This Week... and last week

This Week...  Herbal tea... soothing for a sore throat...I've been under the weather this week, down with a cold. Last week was so busy here that I wasn't able to write my usual end of week post--just completely ran out of time and energy. And so today, I thought I'd do a combo deal of happenings/scenes from last week and this week.  

In the Roman Catholic Church-- LOTS of Feast Days the past two weeks! Feast Day for Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Pope Saint Piux X, The Queenship of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Rose of Lima (above), Saint Bartholomew, Saint Louix IX of France, Saint Joseph Calasanz, Saint Monica, Saint Augustine, Feast Day of the Passion/Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist (below-detail from a dramatic painting by Pierre-Cecile Puvis de Channes.)

On the Menu-- Black Bean Burgers. I used this recipe for inspiration, though I added more spices. I like these burgers naked (without roll) and topped with a chipotle-mayo dressing. But they are equally delicious on a good brioche roll with a slice of cheddar cheese. 

From the Garden-- We harvested our carrots last week. They were short, stubby, nobbly and not much to write home about! The looked very little like the long, lovely, elegant white, gold and red heriloom carrots on the seed packet. But... they tasted FANTASTIC! And I saved the carrot tops to make pesto. 

Carrot Top Pesto with Parsley and Lemon --makes about 3/4 cup

1 1/2 cups fresh carrot top leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, packed
2 heaped tablespoons pine nuts
4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 heaped tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Place the carrot tops, parsley, lemon juice, nuts, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using), in a food processor. Blitz until finely chopped. Add the cheese and oil, and process until well blended. Cover and keep chilled until use. 1-2 weeks in the fridge. Pesto also freezes well. 

Out & About-- Last Saturday we took a drive to Drammen for some shopping. On the way home we had late lunch/early dinner at the Marché restaurant in Holmestrand. The restaurant stretches across the highway, and tables have a roadside view!

Happy-- A big reason for going to Drammen was so that I might have an opportunity to go to the fabric shop Stoff & Stil, which is one of several textile outlets in the country (along with online shop). They have a good selection of fabrics and fiber-related craft items. I was VERY HAPPY to come home with these fabrics for making a vintage-style apron (above)... Also a set of fat quarters and elastic for having a go at making some bowl covers (to replace plastic wrap) and a pair of cotton knit jersey pre-cuts for making into some reusable/washable facial cloths/makeup rounds (below).  I have missed sewing!

In the Garden-- Things are fading in the garden this late in the season, but a few hydrangeas are hanging on! 

Thankful-- I'm so very thankful that we are able to eat well. And with eating well, I try to achieve some good food management, home economy and frugality. It makes me ridiculously happy to put these jars in our freezer filled with vegetable scraps, bits & pieces. When a couple of jars are filled up, I make tasty vegetable stock!

Reading--  Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too ... VERY inspiring and life-changing book by Beth Terry Everyone should read this book!

Creating-- While having a cold, my mind or body hasn't been up to much... But it's been a good week for crochet! I made up some sets of new cotton cloths for our kitchen and bathroom. The small grey dishcloths (above) pair with new grey kitchen hand towels. I like a smaller, well-textured cloth for washing dishes. The lilac washcloths (below) tie in with purple/grey bathroom decor.  Sets of 4 each color so far...

LUNA-- beauteous maximus... *sigh* ... Our fur angel has been with us with 7 months now! Though it feels like she's always been ours... and we're such a good little family, we all fit together so well. :)

Weekend-- Not sure about the weekend ahead, and no big plans so far. Rest and relaxation, I think! But is it possible to rest from the news? No... The news of the world has just been heartbreaking again, and especially things happening back home in America. The terrible hurricane in Texas, and all the worrisome things happening in Washington, D.C and elsewhere... :(

Quite frankly, I'm feeling a bit worn out... from the cold I've had, as well as from the busy summer too. It's been a truly wonderful summer. But I'm feeling the intensity of it in a very physical way now as the season winds down. Soon getting the garden and house ready for the colder season ahead. Here we are, turning the page to September... And I just remembered that it's been 11 years since I've been blogging... WOW!

How was your week? Wishing you all a LOVE-ly weekend now! :)))


  1. Hi Tracy -- I'm sorry your cold is hanging on so long and really wearing you down. Keep laying low- - they're nasty, those summer colds and you have no timetable apart from getting well.

    All that said, you've been a lot busier than I was when I was down. Can't wait to see the finished apron (and the restaurant looks great). What a fun road trip. Pesto looks interesting -- never thought of carrot green pesto! And Luna -- biggest sigh. I'm so glad you found each other.

    Happy weekend. Keep low and get well!

    1. Thank you for the well wishes, Jeanie! Oh, I do hope to be back in the swing of things soon... this cold feels old! Poor neglected carrot tops... The carrot top pesto is a nice surprise. The carrot tops lend a deep herbal quality to the mix, and tastes as good as any other pesto. :)

  2. Hope you are on the mend, Tracy. And it's good you can be home with your soothing teas and cozy kitty. Those crocheted cloths remind me of some thick hot pads a friend created for me. They are used on a daily basis and a good reminder of her love.

    Your chipotle mayo sounds good -- I blend sriracha and mayo for a quick spicy/creamy spread or dip. Something fun about having a little spice kick!

    Perhaps with your short summer, the carrots know they haven't time for length and concentrated on flavor instead :-) They sound yummy!

    1. Those hot pads made and given by your friend sound lovely, Anne! And I like your idea of sriracha-mayo... I like little kicks like that too! This was the first time we tried growing carrots, and so maybe we can call this a success. We were so lucky not be affected much by pests this year, like carrot fly, etc. We had some aphids on the herbs, but a soapy solutions spayed on them helped that. So all in all, a good year growing things have not having done as much for a while.

  3. for some reason autumn seems like a 'spring' to me.
    I have more energy and I feel better when the air cools. it's like it brings freshness with it of a new beginning! opposite of what it's supposed to be like!
    little tiny luna. what a delight to see her. I don't think she's going to grow more. I think she will always be your kitten-cat. :)
    you know ... why couldn't that apron be a lovely jumper to wear over pants or leggings? it looks like something that mary engelbreit would design for her wonderful pictures!
    I just love the way she puts colors and patterns together. it makes me happy!
    and that pattern is simple and just darling. I can see it in all kinds of combinations.
    have a wonderful weekend dearest girl of the north! and get well SOONER!

    1. You're right, Tammy... Spring and autumn have such similar qualities when it comes to energy and feeling! September always feels like the "real" new year to me. No, our Luna won't grow any more than she is. After a year or so, cats come to their full size. And Luna is two, soon three. We quite like it that she's tiny. :) NICE idea for the apron--worn as a tunic! I wear jeans a little, but not legging. But maybe with jeans?! I like Mary Engelbreit's designs, too--very HAPPY stuff she creates!

  4. I also am sorry you have been a bit under the weather. It does sound like you have still been able to do small things. Clever to save scraps in jars for soup. Can't wait to see the finished apron. Sweet, sweet kitty. Joey had his teeth cleaned and one extraction this week. He held a grudge for two days and would hide from me. I guess he didn't want any of that terrible pain medicine or maybe it was the kitty carrier, which he hates. Love the crochet projects. Hoping for cooler weather soon so I can be once again inspired to bring out the crochet. It is just toooooo hot here this week.

    1. Aaawww... poor Joey! Those "dentist" trips are rough all around for kitties. :( Hope he will be feeling better soon--from everything! Thanks for the crochet love. Hope your temps will ease so you can bring out yarn and hook again soon. It's not much fun knittingmor crocheting when it's too hot! I nearly forgot it's Labor Day weekend back home there... maybe that will bring some cool. :)

  5. Hi Tracy! So lovely to catch up with you and all the news but I am very sorry to hear you are under the weather. Little S got sick two days ago, after we got back home from our holidays, so annoying as these are the last days of holidays. We too feel the crisp air in the mornings and late at night here too and there are so many fallen yellow leaves on the ground everywhere. I don't mind Autumn if its nice and sunny though :-) I do mind the start of the school year however ... haha ... and for me yesterday we started a new whole year. Since my childhood I feel that New year starts in September :-) so happy New year :-)) I will try to write more by email and then I will be looking for skypying together once the school year takes its rhythm ... wishing you to feel well soon. So many lovely pictures and tasty foods you made this summer! big hugs!!! Jitka

    1. Montik--Happy New Year! ((HUGS)) So glad to see you here... and welcome home from your vacation! I can imagine the busy time you've had, and now with back to school! But so sorry you lil' S is unwell too... Hope he will be feeling better very soon, and that all goes well for him this school year. It's been such a good summer, and we've had some great times! Very much looking forward to catching up with you more soon! :)

  6. So sorry you haven't been feeling very well Tracy! Sending healing wishes across the North Sea to you! Healing hugs also. Love these catch up posts of yours. Love your fabrics and pattern and Tammy's idea of wearing it as a tunic. That is so me. Love seeing Luna, and your veggie burgers look fabulous. I love a good veggie burger. I am so losing my interest in meat of all kinds. I've been crocheting dish clothes. I have a ton of them now! All different colours. Mostly bright. I have so much fun with that. Such an easy thing to do while we watch tv in the evening. Love you my dear friend. You make me happy. xoxo

    1. Thank you so much for the well wishes, Marie... and for that lovely e-card you send, what a sweet surprise! We enjoy veggie burgers more than meat burgers. And usually we limit meat to weekend, eating mainly veggie during the week. Dish cloths can be addicting to make, can't they?! Look forward to seeing more of your makes! ((HUGS))

  7. Oh my dear friend, so sorry you have not been feeling well. Sending loving thoughts. Prayers and hugs your way. I hope you are feeling better quickly.
    I do enjoy reading about your Saints. I particularly liked readinga bout the Queenship of the Virgin Mary. I also liked reading about John The Baptist. He is an important part of our beliefs. The baptism of our Savior, Jesus Christ is so important. I love reading when our Heavenly Father introduces His son at the baptism.
    I love that you had an enjoyable moment out and about. Your Black Bean burgers sound so good. I must try making them sometime.
    I like the colors of the materials you bought and will look forward to your finished project. I love your crocheted wash cloths. I want to do some for Christmas gifts. We will see on that one.
    Living plastic free is something I will have to look futher into. I do feel we waste resources way too much. I will hope to read the book inthe near future.
    Luna is just so adorable! I love cats but haven't had one since we lost our Willie about 8 years ago. We do have a sweet dog named Sammy that we love so much. He is just one of us.
    I do hope you have had a relaxing weekend and are feeling much better.
    Blessings, love and hugs for you all!

  8. Ooo I didn't know about carrot tops for pesto! There are patches of wild garlic in the forest whose leaves make good pesto. The taste is what matters with food so very well done with your carrots. Son loves the taste of local organic whole milk compared with supermarket. Well done with your craft shopping. Your cotton cloths should last a good long time. My face and cleaning ones are over a year old and doing well.


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