Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Not Sewing

I haven't been sewing, at least not much. It seems like summer finished up in a hurry around here and in our house that means a lot of preserving. I tried making salsa for the first time this year, and although it is good it's a bit runny and my recipe needs a bit of fine tuning before we turn out 5 more quarts again. When we finished the last batch of salsa I was done looking at tomatoes. We had a good summer for them with all of our heat and there were beautiful herilooms left at the farmers market, but I was done. Done that is until a 8 quart box showed up on by door step.

They were beautiful and plum and sweet, and I almost cried because I knew that since we couldn't eat 8 quarts of tomatoes in the next couple of days that it meant I needed to pull back out the canner. Most of the ones in the box were cherry tomatoes and after scouring a few cookbooks and blogs I finally decided on a recipe out of The River Cottage Preserves Handbook. This is a new book to me, C got it for my birthday and I really like some of the unique recipes. So I made roasted tomato passata. The prep is easy enough, half (or quarter) the tomatos, thinly slice some shallots and garlic toss it all with olive oil and some seasoning and roast in the oven.

Then I scraped everything off of the cookie sheet and threw it in to the food processor. I think the recipe called for a food mill which would have been better since you could have removed the skins but we couldn't find ours. After it was pureed I brought it back up to boiling in a saucepan and then canned it. All said and done it made a total of about 6 pints.

I've thrown it in a couple of dinners already, pretty much subsituting it in for a bit of tomato sauce or paste. In a bind we could probably make a quick tomato cream sauce for dinner out of it.

We've put up 5 4oz jars of fig preserves too, which I use in place of jam or jelly on toast. Although apple seasons is just about hitting it's stride it's debatable whether we're going to do apple sauce or not. The apple crop around central NY was hit pretty hard in the spring with the wacky weather and the prices are reflecting that. Might just be easier to go without for a year. Plus, do I really want to pull out the canner again?

Sunday, September 16, 2012


N's birthday quilt is finally finished. Let me just say that one more time, N's birthday quilt is finally finished! Exactly three months past her first birthday, and on C's birthday it came out of the dryer and much to a mama's delight she threw it on the kitchen floor, climbed on top of it and snuggled in.

As I've mentioned before, this was my first free motion quilt. Overall I love how it came out. I think that the circles were really simple and were very forgiving with hiding some mistakes. Plus I feel like bubbles go with the whole water theme of the Heather Ross fabric.

There was a lot of thread used - nearly 8 spools of 250 m thread to be exact. Thank goodness it was on sale at Joanns. I'm interested to see if as I get better I use less or if I should always anticipating emptying so many spools.

It's already been put to good use on N's bed as the days slowly become cooler and the nights are starting to warrant more layers. Although I suspect I will cuddle under it a bit more than N for the next year as she still prefers to do the toddler thrash off of any cover on top of her while sleeping. So here's to a happy and warm belated birthday to my sweet girl.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sometimes you win some

Last Wednesday I got an e-mail that I thought was a joke. Lucky for me it wasn't, I had won a fat quarter bundle from Fabricworm. But not just any bundle, it was Anna Marie Horner's new Field Study line in Gypsy. This fabric was something that I had swooned over, but wasn't going to make my "must buy" shopping list. Of course now that I have 12 fat quarters sitting on my table I can't help but love them. I've already started thinking about what I might do with them, but I am trying to hold off actually starting anything. I am oh so close to being done with N's birthday quilt (which is taking much longer than anticipated), plus I have supplies for Christmas presents piling up while the days before Christmas are already starting to dwindle.

As with most bundles there are a few prints that seem to take up a residence closer to my heart that others. For Field Study I would have to say that these are my favorite three (from left to right) Raindrop Poppies, Migratory Lace and Fine Feathered. They aren't colors that I usually gravitate towards or put together but I do love how they seem to work so nicely in this bundle.

The fabric is really quite lovely and it's on sale right now at Fabricworm; as are Amy Butler and Denyse Schmidt too. While you are at it enter their new giveaway, you never know you might just win!