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Showing posts from 2010

Great site bra find!

If you wear a bra and lament things like underwires shattering before the rest of the bra has worn out, or just want to try your hand at DIY undies, the Bra-makers Supply site rocks! I haven't yet ordered from them, so I don't yet know what there customer service is like, but that will very soon be remedied.

I spend close to $100 EACH on my bras so not tossing keeping them going is a big concern for me. Now that I've got a working sewing machine, I may try my hand at making my own dainties and save a little money, as well as having custom design.

Shame I don't eat turkey

Spouse came home from his house-call yesterday with a big black trashbag which he set on the kitchen floor and said, "This is for you." Inside the bag was a 17 pound turkey. Raw. Thawed. Apparently the person he's gone to see had two and they hadn't been kept frozen. One was cooked for Thanksgiving but the other needed to be cooked soon.

Guess what I did today? If you said, "Roasted a Turkey," you would be correct!

A couple years ago I found a 1924 Boston Cooking-School cook book at a flea market in excellent shape and only $12. It's a great reference book if you can get over some of the rather vague instructions. Here is how to roast a turkey (emphasis mine):
Dress, clean, stuff and truss a ten-pound turkey. Place on its side on a rack in a dripping pan, rub entire surface with salt, spread breast, legs and wings with one-third cup butter, rubbed until creamy and mixed with one-fourth cup flour. Dredge bottom of pan with flour. Place in a hot oven, and…

Thanks for Giving

We were invited over to a friend's home for Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. While bringing a dish wasn't required, I offered and brought a large salad, complete with home made dressing, plus a bottle of wine. Many hours of h'ordeuvres, wine, a HUGE meal and dessert later, we were driven home, sated and ready for bed (at least I was ready for bed!) For a wonderful day, I most heartily thank Tim and Susan for hosting, Katherine for bringing us there and Bari and Terry for taking us home.

Like in the US, turkey tends to be a once per year food in the UK, in their case at Christmas. And like here, one of the joys of cooking something so massive is leftovers. Spouse apologized for his presumption, but asked if he could take a little turkey home with him. Given that there was HALF a turkey left in a home with one meat eater, they happily obliged. He was looking forward to turkey sandwiches. "In England," he said, "we have them with sage and onion stuffing. Do we ha…

Sunday Dinner

I didn't get pictures of all of it as by the time everything was cooked I just wanted to sit down and eat. The menu was:
Salad of cabbage, spinach and carrot
Roast Quorn with Roasted potatoes
Mushy peas
Yorkshire pudding
Bread with homemade butter
Steamed pudding with custard

Peas soaking

Potatoes await their fate

Another gorgeous loaf of bread

Fruit was leftover booze-soaked fruit (kept in the freezer) from the Christmas pudding

With Custard

A Little Bread Before Bed

Just out of the oven

Out of the pan

First steaming slice with homemade butter

Christmas Pudding

I decided to start the Christmas Pudding early this year. Traditionally it's supposed to be made the Sunday before Advent (Stirring Up Sunday), but since they are meant to be aged, and Advent means nothing to me, I opted to do it earlier to let it mellow.

The first step was chopping 2 cups of mixed fruit and letting it soak overnight in alcohol. Sherry, port, rum or brandy are typically used, but I had none of those! I used a combination of whiskey, Grand Mariner, sweet vermouth and a splash of absinthe.

Greased pudding basin and fruit soaked in booze
Another old tradition is to place a silver coin in the pudding before steaming. Good luck comes to the person who finds it on their plate. A thuppence (three-penny coin) or sixpence was traditionally used, but these coins disappeared with the switch to decimal currency in 1973.  As luck would have it for us, downtown Boston is chock-a-block with various collectibles shops and we bought about a half dozen assorted coins from WWII this…

Sewing a new skirt for Autumn

My sewing machine has been repaired and cleaned and works very nicely. I had so much fabric let over from the six-gore skirt that I decided to go all out and do a skirt without a pattern.

I really, really want one of these Vivien of Holloway Pinafore skirts, but a) they're kind of expensive, and b) they don't come in my size. So, what's a girl to do? Well, they look like straight skirts with some darts for shaping, an extra high waist and straps added on. That shouldn't be too hard, right?

Well it took longer than I thought simply because I managed to throw my back out and sitting for long periods of time hurt too much. I eventually made myself start it on Saturday so I could wear it to a wedding on Sunday. The straps originally went over the shoulders straight, but I had cut them too long and my sloped shoulders enabled them to slip down constantly. After we got back from the wedding on Monday, I took the straps off in the back and crossed them over.

The straps are fa…

More on the sewing front

Well, the sewing machine needed some work after all so I sent it in for repairs and a replacement motor. $200+ later, it's home and I did get to use it. Here is the skirt I made:

It actually didn't come out all that great so I think I'll be taking it apart and redoing the seams. Still it came together quite quickly and got me inspired.

I'll be working on a new project this week (hopefully tonight) and will write more, with pictures) once that's underway.


Here are some photos of what I've been up to. First up is a stack of sub-par crumpets (they ended up more like pancakes, but are okay toasted) next to the tub of homemade butter

Of course they were much nicer combined

Next up on the breakfast menu is homemade yogurt with the last of the blueberries from Tuesday's market

And finally, the results of my trip to the Friday farmer's market in Copley Square

You can't even see everything! From left to right we have:
two balls of mozzarella (and notice my mozzarella kit lurking in the back)
Bag of tomatoes
The carrots and French radishes seem to be completely covering the pickling cucumbers and green beans
Small bag of plums in front of the carrots
Bag of English peas
Sourdough baguette
Basil and dill
Two small tubs of goat cheese with olive oil and herbs de Provence and a log of plain goat cheese
Jar of strawberry jam

I spent a ton of money, but looking at all of this wonderful food, I think it's worth it. You really can't beat fre…

Where has the time gone?

I'm such a bad blogger (and I seem to say that a lot.) I've been working on things in the kitchen which I should have mentioned, bought new (old) clothes, and even started looking for a place to call our own.

On the Kitchen Front (I'll update with pictures later), I tried water bath canning pickles for our family reunion in June. I made beets, spicy garlic sprouts and dilly carrots. It seemed to go well and only two jars didn't seal. The plan is to put up a few market crops this summer so we can have them in the dark of winter. this weekend I will be doing beets and possible green beans as I saw some at the Tuesday market.

In other kitchen news, Mother Trucker inspired me to try my hand a yogurt. I found it had a lot of whey separating out, but haven't found the right mix for draining it yet. The second batch drained a bit too much and is almost cheese-like. Fortunately I kept the whey this time and can mix some back in.

Speaking of cheese, all this fermenting got me…

The machine works!

I replaced the belt on the sewing machine last night, fired it up and she works a treat! I still haven't oiled anything yet, but I'm already planning a real, non-hankie project. I just ordered this skirt from Davenport and Company in Springfield. Fantastic email customer service by they way if you ever decide to order anything.

This looks like it should be easy enough for me to muck about with using whatever fabric I can find around the house before I go buy something nice.

The next project I'm contemplating is a vintage jumper with an Ubuntu logo embroidered on it for spouse. That will probably take a while though, and I still have a few other things to finish first. I promise I'll get the pictures of the tea cozies I made over Christmas plus the one I'm working on now.

Look what I got!

Hey, kitty, what's in the box?

Looks interesting. Could it be...

Oh yeah! Sewing machine from the over-priced used furniture place next door! I didn't even haggle as it was only $30 and at least mostly works (we were only able to test the peddle in the shop.)

First order of business, after cleaning it up a bit, will be to take the old, ripped sheets and make hankies. Yea! New toy!