Monday, June 30, 2008

New Retro Vogue Designer Patterns and Soup

Today while we are adding new products to the website [ some yummy Vogue Designer Patterns from the 1970's] we are also making soup. As I mentioned before, Real Soup does not come out of a can. During the week, whenever we have steak or roast chicken, or cut up a chicken for grilling and other reaons, I always save the bones. I save steak bones from grilled steak, prime rib bones, roast chicken and turkey carcasses, chicken wing tips, necks, gizzards etc. I save them in zip lock freeze bags and when I have a bag full, I dump them all in a stock pot to make stock. Stock is the foundation of soup and just a fancy chef word for broth. The Global Canned Soup Conspiracy would have you believe that soup is complicated and costly to make, but this is false. Soup is practically FREE to make, because I consider saving bones and carcasses and necks to be using what most people throw out. Anyway, don't tell those nervous nellies on Top Chef, but I dump all the bones in a stock pot or dutch oven, turn the heat on low and go about my business. There is no need to add carrots or onions or three cloves or eye of newt or whatever those fancy stock recipes tell you. No salt either. I come in and check every 30 minutes or so to make sure it isn't boiling [ what we want is a slow simmer] and with no help from me it turns into stock. Then I turn it off, strain it into a clean container, cool it down by placing that container in an ice water bath and then when it's cooled down, place in the fridge. [I don't like to put hot soup in a cold fridge. Bad for the soup, bad for the fridge] I leave the fat on top because it is easier to remove when it solidifies. Now all that's left is deciding which of the thousands of kinds of soup should I make? That's the only hard part.

Don't forget to check out those Vogue and other Patterns - buy three or more and we'll pay for the shipping! Use coupon code 3patterns
Happy Sewing!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sewing, a manifesto

My son says, "Mom, why do you want to have a sewing blog? That's so lame! Blogs should be about Politics!"
I said, "How can I keep politics out of it? Every act is a political act. By sewing my own clothes, quilts, gifts; that's a political act."
And I got to thinking how true that is. It's easy to buy anything we want here; only money and what I like to think of as my superior taste keeps me from buying many things I choose to make instead: cookies, cakes, pillowcases, shirts, baby quilts, flower beds. It's not wrong to buy those things. I don't look down on people who don't make their own [well maybe I do in the case of cookies and cakes, pillowcases and baby quilts]. By making our own anything instead of buying a mass manufactured version, we are making a political statement. So this is my political blog; this is my manifesto. If it is an item I can make myself and make it better, cooler and I know how, I probably will.
And I will Tell All. I have never approved of those cooks who would give you their famous recipe and leave some vital ingredient out so that your version would never be as good as theirs.

Things that are better made at home:

Cake [grocery store cake is nasty] Bakery cakes are too fancy. Homemade cake [and I do not meanmade straight from a box] is wonderful. I especially like it warm...but I digress.

Cookies - there is no dessert better on earth than milk and warm cookies. My favorite moment in Stranger than Fiction was when Maggie Gyllenhahl's baker made cookies for Will Ferrell's character and he admitted that his mother had never made cookies. We all knew in an instant what an impoverished childhood he had had. No homemade cookies!

Pillowcases. You can make them less skimpy when you make them yourself, so it isn't so difficult to cram the pillows in. Also you can make them prettier. Plus they make great gifts and are the easiest thing you can make next to an apron.

Soup. Real Soup does not come out of a can.

Pillows. I make these all the time. It's fast, it's fun, and easy and cheap - my favorite combination.

That's my political statement. Gentle Reader, you now know what kind of radical you are dealing with. What kind of things do you always make yourself?