Summer 2020, checking in

A photo of a butterfly taken on a rare temperate summer day.

I make no secret that summer is my least favorite season. Doubly so right now, when the central air in our home is broken, the air conditioning in my ancient minivan is broken and I’m quarantining at home thanks to COVID-19. My world has rather suddenly contracted into a 10′ x 14′ room: my home office. Fortunately (?), I’m an introvert, so I’m not quite as completely mad as I might be otherwise, but I do miss the world, if not the people in it.

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Lammas blessings!

Image from https://www.paintingdreams.co.uk/

Lammas blessings to those who are celebrating (and Imbolc blessings to my lovelies in the southern hemisphere!) Also often called Lughnasadh, Lammas is a holiday for harvest and bread-making; of appreciating the bounty before us. I’ve already got a sponge rising for some brioche loaves, because why not?

Here is a link for some history on the holiday if you are interested, including some Old English poetry because who doesn’t love that? 

A Bowl Story

When I moved out of my parents’ house, my mother gave me a set of Pyrex nesting mixing bowls that she had, and that I used frequently for cooking. I love these bowls. They’re a hideous 1970s avocado green and they’re one of my favorite things ever.

Photo not mine, but that’s what they look like. No idea why they’re called ‘Cinderella’ bowls, but they are.
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Back to basics

Lately, I’ve had something of an obsession with hand sewing.  After all of these years of sewing via machine, and then via serger, and overcast machine… I’ve gone back to basic hand stitches.  Inspired by Bernadette Banner on YouTube, I’ve bought some fine linen fabric and some linen and silk threads, and I’ve been starting small: handkerchiefs.

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My mitered corners need work, but I’m pleased with my progress thus far.

Meat and veg pasties

I’ve been unemployed for about a month now, and have been keeping busy applying for jobs and all of that fun stuff, but I’ve also been trying to switch up our dinners as well.  Yesterday, I made some meat and veg pasties (pronounced PAST-ees, not PASTE-ees) with stuff we had on hand, and realized quickly it would be a pretty customizable recipe.  Writing it down here to save and share.  Continue reading

2017 holiday pajamas

2017 xmas pjs smol

Well, it wasn’t pretty, nor was it easy, but I persevered and managed to get the boys’ 2017 holiday pajamas done.  The fabrics this year were from Joann Fabrics; the tops are hoodies made of a bright red fleece, and the bottoms are elastic-waist flannel pajama pants with a wintery penguin print.  Photography is frustrating; the photograph makes the red look more vibrant than it really is, and makes the flannel print and the background look less vibrant than they really are.  I promise that in person, it works. Continue reading

The puff pastry saga, installment one

I’m always on the search for new baking techniques to master. One time it was madeleines, next it was macarons. I mastered Swiss buttercream after that. Now I’m on puff pastry, with the eventual goal of reliably and proficiently turning out homemade croissants.

I decided to ease myself into this, since while I was fairly sure I could manage it, pride goeth before a fall and the slow approach is usually the right one. The first step in this saga, then, was rough puff pastry. Specifically, sausage rolls.

Homemade sausage rolls

Homemade sausage rolls

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Beyond the Wall MKAL

Beyond the Wall MKAL - Completed

About two months ago, I signed up for my first mystery knit-a-long (MKAL): the Beyond the Wall MKAL (Ravelry link).  I honestly didn’t know what I was getting into; I’m so used to being able to check my progress against provided photographs that I found that the hardest part of the whole thing. Continue reading