5/30/15

Saturday is for Sewing

Since I've done no sewing for more than a week, I'm reserving some time today. The days are growing short until we leave for Whistler, B.C., next Thursday, and I'm making good progress on my last minute to-do list. Yesterday was a crazy day. I had time for some embroidery before leaving for my Friday morning walk with Sue, and I stopped by Erik's place to give him a flash hug before heading home. When I got home it was "balls to the walls", as my very poetic husband likes to say. I worked the remainder of the day on housework and food...all of it desirable and enjoyable...but I'm really wanting to get back to my sewing, at least for today.

So here's the rundown on yesterday. As I said, I had some time for embroidery. The day just doesn't get off to a good start if there's no time for some slow stitching. The last Vintage Tin stitchery is coming down the home stretch. Yesterday morning I reached about the 2/3 point:


And then I moved my hoop to the far right of the piece. When I work my way back to the parts already stitched, this one will be finished. By finished, I mean ALL nine of the embroidery blocks will be finished.


I'm looking forward to getting this one sewn together for Erik's October birthday. I think I'm going to have plenty of time; that is, if I don't get myself too bogged down with other new projects. 

For one thing, I want to finish quilting the Doors of Ireland so that I can enter it in the Oregon State Fair this year. But then another one of my friends from high school was just presented with her first grandchild a few weeks ago. It was so much fun making a baby quilt for my friend Deb, that I offered to make Carol a quilt for her new grandson, Grayson. Grayson's father is a firefighter, and so Carol asked if I could do something with fire trucks. Doing a search on Google, I came up with a few patterns and Carol chose this one called "To the Rescue". It was a little hard to track down the pattern, but I found it at The Virginia Quilter. Just now I tried to link to it, and it's no longer in stock. I think I got the LAST ONE!!! Anyway...here it is:


Cute, huh? I ordered some adorable fire truck fabrics. I have some of the fabrics I'll need in my stash. I think it will be fun to make.

After getting in a little slow stitching yesterday, Sue and I went for our Friday morning walk. I'll admit to being a weenie for last week's walk. I felt too under-the-gun to get ready for our trip to the beach, and so I canceled. Well...don't you know Sue couldn't wait to reinstall the weenie award into my waiting hands.


You can read about the weenie award right here. In a nutshell (or a hotdog bun), the weenie award is a perpetual trophy we give one another when one or the other of us weenies out on our walk...usually because of rain...but sometimes for other reasons. Sue has had it in her possession for quite some time, but now it's come home to me. She even blackened the lettering on it so that I'd be sure to know what I am: a weenie. Until Sue's turn comes again. And in this, I am pitiless. Any hint of whining while canceling and it will be living with Sue once again. Yes, that's what kind of a friend I am. Mean. Heartless. Ruthless. Unforgiving. 

While on our walk, we saw some beautiful wild roses in bloom:


And we saw the mother duck and her ducklings...only two of the original four are left. Sniff.


They walked across the path right in front of us on their way to the water on the other side.

When I got home yesterday, I went straight to work on the dough for the beignets I was planning for my Baking on Friday project. Also, I made up a sort of mash for some veggie burgers we're having for dinner tonight. They're made from brown rice, black beans, and (of all things) roasted beets. I know...sounds weird...but the folks on the Working Hands Farm CSA Facebook page swear they are delicious. I'm game for anything that gets me through that pile of veggies. We'll try them tonight, and I'll link to the recipe tomorrow if they're good. 

Also, I used two kinds of lettuce, spinach, carrots, radishes, and (for me) strawberries from last week's share. Then I added some avocado, tomato, and roasted chicken to make a HUGE salad for dinner last night. So far I've been focusing on sauteing and roasting the veggies. Having all that fresh lettuce and other goodies straight from the farm in a big salad was quite a treat. Mike noted that for the cost of our share, we could buy a lot of grocery store veggies, but the fresh flavor would not be there. This was so good: 


Oh yes, I added some crunched up apple chips over the top. Think of them as croutons. I think a little sprinkle of blue cheese or goat cheese would be nice too. Next time. And I have no doubt there will be a next time where lettuce is concerned.

Then, after dinner, we got right to the beignets. If you don't know what a beignet is, think of it as a doughnut with no hole. That meant deep frying, which is strictly forbidden in my kitchen by me, the chief cook and fryer. Nevertheless, I fell in love with beignets on a trip to New Orleans some years ago. Christina Lane has me trying lots of new things with her Dessert for Two website. So when she wrote this:

"I’m just going to say it:  this is the best recipe that has ever come out of my kitchen."

I sat up and took a closer look. And when she said this:

"I love to fry.  Are you are scared of it?  Please, don’t be scared!
  If you avoid frying because of the splattering mess, use a deep pot."

It caused me to rethink my ban on frying. So I gave it a try. It's true that using a deep Dutch oven kept the mess to a minimum. It takes just two cups of canola oil, which is only about one inch deep in the bottom of the pot. The batter was pretty simple to make. I found mine needed more than an hour of rise time, and so I left it sitting at room temperature for about three hours. When it had risen visibly, I put it in the refrigerator until I was ready to fry them up. The batter was quite sticky when I went to roll it out. I just doused it in plenty of flour, and then I had no problem. Finally, mine fried up pretty quick. She suggests a minute or two, but mine was ready to be turned in less than a minute, and then the second side was done in about 30 seconds. (I probably had my oil a little too hot.)

And then....


We doused those babies in confectioner's sugar and then had an oral orgy. Holy Moly. Those were so good. We had confectioner's sugar all over us, all over the table, all over the kitchen, all over everywhere. Did we notice? No. We just kept on eating, licking our fingers, and smacking our lips. Yes. We were reduced to oinkers...and I'm not kidding. Today, I feel no regret. Just looking at the picture makes me all nostalgic. It's a bit of an adventure to make them, but so worth it. And when you're finished just run the garden hose into the house and spray down the walls to get that powdered sugar under control. (I knew we should have installed a drain in the kitchen floor.) Want to give it a try? The recipe is right here.

So I said I was determined to do some sewing today. For one thing, I really want to finish up May's fourth block for Lisa's "Live. Love. Teach." quilt. And I'll just say here that Lisa retired yesterday. I think I have to finish the fourth May block in her honor.


Buh-Bye!

The next one is this one by former student Clifford:


And then I have the beta version of Cindy's block ready to go. Cindy's is a squid, and there's a story behind it, I think. The picture has a white background, but I have some nice blue water fabric that I'm going to use for the background so he won't be a squid out of water.


Just when I thought I had my whole Saturday planned out last night, Erik called and asked me if I wanted to go to the Farmer's Market. Never one to pass up an offer like that, I said yes! And that's what I'm off to do right now.

Before I go, however, I need to update you about the quilt shop I wrote about a few days ago, Center Diamond Fabrics. I received a nice email from Julie, the owner of the shop, who said this:

"The table runner you are pointing out is a pattern that is for sale from pieced tree patterns with a copyright of 2006 on it, called Garden Fresh table runners. I do not sell ANY pattern I receive for free and in fact, several of the kits/samples I have on the wall do have free patterns for them. Since there is a similar pattern being offered for free, I am closing out of that pattern now."
Julie and I had a nice exchange, and I'm glad to know she's attending to this. I knew there was probably more to the story than met the eye. Center Diamond Fabrics is a great little store, and you shouldn't miss it if you find yourself in Cannon Beach, Oregon.

Have a sensational Saturday!

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Oh boy, my powdered sugar is jealous of yours. With only lowly store-bought bagels to adorn, it's feeling a bit less confectionary than usual. May have to try those New Orleans Delights; my neighbor has a Cajun Food Truck and she makes them for her delighted customers.

Cute Squid !~!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Cute baby quilt pattern. Oh, poor wee ones - life in the wild is heartless sometimes. I don't care for deepfried - do have that once a year fried dough at the fair though. I did a walk-about on the property today - just sweltering and felt like I had done 20 miles thru the tropics instead of a mile around the farm.

Teresa in Music City said...

Well, my mouth is watering like there's no tomorrow!!!! Definitely going to have to try those beignets - oh yeah!!! And those salads look almost as good :*) Love the fireman-theme quilt. It will be adorable.

Lyndsey said...

I love the baby quilt pattern and the recipe look delicious.

Barb H said...

So glad Julie emailed you to explain and then decided to discontinue selling the pattern in her shop. Ethics--more people should have them.

Kate said...

That firetruck quilt is going to be fun!

Babbellotta said...

try these beignets with a slice of apple in them, we call them apple beignets and over here we use to eat them around christmas time and new years eve/day......love to read your blog and follow you on your creative yourney!

hugs from the Netherlands
Winda

Junebug613 said...

The beignets sound amazing. That Rescue quilt is adorable! Thanks for updating us on the quilt store / table runner conundrum.

quiltzyx said...

OK, I'm typing while eating a "honey glazed" bagel from 42nd Street Bagel in Claremont - it tastes like a cinnamon roll!! So I'm safe from beignet envy for the moment - although those do look yummy. And the salad looks WONderful too. Mmmmm.
Cute firetrucks! How nice that the quilt shop owner contacted you about that pattern. I'll give them that 1/4 star back. And like Barb H. said " Ethics--more people should have them."
More great blocks for Lisa's quilt. Congrats to her on her final day!

Brown Family said...

I have never had a beignet. The closest I ever came to them was fried biscuits cooked by boy scouts