It’s been a really long time since I’ve written anything and I have a lot to talk about. So let’s get to it!
I have a slight obsession with Pinterest and now Foodgawker. I find all these amazing ideas and recipes on them and my Pinterest boards are filled with them. But I have yet to make anything off of there. I mean how is it that I can spend hours looking at recipes but then just make the same old things? Well not anymore, from now on I’m making it a weekly mission to make at least one item from them.
Way back when I got myself stuck doing 3 projects at once and considered them all works in progress even though I secretly knew the progress had stopped on all of them. One of those projects was a Valentine’s Day wreath. Well as you can see by the date, Valentine’s Day has come and gone so I started over and made a St. Patrick’s Day wreath. Not just any wreath though I decided to make a YARN WREATH!!!Are you as excited as I am?! I mean it’s great because I have all the yarn already. And I saw, again on Pinterest, how to save even more money instead of buying a wreath from a craft store you go to a home improvement store’s plumbing department and get foam tubing. It was $0.97 for 6 feet! I also found another project for Felt Flowersso I bought 4 pieces of felt which were $0.40 each and set to make the wreath excited with how inexpensive and cute it was going to be.
I started by cutting the tubing in half and with duct tape making it into a circle. Then I began wrapping the yarn around the wreath, and keeping the end on the tubing as I wrapped around it. It wasn’t difficult just time consuming as I had to make sure that as I wrapped the yarn it was kept tightly together. I also found that switching yarns and colors wasn’t the easiest since there were two separate ends that needed to be hidden. So I cheated and only did that once and then decided to just cover it with my felt flowers. When I finished the wreath I was pretty impressed but then I started on the felt flowers.
Talk about frustrating! First I decided to use fabric glue, that stuff is tacky but doesn’t keep anything glued together! So then I decided to borrow my Mom’s glue gun (Note to self: I need to invest in one of these!). It took me about two hours to glue all the petals once that was done I started forming a flower and… it was crap. I mean look at my picture compared to the website!
I know I suck at measuring and cutting but I had no clue I was that bad at gluing too! Well with that idea scrapped I moved on to the next best thing… fake flowers! I grabbed some at Joann’s and glued them on to the wreath. I have to admit that even though it’s not what I was originally picturing in my head I’m pretty impressed with how it turned out!
My St. Patrick’s Day Wreath was just the start of my creative outburst! A couple days later a friend, Kristen, and I decided to start being culinary geniuses, and make Cook’s Illustrated’s French Onion Soup. I found the recipe from one of my favorite cooking blogs Brown Eyed Baker. We both read through the recipe and weren’t afraid of the 5 hour time frame, I think instead we were both excited to try something so involved. Except, it really wasn’t that involved until the last hour when we were stirring and adding something every 5-10 minutes. We went shopping at 2pm for all the items we needed, then spent the next 30 minutes looking up ways to cut onions without crying. One website said to whistle as you cut, another said to freeze the onions for a couple minute, another said to chew gum with your mouth open and yet another said to use a sharp knife and just cut fast. Well we tried it all, except the whistling one since neither of us can whistle. Putting the onions in the freezer for 10 minutes and cutting fast seemed to work best. We used 10 onions because what we had were medium to small sized not the large the recipe called for.
After one hour in the oven, the onions were stirred but not much seemed to have changed except for a burnt residue on the side of the dutch oven. So back in they went for another hour of cooking. Or so we thought, you see when I shut the timer off on the first hour I also accidentally shut the oven off. And we didn’t realize it until after hour #2 when our onions looked about the same as they did after hour #1.
That’s when I noticed my idiotic mistake. Here we are eating at 8pm already and now I’ve set us an hour behind. Well luckily Kristen is a sweetheart and didn’t call me all the idiotic names I’m sure she was thinking.
So back in the oven they went but this time only for 35 minutes, mainly, I think, because we were hungry. Then it looked like we were back on track.After this point I know our pictures looked similar to the directions but I was positive that our soup was going to taste burnt. I mean look at the progression!
Not at all appetizing! But onward we marched. Our first modification to the recipe was using dried thyme instead of fresh thyme twigs. The grocery store didn’t have them and we didn’t really mind making the soup “our own”. But at this point we had scraped all the burnt looking flavor off the sides and bottom of the pan so much and added the other ingredients that I was hopefully we really had made soup.This is also where our second modification happened, I didn’t have sherry like the recip
e called for and I thought I had. Instead the bottle of sherry I had, and I must admit did not remember ever buying, had homemade moonshine apple pie. So we went online and found a substitute for sherry since we didn’t want to go back out.
The last step was getting our cheese and bread ready. We had bought the loaf of french bread but Gruyere cheese is so expensive that we made another modification with Swiss. First we baked the slices of bread then put some of the cheese on top and when our soup was finished we threw them back into the broiler. They turned out deliciously. Especially when it was all put together not only did it look amazing but it tasted great too!
They only changes I would make for next time, would be to use red onions n
ot yellow onions since they made the soup a little too sweet. And use sherry instead of the vinegar/sugar mixture we used. All in all though it tasted amazing and somehow we made up time and were able to eat before 8:30!
Oh but before the soup making I had the most fun that I have had in a long time… at a Rummage Sale! The Wadsworth Center for Older Adults had their annual rummage sale and my friend Sarah and I went. She’s a seasoned rummage saler and had me get there 30 minutes before they opened. I thought she was insane, I mean we were in Wadsworth, but she ended up being right. There was a line of people behind us when they opened the doors! At first I wasn’t too excited. There was a lot of funny things but then we went upstairs and it was like the clouds parted shining a light from heaven into this little corner of the room. There were piles upon piles upon boxes of fabric. All different materials and all different styles and with the purchase of a garbage bag you could stuff as much as it would hold for only $2! I got a ton of fabric, 2 green floral wreath forms, a skirt, and a coffee mug all to fit inside that bag. Then before leaving I grabbed a green glass dish. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it, but for $0.50 I thought it was pretty and it reminded me of the holy grail scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade! As I walked out of there carrying my garbage bag with two hands I knew that I was a converted lover of rummage sales.