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Posts Tagged ‘birds’

 as the Richards return from their week in Bonneville this afternoon. Three of those days I spent in Seattle, with the excuse of going to watch Justin in a cook-off at the farmer’s market. It was fun, but sooo hot – in the mid-ninties. Yuck. Heat like that is the reason I left SoCal.  When we ( a friend went with me ) left to come home, it was near 90, and passing through Olympia it was 100. Though when we got to the peninsula it was a overcast and a foggy 61 degrees. I’d be really happy with some sort of happy medium. No doubt I’m not alone. Even one of the local merchant’s reader-boards has in big letters "Think Sun!". 

Of course I planned to do a lot of sewing, but fell short. Seems like the time disappeared, as usual. I did cut out three shirts for Richard6, and somewhere in there got an idea for another baby quilt. A couple of weeks ago, I sold one of the ones I put on etsy, which encouraged me to make a couple more. I tried out a new/different method of sewing lots of squares together, but in the end I don’t think I got any better results, and it was more labor and time intensive. I hope to finish it today. 
It’s looking like putting myself out there again to do sewing for others might start paying off. In truth, I’d rather just make things that I want, but for now I’ll take what comes my way, and fill in my wants when I’m not busy for others.    

Something odd: for the past few days some of the birds – the finches and bluejays – have been coming up to the window and somehow perching on the trim ( there are no window sills )and staring in. I’ve been good about keeping the feeders filled ( Richard usually does that ) . It’s weird and a little disconcerting.

I watched a couple of movies this week : "A Single Man" -a beautiful love story.  I can’t recall a more beautifully filmed movie. Of course with designer Tom Ford as the director and screenwriter it couldn’t not be.
Then last night "500 Days of Summer" which was another love story that I totally fell in love with.  Now, it will be back to the ‘action’ movies that have become part of our lineup. 

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This morning Richard left for his annual trip to Bonneville. For the next 8-12 days it will be only Sunny and I.  He’ll be camping out the entire trip this time, unless there’s major rain, in which case he’ll come home early.
We’ll be missing him a lot. ( not enough to want to go with, though ) Last night we took the jeep for a ride on the beach – it was fun, and by the time we got to Long Beach we had sunshine to boot. We saw a crazy amount of birds – they are stopping here in huge numbers. The newspaper says 
"There are thousands and thousands and the numbers seem to increase daily. Various species of gull, Caspian terns and brown pelicans abound, and double-crested coromorants fill the sky. In the last few days vast numbers of sooty shearwaters have appeared. They seem to have begun their migration as they are cruising back and forth along the Pacific Coast. There is a feeding frenzy as schools of herring and/or anchovy swim with the tide."

So for the next few days I’ll sew a bunch as the weather is cool and cloudy out and there is a call for rain. If the weather clears/ warms up I will finish painting on the little boat, and try to get it filled with dirt and some plants. We’ll try to get some long walks in. On Sunday I’ll be driving into Seattle for a few days.  Mom is having some medical stuff done so Sunny and I will go keep her house company. If it’s nice out I’ll try to pick some more blueberries before I go to take with.

I made the world’s best blueberry pie the other day. First up, I have to say that I’ve never been much of fan of blueberry pie. I always thought that they were ‘okay’ and didn’t get what the fuss was about. Maybe they were’nt the the best pies? But, now I’m a convert. I got the recipe from a Cooks Illustrated’s email link ( in which I had to watch a video a couple of times to write it down and make sense of it )
Here is the recipe that I wrote down ( I couldn’t just copy the text because I’m not willing to pony up the $ to be a member of a website for a magazine that I already subscribe to! ) The video is worth watching ( slow loading tho’ ) as they explain it better than I can.

Best Ever Blueberry Pie

pie dough:
in food proccessor  put 
1 1/2 cups flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt         pulse a couple times to mix
Add
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter and 1/2 cup shortening – both cut into cubes straight from the fridge – they must be COLD
Process these together with the flour for 15 seconds ( it will look a little sticky )
Add
1 cup flour and pulse 5 times ( there will be dry flour ) Turn this mixture into a bowl.
Add 1/4 each COLD water and vodka ( yes, vodka!) Mix lightly – it will be a bit gooey. Divide in half and wrap each in plastic, flatten into a 1" thick disk and chill a minimum of 45 minutes. 

filling:
In a medium saucepan put 3 cups blueberries and mash them a little. Cook over medium heat until thick and jammy – about 8 minutes. Cool a bit, and turn into a bowl and add another
3 cups blueberries ( about a pound of berries in total )
3/4 cup sugar
2 T Minute Tapioca – ground fine
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
pinch salt
1 granny smith apple – peeled, grated, and with all juice squeezed out in a towel ( using only the dry apple in the filling )
Fold this mixture together and set aside while dough is rolled out.

Preheat oven to 400 and put the rack on the second lowest position. Place a cookie sheet on that rack to preheat as well.

Roll dough out one disk at a time -( in the video they said that it didn’t stick, but I only had success rolling it out between two sheets of saran wrap ) Fit first one into pie plate, leaving 1/2 inch overhang. Fill with the blueberry mixture, and dot with 2 T butter cut into little cubes. Roll out second crust, cut at least six quarter sized holes, and cover pie ( again, the plastic wrap makes this a lot easier). Trim 1/2 inch, fold underneath the bottom crust and crimp all around. Brush the whole top with a mixture of
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water. Sprinkle lightly with coarse sugar if desired.

Place the pie on the cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 and bake another 30 or until the top is golden.

This pie needs to cool for a minimum of four hours for the filling to set properly.

So, off I go to the sewing room for a few hours.

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back to Cali

Remember that funky 80s? song?

We left Seattle Sunday morning – both of us with a cold. Though the cold seems to be behind us already. The trip was uneventful; stayed in our usual spot in Red Bluff Sunday night, and arrived here early yesterday evening. Northern California was still pretty smoky, and on the radio there was a 10-15 minute fire report. Each of the active fires and how many acres burned, the % of containment, etc. Staggering. 
We’re staying in Alpine with Richard’s sister – about 40 miles inland in the foothills where it’s pretty quiet. One amazing thing here is that Gary ( her husband )has cultivated quite a large group of hummingbirds. Four feeders whic have two to ten birds at each one at any given time. Its like watching a little ballet coming and going constantly – so long as there is nectar in the feeders. They come and go from a large oak tree which is twenty feet away – there must be hundreds in there. The occasional oriole drops in for a drink as well and just before sunset they all go into a sort of a feeding frenzy. I will try to shoot some video; its pretty cool to watch. 
Its funny to be able to sit outside at 7am and be warm. 

I brought some knitting with, and I plan to just do a little visiting with friends and relax. Richard will spend his days out at the yard doing car stuff.

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