14 December 2017

As Christmas Nears

Like everyone else, I'm scratching my head wondering what
happened to November and, wow, is it really almost Christmas?
You might want to grab a cup of something warm--
I'm about to catch you up on some wonderful things.
We're feeling pretty blessed.


Firstly, I quilted up Apple Orchard and it's now on its way to its new home.
Somehow I always finish my quilts as the sun sets and my lighting
just isn't the best.


I’m pretty happy with how the quilting turned out;
in fact I’ve enjoyed the whole project.
I think I've mentioned that I love BOM's and now that I have the
long-arm, I'm thinking I'll do more than one next year.
For someone who doesn't like to have too many projects going,
how many BOM's is too much?  Three?  Six?


This apple pantograph turned out to be fairly easy for me to do
and that got me pretty excited.  Wouldn't you know it?
There was a holiday sale!  I was quick to order 5 new ones that
I'm pretty sure I'll find very challenging but I'm going to give them
all a good try! 


I fully intended to cut myself off after my last order but this time is it!
Truly.  I think I've covered a lot of area with my collection of 13!


Just off the machine this afternoon is this lap quilt that
hopefully it will be on its way to its new home by Saturday.
I think this, made with those 1860's reproduction fabrics, works
well for a man so it's going to my brother-in-law.
It is quilted in fairly simple feathers that were made a little more
complicated than they should have been by some thick joining seams.
Sometimes you just can't avoid that in construction but I've
made a mental note to up my game on it from here on out.

Speaking of games!
We ended the football season as victoriously as possible!
5A State Champs!  My son was allowed to take the final
snaps in the victory formation at the end of the game.  As
an offensive lineman, he never touches the ball but, as there's
a funny story behind this--and, well, he's a darned good kid
and football player--so he was chosen for the honor by the coach.
Yes, a proud-parent moment!
(sorry, the story is too long to go into here)
And the icing on the cake trophy?
My son made not just All-City but All-State as well!


What an incredible wonderful ride it was!
So many friends and memories made!


There is a tradition for the seniors to hang up their cleats on the arch
at the entrance to the football field after their last game--and there
they stay till the elements bring them down.  This picture is so
beautiful...and a little bittersweet.  I'd go through it all again
and again if I could.  But life moves on.
He's been accepted to Creighton and has already been awarded
a substantial scholarship.  There are 6 more he's applying for within
their business school; with his academic record, we're very hopeful.

My husband and I cooked what we hope was another
elegant meal for the priests--this time just eight.
For the appetizer I served Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms--an easy
recipe that I've made more than a few times now with good results.
(This would be good for the holidays, btw.)


They can be made a little early and refrigerated, though you'll
need to account for the fact that they'll be ice cold going into
the oven and add a little time, or bring them to room temp first.
My preference is to use smaller mushrooms that are bite-sized
 which makes them more manageable at a dinner party.
Larger ones can be a little slippery to cut, and who wants to deal
with a knife for their appetizer anyway?


For the main course, my husband cooked up a pistachio-crusted
beef tenderloin; I made mashed potatoes with a hint of garlic and
maple-glazed carrots--my new favorite way of making carrots.
I suggest slicing these a little on the big side if you like your veggies
crisp-tender like we do.  They need to simmer a bit to reduce the glaze.
And, of course, served with toasted slices of my French bread
that I love to make for everything and everyone.

For dessert, there was a choice of pumpkin cheesecake (made with
our fresh pumpkin) and a bourbon banana cheesecake--a new recipe
that everyone seems to love.  I doubled all additions of the bourbon.
Even then you barely taste it in the cheesecake.  One of these days
I should do a whole post on cheesecakes because, after making about
a zillion, I think I've learned every trick and tip there is.


I taught myself how to make spun sugar garnishes.
For really shmancy desserts.  Above are regular spirals;
below are more cone-shaped.  I haven't tried the bowls
that you make on the back of a ladle but they're next.


They're so incredibly delicate and require very dry conditions so,
as much as I wanted to take them to our dinner, I really didn't think
they'd make it.   But, hey, add that one to the ol' repertoire, eh?

And lastly.


This little cutey is already one month old.
And we get to babysit him tomorrow night.

I'm not sure I'll get in another post before Christmas
so I'll just take this time to wish you a very wonderful
and blessed holiday.  May His peace be in your
heart and in your homes as you spend time with
all of those you love!

2 comments:

Debbie said...

Congrats to the football player and to proud parents.
To the quilter you....success and congrats on the finishing. You are going great guns with the new LA. That little grandson will be needing a big boy quilt before you know it:) He's a doll. Merry Christmas!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Great news all around. Merry Christmas!

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