Mar 12, 2010


Right after my love of stitching (at least in the "Things I Like To Do Because I'm A Lonely Old Spinster" category), is my love of cooking. I'm not a particularly good cook, and I most certainly am NOT a good baker (please refer to the cupcake incident of 2010 for reference), but I have decided to try a few things this weekend. Aunt Chrissy and I will hit the Panera for a tuna sam and then it's off to the grocery for fixin's.

First up is Ina's Irish Soda Bread. I've never baked bread in my entire life, but Ina says this is really simple to make, and I listen to absolutely everything Ina tells me. (Good thing she's never been compelled to tell me to jump off a bridge....or it would be bye bye Spinster.) Anywhoose...I'm going to make a loaf or two of this for toast in the mornings.

And then, because I've been riveted to all of the baking escapades on some fellow stitchy bloggy buddies blogs (say THAT three times fast), I am going to make the now world famous Sullivan Street Bakery "no knead" artisanal bread. For those of you in the know...this is the one that you bake inside your dutch oven. I watched a YouTube video of a guy making the bread just moments ago, and I said to myself "If you can't put flour, water, yeast, and salt in a pot and cook it, you should probably just head on over to the Wonder Bread aisle immediately". We'll see how this goes, but if it turns out as well as I think it more $4 loaves of artisanal bread for me! This, of course, will be used for sandwiches at lunch time, most particularly since I am all about the sandwiches.

Lastly, I am going to make Alton Brown's pickled beets. Now stop that retching. I happen to love pickled beets and go through jars and jars of them. Aunt Chrissy loves them too, and seeing how we're coming up on the Easter Season and all, I figure I'll make these so that we can add the hard boiled eggs to the jar just like Mom used to make. (Were we a totally weird family, or did you do that too? Hard boiled eggs and pickled beets in a big jar at Easter time?)

I don't usually transition into Summer eating mode until much later, but methinks the "something on the grill and a lovely salad" menu will commence toot sweet. Now that I have a big girl grill, I'm not afraid to do stuff like planked salmon. Or cheeseburgers.

So my stitchy confession for the day is that I secretly envy y'all and your ability to pull charts and then re-colorize them to your heart's delight. I see how you are able to take a design and convert it all to silk, or change the colors around to suit your taste. I, unfortunately, have never been able to do this. Whenever I need new and/or different colors for something I either copy you shamelessly (like I did Margie on that Bent Creek Big Zipper thingie), or I pout enough that Aunt Chrissy comes over and does it for me. (What can I say? She's the stitchy genius in the family...I'm just happy to be here.)

But! Yesterday I marched myself upstairs and re-threaded LePrintemps all by my very self! Woo Hoo, me! The original colors kind of made my eyes twitch, so I decided to go a little softer. I also decided that WDW Hibiscus was a little too bright pink for skin tone, so I went with WDW Cherub instead. A few other changes, and I think I've come up with a palette that will work:

I did finish all of my lessons for Cirque de Fleur, but I realized that some of the colors didn't match the design picture. I probably could have gotten away with leaving everything as was, but I like the design so much that I decided to duplicate it as per the picture. So a lot of frogging commenced and I am almost back to square one:

Stewey re-appeared from his little fort just in time to commandeer the remote. He watched all of the episodes of "Be Good Johnny Weir", and I have to say that after the third or fourth hour I was a little in love with the guy too. I know absolutely nothing about figure skating, but I now have a much deeper appreciation of what it means to dedicate yourself to a sport. My God, the practicing! (And, in Johnny's case...the vacuuming!). In any event, Stewey was so happy that he got to watch the TeeVee and have a little popcorn before bed that he's behaving himself beautifully today, thank you very much.

Have a wonderful weekend! If you hear a primal scream come from the general vicinity of Hoosierville, you'll know that mine went awry at some point. Never fear, though. Monday will be here before we know it.


  1. Our newspaper just published a bunch of recipes for Irish soda bread and I'm so tempted to try it! And I'm right there with you on the pickled beets - I really love them. My kids think that I'm seriously ill. And I'm with you too on the summer eating - I'm kind of hoping to do some spareribs on the grill this weekend (or rather get DH to do it because I'm grill-challenged). I think that I'm going to love the changes that you're making to you pattern. I can't wait to see more.

  2. Never did the jar thingy but I love beets - try them with orange juice instead of vinegar! Well done on the threads and a pat to Stewey for actually doing what the d*** dog's supposed to do - behave!
    Have a lovely weekend though not sure it's outside weather just yet in the Midwest!

  3. Sounds like a great weekend slated up at Chez Spinster! Enjoy! BTW, I really love the new blog design, especially the slideshows on the right. I wish I knew how to do that!

  4. Good luck with all the baking, cooking and yummy eating!
    Your color choices are beautiful - I think you did a great job! Your needlepoint piece looks great!

    Enjoy the good eats and the whole weekend!

  5. Love the colors and your food plans (except maybe the beets) but then I don't have to eat them!

    I have been thinking of changing my blog to one of those backgrounds I ses so many of you using. Maybe later, my weekend is a bit full with a Lecture series on Samplers given by the Sampler Guild of ther Rockies (which I may just have to join). Have a great weekend and hugs to his nibs.

  6. We love pickled beets and corn relish and three bean salad. Must be a Midwest thing. Also love roasted beets with walnuts and goat cheese.

    I had a neighbor growing up who used to grill outdoors in the SNOW, so don't let a little weather stop you.

  7. Yum, yum, pickled beets. So good with a crisp green salad and 1,000 island dressing. Humm, humm.
    Soda bread is another favorite, with lots of real butter and homemade jam. Hot out of the oven or toasted the next day. I like raisins and walnuts in it, but not caraway seed.
    Stewey should jump through hoops to get some of this.

  8. Oh yes! We had the jar of beets and eggs too!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  9. Wow, I've never tried bread in a dutch oven before - I'll have to go look at the youtube video, sounds good! We never did beets in a jar but have done them sliced in a bowl with slices of raw onions that turn pink!

    I love the color changes that you are making, I can't wait to see them all worked up. And I admire your needlepoint projects - they are always so beautiful.

  10. It all sounds yummy -- the stitching and the baking/cooking thing. Hope you have a great weekend.

  11. Hi Coni,

    I've just award you the "Sunshine Blog Award".

    No pressure, just want you to know how much I love your blog and think others will too.


  12. Pickled beets? Eek. I can't wait to hear how the bread turns out. I am trying to get more interested in baking and cooking but seriously, I admit it, I could eat take away every night for the rest of my life.

    I love the changes you made for Le P! Your needlepoint piece is beautiful, too.

  13. Good for you on the color conversion for Le Printemps! Can't wait to see it!

    I loooove home baked bread - I remember my mom getting into these kicks where she'd bake bread every weekend for a month or so, then poof! there went her bread baking mojo... it would always roll around again sooner or later. I remember my favorite being the ones she baked in old coffee cans (yes, really!), and I think those were Irish Soda Bread.

    I hope you're having a fabulous weekend!

  14. fun spring blog header
    you cannot fail with soda bread
    it's a cinch
    and delicious slathered with butter
    take pics!!!!

  15. Although I've seen some pretty pale Hibiscus, that does seem a harsh color for a skin tone. Good for you, finding a colorway that suits you better! I can't wait to see the results! And speaking of results, I want to see your in-the-pan artisan bread! I have broken down this weekend and PURCHASED bread at the supermarket for Sunday's breakfast. I'm not sure if the family was relieved or disappointed, LOL. The kitchen sure was a lot cleaner, though. ;)

  16. We used to eat pickled eggs all the time when we were kids. And we sometimes threw the eggs in the pickled beet jar. I loved pickled beets when was a kid but I've had a hard time getting my mind around them as an adult. Go figure.

  17. Ew, beets. They're third on my most hated foods list, right after 1. liver and 2. other organ meats. Pickled eggs are on the list also, but you go right ahead and enjoy yourself. I'll stick to the Cadbury eggs.

    Thank you for saying you're a copycat of others' colors. I am, too. It's tough to be untalented with color like I am. You did a great job with Printemps, though. I think you've been pretending.