Who Is Anastasia?
- New Castle, Indiana Zone 5, United States
- When I was 55, I decided to embrace the things I love and hold precious and dear, regardless of anyone else's thoughts and opinion. I am a visual folk artist who loves flowers - my own flowers, grown and/or painted by me. I love good, hearty, exotic foods, and I love to prepare them myself. I love the secret garden situated in my backyard, regardless of how overgrown and wild it gets. No longer able to afford a vacation, this will have to be it for the time being. In the winter months, I still enjoy it. Anyway, here I am sharing my art, favorite recipes, cocktails, gardening tips, and just my usual vents and bantering. After all, I'm old enough to say whatever the heck I want to now ...
June 28, 2009
Well, I guess these photos are a true indication that I need to break down, somehow, and get/use a real camera, and stop using my cell phone to take pics. But, this is what's going on in my garden this morning. Lots of container plants this year; tomatoes, peppers, petunias, nicotiana, etc.
I don't know what made me think of this ... perhaps, because it's a hot, summer Sunday morning. Thinking of church picnics; teas and socials in the steamy church basement with paper fans from the funeral homes ...
But, this is good punch - for any event on a hot summer's day.
Church Lady Ice Tea Punch Recipe
They served this amazing punch all of the time at our last church - it's a grown up punch, no sherbet or floaty things in this one! by HeidiRenee
3 liters ginger ale
1 cup iced tea mix powder
Pour dry cup of Iced Tea Mix into bottom of punch bowl.
Add 3 liters of Ginger Ale.
Add bag of ice.
Enjoy - it's really amazing and refreshing!
June 26, 2009
June 24, 2009
Today, we buried our friend, Connie Sue. None of us were prepared for this, none of us expected it, none of us believe it. Yet, we all know, this is what happens to all of us - the one thing that binds us all eternally - is death.
Funerals are odd occurrences. These are times when we run into old friends, forgotten pasts, and for a few moments during the midst of our sadness and grief, after the funeral, after the burial, we gather and break bread ... we enjoy time together - a few laughs to ease our pain - and, we break some more bread together.
Today, it was DATE PUDDING! One of our friends made it. A crazy rich taste, we were all giddy with side splitting laughter, indulging in the rich, rich, decadence of the pudding. Before we parted, Sharon asked, "Do you have this recipe?" No one really did, but I promised I would find one before day's end. And, I did - courtesy of Stop The Ride, a cool blog I stumbled across. This is Stephanie's Grandmother's marvelous recipe. Enjoy! Be kind to one another, remember and cherish your friends, and TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! You're (really) all you've got ... http://www.stoptheride.net/2007/10/amish-date-pudding.html
Grandma Erma's Upside Down Date Pudding
To 1 C chopped dates add 1 C boiling water and set aside.
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 TB butter
1 tsp. baking soda
1 C chopped nuts
1/2 C white sugar
Blend sugars, egg and butter. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in nuts and dates. Pour into 11x7 baking dish.
Top with this sauce:
1-1/2 C brown sugar
1 TB butter
1-1/2 C boiling water
Pour over top of flour mixture. Bake at 375 F for 40 minutes. When cool cut into squares. In a large bowl, layer cake with whipped cream (homemade is best) and bananas. Use a clear bowl to do your layering, if you can. It makes it pretty.
Personal Note: I'd top the whole thing with REAL whipped cream ...
June 22, 2009
Back to the rhubarb pie. We were celebrating my uncle’s birthday when Aunt Jeanne announced that we should save room for desert because she had made birthday pie. By the gleam in her eyes, I knew there was something special about this pie. I’m not a rhubarb fan; but I decided to see what the hullabaloo was all about. We all waited anxiously in the backyard while we knew she was inside cutting her pie into 9 perfect slices. But, first, she brought it out to present to us, and with pride, she announced she had reached her pie-making summit, and had her perfect crust! Served with vanilla ice cream, there was silence in the garden as the pie was sampled, and Jeanne waited for the results. Suddenly, there was a burst of jubilee as my uncle led the cheer, “Hip, Hip Hooray, Hip, Hip, Hooray, Hip, Hip, Rhubarb!”
I did not eat a piece of pie that night, and now I’m sorry. Afterwards, I left to ponder what I don’t like about rhubarb. Really, there’s no reason. I used to love it. What had rhubarb ever done to me? Driving down the road, I crossed a railroad track, and a big clump of it sat there staring at me as if I were a criminal. I began to think about rhubarb, and what its purpose was here on earth, besides one great pie I missed out on.
A perennial vegetable from the buckwheat family, I learned rhubarb is native to China and Tibet, and is a high source of Vitamin C. There are dozens of varieties, and it is eaten raw by people in Iraq and Turkey. Wild, European Rhubarb is used for wrapping cheese and pigs love its rhizomes. Himalayan Rhubarb can grow to 7’ tall and has beautiful blossoms.
Rhubarb can be made into a laxative tea, homemade paper, wine, hair coloring, and countless baked goods. It can remove burns on pots and pans. I found the following recipe, and since rhubarb can be frozen, it would make a wonderful dish any time of the year. The salsa can be used to accompany a variety of dishes.
Glazed Roast Lamb with Rhubarb Salsa
1 Leg of lamb (4-6 lbs) Boned and rolled 3 Tbsp Honey 1 tsp Garlic salt 1/4 tsp Ground pepper 2 tsp Red wine vinegar
1 C Chopped onions 2/3 C Dark or golden raisins 1/2 C Honey 2 Tbsp Red wine vinegar 4 tsp Chopped Jalapeno pepper 2 Cloves garlic, minced 1/2 tsp Ground cardamom 6 C Fresh or frozen sliced Rhubarb (1-1/2 lbs)
LAMB: Combine the 3 tablespoons honey, garlic salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons vinegar. Place meat on rack in roasting pan; brush with glaze mixture. Roast in 325 degree oven for two to four hours or until desired doneness (150 degrees for medium rare or 160 degrees for medium), brushing occasionally with glaze mixture.
Salsa: In a large saucepan, combine the onions, raisins, honey, vinegar, jalapeno pepper, garlic, and cardamom. Stir in rhubarb. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 min., stirring as little as possible. Uncover and simmer for 5 min. to reduce the liquid a bit. Stir only if necessary to prevent scorching. Set aside. Serve at room temperature as accompaniment to sliced roast lamb. The recipe is from: http://food.sulekha.com
Next time, I won’t decline a slice of that pie.
June 17, 2009
June 13, 2009
2 cups self-raising flour
2/3 cup caster sugar
¾ cup milk
4 Tablespoons (or 60g) butter, melted
1 egg, beaten lightly
3/4 C white chocolate chips
1/2 C fresh raspberries (blueberries, blackberries, etc.)
White Chocolate Glaze*
Sift flour and sugar into bowl. Quickly stir in milk, butter and egg until
almost combined. Gently fold in the white chocolate and raspberries or
until just combined.
Spoon mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until
cooked when tested with skewer.
Serve muffins warm or cooled. Drizzle with white chocolate glaze.
4 ounces chopped white chocolate
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Microwave chopped white chocolate and whipping cream at HIGH in a 2-cup glass measuring cup 30 seconds to 1 minute or until melted, stirring twice. Whisk in butter until blended, and spoon immediately over muffins.
June 8, 2009
June 3, 2009
Dogs: Olive oil is an excellent skin/hair treatment for our pets. It is particularly soothing and comforting for dogs with itchy skin conditions, and it makes their coat luxurious! Also, add a teaspoon to their supper dishes (1/2 teaspoon for small dogs), and they will reap the same benefits as we do. I don't know how cats react to olive oil, but to me - it's the fruit of the earth.
8 ears corn
Preheat grill to medium. Peel back the husks of the corn without removing them. Remove the silks and recover the corn with the husk. Soak in large bowl of cold water for 30 minutes. Remove corn from water and shake off excess. Place the corn on the grill, close the cover and grill for 15 to 20 minutes. Unwrap corn and brush with the garlic butter. Sprinkle with the cotija cheese and squeeze with lime. Sprinkle with chopped chives, to garnish.