Tuesday, June 22, 2010


In anticipation of BLT season, as well as the tomato sandwich I was going to be having for dinner, Brad and I made mayonnaise this afternoon.... the old school way. Armed with our trusty Wesson Oil Mayonnaise Maker and a mayonnaise recipe from Martha Hall Foose, from her cookbook Screen Doors and Sweet Tea, we churned our way to condiment heaven. Honestly, there was a time in the middle of the whole damn thing that I thought that my arm might give out, but Brad tagged in so I could tag out; and, as the recipe suggests, it's a good project to attempt with two people. The recipe really is quite simple, and i'll be making it periodically throughout the summer, but i'll play around some with adding some spices and herbs-- cumin and basil? fresh cayenne pepper and a little cinnamon?

The animated gif below is hard evidence that I got overly excited about making this mayonnaise. We also made a few videos, but I think we'll just break those out if our ego's start to get out of hand---- you know, bring us down a notch.

Gif Created on Make A Gif

**If anyone should want the recipe, let me know and i'll either email it to you or add it to the post.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Five P's

Peanuts and Pop.
On view, the great art of peanut shell stacking.
Make a note, this is a good Father's Day Weekend Activity.

Phaseolus Lunatus.
Also known as the Lima Bean. This is one of the crops I replanted
last week, and she sure is taking off. Just look at how the Fordhook
seed stays a part of the plant stalk after germination. Not pictured:
the chicken manure stuck to my elbows and knees from getting
on all fours to take this picture.

Future Pickle?
This is the Armenian Slicing Cucumber. I took
all sorts of pictures trying to give a frame of reference
for just how large this lady is, but nothing really
captured it. Not even my dirty converse. I'll
break out the ruler once she's ready to harvest.

Probably the biggest disappointment of my garden so far has been
my zinnias and cosmos. I planted them along the border to the
entrance in an attempt to make any garden visitors feel welcome,
but i'm afraid this flower is a wolf pack of one.

Discussion topic this evening: Are pickles better at hydrating you then Gatorade? No conclusive evidence either way, but here's what we did find out.... Pickles are high in Potassium. Surprisingly high.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Blonde on Blonde and Gratuitous Corn Proofs

On Friday i'll be saying goodbye to the Vandercook 4. It's the first press we used at Brown Parcel, and it's the only way I could have started the business while I was still in school. Why is this? My former partner and I were able to start the press because it's owner kindly agreed to let us lease it for $50 a year. Insane, I know. The owner will be driving down to the general store to load her up on Friday, and i'd be lying if I said it didn't sting a little, but she's served us well, and fortunately, i've already located her replacement. To assuage mounting separation anxiety I decided she and I should do a little color study today.

One thing that always surprises me in printmaking is the interaction of color on paper as well as with itself. Even though color mixing is one of my favorite parts of printmaking, it's always challenging to predict exactly how that color will be worn on the paper. You have to consider the thickness of the paper as well as any undertones. That is to say, it may be white, but how white? Bright white, soft white, pearl white? All of those slight differences will greatly affect how the viewer ends up reading the color.

Above is what happened in the studio today. This ear of corn and I experimented with layering. What happens when you take the same color and layer it on top of each other one, two, three times? I wanted everything to look subtle and effortlessly intriguing. Whether it was a success or not who knows, but it felt good to print on the 4 one last time.

Finally, I couldn't resist using this creepy real life tone on tone study to reiterate my color points. This photo is a total accident. It seems to be becoming the norm these days, but, there was an otherworldly moth on our screen door Monday morning. Because of the time of day, and the fact that the moth was clinging to the screen door on the back porch, there wasn't adequate light to make a successful document of it's intricate coloring. So, I ran into the house and grabbed the first flat object I could find, junk mail. The idea was to coax the moth onto this paper ferry and get it out in better light without scaring it off. It worked, but the photos became more about the color coincidence than the moth itself. Here's to a day devoted to color.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Thick line. Thin line.

"And I was like, holy crap, it's your birthday rap.
You think i'm such a sap. Girl, you need to take a nap.
Another year slap. Time goes by like a laser zap.
Your cellphone is ringing off the hook with family's yap, yap, yap.
Thanks for listening to this rap.
It's just a love map.
Next month when I see you i'm goin' buy you a present at the Gap."
--birthday voicemail from one of the brothers

This pretty much sums up how amazing my birthday was this past weekend. We were visited by two scholars, two bakers, and two alcohol afficianados... that makes for one helluva day. Despite all of the company, I got to steal a special moment or two with both my mom and dad, and that's the kind of life reaffirming stuff I live for. I'm luckier than one girl should be, and I tried my best to soak in everything that I have been blessed with. For me, this birthday was more of a celebration of where I am and what I had to learn to get to this moment. Hopefully my path doesn't end here, there's much more to do, see, and become, but for the first time in a few years I feel like i'm exactly where i'm supposed to be.

Macaroons brought/baked by my friend Jess. There was pistachio, strawberry, banana and
chocolate, almond, coconut and lime, peanut butter and jelly, and chocolate on chocolate.
Just ogle that talent, almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

Evidence of my calligraphy lesson with mom, aka "Teach". The elegant and even
lettering in black is hers... the not so fancy penmanship in red is mine.

Impossibly good Lemon and Blueberry Ginger Jam cake made by Miss Judi. The best
birthday cake i've ever had.

And, last but not least, a photo of FrankenSadie because my rapping brother
says that you can't have a blog that talks about a cute puppy without showing
the cute puppy. This is just after her entropion surgery, notice the stitches.
Poor girl, she's healing nicely.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rate of Change

The rate at which things change always takes a little getting used to.

Weeds grow just as you turn your back on them. A book begun yesterday becomes one you're recommending today. And, sometimes, a life vanishes in the blink of an eye. Sadly, we lost our horse yesterday. Merlin, one of the two animals we inherited from the previous owner, was a damn fine horse. He had a good, willful spirit, and he loved ginger snaps (a man after my own heart). Merlin's absence in the pasture feels heavy, and he will be missed.

The wilted thistle and the green tomatoes were captured today.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Meat & Three

Little Jimmie Dempsey's performance suit
on display at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame

On Thursday, the gentle giant and I had to take Sadie to the country vet so she could get spayed and have entropion surgery. It's first come first serve there, and the waiting list starts long before the door opens. We drove forty miles only to realize that with forty-five minutes before opening time, we were sixteenth on the waiting list. As our minds were doing the math of how long we might actually be at the Gordon Animal Clinic before Sadie's number was called our shoulders were becoming accordingly slumped.

Our SOULUTION: Board Sadie at the vet for the day and spend our "waiting time" in Macon, home of Otis Redding. I think the day away from the to do list at the farm did both Brad and I a lot of good. Highlights: The H&H Restaurant- A high caliber meat and three place. Been around for decades, you pay in the kitchen right next to the stove. Get the fried chicken. Ocmulgee National Monument- We got to see a 1,000 year old original clay floor, hang with a deer, and even mistake some run of the mill parking lot gravel for an arrow head. I'd highly recommend it.

Picking up our FrankenSadie was a little disheartening due to the heavy anesthesia she was still under. Fortunately, she was back to her old self in the morning and I think the temporary discomfort will definitely be worth it for her in the long run.

**The bottom of the post-operative handout from the vet reads: If you have any questions or concerns regarding your pet's surgery, please feel free to contact us during business hours. If you should have a problem with surgery after hours, you may reach Dr. Dennard by coming to his home (the white house on the hill) and knocking on the door.....


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Surprise Visitors

Surprise vole in the grain bucket. As ridiculous as it seems Brad and I
didn't want to let the little guy loose around here, but we also didn't want to kill him.
We ended up driving him down the street so he could be released at a food source,
the dump. I drove, and Brad held the bucket out the window. We figured if he could
survive terminal velocity wind force he might fair ok at his new home.

Surprise feather outside the buggy barn.... not so surprise..... paint on my hands.

Surprise wild blackberries found while bush hogging.

Everyone was very busy out here this past weekend-- G Club and I scrubbed and painted while Brad and Pop bush hogged and began rewiring the general store. Big things are getting done around here. Just you wait.

**not pictured: (semi) Surprise visit from Madeline. One of my most beautiful, adventurous, and intelligent friends, she has just returned from a little stay in France. Couldn't have been more touched by her making the trek out to see us before she headed back to Chicago.