Wool People 3, what are you knitting?

 The Brooklyn Tweed Wool People 3 came out, exciting news for knitters!
The patterns are all lightweight and have an airy feel.

At first glance, I love Breckon. 

 Also Reine, Boardwalk and Themis.

I also love Walpole by Hannah Fettig and Biston, the shrug below.


The yarn used for the projects is Brooklyn Tweed Loft.
I haven't used it yet, but love fingering weight yarn,
and the worsted weight Shelter of his line I have used, and loved it.
It would be great to dive into something tweedy and wooly right now,
but must finish my summer knits first.  Must!

I also have two summer recipes for you.  Our garden is big for just us two, and this time of year I need to be creative and think of ways to eat our bounty.  You'll laugh at my "recipe" for cold cucumber soup, I've been making this for years:

Peel and seed 1 medium cucumber and put in a food processor.  Add 1/2 cup fat-free Greek style yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste) and 1/8 teaspoon sugar.  Whirl until smooth.  Serve chilled with snipped dill and chives.  Serves 2.  Please try it, it will be the best you've tasted, but I do think the key is to use excellent yogurt.

I only had 4 little patty pan squash to pick today.  Here's how I prepared them:

Parboil whole patty pan squash for 5 minutes.  Cool, then slice off top and scoop out seeds to leave a large cavity.  Fill with desired filling, place in baking dish with 1/4 cup water and bake covered for 20 minutes or until fork tender.

My filling changes with what's on hand and today this was what I could glean from the fridge and garden:  1/2  chicken breast, chopped, 3 spoons quinoa salad, some chopped onion thinnings from the garden, 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts and a half tomato chopped.  I quick stirred it on the stove then added 2 spoons grated cheese and stuffed the cavities. They were very good. 

The dinner does look light, but on the table we also had fresh veggies and dip for munching.  Both my husband and I went out for lunch and wanted something light for dinner.  It was perfect!

I'm so happy summer is here.  I find many things to love about every season, it's true, but summer to me means garden harvest and that is sooooo special.  Every evening my husband and I stroll around the veggie garden to admire and inspect.

We are especially excited about the tomatoes, our prize veggie around here.  
We have some new-for-us varieties and can't wait for the taste tests to begin!

On another note altogether, there was a movie star sighting in my town last week.  Ashton Kutcher was here filming "Jobs", playing the lead role of Steve Jobs who grew up here in Los Altos.  They blocked off his street for a few days and filmed at the house where he grew up (his step mother still lives there).  They set up a commissary at the local Catholic church and created a bit of a stir in town.  It was fun reading the book about Jobs as so many of the locations were so familiar to me, and quite a few of our acquaintances are in the book too.  I loved the book, and as a die-hard Apple fan, I reveled in his genius.

Hope your summer days are long and lovely.

Napkin Rings, Knitting and Champagne Grapes

In my garden right now, roses are having their second bloom.
Welcome back! 
I picked this little bouquet from a sweet
pale blush David Austin called St. Cecilia.

As for gardening, so much bounty now from our little patch it's unbelievable.  
We are on to cucumbers, chard, beets, summer squash and still lettuce too.  
My husband and I enjoy so much going out in the morning and working, 
he with the trimming and watering, me with the weeding and picking.  
What a pretty place to be.

There is lots of knitting, here, there and everywhere, ufo's scattered all around.  
Here is a sample of the current ones that are getting the most attention.

Color Affection Shawl by Veera Valmaski is on my kitchen table.

Another Veera design, Shift of Focus is in my knitting bag.

Lily Cardigan is by my bed.

Still lots of cross stitch love, a vintage linen stamped tablecloth gets some attention when I'm in my sewing room.
We had a dinner party last night and made a very light dinner which I think made everyone happy as we were all pretty much stuffed from typical weekend over-indulging.

I served this for dessert.  
It started when I saw the itty bitty champagne grapes at my local Safeway.
Anything in miniature form, any old thing at all,
but especially something with the name Champagne in it,
is enough to make me sigh and desire.
And bonus, they taste good too!
Served with a tiny wedge of shortbread 
and thinly sliced white English cheddar, yummy.

I have a nice selection of antique sterling napkin rings.  
I collected them at one time for the names only.  
Old fashioned names like Bernard and Hilde, 
and sweet names like Teddy and Claire always made me pull out my wallet.  
I have about 20 now and certainly don't need anymore, but I cherish them so much!   
Here are the ones I used last night.

And then there is always the summer reading.  I finished the beautifully lyrical book, The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, about the siege of Masada.  I loved it, but can't quite give it 5 stars as I couldn't keep the characters straight; exactly who one's grandmother was or who this one or that one married to, etc.  But that didn't stop me from loving the book.  I once visited Masada, a hill fort in the Judaean Desert where ancient Jews held out from the Romans until they were defeated and committed mass suicide.  I remember being fascinated when I walked though the alleys and wish I had this book in my hand at the time.  Highly recommended.

I just started Nothing to Envy, Ordinary Lives in North Korea, loving it so far.

I'm all tuckered out and 
ready for a cuddly date with my sofa and knitting needles.  


Adorable pattypans.
We harvested the first of the summer squash last night,
the tender pattypans.  Normally I would quarter them and do a quick stir-fry.
Last night I decided to make a casserole.

If you don't know about the pattypan squash,
they are just as easy to grow as a zucchini. 
They are delicious and pretty when stuffed,
and to me, taste almost a little nutty, with more flavor than a zucchini.
If you have too many,
the blossoms are good for stuffing with something light.

Also, we welcomed our first dahlia of the year.
Hello beautiful.


They have good years and bad years, this is a good year.

This one is the size of a dinner plate.

The petunia border is beyond beautiful, shocking us by
being freakishly bright neon violet.

I love it.

And speaking of petunias.
Years ago at a party the hostess was serving martinis.
She plopped a petunia into the glass and called in a martunia :-)

Ahh, summer.
(I know it's not really officially here until next week, but still...)

The veggie garden this morning.

tiny teensy

With my iphone this morning, with the morning sun lighting the veggie garden, I took pictures of the first signs of veggies still hanging on to their blossoms.  So exciting!

Gorgeous purple eggplant.

Cucumber and it's daisy flower.

We've been eating lettuces for the last month.

No bean flowers yet, but plenty of growth up the poles.


Pattypan, my favorite summer squash.

We've been nibbling on the onion thinnings.

I'll wait until late summer to harvest the bell peppers, we prefer them red.

We harvest most herbs year round, right outside the kitchen door.

I am madly in love with my garden.