Monday, October 21, 2013

Another finish

I made a Halloween pillow for my Etsy store, but I like it so much that I think I'll have to make another one to keep.   I embroidered the center and used crayon to color the Jack O'Lantern, spider and the lettering.  I also embellished the orange rick rack and I like that effect very much.  So here's the pillow along with Mr. Vampire and a soon-to-be Jack O'Lantern.

And here's a closeup of the center panel. I think he's a little creepy looking but not so much that he'll scare the pants off little kids.

If you want to check out my Etsy store, here's a link:

Don and I spent the weekend with our good friends in Lake Mills and had a wonderful time. He played golf with his old golfing buddies on Friday and Saturday. He really enjoyed being with his buddies again and playing on the course where he truly learned to be a golfer.  I spent the weekend with my friend-who's-like-a-sister visiting and on Saturday we went to a little bistro in Milton for a really tasty lunch. (No pix, sorry) We had shrimp and corn bisque and Elaine had a roast beef and Muenster sandwich on olive and rosemary bread (Amazing flavors!) and I ordered a ham and I forgot the kind of cheese sandwich on almond and apricot bread (More amazing flavors!)  Where I live in NW Wisconsin, we can't get unique combinations like that unless we go the Minneapolis/St Paul, an hour or more drive, so I have to take advantage of these opportunities when they come along.

Elaine and I had to stop at a little quilt shop I'd heard about in Milton and I added to my collection of red and neutrals for the Talkin' Turkey quilt that I plan to make--soon!  Elaine, who doesn't quilt but is an excellent seamstress, found the perfect quilt for her bedroom and came home with the kit.  She and I will collaborate on it by phone when she's ready to begin.  I'm absolutely thrilled that she's decided to take the plunge!

On the way home, I knitted while Don drove and got most of one sock completed.  I love my hand knitted socks but they do take quite a bit of time to complete, but, oh well.

Today I'm off work and will be getting the jalepenos in the dehydrator and making salsa and marinara sauce out of the last of the tomatoes.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ghosties and Goblins

I've made a Halloween table quilt.  Worked on it at last weekend's quilting retreat and finished sewing the binding today.  Just as I was putting in the last stitches, the sun broke through so I was able to take pix outdoors with the mums and the Jack-o-Lantern that Lily carved last weekend while I was gone.

 I found this Halloween fabric somewhere along the way and bought it on impulse.  The other fabrics I found in my stash and I think it all worked out ok. It's cute and not too scary. I love the cats in their pink masks with spiders hanging on their tails!

In the green squares, I quilted pumpkins in orange thread and in the hourglass blocks, I stitched spiderwebs in black.

I have enough green fabric left over to make a set of place mats but I doubt that I'll have them ready in time for Halloween this year. I have to finish an embroidered Halloween pillow and then both items will go up for sale at my Etsy store, Jolly Ruby, which is here:  

Happy Halloween, everyone. Don't eat all the trick or treat candy before the big day! ;o)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hammerschlagen 2013

I survived Flachtoberfest, 2013!  We had a wonderful time at niece Wendy's house. Even though it was rainy and drizzly most of the day, we still held the outdoor games. Like Hammerschlagen.  If you don't know what that is, look here:  

This is us playing Hammerschlagen at Flachtoberfest and, as usual, I didn't win anything. I had either had too much beer before playing or not enough beer. It's a delicate balance.  We play the women's division, men's division and this year, we added the kids division. You can see, the kids are intensely studying the women's technique and style so they can do better than us when it's their turn--doesn't take much to do better than us!--and they were better when they played the game.

I'm wearing my 2010 Flachtoberfest T-shirt which designates me as the "Mudderflacher"  and I'm so proud of that title (not!)

Nephew George brought a couple of Grandpa Flach's guns which he had restored and later in the day, a group went into Wendy's woods to do some target shooting.  Daughter Tessa had tried making rye bread and the loaves never rose so she brought them with to use a targets.  As they were leaving the house to walk into the woods, my husband commented that at his family reunions, we play softball but at my family reunions, we go shooting!  Well, the loaves of rye bread survived the target shooting and ended up being gobbled up by the 3 large dogs who also attended the party. And no one got hurt in the shooting except for a few bruised shoulders (and egos) when the shotgun kicked too hard and knocked shooter onto her butt!

All in all, I had a wonderful time!  Family members that I've not seen for years showed up and friends of family were there as honorary Flachs and some of them were just amazed and flabbergasted at the goings on. Lots of laughter and camaraderie, amazing food, and of course, great beer.

Friday, October 4, 2013

It's time for Flachtoberfest!

Tomorrow is the family celebration we call "Flachtoberfest."  My maiden name is Flach (pronounced flock) and Flachtoberfest seemed the right thing to do in this family of German heritage. It's basically a family reunion that we have every couple of years around the first of October at my niece's home. We have a variety of beers in kegs to choose from, a variety of German foods to munch on, some German-origin games like  Hammerschlagen and Schmear, and niece Wendy always finds the most unique prizes.  One year I won the Hammerschlagen contest (women's division) and my prize was a pair of racing Grannies.

Here they are, speeding across the dining table!

I'm the oldest one in the family now that my 97 year old Aunt Clara died a couple of years ago, so I'm designated the "Mother Flacher."  I love it!

This year I'm bringing Rouladen with gravy and Wendy's getting the spaetzle from the caterer. She'll also get smoked pork chops, various wursts, and other things from the caterer. If you don't know what Rouladen is, here's a picture of it before I covered it and put it in the oven. 

It's thinly sliced beef (I used top round and asked the butcher to cut it 1/4 inch thin and that saved me a lot of work and a lot of pounding ) that's spread with a thin layer of horseradish mustard. On it, you layer a slice of bacon, a quarter spear of dill pickle, some thinly sliced onions and some S&P. You roll that up like a burrito and skewer with a couple of toothpicks. Then they're browned and layered in the baking dish. The sauce is about half red wine and half beef broth with some bay leaves. The recipe calls for braising it on the stove top for 1 1/2 hours but I know my burners are too hot for braising and I have too many little bundles to fit in one pot, so into the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Then I'll make the gravy and it'll be ready to take to Wendy's tomorrow.

I also have to make up some Currywurst for apps.  When I was in Germany last fall, we saw currywurst advertised at the wurst (hotdog) stands. I didn't try it but I like curry and I like wursts so I think this will be good.   

Bratwurst with Curry Sauce (Currywurst )

I stole borrowed this picture from the internet since I haven't made my curry wurst yet. It's sliced knockwurst in a tomato curry sauce. Since I'm traveling with this dish, I'll be putting it in the crock pot and that should be good.

Just get a call that we have a house showing tomorrow while we're at Flachtoberfest. Keep your fingers crossed that the folks like the house, okay? Better finish my cleaning and get ready for it.