Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Stuffed Cabbage

I meant to write this post shortly after making these stuffed cabbage, Asian style, for the first time.  Now I'm warming the leftovers that I froze for our Sunday supper and remembered that I wanted to share these.

I started with 1 lb. of ground pork adding 4 celery stalks chopped fine, 1 egg, 1 cup cooked rice, 1 large clove garlic minced, 1+ tsp. of five spice powder, soy sauce, chili oil, and sesame oil.  The last three were splashes, sorry not measured.

I mixed that all well.

I had one large head of cabbage and gently took off 10-12 leaves.  I trimmed out the center ribs and chopped those fine and added them to the pork mix.  Then took a large spoonful and placed in the cabbage leaf.


Rolled it up tucking in the sides and placed in greased casserole.


Here's the filled dish.


Fou a sauce I mixed 2/3 cup chicken broth, a tablespoon of sherry/cooking white wine, tablespoon of sesame oil, dash of chili oil, tablespoon of soy sauce and a splash of Chinese vinegar.


I poured this over the cabbage, covered casserole with foil and


placed in a hot 400ยบ oven covered for 30-40 minutes.







Here's the dish out of the oven and below a serving on a plate with fried rice.


It was a delicious concoction.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Hailes Abbey

Joining Inspired Sunday by reaching back into treasury of old photos from past journeys.  These come from our walking tour in the Cotswolds in June 2014 described starting here.

On the Winchcombe to Broadway section of our walk we visited Hailes Abbey arriving just at opening time. Text below in italics comes from material provided by our tour, author unknown.



In the decade from 1536 to 1547, just about every English religious institution that was not a parish church was either closed or destroyed. This was the Dissolution.  Henry VIII's draconian method of forcing the monasteries to give up their enormous wealth.




Hailes monastery, which owned 13,000 acres and 8000 sheep, making it one of the most powerful Cistercian monasteries in the country, was a particular target for reformers.


In 1270 Edmund Earl of Cornwall, the son of its founder, had given the monastery a phial supposed to contain the blood of Christ.





According to Hugh Latimer of Worcester who had been with working with Thomas Cromwell, the king's Commissioner responsible for seeing to the  closure of monasteries, and who is reputed to have surveyed the destruction of the monastery ... he spent an afternoon in 1529 looking at the 'blood', concluding that it was nothing more than and 'unctuous gum and compound of many things'.




Once the valuables had been removed, local people took what was left. The monastery lands were disposed of in a typical manner.  First they were confiscated by the Crown and then sold to a  speculator who sold the land in lots. 





The monks were dispersed - a few managed to to secure positions as part of the parish clergy, whilst others took up posts with the cathedrals at Bristol and Gloucester.  Others returned to the laity.


Below are some of the artifacts found that would have been part of the Abbey.


Hailes Church, all that remains of Hailes village, predates the abbey and survived the Dissolution perhaps because it had been a parish church.



We did not enter the church as there was a service set to start.


Friday, January 29, 2016

What's This? (11)


This lovely fountain is in the middle of the Wellsboro Town Park.



Are you familiar with the poem about Winken, Blinken and Nod by Eugene Field?  It's a classic to read to children.

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe —
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!"
Said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.
(first stanza of four courtesy of Wikipedia)

Wynken and Blynken are visible in these two photos, but where's Nod?


Here he is hiding in the back of the shoe getting the brunt of the water spray.


I didn't record who gave this lovely fountain to the city of Wellsboro, PA but do recall it was in honor or memory of their daughter.

[I haven't posted a "What's This?" since October.]

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Birds Out My Window

These were all taken out my window that overlooks our small pond.  One of the bird feeders is there which makes it a very attractive spot.







The photos below were taken in the weeks before our big snow.






And a sad postscript.  While we were shoveling the snow both garage doors were wide open.  When I came in from working I heard something under my car and just caught sight of the movement.  I thought it was a mouse.  Later since my study shares a wall with the garage I thought I heard noises from there.  I went to check and found that a wren had come into the garage and gotten stuck to a sticky trap I'd placed in there months ago to stop mice.  All it had stopped was bugs which must have been the attraction for the wren.  It's feet were stuck fast.  I took a spatula and as gently as I could worked its feet off the sticky stuff.  The bird complained as I did this.  Finally it was released and it flew off but I don't think it was a happy ending for the wren.  All I could imagine was it being stuck then to the branch it landed on or getting its beak stuck to its feet as it tried to clear off the sticky stuff.  Wrens are too curious for their own good.  This wasn't the first time I've had a wren in the garage, but this was the first time the story ended sadly.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday's Treasures #3






When I was a child I played with these four heavy Amish figures: Papa, Mama, sister and brother.   I don't remember when I came to own them; maybe when my parents downsized to move to a retirement community in the 90s.  I also don't know how my parents came to acquire them.  

Once I owned them I started to collect more.





I'd see them in antique stores.  Some were salt and pepper containers.



Others just figures.  I have never found any like my original family of four.



Some are obviously newer than others.







These two sit on a bench.


These two are part of an ash tray.




My last three purchases are these. Larger than the others, they are banks.


I still look when I venture into an antique store but its been years since I've seen any to purchase.
Besides I don't know where I'd put them.





Monday, January 25, 2016

Staying Put for Now - Snow Update!

My neighbor lives closer to the road where our mailbox is and I know he and his husband get out and about, so this morning I emailed him to see if they knew the condition of the road.  Scott took a walk up the lane which he said had been nicely plowed and salted by another neighbor to check out the road.  Here are the photos he sent me.


From the top of the lane looking left (above) and right (below).


From across the road looking right (below)


Looking left.  The entrance to our lane is there at that small green sign.


We are going nowhere!

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