Thursday, August 31, 2017

Peach Crumble

This summer the fruit has been luscious and plentiful. And I must admit, I have been in heaven! Cherries everyday for a month straight. Blueberries in muffins and smoothies, atop oatmeal and cereal and by the handfuls. Raspberries, blackberries and peaches so juicy and perfect. And apricots that taste like apricots. It has been pure bliss!
I haven't had too much of a chance to make and bake with all the fruit (it gets eaten too fast!), but have managed to squirrel away a bit in the freezer. This week as I stared at a basketful of almost-overripe peaches I decided a simple crumble would be the perfect dessert. A quick chop and mix and it could bake while we ate dinner. A lovely ending to the meal!

This is just a basic crumble top found in just about every cookbook. This one I barrowed from "Family Meals" by Maria Helm Sinskey, with a couple of tweaks. And since Mandy (the non-dairy eater) was out of town, I used butter!

Crumble Top
1/2 cup soft butter
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3-4 cups chopped fruit
Mix together flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture starts to stick together. Sprinkle on top of fruit in 9" pie plate or 9" x 9" pan or pretty tart pan. Bake at 400 for forty minutes.
If you think your fruit is too tart or too juicy, you can mix a bit of sugar and flour with the fruit too. My peaches were perfect and the crumble was quite sweet enough. There might have been a bit too much too. I think if I had a bit less, the top would have crisped up a bit more instead of being slightly gooey in the center.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Blank Wall

We have been changing things up here at the cottage. It's exciting! Furniture has been moved, spaces cleaned and now ideas are flourishing!
I usually don't photograph this part of the living room. It has been the home of Dad's desk (not a desk really, an old dining room table for extra workspace) since we moved in four years ago. I don't think electronics are pretty and desks seem to always be messy with works-in-progress, so I have kept it out of my pictures. But the decision was finally made to move the desk to the basement where it will be quieter. We are a little nervous this might not be a good thing as the basement is unfinished, but so far everything has worked out. (We will see how it works as the weather get colder, but we have a couple of improvements planned to keep Dad cozy.)

I was thinking back to when we moved in, all the things that were going on; job changes, financial upheavals, the craziness of renting half of the old house and living in the apartment, plus trying to get the cottage done. So many major life changes all at the same time! No wonder we plunked our furniture down in an arrangement as close to our old house as possible!
I didn't even think of it at the time, just put everything where it was and moved on to the next thing that had to be done. I think it was comforting to all of us.

But now with life a lot calmer, we are ready to handle a few changes! The simple moving of a desk may not sounds like much. But the possibilities of new arrangements, another piece or two of furniture or something new to hang on the wall, are endlessly exciting! I think I have rearranged the room at lest five different ways and thought about ten different pieces of furniture we could use!
I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


I love zinnias. When I picked this bunch last night, the smell immediately brought back memories of childhood summers. These are from my two plants in the cutting garden. It took them a bit to get started, but now they plenty of buds and look like they will bloom until frost.

 Ever since I bought the plants, I have been envisioning a zinnia bouquet here. Lovely!

 The sewing machine has been out all summer. For some reason I have been in a social sewing mood. I have made my way through plenty of projects in the last couple of months; some fun, some mundane.

 This vase was a vintage find a couple of years ago, complete with a matching glass flower frog. I haven't gotten too many chances to use it. I always envisioned peonies in it and was sad to have missed the opportunity this year to pick a few. Mandy suggested I use it for the zinnias as the stems were rather short (I hated to cut longer ones because of all the buds I would be cutting too!) and it works wonderfully.

Zinnias are even pretty in lamplight!

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Are you soaking up summer? Drinking in all of it's loveliness? Somehow, we think fall might come early this year. There are a couple of signs it is just around the corner and the air has a fall-ish quality to it.
Summer sure has whizzed by fast. I am just trying to enjoy it while it lasts!  Life is just going along as usual, some slow and some crazy days. Here is a couple of snapshots of what is happening around here......

 I had fun making up Color Therapy in Tunisian Crochet for a class sample.

 Fairylights for the porch! (Never enough time to sit out here...)

Reading lots of old favorites this summer. But this one is a new friend by a favorite author, Emilie Loring. So excited to be reading!
(I ordered it used from Amazon and thought I would sun it a bit before reading, completely forgetting rain was in the forecast! Yes, it is a super clean book now! It took three days to dry out.)

It has not been a good garden year, but the marigolds are gorgeous! 

 I have been getting quite a bit of sewing in lately. The newest Akita shirt. Love the fabric!

Raspberry muffins! In these fun paper holders.

Meadowsweet shawl, which was love-at-first-sight. A perfect small project summer knit.

That is what I have been up to. What about you?