Saturday, August 28, 2010

Summer finds & fun

In an earlier post, I mentioned the fantastic vintage photos we found in Atlanta. Here are a couple of my favorites. You have to wonder what mischief these boys were up to - classic brothers fighting and playing. Love the photographer's eye for everyday moments.

Our other fantastic find was this amazing store called Mingei World Arts. The store had so many beautiful and fine things, including a large basket of chapati rolling pins. We selected three - all lovely with a beautiful patina. You and tell that these were used frequently and the wear makes them that much more precious. They are displayed in my kitchen were I also have a bowl of domestic rolling pins shared by family members or scavenged at vintage stores.

My mom and I have been enjoying some time together canning. We are alternating between tomatoes - pizza sauce, pasta sauce and salsa - and peaches. The latest version of peaches uses honey in place of some of the sugar in the syrup. I love the time with mom and love learning about how to preserve great food.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The latest finds

We have been fortunate enough to travel a bit this summer. In Atlanta we spent some time in consignment and antique stores. Aside from my $23 JCrew suit, a basket of black and white pictures in an antique store was my favorite find. I picked out a couple of dollars worth, but should have purchased the whole lot. Shopper's regret - the worst!

The photographer had mostly candid shots - two had her caption written on the back. Any that made me smile moved to the keep pile. Here are a couple of samples.

And, the big decision is what is the project? How will I use them? Maybe cards or an art collage - they are just too great to be in a dusty antique store and not shared.

Summer bounty

Our garden has been producing beautiful tomatoes. Despite a serious heat spell and a lack of rain, we have had an almost constant supply of tomatoes and peppers. Mom and I have been bonding over some canning adventures. You will find us on a Saturday or Sunday in my kitchen canning salsa, pizza sauce and a tomato pasta sauce. The pizza sauce is by far the winner!

Our first canning project was salsa. We decided that we wanted to save ourselves the messy foodmill and clean up, so we would just blend the hot salsa. This sounds easy. You ladle the hot soup into the blender, zip it through, and then put it back in the pot. We violated every safety rule and had salsa in my hair and splattered on the kitchen cupboards before we were through! We decided that we needed a better plan and that led to the purchase of the hand blender. Best money I have ever spent!

My favorite part is just learning along side mom. A long-time canner, she has all of the details in her head. She is a stickler for cleanliness, has all of the gadgets, and just standing at the sink with her peeling tomatoes after a long week has been so calming. I bring the recipe and she helps me get it through to finished. We also love to hear the pop of the jars sealing when they are out of the hot water bath.

Next on the canning agenda - peaches!