A piece a Week – The end of the summer Vacay Limoncello Wrapup

The culmination of 10 weeks of summer holidays is finally here! I cannot believe that the kids will be back at school tomorrow – yet only for a half day! Still that will grant me enough time to exercise and get the food for the week and with a bit of luck some rest?!? This week I finished a project I started earlier in the year my Limoncello that has been sitting in the dungeon since end of December!! That is crazy that it took me that long to make a sugar syrup, cool it and then bottle it for the freezer. It tastes so good and is the perfect summer cocktail addition – it has been super hot here this whole weekend, whew I need to find a pool!!
Limoncello ready for the freezer

As I had both of the kiddos booked into art camp this week I was granted 2 hours each day to do a project – I am currently working on a wrap skirt to ride my bike in but I have not had a chance to fully complete it due to the hot weekend and bike riding, a bbq and some jazz! During the week by the art school we found a passion flower vine and the kids made some super cool artwork. 
Beautiful passion flower on the vine

A passion flower embrace 

Ash was in a Graphic Novel camp and Missy did a Mummies and Pyramids camp creating art inspired by Egypt. Here is what Ash created with his a banana slug  and his adventures…

Super cool graphic novel idea inspired by the great banana slug who lives in the Redwoods

Missy’s crown with a snake

Chilling out on a Sunday afternoon with jazz at Rengstorff House at Shoreline Park we enjoyed a bike ride in the hot sun to get there! By the time we left the breeze was blowing and we enjoyed the ride back home in the cool! We saw a very talented Mo Chi Quartet and headlining on the Flugelhorn was my ceramic teachers husband John Worley and it was so good to finally see him play.

The boys at R House enjoying some jazz

A piece a Week – A Geometric top and a trip to the SF Symphony

The joy of field trips with the kiddos and this week was wonderful as we did a full school day trip to San Francisco to see the Symphony at Davies Hall. It was a splendid day though very tiring with so many kids to keep an eye on. We had all 3 classes of our 1st graders on the trip so it was extra busy! The day started off on a bus ride and then the kids made it to the line for their snack with another 300 kids from around the Bay Area – whoa chaos, yes!!
Inside Davies Hall is beautiful with the symphony at the front – I loved the lighting and the sound was just incredible. We were in the front so we got to see the musicians and the conductor way up close. The conductor was so good with the kids and the kids really enjoyed him too! 
Are you ready for the Symphony??

The SF Symphony warm up

I found this stunning watermelon radish in my CSA box this week and it is just delicious in this salad of arugula and carrot sticks with a lemon balsamic dressing. I loved the colour of the watermelon radish when I cut it and seeing how vibrant it is, it just had to be placed on a plate to look at and then devoured 🙂

Delicious watermelon radish jazzing up the plate

It was finally the weekend though it was no rest for the wicked with a Scouting event on Saturday – it was race day and the Pinewood Derby was happening. I volunteered with the decorations with some friends and we got the place looking fancy in no time. After all was settled it was time to go out for lunch and conveniently for us there was an amazing French Bakery across the road. It was serendipitous as I had read about Voyageur du Temps in the local paper that week and could not wait to try it out!  I had the Salmon Tartine with capers, french shallots and a hard boiled egg sliced on top of the salmon and slice of thick bread. With the lunch I had a dessert of a Marron Danish which was puff pastry with a chestnut creme in the centre and a roasted chestnut inside – divine! And to drink I had a Afghani Chai Tea with organic Indian tea, ginger, organic red poppy flowers, green cardamon, star anise, close, black pepper and organic spices – it was an hour well spent being happy with food!

A beautiful lunch for two – my hubby and me (he had the Salami Sandwich on a croissant)

Sunday I spent getting Meyer Lemons ready for something new – dehydrated lemons for tea over the summer time. Here they are though some may be a bit overdone. I had them in the oven on 170 degrees F for hours on end as I do not have a dehydrator – I tried them in tea and they are quite lovely hydrated again.

Lemons ready for summer

I bottled up my first batch of Limoncello as it was ready for it’s sugar syrup and as I was making up the lemons with the sugar, honey and water I used an immersion blender to squish up the lemons and oops not a good thing with squashing all the white pith into the sugar water making it a little bitter. My solution was to strain out all the white bits through a nut milk bag and hopefully getting the sweetness back – tonight I tried it and it is very lemony though not as sweet as my batch last year. Now I am trying it the Internet recipe way with Everclear Grain Alcohol and leaving the lemon zests for around 48 days – let us see how this batch turns out!

Woot 75.5% alcohol – do not drink this stuff! Though it is OK for Limoncello, apparently?!?

Sunday afternoon and the weather was still beautiful so we went on a 9 mile bike cruise with the kiddos along the bay trail. We saw lots of birds and a Great Blue Heron and its buddy the Snowy Egret on the trail. Unfortunately as we were cruising along we saw a few skeletons of birds from the land predators -bobcats, racoons and feral cats looking for easy prey.

Getting home before the sun sets!

On Friday I finally drafted my pattern for the Geometric top I have been working on – drafting and correcting with fabric is a job that requires a heck of a lot of concentration. Friday I had the time to fine tune the pattern and finally here is the top. It was certainly a bit tricky to put together but once I worked out the ‘tangrams’ with the fabric it all came together. I am looking forward to making more out of the sari fabric I have in my stash. This pattern was from the book Burda Sewing Vintage Modern – published two years ago but for me nothing but classic styles throughout. I am looking forward to making more outfits from this book.

The front with an abstract shadow

All Ready to go! 

Lovely back V of the top

A piece a Week – A Warm Hat for a Bubba and lots of cooking with Meyer Lemons

This is the last post for the year – 52 weeks of being creative and making something every week has been a challenging though worthwhile experience…

A very happy new year to you!

Finally some time to relax and catch up on spring cleaning the house in time for the New Year. That has been one heck of a job with bags of recycling and a trip to Goodwill and boxes and boxes of kids books! Finally working through my last room today – the sewing room has been a good thing with getting everything organised for the New Year. New Year and new projects! Even our garden is cleaned up after the rain and the storms of the weeks past. Amazing what you can do when free time presents itself and you are on a cleaning mission!

This week I made a hat for our friend’s little bubba – who is now 2 months old. We had a sweet time yesterday hanging out with her. This is a little wolf modeling it before we packed it in a care package of a bag with books and Recipe Sacks super easy meal kits for busy families.

A bulky knit hat for a little bubba

Time to cook fun stuff has been wonderful with the free time and a bushel of Meyer lemons a friend gave me from her tree. I made Meyer Limoncello – with the help of this super easy recipe! There will be no Limoncello until the end of January though it will be fun to see the lemons and vodka mix together in our dungeon under the stairs. And I made Meyer Lemon Sables – one of my favorite recipes for cookies! Super easy and once they are rolled they make over 80 tasty little morsels.

Limoncello – I cannot wait to taste you!

Meyer Lemon Sables in their cookie jar

Today as part of our get out of the house and away from the cleaning mode we went hiking up to Los Trancos Open Space Preserve – it was freezing and windy and super cold up there on the mountain but we persisted and warmed up (once we were out of the wind!) We did 3.8 miles over 6 km with the kiddos over terrain with elevation at the end – which can be a bit of a struggle with the kiddos complaining! The mission was to find a power stone and make it back to the car for snacks and a drink – yay!! Initially we were on a .7 mile Fault Trail running parallel with the San Andreas fault line – which made it interesting for the kiddos. We powered up for a snack and wandered down to the Franciscan trail after the Fault Trail and then visited the Lost Creek way down low. Then came the climb up – according to my phone we climbed 26 floors today!

The kids love to climb and we found this lovely little rock collection to climb at the edge of the trail and of course they climbed to the top and what did they find? A buddha hiding in amongst the rocks! What a serendipitous little find with my readings on buddha this year and life as a vegetarian practicing Qi Gong. Qi’s to you all and may 2015 be filled with peace, happiness and harmony.

Here is the buddha surrounded by rocks and moss

Mama there is a buddha in the rock… 

On the end of a frosty trail with Pinky

Again taking my iPhone camera on a mission and seeing what the pics are like – I love the camera on this phone, check out this mushroom!

Do not eat this mushroom 😦 signs were posted at the trailhead, do not take any mushrooms