Sunday, October 11, 2015

Cucumber casserole?!

This was a fantastically perfect weekend from start to finish.

Friday evening was warm and bright, and I'd come home to a clean kitchen and tidy house. I love it when I keep things up during the week.

Saturday was rainy and drizzly but that is just fine for when you want to write and study and take a nap, which is what I did. I made cream of mushroom soup also, but I've never mastered that particular soup and it always comes out very strong. But I eat it anyway, despite the pungency of the mushrooms. I cut up a cantaloupe and enjoyed the zing, along with some lavender tea. I started watching the TV show The Flash. It was better than I expected. I like the innocent, real life but slightly off center cartoon feel to it, and I enjoyed the action sequences because they are without blood and are interesting. And the science, discussions going from real to almost real to could be real, all in an instant, lol.

I had a long nap, which I'd expected to have. On Friday at school was the quarterly reward party for all students who achieved a high benchmark of good behavior. We got inflatables and each grade had a solid hour to clamber up and scream down. But what that meant for us para-pros is that we stand at each entrance and exit of the inflatables cheering the kids and keeping an eye on safety. Standing in the sun for hours on uneven ground always does a number on my back and yesterday was no exception. It sapped my strength, but it was well worth it to see kids just having fun and being rewarded for their efforts.

Around 8pm a friend brought over the Bountiful Basket I'd bought, she was sweet to pick it up for me. It contained butter lettuce, cantaloupe, honeydew, what seemed like 4lb of grapes (sweet and tangy!) tomatoes, onions, kale, cukes, apples, bananas, plums, and more. I washed it all and looked up some recipes. I don't favor cukes but I found a recipe to use up three of them, cucumber casserole. I decided to make kale chips and cuke casserole on Sunday. In the recipe where they say add wheat germ, I substituted quinoa.

Sunday dawned bright and warm. October in GA is simply spectacular. No humidity, bright sun that still has strength to warm, and clear skies. Temps usually range from low to mid 70s and nights around mid 50s. Perfect. The birds were chirping all day long, and it was a delight to listen to them.

I did make the cuke casserole and kale chips, along with marinated grilled tofu and tuna salad with grapes. Netflix has added one season of the Great British Baking Show and I am enjoying working my way through it. I hate baking myself but I like seeing their artistically created presentations and learning about baking even though I never do it myself. I love the GBBS because the music is nice. Unlike Masterchef which is like the Flight of the Valkyries - on steroids - every week. Also the contestants are nice and genuinely like each other. No sabotage, no snark, no snideness. The judges are gentle and encouraging while still being firm. Not the least reason, the show actually teaches something, which used to be the point of cooking shows. Remember, I grew up on Julia Child and Galloping Gourmet. Plus, it's pretty. The setting on that English estate is gorgeous. I like the hominess of the tent and the quaint rustic touches, not like the space age kitchens of American TV with 30 foot ceilings and imposing stainless steel everywhere.

I crafted as I watched the baking show. A few weeks ago at a second hand store/dented merchandise (like Mardens or Job Lot) I had found crafting stuff from Martha Steward and Artist Loft. I'd bought gilding papers and some paints. I decided to make a basic one-signature soft cover book and use some of the tissue paper and gilded leaf papers I'd bought. I never had used gilding sheets before but hey, I decided to just throw some on there and see what happens. Here is the result, not finished, but 80% done. I'll wait for the book to dry and be pressed, then I will add end papers on the inside and a bead to the thread.

In this first photo of the cover, I laid down black and white tissue paper with a design that looks antique newspaper. Then I'd printed a picture of a fir tree from the internet onto antique book paper torn out of a Spanish dictionary. Last I used the gold leaf the make a frame around the smaller fir tree paper.

Single pamphlet stitch. Here is a tutorial for a five-hole single pamphlet stitch but mine is even easier, a three-hole stitch.

I started on the outside ("start sewing where you want to end up") because I want to add a bead or feather to the outside of the book where the stitch's tail is. Cover is card stock, inside is whiteish artist paper.

Tomorrow is a work day but a teacher work day, no kids will be coming to school. We get to arrive half an hour later (you wouldn't believe how much of a different getting there at 7:45 is compared to 7:15, or maybe you would). The weather looks to be nice ahead, and after this relaxing weekend, which will continue with me reading my book to some instrumental piano music shortly, all seems well in Comerlandia.

Have a good week everyone!