Friday, November 27, 2009

short stories 2

You may have noticed that I haven’t been playing with fonts lately.  I’ve decided that I rather like Chalkboard so I am abandoning Comic Sans.

An artist friend of mine, a sculptor and teacher at a college in Chicago, has recently started a blog.  He’s got about 6 posts so far and 1 follower (me).  John is a very smart guy and has an interesting mind, a little edgy.  Not only that, we are doing a trade and I gotta say, I think I got the better end of it.  If you are surfing the web this holiday weekend, stop by Random Walks and check it out.

Son and DIL came out to the country house for Thanksgiving.  Since they are both vegetarians we didn’t do a turkey.  Instead, I made a nut loaf.  I needed two cups of ground nuts and I thought the different layers looked really cool in the measuring cup.  From bottom to top the layers are almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, pecans and walnuts.  We had a butternut cranberry casserole and a green salad among other dishes.  And my son made a brandied fig and pecan pie.  The pecans in the dishes are the ones I collected and shelled.  The butternut squash came from our garden this summer and the green peppers in the salad came from our winter garden.

brandied fig and pecan pie (and yes, that’s three leaves and a stegosaurus)

I took another load of pecans to the crackers today.  It took me about two weeks to shell the first 31 pounds.  This time it was only 19 pounds.  This time I separated the good nuts from the obviously bad ones first.  For some reason I thought this was a better strategy.  At least it doesn’t look like so many to wade through.

I found a new store in Wharton today.  Historical Hardware and Antiques.  I actually went in to inquire about the cabinet maker catty-cornered from them, if he kept regular hours or not.  One of the drawers in my buffet needs repair.  I wish I had had my camera with me.  I could lose time in that place.  In fact, when I walked in I told the lady I could easily spend all day here.  She told me that was fine, she would be here but it would take me longer than a day.  We started to chat a bit.  She’s about my age.  By the time I left, the cabinet maker was there so I got my other bit of business taken care of.  I chatted with him a little as well.  It’s nice to find some of the local artisans.

I can already see the glimmers of spring to come.  The rocket larkspur seeds I spread out a couple of weeks ago have already sprouted.  The baby-blue-eyes that volunteer every year have sprouted as well.  They might even start blooming in early February.  And the bluebonnets and evening primrose are filling in the bare spots in the lawn from the hot summer.  And though winter has not really settled on us yet, these little beauties are already giving me a promise.

I’ve been unpacking some of our things.  Now that we are comfortable with the way the furniture is arranged I’m willing to hang pictures and put out the ‘stuff’.  I packed most of this stuff over a year ago and so I am rediscovering some things.  For instance, I found a simple little sculpture I made years ago that I didn’t remember packing.  I’ve been looking all over for this little item, sorely distressed by it’s disappearance.  Things are slowly finding their places.


  1. Being a vegetarian myself, I can totally relate to your sounded divine! There's something about an antique hardware store and the people that run them. They are always willing to chat and never seem to rush least in this area and it sounds like yours, too.

    We have moved so many times in the past several place was a rental so many thing weren't unpacked. It is a walk down memory lane when you can finally put the "you" back into your home!
    Have a terrific weekend!

  2. What a varied, interesting post which mirrors, I'm sure, its author! You're meal intrigued me and as a new vegetarian, you are giving me some creative ideas for composing dishes - thank you.

    Now I will check out your edgy link.

  3. You are a good Mama for not making a turkey - I am sure I would do the same if one of ours didn't eat meat too. And the pie looks divine!

    I want a store like that by me - I miss the crystal doorknobs my grandparents had in their homes - remember those? If I ever have our own home I am finding them and switching them out. :)

  4. Love the doorknobs and handles. And I will wander over to your friend's blog too. Hope you had a good holiday time.

  5. hey ellen could you e-mail me a slice of the brandied fig and pecan pie? thanks! steven

  6. "Only" 19 pounds, eh? I guess it's all relative, eh?

    Your T-day dinner sounds delicious and I'm so glad so much of it came from your garden.

    Love the layers of seeds in the measuring cup.

    And I like your new font, too!

  7. You've been busy lady! Oh, and I'm so drooling over your pie. I don't have pie on hand, but my brother gave me a Dominican cake for Thanksgiving, so I'm going to go grab a piece.

    I'm so glad you found something you thought you had lost, isn't great when that happens?

    Oh, I'm going to check your friend John's blog, I'm sure I'll like it. I seem to like everything you touch ;)

  8. Just wanted to let you know that John now has to followers. A girl must follow a man who knows about the Morlocks and Eloi!

  9. You make me feel better, I haven't hung much on the walls or unpacked everything yet. Your pecan and fig pie sounds sinfully yummy! Hope you had a terrific holiday, sounds like you did.

  10. Your meal sounds wonderful! I'm not vegetarian yet, but I'm working towards that goal.

    Hope you had a wonderful holiday!


  11. Hi. My first visit to your blog. I am impressed by the pie, it looks wonderful. I will check out your friend's blog.

  12. Oh the knobs! I'm with you, Ellen, I could probably roam around that shop all day too.

    I'm going to tell you a secret now. Everyone but Ellen, hide your eyes...

    I could never be vegetarian. Never. Some people are vegetarians for animal rights reasons. That makes sense to me. If I had to kill my food, I'd never eat another animal in the world. I'd find a way. But I WOULD eat eggs, and milk, and cheese and whatever else I could eat that doesn't require killing anything. It would be tough to give up fish and seafood though. I no longer eat a lot of red meat, in fact, once I began dieting I pretty much swore it off. I still love it, but I avoid eating it in favor of healthier proteins. I also usually avoid veal and lamb even though I adore those too. I just get images of "the faces" in my head and can't order it. Now fish? I'm sorry they get yanked out of the water and thrown on my plate, but I have less of an issue with them. So basically, I have no discipline and no moral compass. I'm inconsistent and principle-less. Yep.

    But I do love vegetables very very much, so maybe....?

    PS: Love your sculpture. I thought it was an artsy salt shaker at first. Is there anything you can't do and do to perfection? Anything?

    Love you Ellen! XO

  13. Alix, you are too too kind. There are many things I don't do well and there's a trail of destruction behind me to prove it.

    The little sculpture really looks better in person. I couldn't get a good picture. I made it so many years ago. She's my ancestor idol. She has come to represent all the mothers that bore children that eventually became me. A march back to the beginning.

    And the pie is soooo good. But so rich even the smallest slice is almost too much. Almost.

  14. What a fun post. Ground nut loaf.. sounds incredibly good and that pie.. drool!

  15. I'm glad you found the missing item! It's pretty!


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.