Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Susan Branch's Luscious Peach Pie

I had my family over Sunday for dinner and baked this pie.  I always use Martha Stewart's pate brisee recipe for the crust, which is buttery and flaky.  (I use the recipe in her Pies and Tarts book, which adds a teaspoon of sugar as optional.)  It's so easy when you use a food processor.  Here's Susan's recipe:

(I think they left out the part about dotting the top of the peach mixture with the butter.)

Her cookbooks are fun and full of beautiful artwork and delicious recipes.  I especially like her Christmas cookbook and have tried many recipes.

As you can see I had trouble rolling out the crust.  To get a deeper color and more delicious crust, one of Martha's recipes suggests brushing on an egg/heavy cream mixture.  I do this on her raspberry-rhubarb pie, which is heavenly.  These pictures were taken in haste before this pie was devoured!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sewing a Table Runner from Vintage Handkerchiefs

I've had beautiful handkerchiefs from my maternal grandmother for years.  I'd planned on sewing them onto pillows but found this project.  I haven't sewn since the eighth grade.  I'm just overwhelmed at the thought because I can never get the machine to work.  So with help from my mother the seamstress here it is:


Look, I staged it like Country Living!

The hardest part was getting the machine to stop jamming the bobbin (operator error).  Then it was hard to coordinate the hankie placement by color.  All in all, I'm extremely pleased that I've overcome my terror of sewing and found a use for the hankies.  Now on to pillow covers!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Garden Gone to Seed, the Movie

Have you ever felt like you've bitten off more than you could chew, garden-wise? My back garden looks like it's gone to seed, literally. Of course, this spring was a washout due to my injury.  I accidentally hit "movie" on my camera instead of taking pictures so here it is, my first video blog.  Ignore the part where I stumbled a little.  Oh, and that music is the ice cream truck on the next street over!

Hopefully you can tell that there is nothing but weeds between the plants, save for a groundcover of creeping thyme and plumbago.  On the right side I've started weeding and mulching.  What a difference!

Meanwhile, I have to continually deadhead the 15 roses, five hydrangeas and three butterfly bushes.  Plus I have beebalm, phlox, hostas, daylilies, oriental lilies, daises, and catmint that have finished blooming.  I also have close to 100 irises that get ratty at this time of year and need to be cut down.

I just couldn't accomplish as much as I had planned this weekend due to the severe heat and humidity, along with intermittent vicious thunderstorms.  Oh, and a tornado warning Friday afternoon.  I'm just grateful I didn't lose my power.

Here's a beautiful woodpecker eating the flowers of a mullein.

Here's the view from the deck (it's two stories up off the kitchen; I have a walkout basement.)


Yes, that's a ladder.  All ready for me to start my painting frenzy as soon as it's cool enough.  Hopefully I'll be able to paint into December, like last year (except during the Great Nor'easter).

This is where I ended.

 Are you keeping up with garden chores, or have you thrown in the towel?

Friday, August 10, 2012

This garden's grown!

Just some gratuitous garden shots.  I was just comparing this year's pictures to last year's.  Now I can't see the path in the middle.

I'm thrilled that these hydrangeas have stayed blue, not lavender like the ones out back.



This year I've had a spiderwort, goldenrod and white phlox show up.  Also the butterfly bush self-sowed next to the knockout rose.  I just love the unpredictable nature of gardening.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Update on Cottage Living

Cottage Living Magazine Special FRESH IDEAS - 49 Ways To Create Cottage (2012)

I got a tip from An Urban Cottage that  there have been special issues of Cottage Living each year.  So of course I had to check it out at my local Waldenbooks.  I bought an issue entitled "Fresh Ideas, Comfort, Simplicity, Style," "Reissue of a Cottage Living favorite."  I don't have all the issues so it's worth the list price of $11.99 to me.  It says "Display until 9/28/12" so don't delay!