Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Pork Loin, and My Conversion to High Heat

Cooking for thirty again tonight, I went with:

spicy roasted pork loin
black-eyed peas
a huge pan of corn pudding
salad with shredded carrots
buttery biscuits with strawberry jam

This meal cost a little over $2 a person, but not by much. Tonight was my conversion to a *high heat* pork loin. I've been doing them at a a slow low temperature for years, but didn't have time today. I drizzled my pork loins with some olive oil, then doused them heavily in Greek seasoning (use your favorite, Cajun is good too). Twenty minutes in the oven at 500, then turned down to 400 for about an hour and a half, and they came out very nicely.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

And With a Few Beads

I beaded a few of these smaller shapes and they really round out the embellishment. I'll do them all.

(Angie's Fall stencil from Alabama Chanin)

Angie's Fall on Black

A not-so-great stenciling job somewhat rescued by reverse applique and trimming *all* of the painted shape (obviously the stitching is just *outside* the shape). 

This is pale pink on black, and I'm thinking I will bead all the tiny shapes and little lines. The stencil is Alabama Chanin's Angie's Fall. Love the echinacea and the passion flower; they both grow at my house.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Spirea, Splendid

No photograph can do justice to the enormous masses of spirea blooming in my garden. When there's a breeze blowing it's like being next to a wave about to crash--all that white tossing about.

The front spirea hedge (and now the back, though it's only in its second year) is the best gardening decision I ever made.

And somehow I just noticed this year that the masses and masses of late-blooming narcissi (which are also snow white!) peak at the same time, in the same garden.

I have no memory of planting them. Gardening is mysterious.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

He Never Lets Me Take His Picture

But I did get this one.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Everything Old Is New Again

I rearranged my bedroom and I love it so much, every night when I get ready for bed I feel like I'm staying in a fancy hotel.

 I pulled the bed over to the side of the room under the north windows, and now I have the huge west-facing windows for a velvet chair seating arrangement. Perfect for reading and holding a cat.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lucy on a Bed

Monday, April 21, 2014

"Thus It Is Written"

"Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day;

and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations . . . ."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gorgeous Golden Orchid

Everybody, bloom together now!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

An Easter Dress for Daisy

I started with New Look 0959 and laid the pattern pieces out on some handworked linen tablecloths my mother had given me. Each one had embroidered motifs in the corners which I tried to place artfully.

I lined the whole dress with ivory cotton voile, and also used the voile to make the inset band in the skirt, and the underskirt which was added for length. Sorry there's no picture of the front; it's just like the back.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Six O'Clock Sky Log Cabin Quilt

 When I started this quilt I was thinking about cloudy skies, but it came out more blue and white than cloudy. After it was pieced, I backed it in white and quilted it with natural perle cotton, and it still didn't feel like the colors were finished.

Then I bound it in coral and was happy.

Six o'clock sky, sunrise or sunset, your choice.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tulips and a Velvet Chair

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Clara's Saturday at Home

Clara didn't make it home last weekend because her flight was cancelled last minute--she shlepped her tote bag back to campus and we pushed the whole thing forward a week. Which means she's home right now!

Let's see. We have knitted, gardened (a lot), washed outside furniture, cut her bangs, cooked, and eaten a lemon drizzle cake. 

Actually, just Clara's been knitting while I piece my quilt. She's doing this beautiful lace-weight merino in a vintage pattern, and she's enthralled with the picot edge she got from turning down a band with a row of eyelet knitted through the middle. I'll make her model it when it has sides.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Lesser China Cabinet

Nothing special here, just a nice corner of the dining room.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Dinner for Thirty, Cheap and Easy

Just in case you ever need to cook a real meal for a crowd, here's a plan and shopping list that feeds thirty people for $60, and won't kill you to get it done.

Meat loaf:

5 lbs. ground chuck
2 lbs. ground turkey
2 packages frozen mirepoix mix (chopped onions, celery, carrots--sautee ahead of time)
bottle of ketchup
bottle of Worcestershire sauce
small box of oatmeal

Mashed potatoes:

lots of potatoes
bottle of half-and-half
pound of butter (don't use it all)

Big pot of mixed greens:

bag of kale
bag of collards
bag of turnip greens

Bowl of fruity jello:

8 small or 4 large boxes of raspberry jello
large can of sliced peaches in light syrup
3 cans pineapple tidbits in juice

This will not be the most elegant meal ever presented, but it will feed people comfortably for about two dollars a person.

Order of works:

Make the jello early in the day and leave in the fridge to set. Start the greens before lunch with some broth, bacon grease, and red pepper flakes. Mix the meat loaf around 3:30 and shape into four large loaves in a big roasting pan and stick in the oven. Last, peel those potatoes, cook and then mash. Dinner can be served at 6:00 and the clean up is not too bad.

You may never have to feed large groups of people. I, on the other hand, seem to have one of those chalk marks on me like tramps used to put on houses. But I don't mind! 

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Piecing the Inevitable

It had to happen sooner or later: 
log cabin meets jersey hand-sewing.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Monday Chores

I like my Monday chores. Most of them take just a few minutes, but make a big difference to the health and happiness of the household.

Watering the plants.
Emptying the wastebaskets.
Changing the sheets and making the beds up fresh.
Changing the bird cage.
Vacuuming the floors.

It's nice to work my way down a list that isn't too challenging, but definitely makes life better.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

A Good Day to Read

Storms coming and going, and all the errands done yesterday--today is a good day to read.
And clean up the toy room, and make an orange sandwich cake

for Clara! She's coming home tomorrow just for the weekend. We didn't see her over spring break because she toured with the orchestra. But she's ours tomorrow, then just one more month of school! 

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

A Bustling Avenue of Commerce

"A bustling avenue of commerce" is how the Composer characterized the hallway after Daisy's sign-making weekend. She's set herself up as a lawyer (with Sunday hours even!) and committed Felix to possibly more stencil designing that he bargained for.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

A Topsy-Turvy Doll for Daisy

My mother gave Daisy a copy of Wee Wonderfuls, a book of doll and toy patterns. I told Daisy I would sew her one thing.

She chose the Topsy-Turvy doll, which is kind of cheating, since I had to basically sew two dolls, especially if you go by the hardest thing, which is hair, and which I definitely had to do two of. I didn't enjoy the hair.

Daisy swears I told her I had always wanted to make a topsy-turvy doll. That seems so unlikely. But anyway, I did it, and the doll is finished, both sides, and Daisy likes it.

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