Baking Day

Good morning, my friends! Happy Saturday! We had a dry day yesterday, and it was very nice to get outside for a little bit. My only venture outside was to fill the bird feeders. The kitties were happy to get outside for a nice munch of their favorite grass. Think of it as the green, green grass of home. They like it better than the stuff they get while we're traveling.

Mike used the time to rake up and clean up the rest of the leaves near the front door. There's a Japanese maple tree there that was slow to let loose of the last of its leaves. (Was that some awesome alliteration?) They were inches thick on the driveway and plastered all over the RV. The RV has been sitting there since our last aborted camping trip while Mike did some work on it. Now it's all cleaned up and looking dapper for our trip to Cape Disappointment.

Except for feeding the hungry birds, I spent most of my day in the kitchen. I baked some Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies with Cherries and Pecans for Two. They're so nice with our afternoon cup of espresso.

There was also some biscotti in the works. Biscotti is made in stages, and I used the waiting time to do some quilting. I didn't get as far with this as I'd hoped, but I'm off to a good start on this first dark brown sashing.

Here's a little diagram so you can see how much I have done. The embroidered center panels are done, and then I was able to quilt the sashings marked with a yellow line.

So, I didn't get it quite finished, but it won't take long to finish it off today. After that, I'm hoping to quilt the leafy border. If there's still time left in my allowable quilting time, I'll do something in the next dark brown border.

The biscotti was finished off at the end of the day with a white chocolate drizzle. This is Cranberry, Orange, and White Chocolate Biscotti. As you can see, my drizzling technique hasn't gotten any prettier since last time. They taste good anyway. These are to take along on our camping trip...if they don't all get eaten before we leave.

And that was my last gasp of the day. It was a busy day yesterday. I spent about 45 minutes purging the items on the surface of my desk, including the hutch that sits on the desktop. I nearly filled another box for recycling, and I haven't started on the three desk drawers yet. Also, I wanted to get in a workout on the Bowflex, and I had one housekeeping chore to do. So, you can see there was a lot to keep me busy and away from my quilting.

In yesterday's post, I neglected to mention the kids invited us to join them for a "Holiday Duck Experience" at one of the local wineries. Here's how it was described in the promotional material:

Sounds pretty yummy, huh? It was such a nice evening spent with Erik and Mae and Mae's mother. We've never been to this winery before. It was dark when we arrived, but we're told the views are lovely during the day. It's a winery, but also a restaurant, and it was all decked out for Christmas.

There was a pairing of three wines to go with our dinner. We served ourselves from left to right as the courses were served up.

The first course was this delicious salad, made up of different lettuce greens, apples, mushrooms, and I can't remember what else. There was some frisee in the salad, and I enjoyed listening to Erik and Mae discussing their attempts to grow it in their garden. At the top right of the image below was some rosemary bread, and that came with a citrus-infused butter. Delicious.

The duck was first brought to the table whole (in case you wanted a selfie with it), and the complicated process for preparing it was described. It was brined and aged and hung and roasted and glazed and I can't even begin to remember all the steps that were described in this multi-day process. 

When we'd all had a good drooling opportunity, it was taken back to the kitchen to be cut up for serving. The image below shows the duck with its side dishes, including Dirty Rice (in the middle) and some sauteed greens (on the left). None of us is terribly partial to greens, but these were absolutely delicious. They'd been done in a multi-stage process that included some mild peppers and sauteeing them in apple cider vinegar. The peppers gave them just the slightest hint of heat, and the vinegar gave them the most delicious bit of tartness. It was all very tasty.

Dessert was beignets filled with a citrus curd and served with some marionberry jam. There are few things I love any more than beignets. 

So that was a lovely and delicious way to spend the evening. We gave up exchanging Christmas gifts years ago, preferring to spend time together with these experiential gifts. 

And that brings me to today. I'll be doing some cooking today, preparing meals for our camping trip next week. There should be time to get some quilting done today too. I want to get in a walk...either on the treadmill or outside, depending on the weather...and I want to do a little more purging of office supplies from two large cabinets in my office. We're getting close to being finished with all of that, although we both still have our clothes closets to deal with. That will be last on the list.

As always, there's plenty to keep me busy today. It's time to get to it.


Barbara said...

Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath. ~ Michael Caine

CarolE said...

Oh, it looks like you had a lovely time out at the winery!
It has become a tradition to make your gingerbread biscotti every year now. They are delicious. Have a wonderful day.

Jenny said...

The duck dinner sounds divine, what a great pre Christmas get together.

Anonymous said...

First, thanks again for the chicken/peanut sauce recipe! Will try soon. I’m so jealous about the winery/restaurant experience! I’m so hungry now! Sounds delicious ��!

CathieJ said...

What a wonderful "Duck Experience". That looks like it was a delicious dinner experience. Your biscotti look delicious....as do the cookies. I am waiting to bake. I was wondering how well you like the Bowflex. I have always thought I might like one as I enjoy working out on weight machines.

Kate said...

That dinner experience looks wonderful. So glad you got to spend some time with Eric and Mae. The biscotti looks really good. I'm hopeful My Guy is going to make some before Christmas. The quilting is going well and looks great. Have a wonderful Sunday.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

OOOOHHHH, great duck dinner in such a pretty atmosphere.
Hard to believe that there are only 3 weeks left of the year.

Joni said...

Drooling! We did your 'experience' last year and it was fab-oh! This region has really come into it's own in the past 75 years. My mother's family is from there and all of the family farms have turned into vineyards. This year our experience was a local cidery with international bbq selections and a bluegrass concert extravaganza.
Today is assembly of Christmas baskets for family, neighbors and framily.

piecefulwendy said...

What a lovely evening that must have been, and a great way to spend the evening together. Thanks for sharing the photos!

Vicki W said...

I love your borer quilting! Have a great camping trip.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

So many yummy things in your post! I would like a taste of each, please. Actually the RC is making noises about making some biscotti so I expect likely there will be some to tantalize my taste buds someday soon.
Sadly, I've only eaten duck I think once in my life. Would like to have it again but it's not something that's ever on our menu.