Tinker Verve

creating with spirit & enthusiasm…often with great results

Summer grilling at it’s best!!!

Pizza on the barbecue is a definitely favorite for me.  This picture will only get better as the summer progresses and all of the ingredients come fresh from the garden.  This time the only thing out of the garden is the asparagus and I can’t wait to see how my fresh goat cheese will taste grilled on my personal pizza.

Oh, my!  They just came off of the grill ~ better go…

June 21, 2011 Posted by | in the kitchen | 4 Comments

Yummy Buns :-}

Have you ever made your own hamburger buns?

I’ve been wanting to for some time but just haven’t done it!

Recently my sweet {generous} cousin gave loaned me a recipe book that belonged to my Grandma.  Each recipe in it is hand-written by her.  I am planning to scan the whole thing so I can return it {like a nice cousin} but, in the mean time, I have really enjoyed just looking through it.
One of the joys of living rural is making due with what you have.  Generally, if I want to make burgers I have to plan ahead because we don’t just ‘run to the store’ anymore {I actually really love that challenge}.

Today when I decided that wanted to have burgers tonight, I remembered this recipe that my Grandma had in her little recipe book.

So easy to make and SO yummy! 

We had some wonderful burgers tonight with local, grass-fed beef and homemade buns.

Grandma and Grandpa Carpenter

Grandma's Bun recipe

The Sauce?

mayo, ketchup, relish and freshly, grated horseradish…Oh, MY!

May 23, 2011 Posted by | in the kitchen | 1 Comment

French Crepes…YUM!

If you show up at my place for breakfast you can be pretty sure that you just might get a yummy breakfast.  

It truly is my favorite meal to make and eat!

My niece was pouring over the first issue of Where Women Create and wondered if we could make the crepes featured in the Elizabeth Maxson article.

I have looked at that a couple of times and thought that I should give them a try.  I’ve been making crepes for almost 30 years {a family favorite} but I’ve only ever used a crepe maker {the one that my sister got for a wedding gift}. 🙂

I did make Elizabeth’s French Crepes this morning and {OH, MY!} they were just so good.  Honestly, they didn’t taste much different from the recipe I’ve been using but I really loved making them in a pan on the stove. 

They looked prettier {what can I say…you can just never go wrong with pretty things}!

Speaking of pretty things…my Mr. brought yellow roses home for Mother’s Day.

They have aged so gracefully and beautifully.

They really are on their way out but they’re just so beautiful that they make me smile.

May 17, 2011 Posted by | in the kitchen | 2 Comments

urticus dioica…Stinging Nettle


1]: capable of being sustained
2]a : of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or  permanently damaged <sustainable techniques> <sustainable agriculture>
b : of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods <sustainable society>
Synonyms: defendable, defensible, justifiable, maintainable, supportable, tenable

What does sustainable living mean to you?

To us it means to have the ability to always take care of ourselves no matter what is going on around us.  We live rural.  It’s not uncommon to lose power here for several days in extreme weather conditions.  Also, with food prices on the increase we know that having a variety of items on hand will be beneficial…very beneficial… for a variety of reasons.

My brother is a great encourager when it comes to getting out and taking advantage of foods that are naturally growing around us.

On Saturday, he said that he was going up on the mountain behind our house to go pick some Stinging Nettles.  He wanted to cook them up and give them a try.  I was all over the idea of going with him.  I’ve known for years that Stinging Nettle {urticus dioica} is full of nutritional value and has many medicinal qualities to it.  Because I didn’t know what I was doing, I never pursued the idea of picking them on my own and cooking up a batch.

With a little encouragement and companionship I’m willing to try just about anything. {dangerous}

I also love the opportunity to hike around on the mountain behind our house with someone.

Enjoying a good hike and incredible, natural beauty {all the while staying on our dad’s property} we found a good nettle patch and each filled a shopping bag.   We then hiked back down the mountain, went to our own kitchens and a couple of hours later we discussed what we did with our harvest.

Marc made yummy pesto {here is his post} and I just froze mine to put in…well, whatever I want to put it in.  I plan to add it to smoothies. Yesterday I made some pasta and added SN to it.

Stinging Nettle is now much more than an unpleasant childhood memory.

It is surprisingly tasty and can easily be substituted for cooked spinach {which I don’t like} in any recipe.  This is the perfect time of year to harvest it.  Boiling or blanching it for 5 minutes removes the sting and allows it to be very usable.

fresh, young stinging nettles

º  º  º  º

To make my pasta I first ground some durum wheat.  As I mixed the remaining ingredients for the pasta, I added about  a ½ c. of finely chopped Stinging Nettle that I had first steamed.  I honestly don’t think that it added any flavor but it certainly added color and nutrition!

Here is something to think about.  How would your family hold up if you couldn’t get to a store for a few days {or several}?  Or if the local grocery store shelves were bare because delivery trucks were unable to transport.  We can watch the news and see how natural disasters affect the world around us but what if something hits close to home?  Our whole world feels as though it’s on shaky ground and I’m not only referring to the elements of nature…

If you are interested in learning more about Stinging Nettle just do a Google Search.  There is so much wonderful information!  I really enjoyed “THIS POST” that my brother sent to me.

May 4, 2011 Posted by | foraging, in the kitchen, my neck of the woods!, sustainable living | 3 Comments

Fresh Herbs…

I have had these herbs sitting in my kitchen window. 

They just make me smile…sitting there in their slouchy, burlap bags, waiting for a pinch here and a pinch there…

Amber captured this fun shot.

April 21, 2011 Posted by | in the kitchen | 4 Comments

Boho Cuisine…

This is the day where I get to share with you some of Amber’s mouth-watering photos.
I’ve found that Bσhσ Girls have great appetites for good, home-made food.


It’s OK…my mouth is watering too!  🙂

I am SO THANKFUL for the gals who helped me in the kitchen…my Mom, Sister and friend Cathy!

Thanks Ladies!!!

April 15, 2011 Posted by | Art Retreat, ArtRetreat.CampThree, in the kitchen | 4 Comments

only the freshest…

I like ‘trying’ to carry on some of the skills that the women who’ve come before me considered essentials in their daily lives.

sewing, knitting, gardening, quilting, cooking, bread making…

When I have a loaf of bread baking in the oven, often…without even thinking about it, I’ll take a deep breath and have the slight sense the my eyes are rolling back in my head…the fragrance is simply intoxicating.

It’s so rewarding to team warm, freshly-ground flour and golden, local honey with the remaining ingredients to come up with just the right loaf.

There just isn’t anything like that first fresh, warm slice….

February 21, 2011 Posted by | in the kitchen | 3 Comments

glittery edibles!

Since I’m going to see those All That Glitter girls today, I wondered what I could take them so I decided to bake up some of my Great Aunt Betty’s Sugar Cookies and sprinkle them with glitter…ummm, I mean sprinkles!

Oh, Yum!  These are definitely a family favorite and have an almost magical appeal.

November 12, 2010 Posted by | friends, in the kitchen | 5 Comments

Pure & Simple…

It seems that some of my sweetest joys are so pure and simple and organic.

This is my {most} favorite summer treat.

Fresh fruit with homemade yogurt.

Yogurt is so easy to make.  The yogurt maker by Yogourmet is the way to go!

…and I’ve found that Horizon Organic Vitamin D {with ALL the fat} Milk makes the best!

Making yogurt is as easy as…heating the milk to 180°, cooling to 108°, adding live culture {which can also be purchased by Yogourmet or you can use your own yogurt}.  It then sits in the yogurt maker for several hours.  I also add 1 package of Knox Gelatin to help it set up better.

I can eat this for three meals a day…especially when I have fresh berries!

August 12, 2010 Posted by | in the kitchen | 4 Comments

Strawberry Delight!

Strawberries are one of my favorite foods.

Yummy!  ♥

I think my favorite way to eat them is on ice cream my homemade yogurt.  It is the perfect combination.  Ice cream would be even better but I really try to stay away from that stuff!

As the berries are coming on I try to keep as many of them going in the freezer as possible.  We love having strawberries on waffles throughout the year as well as jam.

again, I say yum!

When we were setting up for the Farm Chicks Sale, Trish handed me these cute little vintage strawberry containers.

July 29, 2010 Posted by | garden, in the kitchen | 7 Comments