Blue Eyeshadow, More Frames, and All Around Class

There was a time in years past when my siblings and I would sit in front of the TV in the afternoons watching reruns of I Spy, I Dream of Jeannie, and Star Trek, to name a few. Naturally, we had our favorites but we watched whichever came on. But always shows from the time between the 40's and 70's. 

A quick synopsis: I Spy is a TV show that ran for 3 seasons between 1965 and 1968 about two American agents undercover as Tennis professional and his trainer, covering assignments all over the world, despite the fact that the first season seems to remain in Asia.

Episode 10 of season 1 is called Tatia. Kelly falls in love with a double agent and Scotty has to convince him of her true identity.

Although Tatia had about 5 or 6 outfits in this 50 minute show, this was one of the best. The blue scarf covering her hair and casual striped sweater gave her a real down-to-earth look. Her makeup too was fairly basic, or at least as basic as makeup can be in the 60's.

Her glasses were simple and very similar to others I have seen and posted here on my blog (see here). But I had to mention them just the same. I love the color. 

In another episode, Sheldon Leonard plays a high dollar fence who has attained important microfilm. And, you guessed it, Kelly and Scotty must get it back. His frames are little more square than Tatia's and dark in color but the over all shaping is the same. It's that 60's style that never fails to impress me.

Julie London also stars in this episode called Three Hours on a Sunday Night (Ep. 12, Season 1). In keeping with fashion of the day, her hair is short but full. In comparison to many of her other hair styles in her younger days, I think this one does her face slim justice.

She wore furs, shimmery dresses, and blue eyeshadow. I believe the 60's was the era when colored eyeshadow was the "thing". Admittedly, pictures, moving or still, were often black and white in the earlier days so it is hard to tell what color makeup a person may be wearing. But it is a fact that neutrals were more common during the 40's and 50's. Her lipstick also is a lovely shade. Not too much and not too little.

But despite all the glitz and glamour of their female costars, the stars of the show never cease to impress. Here, Kelly is in blues with a satin ascot and Scotty in beige with signature shades. As usual, immaculate and ready for anything.

Culinary Chronicles - Buckwheat and Flax Crackers

It is high time for another Culinary Chronicles!

I don't think I have to tell you how rotten I feel at putting this off for so long. I think (if I remember correctly) I promised this recipe a few years ago. But then I got distracted with other posts I wanted to write and etc, etc, etc. So normally I get to my work and I get it done. Since I have been making these crackers at least once a week for many years now I tend to be a little robotic about it. I'm trying to slow down and change the way I look at things. (Take a look at my last post for a hint at why). I want to stop ramrod-ing everything in my life in order to meet my impossible (and self inflicted) schedule. So Monday morning I got out the home-ground buckwheat and flax as usual and just stared for a moment. I was weighing the sense in "wasting my time" to document the procedure. I feel a little sheepish admitting that, yes, I felt a hint of guilt at taking the time to do this when I had so much that I usually need to do. But I told myself that was nonsense. What has come of my life that I can't even do a food post anymore?! Well, the pep talk over, I set to work.

In the beginning, I wanted to make a cracker that worked and wasn't made out of wheat. I did some research and found some recipes that sounded good but, as always, I had to create one just the way I wanted. Here's what I have worked out.

This recipe makes 3 pans/cookie sheets worth of crackers. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. (In the winter I have to bake them at 390 degrees but our summers get pretty hot and 375 degrees seems to work best).

Measure out 2 cups of finely ground buckwheat flour into a mixing bowl. Add 3/4 cup of finely ground (but not clumpy) flax flour and 1 tsp of Himalayan pink salt. Mix well, pressing out any clumps in the flours.

Once flours are well mixed, add 3/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of olive oil. I have used coconut oil before, and it works really well, but since I freeze the flours the coconut oil hardens rather quickly and becomes difficult to work with.

Incorporate just until mixed. The dough should be thick but all flour fully mixed in. If you think it is too thick then add some more water. Just remember, you want it to be thick so that it is workable and produces a hardy cracker instead of a bready one. You might have to try a few times before you get it. Believe me, I have had practice.

Measure out 4 pieces of parchment paper the length of your baking sheets. Take one and sprinkle a small pinch of buckwheat flour over it. Toss some more buckwheat flour over dough, working it with the spoon into a ball.

Separate the dough into 3 even balls. They look a little crude but over kneading them presents a bready cracker.

Take one ball and flatten it out in the center of the prepared paper. Toss a little more buckwheat flour over it to keep the paper from sticking.

Lay a sheet of paper over the partially flattened ball and use a rolling pin to flatten further. This is kind of the tricky part. At first my crackers came in all different shapes, mostly ugly ones. But I learned to work the dough into a rectangle by first rolling it vertically and then horizontally. Just feel the direction the dough is going and be careful not to push it too far. You want it to be thin but not quite paper thin. And then again, ugly crackers can be cool. Original.

Take a pizza cutter and slice the dough however it pleases you. If the dough is too thick it will stick to the blade, you don't want this to happen. But if it does, dash a little more flour over it before you do. Repeat with next 2 balls of dough.

Slide paper onto baking sheets and bake crackers for 15 minutes or until they begin to have a nice toasted look. You can quickly poke a center cracker with your finger to test the crispness but be careful not to burn yourself. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy!

Buckwheat and Flax Crackers

Makes 3 sheets


    1 1/2 cups of finely ground buckwheat flour
    3/4 cup of finely ground flax flour
    1 tsp of Himalayan Pink salt
    3/4 cup of water
    1/3 cup of olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degree. Mix flours well then add liquids. Stir just until mixed and let sit while you arrange parchment paper. Divide dough into three balls. Roll each ball between floured sheets of parchment paper. Cut with pizza cutter and slide paper onto baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes or until crackers are golden.

I love them particularly with hummus, but I also eat them with cheese, and peanut butter, and on occasion, homemade salsa. Sometimes I add a bit of cheese to the batter, and other times I have added seasonings like rosemary. Feel free to try anything you like.

Let me know what you think and how it goes for you!

When You Are Run Dry

Every budding writer is encouraged to find his or her niche. For some there is no question as to what it is, others learn it quickly, and still others take a long time. ...I am in the last category.

Fungus growing on hickory wood.

If you have followed much of my blogging you will have noticed that I have a great many interests. Writing, of course, is at the top of my list, and more specifically, I enjoy writing non-fiction and fiction alike. But I have struggled in the past with defining just what type of writing is more important to me --what it is that I want to pursue most. I call it a curse, one that I inherited from my Dad, who got it honestly from his father. Too many interests cause a lack of perfection in all of them. And I am not satisfied with that. But the interests that I have are God-given, and therefore not a curse but a blessing. I just have to learn how God expects me to use them.

I thought I had found my niche a few years ago when I began blogging on marine science. All my life I have been attracted to the marine world and in school I eagerly took marine biology and maritime archaeology. Though that was some time ago, a lot of what I learned really came in handy, and was greatly reinforced, by the many hours watching NOAA's live footage of ocean exploration. I researched tirelessly and wrote a great deal. But I wanted to do more. So I pursued it professionally. I have had the pleasure to see some of my work published in SCUBA News for starters, as I have said in a previous post. But since I have not been able to commit all of my time to the activity, I have not advanced as much as I wanted to. A matter of priorities.

As I am sure most of you will relate, I have run myself dry struggling to accomplish so much in so little time. Unknowingly, it has become my main priority. My blogging clearly has suffered and sometimes it is all I can do to complete a satisfactory pattern at the end of the week for Crochet Spot. I even find myself lacking a desire to explore in marine science.

I would never have believed the disinterest or even loathing a person can have for something that was formerly so exciting to them when they run themselves dry.

I must admit, I hesitate to be so open with my feelings and can't help imagining what kind of awful repercussions might occur from it. But the truth is the truth and there are times when it becomes necessary to speak it.

So here I am again, asking myself what my real niche is. Or in better terms, what God really wants me to write. I thought it was marine science, and maybe it is, but am I overlooking something? Why am I so stale and uninspired? How do I shake this?

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before but there is a topic more meaningful to me than all of those I have brought up. Can you guess? --it's ministry. I believe strongly in my faith in Jesus and its effect on my life. What's more, I believe God has called me to ministry in some form. In my early years I wanted to be a missionary. Now that I am older, the label "missionary" carries with it more meaning than it did in my child's mind ages ago. There is a lot a person can do who has a heart to be a "missionary" and not all of it requires living in a remote village on the other side of the world. Although it does mean that too.

God is showing me that I can do the work of a missionary (which is pure and simple: spreading the gospel) in what I do right here. My blog is a platform and my desire to write is a means. Slowly I am realizing that this may be the direction God is leading me in. But I still have so many questions and uncertainties.

One thing is certain though. In order to find out what it is God is trying to teach me, and why I am so stale and uninspired, I am going to have to take the time to see. Everyone needs a rest once in a while. I have heard someone say that rest is just as important as work. Years ago I wouldn't have believed that. I do now.