Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stuff I Made This Week

So, as I mention in the subtitle and in my first entry, I’m kind of into the whole home ec thing (as long as there’s no cleaning involved; John does the dishes). So I thought, to explain what I mean, I’d make a list of stuff I’ve made in the past week or so:
  1. My Grammie’s Brownies: This one is almost a gimme. My Grammie Mylott made the greatest brownies in the world, and so did my mom, and then recently, when I started baking at least weekly, I called her for the recipe – which she no longer had, and she had to reverse-engineer it from the recipe in her older-edition-than-mine Betty Crocker cookbook, but she figured it out to the letter – and now so do I. No frosting, no nuts; just brownies.
  2. Herb Baguettes: This one was a new recipe to me, from a cook book my mom got me as a teenager, installment mail order style. It’s called Great American Home Baking, and it was one of those deals where they send you a binder and X number of teaser recipes and then for X dollars a month you get X more recipes for your binder. My mom always REALLY wanted me to get into helping her in the kitchen and I was never much interested, so she ended up getting me these things because I showed a spark of interest and I made a lot of cakes and muffins and quickbreads, but I’d intimidated by yeast breads. Then earlier this year, I was looking at our monthly spending and trying to figure out where I could economize, and we were spending crazy amounts of money every month on whole-wheat sandwich bread, so to save money, I pulled out my Betty Crocker cook book and made a couple loaves of Honey Whole-Wheat Bread (only, with ALL whole wheat flour, not just half) just to see how it went. It ended up being WAY cheaper than getting commercial bread with all whole wheat flour and without high-fructose corn syrup and tasting more like bakery bread; like seriously, I was amazed at how un-threatening yeast bread actually was. So from there, I started doing the two loaves of honey whole-wheat plus some other kind of baked treat each week. Monday of this week, I did the Herb Baguettes from Great American Home Baking and also the starter for the Sourdough French Loaves, which needs to sour for two days, so I’ll be continuing with that later today.
  3. An Eyelet Blouse: When I say made, I mean I started with a pencil, some paper, and a measuring tape. I did a lot of measurements, based on knowing where I wanted seams to be and what I wanted the neckline to be shaped like and stuff, and I came up with pattern pieces, and then today, I cut the eyelet – leftover from the bolt I bought four years ago to make my wedding dress – and made the blouse. I’m not sure I’m 100% happy with it; it might look a little too handmade. But I’m going to try a similar-but-not-identical one with some satin I have sitting around tomorrow and then see what I feel about the two of them. I also plan to use the scraps from the two blouses to embellish a T-shirt, since embellished T-shirts seem to be a big deal this summer. If I’m feeling ambitious – and photogenic – I’ll post photos of all the finished products. In the meantime, here are a couple pictures of the wedding dress, which I made four years ago this very month (photos by Dan Leavey):

 This shows some of the detail on the bodice.

    And this shows the length and the way in which the dress went with the other outfits at our wedding, which was '70s-themed.

    Sometime soon, I’ll also have to do a couple loaves of Honey Whole-Wheat bread because I took the last loaf out of the freezer today. And last week, I also did a project based on this project at Sew Green. Fair warning: this is a Lady Project, for Ladies. Also fair warning, after I assembley-line-stitched 8 of this pattern, spending a whole afternoon and evening, I discovered that I wasn’t really that happy with the pattern and re-designed it on my own. So, I’m down with the idea over at Sew Green, but the execution, for me anyway, required some fine-tuning. Anyone else out there working on anything projecty?

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