10/19/15

The Root of All Things

There was a little of everything on yesterday's agenda. After writing yesterday's post, I got to work pickling the beets I'd roasted on Saturday. The beets in the CSA share the past few weeks have been huge...as big as softballs. They are just as good as the smaller ones, but they take a long time to cook. I roasted mine for 1 1/2 hours before they were tender enough to call them fully roasted. After that I skinned them and chunked them up. Yesterday I loaded them into pint jars, filled them with pickling solution and processed them. It was a good way to use the beet abundance.


About the time I finished those, Mike walked into the kitchen holding three green tomatoes he found on the floor of the greenhouse. He told me there were tons (probably, literally) of green tomatoes in the greenhouse. They keep growing and growing and growing and producing more and more tomatoes. For whatever reason, they are no longer ripening. It was a weird year for the tomatoes. Anyway, all of that to say that my personal capacity for canning has worn a little thin for the season, and so canning yet more tomatoes doesn't sound appealing at all. 

As I was telling one of my blogging friends just yesterday, I think I have processed over 100 pounds of tomatoes this year. I'm envious of those who have mothers, sisters, aunties, and daughters to help them. None of those folks exist in my world, and so it's me, and me alone, doing battle with the tomatoes. Nevertheless, I do believe I'll head out there sometime this week and grab myself some green tomatoes for green tomato salsa. Somehow I know I'll hate myself if I don't.

When the beets were safely out of the boiling water, we headed out to the wineries to pick up our shipments of wine. It was a little hazy in our area of the world yesterday. The clouds were one thing, but the air is also full of smoke from people burning leaves. Backyard burning is banned in the summer. Now that the rains have returned and things are less crispy, folks are burning all their accumulated yard debris. Nevertheless, I was able to get this picture while at the Sokol-Blosser winery.


When we got home, there were still a few hours left to work on my latest quilting project for our CSA farmers. All my veggies are top-stitched now, and this quilt is ready for quilting.


This one was a lot of fun to top-stitch. When I started stitching the carrot tops, I put on my stitch regulator and did some free motion machine embroidery. Carrot tops are sort of lacy, and so I attempted to make this one look lacy with my choice of fabric and some stitching. It doesn't show up very well in this image, but I'm happy with how it turned out anyway. 


The free motion machine embroidery worked so well that I just left the stitch regulator on as I stitched the rest of the veggies and their roots. I gave the carrot some ridges and roots.


Garlic has a sort of fuzzy flower...


That image came from the Mountain Valley Growers website in the California Central Valley. I tried to duplicate how it looked in thread.


I gave the onion some (what?) veins and some roots.


Then I defined some cloves on the garlic and gave it some roots.


My favorite, however, is this beet green. I'm never sure I can translate what's in my head to needle and thread, but in this case, it turned out just the way I hoped it would.


I'd like to show you a picture of the whole thing, but as you can see, there's an obstacle in my path.


Okay. There we go.


When I perused my stash looking for a backing fabric, I stopped looking when I came to this tomato fabric. Poifect. It's been in my stash for years, and now it's day has come.


I'm not sure what to do about the binding yet, but I'm leaning toward green.

Today I need to catch up on some housework, and I'm going to try a cake recipe I saw in the NY Times the other day for Teddie's Apple Cake.

(Image source: Jim Wilson/NY Times)

I've made apple cakes in the past, but they always end up tasting like apple-flavored cakes to me. With those big chunks of apples pictured there, this one looks super good to me. I'll switch out the brown raisins for the golden ones. As I've said many times before, I don't like those rabbit oofies in my food. While we were out yesterday, we picked up some Granny Smith apples, and so now I'm itching to bake it.

Also, I'm fresh out of hand work, and so I truly am going to get busy on the next block for the Gingerbread Square quilt. 


If there's time, I'll get to work on the next block for Lisa's quilt too...this one submitted by Teagan.


I've been studying this one for a while, and I think it's going to be a kind of stained glass applique block if I can pull it off. It's going to be tedious and tricky cutting the applique piece for the black lines on the butterfly, but I think it's the best way to accomplish it. I'll embroider the rest, including the antennae on the butterfly.

Big Bertha has been giving me trouble. A problem she's had from the very first time I turned her on has reared its ugly head and is making itself known in a way that can no longer be ignored. I'm hoping I can limp along with it until I get a couple more projects finished, and then I'll take it in for service when I go back to quilting on Eliza. And all of that to say that I'm going to sew the buttons on the Dream Machines quilt if I can keep the sewing machine operational.


My guild meeting is tonight. Our speaker is Suzi Parron who literally wrote the book on Barn Quilts.


Something to look forward to. So, there's lots on today's agenda. Time to get going.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

Quilting Babcia said...

I absolutely love your garden veggie quilt, that's a lovely surprise for your CSA growers. Sorry to hear about Big Bertha's continuing woes. At least you can sew the buttons on the machines quilt by hand if it comes to that. I'd love to be at your guild meeting tonight, someday we're going to make a barn quilt for our barn.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love the veggie quilt - great gift for them. We had Suzi here 2 yrs. ago with the celebration of our first 25 blocks up anfd she presented oour trail offically on the books. She will be back in Spring 2016 for an award presentation for marking our 100th block. She is to have a second book out and our Valley is one of the chapters.

Siouxzq64@gmail.com said...

Your veggie quilt turned out fabulous. You will thoroughly enjoy Suzi, she visited our guild last year, she is a fun speaker.

Dana Gaffney said...

The veggie quilt is so cute and such a great idea for a thank you to your suppliers. Maybe you should take them some green tomatoes and save yourself a little stress.

Lynn - JnL4God said...

Love the Beet you are right it turned out great.

Lou said...

Love your veggies!!! The extra stitching make them more lifelike... is that the right word? Well you know what I mean! Blue ribbon veggies!!!!

gayle said...

I adore your veggies! What a spectacular gift. 8)

I've got a bag of apples that the neighbors gave us, so that cake recipe is very timely. Thanks!

Lyndsey said...

The veggies are so cute. I'm thinking a veggie quilt for older daughter would answer her request for a small quilt for her kitchen. As a vegetarian she uses a lot of veggies each week

Kate said...

The Garden wall hanging looks great. The beet leaf looks great. It's a fun wall hanging.

quiltzyx said...

The fun veggie quilt is greatly enhanced by your top-stitching + additions! I think the beet leaf is my favorite part right now!
Lovely pic from the winery. What is your favorite wine? I really only like 1 kind of wine - leaving more for you to have, of course! But my wine of choice is Chocovine. Mmmm. Looks like chocolate milk in the bottle & is oh so very tasty. Must be *C*O*L*D* & I only drink a little bit as just a little is like eating a Trader Joe's Pound of Chocolate bar!