"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cat Study

I am sure you have heard of the latest study saying cats kill billions of birds and small animals.  My cats drag in animals and birds.  Yet, I am certain that humans kill more animals than all the animals in the world combined.  Windows kill more birds than animals do.  One could go on and on.  So it makes me wonder who funded this study and what their agenda is.  Where are The Lone Gunmen when you need them?  By the way, the sweetest cat on earth, Boo, Teddy's brother, just wants to be tickled.  Nothing more.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bonnie Raitt - You Got to Know How

Sippy Wallace was born in 1898 and was one of the original performers of the blues.  I got to thinking they don't make them like that anymore, but they are still amongst us.  Bonnie Raitt.  They just don't get any better.  This song is Sippy's and Bonnie does it great.  To see Sippy perform live, and with Bonnie, go to Youtube.  It is the perfect song for your Valentine.

Friday, January 25, 2013



Just had to let you know that my daffodils are up about four inches. Spring is coming!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Strawberry Lemon Marmalade

What to do with all my citrus.  Besides juicing it, I made strawberry lemon marmalade.

Here is a small corner of my greenhouse.  Someone please stop  me.

This is about 1/4 of all my citrus.  I'm afraid I am going to burn out my electric juicer.

Blood oranges, Meyer, Etrog, Ponderosa lemons, and tangerines too.

Finally.  Need to get some English muffins as I think they would be perfect for the marmalade.

Strawberry Lemon Marmalade

1 cup thinly sliced lemon peel
2 cups lemon pulp, chopped
4 cups crushed strawberries
1 (1 1/2 oz.) powdered pectin
1 tb. lemon juice
6 cups sugar

1. Place lemon peel and pulp in a pot with just enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes.
2. Turn off heat. Cover and let sit for 12 - 18 hours. Drain water.
3. Combine peel and pulp, strawberries, pectin and juice in a large pot.  Bring to a boil. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved.
4. Bring to a roiling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.
5. Remove from heat.  Skim foam if necessary.
6. Ladle hot marmalade into jars, leaving 1/4" headspace.
7. Makes 9 half pints.

I also made a blood orange, lemon and raspberry marmalade.  I didn't boil the pulp with the peels this time and I think it made the marmalade a tad too acidic.  It's good now though.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sundance Film Festival

I love the Sundance Film Festival.  So many good films, many of which we'd never see without their showing at Sundance.  Last year brought BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD.  A year or two ago it was WINTER'S BONE.  My own son-in-law Matt, entered a short film for this years festival, but didn't make the cut.
I have written about Gael Garcia Bernal before (you can type in his name in upper left corner).  He is an incredible actor, director, producer...  Acting with the likes of Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, Daniel Day Lewis and Cate Blanchett, he is a phenom in so many areas.  He played a young Che Gueverra in THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES,  and in one of my favorites, Y tu MAMA TAMBIEN.  You need to google him to find out more about this amazing man.  His latest, WHO IS DAYANI CRISTAL is showing at Sundance.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Face The Wind

Seasons of change
Nature waits
The animals face the wind

Donna B. Shaw

The genesis of this painting was the approach of winter and the hardships that come with it.  Then, I wrote the haiku and it morphed into the future animals face, with human over-population, the loss of habitat and environment, extinctions, critical mass, etc., etc.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Winter Wonderland

Winter wonderland - Ha.
I wish I could go out and play, alas, I'll have to be content to count the minutes until spring has sprung. Can you tell I don't like winter? My husband says, "you don't like summer either," but that's not true.  I don't like it when it is 115 degrees and hasn't rained for months, but this time of year, even that sounds good.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Blackeyed Peas and Hoppin' John

Re-posted from 2009
One of the few things left in my vegetable garden are black eyed peas. Notice the deer also enjoy them and have snapped the pea vines off. I posted this recipe around the new year and it is called Hoppin' John. I can't remember why it is called that; guess John was so happy the deer didn't eat all of his peas that he hopped around and did a jig. This recipe is a variation and could be eaten as a meal instead of a side dish. Very southern!
Hoppin' John
Boil Lundberg's brown rice. This brown rice is to die for. It is the brown rice that P.F. Chang's uses. Next add a ham hock or some bacon (no I don't eat mammals) to a saucepan with the peas and boil until peas are tender. In yet another pan, (I'm sorry but this dish is worth it) fry okra breaded in cornmeal and flour then drain on a paper towel. Now, cut a tomato into a small dice. Also a few green scallions, or as many as you like. Experiment. Don't forget to salt and pepper according to taste. Assemble dish - rice, peas on top with a spoonful of juice and some pork, tomatoes next then scallions topped with the fried okra. Splash with Louisiana hot sauce. Enjoy!