Exactly a year ago I got myself in a tizzy.
We start the new school year at the farm with a potluck luncheon meeting the first Friday of every September. Last year I didn’t remember till late that morning that I hadn’t even thought about what to make for my potluck offering.
Raise your hand if you love fresh, sweet, juicy cherries.
Great, now just keep your hand up there, I mean both hands actually, nice and high, while I, um, . . . polish off the last few cherries in this giant bag of Washington state fruit I got in the supermarket.
Okay, you can put your hands down now.
Fresh cherries have gotta be one the of the nicest things about late summer. (Fresh native peaches have gotta be one of the other nice things!)
And while I could easily eat them out of hand by the gallon, sometimes it’s fun to do a little baking with them, too.
Except I always think that if I wanted to eat cooked cherries, I’d just crack open a can of cherry pie filling. Once you cook them, cherries lose a lot in the color and texture departments.
We woke up to a bright and sunny, if very cold, morning today. After half an hour outdoors with the dog, we warmed up with piping hot bowls of steel-cut oats and strawberries.
I started with a bright tablecloth of daisies in red, yellow, and green. That’s a lot of wow for only three colors!
Then there’s a yellow Lu-Ray plate. Because yellow is a happy color, of course. The really old Sterling China bowl is perfect for oatmeal because the thick hotel china holds the heat.
I like steel cut oats a lot, they’re filling and they warm you right up on a cold morning. But I don’t like standing over the stove stirring them for thirty minutes till they’re cooked. Most mornings I have better things to do to get everyone out the door to work and school.
So I cook oatmeal the lazy way: overnight in a crockpot. Easy!
The twelve days of Christmas are over. Partying, decorations and celebrating are fond memories now. The days are short, the nights are long. And boy, is it ever cold! It’s enough to give you the blahs.
Fortunately, we’ve got a strategy for winter blahs at This Old Row House: a thick afghan and a great, old movie. Oh, and some fabulously easy microwave caramel popcorn!
You shouldn’t be surprised to learn I’ve got a pile of vintage afghans. In this drafty old house you really can’t have too many.
I love their kaleidoscope of colors on a black background. Each one has a different texture and personality. Right now I’m favoring a heavy wool Granny square afghan that Luray bought for me at Sage Farm in New Hampshire. (Psssst! She’ll have a booth at Sage Farm in February!)
Since yesterday was The Feast of Epiphany—aka Three Kings Day—I finally baked some Three Kings Cake today.
I’m only a day late!
Why it’s called “cake” is a mystery. It’s not cake. It’s a barely-sweet yeast bread studded with bits of yummy dried fruit, baked in the shape of a king’s crown and topped with cherry “jewels.” Yep, there’s more!