Fun Times At Curls!

~Barb is supposed to be a part-time, substitute, mail carrier, but during the summer she has to cover for people on vacation so she works A LOT! This means we don’t get a chance to get together a heck of a lot. The same thing happens from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Hurray! She was off on Wednesday so I went up and spent Tuesday and Wednesday night with her. We had a blast!

When I got up to her place Tuesday afternoon, we had a wonderful walk around looking at flowers, birds, butterflies, etc. Took pictures of butterflies and flowers. Some of the flower pictures have already been posted.

I brought up a surprise craft project for us to do and she had a surprise project too!

This is how we started Wednesday morning; tea, cherries, and birds! Beautiful, clear morning. The bevy of quail were having a grand time running all over. The mockingbirds were engorging themselves on Barb’s berries. I am so thankful that All She Wants To Do blogged about the Peterson Bird app sale. I’d been wanting it and $.99 was quite a deal. Whipped out the iPhone and turned on the app to check out several bird calls. It was so funny to hear the Gambel’s Quail call back when we played their audio. Tried to get the Kestrel to come back by for a visit and kept playing it’s call, alas, it was to no avail. Saw a new bird for my life list – a Canyon Wren. This beautiful song was floating down to us from the roof top right above, when we glanced up there was this small bird with a long beak. The Jimmy Durante of birds! It then flew to the rocks below putting on quite a show by climbing all over the rocks. Finally there was such a large ridicule of mockingbirds that all of the smaller birds were scared off.

After a few hours the sun was high, the birds were gone so we decided it was time for breakfast. Barb whipped up a special, delicious Breakfast Sandwich.

Barb’s Delicious Breakfast Sandwich

Whole Grain Bread – toasted
Cooked egg – break into hot pan, after the white is a bit solid, puncture the yolk so it spreads out and cooks.
Slice of cheese – Barb used American.
*Peach butter – Barb’s home-made

Toast the bread, top with the cheese slice, add cooked egg to the very top. Slather with Barb’s home-made Peach Butter! 😎 *You can still make the sandwich without peach butter.

I’ve been wanting to cover compositions books. That’s the project I brought up for us. This is the craft area, we pulled out Barb’s kitchen table. The table was set up so we could watch our British mysteries while working. Sent a pic to the hubs and he said it looked as if a bunch of Kindergarteners had taken up residence! We’ll have a separate blog for our altered composition books AND the crazy project Barb had us do. 😎 Staples has the graph paper composition books on sale now if you want to get one and try the instructions we’ll be posting.

Such a wonderful time! Blinked my eyes and it was Thursday time to go home. Barb had to head to work. Her husband was out of town for a few days so it was just Chick Time – no guys allowed! 😎

Around The World With The Tea Spout Do-dad!

~Who knew that such a little pattern would have so much interest? Using my teapot one morning, I became a bit annoyed when the tea dripped all over the place when pouring. Natural solution, take some scrap yarn and make a tea spout do-dad. I want to thank everyone who has visited us because they like the do-dad. Your visit is appreciated! Just to update newcomers this was the pattern:

Susan’s Tea Spout Do-Dad
Materials
US  4
Sport weight yarn – you don’t need much, this is perfect for scrap yarn.  I used wool, but cotton would work just as well.
Large needle to sew up side

Cast on 14 stitches
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: *knit, purl* repeat across row+
Row 5: *purl-knit* repeat across row+
Row 6: Knit
Row 7: Purl
Row 8: Knit
Cast off leaving a long enough tail to sew up side.
+Rows 4 and 5 are the seed or moss stitch

If you use the pattern PLEASE send pictures. We’d really love to see them! We’d like to see how many countries are represented! 😎

I received a letter from Zillah asking for clarification of rows 4 and 5 so I have re-written those two rows hopefully making it clearer. She was making the do-dads for a tea party that was going to be given. I asked her to please send pictures! Yea! The tea party was held. Look at the clever presentation. She said they had a competition and asked the attendees what the do-dad was, “but no one knew”. 😎 She went on to say that one of the ladies used hers “when she had a tea-party the next day”. Thank you Bahrain.  This bit of joy made my day! Isn’t this a brilliant idea?
 
On July 15 we were featured on 365sakerdukansticka blog (loose translation: 365 things you can knit). It is another Scandinavian site which features free patterns. I did find it interesting that they translated my pattern without contacting me. They call it a droppstopp! 😎 A Drop Stop. I actually got a few more ideas for the use of my do-dad from that site. They suggested that it could be used on a wine bottle or for a scrunchie. Great ideas! Why didn’t we think of it? 😎 This is their translation of my pattern:

Mönstret är på engelska och här kommer en enkel översättning:
14 maskor
Varv 1-3: slätstickning
Varv 4-5: mosstickning
Varv 6-8: slätstickning
Maska av och lämna tillräcligt med tråd för att sy ihop arbetet.

Now every time I use my do-dad I’ll be thinking of the people world-wide who are also using theirs. Again, thank you to all of you who are interested in making my do-dad. And a special thanks to Zillah for sharing her pictures. Remember, PLEASE share with us. 😎 Email– curlsandq@gmail.com

Birthtea Party

 One of the very first Thanksgivings I can remember was at my grandparent’s house. My grandparent’s, two great-aunts, and my family were all there.  A fabulous chocolate cake was on the table.  It was my birthday! I was so young I really believe that we were all together to celebrate my birthday. 😎 Imagine the big let down I was in for.  Well, I have been a whiner that my end-of-November birthday was so close to Christmas that I got over looked. 😎  Typical!  A few years ago Barb decided that we would celebrate my birthday during the summer.  She works for the post office so we can never get together during my real birthday since that’s her heaviest mail time. So the summer birthday party has been grand. 😎

At AubreyRose Barb told me to pick out something and she’d buy it for my birthday. Yeah!  Of course I immediately asked her what the most expensive item was. 😎 (Poor long suffering sister having to put up with my crazy sense of humor.) Anyway, I had REALLY been wanting one of those teapot cup thingies and I love violets so this is what I picked:

Barb and I celebrated my birthday together at AubreyRose. At home, I decided to have my own birthtea party! Hubs and Hans were not invited! I plopped a bag of Assam tea into the teapot and added hot water. Add a dash of honey, and it’s just lovely. I’m sure the violets were infused into the tea also, so delicious!

Now for the birthtea cake, my homemade Cranberry-Nut scone with my world famous Lemon Curd! Sigh……. I did have to text a picture to Barb with the comment for her not to bother me because I was too busy with my tea. The weather was perfect for sitting outside and enjoying life!  Listened to the birds talking to me. 😎

Now, as a person of 1/2 Norwegian heritage I know I inherited the gene which has coffee flowing through my veins.  I do love coffee.  The other 1/2 is, as my southern dad always said, “Heinz 57”.  That half inherited the love of ice tea (it’s ice tea in the South and iced for everyone else). From ice tea I grew to love hot tea.  I have the best of both worlds! 😎 Now I need to knit a lovely tea cozy! I have a special children’s tea set and have lots of tea parties with my grandkids when they visit.  They know that the person who pours the tea is called “mother”.  We do have a brilliant time! Take a break and join me in a spot of tea!

An Unplanned Tea

 While out and about in La Mesa, Barb reminded me that we should again try to visit the AubreyRose Tea Room which always seemed to be closed when we go by.  Hurray it was open! The shop is not only a tea room but sells a nice selection of teas, wonderful gifts and collectables.  On our last journey into La Mesa, we window-shopped and saw some beautiful single service teapot/cup combos in the window. Our fingers were itching to see them close-up when the store was open.  As we walked in, the glorious smells overwhelmed us and we had to stay for afternoon tea!  What a delight.

We had their lovely Cream Tea which is reserved for walk-ins. The Cream Tea includes: Fresh baked scone of the day, AubreyRose Cream, Lemon Curd, Tea biscuit, seasonal fruit garnish, and pot of tea of your choice. The presentation was quite beautiful and made us feel quite British! 😎 I really had to speak firmly to my little finger so it did not stick out while holding the tea cup. 😎 I LOVE the house tea, a black tea appropriately named AubreyRose.  The delightful taste experience began with the water, which had a wonderful, light taste.  When asked, the waitress informed me that they add a HINT of Lady Hannah tea to the drinking water.  Lady Hannah tea contains roses and berries, yum!  A Rocky Scone was served warm and with AubreyRose Cream and Lemon Curd.  Lovely, just lovely! Look at that cute heart-shaped sugar cube. They even gave both of us large, cups of tea to go! Quite brilliant!

It just so happens, that I had just purchased a new hat at another store only minutes before. Now, I need a new hat as much as I need a hole in my head!  Saw it, it was on sale, bought it! Done! So I really do look the proper lady.  Since it was a spur-of-the-moment idea, neither one of us had our cameras.  I used my iPhone to take pictures, so the quality is not the best. 😎 We had my daughter Darcey’s bridesmaid tea at this shop. It really is a wonderful place. 😎 They do refer to their tea as a “two hour mini-vacation” and we whole-heartedly agree!

Trivia test.  If anyone is as hooked on BBC productions as I am, can you find the two British adjectives which I’ve used to describe the tea experience? 😎 In fact, the one English teacher at the high school where I taught was my official editor. He always chuckled because I consistently use the word “which” where Americans use the word “that”.  I comes from the tons of British books (note I’m not saying literature) which/that I read.  😎

A Taste Explosion in My Mouth

Q – Whenever there is the slightest hint of black on the bananas, my husband, Alan, swears it’s time for me to make banana bread!  I know he buys the bananas and doesn’t eat them on purpose.  He says, “I bought them for you.”  Yea, right!  For me to make banana bread.  I do have the best recipe in the world.  I’ve used it since I was a child living at home with my parents, so I don’t have a clue which of my mom’s recipe books I got it from.  Pillsbury?  Betty Crocker?  Two rotten bananas are staring me in the face and it’s cold outside, plus I have fresh blueberries.

Banana Bread

1/2 cup Butter (one stick)
1 cup  Sugar
2 Eggs
1 cup (2 medium) Mashed, Ripe Bananas
1/4 cup Milk (if I have buttermilk I use it)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Optional:
1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped – usually just scoop out two handfuls and chop
1/2 cup Blueberries – usually just eyeball the amount I want to use

Cream using an electric mixer:
Butter and sugar

Add:
Eggs – Cream until batter looks “fluffy”

Add:
Bananas – cream until batter looks “fluffy”

Add:
Milk and vanilla – Cream until batter looks “fluffy”

The next needs to be added and gently hand-stirred (more like folding) so the batter does not become “tough”.  The flour should just get “wet”.
Flour, baking soda, and salt

When the flour is all “wet” add the nuts and blueberries, gently hand-stirring to add.

Put into greased bread pan, cook at 350 degrees for 55 – 60 minutes.  Use toothpick to see if bread is done.

I have messed around with this recipe a lot!  I’ve added different fruits, cinnamon, different nuts, etc.  It always turns out great!  Today I ran out of walnuts so I used pecans too.  I make it without added fruit, such as blueberries, but I ALWAYS add nuts!  It’s out of the oven now and cooling, time for a piece with cup of tea!!  YUMMY! A taste explosion in my mouth!

I’m dyeing inside today.  I’ll share the adventure with you tomorrow.