Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Small Projects

This weekend I got a lot of little things done. In addition to finishing October's TIF on Friday, I tried my hand at needlefelting a pumpkin. I started with some fleece and rolled it up to make the pumpkin and then tried to add a scary face. I have a ways to go with this but I learned a lot about working with the fleece. I also did much better than ever before at keeping my fingers safe. Those needles are deadly!

I'm finally getting into a bit of a holiday mood. I put together some pieced mini-containers, based on the pieced paper fabric versions I did a few weeks ago. I used old Christmas cards and cut the shapes and taped them together with double-stick tape. I had cut out the shapes last weekend and put them together this weekend.

Then I got out the beading supplies. I made eleven pairs of the tree earrings. It would have been twelve but one of the wires flicked as I picked it up and the beads went flying. I was able to find all but one crystal. Most likely I'll use the remaining crystals for something else but for now I've put all the makings for that pair of earrings into a baggie. Perhaps that rogue crystal will turn up.

Last, I made a couple of bracelets using a spiral stitch and size six beads. These are prototypes for a class and I needed them for tonight. I had the materials together but had completely forgotten needing to do this until Saturday night. It's quick--I made both in one (long) evening. I'm wearing one today and it's comfortable.
I did a lot of cooking this weekend, which was fun. I made up a big pan of lasagna for a neighbor (with a small pan for me), salmon in parchment, and vegetable stir fry. We made up a big pot of soup stock, too, and froze it. My husband's diet is very restricted (no salt whatsoever, no wheat, no sugar, no dairy, no spices) so we cook from scratch (which we've mostly always done anyway) and the stock is my main cooking liquid/flavoring so I try always to have it on hand.
I got the basics for the recipe from a 1970s holistic living book and have made the soup ever since: Garbage soup: scrub veggies before peeling and save the peels (if you peel, we usually don't). Save the cooking liquid from steamed vegetables (we save all but broccoli and Brussels sprouts). Save tomato skins and seeds, asparagus ends, stems and stalks, tough outer layers. Freeze as you go. We freeze in large tall containers so there are layers. The 70s recipe ended here and went on to cooking the stock down. We add meat.
We add meat trimmings and carcasses from roasted (organic) chickens, giblets, etc. When the freezer gets full, I dump it all into a big canning kettle, bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for a few hours. We strain out all the solid bits, pressing to get the juice out and then we refrigerate it overnight so the fat congeals on top.
I skim off and discard the fat and then freeze the jelled stock in ice cube trays. Once frozen the cubes get put into one of tall freezer containers. (I went to a lot of Tupperware parties back in the 70s and we're still using it all.) It's nicely condensed and I usually use one cube with a cup of water, mostly in cooking or as a base for vegetable or chicken soup. We do this about once every six weeks or so (less in summer, more in winter).
The vegetarian version is very good but once we decided to eat meat, I hated the waste involved and determined that it would be a good addition to the stock.


Jane said...

I like your little baskets. I didn't get a chance to look at your TIF last night; I will have to look at it next Monday.


Anonymous said...

hooray re the elections. you have been busy - i like those braclets. i always make stock from the carcass of chickens etc - but no longer have the vege scraps - they all go to the chooks!