Sunday, August 28, 2011

Christmas Quilt & Kitchen Goings-On

This is a quilt based on the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Most of the applique was completed by hand.

Borders and sashing were stitched in the ditch.  Most of the applique was also s-i-d.  Yes that takes forever, but it makes a huge difference in the appearance.

Picked 5
Eaten 6
Given Away  0 (so sad, unable to torment my friends this year)
Compost 0
In Fridge 1
Total YTD 54

This week I made another Chick Pea & Zucchini Salad and two loaves of zucchini bread. This was for the Kinsmen who were here for a dinner/meeting on Friday.  My friend Sue took pity on me and took me to the movies so I could avoid the get-together.  We saw The Help, which I am giving two thumbs up - it was very good.  It sure provides a glimpse into a totally incomprehensible way of life.  I always have fun when I'm out with Sue.  She knows the back roads EVERYWHERE, so I never know where the hell we are.  Which can be kind of scary sometimes.  We had some time to kill before the movie so we went to Home Depot and looked at fridges.  Then we looked at lights.  Then we looked at toilets.  Well, Sue had to sit on all the toilets, and made ME sit on the toilets too.  Then we discussed the comfort levels of all the seats, and round bowls vs. elongated bowls.  Thank goodness the bathtubs are all up on the wall, or she'd have had us sitting in them, too.

Yesterday I went on a scouting mission for blueberries, peaches, and plums.  It's canning season...  The little market I went to also sells plants.  Uh oh.  Two large-ish viburnum shrubs came home with me.  They were on sale for $10 each and I'm hoping to clean up the side yard hillside garden, which used to be so pretty.  It  has fallen into a sad state ever since I lost access to water over there.  When I got home I went out and dug up several plants that I really want to save, then the nasty grass which is taking over got the Roundup treatment.  In a few days I'll go out and dig that up and plant the new shrubs.

With the produce I bought, last night I made 4 jars of blueberry marmalade.  Today I'll go visit Mom, and stop at the grocery store and the Bulk Barn to stock up on vinegars and sugars to do the rest of the canning.  Tonight will be the peach marmalade (or peach jam?  still undecided).  Tomorrow I'll do Plum Sauce, which is way better than the icky stuff from the grocery store.  Later in the week will be Fruit Chili (hmm, must go out and pick pears so they have time to soften up).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nick Lowe-Cruel To Be Kind -1979 #155.*T*O*T*Ps*70s*

When I was out for supper the other night this tune came on the Muzak. I can sing this one in my sleep. From the 1979 album  Pure Pop For Now People...(which is in my collection.  Somewhere.).

Monday, August 22, 2011

Buzz Saw & Border tutorial, Urn Panel, Red Hats & Cherry recipe

This is a cute little quilt made from an Urn panel. It is quilted with clamshells.

Buzz Saw quilt from the book Open A Can Of Worms.

The quilting didn't show up very well in the photo.  I used a combination of Terry Twist and a ribbon design.  Click the photo for a large version.

Border Tutorial
Once again, I am using my favorite marking tool:  TAILOR'S CHALK.  This quilt is made from 2 1/2" strips which makes a nice built-in 2" grid(after seam allowances).  I used the piecing as a guide and marked the 2" divisions.  I did stitch-in-the-ditch to separate the top from the borders, then treated the two borders as one.  I just got a little creative with a feather motif to fill the corner.  The whole border is continuous, and gets a little extra zing from a variegated thread.  The chalk just brushes off.

I was a lucky, lucky girl this week, with TWO pool parties to attend.  Thursday was Red Hat day.  Hanna treated us to a swim in her pool and hamburgers on the BBQ, cooked courtesy of her DH.  After the burgers were done he beat a hasty retreat to his friend's house.  The rest of us brought pot luck salads & desserts.  I figure by now her neighbours have all signed the petition that she is not allowed to have us over again because we broke the noise bylaw.  :-)  Then Saturday was a swim and dinner party at a friend of DH's.  The ladies ended up going in the house around 9 pm because we couldn't hear ourselves talk.  And we needed to complain about our hubbys.

Picked  2
Eaten  5
Given Away  0 (again??  really??)
Compost 0
Total YTD 49
Cherry Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake
Serves 10, adapted from Bon Appetit via Smitten Kitchen

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
3 cups whole pitted fresh Bing cherries (*I used half cherries and half fresh blueberries)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, separated
3/4 tsp vanilla bean paste OR vanilla extract
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Position rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 350.  Combine 1/4 cup butter with brown sugar and vinegar in a skillet.  Stir over medium heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves.  Increase heat to high.  Add cherries and bring to a boil.  Set aside. (*this is DELICIOUS.  It would make a wonderful topping for ice cream)

2. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Using an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter in a separate large bowl.  Add sugar.  Beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in egg yolks and vanilla.  Add flour mixture alternatively with coconut milk in two additions each, beating just until blended and scraping down the sides after each addition.

3. Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until foamy.  Add cream of tartar and beat until whites are stiff  but not dry.  Using a rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of the egg white mix into the batter.  Fold in remaining whites in three additions.

4. Pour the cherries into a 10-inch springform pan.  Pour the batter over the cherries, spreading evenly to cover the cherries.  Cover the bottom half of the pan with aluminum foil to prevent leakage.  Bake cake until top is golden and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.  Cool in pan, on rack, for 5 minutes.  Run a spatula around the sides to loosen.  Remove sides of springform pan.  Place a large serving platter on top of the cake, and flip over.  Remove the base of the springform pan from the top of the cake.  If necessary, rearrange any cherries that may have come unhinged.  Let cake cool at least 45 minutes.  Cut into wedges and serve.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Studio Tour Quilts

Gosh, I haven't posted any quilt pics in over two weeks.  Sorry about that.  Here are the quilts that will be part of the fall Dundas Valley Studio Tour.  Check out Studio 7.  More of her work can be found at  Her style is Modern quilting and her colours are bright and vibrant - it is always such fun for me to go to work when she's on my schedule.  Click on the photo for a larger pic.

And, Mary Helen-Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow? 
Well, no zucchini again yesterday.  Although if production ever ramps up I have a new recipe for Zucchini & Strawberry Marmalade.  I have a fall sewing of green beans, which are 6" high.  A fall sewing of beets and spinach are just poking their heads out of the ground.  I am dreaming all night about the little worms in my cabbage.  Geez, get a life, eh?  This morning I will go out and wash the crud out of the cabbages and respray them with insecticidal soap.  The worms seems to prefer the late cabbage.  The early cabbages show much less damage.  I know the thought of BUGS in your veggies freaks out many people, but organic gardeners like me just get used to sometimes having a little extra protein.  Although to be honest, I still say "eeuwww...".

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kawartha recap and Zucchini

I had a lovely coupl'a days at Margaret's.  Thursday we went to the Lakefield market, where they had a quilt exhibitor with several antique quilts.  Then we went next door to the Antique Show & Sale.  I remember the days when antiques were all really unusual items, but now I seem to have a personal history with a lot of items.  What's that saying???  Thursday night I got out my sewing machine and hemmed the four t-shirts that have been waiting for my attention for a few months.

I was not Margaret's only freeloader.  Here's me (trying to keep my share of the couch) with Molly.  Molly belongs to Margaret's friend, and she is staying for a visit for, I think, two weeks.  This was Friday when we went to the Buckhorn Fine Art Show & Sale.  Afterwards we made a quick lunch then spent the afternoon tooling around the lake on the boat.  We went out and did more sightseeing after a wee nap.  It seems that my nose was too sunburned for me to get any sewing done.

Saturday was QUILT SHOP day in Lindsay.  In spite of my fabric moratorium I seemed to be a little light in the wallet when we left.  We had a really good lunch at a tea room then came back and got stuck in the anti-gravity chairs for the rest of the day.  By three o'clock I decided there was no point in trying to get any sewing done, I would just stay stuck in the chair.

I was really really glad that Molly was visiting because she comes from the Muskokas, where wild blueberries grow.  So Molly's mom brought a large basket as a downpayment on doggie services.  On Thursday night Margaret whipped up the most delicious Blueberry Scone, which was huge - the size of a pie.  There was still one piece left when I departed on Saturday night.  Yum yum yum.

However, as you may have surmised, there was no shrinkage of the UFO numbers.  sigh.

Picked  9
Eaten 2
Given Away 2
Frozen 0
Compost 0
In Fridge 6
Total YTD 47

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Runnin' Away From Home

I'm heading up to Margaret's in the Kawarthas for a nice long weekend.  I have to pick 2 zucchini before I go and leave them for Sue, who forgot her cooler bag here last night.  She was here with a few guild gals for a pot luck supper.  I tried to cook a roast beef on the bbq but it was so windy the bbq would not stay lit, which meant I had to resort to the oven. 

My plan at Margaret's is to finish my July UFO top, which just needs a border, and the August UFO top which also just needs a border.  Then I can update my UFO page, which I have been studiously ignoring.

Gotta run... more on Sunday...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Garden Pests

Fer cryin' out loud.  First it was cucumber beetles.  Now it is Squash Bugs.  Look at the little bastards.  They are sucking the life out of my zucchinis.
I will  head out in the morning (now that I've done some research) and spray with  insecticidal soap.  If that doesn't kill them I may have to resort to making my own bug juice.  I may clear a patch of ground and stick a couple more seeds in.  If I get lucky I'll have a second set of plants this fall and may get more of my beloved fruits.

So, depressing as it is, here is my weekly ZUCCHINI REPORT
Picked  3
Eaten  2
Given Away  0 (NONE???!!!)
In Fridge  1
Frozen   0
Compost   0
YTD     38

Monday, August 1, 2011

Boxy Pouch, zucchini report

I made these two cute little boxy pouch bags to carry cutlery and serving utensils, using a tutorial from Make It Modern

As for quilting this week, I'm working on several quilts for a gal who will be part of a studio tour this fall.  Stay tuned for pics later this week (?).

Weekly Zucchini Report
Picked   11
Eaten   5
Given Away   6
In Fridge  0
Compost  1
Total YTD  35
As I suspected, my math is off.  There should still be 2 in the fridge.  Do you think maybe DH disposed of them when I wasn't looking?  Nah, he wouldn't dare.  Would he?

I spent yesterday morning in the garden dealing with the cilantro.  I started a few plants in the spring and planted them out there, not knowing that cilantro will self seed if you are a messy gardener like me.  Last year's crop went to seed and I think all 85 billion seeds grew.  I'm always saying that I love cilantro so much I could roll around in it - well this year I had enough that I COULD roll around in it.  So I hacked and chopped and pulled plants out and spread it around as mulch (see?  messy.) and discovered a pepper plant in the midst.  Then DH pounded in stakes for the tomatoes and got those all tied up, so I think everybody is happy now.  There are flea beetles eating my cabbage plants.  This year I am trying insecticidal soap (organic, ya know?).  Maybe I'll have nice foamy coleslaw this fall.  har har.  yuck  It will be a few days before I can see if it's helping.