Friday, February 28, 2014

Tapioca Pudding

I found a wonderful recipe for Tapioca Pudding a few years ago on 101 Cookbooks. I love it because it is simple and uses a vanilla bean, which I happen to have many of thanks to my wandering husband and his trips to Madagascar. Now I love it even more because I have a little boy that is big enough now to stir it for 20 minutes or longer without tiring. It is a great way to use milk that is going a little off and, oh, I love that break that it gives me from a very energetic boy. I think we might be making more of it around here for their afternoon snacks.

The Coming of Spring

Look what I found today! And I won't be disappointed even if it is covered up in snow again, as the forecast is telling me it will be. I know they are coming up and I will not be discouraged. We saw a pair of robins last weekend eating old apples in the tree. I do hope they survive coming back here so early.

The Coming of Spring

There's something in the air
That's new and sweet and rare
A scent of summer things
A whir as if of wings.

There's something, too, that's new
In the color of the blue
That's in the morning sky,
Before the sun is high.

And though on plain and hill
'Tis winter, winter still,
There's something seems to say
That winter's had its day.

And all this changing tint,
This whispering stir and hint
Of bud and bloom and wing,
Is the coming of the spring.

And to-morrow or to-day
The brooks will break away
From their icy, frozen sleep,
And run, and laugh, and leap.

And the next thing, in the woods,
The catkins in their hoods
Of fur and silk will stand,
A sturdy little band.

And the tassels soft and fine
Of the hazel will entwine,
And the elder branches show
Their buds against the snow.

So, silently but swift,
Above the wintry drift,
The long days gain and gain,
Until on hill and plain,

Once more, and yet once more,
Returning as before,
We see the bloom of birth
Make young again the earth.

~Nora Perry

Stevenson, Burton Egbert. 
New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1956. Print.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Skiing in the Gulch

{Pieter making designs in the snow}

{Juliana's turn}

This past weekend we went back to Higgins Gulch for a ski in the late afternoon. With snow softly coming down, it looked a little different than last weekend when the kids went hiking with Ben. We've figured out pretty well how to do this with the kids. Pieter really like riding on the sled with breaks of running around like a dog in the woods. On the way back down the hill, Ben was surprised to see all the marks in the snow that Pieter made along the way. Juliana wanted to be down from the backpack, but then didn't last long at all on the sled. I think we'll be out there again this coming weekend!

February Twilight

I stood beside a hill
   Smooth with new-laid snow,
A single star looked out
   From the cold evening glow.

There was no other creature
   That saw what I could see
I stood and watched the evening star
   As long as it watched me.

~Sara Teasdale

Larrick Crosby, Nancy. Piping Down the Valleys Wild. 
New York: Delacorte Press, 1968. Print.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Sweater for Springtime

Pattern: Springtime in Hollis, Teresa Cole
YarnCascade 220, Cascade Yarns
Needles: US 6, 7, 8
Size: 4T

My knitting is back! After the Jumper sitting on my needles for months, I quickly cast on this beautiful pattern that I spied early this month on Alicia Paulson's blog and Soulemama's blog. I thought it would be the perfect sweater for Juliana to wear over a dress for church. Instead of using aran weight yarn, I used worsted weight for a lighter sweater (and because I have skeins and skeins of this white Cascade 220). To account for the yarn change, I went up a size to 4. It came out just about right. The length is perfect and while it is a bit wide, the i-cord tie takes care of that. I imagine this will fit Juliana through sizes 2 and 3. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Quilt from Grandma Mina

{Grandma Mina and Aunt Margaret making Pieter's quilt}              Photo Credit: Allan Mol

{a beautiful quilt label ~ Mina van Ee}

{Grandma Mina's 90th Birthday, January 2014}                  Photo Credit: Allan Mol

We spent Christmas with Ben's grandma, Wilhelmina van Ee, known to the kids as Grandma Mina. I spent a lot of time organizing Grandma's fabric that filled a linen closet and spilled into the bedrooms. It was loads of fun and such a great time to visit with Grandma Mina. We received a quilt for Juliana when she was six months old at the Van Ee family reunion in 2012, but Pieter didn't have one and I really wanted something for him that was made by his great grandmother - what a wonderful gift. So I picked out a collection of fabric, centered around the bucolic dutch farm scene, to remind Pieter of his Dutch roots. And this little boy just loves cows and any other farm animals, so I knew he would love it. I talked Grandma Mina into piecing the top together and to then send it as is and I would do the rest. Well, we really lucked out because Aunt Margaret then went for a visit and she helped Mina piece it and who could be better than someone with her own herd of cows?!! Well, we got a package from Canada last week and we were thrilled to open it up and find this beautiful quilt. Now I just need to find some backing material and put it together. Thank you Grandma Mina and Aunt Margaret!

Sunday Mornings

Enjoying a Berenstain Bear book with Papa at church. These are Pieter's favorites!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sour Cream Apple Custard

It started snowing again last night and we needed something to warm us up in the evening. I've got bags of cut up apples in the freezer and have made enough apple crisp to last me a while. In search for another easy apple recipe, I started looking at my cookbooks and then remembered the wonderful Sour Cream Apple Pie that I made last fall. Oh, but making that crust. And those extra calories and sugar. So, I remade it into a custard, skipping the crust and topping, thus removing the flour and reducing the sugar. It is wonderful and you will like it, especially if you have a surplus of apples in the freezer from your trees.

Sour Cream Apple Custard
1 1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup rapadura (or other sweetener like maple syrup, honey, agave syrup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, split
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 large eggs
apples (enough sliced apples to fill your baking dish)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Fill a baking dish with sliced apples.
  • Whisk together all other ingredients (add vanilla bean seeds and save the bean for another purpose, like making vanilla extract or vanilla sugar).
  • Pour filling over the apples.
  • Bake for 1 hour.

The snow has continued all day, enough for Pieter to create a huge pile for making tunnels. 
He spent three and a half hours outside this morning!

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Walk in the Gulch

Another beautiful Saturday morning hike with Daddy in the hills. In just another month and a half we hopefully will be able to see the spring in this beautiful gulch that we visited last April

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Fabric: Mischief (Benartex) panel, wheels, play chips, & happy plaid; Grow with Me (Moda) (blue trucks); Flowers of the Sun (South Sea Imports).

Mischief seems like the perfect name for fabric in our household right now. Juliana is really coming into her own and is full of it all the time. I can't even put things up on top of the fridge anymore. She just climbs right up onto the counter and then grabs the forbidden item with ease. When I saw this panel full of great colors and drawings, I knew the kids would love it. I ended up with just the boy panel, Mischief, as the girl panel, Curiosities, was a bit too pink for me. Too bad for Juliana - she probably would have loved it! 

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