Monday, April 20, 2009

Late Summer Garden - Top Finished!

First things first...I have to add a picture of my NEW MAT.  Believe it or not, this is the first new mat I've bought since I had the shop!  I still have my two old shop mats, which are larger than this one, but they are getting worn out and "groovy."  I experienced a little sticker shock, though, when I initially priced them.  God, it's hard to buy things at retail when you still have all of the wholesale prices in your head.  Thankfully, I still have a connection and managed to get this one inexpensively.

I took this photo as I was piecing "Late Summer Garden" because I thought it looked pretty.  Thank heavens for chain piecing.  I managed to put the top together fairly quickly.  I counted how many 2"x3.5" rectangles it took to make it, but I was so overwhelmed by the number that I forgot!

Preliminary arrangements below.  When I got the initial blocks done, Bruce wanted something with a little more "interest," so I added the sashing strips in between the blocks, trying to blend the light to the dark a little more.  I added black Bali cornerstones.

Here is the finished top!  Now just dreading the quilting, which will be fast and simple, but still a lot to move around my dear Janome.

I really love Batiks.  As I was working on this, I got inspired to start another turtle quilt.  New pattern.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Physical Fitness Challenge

Remember the Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge back in elementary or junior high school?  You had to do so many things: push-ups, chin-ups, 50-yard dash, etc., and to pass you had to do a certain number of reps and run in a certain amount of time.

Although it’s been a long time, I remember bits and pieces of this test, especially the fact that I couldn’t do a full chin-up.  Not even one.  Hence my latest training goal, which is to be able to one and then some!

I’m working through the program in the book: The New Rules of Lifting for Women.  I sort of limped through Stage 1, not exactly motivated, but started to pick up speed toward the end.  Now, near the end of Stage 2, I am feeling a LOT stronger!  I mapped out the seven stage program on my calendar, which will take me through summer.  I’ll finish Stage 4 in mid-May, which is perfect timing, since I’ll be able to take a break while I’m on vacation.  Stage 7 finishes in early August, at which time will be my test.  I wonder how many I’ll be able to do??  

At least 5 – that would be outstanding!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Cooking for Family

This is a shot of my well-loved special cookbook. It is a binder full of successful recipes from magazines, friends and the internet. I have all of the pages in sheet protectors and they are sorted by chicken, soups/stews, pasta, fish, dessert, etc. It is a great addition to my cookbook library.

I used to have years and years of Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines. Even though I had an uncanny ability to recall the issue for a particular favorite recipe, I got tired of storing so many issues. Hence, the binder.

One of the all-time family favorites is a recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie, which I made on Sunday, starting with fresh lemons purloined from my SIL's lemon tree:

The lemon filling is perfect, finished with fresh lemon zest and butter. It rests in the best-ever all-butter pie pastry (the recipe is in Apple Pie Perfect - I no longer use any other crust recipe).

I love TONS of meringue on my pies, so I use six egg whites.

Voila! Just before it goes in the oven.

FINISHED! There was only a tiny piece left...perfect for Bruce's lunch box.

Late Summer Garden

A couple of progress photos from Bruce's new quilt, which I've decided to call "Late Summer Garden" because of the dark, rich colors.

He especially likes the dark green blocks, so I'm going to make more of those.  Only 25 more blocks to go.