Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Mish Mash


Today I will blog about an ecclectic mix of stuff...
Last year I had enough of my neighbors complaining that my blackberry bush was srcatching their cars ( In my humble opinion they just had to drive more to the other side to avoid such incidents). It was not like the bush was keying their cars (?%$!"/$%)! So I gave said bush a MEGA trim last fall, so big was the trim that i was sure I would'nt have much of a blackberry harvest...Well SURPRISE! I have a bumper crop, I gathered at least 12 cups of those little nuggets of flavor, some jam will be made shortly, but for now they all went in the deep freeze. First pic is my hand stained with blackberry juice- all out of focus thank you very much! lol

Second pic : Those same neighbors have a statue of a little boy sitting on the patio. The strange thing is that it is a statue of a little black boy painted to look like a little white boy.... An attempt at humour? I doubt that very much...I'll have to investigate!
When I moved to the suburbs I found their lawn ornements real weird... One could see at lot of little black boys fishing, black jokeys carrying lanterns, mexicans pulling donkeys and tons of virgin marys in half baths just like a grotto....

Now we are being gentrified...housing prices are going up and people are jonesing to keep up with the jones....add to that the politically correctness wave...Most of those ornements are gone! Yet some people find it perfectly ok to underpay and abuse the migrant workers that come to pick our crops (Go figure!)
Last pic: I had never seen such a funky looking caterpillar so I just had to take a picture!
Tonite I'm making an Indian meal, tandoori tofu,curry lentil, paneer with spinach and basmati rice. First attempt at tandoori tofu, I'll keep you posted.
I'm also taking a keyboard fingering course (I had to translate doigté de clavier so I'm guessing) to help me type better and not injure myself....
Have a great weekend all! :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

All thrifted out....



Is there such a thing as being all thrifted out??? I don't think so!
I went to Montreal to visit my friend Celine (not Celine Dion). She knows that I don't have all the thrifting ressources possible since I don't live in Montreal anymore. So the girls, they went-a-thrifting!
That is actually a real bad pic! Out of focus, with Bob taking a bath...
We hit Le Chainon,Value Village,Fripeprix renaissance, Salvation army,a little funky Green shop and a garage sale (on a Tuesday?). We wanted to see more but one was closed for vacation and the church bazzar was held Mon,Wed and Fri...
This morning I feel 85 with arthritis! My calves are burning and I can barely bend my feet! But I digress.
I found 3 Corelle saucers for the cats, a relish(?) dish , a brand new soy candle christmasy scent , a paperback , a silk scarf leopard print, a vintage tablecloth (really cute) and a funky retro vase. And all for under 12$. COOL!
A note on the vase: It came from the really strange tuesday garage sale...I was looking at their stuff and spotted the vase (really dirty vase), I was looking for the price, when a woman whispered in my ear 'pas cher'- not expensive. She scared me so much I nearly dropped the vase! And she really,really smelled of booze in the middleo the afternoon. I bought the vase and went one my merry way. I hope her hangover is mild this morning.
My friend Celine (not Celine Dion) gave me a really nice Pyrex for my collection, the snack server. Her mother would use it to serve peas and potatoes. She says it had a rack (long lost) but I was not the usual snack server rack, it was in black iron with handles on the side....interesting
Well I hear thrifting calling! I.E: the church basement...see you later alligator

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Pigeon


This is one of the earliest thrifted items I remember...Let's see, July 1976 Ogunquit Maine a porch sale....
I was 11, the sun was shinning, the air had that brinny sea quality....I was happy, nothing could go wrong. Nothing went wrong that day either. I remember my Dad climbing the porch stairs to look at the merchandise, I was busy staring at the porch ceiling which was the loveliest shade of blue, just like the sky only paler...
First thing I knew the pigeon was ours. I think Dad paid 3$. It had damage, the tail was broken as was a twig from the nest. My Mom fixed it with a glue that turned yellow (ugh!) it looked awful. But that didn't stop me from staring at it for hours, I loved the color and the intricate nest, it looked so fragile, but had survived for such a long time!
Dad left but the pigeon stayed with it's ugly repair. When it was time for Mom to sell the house, I managed to 'steal' the pigeon and give it a new home. Mom didn't want me to take anything from the house, my aunt convinced her otherwise but I only was able to take some trinkets. Everything went to charity. Sometimes I feel sad because of all the treasures that were lost. I sure hope that they made people happy!
Anyways I soaked the pigeon in hot water, was able to remove the glue, and repaired it with crazy glue. Now it looks so much better 33 years later! I also found out that it was made by Westmoreland. I love the blue milkglass pigeon!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cream of lettuce and poached salmon


Did I ever mention that I grocery shop via the internet? And that the supermarket gives us free products when we spend a certain amount of money? Well Friday morning after I received my groceries I found out I had 2 FREE iceberg lettuce-ugh! I'm not a big fan of iceberg, to me it's a big ball of crunchy nothing!
I hate to waste food...so I had to find a recipe! FAST! Of course I went surfing....I found this french recipe Creme de laitue http://www.soupsong.com/rlettuc1.html
Of course I fiddled with it! I did not have romaine, I forgot the watercress, and I skipped the cream and the 2 egg yolks-I don't need anymore fat! LOL! And I threw in some tired green onions. Oh I'm forgetting about the potatoes! I had some boiled potatoes lying around in the fridge so I threw them in!!! DELICIOUS! That was a mighty tasty soup!
I wanted to eat salmon, but didn't want to roast it in the oven because it was so hot and muggy so I turned to thie recipe Poached Salmon with Green Goddess sauce. http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/poached-salmon-with-green-goddess-dressing
I cooked the salmon as per the directions but fiddled with the sauce! LOL. I put less parsley,more tarragon and no fresh garlic, I used a bit of garlic powder maybe 1/2 a teaspoon. This was sooo good! I swear I could slather that sauce on everything!
And the salmon was even better cold the next day! No I didn't take a pic of that...I was too busy stuffing my face! And I served it my green beans from the garden....YUM!
The big garage sale was a total bust....nothing vintage and what they had was way too expensive! The Salvation Army was not better. Dan pointed a vase and said: We have a vase just like that! And I answered: Not anymore... It's our vase! that was hilarious!

Friday, July 24, 2009

OOOoooh! Beans


Even if I chek everyday (I swear I do!!!) I was quite surprised to find these tresures waiting for me! It 's always a big deal when I get my first fresh beans.

These might be my all time fave veg, when cooked perfectly they are tender and have a little fuzz on them...But I find this only in my garden grown beans. And what a coincidence that I go in the garden with this Pyrex red bowl! I like the colors of this pic the green beans, the red bowl, the redwood patio and the textures too.
When I first started this blog/pic/etsy thing I never thought I would enjoy taking pictures so much-some are good, some are really good, some are bad....but it's trial and error like all things in life! I've had a really good week mentally, all the pieces seem to fit togheter and I'm in the zone. OooooH baby I love the zone! Where I can do no wrong...Where everything I try seems easy....and everything is fun and new


Speaking of fun....Here are some pics of the cool stuff I found in my beloved church basement!



The Pana-Vue reminds me of my childhood...Dad was definitely a slide man! He had boxes and boxes of them and every one in a while we would put on a show (a big classic in the 60's)
The cute cups are minty fresh and I don't think the ones with the pear were even used once! Cool!!!
I hope the rain stays away for 2morrow coz' we'll be visiting a big garage sale and the Salvation Army (to donate as well as shop....) Oh the possibilities.....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Harvest



Oh well...As you know the temperature here has been less than ideal (Now isn't that just sooo PC?Politicaly correct and not President's Choice!) and the vegetable garden is suffering sun defficiency.
I was able to harvest these sweet peas yesterday afternoon and first thing I knew I ate them all just like a good ol' vaccum cleaner!!!
I saw some cherry tomatoes (small and green but present nevertheless) the peppers are in bloom (Get this, all the markers I put to identify the peppers have no name anymore so it will be the Russian pepper roulette!). If I remember correctly I have pepperoncinis,sweet pickles (yes it's a pepper), ancho and another one....
LOL! Silly rabbit! I highly entertain myself!
I have been eating Boston and red lettuces as well as arugula....But I'm not optimistic about the cukes! Those just might be a fantasy!
I'm psyched before Wednesday is church basement day and I feel some treasures....
Look at that darling second picture! It Yoda the little angel princess taking her afternoon nap! ADORABLE!!! I could just nibble her little paws...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

O'Greatness....





Today I made the Seitan recipe O' Greatness.
Very easy to do! First pic the dry ingredients,second the wet ones.
Third you mix everything and mold it into a log and roll it in foil (fourth pic).
You then proceed to shove it into the oven.
After 90 min it was done- it had to cool before I tasted it. But I couldn't wait! It's tasty, but if you're a meat eater it's different allright....but it is growing on me!


Of course I forgot to take a picture of the finished product!!!
Now I'll be looking for some recipes to use it in. I remember tasting a seitan 'meat' pie and I feel it could be spot on in a stew....I am glad I tried this recipe, it was WAY cool.
I still have to try to make vegan italian sausages and maybe vegan lunch meat! I'll keep you posted!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Scavenging (again!)


Do you remember that pale blue-green dresser from the July 7th post?
http://vonlipisfavorites.blogspot.com/2009/07/farm-fresh.html
Well the dresser is still there! After 2 big garbage day (imagine that!). So I decided that this morning I would go over and remove the handles, I love those handles. So I left home with a screwdriver in my handbag and a big smile on my face!
I took pics so you can look at them! Aren't they cute?
On another subject...I've been a bit tired of cooking always the same 2 or 3 tofu recipes. I love meat but I recognize that I can cut down...and after last week's tv show on poultry (I can't find the name of the show), I've been more than willing to experiment with other recipes vegeterian wise....The bloggyland is full of vegan blogs and I found this one pretty entertaining in a rauncgy kind of way! http://yeahthatveganshit.blogspot.com/
One of the recipes I found really intriguing was
The Infamous Seitan Recipe o' Greatness
So I found the ingredients and will be doing the O'Greatness experiment tomorrow, It seems it's the bestest seitan recipe around...We'll see!
I found recipes for fake sausages also...but that is for another post!

Here are the main ingredients: vital gluten flour and nutritional yeast.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Giveaway winners!!!




The draw was supervised by Boubou the lovely and lazy cat....The draw was random (with 3 comments, I put number on itsy bitsy pieces of paper in a Pyrex bowl and drew 2) And the winners are.....Drumroll pleaaaassseee!
Comments no 1 and 3 win a small red 501 Pyrex fridgie with lid.
Congratulations!!! Please write me at valerie.barbeau@gmail.com to give me your coordonnates!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Adventures in scavenging....


Yesterday was another big garbage day, so I grabbed my trusty buggy and went hunting!
The pickins were slim! Most of the folks had thrown away their stuff last week...There was a lot of butt ugly wall to wall carpet!
A note on last week's big trash: My neighbors had incredibly UGLY furniture! No wonder they were throwing it away!
How long does it take to break down melamine? Everybody goes on and on about plastic bags...but the melamine-Think about it! Press wood full of chemicals and plastic coating....Hum! Anyways I came across this super retro vintage lawn chair...It was so heavy-thank god for the buggy!
I haven't tried it yet...I'll keep you posted!
You still have time to leave a comment on the giveaway post! The draw is tomorrow! So far it has been a really humbling experience...either my blog is even less popular that I thought or everyone has a red fridgie ( I love that new to me word. fridgie! so happy!)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's a miracle!!!



I went downtown Montreal yeserday afternoon (to dine with girlfriends) and I so had to stop at my fave Salvation Army...I was pushing my cart,thinking that the client's profile had changed (not so much the old weird guys, but a lot of families-with kids, that is sad) when a shape caught my eyes...Could it be????
OMG,OMG,OMG,OMG,OMG!!!! A pink refrigerator dish with the old lid!!!! OMG,OMG,OMG!!! IT'S MINE, MINE,MINE ALL MINE YOU HEAR? GODDAMMIT GET AWAY FROM ME!!!!
Of course I took it! I've been looking for one 4EVER! 2 years ago my Dad wanted to buy the set for me, but I actually said no....Can you believe that? It thought the price was WAY too steep!
And I found other cool stuff too, but the best part was that when I came up to the cash the cashier looked at the pink Pyrex and had this disgusted look (like I can't believe they want me to charge 4.99 for that piece of crapola!!!) and charge me .99 cents for it! SCORE!!!!!
I also found the Women's day encyclopedia of Cookery (vol 1 & 2) and assorted knick knacks! And on top of it all I got to meet my friends and laugh like a crazed hyena and eat at a restaurant and be on my own in the big city....The restaurant we went to is called Les 3 Brasseurs (the 3 Brewers). They make delicious beer on the premises! But the food makes me wonder why a chain from Belgium (definitely known for their incredible fries) is serving frozen fries, and pre-molded meat patties in the burgers....
Guess what? It's rainning again!!! A fine little rain, like you see by the seashore....
I don't know what I'll do today except a health walk to the farm stand to get some field raspberries while it's still time!
Don't forget to leave a comment on the giveaway post if you want to be included in the draw! If you have a ton of those cute little dishes, I appreciate your visit and your comment all the same!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Toaster

Well not really new....But never been used! Not vintage either....

My Dad gave it to me one Xmas maybe 4 years ago...And it so did not go with my kitchen then...But now with the kitchen all spruced up...It was the perfect time to take it out of storage!

Isn't it delicious???? You need to have a BIG personality to pull off that toaster...Yesssss siree bob!


It is really cute with the white cupboards and dark grey counter tops and the pale green walls....YUM! I'll have another slice!

So I cleaned the older one (I actually removed a cup of crumbs from the other one...Which is a testament to how I'm no suzie homemaker!) and I'll put it in storage...with the other 2 toasters...I Just realized I have 4 toasters in the house!

I have a chrome vintage one from my mother in law (kinda roundish) it works but I need to find someone who would give it a tune up....I have the one my mother gave me when I took my first appartement ( a chrome one with 2 doors, that you have to uplug after every toast) the crumbmeister ( a TFal one, not vintage at all) and the pink one (that came from Montreal's Museum of Fine Arts).

A note on my first toaster, this is truly a confession....I was very OCD-ish in my childhood and into my 20's (was never treated, I kept my rituals to myself) and after toasting my bread I unplugged the toaster. I got ready for work, left for work and would start FREAKING OUT, that the toaster was still plugged in and would catch fire and would burn everything to the ground!!!

So I would run back home (a block or more) run into the apartement to find that the toaster was in fact unplugged. Leave again, check 10 times if the door was locked and arrive to work late.


Come to think of it I should have put the toaster cord in my hadbag..so I would know for sure that it was unplugged!!!

I had a ritual for the alarm clock, the kleenex under my pillow, the front door, the toaster. They all went away eventually all by themselves (Thank God) as I got older and more confident. I guess I channeled my craziness somewhere else!




On to other subjects! I took a pic of my new flag, which goes perfectly with my seaside love.

I got it near Portsmouth NH. We installed the pole last Sunday (the pole I've had quite a while but I only have a winter flag..)

Everytime I look at it, it makes me smile and think : This is my home, this is where I belong.

I went to the church basement this morning and the pickings were slim! I found one pair of vintage pillowcases and a really cute hanky!
They have new volonteers at the church basement and I'm not too crazy about her, she looks at me suspiciously...and she charges too much! LOL

Until next time....Keep thrifting! :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rain,rain



videoOMG!!! It's still raining! The Weather network just forcasted overcast skies....SIGH! I go to the veggie patch and worry because the only thing growing is the lettuce and the arugula. We had some ants in the house Sunday, but now that I,m on official antwatch, I can't find any....We had some hail yesterday and that caused quite a panic in the feline population!

Belive it or not one of Dan's co-worker asked if I could give her some brown eyed susans and Alaska daisies! I could only laugh! I hope she has a big border! I'm kind of disoriented ,because the rain keeps me from working outside, so I'm scrambling for some things to do...Right now I'm reorganizing the Pyrex, reorganizing my Etsy merchandise and trying to have an internet garage sale on Craiglist....

I included a video of a rain concert (amazing). Also 2 pics of vintage thrifted linens from last week....I'm always amazed when I find new vintage things. The tea towel was never used (It's still crispy) and the bath towel was barely used. My mom would make us use the towels until you could see through them!!!

Remember that you have until the 18th to leave a comment for the Pyrex giveaway! Otherwise I'll send them both to the Netherlands....LOL

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Blackberries....And a Pyrex giveaway!!!



Blackberry season is in full swing on the side of my house! I just love those little nuggets of juicy goodness!


I eat a couple but the bulk goes to make the most delicious Blackberry jam....So good!


A friend gave me a root in a bucket about 10 years ago...I was clueless about growing them and not really interested to say the least! LOL



They are the easiest berries to grow, I don't water them, I don't fertilize them, the only thin I do is give them a good trim in the fall (cut all the branches that bore fruits).


And I finally understand why farmer's market sell them at crazy prices....They are a pain to pick!


All those thorns! For 2 weeks in July I'm covered with scratches. Well, why don't you cover yourself, you might ask?




Because FAT SWEATS!!! LOL! Thanks Tracy for that one! And it makes for great stories....
Not 15 minutes ago I got stuck in the bush...I had
a big branch full of thorns stuck in my hair! Ouch! And funny at the same time!
A couple of years ago I had a sweater and got stuck real deep in the blackberry bush....And couldn't get out and I kept calling for help...Yes it's embarrassing...LOL
In the Pyrex cup it's what I picked 20 min ago. I have to go back tomorrow morning otherwise the birds will eat them and crap purple all over my patio!

As for the Pyrex giveaway...well I'm so excited to have a new computer (It works like a charm) That I decided to spread the joy!
So please leave a comment on this post before July 19th and I will send 2 lucky winners a little Pyrex refrigerator dish! Now don't be shy, everyone is included! I will ship to Europe and to the U.S not to mention Australia! So spread the word I want lotsa and lotsa comments and new readers!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Adventures in scavenging....


I had to mail something this morning and while walking to the mailbox I remembered that it was big garbage pickup today....Oh my! The possibilities!
While reading my blog you might have noticed that I get really excited over small stuff....Nothing makes me happier than a big pile'0'garbage....And I keep having the recurrant fantasy that I will find mint Pyrex in the garbage! Not all loony tunes are locked up let me tell you that!
Well today with my enveloppe in hand I spied a wall of rejected furniture, old carpets and this adorable wicker chair!!! I had to move an old mattress and shelving units to get at it....Ok, ok the seat has a couple of holes, but I'm thinking...garden ornement with a plant on it....
After I freed the chair, I saw a big bunch of plastic plants...but wait just one minute! It's not just plastic crap, it's a big tomato plant, with small tomatoes in it! Well I just had to bring that home as well!
Who throws away a tomato plant???
I believe scavenging is genetic...Dad would bring furniture he'd found in alleys, Mom would recycle fabric until it died. When my Dad would have a hole in a sweater, well presto changeo, Mom would recut it, sew it back and it would become a dress for me...She would take white thights and dye them to match...I had a lot of brown and khaki outfits when I was small!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Too much !


Is there such a thing as too much flowers? Well now I think so! LOL!
Too much brown eyed susans! In that bouquet I must have between 75 and 100 blooms! And I barely made a dent in the garden! I need to dig some out and I don't like to say that but throw them away....All the people I know have some (I have been giving some away for 10 years now (at least)
And to think all that yellow sunshine came from a little plant I dug up in the woods near Brownsburg QC more than ten years ago!!!
I scored some nice stuff at the church basement this morning but I need to clean it all before I take pics....Just a hint: vintage linens.....and ballerinas....Discuss! LOL

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Farm Fresh

I remembered not long ago that the neighborhood farm had a stand that sold fresh produce. So today that was the goal of my morning walk
I was surprised to see that they had so much veggies from their own land...My own are quite late,lol
I got new potatoes,yellow beans and lebanese cukes just picked from the green house. And I was in that green house, you can't get fresher than that and oh so local.
As an added bonus all their leftover plants are 25% off, so I got a beautiful burgundy echinacea. To make my walk even more fun I discovered a shortcut so the farm is even closer than I thought (10 min max by foot).
When I decided to blog about local goodness, Pyrex came to mind to showcase all that beautiful just picked freshness....So that is pic numero uno. As for the second pic...well I find that I'm strangely attracted to furniture on the side of the road..I can't bring it home, Dan would freak out about the space and is always trying to get rid of furniture....So that's why I took a pic!
Don,t you think it's a beautiful piece of furniture? Doesn't it deserve a home???

Monday, July 6, 2009

Soooooo cool!




I am in fact writing from my new computer! And I'm as giddy as a schoolgirl, yes people!


LOL! I was actually able to download pictures! Oh joy, oh bliss! I'm no computer genius but I was able to navigate through the updates and the photo gallery...hehehe!




I've had a real exciting day yesterday (I get excited easily I've heard...).


I got my new laptop and I got to go to the circus!!! Cirque du Soleil that is! To see the new show 'Ovo'. It was a very nice surprise, the show didn't feel stale, the numbers were exciting and the costumes gorgeous. Yay!


After we went to one of my faves chinese eateries :The Deer Garden on St-Lawrence in Montreal. The city was really jumping and people were all over

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Rain,rain go away!


As usual the pic is unrelated....It's a rock that I spotted in somebody's yard (yes I sneaked in...lol)
I know for sure that it rained here on Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday (ok that's today...). What a strange day, you had bright sunshine for 10-15 minutes then a big shower out of the blue...
I tried to garden (because while away the garden EXPLODED!) For god's sake I was away only for 3 days! A lot of plants needed tutering and I had tons of new weeds (Where do they come from? Do I have little weed leprechauns waiting to plant weeds while I sleep???) And of course the pool was way too full, so I had to backwash....
I managed to dehydrate half a crate of strawberries (local....from just around the corner) and then I vacuum sealed them. They will taste dyn-o-mite with my winter oatmeal!
I can't wait to eat my beans and cukes. I will sow more beans tomorrow and prepare for the new week that's just around the corner....Later!

Friday, July 3, 2009

I'm back....sigh


2 nights was way too short! And the weather, the weather was super stinky!
Thank god I love the ocean any which way!!! It rained on and off the whole time and it was mucho cold. I couldn't take my usual dip ( I dip in any temp water), am I getting older? I don't know but I had on a t-shirt, a sweatshirt and a windbreaker with a fleece lining and I was barely okay.....
We took long walks, hunted for sea glass and ate plenty of seafood...The hotel room was gorgeous and the tv was LCD!
I went to the Goodwill store for the first time and was shocked to see that more than half the merchandise was new and I felt it was too expensive for needy people... I didn't find anything....No Pyrex (sigh) lol
Next door was a Big Lots store...That was way more interesting than the Goodwill, LOL! I bought a garden hose at more than 50% off....I can't wait to hook it up (I'll do just that when it stops raining!), I also found blue Saran Wrap (love,love,love!).
We did the obligatory Target and Bed,Bath & Beyond visits....Didn't really find some cool things
Oh well maybe next visit!
Now for the pic: I never remember the name of that pattern. I got this from ebay and was very disppointed when I opened the box...The paint was all dull and the description didn't mention it in the listing (%#@!%^&*() and I was too chicken to make a fuss. I had to oil it up for the pic.
Live and learn....