Saturday, June 9, 2018

soup for Anthony

                      Vegetable soup with short ribs
some beef short ribs, cut into bite-sized pieces (4 lbs or less)
1/2 onion, chopped into pieces you like
red wine
4 cups beef stock (I use organic store brands-cooking my own is       death in a well-insulated townhouse)
2 ribs of celery, plus some leaves, cut into 1-inch julienne
1-2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch julienne
1 leek or a few green onions, cut into 1-inch julienne 
6-8 mushrooms, thinly sliced (I use cultivated mushrooms)
parsley, dill, spices of your choice before serving

1.  Cut up the meat and season to taste (I like Montreal seasonings)
2.  Saute in oil, and add onions after a few moments.
3.  Add a splash of red wine.
4.  Cook until lightly crusted, and then add some beef stock to cover.
5.  Bring to a boil, then simmer until done.  I have found that it takes 25-30 minutes.  Many recipes say 2 hours...this is too long unless you are using short ribs with bones.
6.  Remove the beef, and cover it tightly.  Strain the broth and chill it until the fat rises.  Skim and discard the fat-my husband likes this step but I like a fatty soup.
7.  At this point, I have all the vegetables cut up and waiting in the fridge, and the broth ready.  Take a nap, or read a few chapters in your book.  Today I sorted vintage patterns into categories I could use for collar and neckline details.  
8.  Return the defatted (or not) broth to the soup pot.   Add the celery, carrots, leek (gr onion) and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes.  
9.  Add the beef.
10. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes or so.  Stir in parsley, dill, salt and pepper.

Serve with bread or crackers...Enjoy and raise a glass to Anthony.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

How to get the most out of PatternReview

I admit that I have a love/hate relationship with PatternReview.  It has so many features which are terrific, an incredible number of members, and it is a dynamic place to be.  It also moves at warp speed, it is clique-y, it tempts me to buy patterns I don't need, and may cost a little bit of money (I have a paid membership).

I don't want to be reasonable here so if you get bothered by my rant, know that I am usually very nice. OK, fair warning.

I smile at some posters on PatternReview forums who have a LOT to say about how to sew, or what is a good design, or take umbrage at someone else's opinion.  They may, in fact, be advanced or couture seamstresses, but I can't tell because...they don't EVER review anything!  

I never see their work.  They do not publish reviews on PatternReview or on a blog.  They just come onto the forums and yammer.  Who are they?  PR exists to review patterns-so we can all benefit from one another.  I find it weird that some sewists would not want to include reviews of their own work.  Perhaps they do not want to photograph themselves.  

Some people include photos of their work on dressforms, which is fine but I prefer seeing the clothing on a live model.  Which brings up the next mini tizzy--->

PatternReview is not a fashion magazine.  It really isn't necessary to wear full makeup, shapewear, and arrange pro lighting to show us the McCall's dress which you sewed.  I bet you would still get comments if you took a pic in your backyard.   In fact, it is easier to see the details of clothing if the person is not contorted.  

Why do I stay if these things annoy me?  Because PR is a GREAT resource.  

1.  113,930 reviews as of today
2.  Links to 100's of pattern companies, new and established.
3.  Online classes at reasonable rates, and good support for questions during classes.  
4.  Patterns are available for purchase, and copyshop printing is offered for a small fee.
5.  Sewing machine and notion reviews are found there-another way to expand your knowledge!
6.  FoPR (Friends of PR=paid) access to their own pattern catalog, fabric catalog, and an online project queue which includes links.  
7. A community of like-minded people is developed through the forums, the message center, and contests.  

I have been a member for 11 years and really appreciate the generosity of members, and the chance to become friends with many people around the globe.  

I've been sewing quite a bit.  M7200B is a great pattern for summer coverups.  This is made from rayon challis, a fabric from hell.  I used a size small and did not do any petite adjustments.  The sleeves are at a good length for me so I did not include the bands.  I'd normally wear this with a long dress or pants, but this works.  
I am also working on a shirtdress, based on the Florence shirt from Sewing Workshop.  I have lengthened it and changed the sleeves. I think it will be a great dress and am looking forward to sewing another version.  I still need to finish the sleeves and make buttonholes.  Here it is, on my dressform.  

Finally, we have a new member of Sunkist Stables-meet Diego.

Monday, May 14, 2018

read the day away

         Summer reads for those warm, lazy days

Saturday, May 12, 2018

righteous anger

I just posted an infographic highlighting the numerous connections between Trump and the Russians.  The story is becoming very complex, but I think the infographic is helpful because it divides the various relationships into categories.  

Gazprom (and Rosneft)--->energy 

DST--->technology (including Facebook and Twitter)

VTB--->second largest Russian bank, connected to En+

En+ Group and Rusal----> major investment companies

Bank of Cyprus----> conduit for millions paid to Manafort and well known as the place to launder money.   Wilbur Ross, our Sec of Commerce, served on the Board until March 2017.

Access Industries--->campaign contributions to numerous Republicans, including Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, Scott Walker etc.  Oh, and Trump and McCain and others. Russian oligarch Blavatnik contributed 1 million bucks to the Inaugural Committee.  Blavatnik and Vekselberg own most of Rusal and Vekselberg is the largest shareholder of the ...guess what bank....yes, Bank of Cyprus!

Columbus Nova--->US arm of Velselberg's companies Renova Group.  

I am appalled at the fact that Trump was able to hoodwink the voters into believing he would "drain the swamp".  This IS the swamp-these beyond rich "people" are slowly amassing most of the wealth in this world, in a ploy for domination.  

In the meantime, child labor laws are being relaxed and your 17 year old kid will now be expected to run heavy machinery for minimum wage.  Black and brown people are being harassed on a daily basis in public places in America, while the police do the bidding of the masters.  Healthcare is becoming even more unaffordable, and fresh food will soon be very expensive as we have slowed down guest visas.  Gas prices are rising-hmmm see the first category-and whatever tax benefit you got from that attempt to buy us, well, it will get eaten up in transportation costs.  

Stay home and use the computer.  Check out Facebook and Twitter and Instagram for some cheap entertainment.  Continue to stay asleep even while using platforms owned partially by these Russian oligarchs and their Silicon Valley hacks.  

What has happened to America?  Universe, help us rediscover our hopes and dreams and generosity of spirit.  

it's so damn obvious