Sunday, December 26, 2010

Images of Christmas

A very happy day for one and all. There was also good food, but we were too exhausted from cooking to take any pictures!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Seafood Chowder for Christmas Eve

When I was in Maine in October, I had delicious Seafood Stew at the Red Barn in Augusta, and I've been thinking about it ever since. Would it be possible to re-create something like it at home? Then I saw a tv show about the custom of the Feast of Seven Fishes in Italy as Christmas Eve food, and I decided to give it a try.

I found a frozen cooked lobster at Marukai Pacific, and the game was on! I added a package of sea scallops and some Pacific Red Snapper fish.

I adapted a recipe I found online for Lobster Stew, and the results were wonderful! Papa loved it, and we all enjoyed it with some Spoon House French bread and more butter!

The Recipe

1 cooked lobster

6 large sea scallops

1/2 lb. white fish

4 Tbsp. butter

3 cups whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 Tbsp. white wine

white pepper


Hungarian paprika

Melt butter gently in pan. Slowly cook scallops and fish, add cooked lobster. Slowly add milk and cream. Season to taste with wine, salt, pepper and paprika. (I also simmered the lobster shell in the stew for a while to impart more lobster flavor, then removed it before eating of course! The lobster had roe in it, so that added a nice touch to the stew.) Serve with good bread and butter. Yum!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Feeling Festive

Yesterday I came across a blog called GingerCake, and this pattern, and right away, I got to work. I used 2 felted sweaters and an old skirt for their bodies. Instead of muslin and interfacing, I used a piece of felt for the faces. When I made the first one (the hot pink) I completed and stuffed the doll first and then stitched on the face and buttons, but for the other two, I embroidered the face and sewed on the buttons before stitching them together.

What charmed and amazed me most about these dolls is that the body consists of three identical pieces, shaped like the front of the doll. I imagine that you could also make something like the old topsy-turvy dolls, with a different face on each side. I think they look a lot like Japanese kokeshi dolls and Russian matryoshka dolls. It would be cute to make a series of smaller and smaller ones, and to embroider fancy designs on each.

Thanks to Virginia Lindsay of Gingercake for this great free pattern!

I am also working on my Gold Dust shawl. The pattern is actually called Feather Duster, since it uses the Ostrich Feather stitch pattern.

It's a very simple lace pattern, with not only purl resting rows but also alternate rows on the front side are all stockinette as well. The yarn is gorgeous cashmere and silk that I bought at the Weaving and Fiber Festival in Torrance in November. It is produced by Red Fish Dye Works, and it is a total pleasure to work with.

Today, I mail out my Christmas cards and put up the Christmas tree. After that, Christmas can come!