Rick Rack Paddy Whack

Good day-after-Christmas-morning! Doesn't it give you a feeling of power when Christmas is again 365 days away? We had a nice day here in Tybee Island, Georgia. The weather has been pretty good while we've been here, but yesterday was the best day yet.

Backing up to Christmas Eve, it was a gloomy morning. I used the time to cut down my recipe for Bailey's Chocolate Chip Cheesecake into a "for two" size.

Ordinarily, this is made in a 9-inch spring form pan. I used these two 1-cup capacity pans. As it turns out, one of these would be a recipe "for two." What you see above is really enough for four people. I tried simply cutting the recipe in half. The crust was exactly right for my two pans, but I had twice as much filling as I needed. I filled the pans, and now I'm experimenting by freezing the remainder of the filling. I'll make these again in a few months...maybe for Valentine's Day, or something...and we can see if freezing hurts the quality. So once those were cooled, I put them in the refrigerator and waited for the next day to make their topping and finish them off. To be continued below.

The sun came out in the early afternoon, and we were able to get out for a walk to the beach. It was about a half mile from the RV park. Along the way we passed a few blooming things.

Also, we passed by Battery Brumby. This could have been a part of the lighthouse tour, had we not been so cheap. We were cheap, and so this is all I have to show you of the battery. It was very large...as large as a complete city block, and it extended out on both sides of the image below.

So what was it, you ask? Well, you might think it had something to do with the civil war, but it actually predated that. This battery is a part of Fort Scriven and it was the first of the six batteries to be completed. It's also the only one to be in service during the Spanish-American War. Each of the four eight-inch guns on Battery Brumby weighed 32,000 pounds and had a range of about ten miles. The guns were mounted on disappearing carriages. After firing, the recoil would lower the gun back and down below the protective parapet. The operation of the battery required four officers and 157 men. The guns were dismantled and shipped to France during World War I. You can read more about Fort Scriven right here.

Just to the right of the battery was the entrance to the beach. Much of the beachfront property in this area is privately owned, and so access to the beach is limited to public areas.

We crossed over a boardwalk to get to the water's edge. Turning around, we could see the lighthouse.

There were swings positioned about every 500 yards or so. We sat down and shared this one for about half an hour.

From there, we noticed a ghostly container ship off in the distance...barely visible through the mist.

About ten minutes later, it looked like this.

In another ten minutes, it turned and headed into the Port of Savannah, which is the largest single container terminal in North America.

While we sat there, this guy showed up, looking for a handout.

He also brought reinforcements. This looks to be a veritable gang of gulls.

They needed one another to fight off this marauding guy and his friends. This is a Boat-tailed Grackle. They have very large tails that blow in the wind like the sail on a boat.

This particular one kept roosting right above our heads. Yes, as a matter of fact, it did make us nervous, for so many reasons.

We didn't do any walking on the beach...just sitting and swinging. Eventually the wind and chill convinced us to return to the RV. Along the way, I noticed this marquee at the entrance to the RV park.

Also, some of our fellow campers were in the Christmas spirit with their Christmas decorations. You can get the scale of this little camper by noticing the wheel of their actual RV to its left. Cute, huh? I love the Christmas tree on its roof. At night, it lit up.

Christmas morning, there was some time for hand-stitching. I'm off to a pretty good start on the Snow Globes block. I wish the sparkle floss would show up better in a picture because it's very pretty.

After breakfast, I set up the sewing machine and prepared to sew the rick rack border around the center panel.  This rick rack is polyester, and so I melted the cut end to keep it from fraying.

And then I just started pinning every upward bend. My plan was to stitch both sides down so that it won't curl up when this quilt is washed for the first time.

When I got to the corners, I folded it down and then up in the same way I do my quilt bindings, and then pinned it firmly in place.

While I was sewing, the Resident Engineer was out washing the windows of the RV. He washed all the windows, and then cleaned 11,000 miles worth of bugs off the front of our rig. Yep, he's a keeper.

Meanwhile, the kitties decided to help me sew.

How about if I stand here? Is this helpful?

What about if I scratch my chin right here? Would that be helpful?

What about if I stand back here? Is that helpful?

Sadie, what's your value-added? How are you helping Mom?

Oh be quiet, Smitty. I'm keeping this chair warmed, in case she decides to sit over here.

Oh, are you sewing now? How about if I hold this quilt right here? Will that help?

About that time, I encouraged both of them to find other jobs guarding the door of the RV. I'd say it was a royal pain sewing this rick rack to the quilt, but instead, I'll be creative and say it exacted a princely toll on my stress level. At home, I have a knee lift for the presser foot, and that would have made the job a whole lot easier and faster. Manually lifting the presser foot to turn the quilt after every inch of sewing was slow and tedious. After 24 feet of stitching, I got 'er done, and then enlisted the help of the window washer to hold it up for a picture.

Even with all the help I received, it was a painful process, but I love how it looks on the quilt. You might remember I went back and forth about whether to add the rick rack, and I'm really glad I did.

Where the two ends came together, I tried matching up the pattern as best I could, and I melted the final cut end as I had the first. All the edges are thoroughly stitched down to keep it from curling up in the wash or fraying.

The corners look pretty good too. They are securely stitched down at all the edges, and the bulk is negligible.

Now all that's left is to sew on the outer border, and this quilt top will be finished. That was enough sewing for one day, however, and so I took a break before starting our Christmas dinner.

On the menu was prime rib, mashed potatoes, and classic green bean casserole. When we're at home, I generally make the casserole from fresh ingredients, but here in the RV, I opened some cans. If we can have Stove Top stuffing for Thanksgiving, I figure canned green beans with cream of mushroom soup are good enough too. And it was very good. There's a reason that recipe is a classic.

Also, I put the espresso whipped cream topping on the cheesecakes.

As I was putting the final preparations on dinner, I took them out of their spring form pans. Aren't they cute?

Up until I put them on their little plates, we weren't sure how large a portion one little cheesecake would be. Just looking at them, we realized one was enough, even for the most hard core of cheesecake lovers, and so we have another one for dessert tonight. As for my recipe, half of the recipe for the whipped cream was the perfect amount. I'll report back in a couple of months and let you know if freezing the leftover filling hurt the texture at all. For now, this "for two" experiment is still a work in progress. I might still cut the half recipe for the filling in half again.

Today we're heading down the road. We're on our way to Orlando where Mike is meeting up with some co-workers from his former company. They have an office in Orlando. He's only met these folks via teleconference, and so he wants to meet up with them in person and tour the plant. It's a little too far to make the drive in one day, and so we're spending one night at a state park along the way. We're also informed that tomorrow, we might be able to see some manatees at yet another state park along the way to Orlando. Seeing the manatees is one of our fondest desires in Florida, and we have several opportunities arranged along the way should this first attempt fail us.

As it turns out Florida is flooded with snow birds (RVers who winter over in warm climates) this time of year. I can imagine that hurricane clean-up is still going on in the Florida Keys, adding to the crowds of RVers in mainland Florida. The RV parks have been full, and also very expensive. With that in mind, we've made reservations that will take us to visit some friends and several state parks in Florida, and we're all set until we hit the western border of Mississippi...a full month of reservations. It's the most planful we've been the entire trip. The park where we'll be tonight is somewhat remote, and so I might not have internet access there. For sure, we'll be set in Orlando, and so I might take a day off from blogging between here and there. Only time and miles can tell.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

gpc said...

I love the idea of swings on the beach. Although birds of any kind on the overhead does give one pause. The quilt is lovely, as are all your quilts, and the cheesecake looks delicious. I could use a cheesecake for breakfast right this minute since I seem to be wearing my cranky hat this morning. Cheesecake for breakfast would be a great mood stabilizer, I think.


Yep--I think those helpers --really helped keep you calm and added to making the quilt top that much faster and better!! I wished we had swings on our beaches here on the east coast of Florida--I live an hour east of Orlando--!!
Love the looks of those yummy looking cheesecakes--
the last time to the beach one day last week I also seen a ghost ship--this one was a cruise ship and it did stay way out--but it all looks white--just like a ghost--
enjoy the moments, di

Lyndsey said...

Sounds like a great Christmas dinner, especially the cheese cake. We didn't get to dessert so will have it this evening. I love the idea of swings on the beach, how relaxing just swinging and looking out to sea spotting passing ships. I love your quilt and the rik rak really finishes the centre section off well. We had visitors over Christmas and so no time for stitching but I'll hopefully catch some 'me' time this evening.

WoolenSails said...

What is the temperature there, has to be warmer than here, lol. Nice place to go for a walk and just enjoy the views. Love how your quilt is coming out, beautiful fabric choices and border.


Alice said...

I have just discovered your blog and I will be back. You are living my dream!!
An RV, hubby (the engineer), the two kitties and my sewing machine!! It may be a few years, but you have proven to me that it can be done. Baking cheesecake could also be added to that dream--that looks and sounds delicious!! Thanks for the motivation! Now to save lots of money for retirement!!

Quiltdivajulie said...

So is Memphis on your list of places to visit on this adventure? If so, let me know!

piecefulwendy said...

Well, there is this cute little kitchen store here in town, and now I'm itching to go down there and buy some small little cheesecake pans. I pondered over the little tiny cake pans when I was in there the other day. Cheesecake for two, with espresso whipped cream? Yum! I think the rick rack on your quilt was a fantastic idea. It really adds a nice touch, and the kitties were so very helpful. Mine likes to keep my ironing station warm; he's actually singed his fur when I'm not paying attention! My daughter and I are in the process of reorganizing my quilt room, so there's no quilting going on right now. Glad your weather has been nice. It's been bitterly cold here. Yesterday we were colder than Antarctica.

Kate said...

Sounds like you had a quiet, but very Merry Christmas. The little cheesecakes look pretty good. Hope you had a very safe trip. If you drive by Gainesville, FL, you can wave to the SIT, she's there visiting friends till after New Year's.

Brown Family said...

Where would we be with out our little helpers! I like the risk rack on the quilt! Swinging on the beach would be better than 30 degree weather here or snow in Portland! You are so creative with your deserts for two!

Denise :) said...

The kitties are so helpful...you’re so lucky!! Your flimsy is looking most excellent. Are you thinking you might be able to make a delivery in person?!?!? 😊😊😊

quiltzyx said...

Love the beach swings! I wouldn't want to leave....

Christmas dinners sounds delish & the cheesecakes look great. I printed out the recipe this time, so may try the 1/2 size version one of these days. Seems that the One Pot Chef has a recipe for home-made Bailey's Irish Cream too - I will have to see if I can find it.


Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

The rick rack looks great!