When I was in Louisiana earlier this year, I met Jamie of Baby Boomer Quilting Bee. She’s a very nice and friendly lady and . . she does fantastic quilting on her sewing machine! Check out this quilt. I’m so impressed with her quilting. When I read her blog tonight, I see that she’s now posting some free patterns on her site, the first being the quilt shown in the above link. Jamie’s blog is an inspiration to me and I think it will be to you too.
Yep, that’s what we have around here . . Jazzy Nights! Not really . . that’s the name of my quilt that’s in the current issue of Quiltmaker magazine. Click on the link to see a preview. Except that it’s bright, Jazzy Nights is not my normal quilt design. It’s easy (which I think most of my patterns are), it’s “no-fault” (points don’t have to be perfect or match), it’s kinda playful and can be made using a lot of scraps.
Two things I want to tell you. First, the Quiltmaker people are very, very nice to work with. If you have a design you think might work for their publications (any of them in the Creative Crafts Group), submit it! You never know what they will want and if they don’t choose your design, it could be because it just doesn’t fit their upcoming issues or they have had or have something very similar coming out soon. Don’t be disappointed if your design isn’t chosen and what I’ll preach til I can preach no longer . . You never know what might happen if you don’t submit it!
Second thing: Just because I don’t show what I’m working on doesn’t mean I’m not working. The design in this magazine issue is one I didn’t share on the blog. I showed a group of half square triangles and some pieces but I didn’t show much because it needs to be a surprise. You never know what I’m working on. Yes, there are surprises in the pipeline. So please don’t get aggravated at me when I’m not showing enough quilt related content. Sometimes I just can’t but you don’t know how badly I want to.
You should see the stars I’m working on today!
Do you love bean sprouts? Do you not like how much they cost in the store, or how they sometimes appear to be not so fresh? Ever think of making your own? They’re so good and they have to be good for you. They’re pretty inexpensive when you make your own. I think a batch of lentil sprouts cost me about a nickel! We love the smaller sprouts on sandwiches . . especially tuna salad. We often use them in place of lettuce on sandwiches or burgers, mainly because we almost always have sprouts and we don’t always have good, fresh lettuce. When sprouts are just out of the fridge, they’re cold and crunchy and kinda sweet and nutty and delicious!
For the larger sprouts, we use those on salads or in Chinese or Indian dishes that call for sprouts. Here’s how I make them.
There are many different types of beans that are good for sprouting. For the larger sprouts, I usually use mung beans. They taste mostly like the bean sprouts purchased in the grocery store. Mung are the beans on the left. For the smaller sprouts, I use lentils, on the right. These jars are the beans I’m storing . . not the ones I’m sprouting. Only put about 1/8th of a cup in the jar you’re sprouting. They grow quickly!
Start with about 1/8th of a cup .. really, seriously! Especially the mung beans, they expand a lot! Rinse them and put them in a pint jar (separate jars, of course!). Add enough warm water to about fill the jars. You just need enough for the beans to soak. Let them soak overnight. Drain the water off and rinse with cool water. Drain the beans so they’re not sitting in water but allow them stay very moist.
Cover with either cheesecloth or I just use a paper towel. I place the towel on the jar, then screw the band onto the jar/towel. Lay the jar in a bowl or something that will catch any spills if it drips. Place the jar on its side so that the beans have as much room to spread out as possible. (They’re not piled on top of each other.) Some say they need to stay in a dark place. For me, that means that if I stick them somewhere dark, I can’t see them and I forget about them and forget to rinse them every day. I leave mine out on the countertop and they work just fine.
At least twice a day, usually in the morning and right before bed, rinse the beans and drain well, but continuing to keep them moist. You do not want them to dry out.
After a day or so, sprouts should begin to appear.
Here are the mung bean sprouts:
Here are the lentils.
When they’re sprouted, rinse them well with cold water. Shake most of the excess water from them. Lay them on a paper towel. The towel will absorb some of the water and you want the paper towel to stay good and damp.
These will last 2 or 3 or more weeks in the fridge. Ours never last more than a few days so as soon as I “harvest” the sprouts, I get a new batch going. Even if you’ve never tried sprouts, you might want to play around with some beans and see what you get and how you like them. It’s a pretty inexpensive and fun experiment if you have kids around too.
For tomatoes, it’s been a great year! I don’t have a green thumb and I’m allergic to tomato plants. I’m ok with tomatoes but if I touch the plants, I break out in a rash. I used to could wear a long sleeve shirt and gloves and be ok but not this year. Almost walking in the garden and not even coming into contact with the tomatoes results in a rash so Vince has become the designated tomato picker.
Yesterday I spent a wonderful day sewing with a friend on her farm in a very isolated, rural area. No neighbors, no dogs barking, no cars going buy . . just wide open spaces of very well maintained farm land . . many, many acres. It was wonderful. I could have stayed there and never left.
When I got home, I was tired. The goofy thought that I might get to bed early passed through my head. Vince said “Should I pick tomatoes tonight?” I said yes because we didn’t pick on Wednesday and did pick very closely on Tuesday. He came in with over 70 pounds of tomatoes. This is about one quarter of them.
I stayed up til after 2 a.m. and only canned 14 quarts, the dehydrator is full and you can bet all day today, I’ll be canning tomatoes. It has to be done while they’re ripe . . can’t spread it out over the next month. Lots of work now but it will be worth it to have them all winter.