When I am out of jam, I make it

I ran out of jam this morning which means that I cannot make for lunch tomorrow what I normally make.  So I need to make some.

I put ten ounces of frozen fruit and one cup of sugar in a heavy saucepan.  Mine is enameled cast iron.  I then set it on medium low heat (three on my electric stove top) and cook for about three quarters of a hour to an hour.  I do stir it occasionally with a wire whisk.  And I do watch towards the end to make sure it does not burn.

Then it goes in a jar and sits in the refrigerator.  It is really that easy.  I do not have to skim the scum off or anything.  I do have to watch a little bit so it does not burn but that really happens only when it has cooked to long and become too thick.  Very yummy!  Especially on peanut butter and jam sandwiches on homemade bread.  It makes me smile.


pasta for dinner

Most of the U.S. thinks that a pasta dinner is a ten minute dinner tops.  Not in this house.  I start with a cup of flour, an egg, a two finger pinch of salt, and a couple tablespoons or so of water in a bowl.  Mix it all up and the knead it.

and knead it

and knead 

For ten minutes.  I do actually time this.  It makes such a difference.

Then it is time to roll out the pasta dough.  It starts out small,

and grows,

Until it is very thin and ready to cut.


I like using a very heavy pizza cutter.

It is then time to cook.  It only takes a few minutes in boiling water.  I usually make a light pesto sauce to go with the pasta, pesto and pine nuts.

It is a simple meal but so lovely in the tummy.  We had this with homemade blackberry sorbet for dessert.  Yum!

All pictures are courtesy of Russell.  Thank you sir!


Teahouse building weekend number 2

The second weekend of building on the Teahouse did not have any participants but Russell and the support staff.  I am the support staff.  Or in another words, I make sure there are crockpots full of food for hungry tummies and to make sure the fuel can be used for building.  I do admit that it was very humid and hot this last weekend so I did not blame anyone for not working outside.

That said, Russell got four batches of cob put on the Teahouse on Friday.

Saturday we had the house warming to go to and errands run so not much happened.

Sunday, Russell again worked on the Teahouse and I did support staff duties but added in all the tasks that need to get done for the week.  Many of which will have their own posts in the future.  But, I did finish my tasks in time to help with the walls.

Russell mixed clay, sand, and water in the mortar mixer. 

He then poured it on to a tarp and we treaded in straw.  Basically, dancing in mud!  A very good work out!

The cob then goes on the walls.  I needed help on to the loft because all my hand and feet holds are no more but we got the batch of cob on the wall.  I cob faster then anyone else Russell has been working with.  He felt like he had to be almost continually hauling up half five gallon buckets of cob to keep up with me.  I know what I am doing and I like things to do with mud.


Soon all the straw will be covered and the roof will go on.  It is a lovely space.


faerie top

I had this idea for a top going through my head for Danica after reading Carefree clothes for girls:  20 patterns for outdoor frocks, playdate dresses, and more by Junko Okawa.

The clothes were for little girls but the so reminded me of the Faerie.

I sat down and did some drawing in my book with putting ideas next to it. 

I had a sage green china silk, a white cotton, and a natural muslin.  I decided to quilt the bodice out of those three and make the skirt out of two layers of the china silk.

I pieced the bodice together, leaving all the edges raw.

I tried to decide if I wanted to add any frills or ribbons to it and I decided all of it was too straight compared to the curved quilting.

I put the skirt on

and added a sparkly button.


I should have probably waited for her for the button placement so the bodice would have laid flatter.  But she liked it!  It is a very faerie top.  I plan for it to get washed in the washing machine and the skirt to get tattered but the bodice is very sturdy and will not fall apart.

A faerie top for the faerie.


while making gifts for others,

I put a new dish towel together for myself.

I had to piece the applique together but it turned out nicely.  And I can always use new dish towels.  I always forget to make some for myself when I am making them for others.  This one is covering sourdough starter that is bubbling away in preparation for making bread.