Bits and Pieces….


That would be me…in bits and pieces. Well, not that bad, but I have been roughed up pretty nicely the last two hockey games and almost got into a fight, with a guy(I wasn’t the one going to throw the punch…classy, eh?) But I am left with a fairly bruised back and a whole lot of aches and pain. The good news is even though the men seemed to have taken their asshole pills that night, we did win both games(no help by me though :) ).
I thought I would take a little time out to update you on life and answer a few blogging questions that have been either left in comments or emailed to me.
First off. The square pan. The square pan that I make my muffins in is from Target(in store, not online). I have seen them sold on So if you want one try those two places.
Second. My mother’s Pear-Nutmeg Jam recipe. Scroll down and wedged in between photos of her there is her recipe. She is called Lady Jane so that is what I called the jam. My mother says you can leave out the butter but if you do you will get foam and you will have to remove that. Since I am only the person who gets stuck chopping up the fruit and not the actual jam maker I will/would trust her on this.
Third. I am still waiting for Michael Phelps to stop on by the house and eat my french toast(sans shirt…all other clothing optional ;) ).
Forth. Have you been checking out my other blog, Northwest Noshings? If not you are missing out on yummy things like Smoked Gouda, Gruyere and Ham Pizza with Walla Walla Onion Pear Sauce.
Lastly. After 8 months of staring at dead weeds and dirt we finally got ourselves a backyard(well, side yard actually). You can scroll down and see those photos as well…plus my herbs.
September is rapidly approaching. I would love to say that it wont be busy but somehow each month seems to get a little more full than the last. Sigh. This weekend is my only weekend of nothing and I shall enjoy it. I see sitting on my butt and watching bad 80’s movies in my future.
To start off September we are going to the Herbfarm, my favorite, to see how they interpreting BBQ. Should be interesting as they have built an outdoor woodfire stove for it!
Of course just the start of September makes me happy as that means Fall is coming(though with the weather we have been having, it’s already here!). I have already busted out the pumpkin and make pumpkin bars. And believe it or not I already made Christmas cookies. :) It was for a shoot, I’m not that insane, though I did listen to Christmas music to get me in the mood. Nothing like Jingle Bells at the end of August to get you in the festive holiday mood. :)

(Yard Facing West)

(Yard Facing East)

(Some of my herbs)

I saw this on many a blog so I thought I would do it. I guess I am fairly adventurous as I have eaten 81 of the 100…including bugs. You have got to love entomology class.

 1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you¢â¬â„¢ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
The VGT Omnivore¢â¬â„¢s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (I’ve had alligator so I think that counts)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes(allergic)
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper(thought I was going to die)
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam Chowder in Soudough Bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (just the cognac)
37. Clotted Cream Tea
38. Vodka Jelly/Jell-O(hello, I did go to college people)
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (crickets decent, grasshopper not, ants make my mouth itchy, mealworms decent)
43. Phaal
44. Goat¢â¬â„¢s milk(I have taken first place in goat milking at the county fair…I know you are impressed)
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more
46. Fugu (not worth dying)
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald¢â¬â„¢s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine (fine Canadian food)
60. Carob chips (vomit)
61. S¢â¬â„¢mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian(I bit the bullet and did this after seeing Anthony Bourdan…the smell is soooo bad)
66. Frogs¢â¬â„¢ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (all of the above!)
68. Haggis (It’s not that bad people)
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings or andouillette
71. Gazpacho (only white which does not have tomatoes)
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost or brunost (you have to love cheese that taste like peanut butter…or at least it does to me)
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang Souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom Yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. 3 Michelin Star Tasting Menu
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse(not that I know of but I am sure in some of the countries I have been to I have eaten it)
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake (fried rattlesnake to be exact….taste like chicken)

(My mom and me at the Seattle Aquarium…those hats were for kids but we didn’t care)

Lady Jane’s Pear Nutmeg Jam

(Makes eight jars, eight oz each.)

4 cups pears, peel, core and finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
7 ½  cups granulated sugar
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 pouch of Certo (liquid pectin)
¼  or ½  tsp unsalted butter
Before you start: Buy pears that are firm, ripe fruit. Wash and rinse jars and screw bands. Use new flat jar lids (Boil water & pour over jar lids, cover and let sit).
Prepared fruit: Measure exact amount of prepared fruit into 6 or 8 qt pot. Stir in lemon juice and nutmeg, plus butter (this helps eliminate foam).
Measure exact amount of sugar in a separate bowl, stir into fruit, bring mixture to full rolling boil or high heat. (a boil that doesn’t stop when stirred, stir constantly). Stir in the pectin quickly, return to full rolling boil exactly 1 minute stirring constantly- remove from heat.
Ladle quickly into the prepared jar. Fill to within 1/8 inch from the top. Wipe jar rims and threads, remove lid from water, dry and cover jar and screw on band. Turn the jar upside down quickly and go to the next jar, leave them upside down for five minutes. Then turn upright.
It may take awhile for the lids to seal. You will hear an audio “pop” when they do. Check seals by pressing center of the flat lid with your finger. It will be down and not pop up. If the jar does not seal after a couple of hours then you must refrigerate that jar. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Then store in a cool, dry place.


(My mom and her puppy, Fionna)




  1. LOL about the Christmas in August. Around July every year, I get the bug and bust out the Christmas CD with 3 volumes and bake cookies! Love your blog!

    BTW, your neighborhood looks EXACTLY like my old neighborhood in Olympia, WA. In fact, the house behind you (facing east) looks like my house! The army took us away, but I still miss my house. *sniff*

  2. Yay, yard! Sorry about the hockey assholes, though. My brain is wired in an unfixable way and I don’t think I could ever check a woman (won’t stop them from checking me, though… Ouch).

    I just tried preserving for the first time the other day! It was scary/ such a joy to hear the pop. I forgot the butter though. Oh well :) You can also re-process the jars that don’t seal properly.

  3. This is very much a bits and pieces, but I love the glimpse at your life!

  4. I like your yards! Very tidy and clean…

    A delicious sounding jam!



  5. Hope your bruised back isn’t too bad. I know you hockey players are tough old birds, but a bruised back sounds pretty painful!
    Loved having some pictures of your new side garden and of Lady Jane and yourself!
    Merry Christmas to you! This 8 hour time difference is something else, let alone the 5 month one! Cheers, Pea.
    Get fit soon!

  6. You can wait all you want for Michael to go and have your french toast, he’s now visiting me in Portugal! ;) Nice garden and nice mom! Get better soon from the bruises!

  7. Pear and nutmeg jam sounds yummy! And your backyard looks lovely. We managed to kill our basil plant this summer, so I am to the market this weekend to buy a new one.. hopefully I will have better luck this time around!

  8. Nice looking garden! AND I’m glad to see that jam recipe!

  9. Your back/side yard looks stunning.

  10. Ooh…, I love your yard! Great job on it.

  11. I didn’t do well scrolling down the list – reminds me of how much eating I need to do! :) Insects? ewww…I always think I would fail miserably at some of the reality show challenges.

    Love the backyard. Great place to sit and eat cheesecake! :)

  12. Oh no!! SO sorry about the hockey-bruising situation :-(

    Michael Phelps!!!!!! **swoons**

    Gorgeous yard!!

    You don’t like carob chips?!?!??! **sniffles**

  13. People eat kaolin? I thought that was clay?

    I’ve eaten all but 8 or 10 of those things – but then again, it’s my job to eat so that shouldn’t be a big surprise.

  14. Okay… so I’m going to guess you either don’t like Indian food or haven’t had a chance to try it? From your Omnivore’s list, quite a few of them are Indian! Come to Chicago and join me for an Indian lunch so we can take care of those things on your list (and please don’t forget to bring a baked good.) :)

  15. I can’t believe you’ve already been in your house 8 months. Time flies. It seems like you were just announcing that you were moving in!

  16. Peabody, I needed a pick me up today and coming to your blog and reading this post was exactly what the Dr ordered.

    I can see you humming “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” in your kitchen in August… Glad I wasn’t the only one doing that!

  17. WOW! You did good on this. Your yard is so pretty. Love it. I’ve actually had horse…in Kyrgyzstan. It’s pretty fatty…meat surrounded by fat…but tasted okay. Wouldn’t eat it again, though.

  18. When I can get my hands on them I will definitely be making your mom’s jam. That still sounds fabulous. As for the Christmas in August, I can absolutely see having to get a little music going to get in the mood. I recently did the Omnivore’s 100 too and I’m not remotely adventurous. As in, at all. Apparently I am still just a meat and potatoes kind of gal because a whole bunch of things got crossed off on my list. (I will secretly blame this on my over active gag reflex from too sick pregnancies – that is an overshare – but there you go anyway!).

    I LOVE that first picture of you on the ice – so cool. Thanks for all the sharing – OH – and your yard looks absolutely darling!

  19. ;0) I think Christmas in August sounds perfect – how I long for the cool of December! Guess we’re sisters in that.
    Love the jam and the hats!

  20. I love your side yard, Gracie – it’s gorgeous! :)

    And thanks for your mom’s recipe.. it was exactly what I was looking for!


  21. Don’t know which is more fun — seeing your wonderful new garden, or the photo of you and your mom in the jellyfish hats!

  22. Pea, I would love to try your mom’s jam. I’m scared of canning, but maybe the willing to try such wonderful jam will cure me. :)
    Your yard is beautiful.

  23. Love the photos! Nice side yard and of course you in a hockey uniform :) (is it hockey season yet?). And loved looking at your omnivore list, 81’s a great number.

  24. i love bits and pieces (mm I think I have to admit I have a fractured mind). Will try the pear jam asap.
    Hope the back will be easy on you, backs and injury don’t go well together.
    Love the peek at the houses around yr yard (yay yard!), so pleasing to my European eyes!

  25. i can’t believe you’ve eaten so many of those things!

    i am jealous of your yard (and herbs). i’ve just started growing basil on my apartment balcony…and planted some tomato plants!

  26. that’s an impressive list! i can’t believe you’ve had bugs and aligator, but not had aloo gobi! lol

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