Archive | June, 2011

Homesteading, Sort Of

18 Jun

OK, not really. It’s more that I’m making efforts to be thrifty and to not be wasteful. So I’m cooking with what I have in the pantry as well as not letting produce or leftovers go to waste…which mostly means freezing things for later. Because I’m going out of town next week, I needed to see what I could do with the produce I wouldn’t get to before I leave.

Today I chopped up my box of champagne mangos and froze 12 1-cup portions; roasted a couple red peppers that are waiting to be peeled and frozen; froze some sugar snap peas; and made a ton more summer cucumbers for Adam to eat while I’m gone.

I still have a ton of frozen raspberries from when I found them for 25 cents a container. I like to spread smaller things like the sugar snap peas and the raspberries on a cookie sheet and then transfer them to bags after they are frozen, so they don’t clump together.

I also staked my basil plants and made my second batch of pesto for the year. I may freeze some of that, too, but I’m trying to decide if I should divide it up into an ice cube tray or just throw the whole small container in the freezer. I sure love pesto on pasta with diced tomatoes and parmesan, but I need to find some other ways to use it. I have a feeling I’m going to have quite a stash at the end of the summer.

Summertime Goals

14 Jun

I’m gonna conquer my goals like this girl conquered this deadly alligator! Or whatever.

So here they are:

1. Paint the kitchen. I don’t think the ceiling has been painted since the house was built in 1944. Not kidding.

2. Continue to have a steady stream of craft projects. Use what I have, both in crafts and in cooking.

3. Do at least two days of being a tourist here in New Orleans. I’ve never been to the Audubon Zoo nor the new Insectarium. Adam and I have been talking about riding the Canal streetcar to the Metairie Cemetery for forever. Not sure what exactly we’ll do…

And that may not seem like much, but it’s hot down here. And I’ve got my day job. And a trip to visit my family planned in just over a week, which I am so excited about! Happy summer!

Vintage Barkcloth Messenger Bag

13 Jun

One of the first sewing projects I did was a tote in a great vintage pink barkcloth. It was my main bag for over a year in the mid-1990s- overalls, my Doc Martens and my homemade tote. Oh yeah. But despite all the use, I always thought the double handles were kind of odd, and I always wished they were long enough to wear the bag cross-body.

I forgot I wanted to take a picture of the tote until after I cut the sides, but you can see how it was.

I’ve been trying to make an effort to use supplies I already own in all my crafty pursuits. Minimal shopping with maximal making. I didn’t use a pattern, but instead pieced together the bag’s rectangle from the pink barkcloth and some leftover purple upholstery fabric. The lining is muslin I had on hand.

I had a little figuring out to do over how to sew it all together with the lining, and because I couldn’t find an online reference quick enough, I used some safety pins to try my options until I puzzled it out. I sewed the flap’s three sides together with the purse and lining still inside-out and with the pockets facing. This worked for me because I planned on doing some topstitching and I knew I could close the remaining seam of the pocket part in that way.

Here’s how it turned out:

I think I’m going to use this bag as frequently as I used that tote bag, and I’m happy to have that vintage barkcloth back in use!

Blackened Redfish

13 Jun

Our pal caught a giant redfish on her birthday, which she called her “birthday present from God.” She shared some with us, and I figured I better blacken that old Louisiana fish.

I used this recipe, but because we don’t have a kitchen fan, I was afraid of using the cast iron pan and all that butter. Instead, I used a regular pan and only 1 TB of butter with 1 TB of canola oil, all to decrease the smoke factor. The fish didn’t have a crisp crust, but it was really delicious.

I served it with some green beans I got at the farmer’s market. I left those plain, which was nice with the spicy, buttery fish.

If anyone else wants to give me some fish they caught, I’m all over it!

Oh Happy Day Paris Trip Giveaway

10 Jun

Some blogs have great giveaways, but I think this is the biggest one I’ve ever seen! A chance to win a trip to Paris.

Here’s the link to Oh Happy Day.

Piccadilly Lounge

10 Jun

Looking through some older photos, I found this one.

I think this place is gone, but I had a drink there the night I took this picture. The inside is what you might guess, with lots of dark wood, but more boring. And not at all fancy, despite this spectacular sign.

Summer Cucumbers and a Typewriter

9 Jun

This typewriter was my dad’s Remington.

I sure do love it.

I’ve been missing my dad lately, and after I bought 3 cucumbers for $1.00 at the farmer’s market, I thought of making summer cucumbers like he used to make. He would slice cucumbers and onion and then throw them in a tub with white vinegar. I decided to add a little dill and a little salt, even though my dad used to do it plain and simple.

Adam has been loving these, and I like to eat them occasionally. The smell, however, makes me remember my dad in the happiest way. I’m glad I have Adam to eat summer cucumbers so that I can have them around!