Extrappleganza Continues

My work is cut out for me where the apples are concerned. Yesterday I got started early on the apple-pear chutney. It has to cook for about two hours.

By the time it was all processed, my yield was 13 half-pints. I like this for gift-giving, and so I use half-pints, although the recipe suggests pints. I'm using a recipe from Marissa McClellan's Food in Jars book. I just Googled the recipe and found this one, just slightly adapted from Marissa's recipe.

While that was cooking, I baked this Red Hot Cinnamon Apple Cake for two. So good, and since it's for two...we devoured it in one sitting last night. More disciplined folk might have eaten it in two sittings, but where's the fun in that?

When I was finished with my kitchen duties yesterday, I spent some time in the sewing room. First, I traced out Block 14 for the Bee-utiful Quilt-A-Long, Bee Good.

This morning I started stitching it. As cute as these are, I'm getting tired of stitching those bees over and over again, and so I stitched them up first. And then I kept stitching until Bee #2 was on firm footing.

This one shouldn't take too long, which is a good thing because Block 15, "Bee Courageous" is out.

I've been well disciplined keeping up with these as they come out, but I'd really like to get a chance to start on the next Hocuspocusville block. Fortunately, there are only five more of these, and so I should have them finished before the month is out.

After that, I had just about an hour to work on Sadie's pawtrait. These always start with the eyes. Like I said yesterday, Sadie's pawtrait is going to be the most challenging yet. It's the fifth one I've done. Yesterday I was remarking on how her colors were not well-defined. Even her "eyeliner" is asymmetrical. These eyes have a kind of sinister look, don't they?

How about now? Sadie's pawtrait is going to depend a lot on the thread work at the end to make it look right.

With her fur being flecked with color, rather than in patches, the best I can do is look at the lightness or darkness of any given fabric and choose that way. I have quite a few fabrics to choose from (thank you, Molly), and they are pretty much the same in color composition. However, they have different patterns and so can appear darker or lighter. For example, these were the three I thought most closely approximated the color of her cheeks. 

But I need also to take into consideration the other parts of her fur and whether the section should be light, medium, or dark. In this case, I'm working sort of in the medium to bright range. To my eye, the one on the right was the lightest of the three I selected, and so I chose that one. When I work with some of the darker sections of fur, the other two will give me the contrast I need. Clear as mud, right?

As I was doing this, my life model cat sat nearby to give me a closer look at her face. She wants her pawtrait to be just right.

She's taken to being my morning lap cat while I read and work on my embroidery. She's looking angelic here.

But really, she's considering how she might bite me without suffering the consequences. She's still very kittenish.

My food mill came yesterday, as expected. Today's apple task is to make some applesauce. Even with my apple concoctions thus far, I've barely scratched the surface of the apples. Today I think I'll make just one batch of applesauce, just to be sure I like what I'm doing. If that goes well, I'll make some more tomorrow or Saturday. Also on tap, an apple crisp, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. I'm hoping to get a lot more done on Sadie's pawtrait this afternoon.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

WoolenSails said...

As usual you are so busy with cooking, sewing and the kitties.
Tomorrow Izzy is getting a buzz cut, she hates brushing in the back so they are going to do a lion cut, this will be interesting, lol.


Lana Ku said...

That chutney looks really yummy (& so does the cake!).
Awe, Sadie looks so sweet.

Dana Gaffney said...

Sadie's portrait is looking good, I like the challenge of not just the colors and shades, but the patterns in the fabric. This one will keep you on your toes and that's a good thing (you not me, LOL)

Wendy said...

So as I was sleeping last night, I was thinking about your work on Sadie's pawtrait (yes, I dream about quilting sometimes) and wondering how I would do a pawtrait of my cat who is mostly white! Looking forward to seeing Sadie's pawtrait come to life. I love the batiks -- I think I have some of those fabrics!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love watching you plan and work a Pawtrait. I would be tired of stitching those bees too - maybe that's why I passed on this one.

Susan said...

I await hearing about how making applesauce your way goes. I make mine the easy way in the crock pot and then I freeze what I am not going to use within the next week.

kc said...

Sadie's pawtrait is a challenge, for sure, but you seem quite up to the task! She's a cutie, so it'll be worth it in the end. When we were farming, and making all our canned goods (and I do mean ALL! If we didn't grow it, can it or freeze it, we didn't eat it!) we found the best results with a variety of apples in each batch. I know you only have from the one tree, but if you could, you might want to think about adding a few other varieties in. We used to use golden delicious (for sweet), rome (for juicy), red delicious (for crisp), macintosh (I can't remember what they provided, maybe just a base filler) and some Granny Smith, for tartness (just a few of these would go into the sauce; most of these were peeled, sliced & spiced and frozen in gallon bags for apple pies & Brown Betties). Because we were working from bushels in the dining room, I'd just grab a few of each variety and in the pot they'd go. Never tasted the same from can to can, but they were all very good, as I recall! We didn't use a ricer, but we did invest in a peeler/corer/slicer, and the kids all ran that puppy. Not sure if you're planning to use it, but end result will look nicer if you use citric acid on your peeled apples (if you plan to peel). You might also prefer to leave it a bit chunky - we found that mashing the cooked apples too much made them watery and the texture of the finished product wasn't so pleasant. Just my 2 cents; obviously, you have my permission to proceed as you wish! HAHAHAHA! I'm sure it will be fine, whatever you do. Applesauce is really hard to mess up. I've been known to cook down a few apples, just for a batch to serve with pork chops the next day. Enjoy the aroma!

Kate said...

You got a good start on Sadie's pawtrait and on the apples. I've been saving the bee blocks, but I don't know when I'll ever get to them.

quiltzyx said...

Great batiks to choose from for Sadie's Pawtrait. Don't stress over it tooo much.
Mmmmmmore apples, yum. Do you like Brie? Brie en croute (sp??) with some of your apple/pear chutney sounds like it would be very tasty. Okay, now my mouth is watering, so you'll have to excuse me while I look around the office for a napkin...

Brown Family said...

I love your pet pawtraits. You always get them to look good. You have a lot of good apple ideas!