Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Christmas Bowl of Burl for Kathy

Several years ago while visiting Benjamin and his family in Oregon, I picked up a chunk of myrtlewood burl.   I decided to see what would emerge from this piece of burl using the lathe. Here are the results.

Burls form when a tree is stressed and creates a deformed growth pattern yielding a large bulbous mass with grain that appears to have small notty structures that are really dormant buds.

Myrtlewood is only found in Northern California and the Southern Oregon coast. Burl is prized because of its highly figured grain.

The bowl is 5 inches in diameter and about 2.5 inches high.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I found my lathe in the garage!

Created a bowl for a colleague who is retiring. I have been wanting to try this technique for a while now ... keeping a square profile on a turned object. I've got a smashed thumb and several cut fingers to prove that this is a dangerous technique. However, I am pleased with how the bowl turned out (no pun intended).  The bowl is turned from walnut, maple, and quarter sawn sycamore.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Squash, Potato, and Poblano Chile Soup

1 squash (Acorn or Butternut)
1 bulb garlic
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
4 large Poblano peppers roasted, peeled, and diced
2 cups of sweet corn
1 medium onion diced
2 stalks celery diced
1 medium carrot diced
1 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbs. honey
5 cups chicken stock 1 cup milk
2 medium skinless chicken breasts (optional)

Halve the squash and remove the seeds. Roast squash, potatoes, and garlic for 1 hr at 375 F on a tinfoil covered baking sheet. 

In a large pot, saute the onions, celery and carrots in the olive oil and butter on medium heat for 15-20 minutes until soft.  Add the cumin and black pepper to the vegetables and continue sauteing for another two minutes.  Add the chicken stock.  Add half of the peppers, the peeled roasted garlic and all of the squash removed from its skin.  Peel and dice the potatoes and add 1/4 of the potatoes to the pot. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 mins.

Puree the mixture in a blender and return to the pot.  Add the honey, corn, milk and remainder of the potatoes and peppers(add the chicken here).  Let the mixture return to a boil and simmer until the potatoes and corn are warmed through.  Salt to taste.  Serve with warm corn tortilla chips.

If adding chicken, season the chicken with salt and pepper and saute the chicken breasts on medium heat in olive oil and butter until cooked.  Shred the chicken and add to the soup mixture.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Requested Recipes

CHILES RELLENOS (Stuffed Peppers)

8 large green New Mexican chiles (Poblano, Anaheim, Hatch), roasted and peeled, stems on
2 lbs Monterey Jack cheese grated
6 eggs, separated
1 Tbs water
4 Tbs flour
1/4 tsp salt Flour
4 cups ranchero sauce

Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Beat the yolks with the water, 4 Tbs flour, and salt until thick and creamy. Fold the yolks into the whites.

Make a slit in the side of each chile (remove seeds and membranes to reduce heat) and stuff the chiles with the grated cheese. Dredge the chiles with the flour. Dip the chiles in the egg mixture and fry in 2 to 3 inches of oil until they are a golden brown.

Place chiles in a 9x11 casserole dish and cover with ranchero sauce. Sprinkle the top with the remainder of the grated cheese. Bake at 450 F approximately 10 min. until bubbly and serve.

To Roast Peppers:
Char peppers over an open flame (gas grill works great) or on a rack set over an electric burner, turning, until skins are blackened, 4 to 6 minutes. (Alternatively, broil peppers on rack of a broiler pan under a preheated broiler about 2 inches from heat, turning every 5 minutes, 15 to 20 minutes, or until skins are blistered and charred.) Transfer peppers to a bowl and let stand, covered, until cool enough to handle. Keeping peppers whole, peel them, starting at blossom end. Carefully make a lengthwise slit in each of the peppers and remove the seeds and membranes. Rinse and drain well. Using paper towels pat the peppers dry.

Ranchero Sauce:
1 large onion, chopped
3 gloves garlic, minced
8 medium peeled/diced tomatoes or 2 lb canned tomatoes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground red peeper (or to taste) Salt to taste
3 Tbs oil

Saute onion and garlic with oil in saucepan till soft.  Add tomato, cumin, and pepper and simmer for 20 min. to reduce sauce. Pour sauce into blender and puree. Add salt to taste. Makes approximately 1 quart.


1 1/3 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. sugar
3/4 Tbs. baking powder
Confectioner's sugar
1 egg, beaten
2/3 c. milk, more if batter is too thick
Hot cooking oil

Combine dry ingredients. Mix egg and milk together and add to dry ingredients. Beat until smooth. Hold finger over bottom of funnel and pour in some batter. Let batter drop in spiral motion into pan filled with 1 inch of hot oil. Fry until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Serve hot. This makes 3-4 cakes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Finished Roof

Over the last several weeks we have gotten the garage roof completed and a new roof on the house.

I have also installed the garage doors and the exterior door in the breezeway.

I have gotten a good start on the siding.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Roof Almost Complete

Hilary and Ben came to visit over Christmas with their two little tykes. It was great fun. Ben was able to help me get a good start on the roof.

It's actually starting to look like the plan.