torsdag 28 maj 2009

A not so gorgeous day – weather wise

All the plants looks sad today.

måndag 25 maj 2009

lördag 23 maj 2009

A sunny day

I needed to run some errands this morning and since it is a sunny day I used my electric scooter. It has a top speed of 15 km/hour (9 miles) – it means that I get to see things I hardly notice from the car, which is nice on days like today.

My small town has an iron mill which has been here since 1670.
The structure of the town is typical for towns with a long history of this kind – and parts of the old mill is now a museum.

The workers used to live in houses along this street. These houses are now renovated and the area is far from the run-down poor area that it once was.

fredag 22 maj 2009

The blogosphere

One of many things I like about the blogosphere is that you get to knew people around the world – and the way we share information. Some time ago Kristi told me that she liked the photo of the flower on my blog, even if she didn't know what it was. I told her it was a Spiraea cinerea, and she was able to find a plant. So just to show Kristi what she can expect in some years, I took a picture this morning of our hedge that is about to flower.

I don't always remember to check the "Live Traffic Feed" – but when I do I find it amazing from how many countries the visitors come. Sometimes I have visitors from places I've been and I love to be able to picture what it looks like there, even if I don't know the visitor! It's still nicer when you leave a comment – but I'm not very good at that myself so I'm not going to require that!

tisdag 19 maj 2009

I still spend Saturday mornings with Herr Gutenberg even if I haven't written about it in a while. I find so many lovely books - but instead of telling you about usually get lost in them.
One of my finds is a small book from 1847, "Susan and Edward or, A Visit to Fulton Market". I need to take a look at a map over NYC as the books begins:
Susan and Edward were two engaging little children. Their parents lived in Pearl-street, in the great city of New-York, where the houses stand close together like the rows of young peach or apple trees in a farmer's nursery. Some of the houses are two, some three, and others even four and five stories high, so that a skilful boy, with a good crossbow, could scarcely shoot an arrow over them. Pearl-street, in which they lived, is almost as crooked as the letter S, for it begins at the Battery, near Broadway, and ends in Broadway, opposite the Hospital.
In the preface (written in 1831) you can learn where to find the Market Houses in New York. I wonder if any of them still exists.
Another book for children is Stevenson's "A Child's Garden of Verses. There are already several, at least five, editions of this book at Gutenberg, last year I compared some of the illustrations in the different editions. This edition from 1919 has illustrations by Maria L. Kirk.


THREE of us afloat in the meadow by the swing,
Three of us aboard in the basket on the lea.
Winds are in the air, they are blowing in the spring,
And waves are on the meadow like the waves there are at sea.

Where shall we adventure, to-day that we're afloat,
Wary of the weather and steering by a star?
Shall it be to Africa, a-steering of the boat,
To Providence, or Babylon, or off to Malabar?

Hi! but here's a squadron a-rowing on the sea—
Cattle on the meadow a-charging with a roar!
Quick, and we'll escape them, they're as mad as they can be,
The wicket is the harbour and the garden is the shore.

I don't know much about trees, but they fascinate me and I love them and could not pass "Getting Acquainted with the Trees" by J. Horace McFarland from 1904.


Don't be in a hurry to choose your

Fortune is the measure of intelligence

Friendship authorizes you to say

disagreeable things

Give us the luxuries of life

I always believed in life rather than
in books

It is pleasant to be foolish at the
right time

Truth is only safe when diluted

Quotes and Images From Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. is another book that I simply had to take a look at.

söndag 17 maj 2009

From my veranda

A year ago it was snowing but today is a gorgeous warm and sunny day. I thought it would be a a perfect day to clear the ditch along the driveway. I managed about a fourth of it before I ran out of steam. So here I am on the veranda enjoying this perfect day – the driveway can wait.

onsdag 13 maj 2009


It's the same thing every day – I have so much to write about and while weeding, cooking and washing up I'm writing mental posts. But when I finally (crash)land in my blue chair I don't have a single sensible thought left. So I let the pictures talk – again.

måndag 11 maj 2009

Pretty Good World

Pretty good world,
000If you know how to use it,
Pretty good life
000If you never abuse it;
Jog along, brother,
000Through pleasure and sorrow;
All will be lovely
000With sunshine tomorrow!

From "Oklahoma Sunshine" by Freeman E. Miller (1864-1951)

söndag 10 maj 2009

Sunday-Night Tea

Table laid for Sunday-Night Tea.
Five=o'clock Tea.
  • Tea.
  • Candied ox-heart cherries.
  • Slices of lemon.
  • Boiling water.
Method.—Fill the tea-ball half full with tea, put the ball into the cup, with a cherry or a slice of lemon, and pour boiling water over them; remove the ball when the tea is of the desired strength.
Celery Sandwiches.
Chop crisp celery very fine and mix with salad dressing. Spread one piece of bread with butter, the other with a thin layer of the mixture. With a sharp knife split open the round stems of celery tips and put them between the bread, so that the tips will just show on the edges. Tie with narrow ribbon, light-green in color.
Fig Sandwiches.
Chop one-fourth a pound of figs very fine, add one-fourth a cup of water, and cook to a smooth paste; add, also, one-third a cup of almonds, blanched, chopped very fine and pounded to a paste with a little rose-water, also the juice of half a lemon. When cold spread the mixture upon lady-fingers or cakelets, white or yellow, press another above the mixture, and serve upon a handsome doylie-covered plate. Raisins, dates or marmalade may be used in the place of the figs. The marmalade, of course, requires no cooking. Bread may be used in the place of the cake.
From "Salads, Sandwiches and Chafing-Dish Dainties, With Fifty Illustrations of Original Dishes", 1909 by Janet McKenzie Hill

lördag 9 maj 2009



Thomas was an idle lad,
000And loung’d about all day;
And though he many a lesson had,
000He minded nought but play.

He only car’d for top or ball,

000Or marbles, hoop or kite:
But as for learning, that was all
000Neglected by him quite.

In vain his mother’s kind advice,
000In vain his master’s care;
He follow’d ev’ry idle vice,
000And learnt to curse and swear!

And think you, when he grew a man,

000He prosper’d in his ways?
No; wicked courses never can
000Bring good and happy days.

Without a shilling in his purse,

000Or cot to call his own,
Poor Thomas grew from bad to worse
000And harden’d as a stone.

And oh, it grieves me much to write
000His melancholy end;
Then let us leave the dreadful sight,
000And thoughts of pity send.

But may we this important truth

000Observe and ever hold:
“All those who’re idle in their youth
000Will suffer when they’re old.”

From "Phebe, the Blackberry Girl - Uncle Thomas's Stories for Good Children", 1856, by Anonymous

tisdag 5 maj 2009

A tasty dish

I have subscribed to Nava Atlas “Vegetarian Kitchen Recipes and News” for many years. She has written several cook books and some day when I get rich I’ll buy them – but till then I have to be content with her newsletter.
Today I happened to have all the ingredients for one of her recipes I received yesterday – all but a small fresh hot chili so I used some hot chili sauce.
I thought this was a very tasty alternative to the usual Eggplant Parmesan. I’ve never roasted eggplant before and I wasn’t quite sure if it was ready or not, as it hadn’t collapsed after an hour. Ten more minutes might have been good.

Roasted Eggplant Curry

Serves: 4 to 6

This is a simplified adaptation of a vegetable dish appears that frequently on Indian restaurant menus as Baingan Bharata. It features roasted eggplant, which is so easy to prepare, and so versatile. Once the eggplant has been roasted and is cool enough to handle, this dish is made quickly and easily. I’ve added a can of chickpeas to make it a main dish.

• 2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
• 1 tablespoon olive or other vegetable oil
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped
• 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 small fresh hot chili, seeded and minced
• 14- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
• 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 2 teaspoons good-quality curry powder or garam masala, or to taste
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• Pinch of cinnamon
• Salt to taste
• Chopped fresh cilantro to taste

Hot cooked brown rice or other grain of your choice
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Prick the skin of the eggplants in several places. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, of until the eggplants have collapsed. Remove and let them cool. when ready to handle, scoop the flesh away from the skin. discard the skin and stems; chop the eggplant flesh coarsely.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until golden, then add the minced chili and sauté for another minute or two.
Add the chopped eggplant, diced tomatoes, and spices. Stir well and cook over medium-low heat, covered, for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and remove from heat. Stir in the chopped cilantro and serve over hot cooked grains.
Note: This is a good make-ahead dish. Keep covered or refrigerate until needed, then heat through. Save the cilantro to stir in just before serving.

lördag 2 maj 2009

Afternoon tea with Gutenberg

ady Channice was waiting for her son to come in from the garden. The afternoon was growing late, but she had not sat down to the table, though tea was ready and the kettle sent out a narrow banner of steam. Walking up and down the long room she paused now and then to look at the bowls and vases of roses placed about it, now and then to look out of the windows, and finally at the last window she stopped to watch Augustine advancing over the lawn towards the house. It was a grey stone house, low and solid, its bareness unalleviated by any grace of ornament or structure, and its two long rows of windows gazed out resignedly at a tame prospect.
_ _ _
She had gone to the tea-table while she spoke and was pouring the boiling water into the teapot. Her voice had pretty, flute-like ups and downs in it and a questioning, upward cadence at the end of sentences. Her upper lip, her smile, the run of her speech, all would have made one think her humorous, were it not for the strain of nervousness that one felt in her very volubility.

From "Amabel Channice" (1908) by Anne Douglas Sedgwick

Amabel Channice was one of today’s finds – I’m not so sure that I manage to read the whole book but I’ll take a look at it.

Last week I promised to return to “The Peanut Plant – Its Cultivation And Uses” from 1902 by B. W. Jones. You can not only learn everything you need to know to start growing peanuts – there is also a chapter of how you can use the peanuts. The book doesn’t say that you can make peanut tea – but peanut coffee so I decided to take peanut coffee today.

Picture from the English Tea Store
Peanut Coffee.—Here again the Peanut fills a useful end, especially in times of scarcity, or high prices for coffee. Taken alone, and without any addition whatever of the pure berry, the Peanut makes a quite good and palatable beverage. It closely resembles chocolate in flavor, is milder and less stimulating than pure coffee, and considerably cheaper than Rio or Java. If mixed, half and half, with pure coffee before parching, and roasted and ground together, the same quantity will go as far and make about as good a beverage as the pure article, and a better one than much of the ground and adulterated coffee offered in the market. Indeed, if people will adulterate their coffee, it were much to be wished that they would use nothing more harmful than the Peanut for this purpose.
For making the beverage, the Peanut is parched and ground the same as coffee, the mode of decoction the same, and it is taken with cream and sugar, like the pure article.