Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Making pasta

We've been making all sorts of dough things that we haven't made for a long time.  Potato gnocchi... John said they were the best he ever had.  Chinese pancakes for mu shu pork.  And handmade pasta.  They all came out well.  The handmade pasta is the most labor intensive.

This is the pasta drying a little before it was cut into noodles with a knife.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Quilting progress

I am on the home stretch with two quilts.   This one needs a little hand quilting, binding, and a decorative band.  I keep my current handwork project in the basket below.

This one needs its border and band added.  The band and border fabrics are at the bottom edge.

I am really into handwork these days, especially hand quilting, hand sewing bindings and even basting.  I need to get busy on some new projects to fuel my handwork obsession.   I don't have a problem with quilt tops piling up.

Making chicken broth

We make our own very rich and delicious chicken broth.  We use it for so many things.....a base for soups and stews, flavoring stir fried vegetables, simple Asian noodles we have for breakfast, cooking chicken thighs.

The ingredients are lots of chicken/chicken bones (this batch has one whole chicken, three packages of necks and backs, one roasted chicken carcass), celery, onions, carrots, bay leaf, pepper corns, ginger.  I leave the salt out, which gives me more freedom when I use it.  You can always add salt.  The recipe makes about a dozen 24 oz containers ( 9 quarts) of very rich broth.  For some recipes, we thin it with water.  A concentrated broth takes less room in the freezer.

Here it is starting to cook.  We simmer it about four hours after it starts to a boil.  Then we strain it and refrigerate it.  The next day we package it into containers for the freezer.

Here it is starting to cook.

That's a five gallon pot.  Before we had it, making broth was a lot more time consuming and MUCH messier.  Our big farm sink helps, too.  We set the pot on a cutting board in the bottom of the sink for straining and packaging.  It's a much better height and any broth spills happen in the sink.  The sink is also great for washing huge things like that pot.  Can you tell I love my sink?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Harpo being a lap cat

Harpo is becoming quite an amazing lap cat.

Quilting task light

John installed an extension on the table so it can hold an old Luxo lamp....

What a great task light I have now!  It's easy to adjust and makes great light exactly where I need it.