Saturday, June 30, 2007
However, my real reason to post today is to pop in and thank those of you who have been leaving comments. I don't know how these blog things get out - some kind of word-of-mouth or interested clicks or maybe even a label search? But I am so excited to learn that there are individuals out there who have been reading. Thank you! And leaving such kind, thoughtful comments - again, thank you!
I'll be leaving now, but rest assured, I'm off to plan this week's menu (including something tasty and exciting for the 4th) and then I've painting, sewing, befeathering and quite a bit of reading to do, as I'm behind schedule on R.F. Foster's history of Ireland.
my best to you, dear readers, whomever and wherever you are!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I tried, but I couldn't get all of it in! here's most of it:
from top: swedish rye sliced thin and wasa; three different mustards; gorgonzola; havarti, gouda, sheep gouda, gruyere, salami, and cucumber slices; pickled beets; herring in mustard sauce; gravlax with dill; split pea (and ham) soup; swedish meatballs with turnip and potato mash and lingonberries; strawberries; Anna's ginger thins; steamed asparagus in raspberry vinagrette with chopped pecans.
not pictured: akvavit, salmiakki, the other wines/alcoholic drinks, Swedish lingonberry drink, whipped cream for those berries, candy dish piled to overflowing with three types of black licorice.
looking at this picture makes me wish we could eat it all over again. yummmm
Sunday, June 24, 2007
whew! I just managed to finish my solstice skirt a couple of hours before our Midsommar Celebration on Saturday. This innocuous piece of clothing is my reconciliation between where I'd like to be and where I am. Seattle's scandinavian culture finds expression in the floral motif that I lifted from a photo of a 12th C. Danish textile. Santa Barbara sings in the exuberantly bright Mexican colour palette. Or that's how it seems to me.
The skirt is a lightweight 100% linen. I designed it in winter, when side panels contoured to my hips and gathering under each panel was something I hadn't seen anywhere. Now, it seems I merely anticipated a summer trend, but oh well. There is a hidden zipper at the center back seam, with hook-and-eye at the waistband. (this back-shot is blurry - my apologies! - but that "seam" you see is the interlaced band over the hip panel, not the hidden zipper)
Embroidery is in cotton, and I owe Janet over at Primrose Design a debt for her inspiring Stitch School. The seaming on the sides of the hip panel is covered with interlaced band stitch in purple and pink, and palestrina (spaced out) trims out the side panel when it meets the gathered fullness of the skirt. The hem is worked in the same two stitches.
The flowers utilize satin stitch, basketweave (or "woven filling stitch"), chain stitch, back stitch, and raised herringbone. It took me a long time to figure out a simple solution for transferring this pattern to the fabric: I simply traced it onto Solvy water-soluble interfacing, and laid it on top of the skirt. I embroidered ,then gently tore away excess, then soaked the skirt for about 30 minutes to dissolve the Solvy. It's sad that it took me something like 5 or more days to think of this, seeing as I'd purchased some Solvy to play with just a few weeks prior
coming next: a post for Natalie - the Midsommar smorgasbord for our party! It was delicious!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
tomatoes! we're almost there... and plenty of basil abounding for when they're ripe.
Finally, something new to try. I picked up Donna Hay's Flavours cookbook at the library last week. Not too shabby - a bit meat-heavy on the dishes, but some interesting ideas. And we do eat meat once or twice a week anyhow. We made the "fresh salmon and lime cakes" and split it for dinner on Monday, with a fresh green salad on the side. By the time Cass had skinned and chopped the salmon, I had everything else in the bowl, so needless to say, it goes together quite quickly. We were out of wasabi and substituted some dijon, but agreed that next time, we'll make sure we have the wasabi in it. And perhaps some more ginger, too. Did you know Trader Joe's sells a ginger puree these days?
fresh salmon and lime cakes
- 1lb salmon fillet, skin removed
- 1 egg white
- 3 Tbl fine rice flour (we used mochi flour we had on hand)
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, shredded (these were great. next time we'll use three. and maybe a shot of lime juice)
- 1 Tbl finely chopped ginger
- 1 tsp wasabi paste
- 3 Tbl chopped fresh chervil or flat leaf parsley (we used the latter)
- oil, to shallow fry
Remove any bones from the salmon an dchop into 1/4" dice. Combine the chopped salmon with the egg white, rice flour, lim eleaves, ginger, wasabi paste, and chervil or parsley. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a frying pan over medium heat to shallow-fry the cakes. Place 2 Tbl of the mixture into the hot oil and cook for 35-45 seconds each side, or until lightly golden. Drain on absorbent paper and keep warm in a low oven while you cook the rest.
Serve with lime dipping sauce:
- 1/4 c. fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 c. soy sauce
- 2 Tbl brown sugar
Mix ingredients together in a small bowl with a whisk or fork until sugar is dissolved.
enjoy! I'll be back soon with another post: there's another needlework project in the works currently, I just started another canvas, and the Midsommar party is this Saturday, so lots to share, hopefully soon!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Finally! It's daylight. And although daylight is doing some horrid washing-out of the lovely pinks and purples of her lovely profile, at least there is a picture. She's done. It sounds weird and conceited, but I am so so in love with this painting, particularly the shadows of her sweater. I don't really know how it happened, but it looks good! She's hanging over Cassidy's table, and her hair is just the same colour of the warm mahogany. She sings. Welcome, welcome.