Thursday, January 27, 2011

Where is Willow

She answered to many names...
Puppy Girl...

My daughter grew up with her.
Caroline, at ten years old, scanned the pets for sale section of the Sunday paper for months.
She had her heart set on a West Highland Terrier and would not be swayed.   She had saved one hundred dollars as a show of good faith and investment.  Somewhere there are polaroid pictures of the day we brought her home, her little, triangle ears too puppy soft to stand up.

That first year she used my antique wash stand's legs for her teething.
Her tenacious terrier tendencies were not understood or appreciated...we'd only had big dogs.
But she became a family member.

When Willow was five or six, the father left.
The children grew and moved away from home. 
Willow was my friend and at times my consoler, her sturdy little body my respirator
at times I could not breathe, for grief.

She suffered in her mature years, with a slippery knee joint and food allergies that caused her to have skin lesions.  My Richard, who came to love her well, would buy her ground lamb to cook with rice and vegetables.  But her personality remained unflappable and her sturdy little heart still wanted to explore, chase squirrels, be with her people.

At 13 and a half years, the day before my daughter's birthday, Willow had a fall that caused a traumatic break in her thigh bone.  Xray showed a cancerous lesion.  We let her go.

Last week was the second anniversary of her passing. 
I have never considered another dog, as several cats have come into my life and it seems a cat suits my life well.  And there can never be another Willow.

My favorite photo of her is this one, just before sunset, doing what a white terrier does best.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Creativity Day

Last week, my daughter and I planned a creativity day.
She arrived in the late morning, we built a fire and put on our thinking caps.

We used a large newsprint tablet to brain storm...
Ideas came for a co-ventured book of poetry, 
a children's book for siblings of brand new babies, (she's a labor/delivery nurse)
a game that would help get family members to share history. 
We started a game of scrabble.

I kind of threw a wrench into the day when I offered to sub a last minute yoga class.  But she took the time to go for a snow-shoe.  We regrouped, had some appetizers and wine and started to paint.  She worked on a large collage using gold foil paper scraps.  I did a pastel on black paper of some willow boughs, that she had been asking for every since we lost our little Willow the Westie. 

It is always a treat to have my girl to myself for a day. 
Better yet, to have a creativity day!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Garnet Soup

January is my birthday month.   I have a lovely garnet ring that my mother gave me when I was in my twenties.  My ex-husband gave me a garnet ring one Christmas.  Two years ago, Richard gave me some beautiful, contemporary dangle earrings from my favorite gallery, 360, that I like to wear for dress up.  I've never warmed up to my birthstone.
I had coveted February's cool amethyst.
I think that December's turquoise looks better with my skin tone.

I wear red better on the inside!  
I can't get enough of this red soup!

It's borscht, baby.  Or bortsch, borstch, borsh, barszcz, or borshch depending on which eastern European country of origin you choose.  My people came from a good deal west of Ukraine and it wasn't part of my food experience
until I encountered it at the old Lincoln Del, in the early 1970's. 

Here's my version:

Using a large kettle or Dutch oven, bring 2-3 T vegetable oil to medium heat
1 lb of beef neck bones

Brown the beef bones on medium heat, and turn and brown other sides
Add 4-5 cloves of chopped garlic in the final browning
Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
Pour in 1/3 cup red wine
2 T of red wine vinegar

Cover with 4 cups of water and simmer on low for 3-4 hours with the pan covered
(I hurried this part and recommend at least 3 hours to tenderize the meat and extract the most flavor)

Remove the bones from the broth, and extract any small pieces of meat 
from the bones and place back in the pot.  Discard the bones. 

3 medium yukon gold potatoes,  coarsely shred
4-5 cooked, skinned and chopped red beets
2 large carrots, shredded
1 medium onion, sliced and chopped
1 medium cabbage, sliced and chopped (I used a red cabbage I had on hand)
1 large can 15 - 20 oz. of diced tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste

Simmer all for at least one hour.
Taste for salt, perhaps add a teaspoon or two of brown sugar 

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, cracked pepper
A sprinkle of fresh dill would be nice.

Refrigerate the soup and enjoy!
It will keep for one week and just gets better.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Chase Those Winter Blues Away

I'll be adding many new items to the shop including dozens of pieces of this great, atomic snowflake pattern of Federal Glass.  The White Sale starts Sunday, Jan 9th.  Look for discounts of up to 40% in the category named White

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

front page treasury

I can almost smell the salt sea spray.

The Nantucket clam bucket sold immediately and is on its way home to Maine.
(my apologies to Mainers and Bay Staters alike, the clam bucket is on its way home to Massachusetts...MA not ME)