Elbow Deep in Baking

Yea, almost Happy New Year!  Happy to move beyond the Christmas Baking frenzy although I do love what I’ve been baking.  That’s the problem, I do love it!

A new recipe this year was a Truffles one that I saw in the 100 Best of Saveur.  Of course it’s Alice Medrich – one of my favorite chocolate bakers.  She calls them House Truffles:

1 Lb. Covature pistoles (she uses semi sweet morsels)

1 stick + 2 Tbs. melted unsalted butter

1/8th. tsp. salt

2 egg yolks at room temperature

1/2 C. boiling water

cocoa powder for dusting

Line an 8×8 pan with foil.  Melt the chocolate, butter and salt in  the food processsor for 1-2 minutes, stir till smooth. Let cool a bit, transfer to food processor.  Whisk yolks in a bowl and slowly whisk in the hot water….add to the processor slowly while running.  Spread evenly in the pan, chill for a few hours.  Sift some cocoa on a paper sheet, invert chocolate onto it and dust with some more, cut in blocks.   That’s it.  Smooth, creamy and waaaaay better than those round things.

truffles

This year I made Christmas Stollens without the Jersey Girl fake green and red stuff (those dried christmas fruits in a container).  I love them, not the taste but the colors so it was tough not using them.  I cut up tons of dates, almonds, dried apricots, dried cherries, etc.

Many, many moons ago, back when our neighborhood actually spoke to each other…..we have been here 35 years and seen a 100% turnover many times and for some reason no one is very social anymore.  Very sad, very isolated group, unusual I think.  I’m thinking the computer is the socialization factor now.

Anyway…I always made these and then took them around to each of our neighbors late Christmas Eve afternoon so they would be able to have them as toast on Christmas morning or my favorite….french toast.  Alas, this year, I went to my new neighbor of 6 or so years across the street – a perfect reason to meet him and say Hi (can you imagine not even saying Hi or acknowledging someone that long – he won’t make eye contact)….true enough, no surprise here, he wouldn’t answer his door!  Oh well, his loss.  I delivered the rest randomly and then came home to eat a big, fat piece of ours with a nice hot cup of tea.  It was awesome.  I will always make these, every Christmas and probably always try and deliver them…..it’s not like I have cooties.

stollens

stollens2

Now that it is the end of the year I’m closing out my husbands books for the boat business.  It’s probably my least favorite thing to do…..lots of numbers, spread sheets, paperwork, files, icky stuff.  All those little pieces have to match….yiiikes.  And, I don’t do it on the computer as I have to constantly cross check information as I go and scrolling back and forth is a nightmare for me.  I can usually pick out the number I need from the masses much easier if it’s all in front of me.  I like math and I particulaily like getting it right.  Odd I know but it beats cleaning the house or any of those other mundane things we all do.

The math thing is probably why I like weaving so much.  It’s all about getting the numbers right or the end product will come out wonky if not aligned.  So, in between the paperwork I’ve been doing some weaving.

silk noil

This is a bamboo warp that I’ve had on for ages.  I’ve actually woven quite a few things off this warp already and decided to use some of this blue silk noil that has been on my shelf for years, like 25 at least.  It’s been sun bleached from living on various shelves in my studio both here in this house and in the barn apartment while we lived up there (for 22 years).  It’s kind of cool, variegated.  This photo does not show the actual color – it’s much deeper, closer to the blue in the warp.  It’s fun.  I’m not sure what this is going to be…..I’m tempted to just keep weaving until there is nothing left and then cut it up into whatever.  It’s very soothing to just throw the shuttle and not have to think about it.  This warp is on my computerized loom so the program is already in, all I do if using one color weft is tap the compressor and throw the shuttle.  It’s very high tech.  These looms are perfect for sampling warps for companies; if I only had a sampling contract I’d be set!  But, then I might not have the time to do all the other things I love to do.  It’s a problem.

Meanwhile.  Happy New Year!  Read something amazing…….I’m reading Catherine The Great by Robert K. Massie, can’t recommend it enough!  I’m also reading The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri – a detective novel taking place in Sicily, pretty cool book with lots more in the wings.  I just finished In the Shadows of the Morning by Philip Caputo; Essays on Wild Lands, Wild Waters and a Few Untamed People.  Very interesting; completely grabbed me, especially the story on Alaska.  Philip Caputo is perhaps best known for A Rumor of War, about Viet Nam.  He is one of my favorite writers.

So, it’s crappy out today…..reading on the agenda.  ciao

Pea Soup & Fast Bread

I keep seeing baked spiral hams all over the place.  Not something we ever have; probably because a certain family member (Miss Ruth to be exact) totally freaks at the thought of anything ham.  She was traumatized as a younger person when we went to a dinner party for Christmas and they served a tiny, little piggy with an apple in it’s mouth.  It was a bad scene.  We never really ate ham again, she because of the obvious, me because when I think ham I can see Ruth’s huge eyes with those big, crocodile tears streaming down her face.  The look of hurt and sadness did it for me.  Who would know?  We were guests, had no idea what was happening for the Menu.  It was a large crowd.  So, that’s my ham story.

I was lured in though recently and I thought what the heck, it’s only Paul and I here.  It was fine straight up as a warmed ham with homemade baked beans.  Then it was fine as sandwiches forever.  Then it became Mac & Cheese w/Ham; eggs & ham frittata, it went on and one…..one tiny 1/4 ham.  Finally I figured since I was eating the “forbidden fruit” I may as well try and make a pea soup.

Pea Soup is my trauma in life.  The source is not as distinct as Ruth’s suffice to say I hate it and have always thought it was beyond disgusting, even the smell.  Before I even had time to think about it I bought the dried yellow split peas, followed the bags directions – pretty simple, onions, carrots, dried peas, water…….I added the ham bone (still lots of meat on it) then added chicken stock as it kept reducing.  The ham bone (stop reading NOW Ruth) had a lot of marrow I suppose as the soup kept getting thicker….really nice.  We had that for about 4 lunches and a few dinners.  It surprised me how yummy it was.  The smell was familiar but I talked myself out of it.  Funny how that works.

This morning retired what you see to the freezer.  We are about done on that one and today, on tap, making a Haddock & Salmon Chowder so enough is enough.  Yesterday I made the bread to go with it.  I’ve posted this bread before; it’s ever changing.  Seriously if you have always wanted to make bread but don’t want to deal with the kneading and what not, this is the way to go.

Around 9 a.m. decided I wanted to make this as I noticed we had nothing to eat with the soup.  Mixed it up, big whoop – all of about 5 minutes max.  Put it in the buttered loaf tin, covered with a damp cloth.  Took doggie for the walk, gone an hour.  When I came home turned the oven on 350, popped it in and baked for 45 minutes.  When it came out of the oven gave it a once over with a stick of butter to moisten the top while still hot.  Waited 10 minutes for it to cool a bit and turned out on a wooden board to cool.  That’s it.  Fabulous, fast, easy bread.  The cool part is you can put anything you want in it – just do the basic part then keep adding cool stuff.

pea soup

Heidi Swanson’s Easy Little Bread Recipe w/my additions which change frequently

This is double the recipe as I make one long loaf in this funny extra long bread pan.  Otherwise use to normal pans.  Butter or oil the pans in prep.  Oven on 350.

2.5 C. Warm water

4 Tsp. yeast

2 Tbs. Agave or Honey

2 C. White Flour

2 C. Whole Wheat Flour (I use just whole wheat – 4 C.)

2 C. Oats (I’m looking for an alternative to this as oats bother my stomach and I don’t like the appearance in the bread (see those white things?)

3 tsp. salt

Sprinkle yeast on warm water, add hone and let sit while you gather the rest of the things.

In a large bowl add your flours and salt.  This is when I add usually at least 1/2 C. chopped walnuts, this time I added a handful of black sesame seeds and a handful of poppy seeds and a small handful of carmalized sliced almonds.  Lots of stuff in that bowl.

Make a well in the center, add your liquids, blend well with the spoon and then pour into the bread pan.  It won’t pour – it will kind of be like soft cookie dough.

Cover with the damp cloth and go for a walk or let it rise an hour or longer if you want – I’ve let it go for 3 hrs. before.

Great bread…..I’m thinking coconut next time, rice something instead of oats?  I need an easier grain, not another flour.

Christmas is fast approaching.  Paul and I are working on the spirit….I had a glass of warm Egg Nog with rum in it last night (per my friend Artie)…..magic, I felt so much better so I had another.  Paul had this weird concoction of equal parts tequila, orange pelligrino spritzer stuff and plain soda water.  It was too alcoholic for me so he drank both….duh, we were asleep by 7 and up reading at 2 a.m.  But, it was o.k.

Today we’re going to a Christmas singing concert with various Christmas story readings.  I think it will be great.  Some of my favorite people are singing in it so that is always nice to see and hear.

Making starters for my Stollen gift giving tomorrow.  I used to make them for the entire neighborhood but somehow it just faded as the years went by and the neighbors changed.  As I have not met one of my neighbors, he’s new…..he’s been here what 5 years or so and I’ve never met him.  What’s that about?????   Tomorrow I’ll be delivering him a Stollen; first person on my list!  These things are awesome as french toast on Christmas morning.  I’ll take pictures.

Fig Cookies

I’ve been trying so hard to not bake since my little mini ginger bread men debacle.  I ate all of them.  No, just kidding but quite a bit.  I finally got rid of them though – I sent two boxes out, one to my sister in Korea and one to Ruth in New Jersey.  Thank goodness.  Dangerous food.

I saw this “trend” cookie recipe in I don’t know what – perhaps Food & Wine.  Fig Bars with Red Wine & Anise, sounded good.

fig cookies

Actually…..tasted good, a ton of work to make the insides, first purchasing – went to a ton of stores and ended up paying more at the Health Food Store.  You just chop up 10 oz.dried figs, add 3/4 C. red wine, 1/3 C. sugar some lemon zest and anise seeds, cook it down a bit, fini.

The dough was a sweet dough.  Impossible to roll the stuff up in and have it look like a fig newton.  I gave up fast.  There are certain things I’ll try to make exact, this wasn’t one of them.  These taste really good but I think I’ll buy them or just not eat them.  They took too long.  I know you can buy that fig stuff in glass jars in the baking section…..do that and put it in a thumbprint cookie and you’ve got it – a whole lot easier.

We went out driving around looking at Christmas lights last night.  We were looking for cheer but I don’t think our heads were in the right space cause the cheer didn’t really happen we just discussed how old we felt and bemoaned the fact that we have no kids at home or around anymore for this holiday.  It’s not so much fun, in fact, it’s not fun at all.  But, all is not lost, I booked us a beautiful room up in Rockport, on the ocean, for Christmas day and night.  We’re sure there is going to be a really nice, fun bar with lots of festivities and cheery things going on that night.  I’ve contacted some like minded friends nearby and hope they will be there.

We are sort of stuck here in Maine for a bit.  Paul’s customers are demanding projects get done so he’s been working 7 days a week for at least 2 months now.  Guess what?  They all just went away for the holidays and said ” see you next year and here’s some more work I want you to do”. How fast can you get this done?  What the heck?  What do we look like, chopped meat?  Holidays, bah humbug.

Weaving & Biscuits

Sunday was cold, snowing, disgusting outside….slush, gray.  Inside: episode watching of Prison Break (terribly hooked on this show) and weaving in between tension rests.  The show is that exciting; suspenseful.

I finished the two baby girl blankets I’ve been weaving, hemmed them, washed and dried.  They are 23″ wide x 53″ and another same width but 61″ wide.  Other than swaddling a new baby they would be fabulous nursing shawls…..one big cozy smooth scarf!

woven pinks2

woven pinks

Now, on to the food of the matter.

Biscuits….I was tooling through this months Saveur Magazine and lo and behold there was Jeremy Sewall.  Jeremy is the brother of Amanda, one of my first employees.  Actually, Amanda was the first along with Nancy Burleigh…two firsts.  Amanda was a hot ticket, great cook, little hippie dippie chick.  I loved her.  Well, her brother was a chef down in Boston somewhere planning on opening a fancy smancy restaurant, lining up “Investors” (who does that? guys).  He did with some bizarre amount of money people.  I guess that’s how to do it these days but the financial responsibilities would kill me.  I’m just not cut out for that.  Anyway, theres Jeremy with a big old plate of biscuits – cripes, they are huge, look like giant scones.  I made them (of course) following his recipe.

honey glaze

His recipe as compared to my recipe (which is really Bernard Clayton’s)

His bake is at 400 for 30 minutes/mine, 500 for 10 minutes

5 C. flour/4 C. flour

1 Tbs. salt/2 tsp. salt

5 Tbs. sugar/2 Tbs. sugar

1 Tbs. baking powder/1 Tbs. baking powder

10 Tbs. butter/11 Tbs. butter

1 & 3/4 C. buttermilk/2.5 C. buttermilk

The difference?  His biscuits looked great, tasted kind of o.k. but heavy as hell.  We found we could eat them warmed up, nice and flakey but they laid like lead in our stomachs.  The only serious difference is less sugar and more milk in mine and one cup less flour.

His recipe calls for grating the butter – cool idea.  You’d probably put it through the shredder on the quisinart otherwise it would start to melt as it did with my hand grating it.

What he does, that I just loved is melt 6 Tbs. butter, 2 Tbs. honey together and then 10 minutes before done, pull them out brush them with the mixture and continue baking for 10 minutes.

Another reason for the density?  Jeremy’s recipe calls for 6 biscuits; I made 8 but if it were my own, I would make many more – these are too big for one person.

Anyway, not to dish Jeremy, he’s an awesome cook, nice guy too.  I wish him well at his Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston.

Another food to mention in this magazine: a blueberry pie milkshake?  no kidding, vanilla ice cream and a slice of pie (crust & all) in the blender.  Doesn’t work for me.  I love a crispy crust.

Dreaming of turquoise waters………all our pets have that deer in the headlights look about them……is she leaving us?  I’m so darn attached to them all.  Even the new kitty is stalking me.

 

Christmas Baking

Sort of.  As I was scrolling through my moisturizer catalog the other day….what? a recipe for brownies in a make-up catalog?  It completely amazes me how everybody has to get in the “act” with just about everything.  I don’t see what this has to do with a cosmetic company – kinda scary, actually.  But, there was recipe, looked good; I love olive oil use instead of butter and since I can’t eat brownies because the butter/sugar/chocolate combo puts me into the sick as a dog zone within minutes I usually don’t make them or I put them in the freezer for Paul in daily bites packages.  But these…..I haven’t tasted better and they are easy and for some reason don’t make me sick.  The only change is no butter, more chocolate perhaps, less sugar?

brownies

DHC/Brownies

Preheat oven to 350.  Oil a 8×8″ pan

5 oz. dark chocolate  (I only use a 65-75% cocobutter chocolate, same one for glazing cakes, etc.) melted

1/2 C. white sugar

1/2 C. brown sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 C. Olive oil

1/3 C. whole wheat flour (my change)

2/3 C. white flour

1/2 C. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (Drost is nice)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 C. chopped walnuts or more

Mix the wet, add your dry, bake 1/2 hour.  fini

They really are delicious.  I wish I had used peppermint oil instead of vanilla and drizzled peppermint glaze on them but then I would eat some so probably not a good idea.  I just put them in the freezer to get rid of them.

Yesterday I was expecting to go to a party in the evening so I made a pile of tiny cookies to take.  Zillions of little men.  I made a light glaze to brush them with when they came out of the oven then later on added the decoration.  They are so tiny I didn’t want to clutter them up.  So yummy, one little man = just 1/10th. of a real cookie, yes?  These I had to package up quickly as they were soo soooo nice with tea!  We get to the party…..it’s outside they light a tree…..it moves inside for refreshments…..Paul heads for the car.  That was enough socialization for him – all 15 minutes of it – cookies went into the freezer when we got home.  You may wonder?  I have 4 freezers downstairs and one kitchen one upstairs plus the fall back of the apartment freezer.  Any food shortage out there at anytime, come here, we’re stocked.  Some people collect shoes.

gingerbread men

In between fat makings Luna and I walk the beach these days.  Low tide has been at a good time so off we go…… She absolutely loves going and becomes a puppy again for the whole hour.  It’s real nice!

winterwalk

I love the rock pools.  She flies along, in and out of the water with a look of supreme happiness.  Luna is a smiley dog all the time anyway but this is an extra boost.  I’ve never been a beach walker as usually there are far too many people here in Vacationland but during these months, we have it all to ourselves.  It couldn’t be prettier.

Some other productive happenings around here when I’m not baking:

I’m finally weaving those baby blankets for Ruth’s friends infants ….. both girls.

rose:pink weaving

And, some mitts.  This was a case of I ordered some yarn, apparently it was backordered for a long time then it arrived – I don’t even remember ordering it but I get those impulse moments when I see some stuff and it happens!  What to do with two skeins of a fairly thick yarn??? I went onto ravelry (I love this site, a knitting & weaving site) put in the yarn to see what others are making with the same and came up with some mitts.  We like mitts; each one takes a few episodes of whatever is on tv that night – These are my Prison Break mitts.  My sons girlfriend, Allie, told me I’d love it, good knitting show – yiiiikes, I love it, great knitting show as was The Palace and Damages.

mitts

So, fingerless mitts.  They are kind of heavy and fit my husband but I like them too, warm and roomy with lots of cuff action.

 

 

Oat Cakes

Just to let you know…..those Oat Cakes need to be warmed before you eat them otherwise they are ROCKS.  But, once warmed a bit, nice and crumbly.  I have been having one as my breakfast these days; keeps you full for quite a while.

I’ve been knitting like crazy as Paul has been finding all sorts of movies on that darn NetFlix at night.  He comes in from work around 4:30 now and is usually starving so he eats my leftover half sandwich from lunch which I usually have around 2:00.  He eats some snacks, beer, then says when is dinner…..it’s 5:00 by this point.  So, I make dinner and if we don’t watch a movie he’s gone and asleep sometimes before 7 p.m.   He has such a high metabolism (yes, I do hate him for that, mine is at a dead stop).  The cold really saps his energy.  The barn he’s working in is semi heated but he’s so intense in his work I think he probably holds his breath all day in concentration so when he stops…..he stops!  But, anyhow, dinner has been pretty early with a movie afterwards.  The funny thing is when the movie is over, we’re tired, head up to bed and find out instead of it being the middle of the night or late or whatever…it’s 7:30.  Again, pathetic.

The movie last night was the new Treasure Island.  Kind of fun, in two parts so maybe it’s a tv thing – not sure.  As Paul has read the book about nine zillion times he was narrating it the whole time which is something he and our daughter Ruth do with the old favorites (TRUE GRIT) so tiresome.  He should have watched this with her then they could dispute the various dialog situations.  But this movie brought me such a favorite memory that I had forgotten about.

The Black Spot!  When Jesse was little we read him a really old hard cover Treasure Island book that was probably Paul’s and maybe someone before him….great, beautiful book.  Every night we would read him a few pages, he loved it and hung on every single word – hated going to bed, wanted more.  Well, when we got to the Black Spot part he was terrified.  So, we made our own black spot together on a piece of paper so he could see that was all it was, just a drawing.  Then we got him his own Treasure Island Map with the X.  Oh my god, he carried that map and spot for what I thought was years.  He dreamed about finding that Island all the time.  Kind of like when I played CandyLand with my siblings I thought I could taste the candy.  One of Jesse’s jobs in his teens before he went to college was as crew on a large sailboat (I think he was still hopeful of Treasure Island being out there).  It’s amazing the impact of a wonderful book.  Anyway, back to the movie – it’s good, kind of boring for me, hard to hear as they all have British accents and speak fast (aka I listened to alot of Led Zeppelin when I was younger, actually still do)  but you know who was glued to the TV.

I get a lot of knitting done…..some scarfs which double as a head wrap and last night one whole mitten.  We need another good movie suggestion so I can make the match to the mitten.  Any ideas?

hat:scarfs

These scarfs/hats are cool to knit as you weigh the yarn,  just start with four stitches, add a stitch every 4th row until you get halfway to the weight then decrease a stitch every 4th row until you have 4 stitches.  On the blue one, a nice Amy Butler cotton/wool I used two 50 gram balls so no weighing just knit till I ran out and then started another ball and decreased till I ran out.  The best part of these is if you wear it as a head scarf the pointed part covers the crown of your head and then wraps around a few times so it’s warm.  As a neck scarf it also wraps a few times and looks cabled.  It’s 66″ end to end – great movie watching activity.  The original pattern says to knit the whole way but I prefer to knit and purl.  I think it makes a more polished piece.

Have a lovely day, yet another gray one here (gee, what a surprise).

Party = Baking

Just had to!  We had a small guy dinner party last night.  Paul bought himself a new book about old coastal schooners and as I’m a tad tired of hearing about boats I decided to invite some of his friends over for dinner so they could “talk boats”.  Poor guy, talking boats with me is really tough for him – you know when you talk with someone and they get that glazed eye look?  That’s me, forget it, don’t waste your breath.  Well, anyhow, I wanted to try a recipe I saw yesterday in the WSJ for a cheese stick.  It’s a Low country thing, called Benne Sticks; Benne is what they call Sesame Seeds in the South.  We love  Sesame Seeds.

benne sticks

benne sticks 2

Really good, easy to make and fabuloso.  Trust me!  Here’s the recipe:  P.S. the paper lies, it makes 45 which is a tad less than 4 dozen, not 12 dozen as they said.

1.1/4 C. sifted flour

1/4 C. sesame seeds

2 Tbs. parmesan

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne

3 Tbs. cold unsalted butter

3 Tbs. cold lard (I had to use criso which they said DO NOT USE)

1/4 C. Ice water

Preheat oven to 400.

Put all the dry in a bowl, cut in the lard & butter with your fingers or knives if your happier with that idea then use a fork to blend in the water.  Put out on board and quickly form into a pastry type of ball, flattened top.  refrigerate at least 1/2 hour.  Cut in half and roll out – I rolled it to about 3 ” wide and then about 12 inches long, cut my strips with a bench cutter as my knife was not really sharp enough.  The recipe wants you to roll it 1/8″ thick.  I thought that was a tad thin, this was 3/8ths. I think.

That’s it, bake for about 10 minutes till slightly browned.    Warm just out of the oven – heavenly.

The rest of the meal, in case your curious…..A friend, whose husband could not come, brought a Chipolte Sweet Potato Soup – whew, spicy.   While they were eating that I hot pan sautéed Romaine and had a homemade caesar dressing to pour over it with the parm as it came out of the pan.  In another huge cast iron skillet I had Stew bits of Swordfish & Salmon searing, just salt, pepper and lemon olive oil.  While at the fish market they were selling Jumpin Jay’s Wasabi Aioli so I got that to go with the fish.  Nice color, even nicer flavor, creamy.  Those stew bits are a good deal.  They are about half the price of the full filet; they are just the cuts leftover from someone elses choice or whatever.  I know the fish lady really well (she used to come to my cafe so now I take her cookies) so she always goes through it and pulls out the best.  Nice.

When I went to California two months ago I took some granola type bars that I believe I posted here.  The recipe was from The Standard Bakery in Portland, Maine.  As I am addicted to them now my daughter in law is and wants the recipe.  This morning as I was cruising through my books thinking it was a Heidi Swanson recipe (which it is not) I bumped across this Oak Cake recipe.  Her talk starts with “these are in many bakeries in San Fransisco”.  I’ve never seen them and I usually have my antenna up for oats.  Well, what the hey?  I made them.

oat cakes

I revised them quite a bit to suit my tastes.  So, I’ll give you a combo recipe.

3 C. Oats

1 C. Whole Wheat Flour

1 C. White Flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1.5 tsp. sea salt

1/4 C. flax meal

1 C. chopped walnuts

1/2 C. sweet roasted sliced almonds (something I get from Trader Joes for just stuff like this)

1/4 C. poppy seeds

Mix all this together in a bowl.

Melt together (microwave is easy at 1 minute or so):

1/3 C. coconut oil

3/4 C. maple Syrup

3 oz. unsalted butter

1/2 C. sugar

Beat 2 Eggs together, add to the dry, add the wet, warm, sweet stuff and mix lightly,  scoop into muffin tin.  Bake for about 1/2 hour at 350.

These are really nice.  Next time I’ll add a tablespoon or two of almond butter and perhaps pastry flour instead of the white to lessen the heaviness.  But, they are a nice alternative to an energy bar, easy to put in a bag and pull out of my purse later if I’m gone for a while and McDonalds starts looking good.  I hate that when that happens!

This morning we went for our weekly “family walk”.  Yup. Got the old boy out for some fresh air.  As low tide was approaching we went to the beach with Luna and did a nice walk.  That stroll kind of reminds me of the old days of a promenade – everybody is in slow motion, just taking the day in, keeping track of their dogs and yes, picking up the poop.  It’s lovely down there.  These guys were out Paddleboarding…..walking around on the water and occasionally catching a wave.

paddle board

 

Lovely day ahead……we’ll go find our “peanuts tree” in the back yard (any old scrappy thing that needs to be thinned out)…34 years so far and we still have loads of stuff out there.  Paul was feeling festive this morning and suggested we put some lights on the porch (where the tree will be on top of the table).  I might even bring up some Nutcrackers.  We know we’re heading south soon so we’re making the best of this season.  And, I’m off to continue threading the loom.

Lovely day.