Friday, August 23, 2013

A FEW RECIPES, MEETING SOME GREAT BLOGGERS & A BOOK REVIEW


As you can see, I went foraging for Chinese Lanterns this past week.  Yes, I had on my camouflage outfit so my neighbor wouldn't see me (although actually, I think that the ones that have grown under the fence into my yard are rightfully mine).  I opened up a few of the riper ones and sure enough, there is a little tomatillo inside (please don't eat these until you have researched them), and yes, there are seeds in the tomatillo, just like in a tomato.  So I squeezed these out and had them drying on a paper plate and lo and behold, someone tossed them.  I guess I need to label my little scientific experiments!  Well, there are plenty more.  And these, above, I'm drying for fall decorations.

Once the rosemary has cooled, chop each half cup up finely and combine it with 1 cup of kosher salt.  Mix well.  You will see that some of the olive oil mixes in with the salt so you get a really nice flavor throughout.
I had the wonderful opportunity to meet two fantastic bloggers yesterday.  First, it just seems that in the 4 years I've been blogging, the number of bloggers in my area, in and around Chicago, has just multiplied.  I find that I want to take things one step further as I get to know a blogger of like mindedness.  I have a handful of ladies that I carry on "conversations" with through emails, and a lovely, smart and just a treasure of a person to me that I  poured my heart out to on the phone recently (you know who you are, sweet friend).  And this is so new to me.  I've always considered myself shy and socially awkward, (aka, S.A.)  Not that I'm a wallflower, I just have to really force myself to be open with strangers.  But I never feel that way with the bloggers I meet.  Yes, a little nervousness, but then we have that common thread of being in the blogging world and everything else falls to the wayside.  That's how I felt when I visited with Kris and Anne at Kris's home.  Daughter Emily also came along...she was the navigator as she attended school and received her bachelor's degree in interior design in this area, and I knew she would appreciate seeing Kris's beautifully decorated home and maybe, just maybe, we could entice her into starting a blog!!  Anyyyyyway, we were greeted by Kris's cutie pie of a dog, Libby.  She is the most beautiful Basset Hound I have ever come across.  It was love, for all of us, at first sight!
After a tour of Kris's house (and I am being a sly fox by making you go to her blog to see pictures of it and hopefully follow her, she's a doll and you're going to fall in love with her home!), we drove to Tattered Tiques, a shop that specializes in shabby, cottage, farmhouse and industrial decor.  These are just a few pics I took.  I've never been to a place that carries the much revered Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, and since I have only painted three pieces of furniture in my life (with three awaiting my magical touch), I just couldn't buy any.  Leave it for the talented and curious.  I did pick up some of the wax to use and a few other things that I will share later.
Back at Kris's...she spread out a wonderful lunch in her charming dining room.  Bacon and broccoli quiche, a bowl of fresh fruit and a basket of blueberry muffins.  Everything was delicious and we ate and talked and laughed and talked more.  Then she served a delectable fruit tart and afterwards gave us little favor bags she made and decorated with tissue flowers.  They were filled with candy, a flowery pen wrapped in ribbon, a mini chalkboard and a few things I know I'm missing!  Thanks so much, Kris!  And I can't forget to mention that Anne from White Lace Cottage was just such a sweet gal...pretty, talented (visit her blog) and a rising star in the blog world with her shabby chic/vintage sense of style.  She's starting a shop soon!

Back to real life.   I finally opened up a book the other night after 2 months of reading magazines.  Do you do that?  Read magazines when you are exhausted and know that you can't give a book the proper attention?  And as Claudia (Mockingbird Hill Cottage) and I have ruminated on, sometimes it's hard to let go of an exceptional story line and endearing characters that you want to keep alive for while, and  move on to a new story, new people.  So I chose to read a book in my library called The Husbands's Secret.   This is also on my sidebar for your reference.  The overview starts out catchy (much more catchy than the somewhat lame title):

My darling Cecilia, if you're reading this, then I've died...

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter to be opened after his death...the letter contains his deepest darkest secret-something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well.  And you discover this letter while your husband is very much alive.  Three women; Cecilia, Tess and Rachel do not know each other, but they are about to feel the earth shattering repercussions of the husband's secret.

As one well known writer wrote, "In The Husband's Secret, Liane Moriarity has created a contemporary Pandora, whose dilemma is spellbinding.  Shocking, complex and thought provoking...a knockout!"

I agree with this review totally... there was nothing frivolous or redundant about this novel.  I'm excited to read more by this talented Australian author, who is fast becoming popular in the States.

So, that's what I have.  I am trying to work on a post for the feature on Susan's blog next Saturday that involves the blogger behind the blog, as in Jane behind Blondie's Journal.  What more can I share?  Writing comes easily (unlike the problem of the S.A.), so I have been pretty much  an open book.  At the risk of sounding vain...are there any questions you might have for me?  Something you might want to know that I might possibly have never brought up before? Do you want to hear deep dark secrets? I looked at some old pictures that I thought I would scan and I exclaimed to The Husband several times, "These pictures are just not telling the story of my life!"  So, if you'd like to give me some prompts, let me know.  I have just a few days to write it.

Sorry, sorry, sorry for such a long post.  I hope most of you skip over the parts you are not so interested in.  When I'm free of S.A., I tend to drone on.  Maybe the S.A. is not so bad after all! :)

XO,
Jane

50 comments:

Julie Marie said...

Hi Janie... another great post... love your Rosemary salts and oils... yummy!... and so happy you got to meet some fellow bloggers... I always dream about doing that... but I don't know any that live around me?... like you, I am still often that shy, quiet little girl that was pretty much a loner growing up, other than my sister Jill (Still my best friend)... but when I am blogging, I feel like I have so many beautiful friends, like you!... and it's so much fun to share our ideas, recipes, etc... I would love to hear more about you as a little girl... where you lived, what you did, all about how you grew up to be the beautiful lady you are today... remember my favorite saying on the side of my blog "you aren't just the age you are, you are all the ages you ever have been"... tell us more about all the ages you ever have been... love you!... xoxo Julie Marie

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

Hello Jane,
Sounds y'all had one fun day (maybe I should up and move north). I'm sure that your daughter would have fun writing a blog (keep pushing).

Blessings,
Linda

podso said...

I hear you Jane. I have also been sluggish in visiting blogs. Life has just been busy and other things have taken my attention. I tell you I am so impressed with your cooking, every time you mention it. Thanks for the tutorial this time!

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

Jane - I just worked my way through all of that authors books after reading and liking Husband's Secret. My favorite was The Last Anniversary. I love to discover a new author :-)

Doreen@househoneys said...

Wonderful post Jane, and I did not skip any of it as you suggested we should at the end ;).

My grandmother used to make that rosemary salt many years ago...she's been gone since 1987. Gosh...why is it the older I get the more I miss her?! I should make some.

How wonderful you got to meet some blog friends! You all look so pretty and happy together!

Stacey said...

Jane, I'm so jealous that y'all got to have lunch together. It sounds like so much fun. The food looks like it was delicious and I love all the little gifts that went back and forth. Tattered Tiques sounds like the most wonderful place too!

I really would like to try the rosemary salt. Rosemary is one of my favorites. Wouldn't that be delicious on roasted chicken?

gfhenexson@gmail.com said...

I always enjoy your posts Jane and will admit I'm bad about visiting my blogging friends too. Just need a few more hours in the day. Also loved your how-to on the Rosemary Salt. I'll definitely try that one. Then, I was having a little bit of blogger envy because I can only imagine how neat it would be to hang out with you for an afternoon. Great Post! Loved every Word!
Blessing!
Geneva

Kathy Moreland said...

Those salts and oils look wonderful! I've yet to meet other bloggers, although several live fairly close. I think that would be lots of fun! Great picture of all of you! Sounds like a fun day, and the food looks delish!! Have a great weekend!

Junkchiccottage said...

Hello Jane,
Thanks so much for the nice shout out on your blog about our get together. I had such a great time meeting you and your daughter. She is super sweet like her mom. I did a little shout out on my blog too about your sweet and generous gifts to me. We need to meet up again soon.
Kris

koralee said...

Oh my how I love rosemary!!! I am going to try your salt. I think it would be amazing. I have a huge plant right outside my door. xox

Phyllis @Around the House said...

What a fun day you must have had, love some of the things you showed us...love looking at the vintage finds...The food looked so delish it was hard to get past all of it to go on to the book...Loved the post, I will have to check out this book...Phyllis

Melanie said...

I loved this post, Jane...you are such a good writer! Your warm personality comes through your writing. It's late and I want to comment on everything but I probably forgot most of it already (should be going to bed)...what a fabulous idea with the rosemary salts. I'm not much of a rosemary fan though, so I might try this with some other herb. Hmm. Or I might just try it with the rosemary anyway - it's just too cool of an idea to pass up. Glad you had such a wonderful time with Kris and Anne! The lunch Kris prepared looks so good. I love those blue Ball jars; I have 3 of them but I found mine at thrift stores. :-)

The book you're reading sounds wonderful. Like you, I just haven't been able to get into any books lately. I find that nothing is keeping my attention. I've been reading magazines instead. Goodnight! xoxo

NanaDiana said...

Jane- I just KNEW you girls were going to have a good time. I am SOOO jealous!!!! I would have loved to see that fun shop and Kris's house up close.
That books sounds wonderful and I always hesitate to start a book when I know that I am so busy it will take me too long to read it OR I will stay up all night to finish it.
Hope you have a great weekend- xo Diana

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

I love seeing the Rosemary salts Jane!
And I am happy you got to meet some more bloggy friends, what a fun time you all had.
I am so looking forward to our get together.
Funny I have never thought of you as socially awkward at all.
Just warm, friendly and sweet!
Hugs friend,
Cindy

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family said...

Hi Jane!
What a fun filled post!
I have only met one blogger friend, and one blog cookbook author in person, but this past week I spoke to Joy,(another MidWest girl), from savvycityfarmer on the phone to coordinate the purchase of a Christmas gift i spied on her site for Jay!

I sometimes feel bad because I fall behind with comments and correspondence because of work and family. I cherish the qualities of my blog buddies, as they are dear, gracious and forgiving!

Blog friends bring an extra layer of love, motivation and support to the day!

Thank you for the Rosemary recipes, and also the pepper recipe you shared in your last post!
The best of blessings to all of the "B's"
w/L.

It's me said...

What a great post...yammie food...good book...and i am in love with that basket full of mason jars !!!...love from me ...Ria...x !

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Sounds like you're having a busy summer Jane! Lovin' the rosemary salt, I have a huge plant in the yard:@)

Lulu said...

Good morning, Jane! Your post is my introduction to the day, and what a great way to start it off. Like you, I don't know where the days go but they are always full meaning I often don't get around to the blog world which can mean spending more time at the computer than I'd like. My daughter (LLH) just sent me a list of the characteristics of an introvert. One is using words as a way of communicating. I can't wait to see how you use them to let us get to know you a little better.

Sherry @ Thrift My House said...

Jane, you are so sweet and I'm glad you got to visit with Kris, what a treat for both of you. The Rosemary salts are beautiful in the bottles, a great idea. I understand getting behind, I've posted 2-3 times all summer, with my kids out school, they have kept me busy. I hope to catch up soon. Hope you have a great Saturday!

Laurie said...

great post! I always enjoy each of your posts, You are so lucky to meet fellow bloggers, thats a real treat, the rosemary salt looks wonderful, and the oil.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

That quiche looks delicious / Now I am craving one! :)

Susie said...

Jane, When I read on Kris' site that she was meeting up with you, Emily , and Anne...gosh I was envious :):) All of you are very pretty. I know you had a wonderful time. I have recently started following Kris....my goodness that girl can decorate !! She wrote of all the sweet gifts exchanged. So happy you had a great time. Enjoy your weekend. xoxo,Susie

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

That rosemary salt looks so good! I love flavored salts/oils, etc. I actually have a rosemary plant on the patio and I need to start cooking with it. Sounds like you had a wonderful visit with some great bloggers. What a cute pup too!!

Low Tide High Style said...

Such a great, action packed post as always! Glad you got a chance to meet up with some other amazing women/bloggers, and those lucky enough to know you outside of your blog are truly fortunate! One of these days I will get to Chi'town and you can reveal those deep dark secrets! ;-)

xo Kat

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

You had me at rosemary. Such fun to meet up with fellow bloggers too. Haven't done that in a long time. Always fun to come by and see what you've been up to.

20 North Ora said...

I am so glad you had such a fun day with the girls! Wish I could have been there. When I met Paula in Alaska, it was only for a short while but I felt like I had known her forever. That's what blogging friends are like I guess!

Judy

Theresa said...

I am certainly never ever bored with what you have to say:) I love meeting blogger friends:) They know all about us and love us anyway! I enjoyed watching you make the rosemary salt, YUM! Have a blessed weekend dear Jane, HUGS!

Vel Criste said...

You've certainly been busy Jane and what fun to meet other bloggers!!!! That quiche looked really yum! I can also smell the aroma of your concoction dear, and I have to make me some once my kitchen is done! Anyway, enjoy your weekend dear! :-)

Brenda Kula said...

I've been hearing about that book. Maybe I should introduce it to the book club. I'm so glad you got to meet more bloggers. I like both their blogs. Let's see...questions for you. How did you meet your husband and how long have you been married? Just curious. Oh, and if it's not too painful, I'd like to know about the photo of the woman on your sidebar I've been seeing for so long.
Brenda

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Jane, I am laughing because you have covered so many of the topics that I wanted to in my posts, but can't remember to when I sit down....

I feel so far behind in commenting, and I only post 3 times a week now, and that's a struggle.

GOOGLE +, you have put that so perfectly...please bloggers put your blog address on your profile!! Those of us who would like to return comments on your blog can't get to it.

Rosemary salt, going out to find some rosemary right now...that looks delish.

The book, it must be good, snuck over to the library site while reading your post, and lo and behold, I am now #53 in line.

Thanks for the great review.

Jen

Traci said...

I know exactly what you mean. I used to have a lot of "spare" time at my old job & I would read blogs. That's not the case with my new job & I find myself constantly behind. I'm trying to catch up today. So fun that you got to meet some bloggers & the food looks delish. That book sounds soooo good! I'm going online now to see if my library has it.

Sarah said...

Jane, glad you've had the opportunity to meet up with other bloggers. Looks like you girls had a grand time together. The book sounds like a good read. Thanks for the heads up. I recently finished two great books, but admit my reading had taken a try spell too.
I look forward to the upcoming post "All About Jane."

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Hello, Jane! I love your post, but your posts are always a pleasure to read. THe rosemary salt looks wonderful. Thanks for walking us through the process!

Super book review, and I'm headed over to Goodreads to read more about it right now.

xo,
RJ

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Oh, and by the way my blog friend Ellen just posted about this book and linked-up to my Literary Friday post. It must be fantastic!!!

Linda said...

I always read your every single word! SO looking forward to reading that post. We are all so much more than we think we are! Everyone has a story. Just tell yours.

Thank you so much for the rosemary salt and infused olive oil! I am going to start looking for bottles and make these for Christmas gifts! THANK YOU, again!!

Kit said...

What a lovely get-together! Nope, no questions for you. I like you just the way you are. :) Great idea about the Rosemary salt. :) Kit

April said...

Hi, Jane...never any reason to apologize for not visiting my blog. Time has a way of getting away from you...I know how it is! I just always enjoy reading your posts...they're always filled with so much "good" stuff! I can hardly take it all in!

Claudia said...

Sounds like a wonderful book, Jane! I love reading your posts, so full of wonderful news and thoughts. I'm glad you had that meet-up with other bloggers. It's so nice to meet the person behind the blog, isn't it?
xoxo
Claudia

Sue (Someones Mom) said...

I am never bored reading what you write. I'm so glad you had a good time! The food looks wonderful and I am sure the company was too.

I bought Meyer Lemon olive oil in Michigan and we are loving it. I drizzle it over veggie before roasting and then drizzle balsamic vinegar on them before serving. Yummy. I think the rosemary would work well for that too.

The book looks good. When I'm tired or overwhelmed, I can't read. When I'm not...I read book after book non-stop. I haven't read much this summer!

Carol said...

I loved this post, Jane! It was so full of wonderfulness -- meeting sweet friends, thrifting, food -- couldn't get much better. I love gathering homemade food gift ideas, and your Rosemary Salt & Oil sound like perfect candidates. Now I have to go check out those lovely ladies' blogs!

June said...

I bet you guys had a blast spending time together Jane. I love the photo of you! Your rosemary salt is a 'must try' because it sounds so good.

as far as visiting blogs...I have been the very worst at this for over a year. It just seems like the days aren't long enough for all the things I need to do.
sending big hugs...

Maria Elena said...

Hi, Jane! Another great post! Fabulous idea with the rosemary salts. How wonderful you got to meet some fellow bloggers! Looks like you guys had a great time! Enjoy your day!

Jacqueline said...

The rosemary salt looks fabulous. We made one like this when we were at the pizza oven cooking school in Tuscany. Mine is getting a little old so I should make a fresh batch while I still have the rosemary growing. I can't imagine how wonderful the house smelled.

How fun to meet the bloggers and go out. I need to do that. I have only met one and it was soooo fun to see the person behind the blog

You will do a great post. You are always so fun and informative and doing so much!

bj said...

Yay...so glad you had such a great time...
Rosemary salts and oils sound amazing.
I haven't done a lot of cooking lately as some of my stuff is here and some at the new house.
Once I get a little strength back, we will be moving soon.
Love, bj

Moore Minutes said...

I want to be at that lunch! Looks very special and yummy. <3

But!! I am SO intrigued with the rosemary salt. What a unique idea to share! I loved reading about it.

AshTreeCottage said...

Loved catching up with you! It's been so long since I have had the chance to do any blog reading. I am so sad that I could not make the BlogHer convention in Chicago. I was so looking forward to it, but the move to Texas has consumed my whole summer. I am dying for some fries to try your rosemary salt recipe. Sounds delightful! Have a great Labor Day weekend.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Chatelaine said...

What a fun trip you had with your daughter. I only had a blogger meetup once but I really enjoyed it!

I am an avid magazine reader much more so than books. I think I just don't sit still long enough to read a book. I have seen some books I would like to read and Fall is a great time to curl up with a book. Hmmm!

Rita C. said...

Oh my goodness, Jane! NOW I am connecting the dots - you're one of the friends Kris recently hosted at her home! I've been following Kris since I started blogging in January, and she's been so helpful! I look forward to getting to know more of your style - I'm your latest follower! I hope you'll stop by sometime and visit me too, and follow if you're so inclined. Have a great weekend!
Best, Rita
http://wvpanoply.blogspot.com

Scribbler said...

This is a great book -- I featured it on my blog, too. It was one of those I kept thinking about (and still am) long after I finished it.

I am going to try your idea for the rosemary salt -- we have a bush that has taken over in one of the front gardens.

Pondside said...

That salt looks soooo good Jane! I will have to try it, as I have three Rosemary plants in my herb garden (who need three?!)
Now I'm on my way to follow your links to see your friend's blog.