Summer love

Fresh mint/green tea.

And this one running around in the garden. Life is good.

In the fifties

Who wouldn't love to have a cherry red dress like this? This is from an old sewing book I've inherited from my grandmother. I don't know exactly how old it is, but I'm guessing the mid fifties. And this is from the introduction:

"As a woman, you can hardly find any better way to express your intelligence and personality..."

(Loosely translated by me.) And this one sentence kind of sums it all up. Thankfully most women have found both more and better ways to express their intelligence since then ;) Not that I don't love sewing, I do. And I love this book. Sadly the patterns are all gone, but the illustrations are wonderful. Maybe one day - when my sewing experience and knowledge has increased quite a bit - I'll try to make something inspired by these. I love dresses, but a cocktail cherry red one like the one above may be a bit bold... And when to wear it? And with the gloves and all (are these called gloves in english?). I don't have too many invitations for dinner parties and cocktail hours and proms laying around these days ;)

One of the other books I inherited was a fifties cookbook. With stains and all. So much history and memories in there. Even the smell of the book - it smells like my grandmothers house.

Lots of fifties moral, etiquette and facts in here as well. And several chapters about arranging dinner parties and what is appropriate and whats not - how to set the table, how to serve somebody - always remember to hold the coffeepot with a small napkin in your right hand... With 20 photos to illustrate the most important things to remember, how to behave and where the hostess should sit or be at all times, what to wear (a neat little black dress with a white apron for the help/waitress of course), one whole chapter about folding napkins, - and did you know that the average housewife handles about 150 items in the kitchen each day? Yeah, right! ;)

Smorgosbord for lunch... And maybe one of these cakes for dessert? (This is from yet another book - The Big Norwegian Cake Book - (yey!) it's from the eighties.


Life in the garden

Not much happening here at the moment. And that's because LOTS of things are happening in our lives - so there hasn't been much time to spend in front of the computer. More about that later - and maybe some photos as well.

Summer is here. And it's HOT (unusually hot, +30 degrees Celsius) and it's dry and it's clear blue sky... It's wonderful. Most of our time is spent in the garden; digging, planting, weeding, mulching, watering. Lots of construction/carpenter type of work going on as well - a shed for our rabbits (arriving in a couple of weeks or so), a chicken shed is going up, the terrace is being rebuilt, our daughters playhouse/cottage needs to be painted and decorated. We're already finished painting the walls inside - the color was her own choice - purple like lilacs. I'm so glad she didn't want pink...

We don't have much vegetables this year - the vegetable plot has been marked out and is ready to be milled/harrowed and mulched. We're hoping for some help from one of our neighbors who owns a tractor. It would have been fun to use a horse and manual labor though but... We don't own a horse (yet) and tractors are kinda convenient ;) Next year will be our first when it comes to growing vegetables on a larger scale. This year it is just some carrots, a couple of tomato plants, sugar peas and quite a lot of black currants, red currants, rhubarb and lots of herbs. I still have a pumpkin plant in a pot in the windowsill, but I don't know where to put it... Oh, all the things growing, buzzing and singing...

OK, just one more thing and I'll shut up about the garden. My latest purchase - black chokeberry. I have looked for it for awhile and found it yesterday. Black chokeberries (aronia or Aronia melanocarpa) has has small, white flowers in the spring - dark green and shiny leaves - striking color foliage in autumn - and gets lots of black berries . And these berries are one of the most potent source of antioxidant you will ever find! Although they don't taste very good raw - they're wonderful for making wine or jam.

And what about lemon verbena... Yes, what about it... It's just so lovable! I got one last year, but it didn't survive the winter. So I just had to buy another one - I just fell completely in love with it. And my lemon balm didn't survive either - so I'll have to get another one....

And willow has been planted - a living tipi in the play area! Photos are coming soon - but they are still very small (the willow that is...)

I'll have to stop now - plants need watering and me needs sleeping :)

Whats for dinner?

Stinging nettle soup!

And for dessert?

Rhubarb soup.