Saturday, March 18, 2017

Baked feta repost and wishing for spring!

Helloooooo, everybody! Mary Jane here. We've had the wettest, rainiest spring in nearly 20 years. Great for farms. Not so great for flooding. We live a few hundred feet from the Walla Walla River and it's getting high... but so far, hasn't crested the bank. So I'm in a SPRING DREAMING MOOD!
I'm reposting my baked feta recipe in hopes all the spring pictures will come true!

 Spring has sprung here in Oregon. And do you know how Richard Armitage (bless his gorgeous self) is related to spring??
Well, I'll get to that in a minute. But first a peek at my backyard...
Everything is in bloom. The bees are out (must buy sandals, note to self!), the frogs are croaking, and the tulips, iris, and lilacs are bursting with flowers!
Little boys with butterfly nets are scouring the garden (in snow boots) for prey.
The turtles cavorted in the tall grass as we cleaned their tank. Don't blink. You might miss them. They can actually get quite far away when you're watching for butterflies.
We tried to hem them in with bodies, but the little guys kept moving away and creating a gap for escaping into the far reaches of the lawn.
Here's a little guy very pleased with his flower, carefully placed in an antique egg cup. I didn't realize he could reach that shelf. He got the egg cup, filled it with water, and picked his own flower. Cute! And now I'll go move those breakables just a bit higher...
Our yellow climbing roses are blooming. They're in the hedgerow. You have to look hard. (Ooooh, I can hear him now!!)
*sigh* Isn't he wonderful? here's the full clip here, if you want to watch it. I'll wait... The relevant moment is 3:44. :)

 Ok, now that we've had our Richard Armitage fix for the day, let's see what there is to cook. I'm not feeling the need for anything super difficult. Hmmmmm. Edna reminds me there's some stinky cheese in the fridge and some large sourdough boules. 
An older kid is on hand to help with preparations so I'll man the camera while she works. Cutting the top off the sourdough bread is the first step.
Getting the feta cheese, parsley flakes, tomatoes and garlic out is the second step. I have an odd jar of olive and red pepper tapenade so I think I'll make one with that, too.
Hollow out the bread and place it in a bowl, crumbling slightly. This will help hold all the feta and tomatoes together.
Yummy. Give me a fork.
Add garlic, parsley flakes and mix well. Put it back in the boule... HEY. Someone has taken a bite.

And I found him over near the other one. Shoo, shoo!!

*sigh* It seems everything must be taste-tested for freshness before we cook it.

Wrap the boule in foil and bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
This is the olive tapenade and feta version. The red peppers gave it quite a kick! Mmmm. Even the next day, it was good, heated a little in the microwave. This dish is definitely not a 'date night' dish, unless you don't mind feta breath. 

And to round off the spring-y post, here's an old table I picked up for super cheap. It was a wreck. But something about those lines... Edna whispered the legs were mighty fine, quite shapely. I agreed. 
Some scraping and painting (some by small children, don't flip it over since they got to paint the underside) turns into this. And in that stack is- you guessed it! North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. have I mentioned that she's a hero of mine? She wrote her books at her kitchen table, with five kids, a minister husband who gave lessons to the poor in their living room. And she wrote romances that changed LIVES. Just love her! 

  I think she was also a lovely friend. She and Charlotte Bronte were pals but one time visitors came knocking while Charlotte visiting. Being afflicted with crippling shyness, Charlotte was in tears, until Mrs. Gaskell told her to hide in the curtains. So she did. And Mrs. Gaskell entertained them, never letting on that one of the most famous authors of the day was hiding just a few feet away! What a woman. What a hostess!

 Anyway, go out and enjoy the sunshine! If there's no sun, watch North and South. A little Armitage makes everything better.

 Until next time!

Be sure to stop by my facebook pages at Mary Jane Hathaway or Virginia Carmichael for all my up to date book news!


  1. You have rain, we have snow, though the sun is out now and maybe warm enough to start melting things. At this rate we won't see ground until May. LOL Spring seems a long time coming -- even though we really don't think spring until April up here.

  2. I love this! The baked feta would be perfect for a family get-together some time!

    And the flowers. Oh, my, I have flower envy. Like Kav, we won't see ours for a couple months.

    That story about Elizabeth Gaskell and Charlotte Bronte is wonderful. What a great friend! I haven't read North and South yet, but it's on my TBR list. I do have access to the movie, though....

  3. Oh, you grass is so beautiful! We've had beautiful flowering trees but the grass is taking forever.

    Thanks for the recipe! I have cheese I need to use up.