"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

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Playing Footie

Carson's mom was at physical therapy for her knee today and the littles came to Nonna's.  Carson and I were playing footsie.  He loved it.

Carson and Penny are the sweetest kids.  Never cry and always smiling.  Must be their mother's genes, because their dad was my cranky boy.  He grew out of it thankfully.

I need to be out in the garden, but they are more fun.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Big Lips

Isn't it fascinating how trends and fashions change?  I needed a picture and googled enhanced lips as I didn't know what else to call them.  

Well, I call them a fat lip which I got this week at the farm.  I was loading my truck with citrus trees and sewing them with burlap (it took hours BTW) and adding a few other things to bring back to the city. A cast iron weenie bank tumbled off a box and hit me right in the mouth and nearly knocked out my front tooth.  It hurt like hell and is swollen and bruised and I dare not wiggle my tooth to loosen it.  I have a thing about teeth. 

I'm closing my antique booth at the end of this month.  Antiques in the US are hard to sell at the moment.  Millennials do not want them.  They want new things and seem to only want things as far back as the 80's and 90's.  I am done with it too and am having a 50% off sale.  Oh how I hope I don't have to pack up much.  It is too hard to move heavy stuff and I'll probably give away quite a lot of it because I don't want to store it. I still love antiques, but after 30 years, I am done.

Anywho, back at the farm, I realize I miss the quiet and solitude.  I miss seeing the Milky Way and bright stars at night.  I miss the fields and blue hills in the distance.  I miss all the animals.

When I got back to the city yesterday, there was a hatch of new mallard babies on the lake, my flowers were blooming and I realized I was smiling when I walked in the door of my city home.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Staff Of Life

I've been baking bread.  Friend Monique, from La Table de Nana, is quite a baker and I decided to use a recipe she published.  So glad I tried it as it is easy and very good.  Of course, mine doesn't look like hers', but I am happy with it.  It got me thinking of the old proverb about bread being the staff of life. I am a bread devotee; could easily live on it alone.

Sounded biblical to me and then I remembered why.  The Lord's Prayer has the line, "give us this day our daily bread". Googled it and found it was referred to as the staff of life for ages.  Staff meaning food in general.  Seems Jonathan Swift was quoted to have said, "bread is the staff of life".

Nevertheless, this bread is a no knead variety.  My kind of bread. You must use a cast iron pot with a lid.  I didn't think I had one in the city.  Looked around and found this old chicken pot I'd never used. It is small and the perfect size for a loaf (almost a ball) of bread.

No-Knead Bread

3 cups + 2 TBS all purpose flour
2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp. Red Star Platinum yeast
1 TBS honey
1 1/2 cups warm water

Mix ingredients. Dough will be sticky but don't worry if it is dry and shaggy like mine.
Shape into a ball - cover with plastic wrap and leave on counter 12-18 hours.
Turn dough out and shape into a ball. Score an X on top. Cover and leave 30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees.  Bake 25 minutes with lid on then remove lid for another 8-10 minutes.  This bread is so easy, I mis-read the directions, baked it covered for 15 minutes and un-covered for 10 minutes, AND IT STILL TURNED OUT!
Dried fruits, nuts or seeds - customize your dream bread. I have had to use measuring spoons and cups instead of my hands and eye estimations.

And I'll need a staff to walk about before long if I don't quit eating bread all of the time.