Monday, July 19, 2021

in the kitchen

We've had more dry days. Notice I didn't say the 'R' word. No sense in invoking the gods since the last time I used it it rained the next day. Marc might actually get the yard mowed today. Or not. Mower won't start. He messed with it some more today and yay, the yard is mowed. Should help cut down some on those black flying monsters mentioned next.

Once again the mosquitoes are just fierce. Big black ones and they swarm you almost immediately. Even with mosquito repellent on, so says Marc. And I swear, they know where the doors are and hang out by them.

I spent all day Saturday in the kitchen dealing with butternut squash and peaches. I roasted the biggest one,

scooped out the flesh from the peel and mashed it and put it in the freezer for a future casserole, roasted the 'twins', because they flowered the same day and grew right next to each other on the same vine, and peeled and cubed them for the freezer. Then I picked out four of the larger ones for two neighbors, two each with recipes. Picked out and skinned the nine ripest peaches and made a peach cobbler and while that was cooking delivered the squash to my neighbors. Then I made a butternut skillet dish with bacon, onion, spinach, and pecans for dinner with the cubed squash I had put up last March.

Gotta use the oldest first. Still have nine small ones, all in the 6” – 7” range.

I used to make peach pies every season but there's just two of us and by the fourth day the last two slices were pretty soggy. Then I switched over to crostatas, courtesy of Joanne from Cup On The Bus, because they were smaller and quicker to make but since my last blood test showed high blood sugar I switched over to peach cobbler which is even easier and quicker to make because I thought it uses less sugar than the crostata but I think really, it's the same amount, the difference being with a cobbler the sugar is in the dough instead of in the fruit.

Sitting here at my desk, getting my working drawings ready for wax work model making I looked up to see a red shouldered hawk sitting on the top rail of the fence on Sunday. It sat there a while but flew off before I could creep around to the door to get a picture through the glass.

Here're the drawings for the next two pieces.

I got my work table over at the studio cleared off and the base slabs of wax poured today. And I think I've decided on a luna moth for the small stand. I did one many years ago on a vase form and I still have a backup shape in wax that I've been shuffling around all this time. I think maybe I rejected it because it was too small. Here's the vase, luna moth on one side, dogwood flowers on the other.

6”w x 6”d x 7”h

Typical summer sky these days

unless it looks like this.


  1. What a full post of action! The cooking looks great, especially that skillet dinner.

    And the drawings for the wax molds. It's great to follow along with this process, completely new to me, never worked in glass. I hope to know more about lost wax method before I'm done, if that's what you're about to do. Not sure.

  2. It did not rain today for the first time since who knows when, in spite of my computer saying Rain off and on along the bottom. I keep a big four or five cup measure on the deck to help plant watering. I looked at it today. Full to the top.

  3. I am blown away by what you got accomplished in one day. That's a lot of prepping and cooking. It all sounds delicious. Our squash plants have flowers and no fruit yet. You inspire me to plan for the yummy squash future! Love the skies there.

  4. wow Ellen, you do get so much done in a day. I want what you have for breakfast!! That is the most beautiful butternut squash I have ever seen! Looks delish too.

  5. I made peach cobbler today, too! I hate my oven. I can't seem to regulate the temp, It cooks too hot and I burned my cobblers around the edges. Ate it anyway!

  6. The butternut squash is so...female. It's lovely, isn't it? Just visually, I mean.
    You and I have the same cutting board.
    Have we seen the luna moth vase before? It's exquisite. And the dogwoods on the other side are just as beautiful. Simply lovely, Ellen.
    So much rain here. Our floorboards are cupping. It's that time of year and I'd rather have too much rain than not enough. Except the mosquitoes love it too much.

  7. I'm guessing the neighbor who put that terrible shipping container on your property line did NOT get a squash?! :D

    I love the luna moth!

  8. You do create such beautiful works of art Ellen. I can't wait to see the completion of your new projects.

  9. Mmm - your dinner looks excellent! I love the moth - a version of it will look great in that stand.

  10. Oh, I like those pieces. I really wouldn't like fighting the mosquitos to get to my studio tho.

  11. That front came down and paid us (up here in Seguin) a really quick visit last night. I was watching the clouds build and it got really dark around 6:30. We only got 1/7th an inch of rain. Wanted more but at least it wet a few things around here. This is so strange that we are still getting rain after July 4th. Usually it's dry as a bone unless we get a little lucky with a hurricane blowing by into Mexico.

  12. Replies
    1. of course we did! we got a brief shower around 5 PM yesterday and about 2" last night. damn. I can't even allude to it.

  13. Oh wow... those vases are gorgeous! I can't imagine the amount of work that went into creating each one. Amazing... Thanks for sharing these photos. Also, do you etch your initial drawings onto metal? The Trumpet blooms appear to be etched onto polished aluminum. How do you get the 2 dimensional images translated to 3-dimensional?

    1. it's one vase, just different sides. I don't do the vases anymore. they're difficult and have a higher failure rate. my next post will detail how I go from a flat 2 dimensional drawing to a 3 dimensional model. the models for the vases were done basically the same way. we have a rubber reproduction mold for the basic vase and then I just cut shapes out of sheets of wax or add small items like acorns or the lizard from reproduction molds and attach them to the vase form.

  14. That vase is gorgeous. I can imagine the added complexities with those. That squash skillet dinner looks great. How have I never thought of cubing squash? I've not done it one time, but it's on the to-do list now. With luck, my attempt at your dinner will look as good as yours. I've got eight pints of peaches in the freezer now, too. I'm hoping to get more this weekend, and some are going in to cobbler!


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