Tuesday’s Rambles ~ 13 April 2010

My brain is a bit mushy the last few days…finished the budget for the new fiscal year that is coming up, and the weather has given me a pounding headache. So…it’s a ramble day.

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Thought I’d share a Gingerbread recipe that I’m going to try tonight…I’ve been craving gingerbread for some reason. The recipe is from a 1946 copy of Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book, page 718.

Cake Flour, 2 cups
Baking powder, 2 teaspoons
Baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Ginger, 1-1/2 teaspoons
Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon
Shortening, 1/3 cup
Sugar, 1/2 cup
Egg, 1
Molasses, light, 2/3 cup
Sour milk or buttermilk, 3/4 cup

Sift flour; measure; add baking powder, soda, salt and spices; sift again.

Cream shortening; add sugar gradually; cream together until light and fluffy.

Add well-beaten egg (unbeaten if electric mixer is used); beat thoroughly; add molasse.

Add dry ingredients alternately with sour milk or buttermilk, stirring only enough after each addition to blend thoroughly.

Pour into a greased square pan 8x8x2 inches.Bake in a moderate oven (350F) about 50 minutes.

Serve with whipped cream

If you want you can use this batter for an Apple Gingerbread Upside-down Cake: Follow instructions for apple upside-down cake (p. 717), substituting gingerbread batter for dessert cake batter:

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a cake pan; add 1/4 cup brown sugar firmly packed and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon; cover with about 2-1/2 cups apple wedges cut from firm cooking apples; sprinkle with raisins and pecan halves. Pour batter over fruit and proceed as directed above. (bake in a moderate oven (350F) 45-50 minutes. Invert pan on a cooling rack; let cake remain in inverted pan 1 minute to allow sirup to drain onto cake. Serve with whipped cream.

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The peach tree is starting to bloom!

Lilacs are leafing out and growing blooms.

Lucy starting a great adventure...didn't get very far. World's too big for the wee lass.

4 star blocks finished for Hannah's lap quilt.

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I’ve been reading Miss Read’s Chronicles of Fairacre (set in the 1950’s English countryside) ~ the first three books comprising of Village School, Village Diary and Storm in the Village. Thanks April for the recommendation! Last night while reading I found this very funny to me so I thought I’d share (told you my brain has turned to mush).

Pages 167-168, Chronicles of Fairacre, 1977 copy (the school was holding “sports”):

Perhaps the high-light of the afternoon was an unrehearsed incident. Mrs. Pratt’s white goat, attracted by the noise, had broken her collar and pushed through the hedge to see what was going on. Fastidiously, walking with neat, dainty steps, she approached the backs of the spectators and before anyone had noticed her, she picked up the hem of Mrs. Partridge’s flowered silk frock. Gradually, the goat worked it into her mouth, a sardonic smile curling her lips, tossing her head gently up and down, until at last a sudden tug caused the vicar’s wife to look round and the hue and cry began.

Startled, the goat skipped away under the rope and charged down to see its friends, who were waiting, in pairs with their legs tied together, to run in the three-legged race. Squealing with excitement, and weak with laughter, they lumbered off in all directions, the goat prancing among them, bleating. Confusion reigned, some children sprawled on the grass, others attempted to capture the goat, and others rushed yelling to their parents. At last Mr. Willet grabbed the animal’s horns and slipped a rope noose over her head. Resigning herself to capture, the goat trotted meekly after him to the gate, accompanied by many young admirers.

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Garden update: Boxes still not made, but I did get them sawed into 4 foot lengths. I’ve repotted the tomatoes, corn, and cucumbers. Took them outside last Saturday, placed them on the plant rack with a screen over them so they didn’t get direct sunlight. Perked them up! They’re back inside.

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Americana Wall Hanging Quilt

I was in the first Simple Woman Summer Swap and found out my partner would be decorating in Americana for a few rooms when she moves into her new home. So I decided to make her a wall hanging quilt. After looking through a few of my quilting books I settled on adapting a pattern from three that I saw.

I’m a little intimidated of piecing stars…not the Ohio Star nor the Friendship Stars, those I have can make with no problems whatsoever…but the other ones like LeMoyne Star!

But after being introduced to this book ~ STARS BY MAGIC ~ Nancy Johnson-Srebro ~ New Super-Easy Technique! Diamond-Free Stars from Squares and Rectangles! Perfect Points and No Y-Seams! ~ I’m not scared anymore! 🙂

I used Thimbleberries and Moda fabrics for the quilt. I tried my hand at free motion machine quilting on my Janome…I need lots of practice still. I liked doing the stars…but I’m not that great at curly-curves! I did it by hand…not with a contraption that you add onto your machine, which may make it a lot easier. Who knows. I still need help with my binding…one of these days I’ll get that down pat too.