Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Watch out Martha.

When I was in grade 8 we had to take a Shop/Home Ec class. Sewing was briefly touched on in Home Ec; we made pillows. I really wasn't in love with sewing back then. Much preferred using the saws and sanders in shop to make one hell of a basket.

Fast forward to high school. One year I had to be excused from Phys-Ed because I was having issues with my knees. To my chagrin the only other class available was a Cosmetology/Sewing class. I was not the girl to be willingly signing up for the cosmo and sewing class credit. It. was. awful. I had absolutely no interest in being in either class and showed up begrudgingly ever. single. day.

15 years or so later - damn I'm getting old - I remember jack from cosmo class. But I do remember the very basics from sewing class. And over the years those basics have helped me shorten/hem my own pants and make basic repairs. This past Christmas I was a little overzealous and decided to make a ruffled tree skirt I saw on Pinterest. The instructions looked easy enough. I finished the skirt a week before Christmas. It took a lot of frustrated hours, and lots of cursing.  Sorry for the crappy iPhone pic, but here it is in all it's frustratingly beautiful glory...

Ruffled tree skirt

This project made me wish I had paid better attention in sewing class. Hind sight is 20/20 and such a cruel bitch.

And here I am, now 33 years old, and wanting know how to sew. Really sew. Not my bastardized version. So I've willingly signed up for a Home Ec Sewing and E-Course.  I bet 17 year old me would be very shocked by this and have some choice words for 33 year old me.

I completed my first project - a gift bag. I had some left over fabric from my tree skirt so I decided to make a Christmas gift bag.  Check out my handy work (and try not to be jealous of those corners).

Sewing class project No. 1 complete!

Next up is napkins, not one, but two ways. I know. I'm excited too. :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Julia Child is always right.

So we had a three day reprieve from sickness before C came down with croup.  Seeing my child gasping for air, choking, coughing, and crying all at once is the most terrifying experience I've had as a parent. Thankfully the four day steroid treatment helped tremendously. And we made it through without any toddler roid-rage. She's 100% now. Whew. 

Oh and I didn't post last week  because I thought I was going to have my gallbladder removed. Weeeee!  I had intense upper abdominal pain for three days but thankfully my gallbladder was not the culprit. So now I'm on a temporary bland diet, cut out acidic food and beverages (no coffee..le sigh) and I'm on meds until my stomach heals. Thankfully I have a back log of photos. I don't think anyone would want to see pictures of the gruel I'm currently eating...steamed vegetables anyone? nom. nom.

So the good news is we're all finally healthy. The even better and actually, what I consider FANTASTIC news, is that I made MAYONNAISE yesterday. Yes! Finally, I. MADE. MAYO.

Why is this such a big deal? It's because I have tried no less then six times to make mayonnaise. And every. damn. time. it splits. Most people would have just given up. But, I'm a special kind of crazy. I took not being able to make mayo personally. I've never not been able to make something in my kitchen. So I couldn't let the mayo thing go. After the last attempt, I went online and read everything I could find about making mayo. I watched a couple YouTube videos. And all that did was further piss me the eff off because by all counts, I was doing everything right!

Then it dawned on me. What would Julia Child do? I don't know why this didn't occur to me sooner. I think my obsession was clouding my mind. Of course Julia would have a method/recipe! Duh!  And does she ever. She has not one, but four pages dedicated to making mayonnaise.

So yesterday I took out two eggs and brought them to room temperature. Two eggs because I was convinced my first batch would split, and I wanted an second attempt.  I followed her method and my god, I nailed it on the first batch! I tried again with my second egg and sweet mother I nailed it again! Turns out I could make mayonnaise all along, I just needed the correct method. And oh does it taste so good. I'm never buying store mayonnaise again.

Blender Mayonnaise
Adapted from Joy of Cooking



1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup light tasting olive oil
3 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar (or lemon juice)


  1. Put egg, mustard, salt and 1/4 olive oil in blender. Cover and blend on high until combined.
  2. With the blender still running, slowly add 1/2 cup olive oil (think thinnest drizzle).
  3.  Then slowly add vinegar.
  4. Again, slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil and blend until thick and creamy.

    Notes: I lowered my blender speed before starting step 2. I was nervous from my previous attempts, but Julia keeps it on high for the whole process. Also, you may need to stop and start the blender to scape down the sides. I didn't (again, afraid to stop because I was scarred from previous attempts).