Friday, June 27, 2008

My Readers

My Readers
Today I would like to ask anyone who reads my blog to do one thing. Do it just for me.
1.) Click on comments.
2.) Type in the message "box" I am from and name your city.
3.) Click on anonymous. You do not have to sign up for tons of junk emails. It
doesn't happen.
I am trying to guage the worth of my efforts!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lake Erie

The Mayflies love to find a screen to attach! This golf cart on Kellys Island wasn't rented today
It Is Mayfly Season
Much depends upon how one views these critters. For many years when Lake Erie was considered polluted, not even the Mayflies hatched. Today they appear in masses. For those unfamiliar with these bugs, they lay their eggs which remain in the Lake for a year (or more) and then in the metamorphosis as they reach the adult stage (like a mosquito) they quickly produce the eggs for the "next generation", then surface and fly from the water. Their life span is one day. The season lasts about three weeks.
We awake to find them everywhere. I found a couple of shots to show what can be a daily accumulation. They are attracted by lights. The nearby community of Port Clinton had to use a tractor with a scoop to clean the Main Street of the heavy infestation.
As a child I knew them as a Canadian Soldier. When they resurfaced after an absence of several years, our friends to the north heard we were calling them Canadian Soldiers. They began to call them American Soldiers. In good hospitality they are now known as "Mayflies" and also an indication of how clean our lake really is. We don't mind the daily clean up at all!
However you consider them, they tell us our Lake is clean and healthy!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lake Erie

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship. Canada Geese waiting to mess up someone's boat platform! The sunshine on the Lake. A Great Blue Heron bidding us farewell and "come back soon"!
Beautiful Lake Erie
Tuesday evening we invited another couple to go to dinner at a favorite haunt on Kellys Island on Lake Erie. On our way we encountered a large vessel with identification of Canadian Coast Guard. It is not a common sight and we jokingly said that maybe their presence was "protecting the border" which is several miles north.
***
We arrived at our favorite restaurant in the "downtown" area of the island and learned the name was changed and now specializes in Greek food. We did enjoy dinner.
***
After dinner we met friends who gave us a tour of their latest building project which is a beautiful Victorian style hotel. The island is home to some beautiful old Victorian homes. The island also has remained fairly unchanged by development to a certain degree. Docks have been upgraded for the boaters and a few services have been expanded but home sites have not had rapid development as one might expect.
As we boarded our boat for the return trip to the mainland, we spotted this heron standing motionless who posed for its photo awaiting a late night snack.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Blackberry Limeade

Blackberry Limeade Recipe
The original recipe calls for ginger ale as the mixer (delicious!). I did a second batch with sparkling water as the mixer- great for those of you avoiding soft drinks. Berries can be pulsed briefly in a food processor and strained. Be careful not to crush the seeds, as this adds a dirty taste to the blackberries. You can freeze blackberries in ice cubes for a nice accessory to the drink. The sugar syrup can be transferred to a metal mixing bowl set in a bowl of ice to cool it down quickly. For a wonderful frozen cocktail, puree ice and a jigger of gin with the blackberry-lim mixture in a blender.
***

Ingredients:

4 cups fresh blackberries, or unsweetened frozen blackberries, thawed, plus extra for garnish

1 cup turbinado (raw) sugar or grated palm sugar

1 kaffir lime leaf, crushed, or 1 tablespoon grated lime zest

1 green cardamom pod, lightly crushed

1/2 cup fresh Key lime juice (about 8 -12 limes)

Thin lime slices, for garnish

2 cups ginger ale (or sparkling water)

Ice cubes

***

Lay a doubled piece of cheesecloth on a nonporous work area. (As the berries will stain a wide array of cutting surfaces and clothes, this may be best done outside or over newspaper and wearing an apron or smock.) Place the blackberries on top of the cheesecloth and gather into a bundle like a hobo sack. Hold the sack of berries over a glass, stainless steel, plastic, or ceramic bowl. Twist the top of the sack to squeeze the juice from the berries into the receptacle. (This will yield about 1 cup very strong, tart, dark juice.) Refrigerate the juice until needed; discard the purple mash. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, 1 cup water, the lime leaf, and the cardamom pod. bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is reduced to a thin syrup. Remove the lime leaf and cardamom. Allow the sugar syrup to cool and then chill it. In a 1-quart pitcher, combine the blackberry juice, sugar syrup, and lime juice. Stir to combine and then refrigerate until cold. To serve, stir the ginger ale (or water) into the pitcher, fill glasses with ice, and pour in the blackberry limeade. Garnish with slices of lime. Serves 8.

From the cookbook: Screen Doors and Sweet Tea

Monday, June 23, 2008

Milano Monday

Stazione Centrale Stazione Centrale
The central Train Station of Milano opened July 1, 1931 is built in neo-classical Romanesque. It remains as one of the imposing buildings built during the reign of Mussolini.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

4Th of July Tomato Salsa

4Th of July Tomato Salsa
Create a little fireworks in your salsa or adjust the chilies!
***
Ingredients: 2 pounds Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1 medium white onion, cut into six wedges
1 large garlic clove, halved
a couple pinches of finely ground sea salt
2-3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium dried guajillo chile pepper, soaked in boiling water until softened, and then drained
1 -2 chipotles in adobo sauce (canned)
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Directions:
Heat oven to 400F degrees. Now gently tossed the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and salt with the olive oil in a large bowl. After they are nicely coated arrange in a single layer, tomatoes cut-side facing up, across a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the tomatoes start to collapse and the onions begin to caramelize a bit. Remove from the oven. Puree the chiles (both the guajillo and chipotles) with the roasted garlic and two roasted tomato halves. Chop the remaining tomatoes by hand (once they've cooled a bit). Chop and add the onions as well. Season with salt and stir in the cilantro. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
Today I am sharing a recipe from my friend Heidi who is truly an award winning cook.
***
Ingredients:
6-8 corn tortillas, cut in half and then into matchstick-thin strips
a big splash of extra virgin olive oil
fine grain sea salt
20 small yellow or red cherry tomatoes
another splash of extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large white onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne or other spicy red chili powder
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
6 cups vegetable broth (or water)
a few sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup of goat cheese, crumbled
***
Directions: Gently toss the tortilla strips with a glug of olive oil and salt.
Turn them out onto a baking sheet, arrange them across the pan and bake in a 350F degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden and crispy.
Set aside. Halve (or quarter) the tomatoes lengthwise and put them in a small roasting pan, oven proof dish, or rimmed baking sheet. Toss with a bit of olive oil and a pinch or two of salt. Bake in a 350F degree oven for 40-45 minutes (less time if you use smaller cherry tomatoes), or until the tomatoes are shrunken and golden around the edges. The tomatoes keep nicely in a jar for days (refrigerated), so you can do this part in advance if you like. Set aside. Now for the soup itself - in a big pot over medium-high heat cook the garlic and onions in a splash of olive oil along with a couple pinches of salt for just a minute or so. Stir in the spices and then the tomatoes. Cook down for about five minutes or so, it should thicken a bit. Remove from heat, add one cup of the broth and puree with a hand blender (or puree in a traditional blender). Add the remaining 5 cups of broth and puree until smooth. Bring the soup back up to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve the individual bowls topped with plenty of tortilla strips, the roasted and sun-dried tomatoes, and some crumbled goat cheese. Alternately, as I mention up above, you can finish with sliced avocado, cilantro, white onions, and a squeeze of lime. If you like a creamier soup base add a splash of half and half, or stir in some extra goat cheese. Makes about 6 servings.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Country View

A Country View
Thursday morning I drove through a rural area southwest of the City where we lived for many years. Despite a wet Spring planting season, the fields appeared to be planted and growing. The corn will probably be shoulder high by the 4Th of July. The wheat crop I photographed was changing to it's golden color indicating it is maturing and will be ready to be harvested in about four weeks or less. The house I photographed is a beautiful old Victorian homestead recently purchased and remodeled with much of its original style intact. I always admired this house and was so happy to see that it retained the original charm.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Elderflower and The Elderberry

The Elderflower and Elderberry
Elderberry bushes grow in the wild and most often where there is a great supply of water. It frequently is at the edge of a ditch as this bush was, or creek bed where the blossoms can be seen. As I was driving to my beautician's shop in the country I spotted this bush. By mid-August small purple berries will ripen on the stems, one for each blossom. The tiny berries are time consuming to strip but the bitter berries sweetened make a pie with a great memorable flavor. My recipe for Elderberry Pie was posted April 12, 2008.
I was able to find some information on the plant/berry and thought I could include just for you.
***

Botanical: Sambucus nigra
Family: Adoxaceae (moschatel) - formerly Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckle) 
Other common names: Black Elder, Boor Tree, Ellanwood, Elder, Ellhorn, European Elder, Pipe Tree, German Elder, Bountry, Englishman's Grape, Black-berried European Elder, Elder Bush "Elder be the Lady's tree, burn it not - or cursed you'll be." (Ancient rhyme from the pagan belief that held the Elder tree sacred to the Moon Goddess.) 
Loaded with vitamins A, B and C, Elderberry stimulates the immune system and protects against free radicals that attack healthy cells.

History:Elderberry is a deciduous, perennial, large shrub (or small tree) that reaches a height and spread of about fifteen feet, but occasionally rising to forty feet. The Elder tree is native to Europe but has been naturalized in the Americas. The leaves are opposite, pinnate with five-to-nine serrate-edged leaflets. They bear large clusters of small white or cream-colored flowers in the late spring and are followed by clusters of small bluish or black berries. Some Elderberry species have lifespans between eighty and one hundred years. The Elder tree prefers rich, moist soil and is usually found in heavily forested areas and on rocky slopes in the temperate and subtropical regions of both hemispheres. The common American Elder (Sambucus canadensis) is native to North America, where Native Americans used it medicinally and in their diets; and its European relative (Sambucus nigra) - both species bearing blue-black berries - have been used in the same manner for thousands of years. The berries provide a very valuable food resource for many birds and butterflies and, of course, herbal medicine. Evidence of its cultivation may be found at Stone Age village sites in Switzerland and Italy. In ancient times, the Elder tree was believed to have mystical properties and was considered good luck. Having an Elder tree near the home was thought to bring happy marriages, prosperity and healthy children. The spirits that lived within the tree protected against disease, evil spirits and all common ailments. In the Middle Ages, everyone knew that cutting down an Elder tree would incur the wrath of the witches who called it home, and it was even bad luck to make furniture from its wood. The Elder tree was once called "the medicine chest of the country people," and for centuries the tree was a popular Gypsy remedy for colds, influenza and neuralgia. The leaves were touted by European herbalists to be pain relieving and to promote healing of injuries when applied as a poultice. American Choctaw Indians used Elder to cure migraine headaches and burns, and Native American herbalists widely used the plant for infections, coughs and skin conditions. Elderberries have long been used as a food and drink, including Elderberry wine, pies, jellies, syrups, cordials and lemonade. Both the Elderberries and flowers are used in herbal medicine. The berries are best not eaten raw, as they are mildly poisonous, causing vomiting (particularly if eaten unripe). The mild cyanide toxicity is destroyed by cooking. All green parts (and roots) of the plant are poisonous, containing toxic cyanogenic glycosides. Elderberry is rich in vitamins A, B and C, riboflavin, niacin, protein, essential fatty acids, beta-carotene, flavonoids (anthocyanin and quercetin), essential oils, tannins and mucilage.
*
From the Cleveland Clinic:  
PRO
  • Elderberry is derived from a tall bush called Sambucus nigra.  Only the flowers and ripe berries are used for medicinal purposes.
  • Elderberry is considered to have antiviral properties that fight upper respiratory infections, influenza, and bronchitis.  It may inhibit replication of influenza A and B, as well as herpes simplex virus-1. 
  • Elderberry contains flavonoids, which act as antioxidants and are considered to have immune-system boosting properties.
CON
  • The bark of the elderberry has been used as a diuretic, laxative, and emetic (induces vomiting). 
  • The bark, leaves, seeds and unripe berries (but not the flowers) contain a cyanide-like compound that is potentially toxic. Cyanide poisoning from bark, root, leaves or juice may induce tachycardia (rapid heart rate) and cause serious long-term effects.
  • In the well-conducted human clinical trials currently available regarding the use of the flowers of ripe elderberries, evidence to recommend its therapeutic use was not definitive.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Jewel of Marblehead Ohio



The Jewel of Marblehead, Ohio
Jody McCallum and Company Gallery
Due to being one of the artists included in their bankruptcy filing, I feel an obligation to remove the posting due to my financial loss. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Skies And The Clouds

We Thought This Thunder Head Cloud Resembled A Resting Dog. The Setting Sun Cast Its Glow. Rays From The Setting Sun We Were Intrigued By The Blue Rays Cast Through The Clouds. More Blue Rays The Sun Set Heralding An Incoming Storm.
The Skies and Cloud Formations.
Sunday afternoon my neighbor Barb came to visit. We sat on the patio watching the skies as storms were being forcasted. My attention was called to a Thunder Head cloud which actually looked like a poodle. I quickly retrieved my camera but the wind blew the cloud to appear as a resting dog.
***
Later that evening we invited Barb and husband George over for dessert. As we visited I noticed the tree and leaves had a very orange cast. We all jumped on our golf cart and drove to our marina to view the sunset. The clouds and sky were so unusual and the colors so vibrant. In the final photo, the sky turned vibrant orange when the wind began to blow and lightning started to strike. We returned to our home but the storm went over the islands and southeast of us. We were spared from any storm damage.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Milano Monday Anna

Our Anna
A million dollar smile for just a mere fraction of the cost!

Raspberry Mega Scones

Raspberry Mega Scones Recipe
This is another recipe from Heidi which you are sure to enjoy.
Ingredients: 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
3 tablespoons aluminum-free baking powder
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz), chilled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups half-and-half ( or you can also use heavy cream or whole milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of one lemon
2/3 cups raspberry preserves
Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
zest of one lemon
***
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
***
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Using a food processor, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles little pebbles in a beach of sandy flour (about 20 quick pulses). You can also cut the butter in using a knife and fork. Pulse in the sugar. Now add the half-and-half, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Pulse (or mix until) dough just comes together - don't over mix, but if the batter is too dry add more cream a bit at a time.
***
Turn out onto a floured piece of parchment paper or Silpat mat, divide into two equal sized pieces of dough and set one aside. Take the first piece of dough and roll out into (roughly) a 9x9 inch square, 1/2-inch thick. You want to keep the dough from sticking to the mat/paper if possible, so sprinkle with more flour if needed. Slather the slab of dough with the jam and fold the left side of the dough in toward the center. To discourage the dough from breaking or falling apart I fold it in by folding the Silpat in and then peeling the Silpat back afterwards. Fold the other side in using the same technique (if I'm not making sense, see the photo). Slide onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the other piece of dough. The two scones will fit on one baking sheet but give them a few inches between each other so they don't bake into each other. Brush with a bit of cream (optional), and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden where the scones touch the pan.
***
While the scones are baking, prepare the glaze. Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Stir until well combined, and set aside. When the scones come out of the oven brush them generously with the glaze and let cool. Slice into pieces as big or small as you like. Makes two mega scones.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Citrus Pesto

Citrus Pesto
I am offering a pesto which goes great on spaghetti when you serve fish. Basically, pesto is a combination of vegetables, or fruit zest and juices, ground with olive oil, pine nuts, and seasonings. Pesto is an easy alternative to marinara sauce and is so tasty. This is enough sauce for 1 lb. spaghetti. It will keep in the refrigerator sealed in a jar for a few days.
***
Ingredients:
1 bunch fresh basil, about 3 cups leaves

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 clove garlic
1 lemon, zest grated and juiced
1 orange, zest grated and juiced
1/2 teaspoon salt


1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan

***
Place the first seven ingredients in a food processor and slowly add the olive oil as the pesto is processing. When the pesto is completed, stir in the Parmesan cheese. Store any leftovers in a sealed jar in the refrigerator.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pistachio And Lemon Bites

Pistachio and Lemon Bites
This recipe makes about 30 cookies. The original recipe made a very dry and crumbly cookie known commonly as Russian Tea Balls or Snowballs and commonly baked at Holiday time.
***

Ingredients: 12 tbsp. unsalted butter (1-1/2 sticks of butter), at room temperature

3 tbsp. superfine sugar (also called fruit sugar)

1/2 cup pistachios (shelled and unsalted), chopped (not too finely)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. finely grated lemon rind

icing sugar (for dusting)

***
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
***
Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (using the paddle attachment) and mix on high speed until very light and fluffy (5 minutes). Add the pistachios and vanilla extract and mix on high speed for an additional 2 minutes. Add the flour and lemon rind and mix on low speed until the dough begins to come together. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and place on the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes. The cookies should be lightly golden. If not, bake for a few minutes more. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes before rolling in icing sugar. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Coconut Macaroon Pancakes

I received this recipe in an email from Heidi Swanson and thought it was too good not to share.
***
If you can imagine coconut macaroons in pancake form, you'll understand where I'm headed. Moist, golden, coconut-packed, with just a hint of sweetness - these are decadent and delicious. I'll start by telling you, this recipe was a total accident - but an accident in the best way imaginable. I was working on a coconut cookie recipe and had a bit of leftover batter. I looked at the batter, looked at my favorite skillet, and thought to myself - I bet this would make an unbelievable pancake. Just eight ingredients and about ten minutes separate you from a stack of these...
Coconut Macaroon Pancake Recipe
Look for shredded coconut where each thread is thin and at least 1/2-inch long. Not dusty or fleck-like. If you make the batter the night before, the batter will thicken up quite a bit. Give it a stir, but don't worry about it beyond that. Drop little scoops onto the griddle - they will flatten out when they come into contact with the heat. They go from golden to burnt in a flash, so stay attentive. I prefer to use whole wheat pastry flour for this recipe but you can substitute whatever you have on hand - all-purpose flour, or regular pastry flour. Lemon zest might be a great addition, as would ginger, and/or toasted, chopped macadamia nuts.
Ingredients:
1 14-ounce can of coconut milk
2 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)
1 /4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose or regular pastry flour)
3 cups unsweetened dried shredded coconut
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs. whisked in a medium bowl
1/4 cup brown sugar
***
Directions: In a small saucepan heat the coconut milk and honey, bring barely to a simmer.
***
In a separate large bowl combine the flour, coconut, salt and baking powder. Stir the coconut milk into the flour mixture. Whisk about 1/3 cup of the coconut mixture into the eggs. Now quickly mix the eggs back into the large bowl of coconut batter. Stir until well combined. You can do this the night before if you like.
***
Heat your favorite non-stick (or very well-seasoned) skillet, pan, or griddle to medium-hot and brush it with a bit of butter. Test for the right temperature. If a drop of water dropped onto the pan starts to dance, you are in the ballpark. Drop a heaping tablespoon into the skillet, sprinkle the top with a bit of brown sugar. Wait until the pancake bottom is deep golden in color, then flip with a spatula and cook the other side until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter.
***
You can make the batter the night before and store it in a pitcher. Give it a stir in the morning and you're ready to go.
Makes dozens of silver dollar sized pancakes, or a dozen or so larger ones.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Victoria Palm

This plant is maybe 14 inches high and 12 inches in diameter The plan is called a century plant and this year has a 15-17 foot spike. The spike is filled with buds and I hope I get to witness the blossoms.
Victoria Palm
Many San Diegans are respecting the water conservation plea of our local government. More and more yards are being planted with drought resistant plants. This particular neighbor has had his yard planted with succulents and in early summer it is a show of blooms usually found in the dessert. I thought you might enjoy this unusual sight. My neighbor said it was his first time ever to see this spike in nineteen years.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Laura, Sweet Sixteen

Laura's birth was announced in Willard, Ohio My favorite photo of Laura's youth. Laura in Hawaii, 2007 Laura with her mother, Papa, and sister Anna Laura with Grandpa Laura with Grandma
Happy Birthday Across The Miles, Laura!
Laura is our second granddaughter in birth order. The oval photo of Laura is a favorite of mine from her childhood as it captures her hallmark, her smile. We wish we could be there to celebrate with you Laura. Have a Happy Birthday. Buon Compleanno, Herzlichen Gluckierensch, iFeliz compleanos a ti,
Joyeux Anniversaire, Sun Yat Fai Lok. P.S. Laura understands all of those languages. Grandma has to brag!!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Artichoke Pesto

Artichoke Pesto
Recently I was gifted with a jar of Artichoke Pesto. I enjoyed it on toast with Monchego cheese as a breakfast entree. My husband enjoyed it as an appetizer served on crackers. It is tasty on the rotini (corkscrew) pasta. This recipe is very versatile and can be frozen if you have leftovers.
Ingredients:
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 garlic cloves
4 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup walnuts, toasted and skins removed
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup olive oil
salt to taste
1 (8 ounce) package frozen artichokes, thawed and chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Directions:
Place parsley, garlic, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, walnuts, canola oil, olive oil, and salt into a food processor. Pulse until smooth, then pour into a large bowl. Gently stir in chopped artichokes and Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Balboa Park

The mosaic domes and tower of The Museum of Man Casa Del Prado, home to six museums and three art groups. Side Panel of Casa Del Prado building Horticulture Building and Reflection Pool Fountain and building housing Cafe Prado
Casa Del Prado Theater
Balboa Park
One of the Crown Jewels of San Diego is Balboa Park. In 1868 the City set aside 1400 acres of scrub land for a park. Originally named City Park the name was changed in 1910 to Balboa Park to honor Vasco Nunez de Balboa because of the beautiful view of the Pacific.
The first museum built in Balboa Park was The Natural History Museum in 1874. The impetus for creation of the park was the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition honoring the opening of the Panama Canal. The buildings built for the Expo are the highly ornate Spanish Renaissance style. These photos are just a few of the many beautiful buildings. To see the details in many of the photos, click to enlarge.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Georgia O'Keeffe

Pink Tulip 1926 Georgia O'Keeffe The beautiful weather Tuesday enticed us to attend the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit at one of San Diego's crown jewels, San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park. The two lower paintings by O'Keeffe are property of the San Diego Museum of Art and were separate of her exhibit.
***
I found the life of Georgia O'Keeffe very interesting. She gifted a friend with a work of her art. The friend in turn sent it to Arthur Stieglitz of New York who displayed it. When Georgia learned of this, she went to New York and ordered the work removed. Arthur denied her request. One year later Georgia was given an exhibit of her works by Stieglitz. Seven years later she married Arthur Stieglitz who was 23 years her senior. He was born in 1864 and following a marriage of 22 years, died in 1946. Arthur was responsible for advocating the advancement of photography as a work of art.
***
O'Keeffe expressed the mysteries she found in both minuscule and the cosmic through the same process of magnification. Her treatment of the miniature in nature exploding the portions of the form and focusing on its parts allowed O'Keeffe to isolate and capture the beauty of the microcosmic world of plants and flowers.
***
Her earliest paintings of flowers began when she visited the Lake George, New York home of the family of Alfred Stieglitz and first saw Cana Lilies growing in the gardens. Georgia born in 1887 died in 1986 at the age of 99 years old in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto
I am sharing what I believe to be an authentic Italian pesto recipe since my teacher was our daughter Mary who lives in Milano and makes the most mouth-watering pasta dishes! You gauge the ingredients according to the amount of basil you have or the amount of sauce that you need.
Ingredients:
Pine nuts
Fresh basil leaves
Olive oil
Salt
Garlic is optional. I do not use it.
***
Directions:
Toast the pine nuts which gives them an enhanced flavor. I have a small teflon skillet which I use over a low heat. Pine nuts have a high oil content so the heat must be low. Stir often to keep from burning. Pine nuts can be toasted in the oven also but do keep a close eye. Allow toasted nuts to cool completely.
***
In a food processor place basil leaves (a couple of handsful) with some olive oil. Use just enough olive oil at first that will allow the leaves to be chopped fine. As you keep the food processor on, add enough olive oil to make a thick paste. Add the pine nuts and now you can gauge the amount of olive oil you need to make the pesto to the proper consistency. (I would compare the proper consistency to that of cake batter.) Add salt to taste. Keep in a sealed jar and refrigerate until ready to use. I might say it is best if used fresh but will keep a few days in the refirgerator without loosing the quality. It will seperate when it sets in the jar but just stir to emulsify.
***
You may never used commercial pesto again!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Barbara At The Rock "N" Roll Marathon

Somewhere in Lane 5, runner 9865 is preparing for the signal to begin running.
The cheering section is waiting to sight Barbara.
Runner 9865
Forty Rock "N' Roll Bands provided music along the 26.2 mile route.
Barbara and Anne
26.2 miles under 4 1/2 hours and the proof !
Barbara finished in the top 500 runners of the Women's Division!
Barbara and one of her #1 fans, her dad!
Mom and Dad with Barbara.
Just resting those feet!
***
Rock "N" Roll Marathon
Our youngest daughter Barbara had prepared several months for this event. The 11Th Annual Rock "N" Roll Marathon which benefits the Leukemia and the Lymphoma Society with 17,828 runners attracted runners from every State in the United States and 30 plus countries. I might add it was won by a Kenyan in the mens division and a woman from Russia in the womens division. Both times were slightly over two hours. Barbara's finishing time placed in in the top 500 runners in the women's division. Way to go Barbara!!!
***
At miles marker 16 Anne supported her sister running the last ten miles with Barbara which ended at the finish line. Barbara is the third Myers to run and complete a marathon. Tom ran in the New York City Marathon, last year Anne ran in the Rock "N" Roll Marathon, and Barbara ran in it this year. Oldest sister Mary has ran several half marathons.
***
One gal had her boyfriend on his knees at the finish line, he proposed, she said yes; and she received an engagement ring to the cheers of a throng of people..