Thursday, October 25, 2012

Good Ol' Southern Baking

This is the recipe I've used for years for American southern biscuits, scones, savory empanadas, and hand held fruit pies. For scones, I split the milk to half cream and half milk. Not 'half and half' product. And I add a few spoons of sugar and sometimes a little vanilla extract. 

We had some berries in the freezer that really needed to be used so I made little fruit pies. I ended up not pinching the little pies together enough and they opened a bit. That's okay. I just licked the gooey yummy thickened berry juices off the baking paper when I took them out of the oven. I considered it a tip for the cook. 

Ten seconds after snapping a pic, I had tea in one hand and a hot scone in the other.

Baking Powder Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour (you can also mix whole wheat and white)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup milk

Blend the dry ingredients sort of sifting them with a fork as you go. Blend in the softened butter with your fingertips. Then add the milk and mix until the dough starts to follow the fork around the bowl. Turn it out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead 10-12 times. You can roll it out and cut 8-10 biscuits or just grab chunks and kind of roll into a ball and flatten a bit. Bake at 450F (230C) for 12 minutes or until turning a golden brown. 

Mine were done before 12 minutes were up. This was not my usual oven and you have to get to know your oven.

Use these to make lunch box apple pies. Or mix up a savory meat and veggie filling. Roll out the cut biscuits until they are very nearly flat. Place a couple of tablespoons of filling in the middle and fold the dough to a semi-circle. Pinch the edges together using milk on your fingertips to glue it all together. Bake at 350F (180C) for 15-20 minutes. Cover them with a little foil the first 5 minutes if you find they are browning too quickly.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Starting at the end of the blog

This post is dated late 2012, but it has actually been rewritten for you in May 2016. 

I re-welcome you if you have been following my blog and I welcome new readers who have wandered into the story.

My old Blogger blog is growing up and moving onto a real website. But the blog doesn't need the dozens of posts that are no longer relevant and whose crazy cool links are often no longer valid.

Much was deleted.

But I saved the best, I think. There remains the progression of this blog, from the days I made dolls upcycled from sweaters (hence "SweaterDoll"), through the many sewing and needlework tutorials with their free downloadable PDFs, stopping to make do and mend with a number of helpful posts about mending all manner of clothing and home textiles. There are a few recipes I didn't want to remove because they are just so yummy. And a few articles about textile history that I was raised with and have a sweet echo in today's handmakers. 

There's a whole section about the toxicity of polyester fiberfill and an exploration and review of many types of natural fiber craft and toy stuffing.Those are some of the most popular posts on the blog.

There is even a post with video lesson links that show you how to make an upcycled sweaterdoll. 

In the beginning of 2016, I had the intention of spending the year immersed in personal fiber art explorations and experiments. But a major move turned my Sewing Cabinet of Curiosities into Craftus Interruptus.

Boxing, unboxing, for weeks, I ended up reconnecting to a memory of the gift of time. It was Grandma Ida handing seven year old me a stamped cross stitch potholder to which I remember adding wonky Xs that spelled Love Dad. It was then I learned the enjoyment that blossoms when your own two hands make the pictures in your head visible.

That memory gave me the impetus to create Embroidery School, a free learning series on the blog complete with downloadable sampler pattern. The series was so successful, it has propelled me into the world of designing simple, artful embroidery patterns and stamped fabrics for that special time for YOU. Time when you put down the ringing, beeping, buzzing things and just live - one stitch at a time.

And so I'm starting the blog with the ending. Well, not THE ending, but the end of it the way it was and with an introduction to what it is. 

It's you and me and some needles and thread. The tea is brewing. Come on in.