Friday, September 30, 2011

Does your iron ever sting you?

When I make quilt blocks I keep the iron on a pad next to me so I can press as I go.
Yesterday, for some reason I missed the fabric and touched my left hand.  Just for a split second.   This what it looked like...ouch!

Today it there is a nice blister about 1/4 inch thick. I do not want to pop it because it heals quicker if you don't pot blisters.
I was shocked at how fast it burned me.  
So, be careful when you sew and have an iron nearby!

boo hoo......this too shall pass!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to make an okra gumbo!

How I make okra gumbo...

Clean and slice 2 quarts of okra.  Cook in 300 degree oven (in a covered roasting pot) for about 2 hours. Add 1-2 tablespoons of canola oil and stir.  Check okra about every 15 – 20 minutes and stir well. 
It will reduce to about half of the volume you started with.
(I usually do about 6 – 8 quarts at a time and freeze it in quart bags)

Transfer smothered okra to a large pot on the stove.  Continue to cook with a medium heat allowing it to stick to the bottom of the pot.  Deglaze with water each time.  This will give your gumbo the brown color you want.  It will take about an hour. I use a wooden spatula so I can scrape the bottom of the pot.

Add frozen seasoning pack (diced onions, bell peppers and celery) .  I use 8 oz of this seasoning.  Cook with okra for about 25 minutes until tender.  It will continue to stick and you have to deglaze it several times.

If the okra is still slimy you can add a few teaspoons of white vinegar.  This will help cut the slime.  You might have to do this a couple of times.  The vinegar will steam out of the mix and will not affect the taste of the gumbo.

Once the okra is not slimy anymore, add ½ teaspoon of salt and a little black pepper. 
(adding roux is optional but I usually use it to help thicken the gumbo.)  In a cup of boiling water dissolve 2 tablespoons of dry roux.  Add this dissolved roux and 1-2 quarts of water to the okra.  If you are making chicken gumbo, you can use some chicken stock in  place of some of the water.  Allow this to boil at a low to medium heat for about 45 minutes.  Continue to stir about every 15-20 minutes.

At this point you can add the meat you want to use. 

I used seafood in this gumbo that I made today.

Chicken or seafood?

Chicken – I use  a rotisserie chicken that I have deboned and removed the skin. 
If you prefer to use fresh chicken, boil your chicken, keep the stock and debone the chicken before putting it in the gumbo.
If you use chicken, simmer the gumbo for about 30 - 45 minutes on a low heat.
I usually add 1/2 pound of smoked sausage that I have sliced and browned to the chicken gumbo.  Sausage adds a great flavor.

Seafood  - I use a pound of peeled and devained shrimp with a pound of lump crab meat.
If you have shrimp that you have to peel, keep the heads and shells and boil them to make some stock.  If you are making seafood gumbo, you can add a few drops ( no more than 1/8 teaspoon) of liquid crab boil if you do not have shrimp stock.  If you use shrimp and crab meat, simmer for about 20 minutes.  If you boil it too long, the shrimp and crab meat tend to disappear into the liquid.  I sometimes just use shrimp but crab adds a nice flavor.  
Serve over rice.  We like to have potato salad with our gumbo along with some french bread!

Try it, it is not difficult at all.  It just takes some time!
Gumbo also freezes well.  Use within 1-2 months.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New roof at last

We finally got our new roof!  It took two guys 9 days to put it on the house. They worked between rain showers that Tropical Storm Lee brought to our area.

Here are a few before and after photos:





We love the new look.  What do you think of it?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fun with the grandson

We have our older grandson here with us today and to spend the night.  We took him for a ride in the golf cart.  My brother in law has cattle and chickens in the back of the property so we ride around to look at the cows and the chickens.  The babies love doing this. Here is a photo of the chickens in their pen.

While sitting there watching the chickens eat, I asked my husband if the chicken's are still laying.. My grandson ( he's 3) piped up and said "no mamae, it looks like they are all standing up"  I almost fell out of the golf cart laughing.  He is fun, you never know what he will say next!

Isn't life wonderful !!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

organized disorganization - trying to straighten out the sewing room

I have spent several ( many ) days trying to organize my fabric so I can find what I want when I want to use it.  I'm not sure how long this will stay in place.  When a project is in progress a hurricane comes through the room.  I am trying to stop between projects and get the room back in order!  Does anyone else have this problem?

Here are a few pictures of the room as it looks right now!

this is one corner of the room


  these bins are in the closet

this is a shelf in the closet

another side of the closet

the sewing corner and design wall

the serger, quilt books and Accuquilt Go 

embroidery thread and computer desk

It may not look that neat to some people but for me it is a great improvement!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A dress for Abigail

My niece came over today and wanted me to make a dress for Abigail. There's  a first time for everything.  Hailli picked out the fabric and lace and I made up a quick pattern and this is what I came out with.
I think Abigail likes her new dress!

It was fun to spend some time with Hailli!

New adventures are lots of fun!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sewing for baby again!

I finished this flannel quilt today.  I used a very light lining.  It's my version of a rail fence pattern.

Sewing for baby!

We have a grand baby due at the end of October.  We do not know if it will be a boy or a girl.  The happy parents are letting it be a surprise.  Prayers are for a healthy baby and we are all trying to think pink.  Seems this clan makes only boys.
I wanted to make a couple of things for the new baby so I pulled out my books and found this one.
I made the sleep sack yesterday and the little booties a couple of weeks ago.

There is a pattern for some cute little reversible pants in this book that I want to make later this week..  The fabric is a truer green than it shows here.  The little frogs on this fabric is so cute.  The lighting was not very good when I took this picture.