In My Kitchen – August 2014

August … already the light is subtly changing and the afternoon shadows sneak into the kitchen a little bit earlier each evening.  I haven’t been spending much time in the kitchen cooking but have been taking advantage of our incredible summer days outside cutting brush and digging out stumps in my never ending quest to reclaim our back hill.    Of course New England weather is much like that little girl in Henry Wadsworth Poem – There Was a Little Girl:

“When she was good, she was very, very good
and when she was bad, she was horrid”

Needless to say we’ve had the entire range of hot, humid days where breathing feels like sucking air through a wet towel; chilly, rainy (even tornado warnings) downpours, and then what we always dream of around January – The Perfect Day.

We’ve had enough sun and rain for my blackberry patch – at least enough for us and plenty to share with the birds:

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My daughter and I spent a weekend in New York City on a mission to find the perfect wedding gown for her August, 2015 wedding.  After finding that perfect gown, we celebrated at Nino’s and we each had their special of braised short ribs over pasta.  It was so good that I had to try to re-create it when I got home.  I think I really nailed this one and decided to braise the short ribs in the crock pot until the meat just fell off the bones.  I’ll share the recipe in another post, but in the meantime, have a look at these ribs simmering away in wine with rosemary and oregano:

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In addition to pre-wedding planning, Niki and her fiancé have had an offer accepted on a gorgeous home in Boston.  They won’t be moving for a while but in the meantime I’m trying to sort through the boxes of “stuff” that’s been parked at my house.  In exchange for the use of my space, I’ve pilfered this adorable cupcake tree.  As I said, we’ve had some beautiful weather which is why there are no cupcakes on the stand – but please feel free to send some my way…Mandy?  Butter, Sugar, Flowers?

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Finally, patiently waiting for us to finish singing Happy Birthday is Lola, our 9 year old Bernese Mountain Dog, drooling, waiting for her birthday hotdogs.  I know it’s hard to tell and I didn’t go a great job of making those hot dogs in the shape of a “9”, but she didn’t mind what shape they were in as they disappeared in a matter of seconds – chewing in not something Lola ever learned:

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Thanks for stopping by my kitchen this month and again, thank you to Celia for hosting this monthly peek into everyone’s kitchens.  Please swing by to see what she’s up to at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  Also, be sure to enjoy the list of contributors who share their what’s happening in their kitchens.

 

 

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49 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – August 2014

  1. Diane, I would bring you cupcakes to fill your beautiful stand in a heartbeat! We need to shorten the distance between the oceans first and then we can use your beautiful blackberries to decorate them with. Oh that would be fun!
    I am looking forward to the short rib recipe and lots of barking happy birthday wishes to your adorable Lola!
    Can’t believe we have to wait a whole year to see your beautiful daughters wedding gown. You are going to have so much fun planning everything and congratulations to the new home owners.
    Have a wonderful day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

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    • Oh Mandy, I do wish we were close neighbors…just think of the fun we could have with my kitchen disasters :). Now you’ve got me thinking of new things to do with those blackberries and if I could find some of those cool silver balls you use.
      It seems like we’ve had so much going on here – with the wedding plans, the new condo and move, and next month I’ll be having an engagement party for the sweetest couple in the world. It’s tempting to show the wedding gown but that has to be a surprise (maybe I can sneak a pic in an email to you).
      I’ll be sure to pass your birthday wishes on to Lola…quite the old lady for a Berner…9 years of trying and not succeeding at protecting my food.

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      • Diane, please email me your postal address – I shall send you a teeny tiny little surprise. Don’t hold your breath though as the postal service from here to the USA seems to take f o r e v e r.
        I would be honoured to get a sneak peak at the wedding gown – oh I want to get married again!
        I cannot wait to hear all about the engagement party. 🙂 xo

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    • It’s a sad tree without cupcakes though isn’t it Judy? I will give Lola a big ol’ hug for you and I’ll tell her you’ll be delivering on in person soon. I hope that back is feeling better and will chat with you soon.

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  2. My mother used to quote that poem rather a lot in my childhood (never when I was being very, very good). Your blackberries look good – did you make something with them or just eat them straight?
    What fun to have a wedding in the family. Terrible mother that I am, I sent my sister to buy the wedding dress with my daughter.To be fair, she’s much better at that sort of thing than I am and the dress they chose looked stunning.
    Enjoy the good weather while it lasts.

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    • As for that poem – you & me both…there’s a reason that poem still sticks in my head. We’ve just been nibbling at the blackberries right now but I think Mandy’s got me inspired to use them in a cupcake recipe. I just loved shopping with my daughter & we were spending so much time going to all of the little shops in Boston that we decided to just take a weekend & head into New York City. I used to make her prom gowns & skating dresses but I think the wedding gown would have just been too stressful for me to even contemplate…I’d like to be able to enjoy the wedding and not worry about the dress falling apart.

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    • Thanks from Lola – she always enjoys a party. I’ve gotten rather attached to that cup cake tree so my daughter may not be getting it back. I still have tons of berries waiting to ripen and should be able to get another bucket if the birds don’t beat me to it. I will very much enjoy sneaking a peek into your kitchen & need to catch up on what everyone is doing.

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  3. You have a bernese mountain dog??? I am so jealous. They’re my favorite dog ever. Just saw the biggest one ever when we were in Wales last week. I wanted to jump on him and squeeze him. It’s too hot for them where we live, sadly.

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    • Oh I do Mimi, Lola is my 3rd Berner. Unfortunately they don’t live very long lives and are subject to so many health problems but I’ve never seen a dog who makes every minute count. My first Berner was a little guy – only 65 lbs. who unfortunately died at age 3. The next was an enormous 120 lb. male who thought he was a lap dog. Now Lola is right in the middle at about 85-90 lbs – depending on the number of hot dogs. The thing with Berners is that NO food is safe – I’ve lost entire blocks of cheese, a pan of bacon, numerous breakfasts & lunches – yet they always look so innocent as if they’re amazed that you didn’t leave the food there just for them.

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    • Thanks Glenda, we love her too. It’s like living with the class clown as every day she’s doing something for attention that just cracks us up. Like last night, she wasn’t getting enough attention when my husband came home from work. So as he was trying to read the mail, she started herding a kitchen chair out of the room…pushing and nudging it with her nose until it was almost in the living room. She got her attention because it had my husband’s PC on it and she wasn’t all that gentle with her herding.

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  4. Happy birthday, Lola!!! Bernese are great dogs! When Max was a pup, we’d go to the dog park and his bestest buddy was a Bernese a tad older than he was. The 2 would romp until one of us owners put an end to it and left the park. I, too, use the slow cooker for short ribs and am looking forward to seeing your recipe, Diane. I love ’em and one cannot have too many ways to prepare them. 🙂

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    • Berners are funny and like wrestling with big old bears. The one before Lola was huge and we were taking care of a little German Shepherd pup who was constantly racing circles around Spirit. He got so tired of the ball of energy that he just sat on him, looked over at me with that “that should fix ’em” look.
      I hope you enjoy the braised rib recipe…now I just have to try to remember what I did and come up with measuring estimates…no I did not measure.

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  5. Diane, how wonderful that you have a whole year to be excited before Niki’s wedding even arrives! And congratulations to them on finding a home – wonderful news! Your ribs look delicious, as do those blackberries, but when I read about your “cutting brush and digging out stumps”, I couldn’t help but think…Di, really? With a new hip? Do take care, love.. 🙂 xx

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    • Thanks to my daughter’s organization skills, the wedding plans are really falling into place and hopefully we’ll be able to really enjoy the celebration.
      Celia, I’ve got to be honest with you – that hip is feeling so good! It’s the OLD parts that leave me hobbling around…. maybe it’s time for some more new parts?

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  6. If I had a dog it would be a Lola. Actually I do. They are called Jack and Harry. They are human but kind of dog-like. And your story reminds me that my parents are trying (again) to unload 40 years of acquired child-related detrius from their attic/loft. It isn’t working though; all for of us don’t want our old stuff but we get quite upset if the folks try to get rid of it. They have the space to store it, after all…

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    • Well the nice thing about a Bernese Mountain dog is that they’re pretty lazy (except when heading toward the food dish). You can try to take them for a walk but after about half a block they’re on their backs with all four up in the air. I have a feeling Lola’s appetite is very close to your Jack and Harry’s…do they steal food from your dish too?
      I did the same to my mother with all my childhood treasures and now it’s payback time!

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  7. Oh, I would be so very thrilled to provide cupcakes for your adorable stand! And to attack your blackberry supply!
    And here is yet another post of yours that shows your loving motherhood shining brightly: not only for your soon-to-be-wed daughter, but also for your four-legged sweetheart. You bless them with support and love and yummy things, just as you spread the love to your readers with the warmest stories and recipes. Diane for President!!

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    • As, you are just too sweet! Thank you for your very kind words. These days my daughter has so much going on and lives about 45 minutes away so I treasure the special times that we get to spend together. We had a wonderful ‘girl’s lunch’ at Bergdorf Goodmans overlooking Central Park.
      As for that Lola! If there’s food around, she’s my very best friend. I don’t have much time for being President right now – maybe after the wedding 🙂

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  8. Hi Diane! You are right this weather has been rather fickle, but the blackberries are loving it! Love the Longfellow reference, I remember being told that more than once when I was a child, haha! Thanks for sharing your kitchen! 🙂

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    • It’s funny how some things from childhood stick in your brain – I’m afraid I heard it more than once myself. It’s been such beautiful weather this past week that I’m afraid I haven’t seen much of the inside of the kitchen. Trying to keep up with the yard has me conked out by 9:00 every night.

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  9. It seems we have been on the same wave length lately. I almost quoted about the girl with the curl relating to how the weather in New England has been this year when writing about my garden. Don’t be surprised if you see it when I write about the orchard. 😀 I’ll be looking forward to your recipe. Enjoy the outdoors but certainly mind that you have a new hip…no overdoing, please. 🙂

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    • Now that’s funny that we were thinking along the same lines but really, how else to describe this crazy weather we’ve had?
      I do have a problem with testing my limits but really, that new hip feels so good I’m making a list now of all the other parts I’d like to have replaced.

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    • It’s a strange feeling – you’re right that I’m so excited and happy for them but at the same time, I remember cuddling her in the crook of my arm & feeling her fuzzy little head tickle my nose.
      I’m pretty well organized for the party & have lots of people offering to help which is great but being Tuesday, I’m just starting to get that “oh-oh, what now” feeling in my stomach. I just wish that I could make up all of the food ahead of time but there’s some things that will just have to wait until the day before or day of.

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      • I am glad that people have offered to help and please take them up on it. It always takes longer than expected to get everything ready and you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen you want to be there with your daughter enjoying her special day. Hugs

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      • I’ll be sure to use all the help that’s offered because right about now what I really want is a nice nap! 🙂 And, you’re right – I’d love to be able to join the party. Only thing I’m really worried about is cooking up some chicken piccata at the last minute. Everything else is good to go.

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