Still Life

by-dawns-early-light

I love the early morning light as it filters in my kitchen window and illuminates evidence of a previous day well-lived or the promise of today’s possibilities!

Between my last post and this one I’ve been faced with yet another challenge: DON’T use it or lose it… contrary to the ol’ adage spurring us on to greater fitness and/or efficiency: “Use it or lose it.” Hello to another life-altering event, which hopefully I’ll overcome.

Basically I can’t use my left arm — or I won’t be able to for the rest of my life! Turns out, I’ve got bone spurs on two neck vertebrae pressing on my spinal cord (exacerbated by last month’s use and abuse) and anything “arms forward” aggravates it undeniably. Life has come to a standstill. Sit still. Still life…?

jan-2017-snow

I haven’t been able to write outside lately (obviously) thanks to our recent unprecedented snowfall (which thankfully disappeared), but it gave me pause for thought. Sometimes you have to go it alone. Endure the seasons in your life. Expect the unexpected. See the beauty in fleeting moments and appreciate ’em all. Accept your limitations and adapt!

I wrote this post on notebook paper on my clipboard whilst sitting in my recliner with a heating pad on my neck. (No piano playin’ today… limited time on either/or my piano and computer… thank goodness I can type fast!) But, that doesn’t mean life has to be limited, or bound by unchosen boundaries! I’ll continue to fit in whatever I can whenever I can and love the light… and still life.

jan-2017-snow-back-yard

Enjoying weathering changes at the lake, unprecedented or otherwise…

~ Kim

Smoked Salmon Roll Ups

roll-up-2

I pretty much slept through New Year’s Eve and most of New Year’s Day, which is why I’m still making and eating “party food” two days later. But, smoked salmon is just as tasty on January 2nd — especially when it’s wrapped around a creamy, tangy filling.

mix

There’s no recipe per se… simply mix together softened goat cheese (I used Montchevre) with lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice, capers, and fresh dill.

Spread the mixture on thinly sliced smoked salmon cut into appetizer-sized pieces.

Roll up!

roll-up-1

Garnish at will and enjoy a sublime start to any meal… or year.

Enjoying a late start in 2017,

~ Kim

Happy New Year

sunset2

Happy New Year! (a few days early…)

Hoping your holidays were merry.

Sending you a lil’ sunset love from the lake, xo.

sunset1

Would love to expound, but I’m recovering from nerve compression in my neck. (In laymen’s terms: OUCH!)

No piano, minimal computer. Will catch up with you soon.

Wishing you a glorious New Year!

Enjoying anticipating 2017,

~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ November 2016

peach-roses-2

In My Kitchen are these peach roses, the third “spontaneous bouquet” to grace our dining room table in a month. The Man Of Few Words surprised me with the first two, and somehow this bundle of JOY ended up in my shopping cart…

I’m thankful to be in my kitchen again.

Celebrate your life!

nuts-com-stash

In My Kitchen is a crazy good assortment from Nuts.com.

The Veggie Chips (front and center) were entirely addictive; so were the Dark Chocolate Turbinado Sea Salt Almonds (movie treat), Ugandan coffee beans (morning treat), Polenta (dinnertime treat), and Dried Sour Cherries (anytime treat). As for their Thai Pineapple Sprouted Trail Mix, it was the perfect combo of “sweet and heat.” Treat yourself!

Thanks to Chef Mimi for sharing her enthusiasm for Nuts.com. I’m glad you did!

loveras-goat-cheese

In My Kitchen… is soft goat cheese from Lovera’s, just down the road in Krebs, Oklahoma. It’s my new “butter!” After trying to no avail to add dairy (the bovine kind) back into my diet, I finally found something to slather on everything from baked potatoes to Bruschetta. Or make this delectable spread.

Although I miss cream cheese, ice cream, heavy cream (basically anything with the word cream in it!) I’m ecstatic to have this to satisfy my creamy cravings.

Sometimes you outgrow old favorites only to discover new ones.

butter-colored-candle-plate

In My Kitchen… is a pale yellow antique plate that’s been in my family for nearly a century. (Sequestered in the back of a cupboard for almost as long…)

Canapés will be pretty served on it when it isn’t serving as a candle holder.

Get out your treasures and use ’em while you can!

lemon-honey-quince-paste

In My Kitchen… are creamed honey with lemon juice (for stirring into tea or making vinaigrette) and quince paste (aka membrillo). A recent issue of Bon Appétit said quince paste was a “trendy” ingredient, not that I follow trends. I discovered these at a Ross Dress For Less store in Muskogee!

You never know when the Universe will smile. :)

Thank you, Liz Posmyk of Good Things for hostessing In My Kitchen. For a fun tour of kitchens around the world visit Liz’s blog for the links or add your own by the 10th.

Enjoying Autumn-hued blessings,

~ Kim

The Desk

I never imagined I’d fall for such a modern-looking desk to house my “creative space” (especially in a room I’ve been trying to make look cozy for two years), but with its full-length keyboard drawer and room for treasures on top (my monitor and printer included), I was smitten.

Nothin’ like combining the new with old. If that’s the story o’ your life, too, do tell!

I’ve come to relish unexpected blessings and spontaneously altered floor plans.

garden-room-aka-office-in-flux

Above is my Garden Room (aka office) in flux. Still a tad crowded, but it’s getting there.

My plan, my dream (neglected ’til now) involved moving things around a bit, but it’s coming closer to the vision of what I “want” it to be… HOPE it will be… some day.

The the rest is trial & error. And Trust. God works all things for good! (Romans 8:28)

One thing that’s made my seemingly impossible dream possible — besides moving furniture, ongoing prayer, and a huge dose of grace — was this recent purchase of art supplies to pursue yet another “creative dream.” (See some day above.)

More on that soon!

There’s still FOOD — yay, food! — even though I haven’t pulled out the ol’ Nikon as often as I once did. I make it a point to treat myself to something tasty every single day. (Once in awhile I’m even compelled to share a glimpse.)

walleye-1

Pan-seared Walleye & Caramelized Onions atop Spring mix salad lightly dressed with balsamic vinaigrette, Tuscan veggies, Quince preserves, & Moroccan olives

Enjoying moving forward ergonomically, artistically, musically, and TASTEFULLY!

~ Kim

Muted Magic

leaf

Autumn is oft noted for its splendor, breathtaking colors, and audacity (taunting the bleak black & white Season to follow), but it literally snuck up on me this year. Even though I had a brief encounter with Minnesota’s red, gold, and blaze orange glory earlier, I was relieved that Autumn arrived here subtly.

Softly…

(And a tad soggy.)

on-deck

While I was away, The Man Of Few Words (TMOFW) constructed a deck overlooking our backyard jungle. A new playground! (Or at least another place to think and write without being baked to a crisp; it’s still in the 90’s yet.) Shade is a blessing.

I’ve had very little control over my creative surroundings for much of this year and I’ve been longing for some Seasonal inspiration — without screaming for my attention. In my opinion, one of the greatest downfalls in this age of “immediacy” is the lack of mental space. Take time to ponder the Muted Magic surrounding you (whatever the Season).

All that’s required is noticing. Ahhhh…

Enjoying a lil’ breather,

~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ October 2016

ramekins-and-grater

In My Kitchen (at last) I’m HOME. (Hopefully for longer than I’ve been this year.)

My sister used to tease me that I liked anything “shiny, sparkly, pretty, ooooh, ahhhhh.” Guilty as charged. She and I amused many a shopkeeper with our audible admiration. “Shiny, sparkly, pretty, ooooh, ahhhhh” is FUN to say out loud… try it!

I do like baubles… In My Kitchen and otherwise. Especially when they combine form and function. Take this mini-grater (above) to zest citrus, shave grated cheese atop pasta & salads, and/or sliver garlic when I’m not in a “smashing” mood. (I’m soooo in need of TLC… so is my garlic.) You already know how I feel about ramekins., lol. :)  The more, the merrier!

antique-treasires

In My Kitchen… are antique treasures. (Grandma’s flour sifter, scoop, and the cutest lil’ salt & pepper shakers with their matching toothpick holder… not quite as “shiny” but I love their patina and memories.) Grandma had a mega-flour bin — a pull-out, tin-lined cupboard that accommodated a 50-pound bag of flour!

I loved watching her scoop “just the right amount” of flour (without measuring) and shaking her sifter to make homemade kolaches, cinnamon rolls, and bread.

As for the S & P shakers and toothpick holder, they were fixtures on her stove-top. Now, they’re fixtures on mine.

replacements

In My Kitchen are replacements… or rather, a flatware pattern that I liked so much thanks to a church friend who gifted us with a set of four after our fire (hate to bring that up again, but it’s been a reality I’m dealing with til 11/11/2016 when our insurance claim runs out.) Two years… can it be?! Basic utensils are overlooked.

I love ’em! (And my stove and fridge, thanks to YOU… gratitude and hugs.)

My culinary life, health, and HOPE wouldn’t be what it is without ’em!

In My Kitchen… are these aprons. Rick-racked trimmed ala Grandma. You have no idea how much these recent additions mean to me. (Or maybe you do.)

I’m SO grateful for replacements — “treasures” — IMK friends, xo! Hopin’ to get around to everybody’s posts in the next few days as time & unpacking allows.

Many thanks to Celia and Maureen (former hostesses of this monthly forum) and Liz, author of Good Things (our new hostess with the most-est) for sharing your immutable, affable IMK spirits as you adapt to LIFE. (Goodness, aren’t we all?) I love that about this place! Thanks for being “real.” If you’d like to read more IMK posts or share your own kitchen frolics, please contact Liz at the link above by the 10th.

Enjoying being In My Kitchen once again….

~ Kim