Tuesday
Apr102018

mending a sheet (learned a new skill)

I got to visit with Koda Bear on Saturday!  That took all my attention.  Especially since there was time to talk and cuddle.  When he is around though, I do seem to do a lot of laundry.  I found one of my favorite sheets had holes in it!  In just one section.

The linen sheets I have are not inexpensive.  I went online and found some linen that I could purchase so I could repair the sheet.  I decided to compliment and not try to match, because the sheet has been through more then a few washings.

I ripped out the holey bit of linen.  I actually saved it.  The part away from the holes will make nice quilt squares.  The part with the holes might make something very interesting for a collabrative project I am thinking about.

I learned how to do flat felted seams for this repair.  It is not something I have tried before but I knew I did not wish the fraying from unfinished seams but I also wanted something that was smooth.  Not smooth might keep someone awake!

The most difficult thing about this whole mend was how much fabric I needed to work with.  The original sheet is about 100 inches wide and 108 inches long.  I also had to be careful not to scorch my fingers with all the ironing that went on.

I know have a non-holey sheet.  I bought extra fabric because I did not know how it would all go.  It looks like there will be more projects coming from that!  I also ordered more fabric for a sheet and pillowcases.  I would rather make my own if I can.

Thursday
Apr052018

travels with the bear

Since the last time I was in this space, I have driven from California and back.  There was Koda Bear to pick up.  We camped on the way back at Davis Mountain State Park.  It is becoming one of my favorites.  I like the quiet and the clear skies.  There is room to run and jump and climb.  I have not been there long enough to do any hiking but maybe someday? 

I could see myself hanging out there with a book under a tree.  I could hope.  Especially when dinners are made with simple ingredients over flame.  There were hamburgers and pan fries with salad for dinner.  All the hamburge was cooked into patties and we at that for days.  

I completely misjudged the traffic out of Los Angeles.  Koda Bear is just north of their and to get back to this house you have to drive through or around LA.  The wrong choice was made.  I think there is always a learning on every road trip or camping trip.  We were supposed to also camp outside of Tucson with the saguaro cactus but we did not.  Maybe next time?

When we got back to the house, there were things that needed to be done.  Meals decided upon.  Laundry.  Homework.  Playing.  Mending a shirt.  Bicycle riding.  Every moment was full.  We did not even get to go see the movie we wanted to see we were so busy!

But Koda Bear now has his own skates.  An eBay find that made him grin.  He was slow start because he had only ever used rental figure skates before.  But he was the last person off the ice.  Just like the Tall Short Person always was.  I feel like another monster was created.  I am going to need to keep coaching just so he can skate.  But I am enjoying the little bit of coaching I do.  It pays for my ice time and a little bit extra.  I find I smile a lot.

Now, I have to get back into the normal swing of things.  It will get all changed up again later this month.  More camping is planned.  Makes me smile.

 

Tuesday
Mar272018

a simple lasagna

I was watching a food show on Netflix recently that featured David Chang.  Ugly Delicious.  On the show, he went to his friends home and ate with the family.  Now, his friend is considered one of the best chefs in the world.  But this chef.  He does not cook at home.  His wife does.  Nadine Redzepi.  And she wrote a cookbook that I checked out from the library.  It is called Downtime and I really enjoyed it.  This is one that I think I might wish to own because there are a dozen recipes that I wish to try there.  And I have to use interlibrary loan to get it.  If I got it from my local library system, maybe that would be a different story.

When I was reading her header on the lasagna recipe it spoke to me.  I have always felt that lasagna was a lot of work.  And I am not going to say this one is not.  But most lasagna is a lot of work with a lot of grocery money in it.  Her recipe cut the cheese way back and I thought that was interesting, so I gave it a try.  The work is worth it.

I do not really have a recipe for all of this.  The only part of her recipe I did use was the bechamel sauce but it is a basic bechamel.  But I used the ideas.  A red sauce that had flavor with beef in it and 56 ounces of my favorite canned tomatoes.  I did try make the sweet Italian sausage meatballs like she tried but next time I will just brown it with the beef or other ground meat I use in the red sauce.  The meatballs were too fussy.

I made my own pasta sheets because I already had the dough in the refrigerator.  But I did not cook them because there was enough sauce in the dish to cook the pasta as it baked.  Two cups of grated parmesan.

Layer the sauce, then pasta, then sauce, then cheese, until everything is in the pan with sauce and cheese on top.  Bake it for 50 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let rest for 20 minutes.  The rest makes the lasagna hold together better and makes it even tastier.

For how simple the ingredients are, I would make this again.  It still needs a tweak.  It is much lighter then most American lasagna which I really like.  It could be made even easier with no-boil pasta sheets but I just had the pasta dough.  The top picture is a reheated dish of this lasagna.  The boyos are getting leftovers for lunch and are happy.

basic bechamel sauce

Note:  to make gluten free, you can use sorghum or amaranth or potato flour.  I find they all work.

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup flour

4 cups milk

salt to taste

Melt the butter over a medium low heat.  When melted, slowly whisk in the flour.  Let cook until a paste and does not taste like raw flour.  Let it bubble a bit.  Do not let it brown.  This is a blonde roux.  Slowly whisk in the milk.  Let cook over low heat for until it thickens a bit but be careful not to let it stick to the pan.  It will try to and it will brown or burn if you are not careful.  You want slightly thick and smooth.  Add a bit of salt to taste.  Some people also add a touch of nutmeg which I am not a fan of.

If you use something other then butter, like sausage grease, this is sausage gravy.  It all works the same.  The roux can also become the black roux for gumbo.  Also, know as Cajun napalm.  What I am trying to tell you is becareful of the bubbles in the roux.  If they splatter and get your skin, they will burn.

Saturday
Mar242018

creating

I have been working with plant dye again.  I ran out of some colors for my Etsy shop.  I am going to be playing with some new colors as well.  There is black bean and cabbage with hibiscus here.  I want subtle colors but I also want to play.  But this type of playing is slow.  My life seems to be a lot of things that take time lately.  Not that I really mind.

I have a pot of beets and vinegar dyeing silk right now.  I am hoping I get the dark antique rose I got last time.  If not, I do need another slip.  I use every bit of what I make for something!  And I do find colors grow on me over time.  Sometimes I need to put them away because at first they are a disappointment.  

It has been an interesting week.  I am curious to see what next week brings but I can wait as well.  More dye will definitely be in my future!

Thursday
Mar222018

quilting

Yesterday the floor was warm enough for me to baste this quilt I have been working on.  It may seem like a small thing but crawling around on a cold floor to baste a quilt was off putting.  And I do not have a work table big enough to do it well.  But the basting is done.

The colors on this quilt are very spring like to me.  I am not ready for summer to happen.  Since there is so little spring here, summer happens quickly.  But I am enjoying the flowers that are blooming.  My blanket flowers are just on the edge of bursting.  I have a few already.

I have not gardened this year like I may have wished but I am going to go buy plants this weekend.  I am going to put in a few broccoli, maybe some kale.  I may plant some pumpkins.  I need a reason to be in the garden a few minutes every day and vegetables will help.  It will also help with the heaviness that is left by two men that have died this year.  They were both gardeners.  One was a farmer.