Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In the Kitchen

This past weekend was spent not sewing.  Hard to believe but it does happen.  Instead I was in the kitchen.  It's strawberry season out here in Southern California.  I'm assuming it's probably strawberry season all over the country as well.  Is it?  Every year during strawberry season you'll find me in the kitchen. On Saturday I made strawberry ice cream with my Kitchen Aid mixer ice cream attachment - best. thing. ever.  Of course I didn't think to take any pictures. :(  But it's ok since I think you know what ice cream looks like.  I also made strawberry shortcake and freezer strawberry jam.  Delish!   Tonight or tomorrow night I'm going to make strawberry muffins with what's left over.  I'm on strawberry overload.

Sunday I took a canning/preserving class with a girlfriend of mine.  We made red wine jelly, orange & onion marmalade (can't imagine what that tastes like but I'm looking forward to trying it), and apricot jam.  I didn't take pictures during the class as I don't think strangers like having their picture taken, I know I certainly don't.  So you'll have to settle for the finished product.  I think I'm going to have to invest in canning equipment and start canning/preserving everything in site this time of year.  I'll be known as the lady who cans.  In the south we call it "puttin up."  You put up tomatoes, put up beans, put up jams, etc.  I remember my grandmother had a whole wall of her basement filled of her canned goodness growing up.  It's a lot of work but so worth it.  The finished product is much better tasting and heathier than the canned super market products.  And don't you just crave tomatoes during the winter?  I know I do.

Last night I made banana bread.  Fact.  I hate bananas.  Despise them.  Both the texture and the taste.  But every single week at the supermarket I buy them because I know they are good for me.  I think they are so easy and portable, I can just stick one in my bag and have it as a snack.  And I never do it.  Just can't bring myself to eat them.  I do however love banana bread.  It must be all the sugar and bready goodness.

So to tie this all together into something that I've sewn here are some aprons from my stash.  Truthfully this first one is from a pre-made pattern from Joann's Fabrics.  It was a fun, easy, and quick project. 

This one I made myself.  This cherry fabric never seems to go away huh?  I'm not a big cherry fan either which I know may seem surprising because you see this same fabric in every other post. 

This last one either my Grandmother or Great-Grandmother made by hand.  It's my absolute favorite.  I have no idea how old it is.  50-60 years maybe?  Possibly even older.  I love to think about her in her kitchen making food for her family.  I can tell there is a lot of love in this apron. 
Perfect hand embroidery

The stitching is just as clean on the back as it is on the front.  That is skill.

Did you see that pool in the background of these shots?  That's where I will be this weekend, with a cocktail in hand.  Welcome summer!

Interested in the banana bread recipe?  I know we all have one but I came across this one about 10 years ago and is easily my favorite.  And it's oh so easy to make.

3 ripe bananas
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup melted butter (no salt)
1 tsp baking soda
dash salt

Preheat oven to 325.  Mash bananas with a fork.  Stir in remaining ingredients in the order given.  Pour into buttered loaf pan.  Bake 1 hour (or until cake tester/knife comes out clean). 
In my opinion nuts are not allowed in banana bread but if you want you could add 3/4 cup chopped nuts.  Eww. 
This recipe freezes well and truthfully the best way to serve it is cold with cream cheese slathered on top (or even a cream cheese sandwich).

And lastly, because this post couldn't get any longer right?  I love Scrabble so I decided to post the topics in the future with Scrabble letters.  Because there is only 1 J I took the liberty of using my blank for the 2nd jelly in this topic.  So there.

Cinnamon Sangria

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