Key Lime Pie

Key limes are hard to come by in this part of the country.

So when a little bag of them showed up at Kroger, I couldn't resist snagging it. I had to make Conservative Hubby a key lime pie, of course. It's one of his favorites.

This pie was the first thing I'd baked in months ... possibly since I made those "we're pregnant cookies" to announce the big news to Conservative Family.

And it was also one of the first sweet things (aside from the occasional bite of ice cream) I ate in months, because for some strange reason when I got pregnant I lost my sweet tooth.

Who would've thought that could happen to me, of all people?


CSA Loot

Last fall I signed up for a CSA membership for PrairiErth Farm, an organic family farm located near L-Town.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, members pay upfront to "invest" in the farm for a year. Then, in return for their investment, members receive a weekly "share" of in-season vegetables. If the farm has a rough harvest of something, you might not get much. But if the farm has a particularly good season, you'll be eating organic vegetables a-plenty. It's a great way to support local family farms, to get exceptionally fresh produce, and to ensure you know exactly where your food is coming from.

I was incredibly excited to snag the last spot in the CSA for L-Town, because memberships like that are hard to come by in central Illinois.

After months of updates from the farm and (somewhat) patient waiting, the deliveries started at the beginning of May and will run through October. Our first couple of weeks, not surprisingly, have been all about the greens--lettuce mix, kale, chard, spinach, that sort of thing. And a lot of it.

We had more great greens this week--all of the above, plus some tarragon and chives.

And, better yet, the big bouquet of incredibly fragrant, incredibly lovely flowers you saw above.

Can't beat that!


Just Some News

I have something I've been meaning to tell you for a couple of weeks now. But I've been waiting for just the right moment to mention it, for just the right way to share the news with you.

Only I've grown tired of waiting for that perfect opportunity, so I'm going to go ahead and tell you the way I know best.

Through photos of things I have baked.

It worked when we broke the news to Conservative Family, so I imagine it will work for you too, right?


A Front-Yard Addition

No, I did not purchase a dog statue to liven up the front-yard garden beds.

This is our goofy pooch. I did not tell him to sit here or stay for an extended period of time. He did that all on his own. I swear he knows when I have my camera out and does everything he can to make it on the blog.

And it usually works.


Wishing You a Happy Mother's Day

As you probably know, today is Mother's Day. (If you didn't know this already, hurry! It's not too late to call your mother and let her know you're thinking of her.)

Although I think many holidays are manufactured by the greeting card industry in order to increase their profits, I think Mother's Day and Father's Day are particularly important. Parents deserve our love and appreciation every day, but sometimes life gets busy and we forget to show and tell them just how much they mean to us.

And so today is the perfect day to tell your mother (or favorite aunt or grandmother or friend who is a mother) how important they are to you.

I hope that my mother knows already just how wonderful she is and how much I admire her and how I hope that I can be even half as good of a mother as she has been to me.

But, Mom, because those words went unsaid when we spoke on the phone a few minutes ago, now you have them in writing, accompanied by some photos of the flowers I planted this afternoon. Consider this an extra Mother's Day gift to you, along with the one we already sent.

And these well wishes and admiration also apply to Conservative Mom. And to all of you grandmothers out there (Grandma Phyllis and Grandma Barb, plus Conservative Hubby's lovely grandmothers ... and Grandma Collins, who's celebrating Mother's Day in heaven this year with her honey).

Happy Mother's Day!


A Cheerful Little Pot

Come on, look at this precious little pot. Doesn't it make you smile? How can it not?

This pot resides on the bookshelves in the living room where the little yellow dog used to sit.

I love this single succulent. Particularly its shape and its color. But even more so, I love the birds perched on the pot.

Butter isn't nearly as interested in them as he was in yellow dog, though.


A New Centerpiece

I needed something new for our table. I just wasn't sure what.

Then I found this pretty pot and decided to fill it with a couple of varieties of succulents. Now our table makes me smile every time I look at it.

Succulents are an instant mood booster, I think. And no, there isn't some succulent industry association paying me to say these things. I'm just a plant lover.


A Spring Update

Lately I've been a bit disillusioned with the decor in our house. It's fine, it's just tired. I blame my sudden interest in changing things up on the fact that it's spring. A time of fresh blooms and new things.

The thing is, I'm on a budget and a bit strapped for time, so I didn't want to make any major overhauls right now.

Instead I wanted a simple, cheerful change. I found it while wandering around Lowe's yesterday: Succulents.

(Yes, those precious little plants I was so obsessed with when visiting My Sister in California.)

This is the first of them, which I carefully placed in the little yellow dog that had previously been sitting on the bookshelf in the living room. Now it's on the windowsill above the kitchen sink.

So, sadly, Butter can't bark at it and lick its nose (which he really did do on occasion). But now I can enjoy it every time I'm at the sink.


Easter, Revisited

A week later, I'm finally getting around to an annual Easter tradition: Sharing photos of our fabulous dinner at Q and MB's farmhouse.

First, it's necessary to set the mood with the decor.

Because it's Easter, naturally the setting involves tulips and bunny rabbits.

Egg-shaped dishes and carrot napkin rings.

Lovely centerpieces.

Even the food itself looked like decorative objects. From the butter mold.

To the stunning cauliflower. (I normally don't even eat cauliflower, but isn't this beautiful? It was tasty, too.)

I wish I could tell you I took photos of all the fabulous food--including what may have been the most gorgeous ham ever, sweet potatoes and cheesy mashed potatoes, delicious side dishes galore, I could go on ... But I didn't. I got too distracted eating all that food. Really, can you blame me?

I did, however, remember my camera once the desserts came out.

They were, as usual, stunning and decadent and over the top.

So much so that we wondered yet again why we ate so much of the main course.

(Oh yes, I remember why: Because it was fabulous too.)

The one thing my photos fail to convey is that we had wonderful company to go along with the fine food and drink. This, you will just have to take my word on. Because, as usual, it was wonderful.

And, like two years ago when we celebrated Kid Sister and T-Bear's engagement, this year we also had some good things to celebrate. These good things I will share with you later. Just because I can.