Monday, June 28, 2010

weekly wanderings: red, white and blue

This week K and I were out running errands just before the USA/Ghana World Cup match. We live by so many bars and people were out drinking in the early afternoon, sporting their patriotic colors, parading down the streets with fireworks, and waving American flags from their cars. It was such a sight to see! I immediately started looking for things based on this red, white and blue theme and suddenly I was spotting these colors everywhere.

This was the first time in a long time that I have been sorely tempted to drive instead of walk to complete nearby errands. K and I had already walked a couple of miles to and from the farmers' market that morning and it was so steamy outside that I just wanted to drive the rent check the short distance to our landlord's office. But I couldn't help thinking of the oil spill in the gulf and how reducing the amount of oil I use is always a good thing. When I think of the oil spill I feel so helpless and small; I just don't know what to do. Walking instead of driving to nearby places is something immediate that I can do for my own health and the health of the environment.

Where have you been wandering lately? What have you been spotting?

Friday, June 25, 2010

this moment: i had some dreams they were trees in my coffee...

a lovely moment of sipping that i'd like to remember.

this is part of a series inspired by soulemama. for more moments, visit her blog.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

csa day: sweet onions are here

CSA produce for the week of June 22, 2010 from Finger Pickin' Farms: arrangement of the vegetables this week is kind of jumbled. So let's play a little matching game. I'll list off what we got, and you can match it up to the item in the photo you think it is. 

Orange and Purple carrots 
Zephyr bi-color squash
Pattypan squash
Swiss chard
Golden zucchini
Arrowhead cabbage
Walla Walla onions
White and green cucumbers

We also got:

Someone waiting on me

* * * * * 
Weekly Menu:

* Japanese Curry with Potatoes, Onions and Rutabagas served over rice

* Tofu and Vegetable fried rice

* Japanese Curry Bread (kare pan)--this sounds kind of involved, but it's really just baking our leftovers into bread. I didn't bother with frying the bread.

* Couscous with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, feta, and yogurt dressing

* Falafel served in homemade pita bread with tzatziki sauce and lots of vegetable toppings

* * * * *

Hope you're eating well this week! 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thrifting + giveaway winner

 Lately I've been finding lots of good things at thrift shops.  Here are some things I found last week. Most all are from my favorite vintage shop, Tickled Pink. If you live in Louisville, I highly recommend stopping there sometime. The guy that runs the shop is so down-to-earth and passionate about vintage things. Plus, the prices are really affordable and the stock moves fast, meaning that each time I go in it's like entering a new shop.

I found some great textiles--a bit of old feedsack cloth, a scarf, and cloth map of New Zealand, which I have vague notions of someday incorporating into a travel quilt along with reminders of all the other places K and I have traveled. A scrapbook quilt, if you will.

I picked up quite a few doilies (the owner of Tickled Pink said they sell around 5,000 doilies a month!), some simple egg cups, and a pretty tin. We'll get back to the tin in a minute...

K and I have also had a lot of fun shopping for used records. There are actually lots of places in our neighborhood to find records, but we spent hours this weekend hunting for some real bargains at a peddlers' mall. K is very selective in the records he buys, while I want to buy everything cool I find. 

Lately I've been looking for older stuff and I scored quite a few good albums. The Nat King Cole one from 1963 is just perfect for summer--so carefree! The back cover reads: "So break open the popcorn, fill up a giant-size pitcher with root beer, and listen to some of the happiest music in a long, warm century of summers." When K saw that line he said the record sounds like it was made especially for me. And yes, I love it. I also like the super sweet 1937 sounds of the Andrews Sisters. Their music is absolutely perfect to listen to while baking a pie. 

The record I'm most excited about finding is the Crosby-Clooney one from 1958, which I recently read was Rosemary's favorite recording.  I had my fingers crossed that I'd find one of Rosemary's albums and am so happy I did!

Now back to that tin. I typed up the names of everyone who left a comment on my giveaway post, put the slips of paper in this tin, and had K pick one out.

The winner is Chrissy! Congrats Chrissy, I'll get your goodies in the mail soon. 

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. I appreciate all of your comments so much, and I especially liked reading what you like and dislike about blogs. 

Thank you again for reading my blog! I love getting your comments and emails and reading your blogs, too. I have been so inspired and encouraged by all of you who stop by this space and take the time to read my posts. Thank you!

Monday, June 21, 2010

weekly wanderings: flowers and fruits

my neighborhood walks are becoming a habit that i love. my "weekly wanderings" series and my husband keep me motivated to get out and walk even on very hot days. i love slowing down to a walking pace and taking everything in. there is so much to see if only i take the time to look. this week summer fruits and blooms caught my eye.

what have you seen on your recent wanderings?

k and i happened upon an elaborate birthday picnic at the park on one of our walks and saw two hawks on another. 

* * * 

the giveaway winner will be announced tomorrow! thanks to everyone who entered.

Friday, June 18, 2010

this moment: summertime reading

a moment from the week that i want to remember.

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inspired by soulemama, where you can find more moments.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

csa day: green and yellow edition

What's in the CSA box this week? (6/15/2010)

From left to right, top to bottom.
Column 1: Fennel
Column 2: Kale, squash, lettuce
Column 3: Cucumbers, arrowhead cabbage, green beans, squash and a golden zucchini

This week is the start of something a little different with our CSA. Our CSA is going to home delivery, so instead of picking up our vegetables at the farmers' market, our box now shows up on my dad's front porch. Nick, who owns Finger Pickin' Farms, explained that home delivery will allow him more time in the fields picking, and hopefully more produce for us. We did get something unexpected in our box this week--flowers! It's the first time for flowers from our CSA, but I hope not the last because I love fresh flowers. 

My half of the CSA flowers

* * * * * 
Weekly Menu:

--Leek and Potato soup. Just the thing you want on a hot, humid day: a steaming bowl of soup. We had all the ingredients on hand, so I made it despite the weather. I'm glad I did because it tastes wonderful. Plus, I just got Mastering the Art of French Cooking from the library and discovered that if I stir some cream into my soup and eat it chilled, it's vichyssoise. What fancy leftovers I have.

--Blue cheese and Squash Pizza. I used this pizza dough recipe, but it was too salty for my tastes. I'll probably try it again with less salt, but if you've got any pizza dough recipes you love, send them my way.

--Cook out at Mom's. Meat and vegetables on the grill (and veggie meats for me), Mom's famous potato salad, and peaches

--Skillet Nachos with Black Beans and Squash. A one pot meal. Saute about 2 cups of vegetables--in my case squash--in a skillet until crisp-tender. Add 2 cups of beans and 1/2 cup of salsa. Cook until warmed through. Remove the mixture and wipe the skillet clean. Toss in tortillas chips and top with the vegetable/bean mixture. Add some shredded cheese. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with your choice of: olives, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, jalapenos, etc. (Adapted from Betty Crocker's Quick and Easy Cookbook)

--CSA hodgepodge. Green beans, cabbage casserole, and baked beans.

--Dinner out. Maybe the Swan Dive

--Kale chips for a snack. I have to try them after so many of you highly recommended them.

* * * * * 

What are you eating this week?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

weekly wanderings: signs on the way to the farmers' market

I've actually never eaten here, but have heard it's great for a middle of the night snack

I've been out exploring the world on my own two feet again. I love walking, but the heat and humidity of Kentucky in the summer is already putting my love to the test. This past week just stepping outside was enough to make me break a sweat, so walks have had to be taken in the early morning or evening hours. I've been lucky enough to catch a couple of breezes on my strolls, making them much more bearable.

I remembered to take my camera along last weekend when K and I headed out to the farmers' market. I snapped photos of things along the way that I love. Our neighborhood houses lots of local businesses and quirky folks. The photos look a bit gray because the sky was heavy with rain during our walk and just as we were nearing the market I had to put the camera away because the clouds opened up and rained all over us.

One of my favorite places

I would love to peek inside this place

Kizito Cookies store, beautifully painted designs

Queen of Rags (vintage clothes shop) window

A musical landmark in Louisville, soon to move

X marks the spot?

* * * 

Did you do any wandering this week? What did you see?

I hope you've had cooler, drier walks than I've had!

* * * 

There's still time to enter my giveaway

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm late for a very important date (but here's a celebratory giveaway)

Hello! So I missed my own first blog anniversary, which was back in May and I never did get around to celebrating the 200 post mark which happened sometime in April. Not all is lost, however, because I'm a 'better late than never' kind of girl, so let's have a little belated celebration.

To start, I wanted to share with you the origins of my blog's name. I picked the name from an embroidery I completed just before I began blogging which read "through the field wonderful," a phrase I had pulled from an ee cummings poem. I still love the poem so much. The stanza it comes from reads (and forgive me, I don't think I can replicate the spacing here but I'll do my best):

                        picker of buttercups
And the big bullying daisies
                                             through the field wonderful
with eyes a little sorry
Another comes
                         also picking flowers

--ee cummings

To celebrate one year of blogging and over 200 posts and also to thank you for taking the time to read my words and look at my photos, I'm giving away 2 cards and a mini-doily pillow. These small gifts reflect some of the things I love: handwritten letters from friends, crocheting, and sewing. 

If you've been reading for a while you'll know that I am completely smitten by doilies and vintage lace. My house has become filled with doily pillows over this past year. This mini-doily pillow is made from a small doily that I crocheted, sewn onto my favorite unbleached cotton cloth and stuffed with batting and a couple of thimblefuls of lavender. It would make a perfect pincushion or a lovely sachet. You could leave it on your dresser to make your morning routine a bit more peaceful or on your desk to keep your working hours calmer.

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post and make sure to leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win (a comment that links to your profile is fine too, as long as your email address is there). Any comment will do, but I am really interested in specific things that you like or dislike about blogs. I'm always making little changes here at field wonderful, and I would love to get your input. 

**For an extra chance to win become a follower of this blog and make sure to leave me another comment to let me know. **

**For another extra chance to win, blog about this giveaway or post about it on facebook. Of course, leave another comment to let me know you did this.**

So that's 3 chances to win. Woohoo!

This giveaway is open worldwide and I welcome international entries. I'll close the giveaway on Sunday, June 20, 2010 at 8 PM EST. Then I'll choose a winner at random.

Good luck and thank you so very much for reading my blog!

Friday, June 11, 2010

this moment: i've got vinyl in my life now

two photos, one moment. listening to records and drinking mint tea.

i want to keep this moment with me for a long time. 

see who else is participating in the {this moment} series on soulemama's blog.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sweet Cherries from Pitting to Pie

How do you know if your cherries are sweet? 
See if they all huddle into a heart shape on your cutting board. 
Then you know they are. Or you can just taste them. 

K's parents gave us some cherries they picked, knowing we love fresh local foods. My first question when I heard they had cherries was: are there enough to make a pie? And the answer was: yes, plenty. *squeal* I've never made a cherry pie and actually haven't eaten many either. I've certainly never had a cherry pie made with fresh cherries, so I was pretty excited to try it out. 

I do remember making cherry turnovers as a kid at day camp. We folded white bread in half, spooned in some canned cherry pie filling, and mushed the edges together to keep the molten red goo from oozing out.* Then some of the counselors cooked the turnovers in butter and sprinkled them with sugar before putting them in our eager little camper hands. I always signed up for the cooking and craft activities and never for the sports ones at day camp. Not much has changed since then except maybe that I've grown in my culinary endeavors, which brings us back to the sweet cherry pie I made this week with nary a can of pie filling to be found. 

I started pitting the cherries by slicing them in half and yanking out the pit, but soon discovered it was easier to put the knife aside and just split the cherries with my fingers. So that's what I did. It took hours. Ok, maybe an hour, but it felt like a long time. I got six cups of these tiny cherries and still have another bag in the fridge, but I was finished pitting for the day. 

I made this all-butter pie crust, even though I was worried about the crust melting down into a lumpy blob, which has happened to me with other butter-only crusts. I love rolling out pie crusts, getting to use my mom's old rolling pin and the zigzag cutter for making pretty edges. I also love weaving the dough into lattice a top and snitching the extra little bits.

I took this picture of the pie straight out of the oven. I was terribly afraid it might collapse on me and I wanted some documentation that it had once been a pretty, if rustic, pie. I love how old-fashioned pies are. You could have seen a pie just like this cooling on a windowsill 100 years ago. 

I moved the pie to the dining room to cool and couldn't resist how it looked with the white hydrangeas and bottle of wine. Somehow the combination of pie, fresh flowers and wine makes me forget all the little frustrations of life. Of course it could just be the wine...

After waiting and waiting for the pie to cool, I finally got to try a piece. It's so good! The flavor of the cherries really shines, and it's sweet without being cloyingly sweet. Did you notice that it didn't collapse at all? Score one for me and all-butter crust. Plus, it tastes way better than canned cherries and white bread.

I used this sweet cherry pie recipe if you want to try it for yourself.

* * * * * 

So what about you? Do you have any pie memories?

* * * * * 

*We never got to eat white bread at home (thanks Mom!), which made it such a treat to eat when I was at other people's houses. My cousins had all the luck because they had pitchers of kool-aid in their fridge and white bread to snack on. My cousin Sara and I used to smash slices of white bread as thin as we could get them, then cut out circles using small drinking glasses. We'd heap the bread rounds onto a single plate next to a glass of kool-aid and play "communion" until our stomachs couldn't take any more.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

csa day: summer colors are here

Finger Pickin' Farms CSA box contents for the week of June 8, 2010.

From left to right, top to bottom:
Row 1--4 heads of lettuce
Row 2--Carrots
Row 3: Mint, kohlrabi, strawberries, squash
Row 4: Swiss chard, summer squash

I'm going to try out blogging our dinner menu each week. You'll notice there aren't 7 nights of meals listed here because some nights we have leftovers. I also don't usually decide which day we're having each meal in advance--I decide each day based on my time, my mood, and the produce (i.e. what needs to be used first before it goes bad). 

Posting our menus is a way of sharing recipes and ideas with you, and is also a way for me to keep track of meals. See, we always make up a weekly menu before we make our grocery list, but there have been quite a few times when I've misplaced the menu and end up cobbling a meal together on the fly. I figure that I can't lose my blog, so keeping a menu here will help me out.

I've been reading Dani's weekly menus on her blog Little Fists for months now and she inspired me to blog about my dinner plans. I am always curious about what other people are eating, and I love getting new ideas. You'll want to check out her What's for Dinner? posts if you feel the same way.

The meal plan:

*Tofu and bok choy with garlic mirin sauce served over rice.
            I didn't get around to making this last week, so I made it last night. I used the leftover rice to make some simple onigiri to pack in lunches. K and I loved buying onigiri in Japan to snack on. They aren't readily available here in Kentucky, but it's easy to make our own. I learned to make them from this tutorial. Also, I recently listened to a fun podcast about onigiri, which made me want to start making them again.

*Black bean tacos with sauteed squash, salad, and rice

*Fried eggs with homemade bread, sauteed Swiss chard, and roasted carrots

*Dinner out for our anniversary

* * * * * 

What are you eating this week?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Some new handmade things in my life

I'm happy to say that I lucked into winning a couple of SMS giveaways! I wanted to show off the prizes here as well as thank the bloggers who so generously gave away their handmade things.

I won this fabulous scarf from Elizabeth who writes the blog Toile. Her blog is new to me, but with her love of crafting and literature, I think I'm going to be visiting quite often. 

I have to say that this scarf my new favorite summer accessory. I've started trying to plan my outfits so that I can wear it nearly every day. Here's what I love about it: the colors, the floral print, the weight of the fabric--so light--and its versatility. At first I thought I would have to wait to wear this lovely scarf because summers in Kentucky are so hot and humid, but it's actually perfect because restaurants and shops blast the a/c this time of year and can be too cold. 

I mostly wear this scarf like you see in the top photo, just tied in the back (or, as my husband says, like a cowboy). I also like to twist and wear it as a chunky necklace. I haven't worn it out as a headcover yet, but I think it would be perfect to wear like this while working in the yard or on a hike. 

Elizabeth also made this green crocheted grocery bag, which I love. It's great for the farmers' market.

The bag on the left is a morsbag that I won from Steph (forgive the wrinkles, I've already been using it for groceries). I actually won two of these morsbags, which Steph made from thrifted sheets. I was really in need of some more reusable grocery bags, so I'm completely thrilled that I got these. 

On her blog, Steph encourages everyone to use their own cloth grocery bags. If you sew or know someone who does, she's offering a little incentive to get you to stop using plastic bags. She'll send you a morsbag kit for free--fabric pieces cut and pressed, plus a morsbag label--and all you have to do is sew it together and start using it. If you aren't already taking your own bags when shopping, what are you waiting for? It's an easy way to cut down on your plastic consumption. If you already use cloth bags, maybe you need another or know someone else who does. Check out Steph's post here for more information. And if you believe that little things can make a difference (I do!) leave her a comment letting her know. 

Thanks again to Elizabeth and Steph! Handmade things make me very happy!

Monday, June 7, 2010

weekend wanderings: augusta, kentucky

vintage bike with flowers

I want to get back to sharing my wanderings with you. I love going places on my own two feet, walking in different neighborhoods or through the park. My hope is that sharing what I see here will motivate me to take more walks, to be mindful of my surroundings, and might just encourage you all to get out, walk, and see what you can see. 
* * * 

This weekend K and I took a trip to his hometown, Maysville, Kentucky. It's on the Ohio River just like Louisville, but it's 2 1/2 hours away by car, making it seem like quite a getaway. We visited K's parents, and K spent the weekend making a piece of furniture (to be revealed soon) with his dad. My mother-in-law Phyllis and I headed to an art fair in Augusta, a small town nearby, which just so happens to be where Rosemary Clooney lived and also George Clooney's hometown. *swoon*

Augusta is a beautiful town, but the residents had the downtown even more gussied up than usual to celebrate the Art in the Garden fair. Flags were flying and potted flowers were abundant. Here are  some of the things we saw:

the beehive tavern 
(word is that it's pretty to look at but not so great for eating)

the jenny ann

perfect summer getaway house. log cabin-y, porch swing, ferns, and town bikes. 

the rosemary clooney house, now a museum. the clooney family (sans george) was there.

gift and gab, an adorable shop.

* * * 

near or far, where did you wander this weekend?  


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