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Friday, October 20, 2017

Beets are in the news these days.


A real taste treat,  beet crisps (recipe follows).

This is how they grow in my garden.  
Did you notice something unusual about them?
They are cylindrical and not round in shape. 

How many children, would you say, would recognize the lowly beet and know how and where they grow? 

Perfect for slicing evenly sized beet thins. 

Which when baked make the most delicious treat, 
the new beet sensation, the beet crispy chip. 

Normally I like to bake my beets and many are still growing in my garden,  waiting to be preserved for winter meals. 

Beets provide health benefits not readily available from other food families. 

Scrub beets, thinly slice with mandolin (or sharp knife) leaving skin on.  Place on lightly sprayed, with olive oil, cookie sheet. 
Sprinkle with bits of Rosemary, Sage, or Thyme. and 
Real Salt (from the Redmond Salt Mine).
Lightly spray again with olive oil.

Bake in oven @375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.  

Isn't this the perfect time to harvest a garden you planted in April. 

Have a lovely weekend my dear friends. 


Monday, October 9, 2017

A treasure in the Italian countryside

It's wonderful, it's marvelous and 
it's just a little quirky. 

In the Mattarello Countryside, just south of Trento, Italy, sits a 17th century country villa, surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills.   

Villa Bertagnoli has lots of character.

Rooms are filled with treasures that will eventually find their proper places. 

A handsome Kachelofen warms a cozy corner.

Guests are welcome to explore the villa which  holds collections of ceramics, books and paintings.  

All are colorful, everyday pieces. 

Four walls were fitted with cabinets to hold a colorful collection of Italian hand painted ceramics. 

A happy jumble of recently painted pieces.

Time has been very kind to this cobbled courtyard centerpiece.

The courtyard, the villa on the left and the old stables to the right.

It is the stables which have now been converted into guest rooms and restaurant.  

The second story balcony connects the villa section to the old stables.  

Our room was very comfortable. 
There wasn't a space left on walls for even one more painting, all of flowers, mostly roses.  

  Villa Bertagnoli is run by a charming young woman whose Father has been sailing the seven seas for the past ten years.  

Her Mother lives in Trentino where the Bertagnoli family operates the oldest family-run distillery, producing award winning Grappas and Brandies.

These two act just like our Lola and Clyde.  
They just had to find out who was leaving.  

Have a great week, dear friends. 


Friday, October 6, 2017

Will you play a little game?

For those of you who have followed my blog for a little while

Can you guess where I have been?

Wishing you all the very Best. 


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Wer'e back

from Europe.

More later.

Have a wonderful week and weekend.  


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Making the rounds

on a sunny day.

Lola and Clyde spend more and more time with us and away from the pond.

I have re-discovered Zinnia "Country Fair".

Sandhill Cranes have joined our menagerie.

Guests have left.

Mother duck is teaching all eight ducklings how to dive for food.

Even a few little flowers make a statement.

Pasha divides his time between inside and outside.

Lucy still pulls her own carrots.  

Need to make a note to plant Zinnias again next year.  

Lucinato Kale is the most nutritious of the Kale family.  No wonder it's the preferred kale in Italian kitchens. 

My Lake Maggiore asters, seeds collected more than forty years ago, need to ripen so that I can plant them again next year. 

Letting hollyhock seeds ripen to share with friends. 

Leaving a few grapes on the vines to make them extra sweet.

It's harvest time...don't know what to tackle first.

The Labor Day Sale and Artist Studio Tour was a rousing success.

I sold some of my favorite pieces. 

What are you up to these days?  


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Have you noticed?

I'm taking a break.

See you soon. 

Have a great remainder of the week. 


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Mon Bouquet du Jour

Meine Sonntag Blumen

This is the year for Hollyhocks. 

This wild female duck laid her eggs in a secret spot. 
And 24 days or so later, she marched her day-old ducklings past my window. 

All in a single file with a get to water and our pond. 

The tiny little ducklings must have walked more than a mile.  

picture added 7-31-2017

This mother duck is special. First she avoided all predators by laying her eggs in a safe place and now, weeks later, all eight of them are alive and well. 

A Herculean feat.  

Have an extra special week dear Friends. 


Monday, July 24, 2017

All they need is

Water, water and more water.

deep water at the base of the plants.  
Do not spray from top with water.

That way you will avoid diseases and rust. 

Blooms will be large, and on strong plants. 

If you want to revisit your hollyhocks in winter, why not dry a few blossoms. 
Here is how

Dry them in a bed of builders sand.

Soon, they will shine another blooming season. 

Have a great week dear friends,