Thursday, August 27, 2009

more from this month

What's better than a cup of afternoon tea and a little blogging...

I feel like things are finally getting back to normal after all this name-change hullabahoo. My brain is little more awake now to what's going on around me instead of only what is whirling around inside me.

I spent my first full day in my sewing room (I guess that'll be the name of it, unless I think of something I like better - suggestions are always welcome!), and it was soooo nice. I have so much space now and feel like I am in a little happy nest of all my favorite things, creations, and sources of inspiration. Lately, I have liked just standing at the door and looking in at all of it. It's so warm and happy! Once I get all those last tidbits put away, I am going to take pictures to post. I can't wait to share!

T-shirts & freckles. Here's a photo of Paul and me relaxing in the back of the pick-up after moving all the furniture around this past weekend. We're enjoying the cool wind from the storm that was brewing above us.

So here's a bit of what's been going on when I haven't been wiling away the hours, working...

This past weekend Paul, a group of friends, and I volunteered at a farm! In case you didn't know, one of my dreams is to have a little sheep farm in the highlands of West Virginia. So little things like this excite me. This had nothing to do with sheep, though. We worked at Gilcrest Natural Farm, a beef and chicken farm near Lake Norman. They sell through the Know Your Farms program that we order our food from. I roasted one of their chickens last week, stuffed with apples and lemon and rubbed with a curry paste. Delicious. Everything is free range, grass-fed, organic, no hormones. You all, all the good stuff. (If you're interested in this sort of thing, or even if you're not, you should check out the Time Magazine cover story from this past week about our food system.) I was really hoping to collect some eggs from the chickens. I've always wanted to do this. We did get to walk through the chicken yard and see the last batch of baby chicks under the heat lamps (They were also playing NPR for them - ha!). But our work was in the fields. We helped Amy & Gil gather rocks that they could relay later to help with erosion. They will be planting some apple trees, and some will go specifically toward helping to protect these trees' roots. Then we spent the rest of our time laying out grass seed and straw in the wooded area at the edge of one of the cow pastures. The cows like to graze in the shade when it's hot, and they had cleared the area of green. I suppose one day we'll be eating a piece of beef from Gilcrest and know that we helped to grow that piece of meat by feeding that cow! 

Other important happenings...
I have 3 peppers have that mysteriously popped up in my garden. These are mysterious not because I didn't plant them (I did.), but moreso because I planted them. Nothing I have planted has taken very well to my back yard, mainly because of the lack of direct sunlight. I gave up on the garden over a month ago, stopped watering it, and let the weeds take over. And now is when I get something...


And lastly, here are some photos from Pie Day IV, an annual event where friends get together and enjoy many slices of pie and each other's company. This started 4 years ago when I had a little pie-baking mania and made 5 in one afternoon. I (and everyone else) liked it so much, I have kept up the tradition. This year, some friends also brought over their own creations, and we ended up with a dozen homemade pies! Every year we vote on our favorites, and I am proud to say that my peach-blackberry took first. We'll see how they like it at the Cabarrus County Fair this year!

Sarah's first time making a homemade pie crust. I instructed her. She said she felt like I was her grandma. Sarah made three delicious pies - banana cream, beef and burgandy, and tomato.

Grandma Amanda making the crust for the butternut squash pie. Though it was one of my favorites, it wasn't a big hit with the rest of the crowd.

The peach-blackberry getting warm in the oven.

My other pies: Nutella with a chocolate-pistachio crust and a line of honey-dipped pistachios and a keylime white chocolate pie. Not pictured: apple cheddar with an herb crust.

Our friend John chatted with Paul's parents while he waited for his first slice of pie.

Felicia and Lola.

Can't have pie day without fresh flowers! I love these berry things - the colors and the way they group themselves on the stalk. I found them while I was picking blackberries.

Everyone gathered for some serious game playing.

My best friend, Nicole, and her husband, Cesar, were visting from Chapel Hill.

Pies, demolished.
The other guest pies of the day: strawberry rhubarb, chocolate pecan, apple, cherry streusel

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