Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hello June!

June!  It is an unbelievable beautiful June weekend in South Carolina.  Half the year gone by, though.  A week is a day is a month … When I lay my head down at night, I wonder where the time has gone and what I accomplished during the day.  The calicodaisy shop is buzzing right along and I have great hours at my part-time day job, so mostly I just wish I had a few more hours in the day to fit it all in.  
Meanwhile, with my shop assistants’ help, I am busy organizing and reshuffling and throwing and sending to the thrift and organizing again in the sewing studio.  My husband is building two sewing tables right now from repurposed counter tops, so I can line the machines up in a row and move down the line for sewing piping or labels or serging, as the process requires.  I’m anxious to see how this will streamline my process.  I tire of switching out the machine feet, especially on the manual machine.  While I don’t think the place will be pretty enough for my personal goal of a feature in “Where Women Create,” it will be very organized when we are finished! 

Last month, I ordered something I’ve wanted for years but never jumped in, but for five easy payments with QVC, a digital pressure cooker is mine.  However, now that I’ve read up on pressure cooking in general, I think I wouldn’t be afraid of the new manual ones available now.  My mom is an expert with the "old" ones, but they are a bit scary. Anyway, success with the digital PC (pressure cooker) so far.  Last week, a whole chicken and a batch of Boston Baked Beans; yesterday a quick whip up of Italian Wedding Soup of sorts with my own ideas here and there.  This can be made stove top, of course, but it took just 6 minutes in the PC!  Recipe below. 

Cherries are in season in the South - well, shipped in from California.  All the pie making stars aligned for me, and I had time, inclination, fresh fruit, and company to spur me on to making a cherry pie.  I even remembered to use a pie bird bought years ago at George Washington’s place - Mt. Vernon gift shop - with cherries painted on, too, so appropriate for the day and no soggy pie bottom. 

What else?  Well, embroidered pillow covers, of course.  Clients have been sending in great ideas, and I just follow their instructions to new products.  I do love the appliquéd state pillow covers, as seen at the top of the post.  Everyone has a great idea for their states and color combinations.  A Louisiana one is up next in the orders in gold and purple.  I think a little heart added at the spot of the client’s town would be a good addition.  Must think on that.  AND, I am still surprised at the custom pillow cover “packs” ordered to decorate wedding reception sites.  It’s lovely to create an item to be part of the special day.  The best part of having custom pillow covers created for the day is that they are still useful for years to come in the home and add to the memory keeping. 

My blog posting time is up.  Must move on the next thing on the to-do list, and that would be Walmart.  You’ll have to give the soup recipe a try.  Even though it’s summer, the fresh lemon juice keeps it light and bright. 
Mish’s Italian Wedding Soup 

2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 yellow onion diced
1 cup of celery diced
6 cups of chicken broth
16 ounces of small meatballs
1-1/2 cups of uncooked piccolini pasta (small bowtie pasta) 
2 cups chopped baby spinach
1 clove minced garlic
Juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon of sugar 
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
Salt and Pepper

In the Pressure Cooker (my amateur instructions): 
1.  Heat the oil and sauté the garlic a bit, add the onion and cook until translucent. 
2.  Add everything else. 
3.  Lock the PC cover, set on High (15 psi), and pressure cook for 6 minutes. 
4.  Quick release at the end to release the pressure. 

On stovetop, this is what I would do: 
1.  Heat the oil and sauté the garlic a bit, add the onion and cook until translucent. 
2.  Add everything else but the pasta.  Bring to boil and then turn down to simmer for a while so everything can cook together. 
3.  Bring back to boil, add pasta, and cook for the time noted for type of pasta used.  

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