Thursday, April 28, 2016

Today's Breakfast


Purple Eggs and Ham

O.K.

So here is my 'purple egg' breakfast that I thought you might like. I'll admit to being terribly 'spoiled.' With my 'husband who cooks' I have access to what I call "The World's Best" leftovers (almost daily.)
Here is one of his best standbys, a pickled purple egg (I do believe his Grandmother Louise made them often.)

So...to go with any meal, add plenty of seasonings (that would be salt and pepper; and of course, it goes without saying...to your liking.)

Please note the vintage salt shakers (needful to display for a good meal and a good photo shot.) :-)

However, I do not use these as they came from the 'Kolden' side (of my family; that would be my Dad's side) and the silvery gilding-type thin paint is peeling off.

I love them (nonetheless!) But they are too fragile to use!

Blessings and a good weekend to you all!

Karen ;-)


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

(Tongue in cheek) on facing the problematic drudgery in life




Inventing Soap


I wish I had invented soap. Now, what a thing to do
Each time a person washes clean those vibes come back to you…

I wish I had invented pearls that sparkle, sheen and shine
strung up upon those pretty necks. That would be divine!

I wish I had invented the car, the plane or fire or the wheel
Each one of these affords us comfort…What a groovy deal

I wish I had invented Tupperware, gravy or some heels
instead of hanging around like a bat in the dark to digest a meal

Oh, I wish so many things. If I had had more time...
I would make a gadget or two. Now, that would be sublime

Unfortunately, I have to go and fix my nasty hair.
I have to go and wash my clothes; make clean my underwear

I’m pressed by time...I have things to do. Now, I must go away
Inventing soap will have to wait another day.



© Karen Powell

Love Post




Let’s Hold Hands

Let’s hold hands
as we cross the street
Let’s gaze into one another’s eyes
when we meet
Let’s tell our stories
under the starry night sky
I’ll tell you yours
You can tell me mine



This Poem




This Poem

I don’t want this poem crafted
with stanzas
or to end with a shocking ‘surprise’

Most certainly I do not want this poem to gob-smack
you right in between your eyes

I want this poem to be like a muzzle that sneaks up behind for a little cuddle 
I want this poem to be soft, feathery, and brown
I want this poem to grow right from the ground
I want this poem to be lighter than air
I want this poem to float everywhere
I want this poem to sing a sweet little song
I want this poem to just happen along
I want this poem to vanish as you turn your head
I want this poem to greet you as you rise up from your bed
I want this poem to fly fly away 
and to come back at the end of the day 
I want this poem to give you a thrill
I want this poem to meet you over there on the hill
and if you're in doubt the same time next year
I want this poem to reappear.


© Karen Powell



Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Perfectly Appointed






I don't know why I am (as of late) obsessed with how to (properly) set a table, but it could be because the last time I did this with my 20-something year old daughter, she 'scoffed' at the need to put things where they go! I got the "Oh, Mom!"

It could be, too, because I AM PAYING someone outrageous money to set me a table for 'HIGH Tea' this coming weekend (that's another story.)

However, it also could be because I take great delight in this final preparatory phase of preparing for company! I 'love' setting the table...I always have.

A well appointed dinner setting...well, quite frankly, turns me on (...by that I mean delights me! It's a '60's' expression that I cannot seem to shake.) I LOVE it (and consequently, I LOVE seeing photos of the myriad of beautiful, exciting new ways to do this thing!)

Of course, when I researched this topic, our dear etiquette expert Martha Stewart had the most excellent reference (along with drawings and detailed explanations) on how to do this very thing. Her link is here and it is worth the read, folks:

Martha's in depth dissertation here :-) 

I believe in giving credit where credit is due! ;-)

So, in my effort to revive this dying art, here is my photo (at least my meager, one example for you, today...as there are many) of a "perfectly appointed table. "

Enjoy! Please take my poll (too!) ;-)

Respond to (on your reply) "Do you think the art of arranging a properly appointed dinner setting for company is a dying one?" Please choose "Yes..."or "No."

Thank you!

Karen :-)




Monday, April 25, 2016

Night Travelers


Night Travelers

Through darkness
Through rain
under a thousand night skies
That which is hidden
compels me to climb

The further I walk
the higher I go
The longer the climb
it seems the less I know

I cannot be that which I am not
I cannot hold in my hand what I've not got

The further I walk
the higher I go
The longer the climb
it seems the less I know






Friday, April 22, 2016

Placid




This is an adulterated photo (taken some years back) of water, 'quiet' boats 
and gray sky all melding together into one magic moment. Hence, the title "Placid."  

To accompany this, here is an old favorite writing to ponder by Max Ehrmann 
(1927; an American writer, poet, and attorney from Terre Haute, Indiana.) 
When I was a girl, oh~I don't know, from about 1973 to 1976, 
this poem entitled 'Desiderata,' was the absolute RAGE. 

I mean, it was EVERYWHERE, just everywhere
We decoupaged it onto boxes and we put it on wall plaques. 
Maybe if more people were decoupaging 'Desiderata' unto boxes today 
(remember what decoupaging was?) we would have far less turmoil 
(and trouble.) 
(Just sayin.')
:-) 

I think me saying that goes back to the old adage 
"It is good to work with your hands..." 
or something like that!

Drink it in deeply. 
We need it (today.) 

Here is "Desiderata" to go with my (own) photo 
that evokes some peace and some calm in a world of chaos 
and sometimes, even calamity. 

Let's do it all and evoke some 
'Oneness" 
(too.) 
Karen 




Desiderata


Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

© Max Ehrmann 1927



Friday, April 15, 2016

Mid century modern “Kitchen Art.”







Mid century modern (vintage) kitchen towels…are the latest RAGE. This little towel (just happens) to be made (in of all places) Paris! ‘They’ knew how to do it…then!! ;-) I wear my pearls in the kitchen when I have this towel out for display (NOT for use, however.) Aren’t they (more) like…works of art?

Friday, April 8, 2016

Irish Soda Bread








This is an ‘easy’ bread to make; probably a ‘beginners’ bread. It was a ‘meager’ Valentine’s Day Sunday brunch offering to both my husband and my daughter.

The cool thing about Irish Soda Bread that makes it easier to make than other homemade bread recipes is that it does not need to be punched down and left to rise (repeatedly.) It is an ‘easy’ fast alternative to other breads you might make…You can make it to add to your meal a few hours (even an hour and 1/2-which is how long it took me…) before you eat!
The bread in these photos is a variation of a recipe of one of the truly good cooks whose television series I follow, Ina Garten (of Food Network.) I always seem to (really) want to cook at least one recipe from each of her shows!

Ina shared this recipe on her program ‘Barefoot Contessa’ this past week. I enjoy her down to earth approach to cooking (and most if not all of her food choices.)
The recipe is as follows (please note that I could not find dried currants so I used finely chopped dried cherries instead. I also added 2 1/4 tablespoons of dried chives for my version to deliver on the savory note.)

***
Irish Soda Bread
Yield:1 loaf
Ingredients:
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for currants
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup dried currants

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (I do not have a fancy mixer so I combined the ingredients with a large fork and with mixing by hand.) Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.

With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet.
Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound. Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

***
One more tip: as Ina stated on her show, this is a wet (and sticky) bread dough. Liberally flour both your hands (repeatedly) and your cutting board to turn out and gently knead this dough! I had a sticky mess on my hands and had to try and get more flour on the board to work with this dough!

It came out great!

It has a savory, slightly sweet flavor (the cherries, as a change to Ina’s recipe, are absolutely delish…) with a huge amount of texture (and even fluffiness inside.) One of the best parts to this bread is its very crunchy, thick crust!

Make sure that you brown the top. Eat with butter or with a smidgen of your favorite jelly or jam! (I used a small amount of ginger jam which I had never tried before.) The parchment paper recommended in the recipe makes any clean up a breeze.
I hope you try it! Enjoy!
Eat with your eyes!😉

Karen