Friday, June 15, 2012

OPSAIL 2012 Baltimore

We went to Baltimore today to see the tall ships.... oh how I love the tall ships!  There were ships from Spain, Brazil, Ecuador, Columbia, Canada, Indonesia, and more.  Of course the Barque Eagle was there, I nearly swooned, and the Constellation.  There were many US Navy ships (and at least one boat) in port at Pier Five, but we didn't get over there.  There was only so much we could do in a day.  The USCG Taney was there, proud ship, last active ship to have survived Pearl Harbor.  And YPs.  YPs!  Any Naval officer knows what those are.... we all went on them at OCS or the Academy, or SOMEWHERE.  Small wooden hulled boats to teach us how to con, how to be a bridgerat... uh, officer.  How to hit a pier....
Then, when we were just about ready to leave, thunder shook the sky as the Blue Angels began to work the kinks out.  Be still, my heart.  When I learned I couldn't get jets because I wore contacts, I was devastated.  Oh, to soar the skies in a screaming silver bird.... okay, okay. Cheap novel now done! Anyway, it was really terrific.  The weather was perfect, the ships were tall and the planes were loud..... A GOOD DAY!

Friday, June 8, 2012

June is the Month of Mint

 It is time to make the annual batch of sekanjabin!  It is my favorite summertime drink, and I take it camping every summer to my medieval living history trip.  Much better than soda or tea, and tastier than plain water, it is super refreshing.
Sekajabin has many different variations.  More than I knew, and speaking with the Afghan and Persian women in my store have opened my eyes to more. It's origins are way back in the past, probably in the middle eastern region, though the west had a similar drink made with honey instead of sugar.  Has to do with the climate!  

 I began with a simple plain version, just sugar, water, vinegar, lemon and mint.  I will try other versions too, adding saffron, pomegranite, cinnamon and cloves.  Not all in the same batch!

1.25 cups water
2.5 cups sugar
.33 cups of white wine, rice, or    cider vinegar
1 lemon
double handful of mint

Bring the sugar and water to a boil, add the vinegar and lemon and let boil gently for 1/2 hour.   Bruise and add the mint leaves, and remove from heat.  When it is cool, strain into a glass jar and seal.  Doesn't need refridgeration, and will stay good for months... if you don't drink it first.

To use, dilute 3-5 TBSP of syrup in a tall glass of ice water, or iced soda water.  Sit outside and sip a little summer sunshine. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Quilters Unlimited Annual Show

 I always enjoy seeing the creativity of the quilters in my area, but this year I was especially looking forward to this show, since G Street had a booth for the first time in many years.  It looked pretty good, considering how small it was, and was well stocked with goodies.  I checked it out before I went around the rest of the show, which was smaller this year than when I went a few years ago, but quite well set up.  I found several quilts I was inspired by, some to make for the troops and some for friends and for me.  Most won't be the same as what I saw, just similar, but the twister ruler (yes, I did get it) and the X Block ruler I already had have some great patterns already done.  I am sure I will change colors, but I love the red white and blue one.  I think I will do a wreath too, though maybe in seasonal colors for throughout the year... one for spring, one for summer, and so on.  The ammonite quilt I just adore.  Really.  Brings back memories.  Some are even good!