Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bake with Butter!

The last post was about my life on spin cycle ... just so you know ... this entire community is marching to the same whirlwind rhythm.  The commercial salmon season opened last week on May 14th!
That means that the population in our remote corner of the planet has doubled ... it is hard to find a parking space down town ... and if you don't time your grocery shopping around the fishing openers, you'll find the shelves empty!
Many businesses that close in the off season reopen!  That includes several restaurants!  On Tuesday, QBee Terry and I enjoyed lunch together as we watched boats return to the harbor!  Do you see that crow lurking about 10 feet from the table?  He was waiting to see if we were going to abandon the food for a brief moment!  Crows are expert thieves ... had I hesitated to take this picture for even a few seconds, lunch would have been his!  Yep ... they are that fast ... clever too!
We had a terrific time catching up with one another.  But as I headed home, I knew it was time to get cooking ... Farm Girl Vintage style!
Minnesota is "Betty Crocker" country!  While I was growing up ... she was a super hero ... our version of Wonder Woman!  The original cooking "celebrity" ... long before The Food Network!
She didn't wear a red cape, but in her portraits, she was always dressed in red.  I vividly remember finding out during my first year in 4-H (age 9) that she was a fictional character ... I was heart-broken at the time, but then remembered that Superman didn't really exist either ... so there you have it.  ;-)  I love looking at the vintage versions of Betty ... too fun!
As a young farm girl, I dreamed of a career working in the Betty Crocker test kitchens!  While in college, I found that many young women my age had the same ambitions ... love when things like that happen!  A google search in images produced many versions of the company's test kitchens over time ... a enjoyable trip down memory lane!
This cookbook was published in 1950 and was the most used book in my childhood home!  In the mid 90's while visiting an antique store, I came across a copy that was used very little!  Talk about a score!  I was thrilled ... and use it often!  In 1998, they republished it, in its original form!  I have gifted it to many friends and family members since.  It has taught and continues to teach generations practical cooking skills.  Wonderful!
This is the cookbook I used as a child.  It was published in 1957, the year of my birth.  It too was reprinted in 2003.  I am still on the hunt for an original one, as the new one was edited and changed.  Great memories!
Most of us grew up with at least one set of Pyrex mixing bowls in the kitchen ... and received a version as a wedding gift!  Pyrex is currently celebrating their 100th birthday!  My Farm Wife Grandmother had the exact set that is in this vintage advertisement ... I think of all the goodies that she mixed with those bowls!  Many lovely memories ... all brought to the surface ...
... by this little 6.5 inch quilt block!  It is called "Baking Day"!  Yep ... it had to have a red Betty Crocker spoon and both the large and small pyrex bowls!  I'm tempted to embroider Betty Crocker on the spoon ... what do you think?
Block 5 is named "Butter Churn" ... doing 6.5 inch blocks can be challenging.  This little Bloc-Loc ruler is money well spent when dealing with pieces this small!
We didn't churn our own butter, but my grandparents would share stories about that daily chore.  And of course ... we always baked with butter!  I am a Farm Girl ... I grew up on a dairy farm ... I still bake with butter!
Even though I now live nowhere near the dairy farm of my childhood ... I travel there through my memories ... and I use the skills and values I learned as a farm girl daily!  I am so grateful ... and very blessed!

Do what you love.  Bake with butter.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Life on Spin Cycle!

It has been crazy busy ... living on spin cycle ... just the way we like it here in DillyDallydom!  We enjoyed a fun packed weekend!

I made and delivered a pan of caramel rolls to thank the Welding Class for building the river skiff for Mr. DD.  All five boys are seniors and Friday was their last day of school!  I had them in class when I was teaching, so know them well.
It was fun to visit with them once more before they begin their adult lives.  A great group of guys ... led by a terrific teacher and personal friend!
Next I was off to the garden supply store to get plants for my deck containers!
Pansies and Daisies ... such happy faces that will smile for us all summer long!
This graduate's family hosted her celebration Friday evening!  I had all three of their children in my classroom over the years, and Chandelle is their youngest!  Such an honor to watch children develop into the individuals they are meant to be!  I look forward to the next chapter in this young woman's life!
About 10:00 pm, I finally had a chance to think about my blocks for Farm Girl Friday!  While cutting them out, I decided to cut out the next 8 blocks as well!  My thinking was that then I wouldn't have to bring out all the fabrics for the next few weeks!  Yep ... call me lazy ... ;-) ... or maybe efficient!
I pulled out more paper plates and got it done.  Each plate is labeled with the block number and the book page the directions are found on!  I hope to find time to piece last week's blocks before this coming Friday ... wish me luck! ;-)

These cheerful tulips greeted a friend and I as we enjoyed a latte'!  Tulips are such happy flowers, they always make me smile!
A large portion of Saturday was spent at a paper crafting event!  I am working on a heirloom recipe book!  I am so inexperienced at this, but our organizer/instructor is very talented!  What a blessing!
Marianne was paper crafting too!  She also brought a recently finished quilt in so that we could see it before it was gifted to a very lucky little girl!  Adorable quilt that was lovingly made!
Came home that afternoon to find the the leaves on the deciduous trees are uncurling themselves!  Finally ... it's getting greener by the minute!
Spent more time working on design ideas for Brother's sweater ... will share details as I get closer to the Gansey event!
The graduation ceremony took place early in the evening!  This new graduate was in my classroom every year ... she is the daughter of a former student ... and she is exceptional in many ways.  We attended several receptions that evening ... such a privilege to celebrate with families as they enter this new chapter!  I love beginnings!

Our local quilt guild hosted their monthly Quilter's Anonymous meeting Sunday.  Girlfriend DD was busy working on her blocks ... those are my Orca Bay blocks on the ironing board with her!  It was fun to see her and catch up a bit ... she and Brother are living on "spin cycle" as well!  Fortunately our spinning went in the same direction for a few hours! Hee-hee!
Sunday evening we had three couples over for a potluck dinner!  I must have been spinning as I neglected to take any photos ... finally remembered when we began to serve dessert.  A wonderful evening filled with friendship ... potlucks make it so stress free!  We all agreed that we should do this more often!
After everyone left, a young eagle decided to perch near our deck.  We did a quick check to make sure Flicka was indoors!  Such drama!
Sunday proved to be greener than Saturday ...
... and many summer residents have moved back into the neighborhood.

I'm so dizzy, my head is spinning
Like a whirlpool, it never ends.
And its you world making it spin
You're making me dizzy! 

Do what you love ... while spinning!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Farm Girl Fun - Week 2

How did it come to be Wednesday?  Here I am ... only two days away from the third installment of Lori Holt's Farm Girl Sew-A-Long ... past time for me to share last week's DillyDally Farm Girl episode!

Remember the super nasty coastal storm we had last Friday?  It was documented in my post about Mr. DD's birthday surprise!  After the excitement ... I came home and like all farm girls everywhere ... I got busy!
My brain is wired to think thematically ... yep, that is a word.  When those who know me well read this, they will have a gigantic eye roll!  It's true and they've lived it!  I cannot help myself!  This project has my brain flooded with memories of growing up on our dairy farm.  I first met Annette when she was on the Mickey Mouse Club ... as a tween I dreamed of living in Malibu and dating Frankie!  Friday, I pulled out my collection of their beach movies and got busy on week two of Farm Girl Vintage.
While Annette and Frankie were busy trying to make one another jealous, I cut out blocks two and three.  Lori has a super cute way of organizing her blocks while cutting and organizing them.  Someday I plan to use her idea and make some, but for now I will use the technique that has served me well forever ... paper plates.  Hey ... it works!
Here are the finished 6.5 inch blocks on their respective plates!  Making do ... it is what we farm girls do best! Hee-hee!
Autumn Star Block - Week 2
Baby Chick Block - Week 2
My Farm Girl Vintage quilt thus far ... so much fun wrapped up into these little blocks!
Sister and I went to Malibu during my visit in February ... here we are enjoying a seafood lunch with Malibu beach in the background!  Yep ... Annette and Frankie were part of the conversation!  I love how this girl completely understands her mother's quirks!  As a little girl, growing up on a dairy farm in northern Minnesota, I never dreamed I would actually visit Malibu one day ...
5.12.15 Sunset @ 10:11 pm
... but then, as a young girl I never even imagined that one day I'd live here ... back then I didn't even know that Orca Inlet (Bay) existed.  Oh ... how I love the way life works.

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally
FYI  Annette and Frankie get back together at the end of the movie!  Just in case you didn't know! ;-)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Birthday Mr. DillyDally!

This past weekend was a wild one here in DillyDallydom!  Saturday was Mr. DD's birthday and yesterday was Mother's Day!  But ... we started the fun on Friday!
Mother Nature was literally pouring buckets of rain from the heavens!
Last September (2014) I commissioned the high school's Advanced Welding class to build a river skiff.  I swear ... it had to have been the best kept secret in Cordova's history!  Five seniors did the building while being supervised by their instructor, Mr. Sorenson.
On Friday, they loaded it up on to a trailer and delivered it to my husband's workplace!
Mr. DillyDally was flabbergasted!  Brother was there to see the big reveal too!  After 34 years of marriage, it is fun to be able to pull an unpredicted surprise on my Mister!  It also meant a lot to have former students build the boat ... using skills they learned from their teacher, a close friend.  I only took the one photo, as I felt so bad making them all stand in the pouring rain!

Saturday, during dinner and birthday cake ... the table was filled with conversation about outfitting the boat!  Oh ... how I look forward to the fun and adventures this boat will add to our dillydally lives!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

" To the world you may only be one person ...
... but to your child, you are the world!"  -- Dr. Suess
Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Gingham Goodness!

Gingham and I have a history ... we go back generations!  There are reasons why I love authentic gingham in every size and color!
Recently, I had the "urge to purge" the linen closet.  This task may have been prompted by the fact that every time I went to pull a necessary item out ... bushels of stuff fell out onto the floor!  I had finally had enough and removed everything!  In the process I came across these gingham treasures.  They had gotten lost behind everything else!
This picture was taken on our family farm ... in 1935 ... they are my grandfather, grandmother, father (age 5) and uncle.  My grandmother grew up a 100% Swedish farm girl and she married a 100% Norwegian farmer.
Once when my mother came to visit me, she brought with her three of Grandma's tablecloths.  Grandma had a large kitchen table.
For everyday purposes, the table was protected with an "oil cloth" tablecloth.
In the center would be a small tablecloth like this one.  It always held paper napkins, salt & pepper shakers, sugar cubes in a sugar bowl, and a pitcher of fresh cream.  Always!
This one says "Give us this day our daily bread" in Swedish.  Blue pearle cotton on blue gingham.
I remember Grandma teaching me how to pronounce the Swedish words.  Wonderful memories.
Here is one she did in English.  Black pearle cotton on orange gingham.
Mitered corners ... hemmed using the selvage on opposite sides and turned under on the remaining two.
I remember this technique being referred to as "chicken scratch" embroidery ... and it appears to be enjoying a bit of a resurgence in popularity.  That just makes my heart sing.
I also remember Grandma making and wearing gingham aprons with similar stitching on them!  As you can see, the small tablecloths are stained ... these busy women would put so much beautiful workmanship into items that they knew would see heavy use ... adding charm to their daily tasks.
My grandmother taught me so much about faith and the importance of gratitude.  How she lived her life is such an inspiration.
My mother served as the "Sewing Leader" for our local 4-H Club the Alida Rancheros!  This is a gingham tablecloth I made in sixth grade!  Gingham was used a lot in beginning sewing lessons for obvious reasons ... easy to tell if you were ever "off"!
The embroidery motifs I choose reflected our 4-H Club's name!
The colors I used with the motifs really do reflect my 12 year old thinking!
I remember being relieved when Mom said I could stitch around the cut edge and fringe it!  Whew, no mitered corner!  I remember the concentration it took to stitch slowly using the sewing machine ... staying on that gingham line!
Our home town fabric store was called "The Yardstick".  It was one of my favorite places.  I remember selecting this green gingham from a long row of bolts ... they were arranged by size and color ... a rainbow of gingham!  Heavenly!
It is fun to look at the work of my young hands.  I received a blue ribbon on the tablecloth at our county fair.  The judges made a comment on the smallness and consistency of my embroidery stitches.  Truth is ... today my stitches are larger and less consistent!  Too fun!

Gingham truly was a part of our everyday lives on the farm ... and of course Lori Holt has a block in her Farm Girl Vintage book!  She made a table runner using the block in multiple colors.
I couldn't resist, I had to make one.  She used a dark and medium print with white in her block to achieve the look of gingham!  My first block was with these violet prints.
I had such fun ... and could not stop until I had made eight blocks.
Flicka had strong opinions on how they should be arranged!  Love my little fur ball and her catitude!
Eventually the blocks were pieced together ... I am sew happy with the results!  When quilted and bound it will look great on the island in my kitchen.  Gingham evokes so many wonderful memories of my childhood and the women I loved.  It has been fun to wrap myself in "gingham goodness" this past week!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally