Monday, November 16, 2009

Marvelous Macarons...

While I should have been finishing up a Christmas bishop dress for Violet yesterday afternoon, Jesse and I decided to take a stab at a very intimidating recipe (in French).  She wanted to make Raspberry Macarons - just like the ones in Paris!  How hard could it be?  First of all, I don't speak French.  Jesse is fluent, but as she has reminded me many times in the food markets in France, "Mom, I don't speak culinary French!"  We were in for a challenge!

"Mom, it says to 'stir to a bird's beak', what does THAT mean?"  While I know what 'stiff peaks' means when it comes to egg whites, have you ever heard of 'bird's beak'?  Ha! We had more than a few laughs!  Just to be safe,  I found a similar English recipe to help us along when needed.  The results were stunning and delicious, and surprisingly easy!   They are perfectly crisp on the outside, tender on the inside - just a bit of sour raspberry filling...yummy.   Jesse took a plate of them to school today, and I really must get on the treadmill this morning to negate the thousand calories I ate of them. 


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Smocking with Grandma...

For my quiet time today I decided to get cozy and finish up a project.  Despite the glorious sunshine, I was finding it difficult to get warm - our house is so drafty!  Chris dutifully made a fire, stoking it until it was crackling hot, and still I was cold.  I pulled out a trusty old warm quilt my grandma made, wrapped my chilled bones inside it, and in no time I was toasty.  With each little stitch, memories came flashing back as my eyes wandered between my needle and the patchwork quilt that kept me cozy and warm.

"He really wants a warm quilt.  He asked if I had any 'real' quilts,"  my grandma told me as we brought a handmade quilt to the traveling preacher's aged silver airstream parked behind our church.  I didn't know what a 'real quilt' was, and I couldn't understand her agitation as she quietly said, "Lord, I pray he takes care of it." 

Not until my grandmother saw the quilt she gave me for my wedding hanging on our front porch swing did she ever truly chastise me - "Becky, do you realize how many stitches went into that quilt?"  I had just recently begun to sew and it dawned on me -  That's why she prayed over that quilt!  I knew I had disappointed her, and I felt neglectful and unappreciative.  I brought that quilt inside and never has it been left outside since!

When The Smocking Loft opened at our last location, my frail, loving grandmother was so proud as she struggled through the back door, looking upon the sewing room wall.  Her eyes lit up as she saw hanging there another of her treasures - a quilt she and her mother had made together.  One which I shall always take care to preserve.  Her words to me, with watering eyes, were, "Will you take care of it?"

"Yes, grandma,  I will,  I promise!"  I miss you!