Monday, April 27, 2009

More pictures

A beautiful fountain at our favourite nursery, Il Giardino.

A quick stop at one of our favourite wineries for a few bottles of red.
Love olive trees.
This is the bucolic scene at the trailhead.
One of the many flower displays around the village.
New baskets at Il Giardino.
Summerland Library
Now this is a screen door.
The morning we left we had breakfast at the Bench and this is the view we enjoyed across the road.
Had an exhilarating walk on the trail Sunday morning.

Every house is 'on the edge of a vineyard'.
A quiet spot to rest and enjoy the quiet.

Beautiful BC

Our weekend getaway started with a drive up into the mountains to do some hiking but we were not prepared for all the fresh snow. One look at the trail and we headed back down the very, very,steep, icy, and snow covered road. Stopped at the pub at the bottom of the hill, glad to be alive.

We wasted no time in getting out of the big city and across the bridge and over to the quiet side of the lake where the only sounds are the wind in the pines, the cry of quails, and the silent bounding of deer into the trees.
We relax as soon as we get to our place, nothing has changed and that is just the way we like it. Yes, more houses are being built on the upper bench and more vineyards going in, but as we stroll around the village, the quiet is exactly the way we remember .

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thrills and trips

What a thrill to get packages in the mail! This wonderful fabric is from the giveaway that I won on em's scrap bag. I am going to use one little square in my blue and white baby quilt just to give it that scrappy, using what I have kind of look.

I am excitedly packing for a long weekend away-heading south to our favourite getaway by the lake. It's a tiny place, very quiet, with lots of hiking, a great pub, and breathtaking sunsets. Back on Tuesday with lots of pics. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Keeping busy

Maura loves to knit and at the moment she is working on a cotton hand towel. The yarn she is using is a variegated lavender and the pattern works out to ripples on an angle. It's quite something and nothing but my pinwheel crystal vase would do for this lovely bouquet.

I thought that by making a scrap quilt I would make a serious dent in my stash of fabric. It is a baby quilt and after cutting up 112 blue squares and 113 white squares, my fabric pile still looks the same. Of course it didn't help that I gave in to temptation on the weekend and purchased two more fabrics for this quilt; the perfect sailboats and the very cute seagulls. How cute are they? Well, at $22.00 a meter they are the cutest seagulls I have ever seen.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wonderful Sunday

I remember the day that I bought the tablecloth that I used this morning to set the table for brunch. It was a gift from my Nonni- I went to the market and picked it out myself. No easy feat as this was in Italy and every stall that I walked by was piled high with the most beautiful table linens in gorgeous Italian colour prints and enriched by intricate embroideries. Lillies of the Valley strewn across a cotton cloth and napkins with whipstitched edges-this is the one that I chose that day and every time this set graces our table, I am reminded of my wonderful grandparents.

My good friend, Audrey, stopped in for a visit. Tea and oat scones and good conversation- a great ending to a wonderful Sunday.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lunch at St. Andrews

All this week I have been having lunch at St. Andrews. The constant drone of the nearby traffic would have been bothersome but I focused instead on the birdsong all around me. A comfy bench in the sun and bits of colour everywhere make a paperbag lunch much more enjoyable.

Monday, April 13, 2009

La Pasquetta

To celebrate La Pasquetta (Little Easter) I tried a new recipe from the March 2009 issue of Ladies Home Journal-easy cinnamon rolls. Were they easy, you ask? Yes, they were and after tasting these I don't think I will be making yeast rolls again. I did change the recipe slightly by adding pecans (thanks to Valodya for shelling them for me) and dried cranberries. Plus I had to bake them about 5 minutes longer then the recipe suggested.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Special day

It was always about food; growing a garden, hunting for moose, deer, or the elusive mountain goat, fishing, searching for mushrooms, driving miles and miles for a bag of dandelions, raising chickens, making wine, slaughtering our own lamb for Easter, garlands of sausages and salty prosciutto hanging in the cellar, airmail packages of snails from back east, herbs and seeds smuggled from the Old Country, homemade bread and pasta,green polenta, and making cheese.

At this time of year it's all about the asparagus. I roasted up two bunches and made a walnut crema-recipe from Orangette. I did not follow the recipe exactly so mine turned out more like hummus but it is wonderful. A great side dish with lasagna, garlic bread, and a nice glass of red raised in honour of one who is no longer with us.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Buona Pasqua

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend-Happy Easter to all!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A tearful goodbye

I put together a little something for a friend who is moving away. First,I picked out one of my favourite handmade cards. I stitched up a cloth shopping bag, a nice roomy one with double pockets on the front. From my collection of vintage tea towels, I chose a rose print on pure Irish linen. I wrapped the cloth bag with the linen towel; it's two gifts in one and there is nothing to put in the garbage when you unwrap this gift. Ribbon from the thrift store ties it all up. Just forgot one thing-tissues for all the tears.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I've got mail

This is the wonderful fabric I won in a giveaway on Marisa's blog-Quiltotaku. If you haven't checked it out, please do. I had just started a blue and white baby quilt so I 'm glad that it's the right colour for this project.
And speaking of giveaways, Emily of ems scrapbags is the winner of my very first giveaway. I will be posting a cloth bag to her as soon as she sends me her address.
Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway and all the wonderful wishes for my birthday.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Here is the recipe for the Lime Cornmeal Cookies that I mentioned in my previous post.

1 & 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
7/8 cup unbleached bread flour
1 & 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
7/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 & 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup & 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 &1/2 teaspoons lime zest
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 &7/8 cups icing sugar
3 tablespoons lime juice strained

In a bowl whisk together the first five ingredients.
In another bowl using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the sugar, butter and lime zest on medium speed for two minutes, or until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and egg yolks mixing until well combined.
With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in stages. Mix only until everything is well combined.
Using a large spoon or an ice cream scoop or your clean hands moistened with water, scoop out big balls of dough placing 6 balls on each parchment lined cookie sheet. Do not flatten the balls.
Bake the cookies for 18 minutes in a 350 degree oven, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking time. The cookies should be lightly browned on the edges. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes then move to a rack and cool completely before glazing.
Whisk together the icing sugar and lime juice to make a loose glaze. Using a spoon drizzle glaze on top of cookies. Let the glaze dry completely before storing the cookies in an airtight container.

I made two batches of these cookies, one with lime and one with lemon. As I said in my other post these are great without the glaze. I did not use an electric mixer to mix them and used whole wheat bread flour instead of unbleached.