It’s been a mishmash of life in the last week and not a whole lot of quilt or art making went on. But it’s been a wild ride from my perspective.
Somehow at this late point in life, I have become An Entertainer. Cook? Oh yeah, but entertain? This is a most unlikely role for me to play. My parents literally never entertained and it has been something I have done maybe once a year at best since. When the couple that actually knows how to entertain was not able to host New Year’s Eve, DH and I decided to step up and offer our home for the evening. It sure is a lot easier to say yes when your home is actually something you are now proud of!
I have very few photos of the event itself and more of the process. I decided it was going to be a Soup Supper-with 18 guests, that seemed like a reasonable task. I made 3 crock pots of soup: Beef Barley, Clam Chowdah and Chicken, er Turkey Noodle Soup. I did my research and came up with great recipes for the beef and clam pots and winged it with the oh-so-familiar Chicken, er Turkey Noodle soup.
One of the blessings of being an empty nester is that grocery shopping is not much of a chore…unless you are cooking for 18! It’s been a long time since I’ve loaded up a cart like this. A full day of cooking yielded this:
And boy did I nail it on the soups-they were a huge hit and dang, they were good! The Beef Barley recipe is here and the Clam Chowder recipe is here. I pretty much followed the recipe except added a lot more clam to the chowder.
The men went absolutely wild over the Beef Barley soup. The recipe makes a case for using chicken, NOT beef stock (read it to find out why-great point) and it was finished with, wait for it…..Fish Sauce! Oh was I hesitant to add that at the end-it could have ruined it. I tasted it before and after the Fish Sauce and it truly added a delightful depth of flavor-who knew!
The noodle soup, well, to debone the dog gone rotisserie chickens is tedious. The turkey breast however is one glorious slab of meat, easy to debone, so I went turkey but forgot and called it chicken noodle soup. At the end I added my noodles of course. I chose some artisan noodles and wouldn’t you know, they were so thin and delicate that they kind of “melted” a little bit. But it was still really good.
I added some crusty San Francisco sourdough bread, oyster crackers for the chowder and made a big batch of Cheese Straws-yummmm! My guests brought some great hors d’oeuvres and we were good for the night. Note the Texas Longhorn crock pot? Just for Hubby….
Going back in time a bit, I forgot to note what I sent back from Santa Fe:
Yes, I sent back a 5′ long tube, all the way from Santa Fe, with precious cargo:
New grass discoveries were made in Santa Fe and I can’t wait to play with these! I wrapped them carefully and stood in line with all the people sending their Christmas packages, me, with my grasses. Yes, I received some odd looks. Tourists, you know how crazy they are… But they arrived intact and will make great prints when I have a moment to play with them.
And I’m getting ready for my Craft Napa students-all 18 of them! I am soo excited I am vibrating! I have some surprises in my class which I am revved about too.
I did get a little teeny time in the studio. This wholecloth has been languishing for a year and I picked it up and began to work it again. I decided, after the fact, to trapunto the border. Oh my what a pain! It will be worth it and I am anxious to finish it. Working title: Midwestern Wholecloth.
I don’t know if I will ever get around to developing curriculum for this class, but this would be the class sample. Way back in 2005, Linda Waddle made a gorgeous quilt that I wrote about here. I had never seen that technique before-using a large scale print in the center and using that as a jumping off spot for the design of the rest of the quilt. It may have been done before, but that was the first I had seen such a technique. At the time, in my little head I called it “Print Starter” and you may have seen similar quilts called “Starter Scrap” quilts. It’s a great way to learn to be more free form with your free motion quilting. I’ve had this in my UFO pile for awhile and finally completed it.
So, wouldn’t ya know it, we get all the Christmas decorations taken down and hauled back up to the attic and there it is. It happens every year-that errant decoration that escapes notice until everything else is all packed neatly into containers and stored away. Sigh. Every. Year.
I may not have time to post anything more than a photo next week because I’ll be at Craft Napa!!!! I’m linking up with Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday-check it out.