Friday, June 25, 2010

Lotta's Garden Tote

Let me end the week with one of my latest projects: a Garden Tote from Lotta Jansdotter's book Simple Sewing.

The tote went together very easily. Lotta's instructions were very clear, yet concise so I wasn't bogged down in a lot of words. I love her simple graphic style.

It was a present for my nephew and his wife who just moved into a new house with a yard filled with literally hundreds of botanical specimens of all types. For instance, the front yard contains no grass, but has instead strawberry plants for ground cover. It's an amazing yard, and I hope my little tote can help them in some small way to manage the gardens! Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Experimental Monday: Biscuits

I've always wanted to make really good biscuits. Most of the time, I'm in a time crunch and just do the Bisquick thing, but they always turn out crumbly and they're not my family's favorite. I want to make a biscuit that people remember-- in a good way.

Hence my recent fascination with Alton Brown's book, I'm Just Here for More Food.

In that geeky, science-y way that only Alton Brown can pull off, a whole section of the book is dedicated to learning about the biscuit method. Then he gives us his favorite recipe, a recipe that is four pages long. Very detailed. Just what I need. Here's what I thought of my first try at his recipe:

Alton warns that his recipe produces a very soft gooey dough, and he's right. My dough was soft enough to run right through my fingers, and although I could cut a circle with my biscuit cutter, there was no way it was going to lift off the wax paper without a fight and several contortions. In the end, instead of trying to first cut circles, I just heaped a mound of dough on the baking sheet and smooshed it into a circle using wax paper on top so my fingers wouldn't get glued to the stuff.

Despite all the gloppiness, the biscuits turned out great! Warm, buttery, soft, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Just tiny crumbs. They were gone in a flash. It was an involved process which made me think they need to be the main course and not just a side dish, but I'm willing to try it again. They were that good. Next time, I think I might try adding just a touch more flour, and a little more adjusting for high altitude, since I live at 5000 feet. Other than that, I think I can finally get rave reviews at dinnertime. So worth it!