Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blooming 9-Patch

The weather in Tobermory is always fun.  Monday was rain & wind.  Tuesday was pounding rain and wind.  With ice pellets.  Wednesday was nice & sunny for most of the day.  Thursday was cold & rain.  A bit south of us they had six inches of snow.  I was VERY glad that missed us!  The drive home on Friday was sunny, and then for an hour the roads were all wet but it was still sunny.  Huh?  Then we hit the rain.

I took a butternut squash with me.  One our retreaters likes to open the bar REALLY early (well, really early in my opinion).  Rotary cutters are a little dangerous if you're shit-faced, so to nosh on with our afternoon cocktails, I made Butternut Squash, Cranberry & Goat Cheese Crostini.  The recipe is here.  These were very (!) good.  The rest of the BS was chopped and roasted when I baked the salmon. 

After I finished my Mondo Bag, and got my guild B.O.M. finished, and made three little cell phone wallets, I finally got back to my Blooming 9-Patch.  This quilt was started here at this cottage back in July. The blocks are finally all stitched into rows.   My thighs were killing me because I was up and down so many times picking blocks up off the floor to stitch together. My next step is to add the setting triangles then stitch the rows together and add the final border.  Closer... closer... closer to completion.
Well, hell has apparently frozen over.  DH went out and picked zucchini while I was away.
Picked this week:  2
Picked YTD: 46

Picked last 2 weeks:  5 (2 for soup, 2 given away, 1 cooked in Tobermory)
Picked YTD: 18

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Project Completion

Woo hoo!! Our group project is complete.
We each selected our colour preference. Then we gave each other 32 squares of the requested colour. The bags are MONDO BAGS by Quiltsmart. Each pattern includes the premarked iron-on interfacing. These are now our official shuffle-stuff-to-tobermory totes.  After we all sighed "finally" we proceeded to move on to our own stuff.
Yesterday's weather was AWFUL. We didn't so much as stick our heads out the door. Rain. Ice pellets. Gale force winds. Today was sunny and cool so we ventured in to town for a walk and to replenish the alcohol supply. We tried our luck at scratch & win lottery tickets too. Nope. Scratch & LOSER.
Off to sew...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It's All About the Food

A week in Tobermory was on the agenda for this week. With the Beach Girls. Breakfast today was Eggs Benedict by Karen. Yum. Tonight I am on tap to make baked salmon for dinner.
Stay tuned for more food news. :-)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What a Difference One Line Makes (and more cooking blah blah blah...)

What a beautiful quilt - love the prairie points inset in the border!  As it appears in this photo, the quilting just didn't look... finished.  The yellow and the blue/green rectangles looked... poochy & sloppy.

I added one line of stitching in each piece, and VOILA.  Perfect.

DH and I went for our daily quasi-regular walk with Sadie.  For weeks now, I have been eyeing the wild pear tree at the side of the road.  Since DH is a foot taller than me, I sent him splooshing through the mucky ditch to grab me some pears for an Autumn Fruit Flan.  The recipe is from the Milk Calendar many years ago and I cook up one of these flans at least once a year.  Delicious.  Recipe HERE.

Since he was scavenging for me, he figured he would also scavenge for our niece.  Our pockets were completely full of stolen food by the time we got home.  She was bemoaning the fact that she cannot find FRESH edamame at any of her local markets.  Now that we've scraped up this bag of soybeans (with a bit of gravel) off the side of the road, she can grow her own.  The farmers have been harvesting and their grain bins are not exactly sealed.  There are always little piles at the side of the road.  Click on this LINK for your Wikipedia lesson on Edamame.

When I picked up my quilts from the Simcoe Fair (along with my big fat CHEQUE :-) ) I stopped at the orchard again and got 10 lbs. of Spy apples.  Here is one 5 lb. bag, all closed up with pastry.  Yum yum yum.  I will be making 3 more pies today with the other 5 lb. bag.  Sheesh - I should get a life!

Any suggestions for the leftover pastry trimmings?  I always throw them out, but it KILLS me because there is enough here for at least another bottom crust.  I assume that rerolling this would make it tough and crappy, like store-bought pastry. Yes?  No?

Yesterday while I was slaving away over a hot needle and a beautiful quilt, DH was up in the kitchen staying busy.  Holy smackeroonies!!  You readers should send your hubbies over here for lessons.  Fresh pizza dough made for the crust.  Fresh sauce made.  Toppings of bbq chicken, bacon, red, yellow & hot peppers, onions, and lots of mozzarella.  And the bonus part - I wore off all the calories running up and down the stairs to find the spices that were all clearly labelled, but apparently invisible.
The zucchini and BS reports will arrive later...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Quilts of Valour & Squash Reports

I have said it before, and I'll say it again. I feel very blessed with the gifts I live with every day and I am happy to give some lovin' back where I can. But I still need to put groceries on the table, so there's a limit.  I have already quilted 14 this year.  For some of them I also threw in batting and backing.  And I made and donated two quilts of my own.  One more quilting freebie is coming up for QOV this year, then that's it until 2014.

Here are the most recent six...

Friendship Stars.

Nice.  This is a new pantograph, called Cedar.

Single Irish Chain.

Quilted with Bubbles


Quilted with Chinook.

I have no idea what quilt design this is.  The fabric is great - all Canadiana motifs.

Quilted with English Oak.
Friendship Stars.

Quilted with Path To My Heart.

Rail Fence.

Quilted with Celtic Hearts.
Picked this week: 1
Picked YTD: 44

Picked this week:  2 (gave them both away - traded for a turkey dinner!!  Good deal.)
Picked YTD:  13

BS Tidbit of the Week:  Exercise is the first thing on my calendar every day.  ha ha ha...

Friday, October 11, 2013

the Norfolk County Fair

My two favorite things to see at the fair.
  • A sign with my name on it :-)
  • Polish Chickens

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Drunkard's Path Quilt & Veggie Reports

Apparently I never posted this quilt that was done back in June.  I was looking for it on my blog and although I found a couple other Drunkard's Paths, this one was missing.  It was exactly like looking for your glasses.  You know you put them down, um, here?  Nope.  Maybe the living room?  Nope.  Bedroom?  Bathroom?  I'm sure you've done that too.  Three hours later you find them in a very logical place:  in the cutlery drawer.
So, here it is...

I love the subtle stripe in the dark pink fabric.  I cut the pieces for the quilt maker using JAWS, my Accuquilt die cutter.

The quilting is easier to see on the back.
DH and I took a lovely Sunday drive.  We stopped at an apple orchard and bought a 1/2 peck of Royal Gala and a 5 lb. bag of Courtland seconds.  The courtlands will be whipped up (in a manner of speaking) into a couple of pies later this week.  Even though I HATE making pastry, they will taste like heaven in February.  If they last that long.

DH was cooking yesterday - he made a h.u.g.e. pot of vegetable soup, so there is a ton of that in the freezer now.  As much as he bitches and moans about zucchini, he picked a large one (that it seems I missed in the garden), and shredded a bunch of that into the soup.  He was shuddering while doing it though.  :-)  When we sat down for supper of soup & Pumpkin Bread I was excitedly thinking I could skip my Omega 3 pill, since we were eating vegetables for supper.  Then I looked at the toasted pumpkin bread slathered with butter.  Um, hmm, ok - take the pill.

Picked this week: 1
Picked YTD:  43

Picked this week: 2 (one went into the veggie soup, one cooked with pasta.  Recipe link.)
Picked YTD:  11

BS Tidbit Of The Week:  I limit my tv time to 2 hours per week.  ha ha ha ha...

Friday, October 4, 2013

Food From Gifted Produce!! Recipe for Chinese Plum Sauce

I spent yesterday morning stitching, but then came to a standstill where I needed to speak to my client, and she was unreachable at work.  Hmm.  I could have put my feet up and turned on the soaps.  But oh nooo... I have to stay busy.  Pfftt. 
First on the list:  Two loaves of pumpkin bread, from the gifted pumpkin a few weeks ago.
Then a pan of Apple Betty.  My neighbour brought over a 3L basked of apples from his yard on Wednesday.  Warning - when your neighbour gives you apples from his never-sprayed-in-this-millenium trees, you will find worms.
Then 8 jars of Chinese Plum Sauce from plums a gal brought to the guild meeting on Monday.  I gratefully took 2 pounds of prune plums that she got from her son's tree. Her deal is:  if she gives you produce you have to give her some of whatever you've canned.  OK - fine by me!!

A little warning here:  this is not the boring orange sugar-sauce that you buy in the store or get in the little plastic packages with your Chinese food.  This is SPICY and very, um, piquant.
Chinese Plum Sauce
Yield:  6 half-pints
From The Complete Book of Canning, Ortho Books

3 red bell peppers
2 lbs. ripe peaches OR apricots, sliced
2 pounds plums, sliced
4 c. cider vinegar
2 c. water
1 c. granulated sugar
1 ¾ c. packed light brown sugar
1/3 c. light corn syrup
5 large cloves garlic, minced
6 tbsp. peeled, chopped ginger root
1 ½ tbsp. coarse (kosher) salt
3 tbsp. white mustard seed, lightly toasted
1 small onion, chopped
2 dried hot red peppers, seeded and crushed
1 stick cinnamon

  1. Place bell peppers under broiler and roast until skin is blistered and lightly charred on all sides.  Remove from heat and wrap in a damp towel for 15 minutes.  Scrape off skin.  Remove seeds and stems.  Set aside.
  2. Simmer sliced peaches and plums, 2 cups of the vinegar, and the water in a large pot until the fruit is tender (about 20 to 30 minutes).  Remove from heat.
  3. Combine the remaining 2 cups vinegar, the sugars, and corn syrup in another large pot.  Stir and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the fruit mixture, bell peppers, and remaining ingredients.  Cover and simmer 8 minutes.  Remove lid and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove cinnamon stick and puree mixture through medium disc of food mill to remove skins and fibers.  Return sauce to pot and bring to a boil.  Continue to boil gently until sauce thickens (10 – 15 minutes) stirring frequently.
  6. Ladle hot sauce into clean, hot, half-pint jars, leaving ½” headspace.  Attach lids & snap rings.
  7. Process in boiling-water bath 10 minutes.
Note:  allow to stand in jars for 1 month before using.