Monday, May 10, 2021

I'm One Hellava Gardener

 Well, maybe I'm not.

I don't think I did much gardening last summer and I don't know why. Covid? I don't think Covid was loitering around in my garden, so it couldn't have been that.

Anyway, this year I decided that my so-called perennial garden should actually look like one and I've been wandering around in it, trying to identify what I've planted in the past. I have lots of mystery plants.

Anyone know what this is? Anyone? I sure don't. I found lots of loose labels scattered around, but I couldn't match them to any plants, so I still have lots of puzzles to either solve or ignore.

This label (upside down, sorry, Blogger is misbehaving today) is for a rose.  Queen Elizabeth. I don't know how it got on this plant but this is definitely NOT a rose.

It's clearly a blueberry plant, although I didn't realize it until I saw these little beginnings of blueberries.  I knew that I had planted one in the past, and here it is! Surprise-I thought the deer had eaten it.

Here is an existing rose plant.  I told you I was a good gardener.

I had lots of peony plants that did nothing this year and I think it's from lack of sun so we will move them.  These poor, bedraggled peonies. (Sideways because ...Blogger, and it will only allow me to have text in the center now.)

And, bonus!  If you've ever wondered why a Tulip Poplar tree is called that, here is one of the flowers that fall in the spring.  Very much like a tulip.  


We went to a garden show two weekends ago for inspiration and we did see some pretty gardens, but this was my favorite find. There was no For Sale sign on it, so it can't be mine, but I love it. Beautifully restored, better restored than my garden is so far.


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

My Goodness

I just saw that I haven't posted since October. I guess because life has been so busy and fascinating and exciting since then?

Nope. Just boring and very Groundhog Day-ish.

The other day, my knitter daughter sent a photo of a hat she was going to make and mentioned that it required DK yarn and that she would have to go to the yarn shop near her.  NO! said I. I have LOTS of DK weight yarn.  A few years ago I sorted all of my yarn by weight, and I was sure I had more DK weight yarn than I could ever use. I offered to send my DK stash to her. She accepted, I went to retrieve it and lo and behold, I had exactly NO DK weight yarn.

However, I discovered that I have LOTS of fingering weight yarn.

SIX POUNDS of fingering weight yarn.

I know that I bought it bit by bit, but really?  Six pounds of a weight of yarn that I have no idea what to do with?

So that is exciting, right?

Now on to the $%^& virus that has kept us from normal lives since last spring.  I am lucky to be over 65 so that I qualified for the vaccine program and I've already received my second shot. First shot? No problems. Second shot? Chills, fever, aches. Something like 20% of people get reactions to the second dose, and anyone who has already had Covid is more likely to get flu-like reactions according to a study in the UK.  

I don't think I've had Covid, so I guess it's just luck of the draw for most of the 20%. At any rate, it's better than getting Covid, so

GET YOUR SHOTS when you are eligible. Tell them Knittergran sent you.  


Sunday, October 4, 2020

Baking Again


I'm nothing if not persistent.

Yesterday I made buttermilk biscuits again.  

They aren't pretty. They aren't all the same size. They do taste good though and I used actual buttermilk instead of faking it with vinegar and milk. I believe I get extra credit for that.

And this is what my kitchen looked like afterwards.

Add caption

I will probably hear from the Cooking Channel any day now, don't you think?

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

I Did It!

I rode my bike all the way to the Post Office and back!  That has been my goal for years because, as I have mentioned before, I love Post Offices!

However, and this is a big however, I did fall, yet again.

Bikers have to abide by rules of the road, I am told, so at a crosswalk, I had to stop, which means I have to get off my bike, because the seat is TOO HIGH and I can't quite get enough of my foot on the pavement to casually balance the bike while I wait to go across the street. I tried, but I fell.

This is not me.  I know enough to wear a helmet.  Because I fall.

The last time I fell I broke my wrist.  

I asked my bike-mechanic/long-distance rider/biking EXPERT- husband to lower the seat so that I could put more of my foot on the pavement, rather than just the very tip of my toe.

He said, and I quote, "You have to learn how to dismount gracefully." Apparently that involves gracefully sliding off of the seat as I gracefully put the very tip of my toe on the pavement.

Alrighty then. What that means to me is that I have to fall again and again and again in order to practice and finally learn how to GRACEFULLY DISMOUNT.

Nope. Nope. Nope.

Lower the seat! Or I will, if I can find the right wrench. You use a wrench for that, right?

Monday, September 7, 2020

One Success/One Fail

I finally, FINALLY, finished this scarf:

It is the Perfect Blend by Casapinka using Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply Toes in the Casapinka Perfect Blend colorway.

I say "finally" because I began working on this on May 14th.  It's a scarf, not a complicated stranded or cabled sweater, but it sure took a long time.  And yes, I'm wearing it in this photo because I wore it indoors while I watched Serena Williams win her match at the US Open. Really, where else can I wear it? The grocery store? I hope by the time cool weather arrives we can go places again. Wear masks y'all!

Now for the fail:

My first ever in this century part whole wheat bread.  Brand new King Arthur yeast and Harvest Grains Blend,

brand new King Arthur bread flour, brand new King Arthur whole wheat flour, and I followed the King Arthur recipe exactly.

It just didn't rise enough in either of the two rises.  So here it is.  It tastes really good; it's just kind of...flat.

So maybe next time?

Tuesday, August 18, 2020



We did experiment with cooking/air frying/baking other recipes too, not just the Eton Mess.

I bought a large bag of cauliflower florets for the kids to snack on.  I like raw cauliflower, but the kids looked at them and pronounced them "styrofoam" broccoli."  I see their point, but they were not going to eat them no matter what I said.  So I used a Pioneer Woman recipe younger daughter had given me, and air-fried them.  Yummm... But the kids had no interest in them and I had to eat them all myself.  Again, yummm.

Another recipe:

Scones, from Mary Berry's recipe. They tasted great, but the recipe calls for self-rising flour, which I didn't have, so they were a bit flat. (Notice the one on the far right, the one I used a cutter to make. Flat. For the others, I just plopped the dough on the cookie sheet and those looked better.)  Self-rising flour means self-rising flour. Lesson learned.

And I made homemade buttermilk biscuits, which I am ashamed to say, I had never done before. They turned out well, and they were for strawberry shortcake.  We haven't had that in years and years because my husband thought he was allergic to strawberries, but a particularly bad reaction last year to who knows what sent him to the allergist.  He had lots of tests and it turned out he is not allergic to strawberries.  What he is allergic to, really badly allergic to, is now a mystery.

Beautiful, right?

And yesterday I learned about this:

Oh, my.

I can't imagine that (probably frozen, pre-made) Eton Mess could possibly be good. Wouldn't all the merengue pieces and the added chocolate cookies be kind of soggy or cardboard-y after being held in the whipped cream for who-knows-how-long?

It's too easy to make and too good to use this pre-made stuff instead. I wonder if restaurants do.

Make your own, y'all!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Dinosaurs, Panda bears, and Eton Mess


We had our older daughter and three of her children visiting last week. Her husband and oldest daughter, both working, held down the fort at home in Austin, Texas. We hadn't seen them since Christmas, and don't know when we will see them again, so it was a treat to have them here. They drove straight through, getting food at drive through restaurants only, to avoid contact with people. Bathrooms? Masks, soap and water.

During this never-ending pandemic (wear masks dammit), there wasn't a lot exciting to do, but we did go to Zoo Atlanta, which was limiting the number of people at the zoo, masks were required, and six-foot sections were marked on the pavement in display areas. The indoor exhibits were closed, so all in all, a safe---and hot---way to get out of the house for awhile.

And then there was this, Jurassic Quest, a drive-through exhibit with animatronic dinosaurs. It did not live up to expectations. It took place at the Atlanta Speedway parking lot, and was not remotely set up as a real environment for anything but cars. It took 90 minutes to get there, 30 minutes to get in, and an hour winding through the paths marked by yellow traffic cones.  Yee-hah...

The dinosaurs creaked and groaned and moved a little.

Looks like fun, right?

A plastic volcano!  How realistic!

Again, we are mostly homebound during this pandemic so this "adventure" was good for a lot of laughs. And some moaning. 

A high point of the visit:

This was fun and yummy---Eton Mess. My husband and I had this in Dublin a few years ago, and it's easy, easy, easy to make.  

Jaden made the merengues, Elizabeth cut up the strawberries, and I made the whipped cream. We crumbled the merengues a bit, stirred the pieces and the strawberries into the whipped cream, and done!

This is not my photo, but you get the idea.  YUMMY!!!

Monday, June 22, 2020

I'm So Happy

According to a lip reader who watched Kate Middleton as she was driven in an open carriage after her wedding, that is what she said to William. "I'm so happy."

Well, I'm so happy too, but it's because of this:

The spices, all but one, are in identical new jars with readable labels on the tops.

Apparently it doesn't take much for me to be happy during this endless pandemic.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

It's Been Awhile

And what have I been doing? Not much. It's Pandemic World.

Each day is the same as the last, and the next. Some days all we accomplish is breathing and eating three meals.  

However, Yay! Today I have a project.

It will probably be mind-numbingly boring, but that's where I am. I have 24 identical bottles and lots of matching labels and I am transferring my spices to these bottles so they will fit in the pantry AND so that I will be able to see what is in the bottles. I'm going to go really crazy and alphabetize them.

Because I'm cooking more than I ever wanted to, I occasionally break up the menu with something different, and that's where the confusion of spices comes in. I fumble amongst them looking for the one a recipe calls for, it takes a few minutes sometimes, and because I have nothing better to do, I get annoyed. When I pulled all the containers out of the pantry, I found that I had duplicates, and in one case, triplicates, of some of the spices.  

And a funnel to transfer the spices with.

 Baxter helped!  sort of
The box the bottles came in.  It must be sat in.

I have been knitting as well, and this is the scarf (Perfect Blend by Casapinka) I'm working on. It has twelve different colors, (Miss Babs Yummy Two-Ply Toes) and lots of variations in patterns among the 23 sections. Slow progress, but I have time. Slow, interminable pandemic time.  

I acknowledge that I am lucky.  I am staying-at-home comfortably, but anything gets tiresome enough after awhile.  If people would just WEAR MASKS when they are out and about, we could all emerge sooner.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Sweater is Finished

and has been for awhile.  I just forgot about it, stay-at-home being so hectic and all. 


So here it is: 

In the fall I will get to wear it, I hope.

And I was bored, so I've made scones using what was labeled as a British recipe.

Here they are:  

The pasty yellow ones are bland; they need clotted cream and strawberry jam.  They were supposed to have blueberries in them, but I forgot.

These turned out ok.  AND I remembered the blueberries, and I used a larger wine glass to cut them out of the dough.

I don't know why the Great British Baking Show has not called me.  

I am such an organized, clean baker: 

As long as they don't mind breakage, I'm their girl.

I broke the wine glass I used for making the circles for the first batch; I was holding it by the base.  

I'm currently making something resembling strawberry jam for the pasty-looking scones.

I'm not using a recipe so wish me luck!