Tinker Verve

creating with spirit & enthusiasm…often with great results

My new grain mill~

my new wheat grinderIt was a day or two after we got home from the wedding that Mr T yelled to me, from his lap top, “I just bought the mother-0f-the-groom a new wheat grinder!”

I’ve had mine for 15-16 years and it just gave out.  I had also done some research and felt like this one would be the best purchase for us, so…he just did it. Yay!  I was so excited.  There really is nothing like grinding  your own flour and, while it is still warm, adding it right into your recipe.  I loved the flour that came from my old grinder but it sounded like a jet engine that was taking off and it would dust my kitchen with flour while grinding.  My new one is a definite step up from the last.

It’s just one more thing to love about my home and staying at home!


August 31, 2009 Posted by | domesticity, in the kitchen, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Celebrating this day of LOVE!

charmed with {love}

I’m thinking of you, my friends, on Valentine’s Day

the love of baking

And I’ve baked up a batch of LOVE!  I love to bake, it touches a little happy spot way deep down inside.  It’s almost as wonderful for me as giving these baked delights away – actually, I love to feed peopleBaking this week has looked a bit different for me though because I’m diligently working my way through this.    I’m doing it quite well and can honestly say that I’m loving it...and it’s working for me.  While I was baking I didn’t take a lick, snitch or taste.  WOW!

cuts of love

I’m going to share the BEST-EVER Sugar Cookie Recipe that belonged to my great, great Aunt Betty.

Preheat oven to 375°.  Ingredients .½ c. butter    .½ c. shortening     .½ c.  sugar      .½ c. powdered sugar    .1 egg     .1½ tsp. vanilla    .2¼ c. flour     .½ tsp. soda    . ½ tsp. salt    . ½ tsp. cream of tartar.  Cream butter, shortening and sugars until creamy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Blend in flour, soda, salt and cream of tartar until smooth.  Chill dough; roll out on floured surface.  Cut with cookie cutters.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet until lightly browned.    Note:  Can also be dropped by spoonful onto cookie sheet and flattened with a glass that has been dipped in sugar.  (that’s the way my grandma did it).

baking love

The smell that fills the house while these are baking in the oven is pure loveliness!

frosted with love

The frosting I use is a splendid compliment to these cookies.  I fill a bowl with powdered sugar, add 2-3 drops of pure vanilla, a scoop of butter and half ‘n half  a little bit at a time (milk works too), until I have the consistency I wantAdd a wee bit of your favorite color and sprinkles and you have a bite of pure heaven.

edible love

This is a picture of my favorite food group.  I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner and be happy…but quite sick.  🙂

bouquet of love

The love of my life brought me home these lovely, beautiful and lusciously fragrant roses!

pure love

my son and his sweet Jacklyn

I keep thinking of these sweet Valentines as they busily prepare for their upcoming wedding on August 14th.

Enjoy this special day to it’s fullest and make yourself a cookie!…and, take a bit for me.  😉

February 14, 2009 Posted by | domesticity, family, in the kitchen, recipe, soldered charms, Valentine's | 5 Comments

Easy as pie!

That phrase really used to puzzle me.  It seemed to me that there was nothing more difficult than consistently making a good pie.  For years I watched my mom throw one together in just a matter of minutes…it looked easy when she did it.  But it never felt easy for me.  Finally, after many years, I asked my mom for her crust recipe (which wasn’t really a recipe ~ she just knew how much of this and that to put in).  Since then I can honestly say that pies have become very easy for me and, of course, the more I make them the easier they get (that really is the key).

So, in honor of National Pie Day it was only fitting to whip up my own pie this morning.  I decided that I needed to make it quick (I’ve really been wanting to make a cream pie ~ maybe next time), so I pulled a jar of my own apple pie filling off of the shelf, made my mom’s crust recipe and in less than 2 minutes (1:55) that pie was ready to go into the oven.  WOW!  The oven hadn’t even finished preheating.

~ right out of the oven ~

~ right out of the oven ~

Here’s my mom’s crust recipe:  2 c. flour + 1 1/2 t. salt = mix   *take a 1 c. glass measuring cup, put 2/3 c. oil in then fill to 1 c. line with milk  ~  add this to the flour and salt, mix well…it will mix into a ball. This will make a double crust.  The part that makes this so quick is that there is no need to refrigerate the dough.

p.s. my favorite pie plate is the Pampered Chef  stoneware deep dish pie plate.

January 23, 2009 Posted by | domesticity, in the kitchen | 7 Comments

little Prince ~

I had an enjoyable weekend~ I’ve done what I can do on my booth design for now.  I need to take it down today but I also need to keep looking at the whole picture to make the inside work with the outside and vice versa.

photo from Mary Jane's Farm

Saturday I went to a forestry meeting with my parents.  The overall theme: with the economy low and the log value low, what are some creative ideas for your land that can also generate income.  All of the speakers were enjoyable and caused my mind to swirl but there was one that caused me to get more excited that the others.  They are here and they got their idea here.  I have been interested in this idea in the past but listening to this couple made it seem so possible.

Yesterday, after church and a great nap, I started knitting leg warmers…

red leg warmers!

I had a friend tell me recently that I’m a ‘red’ girl.  Yes, I am indeed a ‘red’ girl…I love red!

bird boy

bird boyI call this little guy my ‘Prince Bird Boy’.  I’ve had him for a couple of years but his face was broken off.  It was a clean break so eventually I glued it back on.  He’s been enjoying a comfy spot in a nest.  His head is flat with a hole in the top so he still looked a bit disturbing.  After Christmas I had a couple of those pieces that go on the top of a glass ornament and I just couldn’t throw them away – they have the look of a crown.  One of them I had picked up off of the floor too many times and the last time when it was in my hand I immediately thought of my little bird boy.  I covered it with German glass glitter, glued it on and now he just seems complete and at home.  He is very, very old and even has a # on the back of his head.  Definitely worth salvaging and enjoying.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | domesticity, knitting, vintage | 10 Comments

Another vintage{y} apron.

apronI bought this pink table cloth expressly for the purpose of cutting it up.  I love the FEEL of these wonderful old cloths and the trees on this one are so lovely.  The base of the apron is made with white linen, picked up at a thrift store.

Here’s a wide-angle picture of this girl as she is hanging with my cast iron.

my new apron as it hangs with my old cast ironThis isn’t an ‘obsession confession’, although it could be, I would just have to add a lot more to the stash…and I could!  These are the ones that I use on a daily basis.  The griddle on the end was my great grandmother’s.  Technically it’s not mine {yet} – it was in my house when I moved in and it really belongs to my mom.  But I claim it for now and use it often for pancakes and homemade tortillas.

January 8, 2009 Posted by | aprons, domesticity, in the kitchen, sewing, vintage{y} apron | 2 Comments

And the winner is: Deb w/contentment! – it was fun to read your words! thanks for sending them my way…

Here are some pics of what I’ve been working on:


my work is only enhanced with a tall glassed of fresh-off-the-mountain spring water 🙂

most of these should go out in the mail today ~ I will have a few extra Christmas charms if anyone is interested for $20 each

most of these should go out in the mail today ~ I will have a few extra Christmas charms if anyone is interested for $20 each

Zhena's Gypsy Tea ~ Raspberry Earl Grey

Zhena's Gypsy Tea ~ Raspberry Earl Grey

I love to drink tea this time of year. This has become one of my favorites so I thought that I should share it with you. The aroma it gives off just when I take the lid off of the tin is so wonderful. I have enjoyed all of the teas that I’ve tried from this brand and I buy them at the Fred Meyer Nutrition Center.

ready to go into the oven!

ready to go into the oven!

fresh out of the oven!

fresh out of the oven!

I have been making a lot of bread lately. This recipe was given to me when we moved to Alaska which was 1985. I remember trying it then and thinking, “I’m not a very good bread maker”, but I always hung on to the recipe. I tried it again recently (after many years of bread-making experience) and have made it several times. It’s very good and very easy to make. I use a little more ww flour and less white.

Pilgrim’s Bread

  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbls. salt
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup cooling oil
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110*)
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached white flour

Thoroughly combine cornmeal, brown sugar, and salt; stir gradually into boiling water. Stir in oil. Cool to lukewarm (about 30 min). Soften yeast in the warm water; stir into cornmeal mixture. Add whole wheat and rye flours; mix well. Mix in enough white flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead till smooth and elastic (6-8 min) *this was written before Kitchenaid Mixers, Bosch, etc…. 🙂 Let rise in warm place until double in size. Shape into 2 loaves place in 2 greased pans. Cover and let rise until almost double (about 30 min). Bake @ 375* till done, about 45 min. (it’s 35 for me). If bread browns rapidly, cap loosely with foil after first 25 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. (I melt butter over the top when still hot).

Yum!! Can’t you just smell it!

November 24, 2008 Posted by | domesticity, in the kitchen, recipe | 5 Comments

What’s for breakfast??

…corn on the cob, peaches, strawberries & salsa!  I have to leave again for a few days, 😦 so I decided that I needed to check the garden and see what needed my attention.  We’ve had some freezing going on here so I know that if I want it, I had better get it and take care of it.  I didn’t plant this year with the idea of putting lots of stuff up for the winter because I’m really just getting my feet wet with gardening.  I’ve never done it on a real big scale before so I didn’t want to overwhelm myself completely, but there is still some of the wonderful stuff that can hit the freezer shelves.

I got started early this morning so who really needs breakfast when you can just clean off each cob that has had the corn freshly cut from it…& eat that first slice of each peach…nible on the strawberries & dip some chips into that fresh salsa.  Actually this has been my lunch too…along with some fresh juice made with pear, apple, plum & carrot.  Truth be known, my jeans are a little tight (and these are the big ones!).

I’ve been playing some more with the map snippets for my soldered charms.  I have also been cutting up license plates to use in charms and some of the license plates have tiny little letters.  I thought it would be fun to add a monogram to the bottom of custom map charms.  Here’s my attempt.  It’s made with 2 pieces of 1″ bevel glass.  Next time I won’t add so many jump rings to join them – I’ll try just using one.

side one of map charm w/hanging monogram

side one of map charm w/hanging monogram

as I leave home again ~ may I always find my way back

(side 2) as I leave home again ~ may I always find my way back

September 26, 2008 Posted by | domesticity, garden, home life, soldered charms | 3 Comments

More home-canned goodness

I am blessed to have such a wonderful mother-in-law.  She is a Godly, gracious woman and has added so much to our lives.  One of the things that she is passing on to us is an appreciation for corn relish.  She cans it each year and serves it with each holiday meal.  It seems those meals just wouldn’t be the same without it.  Last night was my time to make my one batch of corn relish…so out to the patch I go (with my dad) to pick and husk the corn.

I absolutely love having our own corn!

I absolutely love having our own corn!

simmering corn relish

simmering corn relish

Oh! So beautiful!

Oh! So beautiful!

As I was making this last night I was reminded of the time I packed up all of my ingredients and carted them over to a friend‘s house late at night and made it there.  I can’t remember why I did this because we froze corn all that day at my house but all in all I just enjoy the good memories!  🙂

One of the most enjoyable aspects of canning is listening for the “POP” as the lid seals!!!!

September 25, 2008 Posted by | domesticity, garden, home life, in the kitchen | 1 Comment