Monday, April 26, 2010

Tomato Goodness

Recently, my mother emailed me the recipe for Tomato Pie, as served for decades by Mary O'Brien at Chaiwalla Tea Room in Salisbury, CT (where I grew up). She had found it in a book I loaned her years ago by Laurie Colwin called More Home Cooking. I won't bore you with all the details (today), but I've been awash in memories from my Lakeville days, my introduction to chai, my love of that little tea room, my love of Laurie Colwin and my sadness (shared by many) that her life was so short.

So, naturally, I made tomato pie for dinner tonight. It was delicious. We had steamed sugar snap peas on the side. Loved it. Will make it again.

Here are some other good things from today. My pie-making assistant. She rolled out the dough to make the top crust all by herself and did a fine job.

Some kids are too cool for school in their shades. Even when they have stolen them from MAJ McBeary, our build-a-bear. (Shades also make stair practice all the more challenging and enjoyable.)

Today I unpacked a box. (I am trying to do a box a day, Monday through Friday, from our garage until is done. I'm trying to document my coolest finds, because believe me, most of what I am unpacking is going right into the recycling, the trash, or the goodwill bin. And I need all the motivation I can get in order to get through these dreaded boxes.)

Anyway, I found a stash of photos I love. Since I can't display them all in my home, I made the executive decision to de-frame most of them (chucking worn-out frames, saving favorite frames, giving away the rest) so I can integrate the photos into my family photo storage drawers.
I am SO GLAD I took the beat-up frame off of this adorable picture of my Dad, because behind it I found this even older picture. I'm not sure yet if it is my Dad or someone else, but I bet it is he. I also bet it was my Nana who frugally covered up this cute baby with the adorable boy above.
I can't wait to find out who this cutie is, and yes, I'm sure I'll scrap about it.

Yours in gutsiness,
The GM

PS: If you want to make the tomato pie, just google "Laurie Colwin tomato pie" or "Chaiwalla tomato pie." And yes, I realize people all over the south, Paula Deen included, have been making tomato pie since the dark ages. But I favor the nuances of Mary O'Brien's recipe.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dimensional Details

Selections from the first three weeks of "Dimensional Details" by Nic Howard at BPS. These designs are way out of my comfort zone, but they sure are a lot of fun to put together. Normally, I'm much more Zielske-esque and normally I wouldn't put so much stuff on there. But it's fun to dabble in it all.This first layout features adorable pics of Jillson (left) and Maddie James (right). I can't help but smile every time I see those too cute faces right next to each other.

The above layout celebrates the day Kera Grace was born. (The story itself is on hidden journaling -- an 8.5x11 page that you can pull out. See the semi-curcular tab at the top right that says "the story?" It's not attached to the page; it just hangs out in the album behind the layout. I love slipping extra things into the page protectors.) Anyway. Here I've practiced "water curling" to distress the papers around the edges. I also sanded the edges of the photo--I know--crazy for me. There's tearing and inking galore, too.

And here is a layout featuring the uber-adorable Gabriel. This is my first attempt at using a mask. I layered on the background papers, then put down the mask (swirly flourish shape) and then sprayed on the light blue glimmer mist before lifting the mask.

These tags feature a "stamp & resist" technique. Stamp the image in white paint, then cover the paper with contrasting inks and stamps. I'm thinking these would make nifty bookmarks. (I just said nifty.)

This one is all about practicing layers and balance. My favorite part? The butterflies. Those started out a matte cream color, but after I got my paws on 'em they were a beautiful petal lavender with a pale tan shimmer on top, not to mention the pearls, oh I can barely stand myself. The journaling is part of the lyrics from a Woody Guthrie/Jonatha Brooke song called "Sweetest Angel," which I first heard when pregnant with Madelyn. It's my song for her, always.

And, on this rather sentimental note, I have something more serious to add. There's no easy segue, I just want to say that my heart is aching tonight for a dear friend who lost her father today. I don't know what to do to help her. But I have been thinking about family a lot today, and so I am asking any of you who read this to please do me a favor: whoever the sweetest angel is in your life, give thanks for him or her, write down a favorite memory of him or her somewhere, and--if you can--give him or her a hug when next you can.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

On Cheese & Brainwashing

"American cheese is better than any other kind of cheese because it is American. I love American cheese because I am American, too. Can we get some American cheese?" -- Jillson

Well done, Kraft marketers, well done. You can move on now.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What's In Your Handbag?

In response to a challenge from my creative guru, Stacy Julian, I am baring the contents of my handbag, just as it was this morning, all dumped out, with no editing. Stacy posted her own purse collage on her blog in response to this project called Persona by photographer Jason Travis. I set my timer for 15 minutes and allowed myself to look through the photos in his ongoing series. Interesting stuff.

After staging my own Persona Diptych, I have come to the following, mostly obvious, conclusions:

1) I carry way too many things in my handbag.
2) I am not nearly as stylish or colorful as I pretend to be.
3) I am nowhere near as hip as J Trav's friends.
4) My right eye is wandering (must be tired).
5) I need a brow wax.

I'll just flatter myself by calling this little experiment a birthday zeitgeist. Maybe I'll do it again next year and see what has changed.

The Gutsy Handbag:
(I'm not sure if listing the contents is kosher for this challenge, but I'm doing it anyway.)
Green Vera Bradley make-up bag, red Kate Spade wallet, Reny's key chain, little pink point-and-shoot camera, floss, eye drops, two pens (one black, one blue), peak flow meter, two packs of Diego stickers, sunglasses, Madelyn's Red Sox bib, inhaler, Trident gum, Jillson's ballet slippers, black "choir" shoes, Jillson's pink socks, black socks, Blackberry, small notebook, The Alchemist, Women Food and God (receipt as bookmark), "All Out Of" shopping list pad, Coccinelle handbag. (Jillson's hand is not a usual component of my handbag.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Easter & Baptism Photo Highlights

If you want more control over the slide show, click on "view all images" and scroll through at your leisure. Hope to have "official" photos from the cathedral within a week or two.