Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cherry Hand Pies

Last weekend I traveled to southside Virginia for my niece's engagement party.  It wasn't a big party, but instead, a chance for the families to get to know each other.  I offered to make something for the party but my brother and his partner, Karen, had everything under control.  I did go early on Saturday to help set up.  Karen made everything look special.

Since I wasn't cooking for the party I decided to make cherry hand pies to share with Dick and Karen.  I had never made hand pies and I have not been big on making pie crust (I am coming around), but I had a bag of cherries in the refrigerator that had been there a while...."use it or lose it" is my new motto....and I had everything I needed on hand.

Okay, pitting cherries is awful...especially when you don't have a cherry pitter.  And it makes such a mess.

The pie crust went together well but was sort of hard to roll (oh, so much butter).  I used the crust recipe suggested and followed the directions exactly.  Far be it for me to start messing with pie crust recipes.  

See that big chunk of butter!!!

I tried one when they first came out of the oven and then ate another one for breakfast before I left for the party.  I did manage to take the rest with me.  There was so much going on that I wasn't sure that they were even noticed so when I got home on Sunday I left a message for my brother...either eat them or put them in the freezer.

I got an email from him the next day.  The message was something like, "I didn't think I liked cherry pie.  That was the best pie I have ever had."...slightly exaggerated I am sure.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Best Friends Doll

I like Gingermelon dolls a lot.  Gingermelon is Shelly Down from British Columbia.  Almost a year ago I made one of her Pocket Pixies.  Since then I have gotten better at some the ladder stitch which is used to sew a head onto a neck.  But I am still lousy at the whip stitch/overcast stitch.  While making the Gingermelon Best Friend doll I tried using a blanket stitch instead.  I kind of like the results.

Here she is in the dress and shoes that are part of the original pattern.  You may notice that she looks slightly (or a lot) cross-eyed.  I call that maker-error.

I also made clothes.  There are Gingermelon patterns for that too.  And with one or two patterns to get you started the wardrobe possibilities are endless.

And just in time for Independence Day...

The entire doll and the clothes are all hand-sewn and pretty easy....easy enough for a young beginner.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

More Softies

So this is more from the Six Months of Softies that I wrote about here and here.  This one has been the hardest (for me) so far.

I am calling him Charlie.  His fancy bandana is a vintage handkerchief.

The fifth pattern in Six Months of Softies should be released this week.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Best Squash Casserole

Summer squash is one of my favorite vegetables...not because it is all that flavorful, but probably because my mother made the best sauteed squash with onions.  I would eat plates of it.  I have never been able to make it exactly that way.

Squash casserole is another way that we ate summer squash when I was growing up.  Some of them were quite tasty and some of them were just plain awful.

But this, hands down, is the best squash casserole that I have ever had.   Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks calls it Summer Squash Gratin, which it is, but if I put it in a casserole dish with a bunch of other stuff it becomes "casserole."

I had several yellow squash in my CSA box this week. (You can also use zucchini or a combination or the two.)  And I have an abundance of oregano in the herb garden.  I always have homemade bread crumbs in the freezer and I also had swiss cheese that came in the CSA box a couple of weeks ago.  I only needed to buy potatoes.  I guess you could leave those out and put in more squash but the potatoes really enhance the texture of the whole thing.

It is a little time consuming.  Make the sauce, slice the squash and potatoes, brown the butter for the bread crumbs, grate the cheese.  But it is so worth it.  And it is just as good leftover.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 4, 2013