It probably goes without saying that fabric has a strong effect on me. Therefore, an amazing fabric store can pretty much put me into a state of disproportionate ecstasy (it can also seriously stress me out; making choices in this type of situation is painful). So discovering Portsmouth Fabric (portsmouthfabric.com) this past weekend (not to mention the absolutely charming town of Portsmouth, NH itself) was more than a little thrilling. This is one beautiful fabric store. It’s basically overflowing with gorgeous, contemporary fabrics—and it has to have the best selection of quarter packs I have ever seen. After some seriously indecisive back-and-forth decision making (and the generous financial support of my patient boyfriend who also earned major brownie points by waiting in the fabric store and at least pretending to have strong feelings about the various samples I showed him), I settled on these two:
One is Kaffe Fassett and the other Anna Maria Horner (garden party). You pretty much can’t go wrong with Fassett, but I’ll admit I was a little surprised to find myself so attracted to these simple stripe patterns. The others were just too wonderfully bright and cheerful to pass up. But the fabric hording doesn’t end there. My next decision was easy since I immediately fell in love with this print by from the Wonderland collection by Momo for Moda Fabrics.
There’s just something so cute and whimsical about the little patterned circles, I couldn’t resist. And if you’re not yet convinced that I have a bit of a fabric sickness, wait for it; I got so excited thinking about this fabric at about 3 am on Sunday morning that I woke up and started sewing. And I didn’t stop (save for a brief swim) until I had completed this:
Again, I love those puffy sleeves, and the tie makes it a little more interesting than your average shirt. My apparel-sewing skills are coming along; after the Tasmania jacket, this felt pretty straightforward.
Amazingly, that’s not all I did with my Sunday. Ready for a little break from the sewing machine (though surprisingly not too miserably tired), I spent some time in the kitchen making yet another patchworky pasta for my weekday lunches. Here’s what I started with:
Cauliflower, broccoli, sweet corn, onion, tuna (not shown), parmesan cheese… and blueberries. I realize the last ingredient on the list may not be the first thing people expect in a pasta but they worked out beautifully. In fact, since I heated them with the broccoli and sweet corn, the berries got nice and soft and infused the pasta with a wonderful soury-sweet flavor (and blue color) that complemented the corn perfectly.
However, I have reservations about the sauce; blended cauliflower with milk and cheese (mainly motivated by a desire to use the cauliflower that I for some reason purchased). I think I’ll go for a stronger cheese or cream sauce next time and perhaps some goat cheese to give the overall dish a bit more punch. Still, it was a satisfying midday meal all week long. I have big plans for next week’s pasta; stay tuned.
I tend to get into modes and, as may be obvious, I’m currently in a pasta-and-fool mode (which I don’t’ see ending any time soon). So it’s probably no surprise that my other culinary concoction of the week was fool; mango-lime to be exact. I went for a high fruit-to-whip ratio this time, since fool runs the risk of being too mild without lots of added sugar. The lime also helped by adding a penetrating flavor that, after soaking up the mango, distributed it well throughout the cream.
Yes, I cheated and used pre-squeezed lime juice (I do have a life, after all) but the beauty of fool is how quick and easy it is–and I did get real lime for the garnish! You can literally whip it up (haha; almost as bad as my ‘fool for fool’ pun) in a couple hours, most of which are spent waiting for the fruit to cool.
As for my sourdough adventures, my family’s return meant the air conditioning went back on full-force, and my yeast did not respond well to this. So I was all prepared to start baking last Sunday, only to discover that my bubbly, stinky friend was a little less bubbly than I would have liked. I quickly moved him to the warmer basement where he has come back to life full-force (even exploding out of his class jar a bit and making quite a mess). And, since it’s going to be fiercely raining this weekend (and I’ll have to hold off on fabric dying again; sigh), I think I’m finally ready for my first sourdough!
But amidst all the new fabrics, cooking, etc., I’m still plugging away at an old project, enjoying those finishing stages that always feel so relaxed and satisfying. My essay quilt is now being hand-tied (a perfect activity to do over evening wine with my mom and sister). I made a color choice that for me is utterly shocking and decided that all black ties would be best to complement the different patches and match the black text.
It’ll be gratifying to have this done, but I’m in no major rush to finish since, like I said, the final touches are fun—and I’m hardly in desperate need of another quilt!