the trees are beginning to have that "lacy look".
The yard is filled with all sorts of critters,
out and about,
enjoying the morning air,
taking in a morning bite or two....
My morning entertainment and inspiration.
This guy made me chuckle...
Standing alert, little hands folded in prayer position,
with the morning sun kissing his furry belly,
complete with "feather on the nose"...
And I spotted our mother or father rabbit, they are annual guests in our yard....
out enjoying a nibble on dew-kissed greens.
I enjoy this morning quiet time...
time to take in the dawning of the new day,
a time to plan how my day will unfold.
As any small business owner, I wear many different hats,
my days are filled with various "things-to-do"...
filling customer's orders,
sneaking in some stitching time,
It's a balancing act, of sorts,
and at the end of the day,
I always hope to get all items crossed off my list.
I'm making progress on the Summer Sampler.
Here's a peak.
I don't have a whole lot left,
it's just that I don't have a whole lot of stitching time....
that's a problem!
I've also been working on the tedious task of charting Susan Dickinson, 1841.
Here is her color palette...
Isn't it lovely?
Lots of "orangey reds" and "salmony pinks",
warm greens and browns...
all colors that make my heart a-flutter!
The sampler is an Adam & Eve sampler.
Adam has hip problems!!
I don't love him no less...
makes me love him more, really.
And the curious little guy to the left of Adam,
is a fox...
The sampler has a simple meandering floral border,
is filled with squirrels, birds, pots of flowers, owls, cherubs,
verse worked over 1,
a BIG red house!
I almost forgot,
there are 4 NEW charts coming soon!
Their titles are...
The Sampler House
The Sewing Bird
The Dame of the Needles
These are smaller,
watch for their releases in a couple of weeks.
I made my first attempt at making sweet potato chips,
my goodness, are these good!
No frying necessary, these are made in your microwave!
You will need a mandolin or a food processor that slices very thin slices. When buying your sweet potatoes, look for ones that are somewhat straight. Scrub the sweet potato, removing any dirt or dark spots. No need to skin the potato. The skin is full of nutritional goodies! Slice the potato and toss slices into a large zip-lock bag. Drizzle olive oil over slices, close bag. With your hands, work the oil around the slices, so all oil is evenly distributed. Sweet potatoes will darken, so you don't want to slice the potatoes too far in advance of microwaving them. I used two potatoes for the two of us, and had a few leftover for next day snacking.
Remove the glass circular tray from your microwave. Lie it on a piece of parchment paper, and trace around, onto paper. Cut parchment paper circle out. Put tray back into the microwave, placing paper on top of the tray. Place potato slices onto tray. Don't overlap, but they can be touching slightly.
Sprinkle with fresh ground sea salt and rosemary. If you don't like rosemary, omit...but this makes them good! Microwave on normal setting for 6 minutes. Timing may vary from microwave to microwave. You can always do a test run with a couple of slices to determine the best amount of cooking time for your microwave. As the chips start to cook, their edges will darken and crinkle up. The chips will still be slightly soft when done, but crispen up, rather quickly, as they cool. If they don't crispen up, they need more cooking time.
I will be making more of these this summer...yum! A perfect compliment to grilled brats or burgers.
The best part is, they are good for you! The sweet potato is the number one most nutritious vegetable...did you know that?
They are high in potassium, calcium and Vitamin A&C to name a few nutrients. A good food to eat when you are under stress and tension. Stress robs your body of potassium, leading to muscle aches, pains and cramping.
takes him through the rural countryside of Buena Vista and Pocahontas counties.
After commuting this for 20 plus years, he has found various quiet county blacktops for the trip...
the less traveled roads.
It was on one of these rural blacktops,
about 200 yards from the road,
he spotted a very large nest.
At supper that evening,
we talked the usual "work talk",
"how was your day talk",
and he mentioned he thought he might have spotted an eagles nest.
So, with camera in tow, we went for a Sunday drive.
The big tree stands out in an open area along a creek bed.
Upon arrival, things seemed pretty quiet at the nest.
No little heads bobbing up and down in the nest.
We just sat there enjoyed the smell of fresh black dirt,
sounds of cow mooing off in the distance,
The creeks are running good with all of the rain we have had,
and everything is starting to green up.
From watching the Decorah eagle cam,
I was aware that the parent eagles usually sit in a tree
relatively close to their nest.
I spy two eagles!
Sitting in a tree next to the nest, there they were!
Sitting there so majestically, are mom and dad!
This is the best I could do with my 270mm lens.
Can you spot them in the tree?
After several minutes of taking in the warmth of the early evening sun,
one flies off,
following the creek,
Buena Vista, beautiful view.
You may have heard about the eagles nest from Decorah, IA that has the webcam and went viral. We all watched it, and didn't get anything else done, but watch the eaglets. Some may not know that the parents started building a new nest over the winter months. They chose the "over yonder" nest to raise this years young ones, so no Iowa eagle came. I am relying on Facebook updates on the nest. The pair has a nest of three eaglets and they seem to be doing well.
I miss those cute little "poop squirts"....anyone else?!!
We are all excited that the warmer weather has finally arrived! Boy, what a day of warmth and sunshine can do....my early tulips that had snow on them on Tuesday sprung forth bright little red blooms and my Coral Bells and Bleeding Hearts all made their entrance into the world too! I think spring has sprung and I couldn't be more excited!
I've had a weekend of stitching and cooking. Grilling to be exact. Grilling and a nice warm spring day just seem to go hand and hand, so I decided to grill some Apple Wood Smoked Pulled Pork. It sort of is an all day thing, and you need to "babysit" the grill. I was able to get quite a bit of stitching in, while babysitting the grill, and enjoyed the lovely weather too!
It's been awhile since I've done a recipe share, so I snapped a few pics of the process, and thougt I'd share them with you all...
Apple-Wood Smoked Pulled Pork
Don't have a smoker?
Neither do I, this recipe uses the indirect heat method on a Weber charcoal kettle grill or the likes.
Ready? Here goes...
1/4 cup paprika
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon celery salt
Mix spices, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container. Will keep for up to 2 months. This amount of rub will do two roasts.
Separate and skin garlic cloves. I use a whole head of garlic...the more the merrier!
Using an 8 pound bone-in shoulder roast (may be called a butt roast, too) with skin, make small cuts into roast and insert garlic cloves into cuts. Oh yea, I'm feelin' like Martha now!!
Using half of the spice rub, rub spices into/onto roast. I've done this both ways. Wrapping the roast with Saran Wrap and refrigerating overnight, or putting it on the grill right away. Honestly, it is just as good without the resting time.
Soak wood chips in water. I always use apple wood, tis a nice flavor mix with the pork. Soak chips about 20 minutes.
The meat gets grilled, using the indirect heat method. What that means is, you only put charcoal on one half of the grill, building up the charcoal pretty good along the side of the grill. The meat will set on the side without the coals.
Once the coals are glowing, add a couple good-sized handfuls of wet wood chips. Let the smoking begin...
Place your roast in a disposable tin cake pan, fat side up. Add 1 1 /2 cups of water to then bottom of the pan. Place the pan on the side of the grill, opposite to charcoals. Place the lid on the grill, making sure that the vents are located over the meat. This allows the smoke to roll over the the meat, as it exits the grill.
Every hour you will add hot charcoal and more wet wood chips on top of the new charcoals.
This gadget is really great for that...
No peeking for the first hour...
and this is what it looks like with one hour of grilling.
The roast has formed and nice dark crust
that will aid in keeping all the juices of the marbling inside of the roast.
Continue to add fresh hot charcoals and wood chips each hour.
It takes about 5 hours to fully cook.
This can depend on weather conditions, wind etc.
Use of a meat thermometer is important.
When a meat thermometer reaches 200 degrees, it is ready to take inside.
I immediately wrap the roast, tightly in tinfoil, and let it rest for 30 minutes. This will keep all the juices inside of the meat.
You may be thinking 200 degrees seems too hot?
I know, so did I.
Standard cooking time for most pork is 170 - 180 degrees.
I've always cooked this recipe for 200 degrees, and it always comes out fork tender.
While the roast is resting in the tinfoil, time to make a North Carolina-Style Vinegar BBQ sauce. This is more spunky then saucy...much thinner in consistency, then the bottled sauces we buy on the shelf at the grocery store.
These vinegary sauces are the original American Sauces.
1 1 /2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Heat the vinegar and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
Add the remaining ingredients and warm through.
Remove the foil from the roast. Cut away the top "fatty skin" that is on the top of the roast and dispose....
oh, baby, are you salivating yet?
I do leave smaller amounts of the blackened spices on the meat for more flavor.
The roast at this point will just fall apart, with the use of a couple of forks.
Pull apart in piece sizes that best suit your tastes.
You can pour the sauce over the roast or serve on the side, letting each person add the amount of kick they like to their own meat.
This is good served on toasted buns or just as is... and of course you can't have pulled pork without cole-slaw...mmmmmm, a match made in heaven!
Woofta, after a busy and hectic day at Country Stitches I came home to total critter craziness.
Our snow has melted, though the wind had a slight nip to it, at least the sun was shining. It's been awhile since we've seen the sun, a very long while. I felt like putting my feet up for a while and just sitting at the kitchen table and enjoying a peaceful cup of coffee. I thought I'd warm myself in the sun for awhile before deciding what the heck I was going to make for supper.
I'm drinking my coffee and looking out the window and I spot this duck. Don't know what type of duck it is...seems to be something more then a mallard. So it's a duck, but ducks don't usually hang out in my back yard. The duck didn't move. He seemed to have his head tucked under his wing....at least that is what I was hoping....I was hoping that the naughty hawk that frequents our yard didn't spot him first.....
I guess what I'm trying to say is,
I hoped the duck still had a head...
I did take a picture,
you dumb duck,
and now your photo is all over the blog world.
You have now gone viral,
what do you think of that?
By now my coffee has grown cold, cause the duck was distracting me and I forgot to drink my coffee. So, I get up to put a splash of hot coffee into my cup and I am startled by a noise at my window. I look over and all I see is this
and dirt hitting my window.
Visitor number 2...
The furry rat had the nerve to just sit there in my flower box and stare at me whilst I slurped my cup of coffee.
A window peeping squirrel?
Can I call the cops?
You do know,
they only remember where they put there nuts 2% of the time...
My next thought was...The cat?
Where's he at?
He usually knows where all the squirrels are at.
I can't believe he isn't right here up in the window sill....
I better go find him.
This is where I found him...
Now I'm really feeling a little disappointed....
this is WHAT goes ON while I'm away,
hard at work??
you no longer do squirrel patrol?
No more kitty treats for you.
And your asking yourself,
can't she really find something better then an old Amazon box to put her floss in?
ask myself that too,
everytime I find this 12 pounds of fur in my box.
Thinking I need a box with a lid before I cough up a furball,