Saturday, April 30, 2011

Art Sunday Wood

I was looking for some unique pieces of art, and I found some really awesome wood carvings.
You will need to blow up the images in the gallery to really appreciate the detail Darwin Dower

This one is called Takin a Break
On the old time cattle drives, the camp "Cookie" was sometimes an aging cowboy hired for his ability to drive a wagon more than his cooking skills. He was in charge of the wagon, and everything related to it. The camp depended greatly on him, especially his ability to brew a good pot of coffee.

Cowboy coffee and a good book (for those cowhands who knew how to read some) has been a staple of the old west since those days of the long cattle drives.

"Takin' a Break" is a depiction of a cowboy taking a break from long, hard hours in the saddle. It is sculpted entirely from Tupelo wood, then meticulously painted with artists' oil to capture the wear and tear of long days on the trail.
Here is an artist making art with a chainsaw
And I found this list of fine wood artists

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Just Checking In

Another cloudy rain day today. Everyone in these parts is getting really sick of all the rain, clouds, and now colder weather. I guess we got too spoiled when we had those few sunny warm days.
Our check up at the doctor yesterday, did find that I had broken up a bit of cartilage on my ribs-so that is why my left side has been hurting so much. Larry said the same thing, as he does this from time to time. No wonder when I was canning the turkey stock and mushrooms I was more tired and sore. I am not having to cough as much now-so hopefully I will get healed up faster.
Yesterday I mailed off my pillow order-these turned out really pretty and made me feel good to accomplish something. These got mailed off to California to an accupunturist.-kinda cool actually to be able to pick up this custom order from the internet.
I was planning on getting back on my shower project but now the house is too cold to work on it. We are just about out of firewood now, and what little we do have is damp or soaking wet-the high winds blew off the cover. sigh We do have enough wood to make a little fire in the bedroom in the evenings.
I decided to make up a big pot of beans and ham, and I think I will turn the oven on to bake up some fun-cupcakes or cookies, not sure yet.
I have never fired a shotgun before, the tool needed for turkey hunting, so when the weather cleared yesterday Larry taught me how to use one. It went pretty well-he was laughing though-I am a little too slow to actually get a turkey though-lol We will see about that.
Any of you going to watch the royal wedding? I am sure I will watch a little of it-I like these two from what I have seen on the media-and it is a fairy tale after all that came true.
Later. I am off to wash up a big bag of garden lettuce that L just brought us.He is so good to us.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Couple Memes This Morning

You Are an Excellent Cook
You're a top cook, but you weren't born that way. It's taken a lot of practice, a lot of experimenting, and a lot of learning.
It's likely that you have what it takes to be a top chef, should you have the desire...
You Are An Idealist
You have your own quirky ideas about the world. Your mind just operates on a totally different plane.
You like esoteric things, and you are attracted to people who are a little outside the mainstream.

You are a big picture person. You absolutely can't stand dealing with details.
You have no patience for small talk or niceties. You like to get down to what's important.

Healthy Mondays-Morels

I had my first morel mushrooms over the weekend-they were fabulous. A real earthy, meaty mushroom. I put some on our homemade pizza saturday, and I served them sliced the long way sauted with wild shallots in butter and olive oil yesterday.

These are a wild mushroom, and they grow in alot of places, as I know our wisconsin friends say they find them there too.
They have been really scare to find this year, do to the cooler spring nights and such up and down weather this year. But L was on hunt friday and found us enough for a meal-as he knew I still haven't had any. This is actually the 3rd spring in a row where the weather has been out of sorts.
Here are some links I found with recipes and information:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Art Sunday Jim Peters of Washington Mo

I was trying to find his work online, but so far not much luck.
Our electric here comes from a coop-so technically we all own a bit of the company. We get excellent service too. Each month they publish an excellent newspaper type publication that is full of information of the people and places in Missouri, along with recipes and what's happening with our electric etc.
This month they featured an artist, Jim Peters, a watercolorist-and I had to share-his details are superb. He is in his 70s now.
His father was a sign painter for business's so he got his start there.
I did find the newspaper online-it is slow loading, but once it all loads click on the bottom right hand corner to turn the pages-once you come to the article-you can blow it up for better viewing and reading too-just click on it to enlarge.
It is worth the time to read-as he uses different mediums with his paints-water from the creek he is painting, etc.
Browsing the net some more,I just found a couple of his pieces.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lots of Rain Here

If I could share some of this rain with you that need it-I sure would. We are getting around 2" per day now of rain-I guess it's filling up our ponds and underground rivers here-but we have alot of flooding down in the lower areas now too-I'm good though we are up from the river a few miles.
The t storms stopped for a bit-so we both jumped on the computer to check stuff.
Our Mr. L came over to scout the woods as I was heading off to pick up our Angel Food orders. I got a beautiful box of fresh fruits and veggies this time, along with a really nice steak box. Eight steaks-ny strips and delmonicos for $24.00-can't beat the price-or the flavor on these.
L found morels, another red mushroom, and lots of wild shallots-Nice! I decided to make up one of my homemade pizzas and I used some of these wild finds for toppings-yummy!
I was hoping to go out for my first turkey hunt but the last few days we are waking up to storms and rain-and the turkeys don't like that kind of weather much--gotta wait for a nicer day now to go out.
I made more progress on my pillow order-for some reason this project is taking too much time. I wasn't feeling good this week-so that doesn't help. We have routine doctor visits next week-which I am glad of-as need to check out my lungs etc allergies have really gotton to me bad this year. I coughed so much, that I am hoping I did not fracture any ribs-that area is so painful this week-hoping its just sore muscles instead.
well, I am off here til tomorrow nite all

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter Happy Passover

I'm Putting up Greens

We dropped off some jars of the turkey stock, a couple plain and couple with meat. Mr. L was not in so we chatted with Mrs. L.
About an hour later Mr. L comes over carrying 2 over stuffed wal mart bags full of more greens. With all the rain we have been having they are really growing, so he says this is about the end of the young greens. I still had a pretty big tupperware full of cleaned greens that we have been eating out of, but hadn't froze yet. They still were in very good shape.
I was really not up to it at all last night, but after dinner I decided I needed to get some of this processed. I love these greens cause they are not bitter at all, and they really hold their shape, not tough-best wild greens I have ever had. He calls them cow parsley, but when I searched online for a photo the plant shown is totally different than what he brought me.
I didn't think about taking a photo last night, and this morning the camera needs charging-so didn't get a photo. These are gathered along the river.
I needed to go thru the bag and pinch off the longer stems, then I steam blanched and froze in packages for the two of us. I ended up with 14 meals. I am waiting for the water to boil, and then I will finish up this last bag this morning. Good eats for the upcoming year-and they were free except for my time, and a little propane gas for processing,(and electric in the freezer)
I can see now why he said his family always canned these-I think these would hold to the pressure canner, and back then families canned or dried most veggies, as most did not have a big freezer.
Lots of rain coming over the next several days. If it clears and warms up, I am going out hunting with the guys for my first turkey.
Happy Easter to all of you that celebrate, and Happy Passover to all of you that celebrate.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jars Out of the Canner

I just took this out of the canner, they looked really cool with all the bubbles but doesn't show up in the photo. Most of the jars have about a cup of wild turkey meat along with the stock-these will make great soup starters.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Today Was Opening Spring Turkey-and Yeh! Larry Brought one Home-out of our Woods-Photos just so ya know

I have never eaten a wild turkey before-I am so excited. It is all butchered up and soaking in cold salt water to get wrapped up and stashed in the freezer. I have the carcass in a big stock pot for soup stock. Hoping to can some wild turkey stock

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Art Sunday 1830's Quilts

As my readers may remember, I have been collecting reproduction quilt fabrics to copy an 1830's quilt. Lately, I have been doing alot more reading on the history of cloth, dyes, quilts this past week as well. I am really interested for the most part in quilts during the early 1800's thru the civil war period.
For art sunday I thought I would share photos of quilts made during the 1830s

these three quilts were found here
and below is the one I am gathering fabrics to reproduce, I have them all now-except I may still change the turkey red and the blue fabrics

Fleur d'Lis

Barbara Brackman, quilt historian has written many books about fabrics and quilts-including several during the civil war. here

Blooms Indoors

This beauty started to bloom yesterday, and today two of the flowers are now in full bloom. I love these, they always rebloom around Easter.
The second pot that is just starting to grow is a bright red one. It was a welcoming gift from one of my neighbors here 6 years ago. The following year I picked up this pretty pink one. Two years ago these both had so many new bulbs in their pots that I split them all apart repotted and gave most of them away. No blooms last year, but this year the pink one outdid itself again with its beauty.
Yesterday was very cold, gloomy and no sunshine. Today will be a totally different day. Sunshine, the birds are singing away, and we will be in the 70s today and tomorrow. We also discovered we have baby kitties. A stray came over this winter-and she hooked up with Autumn-lol So, now we need to find homes for these once they get a little bigger.
Back later on with art sunday

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Another Nice Day

Another gorgeous spring day to enjoy. The dogwoods are going in bloom-so pretty-like little lace patches in the woods.
Today was our day to take stuff in to the resale shops, I really didn't have much this time to take in. I was though, on the hunt for more all cotton men's shirts. The animal shelter thrift store had some nice finds. Definately getting harder right now to find 100 percent cottons-I don't want the poly cotton for quilting, and the price is really gone up in the resale shops on these too. I did find several though for a dollar and two dollars, and the rest were three dollars-I also only buy xxl or xxxl to get lots of material. lol
My soap molds are on their way, when they come I will be making oatmeal soap. and with the leaf mold have not decided yet which essential oil to add. I have some mints which might be nice or perhaps the patchouli would be nice too. A friend here gave me two goat milk soap molds by milkyway-the company I really like. One is goat heads for the bars, and one is bars stamped with the words goat milk-I am not sure if these bars of soap would sell or not-any thoughts?
I still have not planted my flat of seeds-I am thinking now I will hold off til late summer for a fall planting instead. The weather here is so up and down already, and I need to plan a trip to visit my Mom in late May or early June again. This one will be a long bus ride-not looking forward to that. My mom is slipping a little more each year now, she has early dimentia so don't know how long she will be able to stay by herself on her farm. My brother and I have been suggesting she may enjoy moving to town in a senior apt. situation-but she does not want to move off the farm-I can't say that I blame her-I wouldn't in my case want to move to town either. no fun getting older, especially when one is living alone.
We have been each embroidering sunbonnet sue blocks for a mother daughter quilt. She is doing 12 blocks with sue watering her garden, and my 12 blocks are big flowers. Hers will be done by end of this month, and I still have 4 to go-lol Was planning on sewing our quilt blocks together into a top on this trip for a project-and then will bring it back home to quilt.
Oh and the wild violets are blooming this week along with the baby red oak leaves, and lots of wild little yellow flowers. I was hoping to do a few flower pounded pieces but if I don't do it tomorrow I will probably lose the chance this year. We have a big storm and very cold air coming in tomorrow evening-perhaps a frost over the weekend too-hope the weatherman is wrong this time-lol
enough rambling on--night all

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I went Fishing This Morning for Trout

This wasn't one of those planned trips, just a "let's go fishing" kind of trip-lol We both did sleep well last night, I ended up going back to bed around 2 am to try and catch some sleep, and hubby got up around 2 am and worked all night.
I slept in til about 7 am and since I knew he had been working all night and was still working I said let's go fishing. So we went to Bennett Springs on the river to catch trout. This was my first time fishing since I went with my grandpa when I was about 10 or 12 years old. and that was catching blue gills, with a just a pole and a line and a bobber and a worm-lol
So this casting was a whole new thing for me. I did end up catching a really one within the first hour but I did not set the hook right, so as the fish was coming to shore he just swam off the hook-lol I caught one to bring home (the single fish in the bucket) and hubby caught 3. I couldn't get the feel of when a fish was on the hook, so lost 5 of them-ate my bait. After the first hour and half, he was very very windy too-which made casting challenging. We had an eagle fly in, sit across from us watching for fish-that was very neat. Met some nice people there too.
So a fun day for my first time trout fishing. These are soaking in salt water for a bit-will get frozen, and then when we catch about a dozen or so all together will smoke them-good eats!
That's my Sunday today, we are waiting to see how the big storm comes thru-could be a big one, and will drop the temps to more normal. I really am not ready for 90s to be here permanent yet.
Happy Sunday

Friday, April 8, 2011

My Recipe for Canning Wild Mushrooms

These wild mushrooms the locals here call "Reds". These are soooo yummy and are a firm meaty mushroom-so work out great in lots of different cooking applications.
Last fall Mr. L found us trumpets, and corals, and hen of the woods. All these worked up awesome for canning.
As always, Never collect mushrooms unless you are Positive of the identification. When we first moved here, we never ate any mushrooms til we found Mr. L to teach us how to indentify the mushrooms here.
The Ball canning books, even my vintage canning books say not to can wild mushrooms. I am thinking the main reason for this, is so the book would not be responsible if you identified the wild ones incorrectly. So, I hunted online for recipes for canning the wild mushrooms-and I have been very happy with the following recipe-I believe it to be safe because of the long processing time. I have been very pleased with all the mushrooms I have canned.
First off the best size to can the mushrooms in are the 1/4 pints and 1/2 pints. These are the perfect size to cook with anyways, and similiar to the size you would buy in the store. The recipe recommends canning in no larger than a pint jar.
Soak your cleaned mushrooms in salt water-cold. I do this for about an hour, and then rinse.
Slice according to the type of mushroom, and steam over boiling water for 20 minutes. ( I have a Japannese steamer with two layers-I found this to be the perfect tool for this and for steam blanching my veggies I want to freeze)
I then place them on a plate in single layers til I get all the mushrooms steamed.
Have ready: clean canning jars that have been soaking in hot water. I also soak the lids in hot water too.
Fill the jars, and cover with the steam water. If you use salt, I would suggest putting a little salt in the steam water first off, but I don't do that. Since these jars are going into the pressure canner, I fill the jar with the steam water, to just a little bit above that break in the jar. so a bit more than a 1/4" headspace.
Wipe the top of the jar so clean, put the ring on tight, and place in your pressure canner.
Follow the instructions on how to can for your canner.
Process at 10# pressure for 40 minutes.
Let your jars cool for a day, before washing them up and placing in your pantry.

I'm Canning This Morning

Larry had a great time fishing yesterday on the lake, brought home a big cat fish that they caught on a jug. I froze half of it, and we ate it last night for supper.
A little before supper his fishing partner, Mr. L, stopped by-wierd we thought-until we saw a giant bag filled with these gorgeous mushrooms. He said he found a spot with lots, he picked 3 huge bags total. So, I am getting my canning stuff out this morning, have the mushrooms soaking in salt water, and will be processing these this morning.
I also got word late yesterday that my flax seeds came in yesterday-and they will be here today-wow! that's good service on a back order. So I will be making up 9 pillows and 18 covers this weekend for my pillow order.
The storms got stalled til the weekend, the worse they say will be sunday, so Larry just left for cat fishing again this morning. I am so thrilled that he finally connected up with a hunting and fishing partner. It has been very difficult to find "real" friends here. Now we each have a very good friend to do things with. I will have to say that finding and re establishing good friends is one of the main downsides of moving to a totally new place. We have always worked more than we played before retirement, so we are not ones to have a big social life anyways, But to find a handful of really good friends is so important in life. Which brings me to thinking about the people in the past that made a really big move in their lives.
I just finished reading a book about the people that made the trip to Oregon over the Oregon trail and their quilts. (Quilts of the Oregon Trail by Mary Cross) The book was also broken down by time periods 1840 to1850 were the very first people, then 1851 to 1855, and 1856 to1870 The book narrates the people's lives behind their quilts and what each time period of migraters experienced during and at the end of their trips; thru their letters and thru documentations found with the quilts.
After reading this book, and watching the Civil War series on PBS 1861 to 1865 I really got a feel for the time periods of what was going on with our nation. This probably sounds wierd but it just all clicked last night, and I got connected with these peoples lives a bit.
Well, I need to get off here and get to canning-
Happy friday

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Art Sunday Wind

It is soooooo windy here up to 35 mile an hour winds. Great for my recovering allergies-lol
I wanted to share Van Gogh's A Wind Beaten Tree however does not want to copy and paste can view here
and same with Claude Monet's Gust of Wind can view here
Enjoy your Sunday


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