What my Grandmothers taught me about saving money

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If saving money is wrong, I don't want to be right! --William Shatner

It was drilled into my head at a young age to save money by both of my grandmothers.  Grandma grew up during the depression.  Gammy married the day before the banks crashed and closed.   With the Depression a large part of their lives, it was inevitable that their tricks and tips rubbed off on me. I'm glad it did as I struggle to pay off large medical debt on an artist's income, these tips make it feel less difficult.

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recipe :: cherry rhubarb jam


When we first moved into my home, I planted a sour cherry tree. I nurtured it and soon enough it was fully mature and producing thousands of cherries. The annual harvest begins around the 4th of July and lasts a few weeks. 

This year we had a bumper crop, so neighbors came to help.  We’ve been making jams, ice creams and pies, sharing recipes back and forth.  This is my recipe for cherry rhubarb jam. It’s low in sugar and full of flavor.  I love it with corn bread, but I bet it would go well with vanilla ice cream or even a slice of cheddar.

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crafty yummy thai food, sticky rice

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer umbrellas suspended from ceiling
"The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us through
the mystic realm of color."  --  Hans Hoffman

Restaurants are often trapped in decoration cliches, such as sombreros for Mexican and red checkered table cloths for Italian.  Viewed as setting an ethnic ambiance, they do the opposite, these cliches come off as predictable and boring and are almost always a guarantee of a lack luster meal to be served. 

Sticky Rice, specializing in Northern Thai cuisine, is one of those delightful exceptions to the usual Chicago Thai restaurant.  I started with the deep fried bananas wrapped in wontons.  Normally I'd think of this as a dessert, but it was perfect as an appetizer.  The wonton wrappers were crispy while the inside was warm and soft to the bite.  It was followed with the Pad See Ewe which was beautifully spiced. I love it when restaurants add vegetarian sections with appropriate warnings of which dishes may contain dairy, egg or fish.  LOVE it!  

Sticky Rice is bright and cheerful.  The dining room is painted yellow and orange and filled with crafty touches.  I adored the ceiling with suspended open umbrellas adding dots of color.  The wall by our table had these sweet paper flowers made of tagboard, yarn, styrofoam and glitter.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer paper flowers wall decoration

Even the lamp shades were clever. I'm thinking of a version to update my front hallway.  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer paper lantern at Sticky Rice
Sticky Rice hit all the marks for me to return - great food with a good vegetarian selection, fun environment and under $10 for an entree.  They receive extra bonus points for providing crafty inspiration.

st. louis nostalgia

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Crown Candy Ice Cream

An inch of ice on the streets with temperatures hovering around 10ºF did not dissuade me from ordering a scoop of chocolate ice cream.  I was in full nostalgia mode.   You can leave your hometown, but your hometown never quite leaves you.  I was back in St. Louis and found myself at Crown Candy.

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Crown Candy
 I hadn't been there since childhood.  The effect was still the same.  I was the kid in a candy shop.  

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Crown Candy Chocolates
Crown Candy is an old world place dating back to my grandmother's days.  The surrounding neighborhood dates back to the Civil War with some amazing architecture.  It's one of those places that time forgot.  The chocolates and lollipops are housemade, as is the ice cream.  The soda fountain is the same.  Forget Lady GaGa, modern adaptations such as the jukebox play Yes and Cream.  

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Crown Candy Juke Box

I sat back, enjoyed the ice cream and let the memories flood over me.  Watching a 4 year old try to eat a jawbreaker bigger than his fist was an added bonus.  

need a week refund

 ©2010 Lindsay Obermeyer bowls

"Need a day refund.  Send soonest."  -- Yarn Harlot

I need more than a day's refund.  I need a week's worth.  I've been calling it the week of rough starts and no finishes.  In other words, it's been one of THOSE weeks.  

I can't seem to get anything done in the studio.  Just as I get into the flow, the phone rings or the doorbell rings or one of the pooches needs to go outside.  Paperwork is in piles around my office and spilling onto the dining room table as there is so much to complete.  Fine.  But why is it every pen in my house has to run out of ink at the same time?!  

Don't even get me started with FedEx.  They shattered the glass on two prints, but want me to repack the box as it was complete with all the broken shards of glass for them to pick up on Tuesday to deliver to their inspection house.  By the time the prints are finally returned to me they will probably be in shreds.  My dad is beside himself as they were a gift from him.  Same with the century-old painting.  The frame is splintered and the painting will certainly need some restoration.  One has to wonder about the intelligence of the idiot who came up with this policy. Sigh.

So by the end of yesterday, I was in need of a diversion.  First stop, Lillstreet Art Center for the Empty Bowl event.  Donate $20 to First Slice, pick out a ceramic bowl, fill it with soup and then keep the bowl!  I love mine.  It's now my official breakfast bowl.  Afterward Sweet Pea and I went to see Annie Heckman's show (go see!) at the International Museum of Surgical Science  followed by "Materiality" (ditto) at ARC Gallery.  We ended the evening with sandwiches, a glass of wine and a DVD at Chez Nous. 

It may be Saturday morning with piles of paper surrounding me, but I made sure last night to get a working pen.... Now I just need another cup of coffee.

blueberry butter


Not a single quote could be found pertaining to this glorious fruit, which is surprising given it's one of the super foods excellent at fighting cancer.  

I've gone a bit gaga for blueberries.  Tis the season.  Blueberry butter, blueberry pancakes, blueberry smoothies.  I bought five pounds of them at the farmer's market the other day and they are already half gone.  I can't decide what to do with the rest.  Blueberry muffins or blueberry peach jam?  Hmmm.  Maybe I need to go buy some more blueberries.  Solution solved!

Blueberry Butter recipe

4 cups of blueberries
6 large Granny Smith apples peeled and chopped
1 cup of brown sugar
2 cups of sugar
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of mace
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of allspice

Cook on low until the sugar melts and then bring to a boil for 5 minutes.  Return to low and cook for another 45 minutes.  Remove apple chunks and chop smooth in a blender.  Return to blueberries and stir into mix.  Can the butter using the rolling boil water method for 10 minutes.  I haven't tried freezing the butter, but if anyone has, let me know how it worked out.