Happy 4th of July!

It's one of my favorite days of the year because I'm just about to head out and spend the day with my kiddos on the East Bank of the Willamette River. We set up early to get primo seats straight across the river from the Waterfront Blues Festival. We tune the radio to a station carrying the blues, and listen from afar. Erik and Mae always bring something to barbecue, and I bring side dishes and dessert.

Yesterday I spent the day making a Seven Layer Salad the way my mother used to make it. It's Erik's favorite, and so it's practically required. Also, I made a Seafood-Pasta Salad with Lemon-Saffron Herb Dressing that appeared in Bon Appetit in August, 2005. That too is a family favorite. It has shrimp and crab. I usually serve it as a main dish, but it works as a side salad too. However it's eaten, it's supremely yummy. 

Also, I made the crust and filling for my blueberry hand pies, and then this morning, I baked them off. Red, White, and Blueberry Hand Pies. I've had very good luck with this recipe from King Arthur Flour. Usually, I top them with raw sugar, but today I used some red sanding sugar, which looks a little sick in the picture.

That wasn't everything from the kitchen yesterday, however. I also made this Fennel Coleslaw. It allowed me to use the green cabbage, fennel bulb, and sweet onion from this week's CSA share. I added in the red cabbage. It was kind of okay...a little too much vinegar for my taste. If I were to make it again, I would probably substitute some orange marmalade for the triple sec to sweeten it up a little. 

Also, I made the dressing for these Green Goddess Chicken Sandwiches. That allowed me to use the herbs and lettuce (in place of spinach) from my CSA share. Those were totally delicious. I'll definitely be saving that recipe for future reference. By the way, I just sliced the chicken off one of those whole roasted chickens you can get in the deli section of your grocery store. It was so much easier, and I didn't have to turn on the oven.

So by that time, my feet and knee were screaming. I sat down for a while and iced both. And speaking of ovens, Gracie and Smitty don't like this hot weather. Gracie has taken to spreading out on the leather recliner, which is nice and cool. She spreads out her ample girth to take as much advantage of the cool surface as possible.

She and Smitty are getting along pretty well these days. She's figured out that his "bites" aren't so much bites as they are him getting a mouthful of her. She's so delicious, after all. Last night we saw her licking him and cleaning his face for him. That's what friends do for one another, right? On the other hand, Sue always yells at me when I try to lick her on the face. Some people just don't understand "cat" as well as others. 

Gracie's fur is mostly grown back now, and I think she's forgiven Smitty for his kittenish pranks.

Smitty, for his part, has decided to sleep off the heat. 

"Wake me up when it cools off."

So while I was baking my hand pies this morning, I finished off Block #21 for the Live, Love, Teach quilt. This is Emily's block submission:

Something makes me think that Emily was a student teacher in Lisa's classroom, but Lisa will have to correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, here is Emily's block rendered into fabric and floss. Also, I used some crayon of my own to shade the embroidered crayons.

Finally, I wanted to show you the fabrics that came in yesterday's mail. I've been using a  metallic gray fabric until it's almost all gone. I purchased just a small amount when I made the little Halloween quilt, The Grim Ripper.

Then I used the rest of it making moons for the Shine On quilt

and then for the Over the Moon table runner top I finished recently.

I've been using it for the bumpers on my firetrucks, and since it's been such a great fabric, I decided to purchase more. The silver has been so useful, I decided to buy it in gold as well. It's been available for quite a while, and so I had a little trouble finding it. I finally found it at Loving Stitches Quilt Shop in Marysville, Washington. We're practically neighbors! It makes me want to jump in the car and drive over there...except that it's about a day's drive away. Another time, maybe. 

Anyway...the fabric came fast, and they included a fat quarter as a gift. Nice! 

I'll admit I balked at the purchase when I saw the shipping charges. There was also a note that shipping charges would be adjusted if necessary, and indeed, they were. They charged me less than half the original charge shown when I made my purchase, and so I'm a happy quilter.

Okay, so that's about it from me today. Time to get packing and get going.

4 comments from clever and witty friends:

Teresa in Music City said...

Sounds like the perfect celebration for you and yours tonight Barbara! Have fun, stuff with good food and wine, and be safe :*)

quiltzyx said...

All the foods sound yummy, even if I am still stuffed from snacking & dining at Mary Ann & Bill's today! The crayon block is another hit! Yay!!
Tell Gracie & Smitty that I feel the same way about the heat. Ugh. Glad you have a/c!

Vivian said...

Very nice how you embroidered the latest retirement quilt block. Looks like you're almost half way through them. This is going to be such a great gift!

Kate said...

Your 4th of July feast looks great. Hope you had a nice day at the river.