Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween at Ronda's

I believe that Ronda just might be the queen of Halloween. It was such a treat to have lunch and spend a beautiful Fall afternoon in her home. Thank you for having us.

When I grow up...can I be Ronda?

There are many hidden friends in Ronda's house.

A signature Ronda creation.

My favorite! Just loved his sassy attitude.A beautiful table set for guests.

And of course she springs a lovely surprise on us. Thinking it was going to be the beginning of a project... we wanted to know how long we had to finish it.

Jill...who did not have to turn anyone into a toad.

Purple Cats rock!

The surprise...penny rugs for all. Ronda you are absolutely amazing!

And those beautiful creative hands say it all.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Quilt Block -- Are We Playing?

Hey Everyone,

I've designed a quilt block inspired by the Split Pea Soup recipe by Julia Child. It should be an interesting quilt year. Can you guess what it is? Let's play the game!

Split pea soup is one of those wonderful hearty soups of winter. Made with dried "split" peas, and cooked up with a flavorful, smokey ham hock, it's warm, filling, and satisfying. This split pea soup recipe is based on one written by Julia Child years ago for a Parade Magazine article. It's a shortened version of the split pea soup recipe in her book, The Way to Cook.

Split Pea Soup Recipe

1 1/2 cups green split peas
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large leek, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, halved
1 herb bouquet*
1 or 2 well-rinsed ham hocks
Salt and Pepper
Optional garnish - small toasted croutons

*Herb Bouquet: Tie 3 cloves garlic, 4 allspice berries, 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon thyme, 8 sprigs parsley in washed cheesecloth.

1 Pick over the peas and remove any stones. Wash and drain peas. Place in a 4 quart pan with the vegetables, herb bouquet, ham hocks and 2 1/2 quarts of water. Bring to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top of the soup for several minutes, until the scum ceases to rise. Cover loosely and simmer about 1 1/2 hours, or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally in case they stick to the bottom of the pan.
2 Remove bones, and herb bouquet from soup, discard. Either purée through a vegetable mill, or purée in a food processor and then pass through a sieve. Correct seasoning.
3 Reheat, taste again for seasoning. Ladle into warm bowls and garnish with croutons and or sautéed ham.
Makes 2 quarts. Serves 6.

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