July 9, 2011

Un-Tangled After a Great Vacation

There is nothing more rewarding than returning home after a nice vacation. Sure, the vacation itself was terrific: great company, wonderful conversation, renewed friendships, delicious food, fresh air, nature's beauty and invigorating exercise.

Escaping all the chores and routines at home are what vacations are all about. You don't have laundry all over the house, don't have to go grocery shopping, don't have to take care of the pets, don't have to cook meals and on and on. 

The fact that you don't have to do these things is precisely why its so much fun to pitch and help out when your vacation is visiting family and friends at their homes. A special dish, homemade biscotti, even stacking the wood! A great adventure even though it's not an exotic destination.

The Pacific Northwest is full of great things to do, especially when there is family to visit. Multiple hikes and a climb to the top of St. Helen's were on the list of to do's this summer and they were accomplished during our vacation. What a great time we had visiting, helping, eating, drinking, exploring, celebrating. A perfect vacation.

What is so rewarding is when, after all the fun and freedom from responsibility, you return and realize that you really like your home, love your backyard and garden, your routines and hobbies and wouldn't trade them for anything. Except possibly a similar home in Italy! Imagine having lemon and olives trees along with all the rest of the orto, and a wood-oven for pizza and bread....

June 26, 2011

Backyard Beauties

I hope you enjoy these new pictures from our yard. We have found a few surprises this year, I hope they may delight you.

June 20, 2011

Summer in the Backyard

Please enjoy some of the scenes from our backyard this past week. Our projects are winding down and now I hope for some time to relax and enjoy our yard during the (finally) warmer months this summer.  Morning coffee on the  deck, quiet evenings in the yard or under the pergola can be the best moments of the day.  Felting, crafting or reading outside in the soft warm air can be transcendent, and harvesting your own food is one of the most soul-satisfying chores there is. I love to create the days meals while I peruse the very fresh market that is my backyard. Now if I only had an outdoor bread oven!

June 14, 2011

Chores, Chores, Chores - or - No Time for Dancing!

Life has been busy this spring. While the summer season has not officially started, it is beginning to feel like it might just be here. The plants are really starting to bloom, the grass continues to grow, school is winding up and the tomato plants are starting to perk up. And we have had a couple of projects keeping us busy at home for the past few weeks.

April 30, 2011


Easter breakfast

Life has reached a hectic pace and I've been dancing too fast to sit down and write anything. So what follows are some images of our Easter day food and activities. To all my friends and family that we didn't see over the Easter holiday, I hope you had happy and fun gatherings and lots of good food.

April 17, 2011

Get hopping!

It's not quite Easter, but in our backyard it is time to get hopping! The hops we planted last spring are up and taking over. They look healthy and beautiful just the way they are, but we know that they will do best with just a few shoots left to grow tall.

Such a pity to cut all those spears. My husband found it a hard task to make himself do.

Now those shoots should really speed toward the sky!  We are looking forward to both their fruit and the shade they will provide by covering our pergola in the summer.

After all that hard morning work we ate "our garden's" first big salad of the year. Hopefully there will be many more to follow. That makes me anxious for the peppers and tomatoes in August. And the fresh basil. And...

April 16, 2011

A busy Saturday

Today was a lovely day for being outside. It was supposed to shower, but the rain held off until this evening, which gave us warm and partly sunny weather for working and playing.

April 14, 2011

Rustic Potato Tart

I've been feeling a little neglectful toward my creative side lately, so I thought I would share a delicious meal I made this week. Its nice, simple (even simpler if you cheat and buy ready to use pie crust), and wholesome. And did I mention it was delicious?

April 10, 2011

New Growth

Here in the Intermountain West it is slowly turning to spring. The days are getting warmer - at least some of them are, and the nights.... Well we don't have to worry about the plants every night anymore. Running outside to cover the beds or bring in the seedling trays when snow or hail threatens adds a hectic beat to the daily dance that is our life. We are putting more and more of our seedlings in the ground, but worry about some of the warm-weather plants that we have started. If the nights don't get warmer soon, our little guys will get too leggy waiting for transplant.

April 3, 2011

Homemade Butter

I had a little extra time and what did I do with it? Made butter of course. It is not my first attempt at making butter, but shaking it in a baby food jar at my daughter's 4th grade history field-trip shouldn't really count.
It seemed like the perfect next step to take after learning to make fresh cheese. And now I can use the buttermilk by-product to make my next batch of cheese! Or I might just have to make some buttermilk biscuits or pancakes instead.

March 18, 2011

Waiting for spring!

Welcome to my Garden! I hope to write about much that happens outdoors at my house. Gardening, building projects, outdoor-gathering ideas, pets and chickens.

On Sunday, spring will officially be here. The weather is supposed to be lovely on Sunday, but we've had quite a week of wild weather here in Boise, Idaho. Take a look at our yard earlier this week!

 The previous weeks' nice weather didn't last. Good thing we were expecting more chilly temperatures!

March 13, 2011

Homemade Italian Bread

Last week I said I would try making my Italian bread recipe with the liquid whey left from my cheese-making. After reading different things about acid whey and sweet whey, I wasn't sure what my bread would taste like, or if it would work at all. Because I used lemon juice for curdling the milk (acid whey) it sounded like my bread would not come out well but hey, I had to try. If I'm gonna stick with making cheese I need to incorporate the by-products into my life and not just throw them away. Based on my trial run it looks as though the cheese-making can stay!

March 6, 2011

Cheese-making : The fulfillment of a dream

I have always wanted to make cheese, spin yarn and live in a close-knit community of artisans. I was born just a little too late to hit the last big opportunity for that here in the United States. But with  the trend to "buy, eat, grow and make local and sustainable produce/products" making a big move, my chance may come again.

I won't uproot my life to move to a kibbutz, but there is a growing sense of community, both locally and on the world-wide web that is refreshing. I love the interaction with like-minded individuals, sharing ideas and experiences that enrich our lives, trying to hold on to, bring back, and create new cherished traditions that are healthier and more sustainable than current practices.

The other day a friend who'd (mis)read my Etsy profile said she didn't know that I made cheese and that she would love to learn how. I let her know that I actually haven't made cheese, just always wanted to. That made me ask myself "Why?". Why haven't I made cheese when it's something I've always wanted to try?

February 18, 2011

Pizza Friday : or whenever your cupboards are getting bare.

It doesn't matter how busy I've been all week and how many things I've run out of, if I've got flour, yeast, oil, and salt I'm in business. Cheese is a plus, so is milk. Pasta, even better. Got an egg? Some salad veggies? Canned olives or ??? If you have that you can make pizza, bread, pasta with a variety of sauces, macaroni and cheese, quiche. The list  is endless. Well, long at least!

February 13, 2011

The daily dance

It's been another busy few days. Thank goodness for the sanity the weekend brings. Time to get some projects done, start some others, keep the fabric of your life from unraveling. But it can also bring its own frenzy.

February 10, 2011

Hello to all you avid blog followers. I am just starting this blog. Getting it up and running will take a little while,
as we all know, trying to keep the many things in our Tangled lives from unraveling.
Stay tuned for my profile information and what my blog is all about.