opportunity to take a 'suminagashi' (literally floating ink) class.  It is a Japanese art where you can marble paper or fabric using 'sumi' ink.  Traditional uses only black ink.

Starting with black sumi ink.

The ink spreading on the water surface.  

One carefully puts a drop of ink on top of a floating piece of rice paper.  This help to control the ink so it remains on the water surface.  The two dark spots are where the water tension broke.  The ink sank to the bottom.

I REALLY wish I had stopped here and printed.

But I continued on with the layering of inks; the second layer using yellow this time.

I added several more colors (red, blue, & orange) until I like the pattern and color blend.  

The next step is to drop your paper face down on top of the water.  The color you see on the paper is what is bleeding thru onto the back.

Here are a couple of other patterns.

Once you pull the paper off the water & ink, you place it on a piece of Plexiglas and give it a good rinse.  This removes the excess dye.

My papers.

I would do a primary pull of the fresh inks... then would do additional pulls from the original inks.  That gave a more muted color, which I liked more than the really bright primary pulls.

Himself did only primary print pulls so his papers were really bright.

OK, it is really hard to visualize this so we did a quick video to show the process.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Memory Lane: Foods Gone But Not Forgotten

Have you ever reminisced about favorite treats that are no longer made... or aren't made like they used to be?

The tiny neighborhood store next to my grandpa's house had one of these.

Do you remember when soda bottle lids had to be pried off?  And that there was a little piece of real cork in the lid to seal the bottle?

Most kids would beg for sweets... I begged for some cheese and banana chips!  When my parents shopped at "South County Mall" if I was good they would give me some money to get something at Hickory Farms.

That store was one of my favorite places to be, especially since you could sample!

This falls into the "used to be better" category.  I never was a morning person, nor do I like to eat first thing in the morning.  This was my breakfast almost every school morning... forever! 
 (They are still in my pantry for "those days".)

Do you remember cookies and milk time in elementary school?  This little milk-aholic would get TWO cartons of milk.  Friday was Chocolate Milk Day.

I would pay good money to have more school pizza!  From the middle please with lots of cheese.

Do you remember soda cans with this sort of tab?

There were many a finger cut with these.  We made long chains with them to make useless stuff.

These were the BEST!  Especially the chocolate chip.  It came with its own little pan to make a cake the size of a cake box.  I think all you had to mix in was water.  So good!

Much better than Jell O pudding.

OK... I put this up as a 'long gone' food but when I googled it to get a date... I found out that Planters has started making them again!  I've ordered some thru Walmart's online.  There will be a future post reviewing if they are as good as they used to be!

Microwave popcorn just isn't as fun!

McD's FRIED pies.  They were so good!

Just aren't the same since Hostess sold out...

I got TWO of these every Christmas in my stocking.

Enough to keep me going for a while.

THE favorite flavor!

I liked these too.


Kathryn Beich products were the go-to fund raiser at my school.  The Katydids (Turtles) were good but my favorite was the Pillows (basically bite sized Butterfingers- but more tender). 

The Christmas staple at great grandma's house.

Lifesavor swirl pops.  Two flavors swirled together like banana and strawberry.

A recent "gone".  

The company was sold and it doesn't seem like the candies will be continued.  So good bye Neccos and Valentine Candy Hearts.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Monday, October 7, 2019

Caffe Nonna in Nashville

For anniversary #38 Himself and I celebrated at a restaurant owned by our friend Dan Maggipinto.

It is located in Nashville at 4427 Murphy Rd.  Parking is tight here... I suggest coming mid week as close to 5pm (his opening) as you can get.

It is a cozy little neighborhood restaurant.  Reservations are pretty much a must... especially on the weekend.  He is open Monday thru Saturday for dinner.

We started with the Fried Calamari appetizer.  Perfectly tender and spiced just right.

I had the Heart of Palm salad since I'd never had a heart of palm before.
(Romaine, heart of palm, artichoke, grapes, pistachios, & prosciutto)

Riviera salad
(Mixed greens, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, kalamata olives, artichoke, feta, & pasta)

My dinner was Risotto with artichokes and spicy vodka sauce.  Dan has a 'mix and match' pasta (and a bit more) selection so this is exactly what I was in the mood for.

Himself had the special of the evening...Chicken Parmesan.

Not pictured is our desserts because we had to run... strawberry bread pudding (me) and ricotta cheesecake.  Take-away is a wonderful thing!

We'll see you soon Dan!

Friday, October 4, 2019

Blackberry Cobbler with Bisquick Top (Recipe)

Remember those beautiful huge blackberries I got this summer?  

A bunch of them were used to make a cobbler like my grandma used to make... with a biscuit top.

Have I made you hungry yet?

Those were some prime blackberries!

This is a really fast topping for a cobbler.  (There is a reason it is called BISquick! LOL)

Finished.  You can see where I stretched them out a bit.

Careful as you make this... the berries really stain things!

Hot out of the oven!

The filling firmed up perfectly once it had cooled.  We were too greedy to wait!

Bisquick Blackberry Cobbler

2 lb fresh blackberries
1 T corn starch
2 T cold water

2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 T sugar

Preheat oven to 400*F.

In large saucepan, slowly heat the 2 pounds of blackberries.  Stir gently as to not break up the berries.  They will release their juices as they cook.

Mix together the corn starch and cold water in a small bowl.  Add to cooking berries.  Boil for 1 minute.  Pour thickened fruit into a 2 quart baking dish.  Set to the side.

Into a bowl, add the Bisquick, milk, butter, and sugar.  Stir until well combined.  Drop dough by spoonfuls to cover top of fruit.  (You made need to spread them a bit with your fingers.) 

Bake for about 20 minutes; until topping is golden brown.