joy of nesting

joy of nesting
Shiree Hanson Segerstrom Design and Wellness for Women with Arthritis and Other Chronic Pain.

BEST FRIENDS FOREVER...Plus Shiree's Recipe for Peach-Blueberry Crisp

Pets have always been an important part of my life.  Quite a few have graced us over the years: Cookie, Pepper, Rozzi, Loup, Smokey, Rusty, Bailey, and Spreckie.  They have all lived long and happy lives under our watchful eyes.  Good food, regular vet care, medication when needed, and plenty of exercise keeps them feeling good and looking great. 

Other than the three biggest dogs all our pets have been indoors with the people.  It's not that Rozzi, Loup, and Smokey weren't welcome to come in.  They did come in when the weather was bad.  They just preferred to be out of doors where the action was.

Our pets have always had distinctive personalities, helped along by our silly ad libs.  I have scripted, repetitive dialogs that I rely on when I talk to my pets.  They seem to appreciate my myriad funny voices, each one individual to the pet.  When my husband Jim died 3 years ago it was my pets who gave me solace, particularly the ever present and super intuitive Bailey.  Her big, soft face in mine is a memory I will treasure.

Stannie was named for the river where she was found.  We were on the Stanislaus one day. Jim was teaching a course I recall and Christian was 6 years old.  This tiny kitten came up to him with her eyes all goopy and he just fell in love.  She followed him around all day and when it came time to go, we decided to take her home.

Jim and I took the kitten to the vet thinking it would probably not survive but they called us a week later and said we could come get her.  We had kept it a secret from Christian because if she had to be put down we didn't want him to be upset.  So when he came home from kindergarten I told him there was a surprise in his room. 

Stannie lived to be 19.  We lost her last July right around Christian's birthday. 
He was home to say goodbye to the cat who shared his life since he was 6. 

Bailey, on the right above was probably the most sociable dog we've ever owned.  She has literally dragged me down the street in heels and jewelry in an effort to approach people she didn't even know.  What a sight, me on my tummy, holding on for dear life so the unsuspecting neighbors wouldn't be knocked over.

Another thing about Bailey is she adored babies and children.  She'd cry to get at them, lick their faces, grime, boogers, and all.  Ugh.  Above is Stormie in bed with me.  No, I don't allow pets in my bed but it somehow happened and we snapped a shot then to much protesting whisked her away.

Spreckie was a shelter dog who came to live with us at 9 months of age.  I was volunteering at the shelter and my brother in law Steven wanted a German short hair but when they came to adopt him the girls didn't like his buggie eyes.  I was heartbroke and told him he could come home and live with us.  Jim said to him "you landed on your feet buddy" meaning he would be a pampered pooch from there on out!

Above is Stormie, weighing a whopping 25 lbs.  She is a little crabby but loves her tummy all hours of the night.  What a sedentary cat.  Other than frequent trips to her food bowl she seldom moves from the guest room bed.  I just received her name tag through the mail.

I have two pets now, Spreckie and Stormie.  I found Scout's family day before yesterday so he went home. I hope he will have a happy, safe life with Brooke his five year old mistress. I will miss him terribly. 

On Monday I will be adopting (not buying) and bringing home a cocker spaniel named Sheriff Andy, above.  He is a year old and has the sweetest little face.  Can you rename a dog? Is it faux pas? Because I'm rather partial to Winston or Riley.  Looking forward to meeting our new member of the pack.  

Shiree's Peach-Blueberry Crisp
4 C's sliced peaches
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 pints blueberries

1 1/2 C. flour
1 C. raw sugar
1/2 C. honey
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1 C. rolled oats
12 T. butter
1/2 t. salt
1 t. mace or cinnamon

In a 10" oblong Pyrex baking dish place fruit and lemon juice. 

In a food processor (Cuisinart works well) combine butter, sugar, flour, salt, mace. 
Pour into a bowl and stir in chopped walnuts and oats.  Top fruit with mixture.

Bake 40 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.

VINTAGE DRAPERIES...the Inspiration Behind a Bedroom. PLUS Shiree's Fresh Strawberry Tart

Watch the direction this decorating project takes...  Start with three and a half pairs of vintage draperies, the kind of tea stained floral that inspires many of Ralph Lauren's designs; vintage light fixtures, and an old dressing table.

Drape the dressing table chair with them. 


Add another fabric, this time a brown striped slip covered chair and ottoman which picks up the tan color of the vintage fabric. The fluffy white pillow adds a modern element. 


Use the brownish stripe fabric again, this time as a bed skirt.

Drape the end tables with slipcovers made from the vintage fabric and add warm white sheers
to soften the light from the windows.

What a nice bed roomy glow.


Integrate another fabric...this time an unexpected Lee Jofa document print by Mulberry with Merlot brushed fringe. Sheers, end table slipcovers and kidney pillows designed by Shiree Segerstrom Interior Design. It's called a kidney pillow because it's meant to be placed behind your lower back, near the kidneys.


A change in plans... the warm white walls will soon be a muted fleshy peach color. 


Upcoming purchases are vintage gold toned candelabras, 50's gold toned branch and leaf lamps, new artwork, and valances for above the windows. 

Disclaimer: "Snowy" the dog wasn't supposed to be in the picture.
Sources: Lamps from Roost; Stripe fabric Fabricut; chair and ottoman Best Slipcover Company; slipcovers, kidney pillows, bed skirt, and sheers by Shiree Segerstrom Interior Design. Mulberry fabric available through Lee Jofa. Furry pillow by Tozai.  


Crust/ Pate Sucre from The Silver Palate Cook Book
2 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1 t. salt
2 t. sugar
8 T. butter, chilled
6 T. Crisco
5 to 6 T. ice water
4" wide spatula
9" tart pan (straight sides, not tilted)

Sift the dry ingredients, butter, and shortening into a food processor for a few minutes. Place in a large bowl and add ice water one tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork after each tablespoon.

Turn the dough onto a cold, clean surface and with the palm of your hand, smear the dough away from you. Don't be shy. This will incorporate the ingredients. Collect the dough into two balls and place in cellophane. Gently press the dough balls into cylinders (flattened ball) and place in the refrigerator for about one hour. Flattening the dough balls will lessen your rolling time.

Unwrap dough and place on a floured board. Using a rolling pin (I like my wood one, some people like marble) start from the center of the dough circles and continue working your way out. Add flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to counter or rolling pin.

Using an over sized spatula (I have had the same one for years and it's 4" wide) lightly loosen the dough from the board and fold in half. This will help move the dough from counter to pan. Place dough in pan so that the fold is in the center of the pan and the edge of the dough is on the edge of the pan.

Cut excess from pan and bake at 425 for 20 minutes.

Creme Patisserie/Custard filling
2 C. milk
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. all purpose flour
3 egg yolks
1 T. butter
2 t. vanilla extract (real not imitation)

Scald the milk in a heavy saucepan. While the milk is heating, whisk the sugar and flour together in a stainless steel mixing bowl. When the milk is scalded, remove the top skin and slowly pour the milk into the flour and sugar, whisking constantly. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring, until the mixture lightly coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.

Add the egg yolks and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture coats a spoon, about 10 minutes more. NOTE: you have to warm the egg yolks with a little of the hot milk before adding them to the pot! They will curdle if you don't warm them up slowly.  Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla and mix well. Add to baked pie crust.

Berries and Glaze
Allow to cool well. Add sliced fresh strawberries in a circle starting with the edge of the pie. You can add some melted jelly as a glaze to the strawberries and a mint garnish.

Best eaten within 24 hours.


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