Yesterday M and X came and we made two kinds of cookies and Christmas arrangements.
X brought a Sichuan dish of mung bean noodles with garlic, cilantro and herbs that we ate at room temperature. We also had leftover venison chili on rice. I made chai, which X and M had not had before. That was a surprise to me. We went over the various spices I used: cardamon, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, star anise. Cardamon and nutmeg were not familiar to them.
We made chocolate chip cookies from the recipe on the yellow bag: a typical All-American cookie. Chinese homes, they explained, do not have ovens and they had been at a loss to use the ones found in their apartments here. X’s daughter and husband in particular wished her to learn how to use the oven to make cookies! Chocolate chip cookies! We made and decorated chocolate spritz Christmas tree cookies.
All that butter. Another thing not used in Chinese cooking.
Then we went out and collected assorted greens, berries, and plant material for the arrangements.
M’s very lovely artistic result:
What I made for X:
That morning the Paperwhite narcissus Ellie gave me had come into full enough bloom that i cut them and added them to the arrangement already on our table.
We had such a lovely time.
The ancients were correct that this time of year is transitional. Just in the past week the weather has changed: snow twice, hard freezes. Those freezes mark the end of raspberries from the garden, ferns near the house, bright leaves on the trees.
The rest of the apples need to be picked, and the stems of wild rose hips for bouquets. The lst hydrangeas picked before the snow:
The girl spent more of her birthday money on a new haircut: a long shag. Almost half her hair was cut off but it is hard to tell, she has so much!
And I am readying for a trip to visit friends in a far off land, my first visit to the Mediterranean and the Mid-east. Pounce looked last night like he was waiting to be packed!
He has been joining Hawthorne and me on our morning walks.
with flowers and Monarch larvae. A variegated Physostegia, also called Obedient plant because supposedly it will stay where you carefully bend its stem in a bouquet.
A few Monarch larvae:
It has been in the high 4o’s F the past few mornings. Jay told me it will only get in the high 60′s later this week. The flannel sheets are back on the beds.
The Sweet Autumn Clematis and fall Cyclamen are both in bloom also.
Earl and Merle are weaning themselves. They only wanted milk twice today, between 4 and six ml. apiece. They each weighed about 150 grams this morning. About 5 ounces. They are becoming more vocal. And have personalities. Jay made them a box.
The view from the South end of Mill Street was impressive, too.
Yesterday I found 16 Monarch Butterfly larvae on milkweed plants in the fields above the house. This morning the count was 32.
And noticed this up in the broken white spruce tree, our large ‘bonsai’.
Look at the apex of the lilac .
It is a sunflower.
A snipe flew out of the corn a couple mornings ago.
23 was the largest number of blossoms on the Morning Glories in one morning.
The rains battered the tomatoes. They are on a definite downward autumn death spiral now. And the Autumn Crocus are beginning to bloom.
This morning all the wild strawberries had collected dew on each leaf point:
In the garden the Malva sylvestris is in bloom:
This variety came originally from the British seed company Thompson and Morgan and had a name, now lost in the mists of time.
Since the tomatoes are ripe most days I am eating open-faced tomato sandwiches for lunch. Necessary ingredients:
Tomato; bread, preferably homemade; mayo, ditto; and today shallot, homegrown. The shallots I started last year from seed. They were planted as sets this spring and have turned into lovely large shallots. The mayo i made with garlic and used pomegranate vinegar–a drinking variety I found at the local Asian store. Yesterday I used Russian tomatoes from Audrey. They were fabulous, though small. To fill out the space on the bread I cut open some Sun Golds.
Oh, and the two campers arrived safely home this evening for supper.
She was given lipstick for the photo shoot. Otherwise she is as she appeared one morning for a short visit.
The first pound of green beans yesterday. The first Sungold tomato today.