I bet most of you, fair readers, thought I’d never return. That the post about venison was about as weird as it could get, and that I’d finally lost my mind and run away. Ha! I’m back. And today I’m going to ramble about both crafting and baking, so it’s a real banner day.
The last few days have been more than enough activity for little old me. Not only am I ridiculously behind in my own work (no one is getting papers back anytime soon), but Mr. Pea came down with some kind of awful migraine/sinus headache/thing that was intense and mean and pretty much absorbed most of our weekend attention. I tend to be a bit of an over-the-top caregiver and am not good at turning that instinct off. When I cooked I cooked some standards–chicken soup, for example–that are reportedly able to cure a host of illnesses. I also made some brussell sprout risotto, which, while it combined two of my favorite things, really wasn’t that great, so I didn’t bother to tell you about it. But now it’s Wednesday, a startling week from Thanksgiving (how’d that happen?), and dangerously close to Christmas. Actually, I love Christmas. I love the season, the music, the lights. Bring it on. Once Halloween is over, I don’t mind Christmas peeking out from around the corners.
Before things got nutty on Saturday, I ventured to a local fabric shop which sells a lot of nice designer quilting cotton, the kind of stuff I used to buy for Sweet Pea Handcrafts. I was so excited to just mill around and look at it all, but limited myself to fabric for projects I had planned. The above photo is an example: this tiny bird ornament (it’s maybe 3 or so inches long) is from Last-Minute Patchwork Gifts, and I’m working on a flock of ten of them. I’ve got four done, and they’ll be part of gifts for folks for the holiday. They’re made on the machine, which took a little finagling at first since they’re so little. The book has all kinds of cool projects, many of which can be made in just a couple hours. I took it out of the library last weekend and hope to make at least a few things from it before I send it back.
I got around to baking a new round of cookies over the last 24 hours I thought I’d share with you. The pictures I saw of these (in Gourmet) don’t look much like mine turned out. Mine are ok, theirs are gorgeous. The cookies are essentially a buttery shortbread with pistachios and dried cranberries. You make the dough, roll it into a log, and pop it into the fridge to firm up. Then you slice the log and bake. The problem for me was that as I sliced the 1/4″ squares, the cookies would start to break when I hit a stubborn pistachio. The more pressure it took to cut the pistachio, the greater the likelihood that the cookie would bust up. This was frustrating and I’m glad I only made a half-batch. They are tasty at any rate, but I’m not sure I’ll try them again. I think I’ll find a drop cookie recipe instead. At any rate, you can visit epicurious for the recipe.