Monday, August 15, 2011

Summertime Goodness

This summer is zipping by. We have one last trip to Oregon, leaving tomorrow on a 5am flight! Now is my chance to share some bits and pieces of what we have been doing around here. Peaches have been a major theme in the past week. It all began with an almond peach cobbler that Mia made from one of my favorite cookbooks, San Francisco Flavors. She baked it for the Azalea Mountain potluck and got tons of complements on it. Yum, it was delicious. Next came Vivienne's peach tart from my other favorite cookbook, Clotilde's Chocolate and Zucchini. And this was divine! So very yummy and we got to share it with Grammy and Granddaddy when they visited. Then there was the peach ice cream, that I got inspired to make for the annual Rennicks' ice cream social. I made a peach ginger (winning the award of most sensuous flavor) and a peach thyme, both recipes are from The Ultimate Ice Cream book. Very interesting flavors. I really liked the thyme.

Vivienne making french toast, a favorite weekend breakfast.

Jasper was having a blast learning how to wind a skein on my new Amish swift. He was quite a help, as I started to wind skeins from four pounds of wool. Thankfully, the other seven pounds were already in skeins. Which leads to the next images, the start of my plant dye adventures. I was so impressed by the process at my handwork training that I committed myself to making plant dyed wool for the children of Azalea Mountain. (Did I mention that I will be teaching handwork this year?)

The red powder is cochineal. Apparently, it is very rare these days and is valued at the price of gold. I felt lucky to find a natural dye kit that still carries it. Below is the Madder root (right) and alkanet (left). I also used henna, coreopsis from my garden, logwood, cutch, and indigo.

Ah, the beauty! Takes my breath away!

Vivienne with her joyful harvest. We sometimes bake with plantain seeds. Which brings us to the next theme. When Grandpa came to visit last year, the kids got into picking the grapes and Grandpa showed them how to mash and boil them to make grape juice. This year, they took up the project on their own and made delicious grape juice to sell at a stand in the front yard.

And today, Mia decided that she wanted to make neck pillows for the air plane, so we chose cozy fabrics and made up a design. Then we stuffed them with sheeps wool. The kids got silly when Jasper realized that the pillow made a very silly little-bo-peep hat.

Another busy day and now that I am packed and ready to travel, off to bed I must go!


wildviolets said...

Your yarns really turned out so beautiful! I loved dyeing old linens, I may have to try yarn next:) The desserts look delicious and I must have missed Mia's dessert at the potluck. I think all the desserts where happily eaten by the time I got to them. Have a wonderful trip!

María Xi said...

What a beautiful wools. And that cake looks delicious.

Warm regards from Chile

Catherine said...

Oh that yarn!!! Lovely! And that pie! Wow!

Julie said...

Happy days. Beautiful wool colours. Enjoy the sun, spring is slowly on its way down here.