I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, October 10, 2016

Let's Try This Again ~ Cooking, Quilting

Hello! One of my favorite sayings from an old sampler [supposedly] is "I DONE MY BEST jane smith aged 11 years". It makes me laugh, in  sympathy for the child of long ago. I know just how she felt, the urge to just say, this is good enough.
The crucial question is, did I really do my best or am I just getting by?  I know nothing can be perfect, but some things are worth trying again. And again. As Tom Gunn says, Make it work! [My other fave saying.]
So first we have the Log Cabin / Schoolhouse block from When the Wild Geese Fly.
Version One. Awful. I blamed poor Jan Patek's pattern.

Version Two. I drafted my own pattern. Okay, harder than it looks. And really ugly, below. In our defense I will say this quilt block is usually pieced, and I have done so with no issues. Even made a miniature one once with 2" blocks. But this applique version is not good.

My friend Mel said something about how she never liked that block anyway. Which I don't agree with, I love it!---but that made me think : Yes I want a cabin/ cottage/ house in that spot; No, it need not be an [ugly] Schoolhouse.
This is Version Three. It's, well, okay. A Cape Cod cottage, maybe on the marsh where the geese are huddled, preparing for their autumn flight.

Geese here migrate to the golf course and the soccer fields. But the big Vs of honking geese are beautiful and evocative and wild, in my imagination.
Does it work? Maybe


Now with cooking, do-overs are easier and more fun. You'll maybe recall my bland and boring cauliflower ''pilaf'' from a few weeks ago. It was edible, but disappointing. Not a hint of rice's nutty goodness and why I expected that is a mystery. Cauliflower tastes like, uh, cauliflower. This didn't stop me from buying another bag of the grated cauli and---again listening to Mel---I made her delicious version of faux twice baked cauli.

Here is her description, edited a little,because she kept adding info:

 Mel's Twice Baked Cauli Casserole

It's like twice-baked potatoes

Cook cauliflower lightly and break up. 
Mix in melted butter, sour cream, some green onion, bacon bits, and shredded cheddar. 
Mix well, and put in baking dish. 
Top with a bit of cheese and bake (or microwave) until hot through and cheese is melted.

I used the pre-grated cauli  crumbles  microwaved in the bag 3 minutes.

Added cheddar [reserve some for topping] , green onions*, sour cream, butter. Salt and pepper to taste.
* I didn't have green onions, used regular minced. But I think green onions / scallions would be extra tasty plus adding a bit of pretty green.

Don't forget the bacon bits!

I  baked the casserole for 20 minutes at 350*, then added some reserved cheddar . Baked it 3 minutes more til the cheese melted.

This was delicious! We gobbled up the whole thing. I served it with a green salad and lemon/ thyme grilled chicken breasts, though I personally don't eat chicken and the cauli casserole and salad was a delightfully hot savory and filling, though not lo-cal, meal. Easy to make too.
I picture this being really wonderful with steaks, too, just like regular twice baked potatoes are. Yum!
Sky note: the air is suddenly chilly now, the wind is blustery at times. And sunsets are coming ever earlier these on these October days. Too early but so beautiful---an amber orange glow fills the cloudless sky.

Have a great week!



gone to the beach......