Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"THE SWEATER"

Every year I have made a sweater for a family member using the wool from my brother's farm I always  thought this would be a great thing to have as a keepsake.My sister-in-law is a spinner and probably the closest person to Tasha Tudor that I know. This being year #4 they are starting to get the whole idea of what I'm doing and my youngest actually chose a pattern for her sweater. In previous years I just made a simple sweater that I thought I could handle.

THIS IS the pattern that she choose. After reading the instructions for 3 days,I hear you chuckling out there, I finally felt confident enough to give it a try. The rectangle above shows the complete pattern that is repeated on the front and back of the sweater.

                                                               Here you see the back. Tadah!



                                                                   and this would be the front


It was quite the learning experience and mistakes were made, you think? I'm glad I pushed the envelope and got it done.Actually I think the hardest part was the blocking. I need to work on that......
.but, all in all it was a successful journey................said the Hobbit

Friday, December 27, 2013

IT'S BITTYFUL FRIDAY!

                                    I LIKE A LITTLE QUIET TIME AROUND THE HOLIDAYS!
                                                   THIS IS A GOOD SPOT.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

it's here it's here!!!! It's CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!!

 Finally ........we spent the weekend doing those last minutes chores . One last visit to the farmer's market.So many things to choose from but, I have a list and I must stick to it.

Do I need anything to brighten my home?











 Oh .......one can always use a little more color at Christmas time........right?

Oh my !! Looks like Santa has left the room and is ready to visit all good little boys and girls.I'd better get home because........













THE REASON FOR THE SEASON IS HERE...............
                                  MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!! ...............said the hobbit

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A party for two........sometimes it's a good idea.

I know the Holidays are meant to be spent with lots of family, music and hoopla......but,sometimes you need to make a little special time for your first mate.My husband and I have a number of anniversary under our belt, and let me tell you girl, it never hurts to make your partner in crime feel a little special.You know how it goes..........do unto others as you would have them do to you. So if you're needing a little special attention the quickest way to get it is to give it.

Something new in my culinary skills this year is a free form vegetable pie. I haven't quite found the perfect blend yet but,I think it had plenty of eye appeal and I'm fascinated with the concept. I know this isn't a new idea.........potato sandwiches were the rage in the 30's but it sometimes takes me awhile to catch on. This one had the fancy name of RED POTATO AND APPLE GALETTE  so how could I pass it up? Flour, 1 and 1/4 cup, butter,1 stick ,salt and pepper ,and ice water 5 to six Tablespoons were the ingredients for the pastry. I couldn't help but add a sprinkling of thyme to the mix.Chill in the fridge till ready to use.While waiting THINLY slice.

1 MED RED POTATO  wash don't peel
1 GRANNY SMITH APPLE  cored not peeled

Roll out your dough to a 12 inch circle. ( we like our crust thin and flaky so I have to say I had enough for 2 pies)
1/ 2 CUP CREME FRAICHE spread this on your  just rolled crust within 1 or 2 inches from the a
edge. then sprinkle
1/4 CUP GRATED PECORINO
and alternate the potatoes and apples, being as creative as you like or, just heap it in a mound and spread it evenly over the cheese.
Bake at 450 in the lower third of your oven for 20 -25 min.

While waiting for the masterpiece to be ready we helped ourselves to cheese and crackers and a little pumpkin bread. Bloody Mary's rounded out the meal and gave us the time we needed to breathe and plan our attack on the holiday to-do list.We clinked our glasses and patted each other on the back for handling yet another holiday frenzy. Everyone at the party had a great time and loved the galette. Sometimes you just have to treat each other like visiting royalty. I love a party for two...................said the Hobbit

Sunday, December 22, 2013

It's almost here........Are you ready?

Are you cooking like  crazy right now........I know Christmas/comfort. It's a perfect match,isn't it? This should be such a fun time of year,but, somehow I make an almost impossible list than even Santa can't handle.While trying to decide what to make for the holidays I scan to see what my blogging friends are doing and by the time I've spent an hour or two oowing and ahhing over all their plans I'm just about ready to have a good cry.
Really....am I the only person out here who can't make 13 different cookies and 5 specialty candies for my family to enjoy?


But then I look out my window at the newly fallen snow and see my neighbors house looking like the perfect Christmas card, my heart melts and my blood pressure drops a few notches and I am reminded that I just have to be me.Although I love a good cookie I have to say that my true comfort food is ........
                                                                   
                                                                   SOUP........I think there is nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of soup.This week I made RED LENTIL WITH LEMON.When life gets a little stressful, this soup can really lift your spirits.There are many variations to this recipe,however I think this comes under the heading of "if it ain't broke,don't fix it" simplicity is an important thing to remember during the holidays.
Gather these ingredients:

4TBLS EVOO  
2 LARGE ONIONS CHOPPED
4 GARLIC CLOVES MINCED
2 TBLS TOMATO PASTE
2 TSP GROUND CUMIN
1/2 TSP KOSHER SALT
PINCH OF CAYENNE
2 QUARTS VEGGIE BROTH.........OR CHICKEN
2 CUPS RED LENTILS
2 LARGE CARROTS  PEELED AND DICED
JUICE OF 1 LEMON
1/3 CUP CHOPPED FRESH CILANTRO

Saute onions and garlic in Olive Oil till just tender
Stir in tomato paste,cumin,cayenne salt and pepper and continue to stir till  you have that wonderful aroma of onions and spice rising up from the pot.  Oh yeah ...... now you're cooking.Add your broth,lentils and diced carrots.Bring to a boil then slowly simmer till tender. 20 to 30 minutes.At this stage I use my emulsion blender to puree the soup.Stir in lemon juice and chopped cilantro and enjoy!! After consuming 1 or 2 bowls of this soup you should be ready to get back to your holiday list and probably check everything as "done"
Hmmm,have you thought of having it for breakfast?..........said the Hobbit


























Friday, December 20, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Moving right along to Christmas

 As you know .....daughter #1 took the first shift in holiday prep.......Part deux as we like to say, belongs to Sarah.
With Thanksgiving behind us, she quickly got her tree up and decorated as was ready for her annual Christmas card writing party.
We gathered our cards and stamps and quickly got to the task of writing those little notes to friends and family that we miss and haven't seen as often as we would like.Her party gives us just the right push we all need to get the job done.



Her wall was marked with the mantra of the day..........We shouldn't take things too seriously.

A table had been set to make it all seem like a fun time. She managed to find this coffee urn that reminded everyone of the good old days when time were less hectic. Isn't it a beauty?

When all was done there was time for chatting and tales of the wonderful events that had come to pass in 2013.......Then off we went to get a little Christmas shopping done and of course, get those cards and notes off to the post office. At least that was the plan,as soon as we had one more serving of that delicious breakfast casserole she had prepared.............said the Hobbit

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Just catching up!!The Holiday's

Ok , making the slow comeback, so you will have to bear with me while I post old news.


 See these two young ladies? They are all about the Holidays.They are all about the holidays.


So, I have to start at Thanksgiving.Things were still a little hectic around here and Thanksgiving day was spent in a restaurant.However, Renee,on the left, made sure  we all got together for a Day After Thanksgiving Day . Seems it is known as the DATD party.














New to the family gathering was Harper and she spread joy and giggles all around.Can't beat that.
Of course Renee's boys wanted to share in the love,so, they gave grampy lots of attention.A good time was had by all and we are off and running with the season.Soon to come ........getting ready for Christmas. I know .........only a few days left.............I promise to catch up on my news as quickly as possible. Hard to teach an old dog new tricks........said the Hobbit

Friday, December 6, 2013

I'M MAKING A COMEBACK!

All is well.............just got so crazy busy . Had to put something on hold and it turned out to be the blog. Planning on getting back to business. Talk to you soon.............said the Hobbit

Friday, August 2, 2013

IT'S BITTYFUL FRIDAY

I'M STILL THE FAVORITE.......................SAID THE HOBBIT!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

What did I learn this week

This year I have been making an effort to learn something new every week and try to stay out that rut that we all seem to slip into every now and again. Well maybe not you, but, there are times when I find myself doing pretty much the same thing on a most regular basis.
So, as I  sat on my front porch watching the world go by ,I picked up my favorite magazine
 MARY JANE FARMS  knowing that I would be sure to find a piece of knowledge that would be most useful to me.Nothing complicated,just some useful bit of information.
Of course there was much to learn but, here is what made me stop in my tracks. Just a small article that asked the question "HOW OLD IS THAT APPLE?" I was introduced to Kristen Michaelis of
FOOD RENAGADE she helps guide people  back to real food by educating them on the handling and processing that our market foods my have endured. When we started eating we had one new food introduced at a time...........I think it's best to re educate ourselves the same way. She has brought it to my attention that most apples at the market are at least 1 year old.They are picked before fully ripe ....sprayed with a chemical preservative, waxed , boxed, and refrigerated till they are called upon to make their appearance at the local grocers.Needless to say the much sought after antioxidants that we are hoping to ingest are long gone by the time we purchase the lovely fruit. What to do? Find a local farm that will let you pick your own. Enjoy the fruit while in season. Make a few quarts of applesauce to tide you over till the next fresh fruit is available. Not sure you have a farm? Check with THIS website They can get  started on your quest for real food. Or , call your local 4H club. They will be so happy to hear from you.
Well, the simple apple has taken me down a road that should make my great grandparents give me an approving nod. That would be them, so proud of their new home when they left Michigan and came to New Hampshire. The smiling daughter on the left is my grandmother..........year is possibly 1900/1904 Note the gun in his hand. I'm guessing no one would sell him a bad apple...........said the hobbit

Friday, July 26, 2013

It's BITTYFUL FRIDAY

THE GIRLS AND I WERE UP ALL NIGHT,DOING A LITTLE CATTY TALK......I'M SO POOPED I CAN HARDLY KEEP MY EYES OPEN........WHAT A NIGHT.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

YES, I can,can.And YOU?

HAVE YOU EVER PRESERVED PINEAPPLES?  I know, it's not local to New England, but, when I saw the overflow of pineapples in my market this spring I couldn't resist.

Friday, July 19, 2013

It's Bittyful Friday

NO.............THAT'S NOT ME. SEE THOSE LITTLE WHITE PAWS? THAT WOULD BE HOBBS. SHE GAVE HOBBIT HER CUTEST LOOK AND SAID "PICK ME".. I'M IN THE DOORWAY SAYING "REALLY?"  LUCKY FOR HER SHE'S SUCH AN O--L--D KITTY.GOTTA BE RESPECTFUL........YA KNOW.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The rest of the story

Coming out of the conservatory as they refer to it.Seems pretty stuffy,doesn't it? I spotted this rose.
The flowers are about the size of my palm and just perfect. The sun was very bright and I was unable to capture the different shades in this bloom. The outer petals were a delicate blue and changed to a soft lavender shade.


It was marked as the Blueberry Hill. In springtime they have a plant sale. I wonder if this will be one of the species available. If it is I hope to get one.



Leaving another rose area we are confronted by the tempting pool. We behaved.....honest.We then walked under an archway of what I thought were dead trees.


I'm not sure what they are but, they have no leaves or bark,and were surrounded by lush green bushes that blocked most rays from the sun. We thought we might have taken a wrong turn but,soon came upon a lovely pool...............







filled with goldfish that had to be 24 inches long.
As I watched them swim in and out of rocks and scurry under wooden footbridges I again thought of being in the cool refreshing water.
Out of the dark and into a carpet of tickseed. This would be great for my yard also.


A final goodbye from the band and we were almost done.

But , not until our eyes were drawn to the opposite side of the path and saw the most beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean.How can you not love it.All this ,no more then 35 minutes from my door. As we left and shared parting words with the keeper, we were surprised to hear that the Fullers rarely went into the garden.Can you imagine having such beauty on the other side of your driveway and you only walked it 5 or 6 times in 30 years............. it amazes me..............said the hobbit.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

In the greenhouse

Ok Here I am back to tell you more of my trip to a local rose garden.In case you forgot I was visiting FULLER GARDENS , A Victorian garden created by Mr Fuller for his wife at their summer home.After walking through a gorgeous rose garden the path led me to a tropical conservatory filled with succulents.
I have to tell you ........If I was to make a list of my favorite plants,these would be a little low on the list. They often look like they came from another planet............don't you think? 




This particular plant was the Aconium Arborium

Their tentacle like stems reached about 4 to 5 feet into the air.Although they had flowers crowning them ,it was so high up that I could not see them to appreciate their glory.

I know , this garden  was constructed  for everyone not just me and  I needed to explore  every nook and cranny.It was rather humid in the greenhouse and I walk  briskly, so sure I wouldn't see anything that would stop me in my tracks.

Then I saw this little jewel.......never say never. It looked like delicate little aqua bubble bursting from  tiny corn like pebbles.Although everything to this point had be labeled, I was unable to find any information on this plant.
Leaving the conservatory I spotted this one flower heading toward the door.

It probably wanted to jump into this fountain which faced the exit. Temperature were 90+ that day so I think all living things were looking for a little relief.

Walking a few more feet was this tempting water pool. Why is it that people can't see standing water without throwing in their pocket change? Am I missing something here? No one was around and my husband and I seriously thought about dipping our toes in this refreshing oasis.But , so much more to see......we decided to move on. I hope to get back and tell you the rest of the story.......soon, really,...........said the hobbit.

Friday, July 12, 2013

It's Bittyful Friday

I'VE BEEN WANTING TO COME OUT AND PLAY..........BUT, HOBBIT RUNS THE COMPUTER
                                                   WHAT CAN SAY? GLAD TO BE BACK.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What's in my area?

This year hubby and I thought it would be a good idea to visit a few places close to home. We always hop in the car ,ride for about 2 hours, struggle to find a wonderful place that we have read about , and sometimes get there a little too late to enjoy it. Ask my children............sometimes Hubby would say "Who wants to go for a ride?" And they would run for the hills. Children have left the nest now,but, hubby still likes to get in that car and ride.......First on our places to visit wasFuller Gardens This is a turn of the century garden created by  a loving husband for his dear wife Olivia.
 It's a little more formal then I would have in my backyard but, still so much that we ooh'd and aah'd about. Hubby feel in love with this tree. He could see himself sitting in an Adirondack chair and taking a little siesta

Turns our it was a magnolia tree.Now he's on the lookout at our local nurseries in hopes of finding the perfect one.

 Every bush was a different rose. I had never seen so many in one place.
 Some had already passed there bloom but, many were picture perfect.
All were marked with their names.Something I should do in my garden. Seems I can't remember from year to year what I planted.Have more to show you. ...........maybe tomorrow............said the hobbit

Monday, July 8, 2013

Getting back in the saddle.

Ok ..........I know I've been MIA and I hope to get back to normal. I have no serious excuse for my behavior. It just seems that I've been too busy to get back in the groove of blogging . First my computer was misbehaving, then it was time to garden and just as I got started we had a few nights of freezing temp. unlike the 90+ that we are experiencing now..My Google Reader is no more so I have switched toa new reader Unfortunately I keep calling it freely because it has no fee and it takes me about 30 minutes to find the blogs that I am currrently following.It's not them it's my extreme dislike of change.




Well things seem to be sailing a bit more smoothly now so hopefully the new schedule that I have made for myself will feel a bit more natural.Still adjusting to having three cats,a part time tenant and a great grand baby coming soon. OK now that I have used every excuse in the book I promise to make an effort to get back in the groove and stop my daydreamimg. Keep your fingers crossed for me. 
Bad habits are hard to break..........said the hobbit