Friday, November 28, 2008

Holiday Decorating Officially Begins

My parents had an old pomegranate that was past its prime. Rather than let it go completely to waste, I decided to decorate it with cloves, just as you would an orange. The skin was a on the thick side, so I used a wooden skewer to poke the holes first. I've learned from doing the oranges that it's best to keep the cloves a little farther apart than your desired look. Then when the fruit continues to dry up, the cloves aren't so close together that the skin breaks apart.

The longer the fruit dries, the more the cloves will bleed a dark brown stain into the skin of the orange or pomegranate. If you decide to cover the fruit completely in cloves, it will turn all brown but if you want to have a decorative brown line, then do separate lines of cloves with greater spaces between them.

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Happening...

Winter is coming, and this is only the beginning. I wake up each morning to an ice castle. There's no heater in my room, but I still love the cold. I need only my hat and my hoodie, a pile of blankets, my old-fashioned metal hot water bottle, and a little warmth coming up through the vent in the floor where the wood stove is below.

I also took some photos of the stream in my backyard yesterday while taking a break from hauling and stacking wood closer to the house. Katie helped me out later, so many thanks to her!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sweater Weather Report

As usually happens when I decide to focus on cleaning and organizing my life, I come across some material that inspires me to go off an a tangent and make something else. I found this old sweater that I never wear and decided to doctor it up by added a collar, a front closure (instead of keeping it pullover), and a few embellishments made up from my old knitting samples.

Manifest Your Dreams

This is the second installment of Maureen's manifestation boxes. Write your dreams onto a slip of paper as if they've already occurred and slide them into the keyhole of the box. I had the pleasure of helping her decorate the box this time around.

Visit Maureen's blog to see proof of her previous dreams come true. She's finally posted the trailer for her multi-media film project on the Little Brothers of St. Francis in Boston!

Maureen dreaming of the box,
or perhaps the poetry of John Haines.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Economic Cooking

I've been trying to think of ways to save money but still cook yummy food, so my latest idea has been to make my own pre-prepared burritos or veggie wraps. Make 10 to 20 at a time with any variety of fillings, store in the freezer, and they're ready to go whenever you don't feel like cooking or are tempted to eat out. Also, none of your ingredients will be wasted from sitting in the fridge for too long before you have time to cook them. I find it more of a challenge during the winter to come home and cook up a meal in the cold and dark.

Mix #1
(I made two mixes this time. )
This one is roasted poblano peppers (roast in toaster oven), lightly boiled sweet potatoes, beans, mushroom, toasted pine nuts, almost a whole bunch of fresh cilantro, spices (chili powder, oregano, salt...). Then I added goat cheese as I rolled each burrito.
Mix #2
Lightly boiled potatoes, fresh zucchini, beans, spinach (wilted by the hot potatoes), paprika, black pepper, salt. I added slices of cheddar cheese to this one.
My store of toasted pine nuts, and some slices of cheddar waiting to be used...
I acquired these tortillas from a friend. They are on the smaller size, and therefore harder to work with but I made do. Can't turn down a freebie! I recommend big, soft, thin whole wheat ones.
Mix #1 topped with some goat cheese!
These ones are ready for the freezer or... be made into enchiladas of sorts! Just add tomato sauce and some extra cheese of your choice.
Fresh out the 350˚F oven. Yummy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Final Results!

A big shout out to the Egremont Inn who hosted a group of us watching the polls until the wee hours. Thanks for allowing us to stay up late in the comfy chairs, keeping the fire going, and supplying the champagne!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween, Sambaland 2008

Kim looks like a pretty fairy here, but really she was a Vampire Tooth Fairy!
Dishing out the goods.
Katie and Austen as Piggy!Oh, just showing the usual leg.
I was Bjork in her swan dress, and Hannah was a fallen angel, but most people thought our costumes were meant to go together.
Close-up of Kim's eye.
Some of the local ghosts.

Abraham Lincoln getting pulled away by the time machine, fallen angel in tow. (Time to go back to 1860 in time for the election, Abe!)
The Sambaland dance scene inspired by the Berkshire Bateria.

The scary Sarah Palins and Plumber Joe!