15 November 2011

New cast iron!

So I might as well toss a few cooking posts on here while I'm at it ... it's maggie's fault of course for asking me to share how I make chicken stock.  Heehee ... maggie "blames" me for so much nowadays it's running joke that any time she claims something is my "fault" I automatically tell her "You're welcome!"

So for the past few weeks hubby has been debating the merits of getting a griddle so he can make more than one pancake at a time.  Last week I came home with a cast iron double-sided griddle, and found out he had an electric griddle in mind .... Bah!  I am making great progress in turning him into a cast iron convert.  Here is my stove top cast iron now, with the addition of the griddle (in this pic, he just finished pancakes plus eggs for breakfast).
new cast iron griddle plus my 3 trusty skillets
The other side has diagonal ridges to cook meats like hamburger patties ... or chicken breasts for sandwiches over the weekend.  I demonstrated both for hubby, and yesterday he started using the ridged side to whip up chicken breast sandwiches for our lunch.  He figured out that it's better to do bacon on the flat side of the griddle, though.

The truly cute thing about my new piece of cast iron is just how long the ridged side keeps my dog's attention (once it's cooled enough for the doggy to pre-rinse).

One thing I won't bother blogging about is cast iron care because Gloria already has some excellent posts on it!  Much easier to just link hers since I would only be repeating what she has already written.

13 November 2011

I NEED a new corset!

I simply must break this sewing slump, and what better way than a badly-needed new corset?  Y'all recall how proud I was back in the spring when I did the denim Butterick 4254 mid-Victorian?  And how comfortable it was at the time?  Yeaaaahhhh ... it's now too big for me.
denim B4254vD after 6 months' wear
While the fabric probably stretched a little, the simple fact is I have lost weight over the summer, and can no longer pull the lacing tight enough to be an effective back brace.  According to my doc's scale I have dropped 13 pounds in three months (June versus September) ... unplanned, unintentional, and I am still trying to figure just how.  Ladies, please do not flame me for this, but the weight loss is actually very annoying!  I need to refit all my patterns.  Custom-fitting regular garment patterns is hard enough with a stable target, but fitting a corset while still losing weight is cuss-worthy.  Adding salt to my wounds, all those measurements my Mom took for me in June?  Useless!

Lacing gap ... it wasn't really there back in the spring, as y'all might recall, and I should have kept working on fit instead of getting impatient at the time.  Then again, my weight was still stable in the spring.  I didn't start needing a belt for my jeans until late July or August, and only dug out my formerly-too-small jeans from the donation bag this past month.  And yes, I seem to still be losing weight, so I will NEED to make sure I have a two-inch lacing gap for this next one (and hope the weight comes off evenly).

As nice as the shaping is on the B4254 pattern, I want to try another (newer) pattern from Butterick: 5662, released this past year.  This time, I will start fitting it four sizes below what their measurement chart recommends, since my B4254 at three sizes smaller (size 14! instead of 20) than the chart is now too big.  So I'll be tweaking a 12 (!!!) considering Butterick drafts with a 5/8 inch seam allowance.

Necessity seems to be the mother of motivation, in addition to invention.  Let the corset pattern fitting adventure begin again.

11 November 2011

Accidental gardener!

Y'all recall my garden box ... how could I forget the good-natured ribbing Gloria gave me when she asked "We wait a month for a post, then you post a picture of DIRT?"  LOL  Well, I have more pictures of my "dirt" which actually contains no soil ...apparently something I tossed into the box as kitchen waste has grown!  And this is in spite of our fourth frost already, and second sub-freezing hard frost.  Whatever this plant actually is, it is quite determined.
growing in the garden box

another pic of my mystery plant
The suspect list is: sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, or acorn squash ... right now I am leaning towards the russet option after a Google image search and given how deep this bad boy is.  I think it may be one of the "bad" potatoes that inspired me to crochet my potato bag ... those were extras from hubby's coworker's garden in the next county.

I am hoping if this is a potato plant that it will survive my lack of attention, as I went out to stir in the last two weeks' worth of eggshells, broccoli stalks, carrot peelings, and coffee grounds (plus shrimp shells for fun).  I was not expecting my compost material to survive the frosts we've had so early.  Last time I stirred the "dirt" I had noticed a couple of the potatoes were trying to send out roots, but the next night we had our first sub-30s hard frost so didn't think much of it the next day.

Now if this is actually a weed, someone please tell me quickly!  Right now I am pleasantly stunned something is growing ... remember, I *am* the one who had mint die on her.