neutral, kind of

I got another quilt laid out yesterday.  I have been working on market bags for the shop but I decided to work on a quilt yesterday.  Part of the reason is that I knocked my pile of nine squares over.  It means more quilts truly need to be made!  

I was very pleased with this in the pictures I took.  I find that taking the picture gives me a feel for how the quilt will turn out.  An art teacher friend pointed me in that direction.

I will be updating the shop today.  And on Etsy too.

I realized that I have not been posting recipes.  I have been making new things but it has been a lot of throw this and that into a pan and have something incredible come out!  There was a bit of leftover porterhouse in the refrigerator, so I decided to make tacos.  I sliced the meat and marinated it in lime juice.  Oil, smoked salt, black pepper, paprika, a pinch of chipolte, a pinch of ancho, olive oil, and agave hit the skillet.  After it was heated, I added the meat to warm and be seasoned.  On mjurstut with cabbages and Russian dressing.  Oh so good.  It made a horrible mess and all the mess was lovely.

Even my bread has been that way.  I have been making what is best classified as an Italian but I have been dumping water, olive oil, salt, and flour in the bowl with starter.  I add enough flour to make a soft dough and go from there.  Usually there is a bit of whole wheat.  A white whole wheat but it is a whole wheat.  I am going to have to figure that one out because family will want it I know.  

Writing down the recipe is sometimes the hard part.  I use so many of my own recipes and rift on them.  I get teased continuously.  For example, I have realized I like the caesar dressing heavier on the anchovies and less if no vinegar.  I try to make notes.  Even on my own blog but sometimes.  And then I get fussed at that it does not taste like mine.  But the shortbread.  Family and friends think it is just me on that one.


trying mitered corners on quilts

I finished the Halloween quilt for the Tall Short Person.  She wanted a quilt and not a wall hanging so I made sure everything was attached securely.  In the original pattern, the lettering was a banner across the quilt.  Not going to work as a physical hug!  I did put a sleeve across the top in case she does ever wish to hang it as a Halloween decoration.  The Small Bear liked the "bone daddies."

I am also making myself a Halloween quilt but I do not think it will be done in time for Halloween.  That is okay.  It gives me another chance to play with mitered corners.  I did mitered corners on this quilt and, not perfect, but better.  I needed to change how I did the binding which was okay.  I also need to work on my fingers working better on the corners.  That is just practice.

I had an old piece of red flannel in the stash and I used that for the back.  It was going to be pajama bottoms for Koda Bear but his favourite colour is now orange.  I still had a use.  I also backed the banner edging in muslin.  Life is good.

I did get this mailed yesterday so there is hope that it will get to the Tall Short Person by Halloween.  I can hope!


my Sunday

I spent my Sunday quilting.  I got a quilt all quilted in one day.  That is first.

It is a gift that I hope to get to the Tall Short Person by Halloween. Which may or may not happen.  I put in DVDs and an audiobook and spent the day at my sewing machine. 

There was much tea.  

I had all these grandiose plans about what I would do.  I would get up and take a short walk when I was through with a quarter of the quilting.  Every quarter.  I would make my self a simple dinner when I was three quarters through.  

Yep.  Whatever.  I got obsessed.  I was a wreck when I got up from my machine and then more obsession happened when I wanted to find another DVD.  I wanted to sit and crochet.  

Sunday was an interesting day!


cozy shawl

Friday was not a good computer day.  I could not get anything started here.  The rest of the weekend was a lot of pain.  I just took care of myself and worked on things were I could sit.  I did not wish to talk, let alone write!  I keep feeling like more and more of a hermit.  Which I do not have a problem with.

I finished this shawl in Tahoe.  I had picked the fiber up at NW Yarns in April.  When I would get a chance, I would sit and spin.  Then the shawl started.

It is really soft and warm.  I finished it while it was raining and cold in Tahoe so it fit.  Now, I have to wonder.  I like the soft.  I like the warm.  I wish it was solid.  I have been drawn to more solids recently.  It is all I wish to wear.  But it could be a good thing under a waterproof. 

I will give it some time before I decide.  I may eventually gift it to someone because the colours are making me uncomfortable. Every colour in the shawl, I like.  It is just the multi-colour.  I am strange and know it.

Oh well. 


not Massimo's ragu

Yesterday was not a good day for me.  I felt so lucky that I did not have a job to go to because I could barely move.  Yesterday was all about self care.  Moving slowly.  Drinking copious amounts of ginger tea.  Actually, just copious amounts of tea.  Trying to move a stretch some of the pain away.  Today, I just ache which is a fast improvement!  Yesterday, I wished I had some of this ragu in the freezer but I did not.

The wonderful cookbook I picked up the last time I was in the Pacific Northwest, which has all the recipes for family meals, had a picture of Massimo Bottura's ragu in it.  I have watched documentaries on the man and saw what he did at the Rio Olympics about trying to put feeding people who have nothing in the spotlight.  I like what he does.  In documentaries and Instagram, he makes me laugh.  He seems to live life with joy which is important to me.  Well, long story short, in the cookbook for family meals there was a picture of his ragu.  Rich, meaty.  No recipe.  But I knew where to find it.

Off I go to the grocery store which has a decent meat department.  Not wonderful but not bad.  I had to change most of the meats used in Massimo's recipe.  Even doing that, the ragu turned out lovely.  I also did not use his techniques because I do not have a sous-vide.  I will be making this again.  Might be easier in a larger pot with larger quantities.  It is good.


Note:  I used the ragu recipe in Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef as a starting point.

1 yellow onion, peeled and diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 celery stalk, washed and diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 dried bay leaves

1 sprig rosemary

4 ounces beef bones with marrow or just marrow

2 ounces pancetta steccata (I could not find this style so I used a different style of pancetta), diced

4 ounces mild italian sausage meat

4 ounces veal shank (go up to 8 ounces if you can afford it)

4 ounces beef shank

4 ounces beef flank steak

4 ounces grape tomatoes

3 ounces white wine

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 ounces vegetable broth or water

A bit of port to moisten

pasta, I made homemade pasta and got teased about the thick noodles.

In a pan over medium low heat, gently cook the onion, celery, and carrot in the olive oil.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl.  Stir in the bay and rosemary.

Blanche the bone marrow in boiling salted water and drain.

In the pan you used to cook the vegetables, sweat the pancetta.  Add the sausage meat and cook until brown.

Add the other meat and the tomatoes, keeping everything large.  Brown them.  Add the wine and cook a bit.

Remove from the heat and put the vegetables and meats in a slow cooker.  Add the 4 ounces of broth or water. 

Cover and cook until everything is tender.  Watch the liquid level toward the ends.  You do not want burnt bits.

Remove the meats from the slow cooker.  Remove bones and cut up into bite size.  Transfer to a pot on the stove.

I did not have much cooking liquid left so I moistened with port.  Not more then 4 ounces but I did taste a bit as I went.  Season with salt and pepper.  This to your taste.  It may be fine.

Serve over pasta.

Like I said, I wished I had it in the freezer yesterday.  With a salad, lovely comfort food.  Life is good.

Going to need to make this again soon.  Supposedly it will be cooler soon and then that would work well.