cff COOKING, NEEDLEPOINT, AND TESSA | Simple and Serene Living


Saturday, July 18, 2020

I always thought of the dog days of summer as August, but time is so different these days, and the heat is on. 

I have been doing some cooking and baking this past week. My garden is definitely not producing like it did last year. Last summer I had more cucumbers and eggplants than I knew what to do with. 

love my cutting garden

This year, although I have lots of flowers on my cucumbers, it is not producing any fruit, and I have only had one eggplant.

I was able to harvest the one eggplant and I used it to make my favorite eggplant tomato casserole (had to buy tomatoes as I can't seem to beat the squirrels to the tomatoes). You can find the recipe here

I also decided to try my hand at baking a loaf of blueberry gluten free bread with crumb topping. So happy I did because it was delicious. 

The original recipe is not gluten free, but I just all purpose gluten free flour and it was perfect. I ate it as a dessert.
The original recipe is here. Be prepared for some unwanted, but worth it pounds to show up on your scales. 

I have been working on a needlepoint pillow for the last couple of months. I have learned to cut myself some slack when it comes to making it absolutely perfect. I have found that I am really enjoying the process and that it is relaxing for me. Thought I would share with you the progress I have made. 

Visited with my family on Thursday this week. Tessa and I had a Facetime breakfast tea party last week, but I hadn't seen her or my other grandchildren for a week and a half. 

Tessa of course wanted to show me how large the chicks and the ducks are now, The first group of chicks are as big as Trixie and the ducks are pretty much full grown. My son-in-law built a little door from the chicken coop into the duck pen so that the chickens can be in the larger space during the day. It then gets closed up at night so the ducks are safe from the fox. 

We finished up our visit with Tessa running through the sprinkler, a normal summertime childhood activity. Oh to be eight again. The pool they belong to had to be closed back down because one of the employees tested positive for Covid and Atlanta is back on phase one restrictions.

I am so grateful for those couple of hours a week. 


  1. The needlepoint is just gorgeous! I always wanted a couple of pillows for my they have in Downton Abbey. I have a couple of floral ones I call my Downton pillows. Hope your weekend is good! Hugs!

  2. I know you so look forward to this time. Looks like my grandchildren are going back to school, so I won't be able to see them. That blueberry bread looks good; love to sit across the table from you and share a slice. I never tried my hand at needlepoint. But I loved embroidery and crazy quilting. If my hands were in better shape I'd go back to that.

  3. Laura, Your needlework will be a treasure. I love how pretty it looks. Great idea making a recipe your own. That sweet little girl. I miss my daughters being that small. LOL. I always love hearing children's voices while they are playing. Blessings, stay safe, xoxo, Susie

  4. Your needlepoint is looking great, pretty colors. Remembering the says of running through the sprinkler and my mo. squirtinh with hose, great memories.

    The ducks and chicks are big.


  5. The needlepoint is so pretty. I remember summer days of running through the sprinkler. How fun. The bread looks pretty yummy. Glad you made that to treat yourself. Happy Weekend.

  6. My daughter needs to be gluten-free - I will pass on that recipe to her. The needlepoint is lovely - what a great craft for this stay at home time. Your flowers are pretty - I should try a cutting garden next year so I can have such beauty in my home. Thanks for the inspirations!

  7. It sounds like you have been keeping yourself busy. I think that is a good thing with this Covid mess---just to keep busy. Love your little Tessa. Oh-to enjoy that sweet pleasure again at that age. xo Diana

  8. Your needlepoint is so pretty. And your blueberry bread looks delish! I have that same cookbook, plus the follow up one. I loved running through the sprinkler as a kid and of course, my kids loved it, too. If I ever have grandchildren, I will set up a sprinkler and run through it with them! :-)


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