Relaxing and Sewing

It's been a busy couple of days. Yesterday, I had just a few easy chores to do, but then I spent most of the day sewing...either by machine or by hand. The machine sewing was spent finishing off the top-stitching and machine embroidery for New Mexico Kitchen.

It wasn't finished yet though. Next, I needed to do some hand embroidery. I added some vegetables to the stew, divots in the potato skin, holes for the salt shaker, and a name for the bottle of chile powder. I was going by the pattern spelling, but I think "chile" should actually be spelled "chili." Now I'm going to have to look at my own bottle of spices...so thanks...a LOT! It isn't finished yet. I still need to add the fringe to the table cloth across the bottom, which is a royal painus in the anus. I'm not sure I would ever have started this if I'd realized how much I'd hate that part. I do kind of like the look though...so there's that.

The kitties were no help at all with this. They were busy murdering their new cat toy.

What's going on over there, Little Lady?

Don't worry! I'll save you from that marauding beast!

So what do you suppose they were killing? It's one of those little caps that covers the prongs on an appliance plug to protect it during shipping. They make the best cat toys ever.

Once it was done in and dead, Sadie had to decide what to kill next. Would it be the pen cap? Or would it be the stuffed "tootsie roll" catnip toy behind her.

Hmmm...these are tough decisions.

Okay, pen cap. You cannot escape my claws of doom!

So have you ever asked yourself who really killed Colonel Mustard? I'm saying it was Sadie, in the Mewseum, with her Laser Lights.

The most exciting thing to happen yesterday, aside from murder and mahem, of course, was the arrival of my latest shopping binge at Crabapple Hill Studios. I've been watching Meg Hawkey stitch up this little binder cover on social media. Ordinarily, this sort of thing wouldn't appeal to me, but watching her stitch had me sold before it even appeared on the website. This is the Snowy Wonderland Stitch Binder. It fits one of the smallish binders widely available in office supply stores. 

If you click on this link, you can see that it also includes patterns and instructions for a snowflake pincushion, needlecase, scissor fob, and two types of pocket pages. It was too stinking cute for me to resist. I hope I live long enough to stitch it. If not, I'll leave it to one of you in my will.

Okay, so I promised I'd tell you about the wild rice stuffing I made for our Cornish hens on Thanksgiving. The stuffing mix is actually from a completely different recipe for Roasted Delicata Squash with Wild Rice-Cherry Stuffing.

The recipe appeared in our local newspaper some years ago. It's not available online, and so I'll give it to you here. It's supposed to be made with a leek. I couldn't get leeks the day we went grocery shopping, and so I substituted a shallot for that. I didn't miss the leek. Also, it's supposed to be made with dried tart cherries, also unavailable when we went grocery shopping. I substituted dried cranberries infused in cherry juice. I did kind of miss the dried tart cherries, but the dried cranberries were good too.

If you're unfamiliar with delicata squash, it looks like this. 

It's a relative newcomer to the squash scene, although they've been around for several years. The flesh is very tender, and it can be peeled. The little green bits in the ridges will be left behind, but it's good to eat. This recipe for Delicata Squash with Caramlized Shallots & Sherry is another great way to prepare it. 

I love wild rice, and so when Mike asked for stuffing in our Cornish hens, I thought of this wild rice stuffing immediately. If you make the whole recipe, it makes a ton. I used only a little bit in our Cornish hens, but I picked up a delicata squash while we were shopping to make another meal. It's very filling, and one squash will easily feed two for dinner. Here's the recipe:

Roasted Delicata Squash with Wild Rice-Cherry Stuffing
Serves 8


2 cups wild rice
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
4 delicata squashes (2 to 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium leek, thinly sliced, white and light green parts only (2 cups)
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely minced
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried tart cherries
1 cup vegetable stock
4 ounces crusty whole-wheat bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (3 cups)
1 cup warm water or vegetable stock


Rinse the wild rice and place it in a medium mixing bowl.  Cover with lukewarm water and let rice soak for 1 hour.  Drain.  In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a boil.  Add the rice, cover and return to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until rice is just tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

While the rice cooks, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Halve the squashes lengthwise and scrape out seeds and stringy bits with a teaspoon.  Brush the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place them cut side down in a lightly oiled baking dish, and bake for 30 minutes or until they are barely tender.  While the squash bake, heat the butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat, add the leek and celery and cook until the leek is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add sage, rosemary, salt and dried cherries, and continue to cook for 2 minutes.  Add stock and bring to simmer; remove from heat.  

Drain the wild rice and place it in a mixing bowl.  Add the contents of the saute pan and the bread cubes, and stir well to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.  Fill the baked squash with the stuffing and place back in the baking dish.  Add 1 cup of warm water or stock to the bottom of the baking dish and cover tightly with foil.  Bake until squash are tender and the stuffing hot, about 20 minutes.  Uncover baking dish and bake until stuffing is crisp, about 10 minutes more. Serve hot.

If you have leftover stuffing, it can be frozen, so make as much as you like and freeze any leftovers for another meal down the road.

* * * * *

Okay, so we've been in the Oregon gloom for the past week or so. This morning is looking bright and sunny. We're expecting a pretty nice week ahead.

I'm planning to take tomorrow off from blogging. Mike has a routine medical procedure scheduled, but it's the kind of procedure that requires a designated driver, and so I'll be going with him for that. Later this week, I have my own medical appointment. Since I'm going into town anyway, I'm planning to drop off some gifts of Cranberry Apple Mustard with Erik and Mae and Sue, and then Sue and I will go for a walk. We haven't walked together in a long time.

As for today, I'll finish off the New Mexico Kitchen block, and then I'll move along to the next WIP on my list...the City Bank quilt. Here's where I left off last time:

When I worked on this last time, I decided to add in more lavender and purple. I'm running out of appropriate greens and blues...which was kind of the point. I still have plenty of greens and blues, but I'm only using solids and tone-on-tones. Also, I'm close to finishing up the Calendula Patterdrip's Cottage stitchery, and so I need to get going making up the next block for Pieces of the Past. 

There's lots on today's agenda. How are you keeping busy on this Sunday?


Barbara said...

Way down deep, we’re all motivated by the same urges. Cats have the courage to live by them. ~ Jim Davis

Julierose said...

Yup "Chili" "Chile" is the country I believe...
Anyway it is a lovely block...lots of work goes into that one...
I am back to x-stitching my multi-color butterfly--very relaxing..I love Winter squashes...but haven't seen Delicata around here--Butternut and Acorn abound so that makes me happy...
We are supposed to get quite a rain/wind event tomorrow--so putting off my grocery until Tuesday...plus plan to mail out gifts this coming week...need to get some little candy canes for the wrappings...
Stay safe and enjoy your sewing hugs from far away, Julierose

gpc said...

We have delicata here. Jack loves squash but I found the delicata soooo mild I wasn't sure what to do with it. I'll have to give the stuffing a try. We generally only have my fruit and seed bread in the house but since there is dried fruit in the stuffing, I imagine cubes of that would work just fine. I'm pretty sure he will want meat on the side, though. Every time I see the City Bank I like it better and wonder why I am not doing the same. "Chile" is fine, just a variation of the word and likely, since it is apparently the word used in spanish, more authentic than our american "chili" version. Relax, you're good.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

We are a delicotta growing area, so they are abundant. I much prefer them, also, because they have a milder 'squash' flavor. I stuff with any type stuffing, but add some type of meat to make it a whole meal.

Joan G said...

Oh my goodness! I laughed out loud at Sadie with her laser lights killing Colonel Mustard in the mewseum! Thank you for starting my day with a laugh. I also caved to the magnetic pull of Meg Hawkey and finally purchased her new book during a Black Friday sale. I love her designs. Like you, I hope to live long enough to complete some of her projects. Windy, rainy, and first accumulating snow here today. Good times! Sounds like a great day to sew!

Christine said...

Definitely chilli in England!! And the weather is chilly as well, waking up to frosts every morning.
Love the Colonel Mustard story...

piecefulwendy said...

I kept myself amused making 1-1/2" HSTs yesterday. Still need to work on them, the amusement has kinda left the building, if you know what I mean. Thank goodness it's a small quilt! The squash dish looks tasty; I'm the only squash eater in the household though. Hope you have some sunshine this week; we finally got some here!

MissPat said...

I like Delicata squash because they are just enough for two people. They are abundant at harvest time, but must not be good keepers, because they disappear from the stores early. I like the look of the Crabapple Hill stitcheries, but I doubt I would have the fortitude to finish one. Hope Mike's procedure goes without a hitch and you can get back to entertaining the kitties.

Nann said...

The New Mexico wall hanging is just charming. The bold graphics of the City Bank really appeal. And thanks for the recipe!

SJSM said...

I’m not a big squash fan but do like the delicata squash. I made one with a nut stuffing and enjoyed it as a main dish when my vegetarian daughter came for dinner. Still working to finish up gifts to send out. Finished the microwave vegetable/potato bag. Started on the face mask washer bags. Also received a haircut.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I've seen those squash but have yet to try one. We usually get butternuts so I guess it's time to expand our horizons!
I tried the link to Crabapple Hill again because I'm so curious to see what they carry and once again my computer screamed mightily at me that it was filled with DANGER and flatly refused to let me go any further. Hmmm....perhaps that might be a good thing? I've also tried googling them and also typing their direct address as well and every time the computer throws a fit. Sigh. Oh well, I'll just have to see what they have by following you and seeing what pretties you decide to try!

QuiltGranma said...

We are being entertained by our kitten playing with a Bic pen without its cap! We're about to leave for an appointment of mine, so I'll open a paper bag to keep her entertained in our absence. She LOVES noisy things!