26 November, 2014

Cranberry Walnut Relish

Do you have favorite, time tested recipes that always appear on your table at Thanksgiving?  One of our favorites is Cranberry Walnut Relish, a recipe given to me by my dear friend, Sharon W., over 35 years ago. We use this in place of that nasty, gelatinous, quivering blob of GAK that comes slithering from a can. Blechhhh!!!

This is the original recipe, written in my own girlish hand, all tattered and stained.  I suppose I could recopy it,... but I kind of love it just the way it is.  

Sharon was my bestie way back when I was a young mom.  She had a teen-age daughter and she warned me about all that I would be experiencing in the future as the mother of two girls. She pretty much nailed all of it.  We used to take power walks almost daily.  My butt has never looked so good since.

Cranberry Walnut Relish is super easy to make.

You will need:
2  packages of fresh cranberries, 12 ounces each
2 cups of granulated sugar
1 cup of chopped walnuts
1 cup of orange marmalade.  (The cheaper store brand is fine.)
1 orange

OK, lets get started!
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put the chopped walnuts into a large Pyrex baking dish and toast for 8 - 10 minutes.  Oh, LOOK!  My oven in clean!  Just in time to completely dirty it up for Thanksgiving...

Rinse the cranberries under running water in a colander.  Remove all of the funky, soft and/or shriveled ones.  
Using a zester tool, cut about 1 tablespoon of orange zest.  If you do not have a zester tool, this link will show you how to easily cut the zest without one.

Put the cranberries, the sugar, the marmalade, walnuts and orange zest into a large bowl.  Add the juice of half of the orange and thoroughly mix it all together.  

Eat the other half of the orange.

Spread the mixture into the Pyrex baking dish used to toast the walnuts.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and stir after about 40 minutes.  Replace the foil after stirring.

After removing from the oven, let the mixture cool.  Spoon into a pretty dish and add an orange peel garnish.  

This recipe makes just over 4 cups of sweet and tangy goodness!

It just would not be Thanksgiving at our house without Cranberry Nut Relish.  And fond memories of long time friends. 

Note - My dear friend, Sharon, passed on August 21, 2015.  I miss her terribly, but her Cranberry Walnut Relish will be on our Thanksgiving table, this year and always.  

20 November, 2014

Weavers and Thread Catchers

One of my Thread Catchers was recently purchased by Geri R. who left me some lovely feedback. She wrote, "I am so impressed with your work, the design of this piece is perfect and I love the fabrics. I don't have a wastebasket near my loom and have been throwing my little ends on the floor, picking them up when I get up from the loom. Unfortunately, my dog has discovered these threads, and I find them everywhere! No more!  Thank you again."

I sent a message back to Geri, thanking her for her kind words and remarking that it had never occurred to me that weavers might like my product.  Geri sent me a photo of her thread catcher, on the job, perched near her loom.  

Isn't Geri's loom just beautiful?  Weaving is something that I would love to try... someday.  Too bad all of my space is taken up by sewing things.  Thank you, Geri, for sharing your photo.  

01 November, 2014

Classes and Kits

How is it that I always forget just how much preparation it takes to put together my supplies for teaching a Thread Catcher class?

I have two classes scheduled for today at the cutest little quilt shop in my area, the  Rustic Rooster Quilt Shop in Myrtle Creek, OR.  I provide the printed pattern and complete supply kit for each attendee.  Students bring their pre-cut fabrics and most have a finished thread catcher at the end of the three hour class.

I have been puttering with some new kit packaging, both for classes and for mailing my supply kits.  I was wanting something that would be great for class, have a nice look about it, be cost effective, not be too labor intensive and would do nicely in the mail.  These are what I came up with.

I started out with this one.  Fine for class, but not so good for mailing. 

Then I folded the brown paper bag like this.  Much better for sending in the mail.

I'm kind of loving the new labels...

This is for the Dreamy Dresden Supply Kits, this time with the ends of the tie clipped.  Perfect!

 Hug Snug works great for binding the kit packages.  I may need more colors... lots more colors!

My students will be getting an unexpected surprise when they receive their pattern.  I dropped my print order off at a major office supply/tech store whose name begins with an "S".  I always have the cover page printed in color and the rest of the pages in black and white.  The harried Copy and Print employee goofed up my order and printed everything in color.  Of course, she didn't charge me for her mistake, so all of my students will be receiving a full color pattern!

So now, my SUV is loaded up and I'm ready to go.  I'm off!  And I'm going to Myrtle Creek, too!