Saturday, May 30, 2009

spring food

The wild leeks are pretty much done for the year. They are starting to look trampled and some have little flower spikes. Last spring I didn't get to enjoy them a whole lot as my morning sickness wouldn't really allow it. But this year we put them in nearly any recipe that called for leeks, onions, or garlic. We made wild leek pizza, wild leek pasta, and best of all potato and wild leek soup. The soup was so delicious that I made it twice, using this simple recipe, but using two bunches of wild leeks (whole leeks, greens and all) instead of the regular leeks.

Also on our spring menu is mass quantities of rhubarb. I am sad to say that I have never lived in any place long enough to justify planting rhubarb, but our wonderful neighbors have kindly kept us stocked with all the rhubarb we want. Every spring, I look forward to this recipe, and I end up making it dozens of times until I am thoroughly sick of it. Last May I still had frozen strawberries that I picked the year before, but this year I don' I have been omitting the strawberries and using 3 cups of rhubarb instead of 2.

Unfortunately this year we have not been lucky enough to go foraging for copious amounts of my favorite spring food, but today Adam found these two gigantic morels underneath our back porch. How morels ended up under our porch, I have no idea...but we will be sure to enjoy them sauteed in butter tonight.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

maeve's sweater

I knit this sweater for my friend's baby, Maeve, who turned one last weekend. It's from the Nashua Handknits book, Sprout: Designs for Baby, but I used Valley Yarns Northfield in Chestnut. The yarn is 70% merino, 20% baby alpaca, and 10% silk and seemed to work well for the pattern. I really hate seaming sweaters (I know I've mentioned this before), and this sweater had a fair amount of seaming, but I think it turned out great! Maeve is a very small one-year-old, and I made the 18-24 month size, so unfortunately it may be a little while before I get to see her in it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

crinkly owl

I made these crinkly felt owls for Levi and his sweet cousin Isaac. When I saw the post with instructions for them, I immediately thought of Levi. He loves animals, especially ones that make noises - "Owl says whoooooo whooooo..." Sure enough, it was a big hit...especially the ears which are constantly soaking wet from being sucked on! I hope his cousin likes his owl too.

Monday, May 11, 2009

fox family

A few weeks ago, when Levi and I stepped out of our garage to go for a walk, I heard a thump from over near the barn and a mother fox ran up the hill. I walked towards the barn and two tiny fur-balls jumped first instinct was that they were kittens whose lives I had saved by scaring away the fox, but when I investigated further I realized we had baby foxes again!

We had a fox family last year, but they were much more elusive. Aside from one time that we stumbled across the babies while on a walk, we mainly watched them from a distance as they scampered around at the top of our hill. This year, the six fox babies spent the first couple weeks of their life living underneath our barn, sunning on our driveway, chasing each other through our garage.

A few days ago, they disappeared. Yesterday while we were walking at the top of the hill, Adam asked where I thought the mother fox moved her babies...and a few steps later, right in front of us, a little baby fox head popped up out of a hole in the ground and looked around. So we discovered the answer to Adam's question!

We don't yet have any chickens or pets that could become fox-prey, so we love our fox family. Happy Mother's Day, mama fox.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

lightning bowls

Here is another set of bowls that Adam turned. They are from a huge tree that used to be in my parents' front yard. It had to be taken down last year when it got struck by lightning and all its bark blew off. We somehow got a big old chunk of it from Ohio to New Hampshire and although it was pretty cracked, Adam managed to create two little bowls from it. We have no idea what kind of wood it is - maybe some ornamental, maybe hickory? - but it is really interesting wood. It is lightweight and has little tiny holes throughout it from the tree's xylem (water-drinking vessels). It also has this really crazy striping in addition to the normal tree rings. You can see that in the above picture - the vertical light stripes. I have no idea what caused that.

The above bowl was made from a piece of wood with a lot of worm damage - that's why there is the darker band near the rim. Adam loves wood with "character," so he's a huge fan of spalting and worm holes and other imperfections. The bowl below has a really amazing shape. It's small and perfect and we're sending it to my parents so they can always remember their tree.