Tuesday, October 17, 2017

September Photo of the Month: The View from the Top

Isn't this view spectacular? I hiked to the  top of Hurricane Hill in Olympic National Park. I was looking north, at 5,700 feet. You can see Unicorn Peak, the city of Port Angeles, Washington, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and on the far shore, Vancouver Island and the city of Victoria, British Columbia. I took this photo with my iPhone.

Monday, September 25, 2017

August Photos of the Month: Spiced Plum Butter!


I couldn't just post one photo for August. There were many exciting events during the month, especially the eclipse—which was at 92 per cent of totality here in Seattle—but the most exciting event for me was learning to make Pflaumenmus, otherwise known as spiced plum butter. I came across the recipe last year, when I read Luisa Weis' delightful book, My Berlin Kitchen. The recipe is also included in her wonderful cookbook, Classic German Baking. I discovered the recipe too late last summer to make it, but this year, when the Italian plums on our tree were ripe, I was ready! You can see some of those delicious plums in the photo above. It is wonderful having a tree that produces fruit so prolifically, but there are always too many to eat ourselves and give away, so this gives us another way to use and enjoy them throughout the year.

I documented the Pflaumenmus process in photos:

Step one: pit and quarter the plums and put them in a large cast iron pan (we used our Dutch oven).



Step two: add sugar, a cinnamon stick and two whole cloves and let sit, covered, overnight.

Step three: bake uncovered for two hours, stirring occasionally.

Step four:  once you take the pan out of the oven, remove the cinnamon stick and the cloves (if you can find them) and use an immersion blender to puree the plum mixture. This was probably the first time that we have used our immersion blender, which was a wedding present 14 years ago!

Step five: fill the jars to the top.

Step six: screw the lids onto the jars tightly, turn upside down and let cool.

Step seven: when the mood strikes, open a jar and spread some plum butter on toast, add to yogurt, put on ice cream, or come up with your own tasty use for it. Here is what I did:
YUM!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

July Photo of the Month: Infinity Mirrors


My favorite photo of the month didn't happen until the very last day of July, when I went with my friend, Stephanie, to the Yayoi Kusama exhibit, Infinity Mirrors at the Seattle Art Museum. The whole exhibit was mind-blowingly amazing, and I took several photos of the wonders I saw. This photo is my favorite.

The exhibit is in Seattle until September 10. It will be in Los Angeles this fall, and then in Toronto, Cleveland and Atlanta in 2018. If you live near any of these cities, don't miss it!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

June Photo of the Month: Shining Sea

Looking west toward the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Deception Pass State Park. I took this photo with my point-and-shoot camera, a Canon SX620 HS. I got this camera for my birthday in March and it takes fantastic photos, as you can see. This is one of my best so far.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Second Sock Conundrum

Why does it take me two months and twenty-one days to get to this point,


and only seven days to get here?


I guess I don't have second sock syndrome...

Saturday, June 17, 2017

May Photo of the Month: Stretching to the Horizon

It's kind of ironic that I am just now posting this quintessentially spring-like photo in mid-June, just days from the summer solstice. My excuse is that spring was really late in the Pacific Northwest, and the annual tulip festival in the Skagit Valley, which usually happens in April, actually stretched into the first week of May this year.

I took this photo on May 2nd, one of the few dry and sunny days we had that week. We were at Roozengaarde, and after wandering in the display gardens, Mr. D and I took a short walk over to the breathtaking tulip fields, where this photo was taken. Tulips almost as far as the eye can see—perfection!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Knitting with Friends...and Critters!

I promised in my last post that there were several other candidates for photo of the month from my California road trip, and two of those photos were taken while I was at the Northern California Knitting Retreat, which I attended again this year. You can view those two photos at the end of this post.

But first, I want to show you a little bit of the main activity at the retreat: lots and lots of knitting, going on all throughout the weekend.

 Knitting in the Fireside Room
That's my roommate, Debra (JavaNut), and Tracy (Thumperina)
Some serious concentration going on
Gayle and her gorgeous (and growing) blanket

There was also some stash enhancement and stash reduction going on in the destash room. I contributed some yarn to this picture, but didn't bring anything home.

The peaceful setting is also a big part of of the retreat experience. Despite cold (for California) temperatures and some rain, I managed to get out for a walk every day. This is where the critters came into the story. Look at what I was lucky enough to see and photograph early one morning:

Yes, those really are three male wild turkeys displaying in front of one lucky female. I imagined her saying, "Hmmm, which one of these hot guys should I choose?"

The next morning I captured a moment of perfection: the sun peeking over the horizon, and another wild creature greeting the day.