Friday, December 5, 2014

Decked Out For The Season And I Learn Something Every Day

I did it.  I finished the Christmas wall hanging I started more than a year ago.


No, it wasn't that complicated that it took that long to complete with me working day after day on it.  This pieced and hand appliqued wall hanging was started in the fall of last year with the thought it would be done for the holidays of 2013.  As so often happens with my good intentions (but unrealistic time sense apparently), life got in the way and the quilt was nowhere near completion then.

I worked on it a very little bit this past summer (very being the operative word), but mostly it lived on my design wall while I tried to decide how to quilt it.


For the past week or so, I have been like a demented squirrel dashing in and out of my quilt room to work on it every chance I could, and I'm happy to report I was successful in finishing it and hanging it yesterday.  I think it looks good in the spot I made it for, and I'm very pleased with the way it turned out.  (Yay, score one for our side!)

Now I can start on something new!

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Have you ever done something really clever that makes you feel really stoopid?

A couple of weeks ago I had a portion of a loaf of bread (homemade so I didn't want to toss it to the chickens . . . sorry, girls) that was getting a little stale.  Both Papa Pea and I like croutons in some of the soups I make so it dawned on me that I could cut the bread into cubes, freeze them and pull an amount out when I needed croutons.


Well, duh.  Why had I never thought of that before?  Tonight I took some from the freezer, heated them up in some butter in a skillet, seasoned them with garlic salt and served them with our homemade Cream of Tomato soup.  How super-easy and convenient.

I suppose now I'm going to find out that all of you have done this forever, right?  Oh well, some of us are a little slower than others.  (Maybe a lot slower.)

32 comments:

  1. No, I haven't made croutons yet. But do I get credit for making breadcrumbs? I just did that about a year ago. Total "Duh" moment, hugh?

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    1. Carolyn - Yes, your grade goes up a point for making bread crumbs. Me, too. But why have I never thought of the croutons? TOTAL "duh" moment, for sure.

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  2. I like that idea.
    Hubby loves his fresh baked bread on Saturdays. I use some of the leftover for french toast, but struggle to find other uses before tossing the rest in the compost (ack!)
    This is yet another use for it---hoooray! Thanks for passing on the idea. I need all the help I can get!

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    1. Sue - No sandwiches in your house these days? What day do you make the French toast? That is my all-time, very favorite breakfast.

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    2. I'm unable to do sandwiches anymore.
      He's supposed to be avoiding carbs.
      So---I limit the good stuff (wahhhhhhh)
      Thursday is French Toast day. OMG--I love the smell of it ---lots o' vanilla in with it. Yum!

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    3. And that quilt looks drop dead GORGEOUS in that spot--a perfect fit! Lovely!!

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    4. Sue - Yeah, I kinda knew sandwiches (oh, how I love them!) were on your no-no list anymore. It's not just you and your husband, but we ALL would do well to avoid so many carbs! Ever made French toast with buttermilk instead of milk? Makes it even better!

      Thanks for the kind words on my wall hanging. :o}

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  3. Demented Squirrel? I thought she only lived at my house. Ha! Very pretty BTW. I learned to sew as a kid and every now and then wish I had a sewing machine to do stuff like that.

    And then the mood passes. Maybe when my plate is not so full...

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    1. Tami - Even after you've retired, I know you will not be lacking for things to do. Let's hope your "leisure" (hahahaha!) days will include happy hours at a sewing machine. (The pups would love personally designed dog coats!)

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  4. I love whole grain, home made bread, but I don't like how it seems to fall apart when it's sliced after it's sat (wrapped, of course) on the counter for a couple days. Your idea for croutons is the bomb! I used freeze slices, then take out a slice or two whenever I wanted to make toast. Now I make "sandwich buns" out of the dough instead. They are shaped in flatter circles, is the only difference between them and regular buns. Since I always want the heel of the bread, these are perfect for me. They can be eaten as "light bread", as my mother used to call it, when the bread is fresh, and then when it's been around a couple days, they slice easily for toasting or warming in the microwave. They hold together a lot better for sandwiches, too.

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    1. Ilene Jones - I make my hamburger buns flat as you described because we just don't like so much bread with our burgers. For folks like you (sorry, I'm not in that club!) who like the heel of the bread, that's a brilliant idea!

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  5. I love the bread idea. Very clever indeed. I'll have to use that tip. I love that quilt. You are so talented!

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    1. Thanks, Kristina. I don't know if it's so much talent . . . or something I just love to do. I could quilt all day for many, many days before growing tired of it. (Do you think quilting all day for many, many days will ever be in my future?? Stranger things have happened!)

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  6. I have done that forever, but ..... I always forget about them & find them at the back of the freezer a year later, most of the time freezer burnt.

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    1. You, m'dear, need to serve more croutons! :o}

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  7. I usually give mine to the chickens :) But good recycling!

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    1. Thanks, Nancy!

      Sometimes I think our chickens get as good food as we do! And they never turn down stale bread.

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  9. Oh my gosh, that quilt is gorgeous! I had never thought to make my own croutons either, but I don't eat them much either.

    http://caffeinatedhomestead.weebly.com/blog

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    1. Stephanie - I make one casserole that I put bread cubes on the top before baking so I use them for that, too.

      Thank you for your nice words about my quilt.

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  10. That quilt looks very pretty. You did a great job. We actually have a bag of homemade croutons sitting in our cookie jar right now. Since the cookie jar was empty I just tossed the bag in there. We don't eat them often but some days you just want to jazz up a soup or salad. I never thought to freeze chopped up bread and then toast it later. Great idea!

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    1. Sparkless - Nasty trick for someone reaching into the cookie jar thinking they were going to get a cookie! ;o)

      It's funny, my hubby doesn't like croutons on a salad but loves them in his soup. Go figure!

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  11. Beautiful quilt and love where you hung it. I'm not a quilter so I have a question. What do you mean by this: "...while I tried to decide how to quilt it."? If the explanation is too long just send me to Google! LOL! One of my sisters has the quilting gene. Not me.

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    1. Mollie - A quilt consists of a backing (the fabric on the backside), batting (a layer that gives it thickness and warmth) and the top which is the pieced part. You need to fasten these three layers together somehow. That is known as the quilting on a quilt. You can do it by hand using small quilting stitches or do it by machine using plain or fancy machine stitches. How much quilting you do on the quilt depends on many factors. Applique work (such as the "flowery" part of my quilt) usually has no stitching on those particular pieces, but rather heavy stitching all around it so the applique "pops" out and is highlighted. A rather plain looking quilt can be made quite beautiful by a lot of quilting, but usually a more complicated, "busy" quilt benefits from not as much which could detract from the overall effect. Hope this explains it a little!

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    2. Thank you! I might have to start with a simple quilt. I'd like to quilt it by hand just for the experience. And hand-sewing CAN be meditative for me. What was your first quilt that you made?

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    3. Mollie - You're welcome! As far as I'm concerned, "real" quilting is that done all by hand . . . the way it was originally started. Hand-sewing is very restive and calming for me, too. (Most of the time! ;o})

      You've given me an idea for a blog post . . . a picture of my first quilt and how I got started. So stay tuned and thank you!

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  12. Mama Pea,
    I love your quilt, you did a beautiful job on it!!!!

    I've made my own croutons, and love them. Have you tried making bread pudding with the older bread? I do this all the time, and every once and a while I will add some rum for the holidays.

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    1. Thank you, Sandy!

      I confess I've never made a bread pudding. But just the thought of yours with a little holiday rum added sounds WONDERFUL!

      We've been trying to not eat as much bread lately and I have three-quarters of a loaf of homemade oatmeal bread on the counter that may just be made into a bread pudding soon. Thanks for the idea!

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  13. Your quilt is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!! Perfect spot for your Perfect Quilt!!! Love it!!! When I remember(!), I make croutons and put in the freezer. I just make them into croutons before putting them in the freezer. Look forward to seeing your next project!

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    1. Lisa - Actually, my next quilt project isn't new at all, but rather a shower curtain that will go up after the holidays for the rest of the winter. I started it a while ago (posted the start of it . . . shades of blue in the Split Rail pattern set on point) but still have to finish it. Must get on that!

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  14. How perfect that looks - both the quilt and the spot! I used to love croutons in tomato soup - I've found some GF that are reasonably good, but nothing compares to the real thing.

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    1. Susan - No, not like "the real thing" but you do remarkably well staying on your GF diet. And it pays off in how you feel, so it's worth it. Right? Right!

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