Showing posts with label pyrex. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pyrex. Show all posts

October 31, 2017

Pyrex Purging and Motherhood Musings

I broke a Pyrex dish about a month ago. It was only my second Pyrex casualty ever, but it was one of my favorite patterns and dishes. In that moment, as I stared at the shards of the Butterprint refrigerator dish scattered across my kitchen floor, I decided to sell off most of my collection.

In fact, I've gotten rid of lots of stuff lately.
I have never been a hoarder, but after moving (again) this summer, the thought of packing up everything about did me in. There was absolutely no reason to keep my Girl Scout sash from the early 1980s. (You'd be amazed at what people bid on eBay for stuff like that. Clean out your closets and storage areas!) And so, most of the Pyrex went off to auction, too. 

I'm keeping these though!

I went a little crazy on the Pyrex collecting over the years, mainly because I traveled so much and never really had my own kitchen until later in life. While sorting photos from eons ago, I realized I took a LOT of pictures of my Pyrex.
It reminded me to pick up my camera and to actually take pictures with something other than my phone. It also reminded me that it's been forever since I posted anything on here. I started this blog five years ago — back when I seemed to have more hours in the day to take photos of stationary things like Pyrex, and to make crafty stuff to later blog about. 

These days of mine now are filled to the brim with cooking, cleaning, train track construction and Lego building with the Peanut, puzzles and books, mud painting and coloring, piles of laundry and dishes, and lots of refusals to nap. He is exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. 

While I can still remember my life pre-Peanut (oh sleep... I still miss you...) it's hard to fathom that this blog is older than he is. I feel like so much of my life has changed, not only since I started this blog, but since having the Peanut. I am now introduced as my child's mother. (People never seem to remember the mother's name at child-friendly events.) I just ripped apart the last thing I crocheted because I hated it, leaving me to wonder if I'm ever going to use my stash of yarn again. I serve boxed mac 'n cheese for lunch more times than I care to admit. I live for nap time, on the rare occasion it happens. I find myself constantly repeating things like 'put your pants back on'.

I look back over parts of this blog and some days I'm not sure what ever happened to the old me. Well, actually the younger me. 

I got a glimpse of her earlier in the week though, when I met someone moving overseas. Her son is the same age as mine, and she and her husband will be moving to a country near and dear to me in just a few months. She wanted to know about any helpful tips and tricks for adjusting to an international life. She was of course apprehensive, but also excited. I never asked her age, but I'm guessing it was a lot younger than mine, and I realized with a bit of a shock that I've now become that older person who doles out advice to people half my age. 

I saw part of my former self in her though, and it made me smile. I too was nervous before I moved overseas for the first time, but I also remember the excitement the anticipation of adventure.  

It's something I want to continue to instill in the Peanut, even when I feel old(er) and more tired than I ever have in my life. I hauled him to Scotland this summer because we had travel vouchers to use and because I wanted him to experience this incredible place where I've had countless laughs and adventures for over two decades. I hadn't been back for years, and I missed it fiercely.

Besides the phenomenal amount of rain and mud, the acquisition of a stomach bug, and general fatigue that comes from traveling and camping with a newly minted three-year-old, the trip was pretty amazing. In all of the summers I've spent on the shores of Loch Lomond, this was certainly the most challenging, but also one of the most rewarding. I got to show my little guy one of my favorite places on the planet and he reminded me that sometimes you just need to throw a rock into a loch to feel better. 

He still talks about camping and canoeing in Scotland and months later, he's completely enamored with the Thunderbird rockets that his 'Aunty and Uncle' from England sent to him after our trip. (After at least two dozen flights to several countries and continents with a child, I finally decided to write some travel tips here.)

When he wakes up an hour after falling asleep because he's overly tired from not napping earlier, I have to remember that these days are fleeting, even when I too am struggling to keep my eyes open. I have to remember that he already views life as an adventure. It's exciting for him to help make pancakes or waffles, to pour the milk, to help me put away the groceries, to wrap yarn around a tree, or to build a rocket house with sticks and leaves. 

He's not going to care if we mix those pancakes in a vintage Pyrex bowl. He's only going to care that I let him sit on the counter and crack the eggs. And those are the images that I will probably never get on camera, but they'll be imprinted on my heart forever.  

We don't always have to travel far to see what an adventure life can truly be. And we don't always need a photo to show everyone where we've been. There are days when I miss my old life, but I still wouldn't trade it for the world, because I've already seen it. And now I'm seeing it through the eyes of my son.  

I just hope he sleeps long enough for me to actually publish this post. 

PS: National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, starts in a mere matter of minutes! EEK! This is my third year participating and hopefully my third win. The story of why I started this insane tradition can be found here.

PPS: The holidays will be here before we all know it. If you're visiting friends or family, or hosting anyone, brush up on how to be a charming hostess and gracious guest here.

May 16, 2015

(Halfway Through) May Day!

I don't know about you, but time is flying by right now. I have heard this phrase several times since having the Peanut: 'The days are long, but the years are short.' I cannot believe my little guy will be one in just a few short months. However, some nights feel like they are never-ending, depending on how much sleep we are all getting!

Once again, I have too much to say and not enough time to type it out. If I'm lucky, I'll at least finish this post before someone wakes up from their nap. (I didn't...)

Exciting things in our household of late: 

The acquisition of a new coffee maker! 

As you may already know, I love my coffee. I also love frequenting coffee shops, of which there is no shortage in my city. However, it's not always easy to get out the door and actually stay at one long enough to enjoy a beverage. I'm not a fan of getting coffee to go and drinking out of a disposable container, unless I'm actually on a long road trip in the car. 

So, the Sailor and I splurged on a Breville Barista espresso maker. I'm actually drinking less coffee these days because of the Peanut, so I figured that my daily intake should therefore be excellent quality.

We managed to nab it with a sale coupon and we cashed in points on our credit card, so the price wasn't as scary as we initially calculated. Plus, I've already saved on the amount of ah-mazing coffee I've had since we bought it. Best thing about it? The Peanut can be bouncing off the walls and I can still enjoy my coffee without fear of him knocking over a table at the coffee shop, or at the very least, coffee that I had to pay a ridiculous price for.

Drinking outstanding coffee at home in vintage Pyrex is simply a bonus. 

I'm smitten. 

This crochet blanket is still coming along...

The Sailor and I are working our way through our list of recorded TV series. I usually manage to get one or two squares crocheted per show, and now I'm about halfway through with this blanket. 

Friends from a distance visited a few weeks ago and gifted me with this awesome plant for my porch! I may not get much time to sit on the porch these days and admire the other plants, but I can see this one from the living room all of the time.

My little cross-stitch project that I started on our recent trip to South Africa is still in limbo for the time being. I may have to just save and finish it on the next international trip. 

And, I really am working on that cloth diapering post I promised months ago. I know that when I was ready to take the cloth diapering plunge, the Internet helped me immensely with navigating through the many options! I hope to help some other new mom out there with what I've learned. 

Finally, my aging iMac, Walter, fried himself this afternoon, so I'm in the processing of restoring everything (isn't technology a pain?!) In fact, I was about to add the photos to this post and then hit publish right when it all conked out. I had to retake the pics and then use another piece of technology to actually publish this post (isn't technology amazing?!) All that to say... bear with me while I sort out my technological issues! 

Happy mid-May Day! 

August 27, 2014

When Life Gives You Overripe Bananas...

The only thing to do is to use them up!

Years ago when I worked onboard the Love Boat, crew members would routinely request bananas from the galley whenever they had a craving for baking. Bananas were plentiful in Africa... but they still went brown after a few days of being stored onboard. In such cases (and depending on the chef...) they were often up for grabs rather than getting tossed out with the garbage.

The ship was equipped with small crew kitchens called ripostos. (I have no idea if that is the correct spelling... I've never figured out where the term came from.) 

Spelling aside, I was never a fan of cooking in these ripostos -- mainly because they never seemed to be up to my standard of cleanliness. Plus, we had a whole crew of kitchen staff who served us three meals a day. Nevertheless, I occasionally wanted to bake something. Anything.

I acquired a small oven (on par with the looks of a child's easy bake...) and somehow I was allowed to use it in my tiny cabin. Along with my own coffee maker, it allowed me to have a homey feel when I started to get claustrophobic about eating in the same dining room as hundreds of other people.

I love having no-fail recipes. My no-fail recipe onboard was an apple cake made with an insane amount of oil and a fridge milk-tart (admittedly, I failed numerous times on the latter one until I figured out the difference between corn starch and corn meal. DUH.) I don't think I had a no-fail banana bread recipe at the time, but eventually, I found one on land. This Banana Banana Bread one is in my favorites and is insanely quick and easy.

So quick and easy in fact that yesterday, after lunch, I commented to the sailor how rotten the bananas looked on the counter, and within minutes of him suggesting I make banana bread, the ingredients were mixed and in the oven.

An hour later.... Banana Banana Bread. Baked in and served on vintage Pyrex, of course.


June 24, 2014

Pyrex Not-So-Pretties

My vintage Pyrex collection has definitely taken a backseat to the amount of stuff we are acquiring for the Peanut. While I'm not storing baby clothes in the kitchen (yet), I have still been clearing out the cupboards to simply make some breathing room. I managed to sell a few pieces of Pyrex a while back, and there's a stack of dishes waiting at the door for their chance to make someone else happy. 

Understandably, I've limited my 'hunt' for more Pyrex. I have still searched for Pyrex whenever I'm out and about, but I haven't found many pieces worth writing about, let alone purchasing. However, a few weeks ago, I went to a thrift store and spied these three little pieces. 

They were (and still are) in rough shape. Someone either scrubbed them too hard or ran them through the dishwasher. And they cost a little more than I wanted to spend on not-so-pretty Pyrex. 

And yet I found myself at the checkout, with these three little less-than-perfect bowls in my hand. 

You see, I found a lonely little yellow bowl ages ago... just the right size for a small serving of fridge milk tart.

The bowl is also the right size for a small serving of M&Ms. (Because let's face it, if the bag is out, I'll eat them all...)

Later, I found the matching larger hostess bowl, along with the even larger hostess bowl and four square dessert cups. 

But the rest of the little yellow bowls still eluded me. In all of my thrifting and antiqueing adventures, I had yet to even see another tiny yellow bowl just like the one I had.

So you can understand then why I ended up paying $6 for three tiny bowls that weren't in great shape. 

After all, they are simply perfect for that tiny bit of ice-cream I like to indulge in fairly often. The Peanut seems to enjoy the ice cream too... although I'm pretty sure he or she doesn't care which bowl I eat it out of. But perhaps these less-than-perfect bowls will be perfect for when the Peanut is old enough to eat his or her own little bowl of ice cream. 

June 17, 2014

Early Bean Bounty

Our humble little garden decided to sprout suddenly overnight. 

Last night's pickings... the first of the green beans! (In vintage Pyrex, of course.)

What's even more exciting than this? There are several other bean plants that got a late start and should be just as abundant as this one in the next few days. 

AND, I've seen multiple tomatoes and peppers peeking out from their respective plants. Last year at this time, we had just moved into our new location, and we only began planting the garden well into the summer. This year, I'm thrilled that we got such a head start.   

How's your garden growing?


May 22, 2014

Clearly Pyrex

It goes without saying that spring cleaning and purging means more trips to the thrift store to drop off items than to actually shop... although I have managed to eek in a few trips inside to scope out potential prizes. 

I've come up pretty empty-handed. (I'm sure I can hear the Sailor cheer from across the globe...) In fact, in my clear-out, I've sold some miscellaneous Pyrex that I decided I no longer used or needed in my collection. (Again, that cheer... the cabinets are probably breathing a sigh of relief too.)

But a few weeks ago I managed to dawdle through an antique store and I found another Pyrex See 'N' Store Canister in Wildflower. 

It was a little pricier than I wanted to spend, but you know what... I got the rest of these at such a bargain that I decided I could spare a few bucks. Plus, I use these things ALL of the time -- especially when I'm baking!

I love being able to open the cupboard and actually see how much sugar and flour and oatmeal I have available. For some reason, packaging tends to make me a little crazy. Sometimes it's nice to not bring some other company's branding into my home.  I know it's one extra step when I bring home the groceries, but for my sanity, it's totally worth it.

Plus, when I have the stuff on the counter and I spill liquid... I don't ruin half a flour bag. I can just wipe off the canister. So much easier!  I have other Pyrex canisters storing granola bars and nuts, and I even keep cereal in clear containers (although they are from IKEA and not Pyrex. It will take a while until I find enough of these glass containers at affordable prices for everything.) 

How about you? Is your cupboard clearly see-through? 

April 2, 2014

Pyrex Pretties in Action

It's been a while since I've thrifted any Pyrex, or even found any affordable pieces in an antique store (let's be honest here though... it's been a while since I've actually been to an antique store.)

But I'm still using my vintage Pyrex daily! I also blog over at the Pyrex Collective III, with a bunch of other Pyrex collectors. Check out my latest post there for even more proof of my Pyrex pretties in action. And while you're there, you can swoon at the other author's collections -- many of them far surpass my own!

March 13, 2014

South African Sailor Homecomings

I know I just wrote about needing some recipe inspiration this week... but then I remembered that I promised the Sailor a proper South African milk tart when he arrives home. No inspiration needed there!

When I discovered that it was his favorite dessert while we were dating, I set out to perfect it. I've had a few disasters along the way (once, I actually flushed the contents of the pan because it was so awful. I had attempted to make it at a friend's house and mistakenly used corn meal instead of corn starch. They didn't have a garbage disposal. I still don't remember what we ate for dessert instead.) 

But by now, I've got this recipe in the bag. Or the vintage Pyrex -- which by the way, is the perfect size for fridge milk tart.

I'm sure the Sailor will be happy. I'll be even more thrilled that he's home.

March 2, 2014

Vintage Cooking

Over the weekend, I hosted a small gathering of local ladies as part of a cooking club. Soon after we moved here, one of the members got married and moved overseas, and I got drafted in to fill her seat. Every meeting offers a new theme and everyone brings a dish -- an intimate potluck, if you will. The hostess provides the drinks and party flair. 

This month's theme was my idea and of course I picked 'vintage'. Any excuse to pull out the Pyrex, I say.  

My vintage recipe books hold a cornucopia of old-fashioned recipes, so I was excited to see what the gals would cook up. They didn't disappoint. We had baked brie (divine), old fashioned PA Dutch Pot-Pie (homemade noodles; no crust involved), pistachio jello salad (yum) and a pineapple upside down cake (yes, please!)  

All I had to do was supply the beverages. I desperately wanted to use my punch bowl that I thrifted last summer. But every vintage punch recipe I saw had waaaayyyy too much booze in it. I'm all for a good tipple, but many recipes called for three or four different types of alcohol mixed together. And the quantities were astounding. This was an intimate affair -- not a party for 40. 

I finally found this one from the 1960s -- a bourbon punch. I halved the recipe and I mixed together the lemons, seltzer, tea and sugar first, and it was delightful all on its own. It reminded me of tea cooler -- that summertime blend of lemonade and iced tea. I ended up only using a quarter of the bourbon called for though -- it was plenty strong just like that and reminded everyone of a good whiskey sour. 

I think my favorite part of making the punch, besides getting to use actual vintage punch cups and the bowl, was the giant ice block. I poured water into my smallest bundt pan, added lemons to it and let it freeze. Rather than having small ice cubes melt away and dilute the drink, the giant block melted much slower and was just fun to watch bobbing around in the bowl.

Not to be outdone, the non-alcoholic option was just as tasty. I made this raspberry cordial, àla Anne of Green Gables. I halved the cordial and it still made a ton. Considering this hardly took any time or effort, I think I might be making a lot more cordial in the future! 

I served the cordial with a bottle of seltzer water (cordial is far too sweet on its own and should be diluted) on a Pyrex plate, and as an added vintage bonus, I included glass swizzle sticks for guests to stir their mixture together. I've been hunting for vintage swizzle sticks for a long time, and I found these three cute ones with sailboats on them, last week at a thrift store. 

While the vintage cooking theme was a resounding success in my book, I do realize that not all vintage recipes appeared (or tasted!) as lovely as ours. For a good laugh, check out BuzzFeeds's 21 Truly Upsetting Vintage Recipes. If the photos alone don't make you laugh out loud, the captions definitely should!

February 5, 2014

Bread for Brunch

So this glorious bit of brunch happened this weekend. 

Drooling? I sure did. 

Sometimes, especially when the Sailor isn't home, I don't make a great effort to sit at the table, let alone set it with any great fanfare. I end up hastily eating something over the sink, or somewhere near the counter, wondering if I should have even bothered using a plate. 

Is it just me, or do we all do this at some point when we're on our own? 

I have gotten better about this... and nowadays I do find myself eating most meals at the actual table. Last Friday, soon after I bought these flowers, I decided I had a hankering for Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread (this delightful dish is one of many found on Annie's Eats... my go-to site for great recipe ideas.) 

Bread isn't normally on my list of things to make from scratch on a weekend morning, but when I realized I could make the dough ahead of time and then store it in the fridge overnight, I decided to just go for it. The next morning, all I had to do was roll it out, assemble it, let it rise again and then bake it! 

As a bonus, this was the perfect scene for the first day of February's round of #7Vignettes on Instagram. The theme was 'love' and who doesn't love a good Saturday morning brunch? (Not to mention those wonderful pink Pyrex vintage plates?!)

January 12, 2014

Soup's On! (and on... and on... and on...)

I don't remember having a ton of actual toys growing up, but living on three acres of forest land meant that I had an amazing backyard at my disposal. 

It also meant that I got a little creative with nature and the tools we had on hand. I remember using a giant five gallon plastic bucket and the garden hose to make soup. There were twigs, rocks, floating leaves and even some dirt thrown in the mix. Random berries growing around the property made the 'soup' look even tastier.

Thankfully, I knew better than to actually sample my soup, but I had fun throwing things together and imagining that I was a chef. 

When I first tried my hand at real cooking, some of my soups had that same dirt-like appearance. I had a number of soup disasters -- I suspect the dirt soup may have actually been more palatable. Borscht ended up all over my Pepto-Bismol pink walls in England when I tried to grate the beets. Broccoli soup turned into a gooey mess. In Ukraine, where I ate soup three times a day, every day, I added too much salt when it was my time to cook. WAAAAYYY too much salt. In South Africa, I didn't bother with any kind of soup because the Sailor wasn't really into it. 

By the time that I relocated back to America though, I was determined to eat healthy and shop frugally. I grew tired of finding half dead vegetables in my drawer and wasting leftovers. 

Soup found it's way back into my kitchen. Soup is AMAZING. Seriously. A small cup is a great compliment to a meal and a large bowl with some bread or crackers is enough to fill you right up all on its own. (And warm you up in the winter!)

Sauté a little onion, add some vegetables, some leftover rice and cooked chicken and some basic stock, and voilà, you have Chicken Rice Soup. Are those veggies getting mushy? Sauté those and add a little broth and milk and then puree, and you have soup. Thankfully, these days, the Sailor actually requests (and then eats!) soup, so I make it now on a regular basis. 

I used to try to plan my soup meals and then I'd shop for every ingredient that I didn't have. It wasn't the most frugal plan. I still ended up with food rotting. Then I started challenging myself to make something with what I already had in the cupboard and fridge. Obviously, I still shop. The other day, I had to buy onions, because I knew I needed those for soup, and my stash had run low. But it's amazing how long I can go between shopping endeavors when I think creatively about cooking.

The other night I had a bit of a soup marathon. Within an hour and a half, I'd made three different soups. I had half a bag of carrots that needed to be used, so I made carrot and coriander soup, but I just halved the recipe (if at all possible, I usually try to double soup recipes and freeze them... but for the sake of carrots that would go to waste, I whipped up half a batch!

I also found a frozen bag of roasted veggies from a dinner we hosted a while back. I always cook too much... and then I end up throwing it in the freezer, not always knowing what to do with it. This time, I saved the beef broth from the roast as well. I cooked both together, pureed the mix with my hand blender* and then added some milk (or cream if you prefer) and salt and pepper. While the result doesn't look much more appetizing than brown applesauce, it was DELICIOUS. And healthy! I know exactly what was in the veggies and broth because I cooked them all from scratch to start with. 

Besides, soup gives me a great excuse to store the leftovers in vintage Pyrex. Win win. 

Finally, I found a bag of parsnips in a pile in the fridge. I bought them for Christmas dinner and then totally forgot to cook them. (In my defense, they were hiding under the spinach and that half bag of carrots...) I found a recipe for Parsnip and Parmesan soup in my favorite soup book:  The New Covent Garden Soup Company's Book of Soups. (I've had my copy since the late 90s, and you can be assured it will continue to be a staple in my kitchen arsenal.

While I didn't have Parmesan, I at least had cheese. Substituting is not a crime. Throwing out a whole bag of parsnips would have been. 

Soup's on.  

 *Hand blenders are absolutely necessary in my book for soup making. I make a lot of pureed soups because I personally think the flavors blend together better than if you don't puree them. If you have a small kitchen, and don't even have space for a regular blender, then a hand or immersion blender is perfect! You can do the same things as with a regular blender (except maybe chop ice cubes...). I wouldn't recommend pureeing a soup in a regular blender unless it's completely cooled off. With an immersion blender, you can just whip the stuff right in the pot! I recently replaced my old hand blender with this one from Cuisinart.

December 13, 2013

Delightful Dishes

With the onslaught of holiday baking and entertaining, you're probably doing more dishes than usual -- or at least wiping off the counter top and table a little more often.

For years, I lived not only in small spaces, but also places with no dishwasher. Now that we've moved, the Sailor and I have this modern convenience, but it still only gets used less than once a week. One reason, of course, is that I use a ridiculous amount of vintage Pyrex daily and it's a total no-no to put any of those dishes in the dishwasher. (We also have limited cutlery and I can't stand foraging through a dirty dishwasher hunting for a spoon...)

The other reason though, is that I sometimes actually LIKE doing the dishes. I enjoy cooking, so for me cleaning up is just part of the methodology. There's something wonderful about stepping back to admire a clean kitchen -- even if it's only for a brief moment. I mentioned the same thing here around this time last year, before I had a dishwasher. Even now though, my reasons are still valid.

Whenever I'm between projects, I tend to make a dishcloth -- sometimes for myself and sometimes for gifts (they make great hostess gifts, or holiday presents with a bar of soap or even a few dishes!) This week was no exception. I had this yarn in my bag from a Thanksgiving week trip to the craft store. The pattern came free on the ball band, but you can find it here too.

This yarn wasn't the only thing I bought over the Thanksgiving week road trip. You can see the obscene amount of Pyrex I found here. And you can bet none of those went into the dishwasher.

October 29, 2013

Dried Apples

The Sailor arrived home this weekend and as soon as he walked into the apartment, he immediately noticed the enormous quantity of apples, apples and more apples, adorning the table. 

I remembered I wanted to do something with all of those apples... 

I made an apple cake, but that barely made a dent in one of the bowls. 

I needed another solution before these fantastically fresh apples straight from the orchard would start rotting. 

A few years ago, my mom and I were out shopping, and she bought me a food dehydrator on a whim. I had mentioned that I wanted to experiment with beef jerky for the Sailor. The jerky process still needs some work. (In the meantime, the Sailor has built his own contraption to make South African biltong that I promise to feature later.)

In any case, we seemed to go through dried fruit like crazy in our house and I figured there must be a cheaper way to keep it in stock. I also didn't like that a lot of dried food products contained a ton of preservatives. 

I wanted to keep things simple, even if it meant we had to eat the dried stuff faster than the purchased preserved kind. Over the years, I've experimented on a lot of fruit, but apples are some of the fastest and easiest to dehydrate.

I simply core them, peel them by hand, slice them fairly thin, and then give them a good dip in lemon water to help preserve them. 

Sometimes my timing isn't great. I got a little over ambitious this time and I cored a dozen apples before I started peeling them. I'm a fairly fast peeler, but the cores were already turning brown in the meantime before I could get them in the lemon water. 

Make sure you also get cut off any bruised bits. 

You don't have to peel them in any case. It's perfectly acceptable to leave apple skins on the apples. Unless you don't like apple skins. I do like apple skins though, so I'm not sure why I've always peeled them when dehydrating. (I'm thinking the Sailor had a say in the process at some point...

Then, I let them dry out in the dehydrator. It usually takes about five hours depending on the type of apple and thickness, until they're the right consistency. If I'm ever in doubt about whether they've dried out enough, I just keep the stash in the fridge (many dried fruits in packages advise you to store the stuff in the fridge after opening in any case!) 

Cost-wise, I have calculated that it is usually cheaper to dry out my own stuff, depending on where and when I buy the fruit. In this case, it worked out about the same price -- but I can eat my dehydrated apples knowing they came straight off the tree and were dried out with only lemon water as an additive.

Plus, how fun is it to just watch fruit shrivel up in a matter of hours? 

If you don't have a dehydrator, you can get the same effects as one by simply using your oven on a very low temperature. You'll need to experiment as to how long it takes -- best done on a day where you don't have to leave the house! 

* I have this dehydrator. It was definitely on sale when my mom and I found it. I'm sure that's why it got purchased on a whim. I liked this one because you can purchase more racks to dehydrate more food at one time.

October 25, 2013

Butter Dish Winner

Thank you to everyone who celebrated my one-year blogiversary with me by entering the Everything's Better with a Butter Dish Giveaway! Thank you also for your kind comments -- I wish I had 40 plus butter dishes to send to you all! 

Everyone had a fair chance... the names were added to a Butterfly Gold Pyrex bowl and then mixed up before I closed my eyes and grabbed a name.  

(Do you like the evidence of my first ever hand-knit sweater in the photo?
It's COLD here today.

And the winner is:

(the eighth comment from the top)
who wrote:

"I've just discovered these pyrex blogs and it's renewed my interest in them. Thank you. Would love to win a butter dish. Have never seen one before."

Sue, you just won yourself this delightful butter dish!

Send me an email: TypingSunflowers (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address and I'll send this beauty off to you ASAP.*

Thanks again to everyone for making my blogiversary a fun one! 

Here's to another 12 months of dreaming, inspiring and creating.  

(*The winner has two weeks from the date of the announcement to contact me for their prize. If I don't hear from the winner within two weeks, they forfeit their prize and I will draw another name at random.)

October 24, 2013

apples, apples, apples

Nothing signifies the change in season more to me than getting apples directly from an orchard. Call me old-fashioned, but it's true. They might be the same apples that the grocery store sells under 'local food', but at least once a year I need to symbolically purchase them directly from the orchard itself to kick off my own fall festivities. 

I don't even need to pick them myself. I just need to smell the apples, the cider and to see all of the apple goodness in one place. 
A few sunflowers never hurt, either. 

Don't forget to leave a comment on this post for your chance to win the Pyrex Butterfly Gold Butter Dish above! The giveaway ends tonight, October 24 at 23:59 EST. 

In the meantime, I have some apples that need my attention. 

October 17, 2013

Everything's Better with a Butterdish and a Happy One-Year Blogiversary!

When I started this blog one year ago, I had no idea how much fun I'd have with it. Despite this being one of the most stressful, insanely difficult years of my life (and believe me, I've had some doozies in these past few decades...) this blog has been a constant source of fun, inspiration and community for the past 12 months. 

I've always liked the phrase in my blog header: 'dream, inspire, create'. I don't know when I first started using it as a life mantra -- I think it may have been when the Sailor bought me an iPod mini (remember those?) and I wanted my name and a quote engraved on the back of it. Since then, I have always carried those three words with me in some form or another. 

You can interpret the three words any way you like, but here's how I tend to think of them: 

DREAM: In college, a professor once told us to make a list of goals -- both short-term and long-term -- things that seemed attainable in days, weeks, months, even years. Then he told us to add a third column of 'dreams' -- the stuff that seemed completely impossible -- even absurd. As I mentioned in this post, a decade after college, I was astounded to realize that nearly everything that I wrote in my dream column had actually happened. It wasn't small stuff either -- the list included huge events that I dreamed about but never thought would actually happen: moving overseas, working for a magazine. Since then, I continue to dream, daily. Life often surprises us when we let it. Never stop dreaming. 

INSPIRE: I like to look for inspiration in ordinary things -- whether it's knitting needles, or by simply watching the weather. I started this blog knowing that I needed to share that same inspiration. Hopefully people can take a little of that inspiration with them after they visit here!

CREATE: I feel a little lost if I don't create something every day. I write more about that here, but it could be something as simple as making soup from scratch, or completing one row on a crochet project.  

Maybe some of you are dreaming of adding to your vintage Pyrex collection? 

If so, this could be your chance! 

To celebrate my First Year Blogiversary*, 
I'm giving away a Vintage Pyrex Butterfly Gold Butter Dish.  

If you missed the Great Gravy Boat Giveaway and didn't win, this could be your day!

All you have to do is leave a comment below and you're automatically entered to win the butter dish. I'll draw the winner randomly and I will ship worldwide, because I believe everyone deserves a chance to own a piece of precious Pyrex. 

So take a chance! Leave a comment below -- this time with which piece of Pyrex you need to complete your 'collection'. (If you're not collecting, or you're new to this Pyrex craze, you're welcome too! Just leave a comment and say hello.)

Giveaway closes at 23:59 EST October 24, 2013. Winner will be chosen at random and announced on this blog on October 25, 2013. No purchase necessary. The winner has two weeks from the date of the announcement to contact me for their prize. If I don't hear from the winner within the two weeks, they forfeit their prize and I will draw another name at random. Void where prohibited by law. 

* My official blogiversary is October 18th, but I was so excited to celebrate, I had to post this early.