7/5/20

Ready to Relax

The past several days have been busy, busy, busy. It's true, I always keep busy with something, but it seems less harried when one is deciding for oneself what comes next, as opposed to acting out of necessity. We had a very nice celebration for our Fourth, and it was wonderful seeing Erik and Mae. Matthew was off camping, and so the four of us enjoyed a small gathering. For yesterday's part of the preparations I made a favorite salad of mine, Sweet Potato Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing. I was terrible about taking pictures yesterday, and so I'm using one from a previous post. I love the combination of the peanut dressing with the sweet potatoes and sugar snap peas.


We brined two chickens, spatchcocked them, slid some flavored butter under the skin, and then Mike smoked them on the Traeger. Toward the end of the cooking time, he moved them to the grilled and grilled them at a high temperature, so the skin was nice and crispy.

Also, I mentioned our tent-camping potatoes. We had these at a buffet once, and they were so good. It wasn't hard to recreate them at home. Red potatoes are chunked up into bite sized pieces along with about half a yellow onion and whatever bell pepper colors you might have on hand. For this dish, I used red and yellow. And then, you just fry them in a skillet with some butter (or olive oil, if you prefer), a generous sprinkling of garlic salt and some pepper. Using a lid helps soften the potatoes. I almost forgot to take a picture, but here you go.


When we were tent campers, we usually had steak one night, and I'd make the fried potatoes, since we couldn't bake them. Then, the next morning, we'd have the leftovers for breakfast. I've heard this way of preparing potatoes referred to as "Cottage Fried Potatoes," and so that's what I call them.

While I was cooking, Mike was outside digging out our old dead wisteria and replacing it with a new one. You can see the new one on the left side of the image below.


Here's an old picture of how it used to look. It was doing beautifully, and usually bloomed twice during the year. 


Then last year, it up and died. No warning. It was so pretty, and we wanted another one. We aren't sure why it died, but when Mike dug it up, the roots appeared as if something had been eating them. There was no sign of animal activity, and so possibly, they just rotted. Hard to say. Whatever the case, I hope this new one does well.

Also, I got a better picture of the now-fully-bloomed wine colored hydrangea. I was really glad the kids were able to see this. It's flowers are small compared to the ones around back, but I love that color.


It's planted just to the right of the new clematis, and so the color in that corner is very pretty. The clematis has three flowers on it now, although I only caught two of them in this photo.


And Mr. I-Must-Hunt-Or-Else was outside with Mike for a while. He caught a mouse and carried it back to the house in triumph. You can take the cat out of the hunt, but you can't take the hunt out of the cat. He simply must hunt, or he is not a happy camper. I blurred the mouse for those of you who are squeamish about that sort of thing. When you live with cats, you get used to it.


In all the busy-ness of the day, I made three of the nine masks on my list.


And I was able to get the top-stitching done on Luna. By "top-stitching," I'm talking just about the stitching along the edges of the applique. For this, I use invisible thread and a 60/8 needle to minimize the size of the holes. Also, I like a foot with an open toe so I can see what I'm doing. I do this with the feed dogs in their regular position.


It's a little hard to photograph because of the invisible thread...which is kind of the point.


She doesn't look much different from my last photo of her.


Today I should have plenty of time to get her to binding stage. I still need to add shading and details with thread. I've selected several colors, and I'll set up the machine for free-motion quilting. When all the details have been added, I'll baste the whole piece to the quilt back, and then do some free motion quilting.

So I'm tired today, my friends. I'm looking forward to a day of mostly sewing. I want to make at least three more masks, and I want to get Luna finished. We have a camping trip planned for week after next, and I want the sewing for others finished and mailed off before we leave.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sher S. said...

You are such a creative lady, Love seeing all that you do. Your cooking skills amaze me also. Glad Smitty got out to hunt a little. Enjoy your week.

Julierose said...

You are so organized; you deserve a resting day for sure...
All of my binding of prepared quilts and smaller quilt pieces is DONE<<<
I have been stitching on Blue Butterfly--but, have to just do a little as my eyes go wonky staring at all the x's after a while...

I make cottage fries, too..mostly just with onions though--[we are not pepper fans]. And..
What is spatchcocking? I've never heard of it....

Those sweet potatoes w/peanut dressing sound fantastic...I will definitely try that one...
Luna is looking so pretty--
~ ~ ~ stay safe~ ~ Julierose

Cathy Smith said...

I have had roses die off like your wisteria with no indication of a problem. Turned out to be soil grubs! Fat white bodies, dark heads. Little suckers love to nosh on tender roots! I'm not sure what they are the larvae for. I'm not big on using garden chemicals, but when it comes to my roses watch out! I now use a lawn grub control granule once a year. Seems to have done the trick!

celia ambrose said...

love the wisteria photo! Reminded me of my Grandmother's backyard. She loved them too.

gpc said...

A girl in high school said I reminded her of wisteria and, having never seen it, I wasn't sure whether to be offended or flattered. Mostly I was just bemused. It is a clinging vine after all. But gosh, pretty, too. I am well past my wisteria days so it doesn't much matter, but you made me take that little trip down memory lane so I am inflicting it on you. Love the masks - you have way more interesting fabric than I do.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I made the sweet potato salad but used young green beans (no peas in house) and my son loved it - we did steaks instead of the pizza. Hey, my kids are meat & potato people. And the kitties enjoyed some steak as well.

Joan G said...

Ah, those fried potatoes brought back memories of my Kentucky born dad, standing at the stove Sunday mornings frying those up for breakfast. So, so good. And, when my grandma was visiting, we would have her fried apple pies to go with them. Thanks for giving details on thread type and needle size for top stitching Luna. I always appreciate learning techniques from you.

Nancy said...

Luna is looking good! I hope your new Wisteria plan does well- it's so pretty. I chuckled at the hunting photo- I thought she was carrying a piece of screen. Ah, summer.

SJSM said...

Luna will be a perfect gift. I have several masks to finish and send off. From there I have NICU premise baby smocks to complete as samples to send on to the coordinator of the project. We are testing how the pattern and instructions are read by sewists as welll as variations. Once the hospital approves the results the project will be released to our ASG Chapter to fulfill the needs. This is a much more uplifting project than usually needed. Im making the 1-3 pound baby size as they are the most tricky to make. The smocks are used for when parents visit and pictures. Clothing the babies gives the family more comfort as the tubes and medical equipment is somewhat hidden. And the baby appears a little less vulnerable. We are making them not only the everyday but for themes and holidays. The outfits will stay in the NICU as once these babies "graduate" from there, regular sized baby clothes will fit.

Let’s hope your new wisteria thrives! The grubs are an idea to pursue as well as compacted soil. We have clay here and need to be aware of amending the soil so roots can get past the hard pan of clay then they will survive.

piecefulwendy said...

Glad you had a nice day with Erik and Mae. The food sounds (and looks) delicious. I hope your wisteria fairs better this time around; what a pretty plant. Always fun to see what you have going on in your garden. Smitty looks pretty satisfied in that photo. Glad he's getting some hunting in. Hope you enjoy a few days of quiet sewing and rest! Nice work on Luna too!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

mmmm - those potatoes look SO good! I'm a fan of potatoes in any form so I know I'd like them. And the chicken sounds yummy too. We had a wisteria at one of our houses and the thing grew massively but refused to flower. We were told by someone that should know that we shouldn't be able to grow it in this growing zone at all. We sort of proved that theory wrong, with the exception of the flowers. Luna is looking great!

Kate said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful feast for the 4th. I got Mom's home cooking, which is a real treat. Luna is coming along beautifully. I love the cat in the window look you get with the framing fabric. Making masks for friends can be fun, especially picking out fabrics you think they will like.