Five Fab for Friday: Arturo the Aqua Boy & Pick Your Own Damn Bluberries

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1. Geek Love. The author Katherine Dunn passed away this week. I cannot tell you how this novel ruined everything I tried to read afterward for quite some time. It was as if I’d tasted the most perfectly tart rhubarb pie and everything after was Pop Tarts. Warning, the wild tail (pun intended, spoiler alert) in this book is not for the faint of heart. It appears nothing she did ever was. She was one of my heroes. I love this story in the Willamette Week.

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2. Pick Your Own Damn Blueberries. It just wouldn’t be time for Memorial Day Weekend without me mentioning these bad boys. I do believe I may have just found the perfect name for any pick your own farm. Each year I reach out to Bill at Chickamaw Farm and Ranch in nearby McDade to see how close they are to picking. As of this morning, these are still a couple weeks form being ready to pick. Bill says, “Berries are out there just waiting for the rain to quit and the sun to shine hot and long.  I figure in a couple o’ weeks at the most but stay tuned.” Cannot wait. Call before you head out 512-567-3456.

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3. An actual finished knitting project. I have not been my usual knitty self these past months, so it feels so good to finally complete this incredibly basic garter stitch shawl.  The yarn is Mountain Colors, 4/8’s Wool in Harmony Rose.

4. I recently found these incredibly helpful cheat sheets for knitting shawls without any real pattern in mind…hence the above finished shawl. She also has some lovely patterns. You will want to download these PDFs. 5 Basic Shawl Shapes and 5 Basic Shawl Shapes in the Round. Find many more helpful tips and lovely patterns at Laylock.org

5. This recipe on Pinterest. I am craving a fried chicken sandwich and this. Seriously.

 

Five Fab for Friday: Berries & Blooms

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1. It may early to be dreaming of tomato pie, but strawberries are making their way to your local farmers’ markets. These are from Skinny Lane Farm. Sorry to say, but these were the last pint available at Elgin Local Goods today…but I bet Mike and Bekki bring some more by for the weekend.

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2. Also available at Elgin Local Goods is this amazing pâté de Campagne from Belle Vie Farm & Kitchen. You can read about this Elgin farm in the current ssue of Edible Austin.

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3. The return of Happy Valley. Season 2 is now available on Netflix. The other night at Stitch & Hoot we were talking about being distracted while watching movies by the furniture, knitwear and decor. I love this show, but would you look at this kitchen?! I’m sure to most this looks a fright, but I love it… the bold colors, the (in progress) hand painted cabinets, the yellow glass knobs, and the mismatched coffee cups.

=][[[[[[[[[kj (this was typed by Olive)

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4. I know…more granny squares. But bunting!

5. This photo essay of spring blooms in Big Bend in the March Issue of Texas Monthly.

 

 

Five Fab for Friday—Fist City, Granny Squares and More

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1. This morning, while eating a Jethro Bodine size bowl of cereal, I had the pleasure of hearing this interview on NPR. This poster available here.

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2. Granny squares just might be the reason I learned to crochet. What’s not to love?

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3. My friend Martha knows how much I love Wes Anderson movies, and sent me a link to this Tumblr. I can’t decide what I love most about this blog… the lovely palette combinations or that it even exists!

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4. One of my recipes was included in this book by my very talented friend Jessica Dupuy.
Yup, Detroit born girl gets a recipe in a Texas cookbook. Still trying to replicate the peach pecan crisp my grandmother used to make.

5. This weekend, which promises to be quiet, sunny and warm.

Friday Favorites: Perfect stuffing, Local Holiday Shopping & Granny Chic

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, and you were able to spend time with the ones you love… family, friends or new friends. I’d be remiss to not acknowledge that quite a few friends and loved ones are suffering great losses and illness this week…my heart goes out to them. Losing a family member or beloved pet is never easy, but the loss feels extra heavy around the holidays.

Most Requested Recipe


It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without one of my most often requested sides, Poblano Corn Custard. This recipe is from my days cooking with Lily & Co. here in Austin. It was one of our best sellers, and is always a crowd pleaser. I made notes in the recipe where I make a couple modifications. There are not many, as the recipe is close to perfection. You can buy the cookbook Lilly for Company: Austin Casual Menus for Palm & Plate locally at Anderson’s Coffee or on Amazon. I might also mention that Anderson’s is my favorite coffee in Austin. Family owned, wonderful staff, and amazing selection of coffees, teas, cups, teapots, preserves, candies… great place for gifts.

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Yesterday morning I woke up around 8, Steve was already on his bike, in the woods. I was able to enjoy my morning coffee and knit away on a gift while listening to Woolful’s podcast Episode 42: Tif Fussell – Aunties, holistic healing, following fiber, and Dottie Angel. Tif Fussell is my spirit animal. I’ve always been so in love with her aesthetic and writing. I was sad when she decided to quit blogging a couple years ago, but have enjoyed following her work via Instagram. She spoke about living in a home with a soul and how that fueled her creativity. That absolutely resonated with me.

Hand-dyed yarn. I’m especially loving Fiber Obsession’s “Endear”, a Suri alpaca/merino blend that is like knitting with butter. Fiber Obsessions is a line of hand-dyed yarns by Susan Fricks, owner of Yarnorama in Paige, Texas. I’d show you the WIP, but it’s a gift for someone.

Sufjan Stevens | Carrie & Lowell. Love this. Listen here.

Small Business Saturday is tomorrow. I do not get excited about shopping Black Friday. But I can get behind this. Of course Small Business Saturday is yet another corporate marketing device… but at least you’re helping out your locally owned business owners.

Some of my favorite local shops:

Austin
Anderson’s Coffee

Elgin
The Owl Wine Bar & Home Goods
G&M Drygoods
Elgin Local Goods Market & Cafe
The Tattered Shutter
Ramona’s Rendezvous
The Lion’s Club Thrift

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Yarnorama!

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The Nest Box
Cherry Tree Creative

It’s only been a couple days since we turned off the air conditioning and already I’m consumed with thoughts of apple desserts, printing christmas cards and planning for Thanksgiving.

I found this recipe for Apple Fritter Cake, think about that for a minute…apple. fritter.cake. I’m curious about this recipe, I mean everyone knows the best part of an apple fritter is the crunchy fried peaks and glaze filled valleys. I wonder if being baked rather than fried will make me sad. Only one way to find out, and lord knows I have more than a few potlucks in the near future.

Speaking of potlucks…I have quite a few pieces of Potluck Tableware available at The Owl thru the Holiday Season. For those of you not planning a visit to Elgin in the near future… I will have some available by this weekend when I update my Etsy shop. As always, special orders are welcome.

I’ve recently added a handful of recipes to this blog. They are mostly recipes for potlucks and special occasions that I felt paired nicely with my Potluck Tableware… everything from smoky pimento cheese to my absolute favorite cornbread dressing. I’ll be adding more recipes as the seasons go round and round.

I have plans for a pile of vintage (and not so vintage) tablecloths, but not until I am finished with printing holiday cards. I’ve been printing, folding and packaging and will be selling those shortly.

Friday Favorites

Good morning Elgin

It’s Fall! Though it’s still a sad 90º in central Texas, I’m already digging everything fall. Casting on for a new sweater, dreaming of stews, apple pie and ponchos.

I am very much looking forward to the grand opening of Eva Mae’s Kitchen this weekend. They will be serving up such down home fare as oxtails, beef tips, cabbage and yams. Is everyone as excited as I am?

I’ve been listening to this podcast on my bus commute this week. MMMontana is so appealing.

I’ve been listening to Wes Anderson Radio on Pandora while crafting, cooking or commuting. It’s kind of fun staring out the bus window to my own sweet private soundtrack.

Binging on this Hulu series.

And while I’m talking about TV…how on earth did I miss 3 whole episodes of A Chef’s Life last season?  guess I thought it was done and just didn’t tune in again. I’m loving this season. So tomorrow I will be packaging Potluck Tableware and watching this week’s episode and catching up on the current season of The Great British baking Show.

My weekend plan is to finish packaging all my Potluck Tableware and get it on the shelves for the holiday season. And for those not fortunate enough to live in central Texas… I plan to hold a few items back to sell in my etsy shop.

Enjoy your weekend!

Best Laid Plans…

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I had big plans for this week. I really did. I took the week off with plans to package my Potluck stamped silverware for a local shop, read a book, tackle the behemoth that is the guest room, and squeeze in a little knitting. HA!

What really happened is by Sunday I was beginning to feel sick, and by Monday…down for the count. I’m talking about the kind of gross, snarfly sick that makes people at the HEB quickly take giant scissor steps away from me. Mostly this is to avoid getting sick, but probably because sometimes I blow snot bubbles out my nostrils when I cough.

That said, I’m thankful for a few things during this little bit of down time:

I’ve had time to plow through both seasons of Pulling. Thanks for the recommendation Libby. This show makes Sex and the City seem like Little House on the Prairie.

I cast on for this cardigan with the Madelinetosh DK in terrarium that has been sitting around far too long. I knit one a few years back and hated the way it fit me, so gave it to friend.

Ice cream for my sore throat, particularly the kind with vanilla and orange sherbet swirled together.

Soup. Canned, homemade, at a café. Don’t care. Today I plan to make this soup which has become a perennial favorite of mine. Be sure to sauteé carrots with a little curry, ginger and cumin. Yummy.

A snuggly ginger kitten and the almost autumn-like early morning and evening light.

Yet another fine excuse to leave the house a wreck.

So off to HEB to scare off strangers and friends alike.

Sunday Laundry & Cat Naps

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Cousin Emmett enjoying a Sunday nap in the kitchen.

IMG_5704I have been reading Everything You Ever Wanted by Jillian Lauren. Note to Self: I need to read for pleasure much morewhen did I stop? I’m not usually a fan of memoirs, but I was swayed by raves by this blogger. Her book is about adoption, her own and that of her son. She tells her story in a way that is both sweet, fierce and very human… full of emotion without being sappy. I don’t talk much in this space about the years my sister and I spent in foster care (three and a half) and our adoption when I was 8. Not that it’s hard or embarrassing, but at times when I sit down to plink something out it never seems to do justice to the profound sadness and absolute joy that swirl around these events… for everyone touched adoption. I can remember how much I missed our mother once I realized why the nice lady brought us to stay with a British family in the New York countryside, and the excitement I felt when we were shown the photo album of our soon to be new family in Colorado. Like I said, I don’t share much about this here… maybe some day I will.

A Cavalcade of Comfort Food & Warm Wishes

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Yesterday we buried our much beloved Roscoe (i.e. Roscoe P. Coltrane, ‘Scoe, Dense Nugget of Matter, Little, Mr. Man, Nuggelito, and Scobian Emps). Wow, I guess we never realize how embarrassing our pet nick names are until we try to tell someone. Especially in the case where I used to yodel for my cat Noodle, “Noodle-oodle-oodle oodle”. Embarrassing? Sure, but he’d come running.

To say we will miss him fails to describe the feeling that a huge life force has just been sucked right out of our home. He had a mighty presence for a dog of 23 pounds. He was a comic genius, a most excellent nap buddy, could howl like a wolf on command, and was fearless. Though sometimes the latter bordered on stupidity. He was also an excellent human trainer. For almost 12 years he refused to enter the house until we gave him a cookie. He was steadfast in this discipline up until his last full day on this earth. Like a monk, that Roscoe.

Last night was difficult falling asleep without his little snore. Mostly it was soft and purry like white noise, and other times grandpa loud. Whatever the decibel, it was always a sign of all being good in Roscoe’s world. In the past few weeks I’d been listening to this snore for indications of pain and discomfort, waking with him to go outside so he could relieve himself and then settling on the living room to sleep on the floor in front of the oscillating fan.

Callie has been moping around, occasionally walking though the house, checking each room. Maisy’s energy is always so mellow, it’s hard to tell if she wants to stay in and sleep or is avoiding being dive bombed by a mean mockingbird that seems to be terrorizing us since a baby raccoon got into it’s nest. And Emmett? Lord knows what’s going on in his mind. Why do all kittens seem to be on LSD?

Yesterday we took comfort in all the very kind words we received in person, by phone, text, email and Facebook. Well, kind words and cheeseburgers.

So today I continue to enjoy the company of those that remain living here at Chez Vee…the longtime companions and the new. Roscoe may be gone, but everyone still loves scrambled eggs and cheese for breakfast, cookies, and attention. Today the pudum pudum of scampering kitten paws replaces the clickity clack of terrier toes on our wood floors. And a soft purr, the happy snortles and grunts of our buddy Roscoe.

Though, truth be told, I always felt he was purring.