Saturday, 15 January 2011

A frustrating week, the Sundial Quilt and a recipe

Not a lot of stitching has got done this week :-(
Work, work, work... mark, mark, mark

I had hoped to have finished my second block from the Beyond the Cherry Trees Album quilt, but it still lacks a few centre circles and a stem. Hopefully, over the coming week, I will finish it ready for next weekend's blog entry.

I did however finish two more blocks for my Sundial Quilt whilst on my daily commute too and from work. This is a big project and one that I have been looking forward to for 42 years, ever since my father gave me my very first patchwork book - he would never know what he had unleashed! The book, Patchwork by Averil Colby has many black and white photographs of old quilts, but two always drew my attention, The Isle of Wight Quilt and the Sundial Quilt and they were really what inspired me to start piecing and applique. It is not exactly a book for teaching yourself quilting, but it got me started and it kept me quiet for many hours in my teens trying to fathom out how "to do it"!

The Sundial Quilt is a real tour de force and luckily I was able to closely study the quilt during the exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London back last year. The quilt has been in the V & A collection since the late 1930's and nothing is known of its provenance. The more I study the quilt and draw the blocks though, the more I begin to wonder about the original maker. I am sure it must be a little like how Brenda Papadakis was feeling as she drew the blocks in preparation for the Dear Jane quilt and all the questions she wanted to ask Jane Stickle about her life and her quilt, her thoughts, her aspirations and her dreams...

Above are a set of 4 blocks for the Sundial Quilt, I have quite a few more sets done and will show these off in later postings.

When marking takes over, my diet tends "to go to pot". Working late and eating healthily does not go well together so that I end up with either a bowl of cereal or toast and marmalade, a boiled egg or a sandwich/toastie for dinner. I know things are getting desperate when all I can be bothered to do is take a can of baked beans, lever off the lid, grab a spoon and then eat the beans directly from the can - and yes, they are cold! But I love it!

So today I resolved that I really must eat some fresh veggies and between the marking I made myself a large pot of one of my favourite soups - Parsnip and Apple soup. It comes from a recipe from the Cranks recipe book. I am not a vegetarian, but I loved Cranks restaurants back in the 1970's and 80's. Sadly, they are not around any longer, but I have all their recipe books and periodically I will have a Cranks week which always includes my absolute favourite, Homity Pie.

So, here is my recipe for Parsnip and Apple Soup, it makes up a quantity for 4 people.
1oz butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 parsnips (3 if they are small), peeled and chopped
2 apples, chopped
1 pint of vegetable stock
2 tblsp of fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp of dried herbs
1 pint of milk
seasoning to taste

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the apple and veggies and cook the onion until soft.
2. Add the vegetable stock and herbs to the pan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Take the pan off the heat and let the contents cool before blending.
4. Slowly add the milk as you blend - I like the soup to have some texture so you may not need quite as much milk.
5. Reheat the soup to serve, adding seasoning to taste - et, bon appetit!

Now, back to the marking... have a good week!

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