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Monday, November 29, 2010

Making Sauerkraut

Want to impress your Friends?  Make Sauerkraut.  It's so easy!

Just before we left for Europe we cut up our "Spitzenkraut" cabbage and let it ferment in a stone crock pot. 

It was ready to place in freezer bags a few weeks later

All you need: 2 to 3 cabbages (any kind will do), a bit of coarse salt, caraway seeds and mustard seeds.

Here is my recipe for making Sauerkraut from last year 


Friday, November 26, 2010

Lucinda paints Maiolica

My Trip to Bountiful

Last week I made a trip to Bountiful to visit with my artist friend, Cindy Ericksen.  I was excited to see her newly finished Garden Mural.  Cindy is a very fine and highly accomplished Potter

This is a very large Mural.  Cindy hand crafted every single tile and then painted them with powder pigments.  They were then fired, in her kiln,  to about 1800 degrees,  not so different from hand painted tiles of the Italian Renaissance, still produced in Italy and other parts of the world today.

This is the upper section of Cindy's Mural. Cindy tells me that she loves to design and paint intricate border details.

Cindy is a very accomplished potter.  She learned her craft through a very strenuous training program at the the University of Utah.  What they didn't teach her and what is seldom taught in the United States is a style of ceramic painting known as Maiolica.    

Not only is Cindy a fine artist she is also a very special person, she is also a very special friend, and a very special fellow artist.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Happy Thanksgiving my dear Blogging Friends

My friends have accused me of celebrating my birthday a month before and still a month after my birthday.  A few (not my friends) have asked if my birthday always falls on
Thanksgiving.  No, Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday. 

Wherever you are,  here is wishing you a very special Holiday with Family and Friends


Saturday, November 20, 2010


Pullets and Pullet Eggs

Pullets are chickens which are under one year old.  These came as "Day Olds"

This is how it works;  You order your chicks from a breeder and a few days later your Postman calls with a message that a box has arrived, a box that is making chirping noises. 

As soon as you get the chicks home you must dunk their beaks into a watering dish.  They seldom learn how to drink on their own.

 This is a Buff Orpington.  You can always tell when they get serious about raising little ones.  They start clucking incessantly and will also try to hide their eggs. 

Eggs were always more important to my Mother, so she would place the clucking chicken in a gunnysack and let the chicken  think for a day or two.  It always worked.

We also have a few older chickens.  Can you see the difference in egg size?  The small eggs are known as "Bakers Eggs".  Bakers like small eggs because they are super fresh.  Small eggs are never stored. 

 Did you know that large eggs are sometimes stored for 4 months or more before they are delivered to your Grocer?

Pullets start laying eggs when they are about 4 months old.

Gene was raised on a chicken farm.  He and his older brother, Blaine, took care of 5,000 chickens and collected a little over 4,000 eggs a day.  That is where the boys learned their work ethic.

I named him "Rocky".  He was a very fine and gentle rooster.  We have had others.  Alturro, the South American rooster was mean but beautiful.  Like our neighbor's bull, he was sent to another zip code.  Then  "Whitey" came along, not as handsome but very protective of his ladies.

We raise Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Reds, Speckled Sussex and Buff Orpingtons, they all lay brown eggs. However, we do not raise Araucanus even though they lay beautiful blue eggs, that is when they are in the mood to lay eggs.  After all, they are from South America and it gets cold in Utah.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Special Doors

Our new House has old doors, very old doors.

Both front and back doors are more than 200 years old.

They were brought from Argentina.

They were also 14 feet tall and had to be cut.

We cut the top from the front door and made this cabinet.

And we cut the bottom of the back door and built a bathroom vanity.

It now holds this fine hand painted sink from Kohler.

This is the front door with glass panels and hand wrought iron windows
The  Letter box spells "Cartas"

This is what the front door looks like from the inside.

And this is what you see from the inside of the front door, our outbuildings.

Sometimes you see sunflower heads and onions drying on top of the wall and beyond that, our mountains.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Harrods Knightbridge Wedding Book

Are you planning a wedding soon?

This special book will help remove the stress of planning

 By Sue Carpenter

Brilliant suggestions for your special

Offers both inspiration and guidance on every aspect

Choosing the perfect wedding flowers

 Selecting  the special dress design

 Find the most brilliant photographer

An indispensable guide for every bride-to-be


Friday, November 12, 2010

Hand crafted glass Christmas Ornaments - how to, Part II

So you say you can't paint

You don't have to.  Instead tear up very thin napkins (MacKenzie type)

Partially cover clear glass balls with colored tissue paper

Use Elmers glue or similar

Now add a few colored dots here and there


Pour one acrylic paint color at a time into clear glass ball and swirl in all directions.

See, I got you to paint after all.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hand painted glass Christmas Ornaments - how to

You can paint circles and dots, right?

And a few leaf shapes, right?  That's all there is to it.

Cover old plate with wet paper towel, squeeze out different colors of  acrylic paints, the more the better

Paint circles, dots and leaf-shaped images onto clear glass balls,
hang with wire on doorknobs  (or anything else you can rig up) until dry

Use lots of colors and don't forget to highlight with white paint

If you decide that you need to see one of my hand painted Christmas Ornaments in person, a few are on deck in my Etsy Shop. 


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hand Painted Christmas Ornaments

Hand Painted Glass Ornaments

Now is the only time you can find plain glass ornaments in your craft stores

Get your brushes and acrylic paints together

Make sure that you have lots of different colors

And don't forget white

Tomorrow I will show you how


Monday, November 8, 2010

Do you know these? Another Giveaway.

Please help identify

I only wanted one small cactus.  Their label said "Lettuce Leaf Cactus".  There was only one in a California Garden Shop and I took it home to Utah

Now I have many and so do my friends.  They turn red in the sun and green again when returned to the shade.  And, they become ENORMOUS

When they become too large or too tall I break off their heads (ouch) and replant .  They never complain.  The tall stalk remains planted in the pot.  Soon,  many small cacti appear along the stem.  

 As soon as they are about 2 inches in diameter I pull them from the stalk and plant  into soil, any kind of soil will do.  They are not particular.

Tall flower spikes emerge from the center

Small orange flowers appear

I will send one of these fine cacti to the first person who can properly identify this easy to grow, attention getting succulent.  Hint:  I don't think they are called Lettuce Leaf Cactus



Saturday, November 6, 2010

Secrets to a perfect Pie Crust

The perfect Pie Crust

Flaky Crust, delicious pears, great Dessert

Here are a few of my secrets

1)  Do not use cold water, use cold 2% milk instead
2)  Mix by hand with long handled fork
3) Roll out dough immediately
4)  If it is a fruit pie sprinkle unbaked crust with sugar
5) only add top crust (no bottom crust, they only get soggy and add too many calories)

My recipe for one generous Pie Crust

1 and 1/2 cups of unbleached flour
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 stick of UNSALTED butter
1/2 to 3/4 cup of cold milk

Mix together flour and salt.  With pastry knife cut unsalted butter into flour mixture until butter is the size of large peas.  Sprinkle milk over mixture until it forms into ball.  Roll out dough onto floured surface. 

Pear Pie Filling

Peel and cut up 3 to 5 pears.  Sprinkle with 2 TB of flour,
3 Tb of sugar,
1 Tb of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of Pumpkin Pie spice.

Mix together and pour into pie dish, dot with 1/4 stick of butter.  Cover with unbaked pie crust.  Cut a few vent holes, sprinkle with sugar and bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees and another 40 to 50 minutes (or until golden brown) at 350 degrees.

 It takes longer to write this than it takes to actually make it. So, give it a whirl, you'll be so happy you did and so will be your friends