Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sorrel Soup and Squash Love

I mentioned before that we've got loads of sorrel growing in our garden, thanks to my friend Kristie. She's a long-time friend, one of those people that you feel close to even if you only see them a handful of times over the years. When I saw her last December, our conversation turned to the dream we each had to have our own garden. It's a dream rooted in being settled, self-sufficient, and connected to the land.

I didn't know during that December conversation how soon I would be digging a garden of my own. K and I were lucky enough to be able to stay in the same place for another year and our landlords actually told us we could have a garden before we even asked. So K tilled and I planted vegetables and herbs.

Kristie came to our wedding toting a basket full of sorrel and johnny jump-ups for us to plant in our garden. She spent her spring working on a farm in Michigan and had fallen in love with sorrel. It was such a thoughtful present, and we're still making good use of it.

We used our wedding sorrel to make this soup from the Sundays at Moosewood Cookbook. It's such a simple soup that after making it twice, I typed the recipe out from memory. Don't worry, though, I checked the cookbook to make sure I had everything right.

* * *

(Wedding) Sorrel Soup

from Sundays at Moosewood cookbook

1 onion, finely diced
3 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon flour
2 cups sorrel, washed, stemmed, and finely chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
2 egg yolks
1 cup milk

Saute onion and butter in a soup pot until the onion is translucent. Add the flour and stir. Add the sorrel and cook until just wilted (1-2 minutes). Add the broth, heat to boiling, turn down heat and simmer for a few minutes. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and milk together. While whisking, add 2 cups of the hot soup to the egg/milk mixture. Pour this soup-egg mixture back into the soup pot and heat gently. Don't let it boil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add a few dashes of hot sauce to individual bowls if you like it spicy.

Find more Moosewood recipes here.

* * *

I also roasted a butternut squash from last week's CSA box for dinner last night.
Isn't it sweet? After I scooped out the seeds, the insides formed these hearts.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Button Necklace Giveaway Winner!

Before I announce the winner of the Button Necklace, I just want to thank everybody who entered. I love hearing where you would wear the necklace--you guys go to such great places!

The giveaway was a lot of fun for me. If you didn't win this time, stick around, because I'm planning on having more giveaways in the future.

The winner of the Morning Light Button Necklace is:

(Please click on the image if you want to see it bigger. I don't know why it's so small. I tried my hardest to make it larger, but my computer skills failed.)

#7 is Phyllis. Congratulations, Phyllis! You can be expecting to find this pretty necklace in your mailbox in a few days.

* * *

On a different note, there will be no CSA post this week because Finger Pickin' Farms was hit hard by the heavy rains last week. Lots of flooded fields and lost crops. I'm sending thoughts of good weather and good harvests their way.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A post for K

Today is my husband's 27th birthday, and I want to wish him the happiest of birthdays.

I keep feeling terribly guilty because I've been working like a madwoman on a class assignment, due tonight at 7 pm. I've got class until 10 tonight, which leaves little time to lavish attention on the birthday boy. I've promised to make it up to him next weekend with a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake and a movie marathon of all his favorites.

Happy Birthday, K! I hope your day has been fabulous.

(And I'm the luckiest girl to get to spend a lifetime of birthdays with such a wonderful guy.)

Albino Squirrel

This weekend held so many good things, I barely know where to begin. I'll give you some highlights now and post more pictures later.

*Friday afternoon, I spent the loveliest few minutes sitting on a bench outside U of L's music building. Rain pitter-pattered on my umbrella, acorn bits fell from trees and thumped the sidewalk, and piano music wafted out the open windows. It was a feast for my ears! On top of all of that, I got to watch this little lightning-fast albino squirrel run around. It was so hard to get a photo of him.

*On Friday night, K and I had the darkest drive to his hometown. The clouds hung low and fog laced itself through the trees and over the roadway. We saw such a cool sight--a train coming out of the darkness, its headlights beaming in all directions, long rays of light clearly visible in the dense fog. It was both beautiful and eerie.

*Saturday night K's parents made a fire in their new fire pit. We roasted marshmallows and made s'mores. The cool night air and the scent of the fire definitely felt like fall.

*On Sunday we celebrated K's birthday with his family. Happy birthday, K!
We ate lots (and lots and lots) of good food. K's mom always makes plenty of meat-free dishes so that I can eat big platefuls of food. So thoughtful!

*I got to see my sister for a brief moment as we passed by her college. It was long enough for a hug and a tour of her new dorm room.

It was such a wonderful, full weekend! I hope you had a lovely one, too.

* * *

You have until 10 pm EST tonight to enter the Button Necklace Giveaway!
Be sure to comment if you haven't already. You might just win!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tofu, Bok Choy, and Onions with Garlic Mirin Sauce

K and I went to an orientation a couple of weeks after moving to Yamagata, Japan. The best part of that orientation was the cooking seminar because we still use the recipes we learned there on a regular basis.

Our favorite recipe that we brought back from Japan is tofu with garlic mirin sauce. This sauce is savory, salty, and just a little bit sweet. The first time we made it, I couldn't believe that something this good came out of our kitchen. It's so good that I've even been known to lick my plate (not in front of company, of course!).

This is an easy recipe for tofu and whatever vegetables you happen to have on hand. If we're just cooking tofu in the sauce, we make the original recipe. If we're adding vegetables, we double the sauce recipe. Tip: Don't leave out the garlic. K has been known to do this because he hates chopping garlic. The garlic balances out the flavors, and if you leave it out the sauce tastes too sweet.

Here's how we make it:

Cook the tofu with some oil in a skillet, and then remove the tofu. Add the sauce and vegetables to the skillet and cook until the sauce has thickened. Mix the tofu into the vegetables and sauce. Serve over rice.

Original recipe for Garlic Mirin Sauce:

1/8 cup mirin
1/8 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 clove garlic, minced (or more, to taste)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon oil

Stir all ingredients in a small bowl, adding oil last. Pour mixture into pan and cook over high heat until thick.

* * * * *

There's still time to enter my Button Necklace giveaway!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

First CSA Day of Fall

Our CSA share from Finger Pickin' Farms:

This week it contains bok choy, butternut squash, turnips, lettuce (6 heads!), red and white potatoes, peppers, and radishes.

Our eating habits have definitely turned toward fall foods already--soups, quiches, and roasted vegetables have all been on the menu lately. I am really enjoying eating with the seasons. Tonight we cooked up some potato soup with potatoes from our CSA share, and last week we made sorrel soup with sorrel from our garden (a great wedding present from a friend).

Speaking of the garden, it's going pretty wild. We're still harvesting tomatoes, though the stream has slowed. We've got lots of green peppers and jalapenos, quite a few watermelons, and plenty of herbs to eat.

Now that bok choy is in season again, I've got a recipe to share with you soon!

I hope your week is just dandy and that you're eating well.

* * *

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below if you haven't already!
That pretty button necklace is in need of a good home.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Button Necklace Giveaway (and 100th post!)

I am completely bursting with excitement about reaching 100 blog posts! I mulled over starting a blog for a long time before I actually sat down and created one this past May. I knew that when I began blogging I wanted to mean it.

Field Wonderful has given me a great outlet to share things I enjoy, and I always strive to make it a positive place. I'd love for you all to feel that visiting Field Wonderful is like stopping by a friend's house--chatting, laughing, and sharing news over cups of tea (and maybe a slice of cake). That's how I imagine it anyway.

Necklace posing with my school books

To celebrate and to thank you for reading my blog, I'm giving away a button necklace that I made. The details--

Name: Morning Light Button Necklace

Color: Pale, shimmery yellow

Perfect to wear while: sipping coffee at a cafe
shopping at the farmers' market
spending time at the park, etc.

Here's how to win:

Leave a comment on this post letting me know where you would wear this necklace.

Make sure you include your name and email address so that I can contact you if you win.

Anyone can comment to win--I'm willing to ship internationally.

The contest will close at 10 pm EST on September 28, 2009. I'll pick a winner at random and announce the winner soon after.

Good luck!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Vanilla Ice Cream with Hot Fudge Sauce

Sometimes you just can't beat the classics. Vanilla ice cream with hot fudge sauce is always a winner in my book. It's creamy, smooth, and decadent without feeling too over the top.

I made this French-style vanilla ice cream from The Perfect Scoop with a vanilla bean, homemade vanilla extract, cream, sugar, and eggs from Misty Meadows Farm. It was my first time to make a custard-based ice cream, as thus far I've only attempted the quick and easy Philadelphia-style (no egg) ice creams. This custard-based recipe did require more work, but once I got into it, it wasn't too difficult. Plus, using farm fresh eggs is such a treat and makes the ice cream seem a little healthier. Right? Hmm...ok, ice cream isn't quite a health food, but the eggs do make the taste and texture richer and more substantial.

K and I loved this vanilla ice cream just as it was, but I jumped at the chance to make some hot fudge sauce. Ever since eating that Boston Shake, hot fudge has been on my mind. Hot fudge makes everything better!

This hot fudge sauce is simple, rich, and delicious. It's an easy topping to whip up and keeps well in the fridge. Also, if you run out of ice cream this sauce is pretty good just eaten by the spoonful. (I won't tell if you won't.)

Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe*
(I googled and found it here)


1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients except the vanilla in a small saucepan. Heat to boiling. Continue boiling for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Once it has cooled a bit, serve over ice cream.**

* * * * *

*I wanted to make my grandma's hot fudge recipe, but I didn't have any condensed milk on hand. Next time I'm definitely trying out Grandma's recipe. I love keeping family recipes going.

**I think it would also be fabulous over cake. Oh, now I totally want to make a hot fudge cake.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Doily Jewelry Display

Sometimes I think that Margie of resurrection fern must constantly have wonderful, creative ideas. I'm sure glad that she shares some of them with us.

When I saw her new jewelry storage, I just had to try it out for myself. Heck, I already had all of the supplies and it only takes about two minutes to put this all together.

It's such a lovely way to display jewelry and definitely makes me smile each time I see it.

Happy Friday to you!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Lake at Midnight: A Button Necklace

When I accompanied my mom to the fabric store as a child, I always spent my time there glued to the button wall. So when I recently found myself in possession of several jars brimming with buttons, it was a dream come true. All these buttons, for me? How lucky can a girl get?

After much time admiring buttons by the handful, I decided to make some button necklaces. This particular button necklace is for my mom, which is only fair because rightfully the button jars are half hers.

Button details (btw the necklace had a lovely time in northern Africa)

I like naming the necklaces nearly as much as making them. This shimmery gray one reminded me both of city skyscrapers at night and the dark depths of nature. Mom is definitely more nature than urban, so I've named this one The Lake at Midnight. It would be perfect to wear for nighttime strolls, stargazing, and staying up late to tell stories by the fireside.

* * *

This post is a little hint of what's to come. I'm fast approaching my 100th blog post, and I've made a little something to give away. I am so excited about it! Be sure to check back in the next several days for a chance to win.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

CSA Day: Salad days are here again

I'm amazed at the variety and quantity of produce we got in through our CSA subscription this week. Look at all of this goodness!

We got radishes, cherry tomatoes, Cherokee lettuce, sweet potatoes, Cosmic lettuce, sweet peppers, bok choy, okra, watermelons, and Nevada lettuce. It's quite a haul! As always, our vegetables come from Finger Pickin' Farms.

I can't wait to eat the first sweet potatoes of the season, and this Star of David okra is calling my name already.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Library Love

I had forgotten how much I love libraries.

The smells--old paper, leather bindings, canvas covers, dust.

The rows upon rows of shelves--books stacked up from floor to ceiling, the maze-like arrangements of them.

The immense quiet peppered with small sounds--a page turning, the shuffle of feet, a snippet of whispered conversation (so easily overheard).

The feeling of stumbling into this other world, quite unlike any other--turning a corner and seeing nothing but books. It's easy to feel like the only person in a library. It's a place to think, to read, to get lost amongst the vast towers of books.

It feels good to rediscover such a long lost love.

* * *

On the topic of libraries, there's a song that mentions libraries, and even though it isn't really about libraries at all, I always think of it as "that library song." It starts off:

Spent a week in a dusty library, waiting for some words to jump at me.

It's Camera Obscura's French Navy--a poppy, catchy tune with a pretty sweet video.
I thought you might just enjoy it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Yellow Cherry Blossom Pouch

Every time I think that I have a new favorite color, I always come back to yellow. It's such a cheery color--the color of sunlight, daffodils, and butter (which makes everything pretty wonderful). I've never seen a yellow cherry blossom--they actually might only exist in a fairy tale land--but I love the idea of them.

I made this little pouch for my friend Christine. We met in Japan, so cherry blossoms seemed appropriate. It reminds me of going to hanami parties* with her at the park, seeing fluffy pink cherry blossoms against the blue twilit sky. The last hanami party we went to together was in spring of last year and during the party it started gently sprinkling. Not enough rain to make us hop on our bikes and head home, but just enough rain so that the tiny water droplets clung to our hair, the grass, and the cherry blossoms and made everything look magical.

I hope she can find some little treasures to fill this pouch with--letters from Japanese friends, ticket stubs from our sumo adventure, or photos of her time in the land of the rising sun.

This is the same pattern as the pouches I made here. The original pattern comes from the maya*made blog and can be found here.

* * * * *

*Hanami parties are cherry blossom-viewing parties (the English translation sounds pretty clunky, huh?). In the spring, hoards of people gather at parks and on river banks to picnic and look at the cherry blossoms. My students told me that they were always much more excited about the food than the blossoms.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Weekend plans

There is no shortage of things to do if you find yourself in Louisville this weekend.

Here are just a few that caught my eye:

Quills Coffee is celebrating their grand opening today with lots of bands, good coffee, and good fun! I was talking to the owner of Quills last night, Nathan Quillo (who is married to my cousin), about the tea service that they offer at the shop. It's fair trade, organic tea bought from tea farms in China. I'm excited to try their tea service now because they're really particular about temperature and steeping time to make sure you get the best cup of tea. They also give the customer information about the tea service, so that even novice tea drinkers can feel comfortable steeping and straining their own tea. Nathan said the sencha and peach blossom white are two of the most popular teas they sell, both of which sound absolutely delicious. So if you're in the area today (930 Baxter Avenue), stop by Quills for their celebration and a cup of coffee or tea.

In addition to the Quills party, the Original Highlands Art and Music Festival is going on today on Baxter Avenue from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The street will be closed off and filled with artists' booths and a couple of stages with bands. It sounds like a cool, casual festival.

Another festival that I'm interested in is the September Art Fair at Mellwood. It's going on today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. I'm excited to see what local artists are making. Plus, I've never been inside the Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center and this is the perfect excuse to check it out. It was formerly a meat-packing facility, but now houses artists' studios, galleries, and shops among other things.

* * *

What are you up to this weekend? Whatever it is, I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thread Necklace

A couple of weeks ago my mom picked up oodles of little spools of thread at a yard sale with me in mind. I was happy to take this treasure off her hands.

There's actually no spool in the middle; it's just thread wound up into a bead shape.

Looks like a bead, so that's where my mind went, and I created this thread necklace. I love the simplicity of it and the double-take effect of seeing thread when you're expecting to see a bead.

It's my ode to sewing, handmade creations, and old-fashioned resourcefulness.

Plus, I like the idea of having some thread around so that in case of an emergency I can use it MacGyver-style to extricate myself from a dangerous situation.

I plan on adding a bit of glue to secure the ends, but I haven't had time just yet (and haven't had any problems with unraveling either).

I've got these little thread beads in several different colors, so you know I'll be making a necklace to go with every outfit.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

CSA Day: Green Galore

Nick of Finger Pickin' Farms loaded up our CSA box this week with lots of wonderful things.

We got okra, a bounty of sweet peppers, two small watermelons (I think they're Sweet Mountain Yellow), a heap of green beans, a mountain of potatoes, and a couple of cucumbers.

The okra slid into a skillet shortly after this picture was taken, and oh-my-goodness--where have you been all my life okra? We sauteed it with olive oil, sprinkled it with sea salt, and devoured it. Tonight made me a complete okra convert!

Today at the farmers' market I met Sue, who writes the Phoenix Hill Farmers' Market blog and her personal blog Urban Little House. It's the first time I've ever met a blog friend, so it was pretty exciting. (It was great meeting you, Sue!)


Just out of curiosity, what are you eating this week?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Linkin' Tunnel

*Links I'm loving lately*

RagamuffinDesign has got some awesome knitted and crocheted goods. I adore this gnome hat, this slouchy hat made from sari silk, and these wrist warmers.

My favorite DJ ever, Berk Bryant aka The Country Gentleman, was in the local newspaper yesterday. He hosts a 3-hour bluegrass show every Sunday night on Louisville's public radio station, 91.9 WFPK. In addition to playing bluegrass and old-time country, he is such a character. Part of his charm is that his show isn't polished. It makes it feel like you're just hanging out at his house and he's playing you his favorite records. If you live in Louisville, listen to him Sundays from 8-11 PM and if you're farther away, you can catch him at the same time via live streaming on

Seriously, this doily sweater is my dream come true. Comfy cardigan + ultra-girly details? I've got to make one of these.

The 2009 Asian Film Festival at Village 8 Theatres is going on right now. Last night K and I saw Departures, which totally blew me away. It gives a fascinating view of Japanese death rituals, something foreigners don't usually get to see or hear about. I also enjoyed hearing Japanese spoken again. Listening was probably my best Japanese language skill, and it was exciting to realize that I haven't forgotten everything. Oh, and a bonus for this movie is that it's set in Yamagata, which is where K and I lived in Japan. I'd definitely recommend seeing it! It's playing until Thursday at Village 8.

The Saturday Night Girls cross stitches offer lots of inspiration. I love the simple silhouettes, especially the teapot. Beautiful stitching.

This Caesar Salad looks amazing! I'd like to eat a giant bowl of it right now.

I hope you're all enjoying the holiday! Happy Labor Day!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lucky Clover Stone

This is another crochet-covered stone I made from Margie's patterns in Crochet Today.

I found the stone in Cherokee Park, half-buried in the dirt. I hauled it home, hosed it off, and crocheted away. You can't tell from the photos, but it's a bit odd shaped--thick on one side and thin on the other with lumps and bumps all around. Once I'd gotten the hang of the crochet pattern, it was so easy to make adjustments to fit this very stone. Margie explains it as basically making a mesh netting that will stretch to fit whatever rock you have.

A clover in its natural habitat

I have to include a quote from K, who appreciates my work even if he doesn't always understand it. His take on the crocheted stone: "Well, I'm sure glad that rock isn't naked anymore."

Larger than life so you can see the stitch details

Oh! Margie's got lots of giveaways going on at her blog, Resurrection Fern, right now. You've got until tomorrow to enter to win some of her beautiful creations. Get on over there!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Our State Fair is a Great State Fair

Midway Edition

Ok, ok, I know the fair is over but that doesn't mean the fair fun has to stop. Here are some pictures of the midway rides that I snapped while out and about with Julie. I really think I like looking at the rides more than I like riding them. The bright colors, neon lights, and retro decorations always make me feel nostalgic.

Ferris Wheel: The crown jewel of the midway

Himalaya: A midway must-have

How can you pass up an offer like this?

And such fabulous prizes!

If I had bought some tickets, I definitely would have gone on the Fun Slide. It's like 3 stories high, and it says right there in the name, it's FUN!

The Yoyo: Slightly terrifying, but what every kid dreams of when they say, "I want to swing higher!"

The Tilt-A-Whirl: A carnival classic

I hope you have a sugary sweet weekend full of childlike wonder! I know that's my goal.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

CSA Day: The traffic light edition

Here's the red, yellow, and green produce we picked up from Finger Pickin' Farms:

From the top down: Corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, lime basil, and squash

Whew...with the start of school K and I have had to readjust our dinner schedule. We're eating later these days, which means that when dinner time finally rolls around, we're really hungry. To combat our ravenous appetites we're turning to make-ahead foods like soups and casseroles. Luckily autumn approaches, so hot dishes like these will be perfect.

We'll be making vegetarian tortilla soup, summer salads, and salsa with this week's vegetables.

The eggs are from Misty Meadows Farm. I had a lovely little chat with Kathy as I was picking up them up. We talked about how Sean and DPaul from Hedonia came to visit Misty Meadows Farm back in May, and I told her that I'd seen their write-up on the Hedonia blog. The blog post is definitely worth checking out. Oh, and while you're there you might want to read some of the Eatsdropper posts. Hilarious!

I hope you are having a great week and eating well!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Light Green Zig Zag Scarf

Happy September! I just love this month.

I made this lightweight green scarf as a thank you gift, but I thought I'd show it off here before giving it away.

The color and pattern remind me of this time of year--late summer--when you can still run zig zags through grassy fields, and if you take a moment to watch the trees you'll see some green leaves making an early descent, spiraling through the sky.

The cool weather here in Louisville means that this scarf can be worn now for early morning meanderings and evening porch-sitting.

This picture is to give a sense of the length. It's long enough to double up (see top picture) and will keep you warm, but not so long that you look like a mummy by the time you get it all wrapped around you.


It's the same pattern as the headband/cowl I made a while back. This pattern is easy and the rows are short, so it makes for quick work. For example, if you're taking a break from reading at the library, you can crochet about 4 rows in less than 15 minutes. It'll make you feel like you're really accomplishing something.

Here it is on my Ravelry page: Light Green Zig Zag Scarf.


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