Wednesday, November 23, 2011

quietly busy

The first year that we moved into this old farmhouse, Scott created a beautiful harvest table - large enough to seat our families.  This is where the tradition of having Thanksgiving in New York began.  There is a change in place this year, and the pressure is off!  We've been invited to my sister's home in Connecticut.  Instead of preparing the feast, I am responsible for just a few delicacies!  We are really enjoying the quiet pace of this day - so much so that my sou chef is napping without regret!

   I am making a cheese roll - the recipe originates from the Red Lion Inn in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  They don't know how to prepare anything that isn't exceptional.  
Delicious herbs and cheeses make up the batter and after a 24 hour refrigerated nap it is rolled into a log and sliced accordingly.  The parchment paper should make the actually rolling easier.
These unexpectedly beautiful tomatoes are making it possible for me to concoct a family favorite - Spinach Rockefeller.  The spinach mixture is scooped onto thick tomato slices and heated quickly.  Mouth-watering.  The original old recipe (1973) actually called for MSG!!!!!  Thankfully, we've discovered that this is not an ingredient that one wants to include!  I've also put up a Salmon Mousse which will be served with pumpernickel toasts.  This recipe comes from my favorite, The Silver Palette cookbook.  There will be an applesauce cake, made from neighboring apples that I picked myself.  The cheesecake is relaxing in the fridge - there isn't much more to do.
I did finish the pillow for my sister.  I'll slip upstairs to her bedroom and leave it on the bed where she will find it long after we've left.  I'm happy with the end results even though my machine quilting leaves a lot to be desired!  Also, I punked out on the double welting ...  sssshhhh, don't tell.
Ruth McDowell I'm not!  Her machine quilting is sensational, but nothing can compare to my friend Linda Hibbert's work.  The paper pieced Cavalier is only one of many beautiful creations that Linda offers. If you haven't already, be sure to visit her website at Silver Linings Originals.
I've used many different paper-piecing patterns over the years and can say, without hesitation, that none can compare to Linda's.  There is a painterly feel to the patterns, a flow that is so intuitive one hardly checks the schematics.
I've always wanted to create my own designs - in quilting, in knitting, sewing and beading.  I think that I resort to the use of other's designs because I am (a) lazy, (b) insecure, and (c) totally without mathematical acuity and addicted to instant gratification.  Phew!  Glad I FINALLY got that off my chest.

I always wanted to become a painter.  I began taking life model drawing classes in my teens and worked with a local artist well into college, where I majored in studio art.  There was never a time when I was not drawing, illustrating, doodling and creating.  Where I lacked confidence in myself, my work, I found that fiber play was just that - PLAY, and fun and undemanding.  There was no one standing by to critique my quilts, my sweaters.  There was lots of praise for items that could be cuddled up to, worn happily.  But the work was not original.  At best, it only morphed from an original design into something that I went off the rails with! 

Here is one of those happy collisions - 
It began as another Honey Cowl and when I tired of the slip stitch pattern I added stitches and my favorite k6 p2 rib to the end.  Tomorrow I will give it to Hilary and take some photos of the finished piece.  It's really nice - and I'm thrilled with it.  I've started another in my leftover Epiphany from Cascade.
Perhaps this is the first of many baby steps that I need to take before plunging into Original Territory.  The journey is such a wonder to me that I probably don't even need to know or understand where I'll end up.  It is said that if one does what one loves, the success will follow.  How I would love to quit my "day job" to pursue such a sentiment!!!  Meantime, I'll keep creating.  
There are so few things that can compare to this kind of satisfaction. . . It might be time for a nap - imagine that on the day before Thanksgiving!!!  What are you all doing today?  I hope that you and yours enjoy a safe, joy-filled celebration.  And for those who do not celebrate Thanksgiving, safety and happiness and as much family connection as you can get!


Zoey said...

It sounds like you are still doing a lot of cooking for the big day. Your dishes sound so good. I wish I was attending your function!

I bet your sister will love that pillow. You do such good work, Jody. I don't know anything about knitting, but your creations look superbly done.

Delisa said...

Hi Jody! I enjoy designing too and trying out different combinations of stitches. It really makes knitting and crocheting fun once we have the basics down and do not have to be so completely tied to a pattern. The possibilities are endless. Your dog quilt project is wonderful! So artistic and beautifully stitched! I love your photos today, the one of your husband wrapped in the blanket is classic post turkey! I snuck up on Tony the other day and got a good one of him and Barkley taking a nap too. It is a moment to cherish. I just finished another glove, and am starting the second one after I am done writing. I found some wonderful self-striping merino wool. It is like knitting with the "fine chocolate" of yarn! :) I know you know that feeling. They feel so soft and light as a feather. Have a good evening ahead Jody! Delisa :)