I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, if you celebrate it. My boys got a little pose in to celebrate the occasion.
Poor Rico was so traumatized by having antlers on his head that he hid behind the couch for an hour to recover. He’s so sensitive. Bender suffered no ill affects.
I had today off work. I love having the day after Christmas off. It’s a lazy, easy day with no obligations and no responsibility. It was a good way to prepare for a very hectic work week.
I wanted a few things out of this day. Number one, I wanted a good night sleep. So I took some Advil PM before I went to bed last night. Number two, I wanted to sleep in… nothing specific to get up for. I got that done too. Number three, I wanted to stay home all day, putter a little and maybe actually get some things done. which I did. Number 4, I wanted to start work on finishing a UFO quilt that has been sitting unfinished for far too long.
It was really rainy all day so we didn’t get a walk. But we did get a little excitement. I have four dogs in my house again this evening and this was all unplanned.
Holy cow… that’s a terrible photo, but it serves as proof that they were at my house and being taken care of.
I got a text this afternoon from their mom that she was in the hospital and had to have her gallbladder removed. She asked if I could take her boys. So I met her neighbor at her place and gathered Ernie and Bogart up, along with all their stuff, and brought them home. It’s likely that their owner will be going home from the hospital tonight, but I’ll keep these boys until tomorrow afternoon. I’m glad I was here to help her out.
After some rambunctious play when they arrived, everyone needed a nice nap.
I had a nice Christmas holiday. I had friends over for dinner on Christmas Eve. I usually go all out for this meal. Most years I cook traditional northern Italian fare from my childhood. But I wanted to do something different this year, so here’s my menu (click on the dish to link to each recipe):
Bacon wrapped pork tenderloin. I found this recipe in this article. If you like thinking about delicious things to make for Christmas, you should take a look at this article. It certainly got my salivary glands moving! Here’s a photo of mine when it came out of the oven. This recipe is definitely something I’ll make again. (I just got up and ate a couple pieces right out of the fridge!!! It’s so yummy, even cold!!!)
The meat is rubbed with garlic, Rosemary, olive oil and other spices. Next time I make it I’ll probably put it under the broiler at the end for a few minutes to crisp up the bacon.
Waldorf Coleslaw. I make this recipe a lot! Partly because it’s a favorite of one of my dinner guests. And partly because I just love it! And I’m always happy that it makes a lot because it keeps for a few days in the fridge and I love having it for leftovers.
Roasted Kuri Squash. I had never had Kuri squash before. I helped harvest this from my brother’s garden when my friend and I visited earlier this year. Kuri is one of the winter squashes. This recipe is made using coconut oil and maple syrup and lovely warm spices that go so well with the squash and with the season.
It was fun to eat this squash that was grown by my brother and his wife. My sister in law even tested this recipe for me a few days before Christmas because the recipe said it wasn’t necessary to peel the squash. She informed me that it, indeed, was not necessary to peel the squash.
Asparagus with olive oil and garlic. I didn’t use a recipe for this. I just put the asparagus in a zip loc bag and put in a little olive oil, a couple cloves of chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Then I cooked it in a skillet on top of the stove.
For Dessert I made a Meyer lemon cake. I made this cake for Christmas a few years ago and remembered it and wanted to make it again this year. You should know that I’m not a baker. I rarely bake. I think it’s been ten years since I made cookies. About the only time I bake is at Christmas. This is a really good cake. You start by simmering a pound of whole Meyer lemons in water until they’re soft. They you remove the seeds and puree it all in the food processor… skins and all. It’s a little more involved than I would normally make, but it’s worth the effort.
You have to separate five eggs, whip the yolks with sugar, and beat the whites into soft peaks. This is not the type of thing I would normally do. But, it is Christmas after all!
Here’s the finished product. I served it with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
I was really happy with how it all turned out. It was fun to watch my company eat seconds and thirds of everything!
Christmas Day I had most of the day to myself. I took the boys for a nice long walk. Opened some gifts and made some calls to friends and family. Then in preparation for heading to a friend’s home for Christmas dinner I whipped up the stuffing I volunteered to make. My friend made a turkey breast and legs for dinner but didn’t want to make stuffing. Her husband was so disappointed, and so was I. So I volunteered and she was all over it.
I made a recipe that a friend of mine has brought to my last four or five Thanksgiving dinners. it’s a good recipe. I’ll definitely make this one again.
I did not opt to add water chestnuts. What kind of lunatic puts water chestnuts in Christmas stuffing?
That’s mine all ready to go into the oven. It came out all crispy and brown. So yummy! You could easily make this recipe with the regular bread stuffing rather than corn bread. But the corn bread is really good.
I had a great time at dinner last night. We laughed a lot and ate a lot of good food. Once I got home, I took the dogs out for another walk. I was so stuffed that I was physically uncomfortable the entire walk! I just wanted to get home, take my pants off, and lay down the sofa. Which I did!
So, back to today.
I actually made it into my sewing room and fired up my Bernina! I’ve decided that I want to finish up my Jewel Frames quilt top before my New Years weekend is over. Here’s the quilt all laid out on my design wall (and floor) a year or so ago.
When I took it down from my design wall I carefully stacked and numbered each row and placed them all in a project bin.
All I have to do is sew each numbered stack together into a row and then sew the rows together.
I got two rows completed tonight and then sewed those rows together.
This quilt will be another one for my bed. It’s 9 blocks by 9 blocks. I’ll also put some borders on it to make it big enough.
My friend gave me this kit quite a few years ago… maybe six years ago. I added more blocks than the throw-size kit provided. It’s a free pattern that came with my kit, but a quick Google search gave me a couple of places to get the pattern. I can’t vouch for the sites that are offering it, so I’m not including a link here. You’ll have to go find it yourself.
I mentioned in my last post that I had ordered a couple of quilt backings. The first was Kaffe’s purple damask flower which will eventually be combined with my recent orange/pink/purple quilt top.
That will be a bold quilt when it’s done, but that purple for the backing gives me a very good reaction!
The other backing is this Philip Jacob’s design. It’s called Luscious. The color way is ochre.
I mean… COME ON!!! Isn’t that the most amazing fabric! I don’t have a quilt in mind for this fabric as of yet, but I do have a couple of ideas.
Here’s one idea. I found this quilt on Pinterest. Unfortunately, someone pinned it in a way that it doesn’t acknowledge the maker. I would like to give someone credit for this. It’s basically larger fabric squares (which would be this fabric) alternating with 25 patch blocks. It will be fun to find fabrics to combine with that gorgeous luscious.
I feel like this pattern might be in one of my many Kaffe books but I haven’t had time to look through them yet. It would be easy enough to figure it out without a pattern. I would want to figure out an efficient way to make those 16 patch blocks. They are very random, but they could be made with somewhat random strip sets put together in some what random ways. I’ll noodle on it.
Tonight is my regular melancholy ending to a long weekend. The good thing is that I’ll be really busy this week so it will fly by. Then I’ll have another long weekend and I’m thinking I will try to take an additional day off next week. If the weather cooperates, I might take a drive to the coast. That would make me, Bender and Rico all very happy!