Raw Materials

It was a very hot day here yesterday. Although it was around 87° at the top of our hill, it was over 100° in the valley. We're under an "excessive heat warning" until 11:00 p.m. tonight.

It was a good day to spend in my basement sewing room, which is the coolest part of the house. Early in the day, I had all the blocks sewn together for the Live, Love, Teach quilt. Ta-Da!

It still needed a border, but I took a break there to go outside with Smitty. He was out four different times yesterday, and he's been taking it so well. We put some chairs under one of our big fir trees, and he sits on the rock right behind us.

Oh, are you taking pictures for the blog? Here...let me strike a pose. How's this? Do you think I'm adorable?

About that time, Mike came home with the raw materials for the catio. There are still a few things missing, but he'll be able to get the rest tomorrow. As I'm writing this, he's putting on his Construction Man getup and heading out before the sun crosses the peak of the roof. He'll be able to work in the shade this morning, but he'll have to knock off this afternoon when the sun starts shining on him.

We enjoyed the quiet and the warm breeze for a while, and then headed back inside. Then I added a narrow border to the blocks and the quilt top was finished. It'll end up at 54 x 56 inches...a good size.

It's going to have a red flannel back, and I have some cute apple fabric for the binding. I'm hoping to have it quilted and bound around mid-month.

For today, I'm taking a little break before sandwiching it for quilting. Today I'll work on the next block for RSC16.

This is the block I'll be making for the Wheel Estate quilt.

This month's colors are aqua with a hint of lime green, and I have the perfect fabric for this block. It's a scrap from the Adirondack chairs. As I'm looking at this, I'm thinking I might even have another similar polka dot in a smaller scale.

Because cats are central to these blocks, and indeed, my life...not to mention all of humanity...I always cut out the cat first.

Then I can test it out to see if it fits where I want it to go. I'm still considering what to put in the "Your Name Here" section of this block, but I'm thinking it won't be my name. It'll be something honoring cats, of course.

This seems like a good time to set the record straight about something. Some of you were quite distressed to note that the blue block on the collage that was posted with this month's goals did not include a cat. It's true. I was just checking to see if you were paying attention.

Actually, I made up the collage using the wrong picture. There is, in fact, a cat on the blue block. Here it is.

You can rest easy now. Sorry if it disturbed your sleep.

Now, here's the skinny on the Rainbow Chard Slaw I tried out yesterday. Chard is another one of those unfamiliar (to us) greens that we're trying to like in various ways. I've had pretty good luck with the chard. The slaw recipe I was working from required quite a bit of tweeking to satisfy our discriminating palates.

There were quite a few substitutions, but mainly, we thought the dressing was a little off. For one thing, I used more chard than the original recipe, and so we needed more dressing. I increased some of the amounts, and I sweetened it up with more honey. Also, we think the allspice was overwhelming, and so in the future, I'll reduce it by half. That doesn't mean it might not be better left out altogether. Nevertheless, after sitting for a full 24 hours and various tweeks, it ended up being quite tasty. Here's a recipe I can recommend with the suggestion that you go easy on the allspice. Also, the blueberries were very nice. I might increase the amount to 3/4 of a cup next time.
Rainbow Chard Slaw

Serves 8  

1 Head Rainbow Chard -- shredded or finely chopped
1 Cup Red Cabbage -- shredded
1/4 Cup Shredded Carrot
1/2 Cup Chopped or Slivered Almonds
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
1/4 Teaspoon Allspice
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Fresh Oregano or 1/2 Teaspoon Dried
1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Basil, or 1/2 Teaspoon Dried
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 Tablespoons Honey
1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1/2 Cup Dried Blueberries

Combine chard, cabbage, carrot, and almonds in a large bowl.

In a small mixing bowl, combine oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, oregano, basil, pepper, salt, and honey. Whisk until mixture is well blended.

Toss dressing with salad mixture.

Allow salad to refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving so flavors can marry. (This salad is best made a full day ahead.)

Top with walnuts and dried blueberries and serve.

Today I'm trying something new in the form of a beet and horseradish aioli to be served alongside some steaks. Also, a salad made from radishes, carrots, beet greens, radish greens, carrot greens, and lettuce. The vinaigrette is made with vermouth. As I choose these recipes, I'm choosing them for the number of CSA veggies I can defeat in the process, not necessarily because the recipe sounds particularly appealing. Call it an adventure in eating...something like Black Ops for Food. You know I'll share anything that is cause for celebration.

And now my little cat's patience is wearing thin. I've promised him a short time out...to be distinguished from timeout...and you know I can't disappoint my cat. The food will have to wait.

7 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Nummmm - love me a good salad with bite and crunch.

Quilting Babcia said...

Smitty is going to be a happy kitty once his new catio is built and he gets used to the idea. He's amazingly good to stay close to you when you take him outside these days. Live Love Teach is an amazing gift for your friend. It's something she will treasure forever.

Dana Gaffney said...

I looked way to long for the cat in the blue trailer picture, LOL.

quiltzyx said...

The slaw looks interesting, but too much work for me. I'll be having a salad for dinner tonight probably. Mixed baby greens & baby spinach. Probably some cheddar on it & either chopped up deli turkey or maybe I'll get a rotisserie chicken since I have to stop at the grocery store on my way home. Not sure on the dressing yet. Will see what catches my eye when I open the fridge. :) And I have some lovely grapes & mango too, maybe I'll throw some of those in for good measure. (A "fruit guy" comes to the office once a week. He had fresh-picked-locally-strawberries last time, but I opted for the grapes. A HUMONGOUS bag of them for only $5!)
Lisa's quilt looks amazing. I predict copious cries of joy and tumultuous tears when she receives it!
I'm glad Smitty's being a good sport about the curtailing of outdoor adventures. The catio is sure to be grand!

Kate said...

Wow, 100 already. Even we haven't seen that yet. Though with no rain in the forecast this week, it will probably get good and hot. The Live Love Teach quilt turned out beautifully. It's such a fun idea.

Auntiepatch said...

How about Meow Manor on the sign?

Lynette said...

So fun to see the teacher quilt blocks all together!! And Smitty really is an exceptionally handsome cat.