Friday, November 28, 2014

November quilt block

Majestic tree calendar quilt 2002
A dozen years ago I set out to make a calendar quilt designed by Piecemakers quilt shop in Costa Mesa.  My Mom started this journey with me and warned me that it was a big undertaking for a new quilter.  Well that didn't discourage me and I started it anyway.  I have a guilty pleasure of collecting ribbons, threads, buttons and beads that I have no idea what I will use them for but have to have them anyway.  I knew I had a stash of all of these to embellish this quilt.  I wanted to post these blocks month by month.  I'll start with November:
Aspen tree with wild geese
upper right section with metallic embroidered spider web and bead spider, lots of ribbon embroidery
lower right crazy quilt corner with leaf ribbon and a silver French button

upper left section of crazy quilt, butterflies, ribbon embroidery and lots of silver beads

November lower left section, embroidered and appliquéd wild geese, thistle flowers and lots of beads, embroidery and ribbons on velvet

Each month is represented by a tree that is in its glory that month.  How funny that I will start with the month of November and the aspen tree.  The aspen tree is so symbolic in Colorado.  Although by now the leaves have turned and dropped, the trunks of these trees are beauty in themselves.  Each of the leaves on the quilt tree is a stick of ribbon embroidery. I hate to guess how many leaves I stitched - often changing ribbon color There are so many Canadian geese around Denver.  They fly in a magnificent squadron on cold days but don't really migrate anymore.  Their sound is quite a distinctive honk.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What do you do with frozen tomatoes?

Make tomato soup
Man, it's been cold here in Denver.  I returned from Seattle late Sunday, woke up to a 54 deg morning and by 10 am it had dropped to below freezing and it has been there for a week now.  I still had some tomatoes on the vine ripening but couldn't see them until Thursday because it was dark when I was home.  So out I went to the garden to see what was in the deep freeze:  Enough tomatoes and peppers to cry about.
tomatoes on ice

So what's a gardener and cook supposed to do ?   Make tomatoes soup:

Cream of tomato soup

one onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
frozen or really fresh or canned tomatoes- about 4 lbs
chicken stock, 2 cups
1 TBs pesto- or basil
salt, pepper
1 cup fresh goat's milk

Saute the tomato, then add the garlic, fresh basil or a frozen cube of pesto
Add the tomatoes 
Add the chicken stock
Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes
Puree in batches in a blender
Return to the stove and 
Add milk
Stir until the right temperature

cream of tomato soup with a dollop of goat yogurt and parsley
Add a grilled cheese sandwich on the side.  This lunch will warm you up when it is cold outside
Next dish:  Green chili
Yes the peppers and tomatoes will be used for this dish.  Then the garden is officially closed for the 2014 season:
Poblano chilis

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cooties and Cookies

Last weekend I got to spend with my Seattle girls.  Oh what fun!  We did lots of reading with new books from the bookstore.  We added lights to the fairy garden.  Then, of course, we made cookies.  We always make cookies:  This time decorated sugar cookies with "punch" frosting.  There was a chemistry lab to create glitter body gel and lots of princess games.  We went to Lake Washington in search of a beach with sand but all we found were smooth small rocks.  While we were there we watched a kayaker practicing flips in the Lake.  The mountains behind the lake are the Cascades.....beautiful today.
 It was lots of fun playing with Reina and Gabriela and of course just being with Brad and Amber.   But the most fun was playing Cooties.  Remember that game?  You have to roll a "1" on the die to get the cootie bug head, a 2 for the body and six "6"s for the legs.  I had to explain to these young girls that the word cootie used to mean germs and if someone sneezed on you you would shout "Don't get your cooties on me!"
"Don't get your cooties on me"

Lake Washington with kayaker, Gabriela and Reina

maple tree in 3 colors, Seattle

Cookie time
Seahawk green and blue crown - a perfect expression of my Seattle Granddaughters

mushrooms under the cedar

Japanese maple