Friday, December 31, 2010

My Round Robin Quilt

Every year, my sister, two of her college roommates, and I each meet up at a, "Cabin" on a lake and spend a long weekend sewing, eating chocolate, watching chick flicks, and talking. Oh, the talking! It's a great relaxing, fun girls weekend. We decided about 5 years ago to start a round robin quilt. We each made a middle, and then gave our middle to the next person. There were no rules, except to stay with the basic (very basic) color scheme. We spent the next year working on each others quilts and then revealed the final one when we met for the next year. I'm so glad we did it. This is mine. I really like how it turned out. It's about 60" square, and made with pumpkin flannel fabric. My sister machine embroidered Linus digging for The Great Pumpkin on the top half, and The Great Pumpkin on the bottom half. The front:

And I love putting back art on my quilts! This one is no different.

I still need to finish the binding. A great hand project for sitting next to the wood stove!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Burn Pile Potatoes

We burned today. It was the perfect day for burning...... cold, clear, no wind, and it's been raining like crazy. Time to take advantage of this beautiful weather! We grabbed the torch, the pitchforks, and the long garden hose. Just in case it got away from us. Even though we were walking in mud puddles. Kinda like wearing suspenders and a belt at the same time. Anyway, we burned a few piles of branches, leaves, and old yucky wood. We always end up with the most wonderful coals, and it would be so very sad to just leave them without doing anything with them. Aren't they gorgeous? Just perfect.

I know, we could do the whole smore's thing, but it was too cold. We could go the hot dog route, but I don't really like hot dogs, and besides, I didn't have any. Probably because I don't really like them. Go figure, huh?? My all time favorite thing to do with coals after a day of burning is potatoes. But not just any old potato. I add lots of goodies to them. Want to see how I do it?? They're really easy, and a nice variation.

For each potato you'll need: large square of heavy duty foil, a medium to large potato, 2 slices bacon, 2 slices onion, 4-6 cloves garlic, salt and pepper.

Wash and slice potatoes into quarters. You should end up with 4 slices. Place them on the foil.

Cut each slice of bacon into 3-4 pieces. Put them between each piece of potato, and on the outside edges.

Using 2 slices of onion, put about 1/2 of a slice with each bacon piece.

Chop up the garlic, sprinkle it around, and then add salt and pepper.

Now, I always twist the foil around so that the first way I wrap these brings the pieces all together. Just telling you what works for me, not that the foil police will come inspect these. Here's a little peek of my first one. Oh, it's going to be so yummy!

Then it goes outside and into the fire, with seams facing up. I take my shovel and dig/scoop out a little hole in the coals. I might mention, these coals aren't the orange'ish ones. They're more black/gray, but still the intense heat that will warm you up real nice on a chilly day. If you put them into coals that are orange, get ready for some crispy fried potatoes. I've tried it. And take my word for it, they're not good. So, here are your potatoes, all snug in their bed, and then scoop more coals on top. Cover them up good. Don't leave any part of them uncovered.

I always go inside and set the timer for 40 minutes. It's very useful to have a set of b-b-que tongs and a metal pan, or something to put the (really hot) potatoes in. I used a 9x13 pan. When digging up the foil pouches, be very careful. Today I used the back of a metal rake, but a shovel works too. I've used the pitchfork that we use when burning, and that doesn't work. That day I was too lazy to go get the shovel. Anyway, very gently, scoop out the pouches, and then pick them up with the tongs and sort of shake them to get off the coals. You can let them sit for maybe 10-15 minutes if you want, but you don't have to. Here they are, in all their glory! Enjoy!