Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Variation on the 9 Patch

Still knitting various dishcloths as far as knitting goes!
Reading for the liturgical year in the lovely Synaxarion,
which is a year round story of Saint's lives.
I learned a new quilt technique,
which explains the lack of new knitting,
though the dish cloths are part of my continued efforts in
Christmas Crafting! 

I had a lot of help to get this far in doing a new quilt block!
I will write up more on how I did this and what I learned soon!
What are you reading and creating?
Yarn Along with us!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

{local adventures} ~ NYC in mid-September

It was a good but full day.
Lunch with husband, breakfast at a diner,
shopping for trip away to MamaBird Emma and other things.
I found a new white blouse....
The Micheal's in NYC is most unusual in it's sudden high windows
and I am guessing apartments above it.
Trader Joe's I am thankful to esp. for having French Vanilla Ice Cream
which my local grocery stores seem to have stopped carrying.
How anyone prefers the other Vanillas without the creamy French taste
of French Vanilla is yet a mystery to me!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Simple traveling mercies along the way

1. A new hat, gotten in NYC days before our travels
2. A lovely lovely basket for my knitting and bags, a name's day gift!
3. A new knitting bag, that I keep in the car for those times that I have
forgotten my normal knitting bag!
4.Many wash clothes made!
5. The best knitting sign! 
I knit and I don't kill people 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Our travels and time away

Our travels ended up being
a perfect time of those things that give me rest...
being with others who love beauty,
seeing the beauty that dear MamaBird Emma puts
in her home, discussing art, books, beauty,
homemaking, being a woman and loving it...
It came in the midst of some homemaking changes for me,
that began when we hosted the Labour Day Open House Party...
I cleared off our 'Island' counter,
moved the stereo to a small table in the living room,
and reinvented it.
The gift of a pretty glass decanter,
a new blue and white salt cellar and a pretty English tray,
two IKEA white place-mats and an overhaul
of our kitchen drawers
began the change.
I purged my bookshelves of cookbooks that I did not need,
put the new cookbooks up and revisited many old cookbooks.
I have so many recipes to choose from;
I am hoping to do more baking.
Autumn is a very busy time for me, if not the busiest time of the year.
I want to devote more time to baking, cooking, quilting and the 
work I do for my far away church (Sunday School, church book store), as well
as apple-sauce making this year...
and continuing to build my community.... and continue to be stable in
the spiritual life practices that I have as an Orthodox Christian...
This means I may not blog as frequently for a bit; but don't worry
I am just busy trying to set better routines and learn new 
homemaking skills ~ cooking, baking new things,
making new things ~ it seems like it is time...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Traveling Knitting + 3 Vintage Cookbooks

Mr. Husband and I went to visit dear friends!
I did a lot of car knitting, all dish or bath cloths!
A quick and easy gift is to have
new nice hotel soaps with some handmade bath/wash cloths,
a bag and you're done!
I've been reading some lovely things...
all 3 from the daughter of the Matushka who passed away about a year ago.
There are so many recipes I want to try!
These cookbooks are all hardcover and are such enjoyable reading!
I have ordered some mylar dust jackets and look forward to 
making these cookbooks usable and with protected dust jackets!
I find that I am drawn to all the creative arts,
culinary arts, knitting, quilting... 
so much joy to be had.
I am dreaming of serving more meals to others!
And of knitted things for Christmas gifts! 
My stash is slowly growing!
What are you reading and creating?
Yarn Along with us!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Many squares, NYC and The Castle of Llyr

 I went to NYC yesterday!
The real reason was mundane (routine dentist visit)
but I had a lot of fun along the way!
I am getting a much better sense of a small area in Manhattan and 
brought my knitting with me!

I have a small 'treasure chest' at home that is storing my knit squares and
wash clothes.  As you can see, I am slowly amassing them!
The many coloured blanket is going to be really fun to put together!

I am so happy it's Autumn now!
I am looking forward to this season!
And am loving seeing my knitting sitting 'around the house' 
as it were... 

Am reading The Castle of Llylr from Mr. Husband's book collection...
he used to have the whole set but is guessing in one of his
library purges he gave these up 
(if he had kept all his books, we would have an impressive library by now,
but probably no room from anything else, like dishes or clothes! :) 

 Other than this reading, I did a cookbook purge this week.
I am getting ready for that set of cookbooks that I was given recently
and have been having fun reading through various books...
I really hope to make more use of the many cookbooks I have 
and make some special dishes this fall! 
What are you reading and creating?
Yarn Along with us!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Teaberries ~ a high tea with a friend in July

 I realized in the hecticness 
of life itself that 
I never blogged about a lovely 
high tea I had with a church friend
from our far away parish!
It was a lovely time!

French onion soup... and tea...

 Delicious sandwiches!

 Scones with clotted cream and jams!

It was such a pretty and peaceful place!

Most of the desserts I took home and shared with Mr. Husband!

I do hope to do this again one day!
It was delightful!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

{reflections} ~ Our First Slava and third anniversary

A Slava is a centuries old Orthodox tradition, esp. practiced by Serbian Orthodox.
Two of my dear Serbian friends who are sisters, last Great Lent,
told me as we drove down to a Greek Monastery, what is needed.
And they were gentle with me.
A candle, bread, icon, meal (fasting if a fast day), kolivo.
I was not able to make a proper bread other than the one to St. Phanourios,
and did not have time to make the kolivo...I am realizing
anew how life is a process and one just needs to begin with things
and build as one can as one goes...
I found these two things online:
Hey, You! What's Your Slava?
and this older wonderful book, entirely online.
Well, I should of expected what always happens
when you are trying to do something new to honour God
and His Saints: temptations!! 
First, a bout of insomnia.  Then our AC leaks all the way down to our
neighbour's downstairs and we suddenly don't know if we can
do the Slava at our house (with fresh wild caught salmon and swordfish fillets
already paid for and being delivered that morning, etc),
Well, it was a bit touch-and-go: not a goodnight sleep, the plummer ending up
being 2 hours late (he called and explained, it was understandable),
and everything was thrown off in terms of preparation time.
But in the end God's mercy prevailed over us in such profound ways;
the house cooled down, I realized, with the help of others and some
google searches, that I could bake the St. Phanourios bread at 350F as needed
and wrap the fish in individual foil packets and do them at the same time.
The fish was done this way:
I had 7 pieces of foil ready,
cut up an onion half moon wise in thin slices and put in bowl,
grabbed lemon that was sitting with a little water already sliced in the fridge
and cut each piece in two, salt and peppered the fish, doused it with extra virgin olive oil,
put onion and then lemon on top and wrapped in foil, folding the ends and the top.
Was done about 30 minutes or more on 350F and was perfect!
It was not at all dried out but instead was swimming in juices and oil when done.
I made a fruit salad and put 'truwhip' (vegan premade whip cream!) in our
Delft Gravy boat, Husband set the table,
I almost forgot to make the rice (not to self: make 3 cups next time! my guests
graciously did not fault me for only having 1 serving each...)
and I was so thankful that I was able to make the Saint Phanourios bread 
and three mini loaves to give to our guests.
We had the bread and vegan sorbet - blood orange and chocolate were the ones 
chosen - and enjoyed lemon water and white wines with the meal.
Our priest from our far-away church was one of the guests and he did the 
service for the Slava to St. Phanourios before the meal.
Was really special and I really felt deeply that it was
really both our wedding anniversary and Slava.
For we honoured St. Phanourios at our wedding,
giving a hand painted icon from Romania to my Ottawa parish
at our wedding reception. 
It was a really special time and I felt so connected to everyone, 
in my Ottawa parish and my new life here.
Our Matuska commented about the temptations that they always surprise us but 
always happen when we are about to receive a great blessing!
I am so very glad that we were able to have this time, this Slava and 
hope to make it a yearly tradition!
I was so surprised at the gifts we were given -
a Le Creuset frying pan, red, my favourite colour for my kitchen!
and a beautiful decanter and (not shown) a bottle of Drambuie! 
I told my Mom the other day that I feel that we are in the 'building' stage of our lives,
slowly collecting quality things for the kitchen, for entertaining and also
in our library collection.  
But I know also that there is a time to 'tear down' in this life.
I was recently given some beautiful vintage cookbooks,
that I hope to show you at a later date,
that were the Matuska's who passed away almost a year ago 
and when her daughter was telling me how her Mother got them,
I could see it all, the one she used a lot, the others she had,
and how she was a vibrant living woman working in NYC,
living in NJ, and how I only knew her at the end of her long life.
It came home in a real concrete personal way how
fleeting life is, how we are young and then a bit older,
then middle aged and, if God wills, make it to old age.
My Oma had collected a lot of nice things and when she got older,
she lived to 102, almost 103, she started giving everything away,
over many years.
My Grandma is doing the same thing now...she is in her mid-80s...
I always try to remember that.
That one day I will, I hope, be the one giving away my things.
I have them really only in trust for someone else to use
later.  And they are to be used to benefit others and for
the betterment of my family.
The greatest gifts of course of this evening, our first Slava
and our 3rd wedding anniversary, was the friendships and the deep
kindness of so many in our lives...including the ones present.
What a mercy of God!