Saturday, January 16, 2010


Do not enter your sewing room early in the morning when you are anxious to sew but have to wait for the fabric store to open because you do not like one of your chosen fabrics for a current project. That is what happened to me this morning. The borders for a table runner were not working so I decided to look through my stash just in case there was something I could make work. What I discovered was some blue fabric that I'd completely forgotten and didn't particularly like anymore, but there was a lot of it. Hmmmm? Perfect for napkins. Good idea. I cut six napkins, but then decided that they looked a bit plain. Emblish? Back to the stash and sure enough there was some cat fabric from the last shop hop that could work. Final result is pictured above. One done and five to go!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sometimes It's Wise to Think Twice

Foolish me! The evening was all planned. The boys were coming over, dinner and entertainment was arranged, BUT my daughter had been planning to make a chocolate cheese cake with her oldest son's help for his birthday and she said the magic words: "If I don't have time I'll just buy one." Faster than my brain could anticipate, I heard myself saying, "I'll make the cheesecake with him." Jessi pounced on this like a cat on a lizard. "It's an easy recipe," she assured me. So at five thirty after dinner was cleaned up, Owen and I began. The crust called for a chocolate covered cookie crumb. (I was expecting to make a graham cracker crust.) A rolling pin could not pulverize these babies, so we hauled out the food processor. Owen's eyes bugged out in alarm when he pressed the pulse button, not being prepared for the horrendous crunching noise. Meanwhile his brothers were watching a Ninja Turtle movie, and he was torn between the dubious delight of helping make cheesecake and watching the action on the screen which he could see from his vantage point in the kitchen.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" I asked hopefully.

"Oh, yes," he said with his eyes on the television.

So we melted the butter, added it to the crumbs from the food processor, patted them into the springform pan, and popped it into the oven.

"Now what?" Owen asked.

"We clean up and get ready for the next step," I say.

Valiantly, Owen started toward the sink with eyes yearning for those Ninja Turtles.

"I'll do the clean up," I say taking pity on his plight. "Go watch the movie."

Off he darted to settle himself beside Ezra on the floor with their heads on Sookie's stuffed frog. It is their favorite position for watching movies. I proceeded to clean up and set things out for the next round. The crust had to cool completely before filling so there was not much hurry.

"Call me when you need me," Owen calls.

Now the recipe has you melting chocolate and beating cream cheese more or less at the same time so I get out the hand mixer and double boiler. After the crust comes out of the oven and cools, I call Owen for the next steps. He comes at his usual dashing speed. Now I'm concerned that his fascination with the Turtles will cause him injury while I'm showing him how to tend the melting chocolate on the stove, so I tell him of my grade school friend who had pulled a pot of boiling water onto herself and been badly scarred. He seems impervious to this story. The chocolate melts slowly and he is impatient but the hand mixer catches his attention and he revels in the power of beating the eggs into cream cheese.

"Are we finished?" he asked as a battle begins on the television.

"No, this is the fun part," I tell him and we pour the different mixtures into the cooled crust.

Sensing bowls to lick, Ezra and Austin appear briefly to watch the proceedings but the pull of the Ninjas is too strong and they return to the movie. The cheesecake is put back into the oven and Owen is returning to the movie when I say perversely, "Wait, we have to clean up." Now in all fairness to Owen, he began carrying dishes to the sink without a moment's hesitation. "Just kidding," I told him, "go watch the movie, I'll do this."

It is now late and the boys have been in bed for awhile. The cheesecake is out, but can't be refrigerated until it has completely cooled. Sookie has gone to bed in disgust, and I am hoping that this cake will taste as good as all the work that went into it.

This has been an evening that I will always remember with joy and an occasional growl!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Thimbleberries in January

What a charming surprise when Jessi and I went to our first Thimbleberries class expecting to just do a block and go home. Not... Our teacher, Glinda, informed us that we would be doing an extra project each month. This month was to make a name tag using a Dresden Plate pattern. Now I've seen this and never thought it was within my ability, but the construction was not that difficult and now I'm totally in love with this pattern.

Sookie update: Although she is asleep on my foot right now, Rita brought her some rawhide bones from Maryland and she loves them so much that she won't even let them go when she goes out to potty.