Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lilacs in Waiting

Before and After

Tom and I went snow shoeing just before sunset on Sunday.

The threat of another storm was brewing.

By Monday 18 inches of snow would blanket us a little longer in winter.

I am officially sick & tired of Winter now. Please go away!

Last year I may have lasted a little longer before giving up on February. But not by much. Winter has been much more severe this year. No open ground where the snow pack melts completely and winter hits the reset button.

We lost power twice yesterday, for several hours of roughing it without electricity or water. My right arm aches from all the shoveling & roof raking.

For those who need convincing: Freshness Dates on a box of cereal are merely suggestions. The Cracklin Oats are fine. Really.

I made chicken & dumpling soup for supper.
And Whoopie Pies in the afternoon to celebrate power restored to the kitchen.

Perfect Whoopie Pie Recipe
Cream together 1/2 cup Crisco & 1 cup sugar.
Add 2 eggs, stir until creamy.
Add 2 cups flour
Add 1 teaspoon each of: baking powder, baking soda, vanilla and salt.
Mix well. Add 1 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of cocoa.

(Still a little fuzzy when the perfect time to add the cocoa is - but near the end!) Stir for a really long time until creamy cake batter consistency.
Drop by spoonfuls on lightly greased cookie sheets and cooked 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Exactly. (less but not more!)

Allow to cool!

2 cups Confection sugar
3/4 cup Crisco
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla and * "a little milk"
* What the hell kind of measurement is that?!
Beat until creamy with mixer.

("a little milk" seems to be about 1/8th cup or less)
Sandwich 2 cakes with filling and squish together slightly.

I don't know if this is the same recipe readily available on the internet but when I couldn't find "my" recipe, I tried one from the internet. It sucked. So I'm writing "mine" down now so I'll know where it is next time the battered recipe card goes missing.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The mouse takes the cheese

Or gets stuck with pins & needles

Look what I made today!

Valentine Mouse Pincushion.
Instructions are here.

Changes made: Added an extra layer of "cheese" colored felt under the heart shape and practiced my blanket stitch for an extra sturdy base.
Added a braided tail; 2 beady blue eyes.
I stuffed him with dryer lint.

The only good mouse is a felt mouse!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

"I can stop any time I want"

"So are you addicted to THESE now?"

(comment by a smartass Stephani)

Okay. They're addictive!
I've made 4 now.
If there's a Whirl Into Spring drawing, I'm ready with my prize.

Because shadow or no shadow given off by pesky rodents in Pennsylvania - I'm ready to bring on Spring. Now.

I've been working on my quilted Puzzle Pieces for a swap set up by Pat Winter Gatherings. Also addictive. I don't know if they'll fit together with other submitted puzzle pieces without purposely tweaking the nearby connecting tabs a bit. Hopefully I'm not alone in needing to revise the pattern of alternating pieces to make them fit.

One alternative I can see would be to ask some entries to leave their edges unfinished. I've been practicing my blanket stitch. I think I may be going the wrong way. All the tutorials seem to work the stitch right to left but after trying the first one and feeling like I was doing it backwards, I wondered why not go the other way. So I did. Seems the same to me.

It's still NOT my favorite stitch! If front is supposed to look as good as back, I've got a lot of practicing to do yet.

(If any Puzzle Swap participants stop by and want to do a one-to-one puzzle swap email me!)