Archive for November, 2011

Dreaming of couture

What am I thinking??!? Remember back on October 2 I posted about purchasing a pattern? Well, a week later I bought the fabric, and today – I’ve got the nerve to start. I think. After all, here I sit at the computer and I have yet to cut the fabric.

I’ve watched Shirley MacClaine in a Coco Chanel movie. Also recently watched the documentary about Bill Cunningham and twice watched The September Issue. Am I ready?

I don’t know why I am so nervous. True, I could mess up the fabric and blow all the money I’ve spent, but I purchased an EASY pattern, and it’s not like I’ve never sewn before! Somehow, maybe I can call on my mom (who is now enjoying Heaven) to guide my hands? As I was pinning the pattern in place, I could see my mother doing the same thing, on many many occasions, laying out her fabric and pattern on the dining room table as she began a new creation for herself or maybe a skirt for me. She’d have those straight pins tightly clenched between her teeth as she placed each one in the right spot. She was quite the master seamstress! Seriously.

Maybe that’s why I’m nervous. She was so innovative when it came to her fabrics, and even though she mostly followed patterns – not always. She was a real artist! I’m afraid I won’t be as good as she was. Well, I probably won’t be, but she’ll still be pleased that I tried. All I need to do is do the best I can do, right?

AND !! I have a cousin-in-law that is also a master with the stitch. She’s very creative and much more of a natural in this arena. Hmmm…… maybe I need to contact Carol for some much need nudging …..

Well, here’s the picture before I start cutting. Wish me luck!


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Oh my. Craving mushrooms and more mushrooms. I’ve eaten them three times in the last 10 days and I still want more! Maybe tomorrow. Again.

Last week I ate dinner with a friend in DC, where I feasted on wild mushroom raviolis, topped with more mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Poured on top was a heavenly light garlic cream sauce. Then freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano sprinkled on top. Again, had my camera with me but forgot to get it out! Grrrrr…..

A few days later I made my own delightful concoction. First, I sautéed a few chopped crimini and shiitake mushrooms, garlic, and onions in olive oil with a little butter. Added a bit of white cooking wine, and reduced for just a minute or two. Poured in a small amount of heavy whipping cream until warm, then tossed in my cooked pasta. I realize, of course, the dish would have looked much more elegant with larger slices of mushrooms, but what can I say? I like ’em in small pieces, each piece coated in a little creamy garlic.

Just when the pasta was warm enough, I scooped all into my bowl and topped with a few capers and, you know it, freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano! Enjoyed with a glass of sparkling mineral water. Oh my oh my!! Again, just heavenly. See?

A few days later I prepared my own brunch right here in my little apartment! Started with olive oil and a little butter, sautéing crimini and shiitake mushrooms, onions, and a few spears of fresh asparagus, cut into bite-size pieces. No garlic that morning, because I was working the evening shift at the Reference Desk tonight with another librarian. Just could not do that to her!

When these little morsels were done just enough, I piled them on top of a piece of dry toast, then followed with the perfect “over easy” fried egg. Then sprinkled on good ol’ extra sharp cheddar! Man on man was it scrumptious! Another picture here . . .

These two recipes I just made up as I went along. You know how it is – we that love to eat can make up some good stuff as we go along! Don’t ya think?

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