|Rainy Day Project: Caterpillar made from an egg carton|
Before our kitchen remodel I'd gotten well into a project making some pajamas for Vera's baby doll. Since then she and I stumbled upon the motherlode of random doll clothes at the thrift store--including tons of jammies. Once I finally put the basement back together and returned to sewing I was faced with picking up where I'd left off with this miniscule project. I remembered why I'd last laid it down--I was at a point where I'd ripped a lot out and was trying to go off-pattern to fix a few things. It was becoming extremely frustrating and not the least big enjoyable. And being a person who regularly practices the FIFO method of rotation ("First In First Out") in both the restaurant industry and at home, I do try to finish certain projects before moving onto the next. I know this is not everyone's process--and not even mine 100% of the time--but knowing how I'm capable of procrastinating, it's a good idea for me to adhere to this as often as I can. On that note, I'd found that this doll project was a thorn in my side and since Vera had ceased to ask when I was going to finish Alice's jammies (since we'd acquired all the secondhand pj's), I decided it was time to bail on the assignment. An amazing weight was instantly lifted from my shoulders! Since then I've fixed several items in my mending basket, cut out and finished a sundress for V and cut out and started another dress for her. Amazing how that doll outfit was such a roadblock.
My first feeling of renewal has been sewing again--and upcycling which, of course, makes something old new again (and hopefully better/cooler). This dress I made for Vera was a woman's 3/4 length skirt at the thrift store. I loved the fabric as soon as I saw it and thought it could be easily upcycled into something girly. The fabric is very viscous, but even after going through the names and definitions of every kind of fabric under the sun, I can't remember what type of fabric it is. It reminds me of crepe, but without the texture. I know that my mom used to make me a lot of summer dresses out of it; it's extremely moveable, comfy, and soft--the perfect outfit for dancing around at summer concerts in the park. Next up is a sundress made out of a pillowcase, though not the standard "pillowcase dress" so popular and easy to sew. Stay tuned for that.
|After: Girl's sundress with pockets|
We also experienced the first taste of local asparagus last weekend when Ben brought a grocery bag of it home from our farmer friends' place in Brodhead, WI. My dinner plan was well underway at that point, but I quickly steamed some of the beautiful green stalks, chilled them then prepared the aforementioned mayo-honey-mustard "sauce" for dipping. I nearly had Vera convinced they were some sort of "green french fry." Last night, via the inspiration of my most recent library book, I frees-styled and came up with some gluten-free pasta with asparagus pesto (pine nuts, blanched asparagus, spinach, mozzarella, green garlic, preserved lemons, dried basil, s&p, pasta water...) and steamed asparagus topped with a soft poached egg, which contributed a beautiful natural "sauce" to the dish once the yolk was pierced. So simple to prepare and I used lots of random bits from the pantry and fridge.
|Mmmm, poached egg over Asparagus Pesto Pasta|
|Huge leaves of yummy spinach!|
|Spinach Rolls stuffed with Salmon Salad|
Shiitake-Crusted Baked Chicken
Adapted from a recipe in Jean Anderson's Process This!, it could be prepared in a regular oven as well as I've indicated in the directions. For those sun-oven fanatics, you know what to do.
|Sun Oven, here we come!|
1/2 t. salt
1/2 ground black pepper
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 t. ground ginger
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. chicken stock
2 T. fish sauce (or soy sauce if you're vegan)
2 T. sesame oil
2 T. dry sherry
1 whole roasting chicken, gizzards removed, rinsed
Preheat oven to 400F. Combine all ingredients except chicken until a "paste" is formed. Rub under chicken skin and over whole chicken, inside and out. Place breast up in a roasting pan and place in oven to bake anywhere from 30-50 min. depending on exact size of chicken and oven. Check with a meat thermometer after 30 min. Pierce the thickest part of the thigh and also the thickest part of the breast, juice should run clear and thermometer should register at 160F internal temperature. Remove from oven, let rest about 5-7 min. Slice and enjoy.
|$3 for three boxes|
|We'll have "Christmas" in July|
|Wouldn't this scare you if you were a hungry bird?|