In My Kitchen ~ August 2013

Basil Butter

Have you ever felt the singular-ness of your pursuit?  Been entirely happy with what you’re doing, yet experienced the human heart need to connect?

Today I was scooting around the house perfectly content with my hermit-like lifestyle — writing, rehearsing, yada yada — when I stopped to check my email.  (I still allow myself that much “technology” during my self-imposed internet hiatus.)

Pang…

While I’m not an on-line junkie by any means, sometimes a post will attract my attention… inspire me to get out my camera… make me want to share.

(Even if it means usurping my previous intentions.)

Enter Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  Each month Celia hosts a delightful gathering of bloggers who open their hearts and homes and kitchens.  (By the way, she’s been doing this for a long, long time… discovery is a delight, even when it’s belated.)

A trip through the links in Celia’s sidebar is like gathering with good friends over coffee.  Trading kitchen secrets.  Finding out what makes each other tick.  Just plain feeling good.

And a lil’ less alone…

Here’s my contribution to August’s “In My Kitchen.”

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes ripening on my windowsill, glowing like rubies… and my heart.

Lace Curtain

…tempered by a lace curtain.

(Sometimes Oklahoma sunshine — and my enthusiasm — need that soft perspective.)

Garlic Toast To Be

Remnants of a day-old baguette awaiting transformation into garlic toast for dinner.

(Metamorphosis is my specialty!)

Yesterday, a friend and I enjoyed Bruschetta (Round 2) on the deck with a glass of wine… such sweet times.

Then there’s mustard… I like mine whole grain.  By the spoonful.

Maille Mustard

Tonight, however, it’ll likely end up mingling with the basil butter (first photo) to spread on the aforementioned baguette — or to serve as a stand-alone next to a really good steak.

Omaha Steaks

(The Omaha Steaks are courtesy of my Mom, xo; photo cropped to be mindful of my vegetarian friends. xo)

Don’t you just love their motto?  “Blend with laughter.”  Ah, yes…

All of this kitchen activity reminded me to remind you… be kind to yourself!  My body recently cajoled me (recalcitrant upstart that it is) that I’m not as young as I used to be — especially after standing umpteen hours in my kitchen.

Time for new mats and/or rugs…

Underfoot

My feet have appreciated the investment ever since.

Last but not least, love your surroundings.  See with new eyes.  A new appreciation.  A little less singular-ness.

Remember who you’re cooking for. .. and why.

Clothes Hung On The Line By The Man Of Few Words

Clothes Hung On The Line By The Man Of Few Words

Hope you enjoyed my first foray “In My Kitchen.”  A brief recap…

Care to join in?  Click here.

(Thanks, Celia!)

Enjoying cyber connections in spite of myself,

~ Kimby

P.S.  I made it a third of the way through August, which is a tremendous feat considering the appeal of your posts.  Thanks for bearing with my spontaneous, creative soul!

Flowergram VI

Flower Series 1

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Flower Series 2

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Flower Series 3

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Flower Series 4

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Flower Series Possibilities

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Life is a sketch book.

Each day starts with a blank page.

The palette is up to you.

Draw/dance/paint/cook/write/sing/play.

What color are kisses?

My love brought me a banana split bouquet!

Enjoying impromptu affection,

~ Kimby

Solar Hugs

Nutmeg Honey Butter

I love those golden, glowing days of midwinter when sunlight streams through the windows, embracing you in warmth.

Solar hugs, so to speak.

– – – – –

That was the beginning of my post before our furnace gave out (sometime between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.), leaving me wondering why the thing wasn’t kicking in overnight. (!)

Thankfully, the “intro” still applies.

Handmade quilts (thanks, Sis) and Oklahoma’s moderate temps sustained us until the coffee was ready.  Never mind that it’s supposed to get down to 27° tonight — a temporary cold spell — I’m savoring the gorgeous sunlight that streamed through our windows this morning.

Warmth is a state of mind and I can’t help but feel cozy.

Definition of irony:  We bought a wood-burning stove this weekend.  It’s still sitting in the driveway. :)

– – – – –

Getting on with things, I love fruitcake almost as much as I love solar hugs.  (Please don’t stop reading.)

For those of you who despise the much-maligned holiday treat (especially if you’re petrifying it into a doorstop at this late date), this isn’t a tortured how-to.  My favorite fruitcake recipe can be found in Christopher Kimball’s The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook — a sunny-looking tome, if you’re so inclined.

What I do want to share is Nutmeg Honey Butter.

Golden orbs of goodness…

Golden Orbs of Goodness

Sunshine in truffle form. :)

Sunlight Truffles

Nutmeg Honey Butter

1/4 lb. quality butter, chilled  (I used Hope Butter)

2 tsp. honey

Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

Using a small scoop, shape butter into truffle-sized balls.

Place on a decorative plate.

Drizzle with honey.  Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Serve on bread, pancakes, waffles, or yes… the dreaded fruitcake.

Fruit Cake with Nutmeg Honey Butter

Here’s to sunshine and warmth in midwinter, especially when your alternative heat source has yet to be installed.

(I’m calling the furnace guy tomorrow.)

Enjoying solar hugs,

~ Kimby

Daylight Saving Time Frolics

Yes, folks, it’s Daylight Saving Time again (or the end of it, when an hour magically “disappears”…) and I’m tellin’ ya, it wreaks havoc on my entire being.

This morning I woke up at 4:30 believing it was 4:30 (my favorite time to wake up), only to discover it was 3:30… aarrggh!  It’s perfidy, I tell you, perfidy!

Be forewarned… this coming week, my thoughts will resemble the jumbled illustration above (confusing, but colorful nonetheless!) :) and I’m asking you to please bear with me.  Moving the hands back on the clock does not constitute an immediate “aha” by my bio-rhythms or brainwaves.

Thankfully, Oklahoma’s seasons follow the calendar — never mind the clocks — and it’ll continue to be autumn until the next season begins.  (I won’t mention the “w” word until it’s official…)

The only “cure” I’ve found for Daylight Saving Time is to spend as much time outdoors as possible.  Let’s take a walk, shall we?

Nature calms me down.  Clarifies my thoughts.  Causes me to forget.

What was I writing about…?

Oh yeah!  Daylight Saving Time…

What are your plans for the “extra hour?”

Enjoying (?) the semi-annual rite,

~ Kim

Fall Cleaning and How Food Imitates Nature

Dear Friends,

I’m such a letter-writer that it felt right this evening to pen one to you.  (Or as close as one can get to approximating “pen and paper” via computer…)

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about blogging (yes, I know… “Don’t blog about blogging…”) — but you know me better than to believe I follow the rules. ;)

In my quest to be a writer, musician, haus frau, artist, yada yada, I need to make the most of my time, as do you!  (I’m so easily sidetracked…)

Anyway… between all of the above, I found myself asking, “What is the point of blogging, eh?”  (Had to throw a lil’ Minnesotan at you, yah sure, you betcha.)  There are so many bloggers out there who do it so well and whose blogs I enjoy reading and whose recipes I enjoy cooking and eating!  Do I really need to write one of my own?

In a nutshell:  I found myself wondering whether or not I’d be better off spending time on “more important matters.”  (Funny how your brain emphasizes thoughts like that, only to come up short when it’s prompted to produce an actual list of said important matters.)

Surprisingly, a conclusion came out of the blue today (better known as an answer from God…) and it was: “Blogging gives you more people to care about.”

Say what?!  (An Okie-ism.) ;)

Truth be told, it took me by surprise.  Sometimes I feel self-centered blogging about “the life and times of moi,” but lo and behold, the purpose isn’t “me” — it’s you!  Woohoo!

I can live with that.

No… I enjoy that idea tremendously!!!

What I’m trying to say is that my blog was (and is) a means to find you… folks I’d never in a million years meet (or even know existed) were it not for this unique, fun, fabulous forum that opened up my world beyond Oklahoma, USA.

For that, I’m entirely grateful.  (Actually, I’m doing the happy dance!)

While I don’t intend to spend 24/7 commenting on your blogs, when I do, it’ll be with reckless, guilt-free abandon (hallelujah!) — because the whole point is furthering human relationships (even cyber ones) — and I can’t think of a more enjoyable way to spend my time.

Except cooking your recipes and eating… well, never mind.

There will be time for all of the above… including today’s thoughts on How Food Imitates Nature.  (The segue is short, I promise.) :)

Sincerely, Kimby

Yesterday I posted my Teriyaki steak stir fry on FB and G+ and today it struck me how similar it was to the photos I’ve snapped recently…

 

Gotta love it!

Now, off to see what you’re up to!  (And thanks for being here.)

Enjoying the blessings of friendship — and blogging,

~ Kim

A Quick Post and a Quick BBQ Sauce

Generally, I put a lot of time and thought into my posts, but our air conditioner quit at 4:00 this morning and the A/C guy isn’t here yet.

(In case you haven’t heard, Oklahoma’s temps have been in the 100’s for the past two months…)

Here’s what our inside temp reads now.

  (P.S.  It’s 10° “warmer” in my writing nook…)

Thankfully, I have a cool place to retreat to as soon as I’m done with this, and thankfully I planned a barbecue for dinner tonight.

Last night I made my Quick BBQ sauce and it was delish brushed over barbecued ham steaks.  (How does one spell BBQ correctly anyway?)

But patience, sweet ones, patience… it really is better the next day.

I also fooled around with my camera just for fun… :)

This is as basic as BBQ Sauce gets!

Quick BBQ Sauce

1/2 c. ketchup (I used Heinz)

3 Tbsp. honey

1/2 Tbsp. yellow mustard

1/2 tsp. liquid smoke

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

(Optional add-in’s:  red pepper flakes to taste, a dash of hot sauce, a shot of whiskey)

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan.

Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat; simmer 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cool, then store in the refrigerator.

Bring to room temperature before applying to grilled meats.

Brush sauce on during the last minutes of grilling and ENJOY!

Ooof… here’s what our temp was last time I looked, and it went up a degree after I uploaded the picture!

Enjoying the prospect of grilling… but not indoors…. gotta run!

~ Kim

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