My favorite white pencil is famous!

I have used a white charcoal pencil made by the General Pencil Company for as long as I can remember. They are the perfect pencil for marking medium to dark fabric AND they are very affordable! You can find them here and here on my website.

Imagine my surprise when I saw a feature story about General Pencil today in the New York Times! It is a great story, with amazing photos by Christopher Payne, that tells us how pencils are still being made in the US.


I’m even more impressed now at both the quality of every pencil and the low prices!


Click here to read the article in the New York Times.

Storm King Art Center

On Friday, after Thanksgiving, we went on a road trip to the Storm King Art Center. It is an hour’s drive from the city. Jeff drove, Celia navigated, and Steve and I enjoyed looking out the windows :-).

The 500-acre grounds are perfectly designed to house large-scale modern sculpture. We spent hours walking the site and enjoying a perfect day.

The trees and grasses are perfect accents to the sculpture. And sometimes people are the perfect accent!


The mirrored picket fence was unassuming from a distance but great fun up close, and low.


My favorite was Andy Goldsworthy’s Wall, behind us, below.


This trip was Celia’s idea. She has some really great ideas!



We flew home yesterday. And even though it is always good to be home, we both miss the kids. Luckily, we have been invited to return next Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving – Macy’s Parade

Happy Thanksgiving!

It was crisp and clear this morning — a beautiful day for a parade! Lots of people out and about.






On the way back, at Lincoln Center…


Truth be told, I am not a parade lover. But the Macy’s parade, on Thanksgiving, with the kids, is an exception. I do love this experience.


2 days walking NYC…

Central Park…





Views from the High Line…




The globe at Columbus Circle, seen from below coming up the stairs from the subway…


A mosaic wall near Chelsea Market…



Our view from the Hilton Garden Inn…



When I got back to the hotel and started putting my stuff on the bed, I realized that I am very monochromatic this trip. Good thing I have a bright green jacket :-).



Tuesday, in NYC…

The Wednesday Giveaway will return next week. Right now Steve and I are in NYC, visiting the kids. We are already having a great time!

I’ve been posting pictures to instagram and facebook. I’ll post more, in between enjoying the kids and living in the moment.

I hope that each of you is having a good week. I know that some people are stressed at the holidays. My wish  is that you can let go of the angst and embrace the moment. People are who they are and you really can’t change them. The only person you can control is you. It’s taken me 61 years to grasp that. Wish I had done it sooner but there you go.

Happy Thanks giving!

Side note: I lost my glasses last night. I took them off, hooked them on my scarf while I took a picture, and forgot about them. I realized blocks later, at the hotel, that they were not there. Damn. I am thankful for FedEx, who will deliver my backup pair from home in the morning. That was faster and cheaper than having a new pair made here.

First, the pie mishap. Then the glasses. I stubbed my toe a while ago! I’m hoping my 3 bad things are over now :-).

The pecan pie story…

I decided to try a new pie crust this year, using Steve’s Gluten Free Cake Flour and a pastry recipe from Patisserie GF. I made two batches and refrigerated them overnight thinking I’d get the pies in the oven pretty quickly the next morning.

Here’s what I learned: pastry is different from a pie crust. I realized pretty quickly that that was not going to work (my first ‘wrong’). I turned to my no-fail pie crust by Annalise G Roberts that I’ve written about before (click here). Here’s a link to the pie crust recipe but be aware that it is written for the Authentic Foods Classical Blend GF flour. I can’t say how it will work with other GF flours. It didn’t take long to make the two crusts, but it threw me off my stride.

Then I made the 1st pie filling. I used a recipe from United States of Pie by Adrienne Kane, an excellent resource. Her recipe is similar to many except that she recommends toasting the pecans before adding them to the mix.

I had everything measured out, got the first pie in the oven, and then realized that I had not added the dark Karo syrup (2nd ‘wrong). Words escaped my lips but I decided what the hey (hay?) and pulled the pie out of the oven. I added the Karo syrup and tried stirring it in. Not a good plan, so I dumped the filling into a bowl and stirred it up, returned it to the pan and put it in the oven.

At this point, I was beginning to have real doubts about my mental faculties. However, in my defense, Steve was bustling around the kitchen. He was being helpful but I realized later that I am used to concentrating more when baking. Not his fault, it’s on me that I was easily distracted.

I made the 2nd pie, put it in the bottom oven, set a timer for it and waited. It was when the buzzer went off for pie #1 that I realized that somewhere in there I had (3rd wrong) turned off the top oven!!!!! Geez, Louise. No wonder it looked like it wasn’t cooking. I turned up the heat because, why not?

Both pies got done at the same time, they look about the same, and they both tasted great. I was stunned.

Here’s what I learned:

  • If you have a no-fail crust recipe, use it.
  • Pecan pie is very forgiving.
  • 3 wrongs sometimes to make a right.
  • As Buzz Lightyear says: Never give up. Never give in!

Cranberry sauce that can’t be beat…

It’s fast and easy and delicious!

  1. Wash 1 bag of cranberries.
  2. Put them in a microwave-safe bowl with 1 cup sugar. (Use 3/4 cup sugar if you like tart cranberry sauce.)
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then peel back a little to let steam escape.
  4. Microwave on regular 4 minutes. Stir. The bowl will be hot so use pot holders.
  5. Microwave another 4 minutes.
  6. Stir in 1/4 cup brandy OR Grand Marnier OR whatever sounds good to you.
  7. Cool. Eat, or chill in the refrigerator. Then eat.