Monday, August 31, 2009

Picadillo--a recipe to share

Picadillo--I cook this at least every other week--a quick, easy and versatile recipe! This is a traditional South American dish that can be served over rice, used as a filling for chile rellenos, stuffed into empanadas or spoon it over mashed potatoes for a Latin shepherd's pie.


4 T. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 fresh poblano pepper, diced ( about 1/4 c.)
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp.ground cloves
1/2 c. red wine, plus additional as needed.
1 ( 15 oz.) can chopped tomatoes
1/2 c. raisins, plumped in hot water, then drained
10 pitted green olives, quartered or sliced

Heat 2T. of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the ground beef and brown over high heat. Set aside on a plate.
Heat the remaining oil in the skillet and add the onion, garlic and pepper and cook for 10 minutes, atirring occasionally over moderate heat. Return the beef and its juices to the pan along with the cumin, cinnamon, cloves,, wine, tomatoes, raisins and olives. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. If it's too dry, add some red wine, a little at a time. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 4-6.
*** I use ground turkey, whatever kind of green pepper I happen to have and omit the olives. Some nights we have it with tortillas and others with brown rice....yummy!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Grrrrrr...trying to do a post & I can't get it right!

And now to add insult to injury, this didn't post when I scheduled it to! I tried to post this from my new computer & it wouldn't post--so I check on another one & there it is!

(Done on Sat 8/29) This is the way my day has been going! Went to the fairground this morning & found that someone have inadvertently unplugged the answering's nice not to have lots of calls to return, but not at this time of year.
Now I've been trying to copy the photo of a book to recommend--not having much luck.
I just finished reading " When Crickets Cry" by Charles Martin. Wonderful book! The synopsis from the publisher's website:

A man with a painful past. A child with a doubtful future. And a shared journey toward healing for both their hearts.
It begins on the shaded town square in a sleepy Southern town. A spirited seven-year-old has a brisk business at her lemonade stand. Her latest customer, a bearded stranger, drains his cup and heads to his car, his mind on a boat he's restoring at a nearby lake. But the little girl's pretty yellow dress can't quite hide the ugly scar on her chest. The stranger understands more about it than he wants to admit. And the beat-up bread truck careening around the corner with its radio blaring is about to change the trajectory of both their lives.
Before it's over, they'll both know there are painful reasons why crickets cry...and that miracles lurk around unexpected corners.

I have read one other book by him ( Wrapped in Rain--read it on Isla in Jan. ) and already have another in my pile.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A fair photo

I was looking thru my photos searching for ones to enter--a task I hate---you always like your own photos because you know the story behind them--- So I came upon this--blew it up to 11x14 & then matted it 8 x 10. Really looks nice ( at least I think so). When all my stuff is ready, I'll take some photos.....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another casualty of the economy.....

Saw this notice on the Vistalmar blog this morning & I got an email from Steve. We had talked about it last weekend & they made the decision. Quite a few people have emailed to tell them they weren't coming & they are going for a much shorter time . Hopefully it will come back bigger & better in 2011!

"To all our loyal friends of the Barracuda Bash: We regretfully want to inform you all that we are postponing the 2010 bash, due to the economy. It will return next year in Feb 2011, bigger and better then ever. We are sorry but their is no other way; many thanks and see you all next year in Feb (2011)."

Amended: We will return next year--we will be on Isla in Jan/feb 2010--see you then--the Bash will be back in 2011

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cuban Yellow Grape Tomatoes

I grew these tomatoes--cuban yellow grapes--in this photo they actually look larger than they really are! My tomato plants are finally yielding a few fruits--at least those that weren't affected by the tomato blight! It has been a crazy year for gardens here between the weather ( rain) and the blight.........I'm just happy we are getting something out of it! I've started picking them as soon as they start to ripen --just put them on the window sill & let them ripen up there.......

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rockport, Massachusetts

I scanned these photos of Rockport a few months ago thinking I would do a post. I did a draft at the time & then never finished it.....So I decided this would be the time! Rockport, MA. is on Cape Ann & close to where I grew up. It's a small touristy town that hasn't changed much in 50 years--these photos were taken in the 1960's & most everything still looks the same!

Maybe a few more cars around, but most of the shops are the galleries & ice cream shops & a few souvenir traps.....

Motif Number 1, located on Bradley Wharf in the harbor town of Rockport, Massachusetts, is a fishing shack well-known to students of art and art history as "the most often-painted building in America
Built in the 1840s as Rockport became home to a colony of artists and fishermen, the shack became a favorite subject of painters due to the composition and lighting of its location as well as being a symbol of New England maritime life. Painter Lester Hornby (1882-1956) is believed to be the first to call the shack "Motif Number 1 a reference to its being the favorite subject of the town's painters, and the name achieved general acceptance.

The shack was destroyed during the blizzard of 1978 but an exact duplicate was constructed that same year

Monday, August 24, 2009

Isla Party in CT.

Spent part of the day Saturday at Sandia & Brian's house at an Isla party. We try to get together a few times a year here at each others homes & then see each other on Isla. Isn't this pond great! Wonderful to sit in the " bistro area" and listen to the water....... The weather was unpredictable, so most stayed on the porch or in the garage ( near all the wonderful food!) Alan & Steve ( Treasureman) chatting....

Sandia, me & Rosie sitting in the garden--they actually have great tomatoes & I loved the hostas! A great time was had by all! We couldn't stay as long as we would have liked but it was great to see all for a few hours! Thanks, Sandy!

This is Sheffield, their wonderful yellow lab........he decided to rest in the doorway.... I should have brought Rafe & they could have tired each other out!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A quick note....

We had a bad storm here in CT last night & of course, we lost power--at 5 pm. As of 7:30 am today, it still wasn't back on--we are not a priority--no one else on our street is out! There is a road opposite the end of our driveway & a pole got hit by lightning so it tripped a breaker on the pole at our house......I'm at the fairgrounds now , going home shortly; hopefully it'll be back on when I get there!
Going to Sandia's this afternoon for a small Isla gathering--can't wait!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lighthouse in the Bahamas

An old photo I took with some enhancements--solarized
It's a lighthouse you see when you pull into the Bahamas on a cruise ship.Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Unearthing Old Fair Photos

I have been working with our local Historical Society, looking for old photos from the fair. Our 100th anniversary is coming up in 2012 & we want to have a display of photos through the years. When they find a few, they call me so I can scan them & print. They have been finding some great ones!
The Ag Society was started in 1910 & they had the 1st fair that year, but 2 years in the 40s there was no fair.

This horse race is taking place on the main road in town! What is now CT state rt. 63......
Most of these photos were taken by a man named Fleig whose descendants still live in town. They have the glass plates for alot of the pictures & are sifting through boxes looking for negatives--just closed their business so they have lots of boxes to go through!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Update on the flower baskets

Just thought you might like to see one of them with the flowers & vinca growing......

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Litchfield County 4H

One of our neighbors with his daughter before she goes in the ring to show......
This boy's cow decided it didn't want to be led around anymore, so it just plopped down on the ground! ( It was up shortly after!)

Another boy with a cow 4 times his size........

A close up.....This fair is alot of fun because it is all about the animals, not the rides & food, etc. I like all that too, but it's nice to go to one fair that's about the agriculture. And this from a city girl!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rafe--patiently waiting...

Have been trying to clean & straighten up my house a little at a time , always with the help of my faithful dog. He follows me from room to room, so I won't be out of his sight. I walked downstairs to put some of my canning away & he laid down at the top of the stairs.....I told him to stay so I could go & get the camera! And he did! Good boy, Rafe!
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

japanese maple

I'm spending a little time sifting through photos, trying to find some to enter in the fair this year......not having much luck. I know I'm more critical of my photos, but nothing is jumping out at me. Our competition has amateurs & pros competing against each other which makes for a great contest ( And more often than not, the amateurs beat out the pros!). I was at a friends house in June & saw this Japanese maple growing in her front yard & thought the color was interesting.......
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Friday, August 14, 2009

On Kelly's Pond

Remember this pond? The picture of the heron a week or so ago! Well, I drive by it every time I want to go to Torrington, which is about every other day! One day last week I saw these Canada Geese and the heron & decided to stop & try for a few photos.......

the geese..... The heron....

The heron flying over the geese.....

See? The heron was just moving to another rock in the pond.....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sheep Obstacle Course at the 4H Fair

No more flowers for more to bloom!

This past weekend was the Litchfield County 4H Fair , held at our fairgrounds. There are quite a few active 4H groups in our county which makes for a great fair. I was intrigued when i saw they had a sheep obstacle was fun to watch the kids try to do the course, do each task & hold onto their sheep--and the sheep got a workout--several kids used the same sheep to do the course!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A few new Flowers

Another picture of that echinacea that I showed before.....
Pale pink tea roses that are trying to grow--a Rose of Sharon has grown right up next to the rose bush so they are competing for space--and the rose of sharon is winning--soon I will move the rose bush!

Balloon flowers --they are such a beautiful vibrant blue color--adds a diffrent shade to my garden!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Perfume garden lilies

I purchased these lilies ( called perfumed garden oriental lily mix)earlier this year from White Flower Farm--they had a special on the bulbs--10 or 12 for $10.00--their things are usually quite a bit more! I bought 2 bags--the light pink ones bloomed 1st
Then the darker red, and yesterday the white one bloomed. there are still quite a few that haven't opened yet--they have a nice light scent and all average 6-7 inches across. Will have to take an overview photo to get as many of them in it as I can.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

And more jammin'

We had one day last week that was perfect for making jam--dry & sunny & not too hot! So I decided to make a few more batches of jam since I already had picked & frozen the berries.This the start of red raspberry--my favorite. ( Also made black raspberry) All the berries have been crushed & are ready to add the sugar.

Mixing the sugar with the berries--then you start to cook it.
Bring it to a full boiling boil.......
And this is what you get. I'm up to 9 different kinds now!Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 7, 2009

More Flowers

A few new flowers are blooming in the yard & pasture--so nice to see some different colors--lots of new lilies--enough for another post! This is a new Echinacea; bought at White Flower Farm, but somehow the tag got separated from the plant.
The color ids a little different--pale pink, but it's very pretty ! Will have to try & find out the name......

A two-tone black eyed susan--would guess it's a mutation of some sort. There's a few of them mixed in with the regular ones. They all grow wild in what used to be one of our horse pastures.