Not as much was accomplished yesterday as I'd hoped, but I still have some things to show for my day's activities. I'll admit I took my cues from Sadie. When I went downstairs after writing yesterday's post, I found her ensconced in Mike's lap, looking very comfortable.
Cooking and Quilting
Matthew called early (for him). He wondered if he could come by to work on his van. Of course! we said. That kind of threw my morning off, although I can't say it was Matthew's fault. Any excuse to slug around, you know. When I got myself going, I blanched and froze all the corn I harvested the day before. Eight ears were frozen in gallon zip-lock bags. The rest were stripped of their kernels to freeze in quart bags.
Except for the husking, it's a pretty quick process. Mike and I took the unhusked ears out and husked them over the garbage can. When I heard we were going to have several days of rain, I harvested as much corn as I could. I'm not sure whether it will be affected by the rain, but I wasn't taking any chances. We've had a good harvest of corn so far, but I'm still hoping we'll get a little more before it's finished for the season.
When that was finished, we had lunch and naps, and then I got busy stitching the binding on the bag ladies. I've turned the third corner now, and I'm about 80% of the way around. It should be no problem finishing it off today.
So, the next thing on my agenda was to get started on the Blue Corn Bread block for New Mexico Kitchen...this one:
These quilt blocks each come with a recipe. Here's the recipe for the blue corn bread. I might actually have to try this if I can find some blue cornmeal.
The blocks all start out by making the foundation. They're split 50-50 between pieced backgrounds and overlay backgrounds. This one is an overlay background. The "tablecloth" is made by fraying the edges of the fabric.
So, I didn't get very far with the applique before it was time to stop. This one is going to require both machine and hand embroidery. I can stitch in the straight lines on my machine, but the lettering will be done by hand. On the left, you can see where there is some "whole kernel corn" in a measuring cup. The measuring cup is not applique, but stitched directly onto the background. If you can't see it, refer to the picture from the pattern cover above. (Okay, well I just scrolled up there and it doesn't show very well. You'll have to take my word for it until the stitching is finished.)
Sadie was my helper for this. I'll just continue on with this block today. I expect to finish the applique and at least get a start on the top-stitching. It's doubtful I'll finish it in one day, but sometimes I can surprise myself.
For last night's dinner, I tried two new recipes. This is Braised Carrot and Sweet Potatoes with Candied Ginger. That's fresh cilantro sprinkled over the top. This turned out to be really good. Despite the candied ginger, it was a savory version of sweet potatoes...often a sweet dish.
Unfortunately, the recipe is a Cook's Illustrated recipe, and so you need a subscription to their magazine or website to be able to see it online. If you really want the recipe, you can email me, and I'll send it to you.
For the main course, we had these Brown Sugar-Pineapple Pork Chops. These were really good. I'm not a big pork eater, but I'm always on the look-out for something to do with pork chops.
The recipe for these has you frying the pork chops in a skillet. They're first seasoned with salt and pepper and then rubbed with a spicy rub. We did them just as the recipe suggested, but I had Mike grill the pork chops on the barbecue. It made it a lot easier and less messy. The canned pineapple and red onion are sauteed in a skillet with the reserved pineapple juice and "sprinkled" with a quarter cup of brown sugar. I didn't pack the brown sugar when I measured it, figuring that "packed" brown sugar is hard to "sprinkle." So anyway...we both really liked this recipe. The spicy rub is a nice contrast to the sweetness of the pineapple. That's goat cheese crumbled over the top, which seemed like a weird addition, but it tasted good. This recipe is easy enough to do in the RV, and there are leftovers enough for another dinner.
Okay, and so that brings me to the end of the day. Today I'll finish up the bag ladies, and then get back to the New Mexico Kitchen block. Oh yeah, and I guess I'll grudgingly do some housekeeping chores. It should be a pretty easy day. The rain is still coming down today. If I'm remembering correctly, it's supposed to clear up some tomorrow.