Friday, July 29, 2011

Cajun Corner - Vol. 3, No. 30

Cajun Corner – Vol. 3, No. 30 – July 29, 2011

Bon Jour!  Welcome to Cajun Stitchery’s weekly email and welcome to our family.


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Another week without my girls.  Wednesday night I got in my car to go and the Power Pup died.  No fear.  George went out the following morning and installed a new battery and the car is fine now.  But I did miss my girls for the second week in a row.  Tonight is our monthly Nereid meeting and I cannot wait.  In fact, I may be taking some homemade hummus with me.

George and I love beans.  Beans don’t always love us.  Nevertheless, I was looking in the cupboard the other day and I saw a bag of chick peas.  I began cooking them as I would any other dried bean.  Hours and hours went by and they still were not soft.  That is when I decided to look up how to prepare chick peas a/k/a garbanzo beans.  I always thought they were a Mexican bean but apparently chick peas originally come from the Mediterranean area.  Hummus, that wonderful dip, is made from chick peas.  Then I looked up recipes for hummus, just to make sure.  Sure enough, chick peas and some spices and you have hummus.

Another discovery was that chick peas have a nutty taste.  They are delicious and George mentioned that they taste similar to boiled peanuts.  So, we began eating them like boiled peanuts.  We have a new snack food at our house now.  They are wonderful.

The idea of hummus remained in the back of my mind.  After we had our fill of chick peas, I decided to try making hummus to share with the girls tonight.  I located a recipe called “Quick and Easy Hummus.”  Oh, that is for me.  The only thing better would be “Hummus for Dummies.”  The recipe seemed straight forward enough.  Get a can of chick peas.  I had leftovers and they didn’t come in a can but that shouldn’t be a problem.  Put the chick peas, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of cumin, 3 cloves of garlic, and 2 oz of fresh sliced jalapeno pepper in a food processor or blender.  I have two food processors.  One is a little baby one and the other is the big one.  I thought I would use the little baby one.  I put about half of the chick peas in the baby food processor and started processing.  That worked very well.  I added the lemon juice, cumin, and used garlic powder instead of cloves of garlic.  That worked well.  It just so happens that we are growing jalapenos in the garden.  The recipe did say “fresh.”  I picked a fresh jalapeno right off the plant, took the seeds out and sliced the jalapeno.  I don’t know what 2 oz of jalapeno looks like, so I added the whole jalapeno to the chick pea mixture and cranked up the food processor.  I guess I should have processed the peppers first because they weren’t really getting chopped up well.  I poured everything into a bowl and began fishing out the pieces of pepper and some of the chick peas that hadn’t been processed completely.  All of that went back into the food processor.  It looked pretty dry.  The recipe did say to add 2 tablespoons full of the juice in the can.  I didn’t have a lot of juice; so, I just poured what I had into the mixture and processed some more.  Still had a dickens of a time chopping those jalapenos, but they were getting smaller and smaller.  Now was the time to taste.  It tasted wonderful, like a spicy hummus.  Then my mouth began to catch fire.  Apparently our fresh jalapenos are super hot.  My girls will never stand for something that spicy.  So, I added the rest of the chick peas and began processing those to reduce the heat of the pepper.  Now I had too much hummus to fit into the little food processor.  I ended up taking out the big, supersonic blender.  I bought this blender for George when I was working and he was cooking dinner and taking care of Mama.  This was his dream blender.  We have only used that blender once or twice since I bought it.  Here was our chance to use it again.  The blender did the trick.  I did add a tablespoon of water because the hummus was kind of dry.  Adding the extra chick peas did the trick.  It is still spicy but oooo la la is it good, cher.  It is chilling in the fridge right now.  I sure hope I don’t forget to take it tonight.

I mentioned the supersonic blender.  I have learned that men, specifically George, like power everything.  Several years back, George bought a shop vac.  I loved that vacuum cleaner.  It did wet/dry vacuuming.  The filter was a sponge, so I didn’t have to constantly pick up filters at the store.  It was easy to just dump the canister when it was full.  There was enough power to do the job fast and clean.  I was happy. Then one day my shop vac died.  George bought me a new one.  When he brought it in, I could see the pride in his eyes.  He knew he purchased the most perfect vacuum cleaner in the world for me.  However, his joy was not necessarily reciprocated by me.  The canister had to be capable of holding every piece of dirt in my house for 50 years.  The thing was huge and much too big for me to maneuver through my little house.  Who would want to disappoint George?  More than the size, he was proud of the powerful suction.  I turned it on and I could have sucked everything from my utility shed into the thing without leaving my kitchen.  The hose was much too big for my little hands to hold and when turned on, I was at the mercy of where the hose wanted to go, rather than vice versa.  That was the most powerful vacuum cleaner I have ever seen.  He returned it to the store and bought me something much more manageable.  So, when I say I bought George a supersonic blender.  It was the most powerful blender on the market at the time.

This week I embroidered and appliquéd a design onto one of the white beach towels.  I am so pleased with these towels.  The mermaid design turned out beautifully.  The customer plans to give this as a gift to her daughter.

I realized that the Pensacola Beach Arts and Wine Festival is just a couple of months away.  I began creating pot holders.  In my cache of embroidery designs, there are some in-the-hoop pot holders.  Once these were stitched out I realized they were too small.  Yes, they could be used as pot holders but I like a bigger pot holder.  So, I measured my favorite pot holder and began digitizing my own in-the-hoop pot holder.  We had several tries that failed, but in the end the pot holder was created.

Have I ever told the story of the pot holders?  Pot holders were the first thing that Mama taught me to sew.  She would take a bottom piece of fabric and a top piece of fabric.  In the middle she would put scrap fabric until she got the thickness she desired.  Then she would take the entire sandwich of fabric and quilt it by sewing straight lines at even intervals and then turning the fabric and more lines, forming squares.  The edges would be trimmed and bias tape applied to the edges, leaving a loop at one corner for hanging the pot holder on a hook.  That’s simple enough.  To do that on an embroidery machine is not so simple.  Scrap fabric can be used but only if the layer of fabric covers the area of the pot holder.  Rather than bias tape, our pot holder has a satin stitched edge.  Some of our pot holders have a ribbon or fabric loop, some do not.  Of course, with the embroidery machine, we can do plain quilting, but also add some beautiful embroidered designs, as well as personalize the pot holder.   Some of the designs have some intense embroidery on them with lots of stitching.  Right now, though, I am thinking about selling for $8 each.  They would make great gifts, especially when personalized to say (Name)’s Kitchen or something like that.

SALE:  One of my wholesalers is having a closeout sale on this shirt.  The sale is good until they are out of stock.  They are completely out of the colors but do have white remaining.  I can sell these for $12, plus shipping.  It is a good deal and would make a nice present for any guy.  These are going fast.  If you want one let me know ASAP and I’ll check the wholesaler’s stock for you.  See attached photo.

JC514 Jonathan Corey Birdseye Herringbone Golf

  • 6.4 oz. 100% combed, ring-spun cotton
  • Tipped birdseye collar & welt cuffs
  • Three woodtone buttons
  • Extended tail with side vents

Color:  White/burgundy

Sizes:  S, M, L, XL, 2X, 3X

Color:  White/khaki

Sizes:  S, M, 3X

Color:  White/Royal

Sizes:  S, M, L, XL, 2X, 3X

Color:  White/Spruce

Sizes:  S, M, L, XL, 2X, 3X

CHRISTMAS is around the corner.  Unbelievable, I know.  But it is July.  Get that Christmas shopping done now and enjoy the holidays.

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Barefoot, I walked along the edge of the bayou
Where the child I had been, ran and laughed and played.
The cushiony emerald green grass I trod on
Tickled my feet and made my heart smile.

The old hickory tree was still there, brave and tall,
And small clouds floated above it, standing out
Like swatches of cotton against the denim sky,
The golden sun completed the heavenly picture.

A passing boat disturbed the water and its wake
Sent ripples of gold-brown water to the shore,
With little fingers reaching out to bathe and tickle
My tired and aching naked toes.

I saw again the other shore where long ago,
I gathered berries and climbed trees to pick muscadines.
I saw the heavy vines we used to swing out over the bayou
And let go just at the right moment to drop into the water.

The little rustic house I lived in when I was young,
No longer stands. Someone built a car-wash right where Grandpa's garden was,
And the State put in a new road and built a new bridge
Right where I used to tie up my little pirogue.

There is one thing no one can ever change, though.
No matter where I go or where I've been
No matter what I've done, no matter the places I've seen,
The bayou will always be the home I hold in my heart.



Cajun French Phrase of the Week:

Avoir= To have
Cajun says
J'ai=I have
T'as= You have
Il a= He has
Elle a=She has
On a =We have
Vous autres a= you have plural
Ils ont=They have
Eux autres a= they have
Eusse a=They have


C’est tout, mes amis

Peggy Henshall

Cajun Stitchery

(850) 261-2462

P.S.  You are always welcome to stop by and look at all of the catalogs and pass some time with me, cher.

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