Quilting in Little Bites

Having Mike at home yesterday was a little distracting. I spent more time in the kitchen than I planned. For one thing, I roasted the cute little New England Pie Pumpkin included in this week's CSA share.

It was simple to do. Remove the stem, cut it in half, scrape out the seeds and pulp, salt and pepper inside, then turn the halves face down and roast for about 45 minutes. When it's cool enough to handle, scrape out the guts. Here it is, just a shell of the pumpkin it once was.

And its insides made the prettiest pumpkin puree. I got about 4 cups altogether. I'll use half for soup, and I'll probably make some kind of pumpkin dessert with the other half. Fresh pumpkin is new to me and so I'm curious to know how it will taste in my trusty pumpkin soup recipe.

Once I'd dispensed with the pumpkin, I got to work making the Gingerbread Biscotti. It's a bit of a process, but worth the trouble. I linked to the recipe and made some other comments in yesterday's post.

I think because it was cool in the house, I had a hard time getting the white chocolate to a good drizzling consistency. It really wanted me to fling it all over the walls, counters, myself, the cats, and anything else within flinging range. Fortunately, most of it ended up on the cookies.

And because it was a cool day, Mike made us some Spanish coffees. Those just made us want to take naps afterward. Here's an old image that was taken on a day when Matthew was here. We didn't actually drink all three by ourselves, believe it or not.

Mike makes a mean Spanish coffee. This is his recipe:

Spanish Coffee

Makes One Spanish Coffee beverage

1/2 ounce 151 Rum
1/2 ounce Triple Sec
1 ounce Kahlua
Dash Nutmeg
Dash Cinnamon
Hot Brewed Coffee
Whipped Cream

Rim coffee glass with cinnamon and sugar.  Add 151 rum and ignite. Sprinkle nutmeg and cinnamon for effect and let heat for 10-20 seconds. The heat will caramelize the sugar rim.  Keep it lit while adding the Triple Sec, Kahlua and coffee.  Extinguish with whipped cream and garnish with cinnamon.

And, you know, naps are okay when nobody has any place to be. 

So all of that before I headed off to the sewing machine, and even then, I was distracted. I didn't even manage to get one whole interlocking square "Celtic knot" finished, but you can see where I'm going with this.

I've given up on the idea that I'm going to be able to quilt straight lines. It's probably okay since I'm hoping people will be looking at the doors and the details I'll quilt there.

This project has caused me to realize that, for me, quilting a large quilt like this one (76 x 76 inches) is a little like being asked to work on a team project with someone I don't know (never my favorite part of grad school). Before you're able to make progress, you really have to get to know one another, and begin to understand one another's styles and strengths. Once that's out of the way, you can really get some work done.

I have to make a short trip to the grocery store today, but when I get back, I'll get to work on the quilting. I think the Irish Doors and I are starting to find our groove. Maybe today, we can make some progress.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

MoniqueB said...

I don't think I will ever be brave enough to FMQ a straight line. You know I must be chicken when the throat on my machine is only 5.5" and I still quilt straight lines on it uing a walking foot. Even then, it could be iffy. :-)

Kate said...

Hope the fresh pumpkin works out. Seems like you got lots done in the kitchen. Hopefully you'll have time for stitching tomorrow.

Dana Gaffney said...

I'm interested to see if there's a big difference in the soup, fresh is better but opening a can is pretty easy. Remember, if straight lines aren't quite straight, you meant to do it that way :)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I'm not a fan of pumpkin soup, so fresh or can doesn't matter. I really try to do my straight line quilting with my walking foot as much as possible.

SJSM said...

I made the mistake of baking a pumpkin for pumpkin pie. Now my family insists on fresh baked pumpkin as they swear they can tell a difference. When I bake the pumpkin I bake it a lot longer for two reasons. Usually our. pumpkins have a lot of liquid so more of it evaporates with longer cooking and I'd rather do that up front than later in a pan (why get two pans dirty). The second reason is carmelization. My family thinks the pumpkin tastes better when it has browned nicely and the color is wanted, too.

I'm not a pumpkin fan. I tasted the end results once and it still tastes like pumpkin. No nuances in taste for me.

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

Must try toasting a pumpkin one day--I do love it in a pie. Quilting... tying has been a lifesaver for me since it's hard to quilt on my low-end machine. I was gifted with some small spools of linen thread in glorious colors and have used that thread to tie loads of projects, most recently it's potholders.

barbara woods said...

Heard today that Atlanta has gotten more rain than Seattle this year

Marsha Hodgkins said...

. It's quilted, right? I use my walking foot when I want REALLY straight lines; otherwise I give myself permission for the lines to wobble a little.
Fresh pumpkin is awesome in pies, and once I made a bread pudding that was baked in one of the small pumpkins Yummy!