The old ways are best

I came across a recipe on the Pioneer Woman blog. If you don’t already follow this blog, check it out – cooking, family, photography, men in Wranglers and chaps – what’s not to like?! I subscribed to all of her RSS feeds because I don’t want to miss a thing. She recently had another blogger (and his family) as guests, and Pastor Ryan made homemade pasta and Bolognese sauce.

When I was little, my grandmother made homemade noodles. Mom tells me that grandpa actually taught her how to make them. Grandpa sometimes used a wheelchair inside the house, and I remember sitting on his lap as he wheeled us past the counter where the noodles were drying. I’d reach out and scoop up a handful and we’d retire to the living room, where I’d share my booty.  Ah, fond memories of living dangerously close to salmonella poisoning!

Noodles (or pasta, if you want to get fancy), are simple to make. Seriously, it’s flour, salt and egg. You can leave out the salt if you’d like. Figure about 1/2 cup flour per large egg, and 1 egg per serving. Mix, knead for ten minutes, let it rest at room temperature (I wrapped it in plastic), then roll it out ultra thin and cut it in strips. Skinny strips, wide strips – whatever you like. Mine were about 1/4″ wide. I used a pizza cutter, but grandma used a knife, and cut hers about 1/16″ wide. Yep, you read that correctly. Grandma had a steady hand.  Toss ’em about a little so they don’t stick to the counter, and let them dry out a bit. Say, long enough to make Pastor Ryan’s Bolognese Sauce. (That’s about 2 – 2 1/2 hours.)

This Bolognese Sauce is to die for. To. Die. For. todiefor. Really damn yummy. Mom actually said it was “the best spaghetti sauce she’s ever had.” That’s a lot, coming from her. Best of all it’s really easy, as long as you’ve got time to let it simmer.  Give it a try – you won’t be disappointed.

And yes, I courted Salmonella poisoning again today – I just love raw noodles.


HTML Code Basics

I just posted some info in a Flickr group about using HTML code. I thought it might be a useful reference for others, so here it is:

Here’s a quick tutorial on HTML code, some of which can be used in blog comments (and in comments and descriptions on Flickr photos).

1. All HTML code is shown inside the <> characters.
2. Code must be opened and closed. The closing code always has a / preceding the code, within the <> characters.
3. Basic codes include:
Bold: b (ex: <b>Bold</b> looks like Bold)
Italics: i (ex: <i>Italics</i> looks like Italics)
Underline: u (ex: <u>Underline</u> looks like Underline)
Hyperlink: a href=”URL” (closing code is just a)
(ex: <a href=””>Piecemeal Quilts</a> looks like Piecemeal Quilts)

By the way, getting the code to show in the post, instead of it just executing the code, involves changing the < > part of the code into the code that translates to brackets. I did it by using my blog editor, WordPress. I have the option of entering my blog posts in Visual or HTML mode. I write the HTML text in the visual mode, then click into the HTML mode and copy the text with the special characters. If you ever need to do it manually, replace the < with “& lt;” (no spaces between the & and the l) and replace the > with “& gt;” (no spaces between the & and the g). Those are semi-colons at the end (they’re kind of hard to see).


May Quilting Day

Today was family sewing day, and both Karen and Pat made incredible progress on their projects. Karen has been working like crazy on a Schoolhouse quilt that her group will raffle next month. We worked on it last week – Karen, Mom and I – and made a lot of progress. Karen continued to assemble the blocks into rows with red sashing and white cornerstones, and today she finished the center of the top. All that’s left is the border, a cute red white and blue print, that I cut for her before she left.

Karen's Schoolhouse Quilt

Pat handed me a stack of fabrics (the watermelon print, purple, red and dark green) and said, “I want to make something with this.” I showed her my “Easy Quilts” file on EQ6, and she chose the woven rails. We pulled a couple more fabrics (the light green, gold and cream) and I started cutting strips while she sewed. The cream background is 2 1/2″ cut strips, and the centers are 4 1/2″ cut strips. The blocks will finish at 8″, and she’ll add a couple of borders to make a large lap/small twin quilt. It took the two of us about two or three hours to reach the point of finished blocks. She’ll sew the blocks together and bring it back (finished) next month.

Pat's Woven Rails

As for my progress, well, I didn’t actually sew anything. My machine was on, briefly, but I spent my day cutting. Well, cutting, chatting, and eating the awesome Big Crumb Coffeecake with Rhubarb from the Smitten Kitchen blog. By the way, her Blondies are also incredible – I like them with cranberries, white chocolate and pecans. And a little Jim Beam.

Bits and pieces

The Salvation Army has a fabric and craft sale every year. I’ve picked up incredible deals in the past. This year I was much more limited in budget, but I still found a couple of great deals.

Salvation Army Craft Sale Purchases

The wood spools were only a quarter! There were several bags of spools, most labeled at 2 dollars, but this one was only a quarter. I didn’t see anything different about these spools, so I snapped it up. The other bag was full of belt buckles that I thought would be great on bags. Again, just a quarter! Not pictured is the stack of about 15 quilting magazines, mostly American Patchwork and Quilting, for only two dollars! They were all dated between 2001 and 2004.

Later that week, we went to the International Quilt Festival in Rosemont, IL (just outside of Chicago). It was huge, as usual. I was pleased that I was able to stick to my budget, so my purchases are limited. I absolutely had to get white thread. You wouldn’t think that would require a special trip, but I prefer to use Aurifil and while a couple of local quilt shops carry it, they were all out of white in the weight that I use (50/2 – the orange spools). I prefer the really thin stuff because it helps my piecing to be accurate.

IQF 2009 Purchases

I also wanted to get a Moda Layer Cake – I wasn’t certain which fabric line, but I knew I wanted a set of 10″ squares. I have an idea for a quilt that uses them, and no one around here carries them. I found a booth that had a dozen different fabrics, and I settled on the Recess line by American Jane. Mom picked up a birthday gift for me – a Turnover in the Patisserie line by Fig Tree & Co.

Finally, I happened upon a booth that had fabric for just $5 a yard – and it was good quality stuff, too! Sometimes you can find inexpensive fabric, but all too often I recognize prints that I’ve seen at JoAnn Fabrics for less than they’re selling at the show. That is not a deal! This was older stuff from the major fabric companies. I picked up some of the brown marble because it’s the same fabric I used in a sample square of my first quilt pattern, Neapolitan. I did it in shades of blue and green with the dark brown corner pieces, and I’d love to make up the whole quilt in those colors. I went back to the booth at the end of the day to spend the rest of my budget – the orange check was calling me, and as I stood there the other two orange prints jumped from the shelves into my arms.

That nail file laying across the fabric? Well, I broke a nail and it was driving me nuts, so I had to buy one. That makes 145 nail files currently in my house.

My aunt purchased an Alto’s QuiltCut2 – the cutting tool that all of my purchases are stacked on. I bought one for my mom for Christmas a couple of years ago, and she absolutely loves it. Mostly because I cut all of her fabric on it. Honestly, though, I love the thing. I can cut a lot of fabric very quickly and accurately, and it makes preparing to sew much easier. The best part of my aunt’s purchase? They ran out of the product and she had it shipped to her house free of charge! That means I didn’t have to carry it for her. It’s a big, sturdy cutting system, which means that it isn’t light.

All in all it was a good day, except for the aching back and throbbing feet.