Sunday, July 28, 2013

nuntium centesimum undequadragesimum (139th post) Harissa

No tatting today.  (Well, of course I'm tatting but this is a food post).
For a bunch of plain Midwesterners, we eat strange food.  One of the family favorites is Moroccan couscous Royale.  My husband discovered this in France  and since I love to cook,  I figured I could make this.  Lots of research created a meal that takes me all day to make, my family about 20 minutes to eat and leftovers for a very happy week for my husband.  He takes it to school and warms it up there and has students trailing him around asking what that delightful smell is.
The key for my husband, the neighbor/college roommate of my husband and the brother-in-law is the harissa.  It's a kind of paste made from peppers, peppers and peppers.  You can buy it in some stores but that is usually a "hot" sauce/paste and instead of flavor, there is just burn.  Mine is a combination of several recipes and is a general crowd-pleaser although I don't eat it myself.  I'm told it doesn't burn but still packs a punch.  I've been asked for the recipe enough that I thought I'd do a picture version.  Don't laugh- I know one guy who will be making it soon. (Christopher!)
First you need 6oz of dried peppers.  I like to use ancho, guajillo and New Mexico.  If you look carefully, the packages are 3 oz each but it didn't seem to matter.

Rubber gloves make this more pleasant, especially later in the evening when you accidentally rub your eyes!
Boil enough water to cover the peppers with an inch of water above.  I just fill my teapot which makes plenty.
Cut open the peppers, remove seeds and ribs.
I cut them up into about 1-inch square don't worry if they're different shapes and sizes.
Pour the boiling water over and cover.

Rehydrate for 30 minutes or so.

You'll need cheesecloth.  You can buy it in fancy kitchen stores or your local hardware store in the paint section (much more cheaply).
Roast three red peppers.  (I get my husband to do this because I'm pathetic with the grill.)  After you blacken them all over, put in a paper bag, close and leave alone for 15 minutes.  I always put a plate under because the steam and juice will soak through and the red stains my white formica counter.

Remove black skin, seeds and ribs.

Chop into small pieces.  Place the red peppers on the cheesecloth.

Squeeze the daylights and juice out.

Now it's mush.  Place in food processor.

Grind up 2-3 cloves of garlic with 1/2 tsp salt.  (You'll notice more here because we're garlic freaks.)
Keep going.  It will almost look like mushy foam.
Now you need to grind up 2 tsp caraway seeds, 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp coriander.  You can buy them ground up but I think the flavor is better if you grind them yourself. 
You can use a clean pepper mill - or if you're like me and never use the coffee grinder,  just put them in it and grind in a minute.  Just don't plan to use it with coffee again.

Here are the finely ground herbs/spices.

Now take the cover off of the peppers in the hot water.  They smell wonderful.
I use a kitchen tongs to remove them from the still very hot water.

Place on previously used cheesecloth. (You don't need new stuff.)

Squeeze the rehydrated peppers- be careful, this is usually quite hot!
Place squeezed peppers and ground herbs/spice mixture in food processor with roasted red peppers.  Process while drizzling olive oil in.  (Approximate 1/4 cup)
This is what it should look like.
Before you put in your clean container...
coat interior with olive oil.

Even the sides.

Yum! (says my husband who always licks the spoon!)
Put a light layer of olive oil on the top before sealing container.  This will last several weeks in the refrigerator- unless it gets eaten first!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

nuntium centesimum duodequadragesimum (138th post) I am not a Dr Who fan

Despite the myriad TARDIS that show up on this blog, I am not a Dr. Who fan.  I don't dislike it but I don't seek it out either.  My daughters, on the other hand are Whovians.  My elder daughter even owns and wears a TARDIS dress!
For their birthdays in the spring, Cindy, our Happy Bluebird made lovely tatting pouches for them and I was going to tat Anne Bruvold's wonderful TARDIS pattern to put on the flap of each one.  But size 20 was too big and they each got a bookmark out of the deal.  See here.

It's really little!

Even her ipad case is a TARDIS

Cindy recently ordered thread and I got a ball too (we order together and share the shipping when possible).  Size 80, Lizbeth- royal blue which has been renamed in our house as TARDIS blue.
If you haven't tried this pattern, it's really a fun one with split rings and rings thrown off a split ring and even my new favorite, one puny little split chain!

Latin for day:  felix natalis tibi, amica mea = Happy birthday, my friend!  : )

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

nuntium centesimum tricesimum septimum (137th post) Triumph!

I have persevered and made the Frivole's Mille Fleurs again.  AND... I'm much happier with it.   Is it the different thread?  It's still Lizbeth, still size 20 but I think the result is much better!

still motif #19

I had to do two singles to start the petal-  maybe I tat too tightly-but now they have the lovely curves I wanted!

And here's my Marilee Rocklee Carnival necklace with my dress.  I can't get it to hang correctly but I wrangled the necklace here for the photo.

I don't have a "workshop" for tatting but in the summer, here is where I love to tat in the afternoon.
My daughter is hiding by the fountain.

Friday, July 19, 2013

nuntium centesimum tricesimum sextum (136th post) Josephine Petal!

A new technique- the Josephine Petal!  Frivole has designed a lovely pattern with this technique.  Tatting keeps evolving because of creative folks like Frivole.  It's so fun to learn anything new.  But don't base your opinion on my work because, well, I haven't quite mastered it.

motif #19
Be sure to look at Frivole's lovely examples, hers are stunning. There's a draw right now to win the pattern. Fox has also given it a lovely whirl.  Hers look more like what they're supposed to.

We recently went for a visit to my parents' in ND.  It was a great visit and we had lots of fun.  Both parents have Thunderbird convertibles, a '66 dark blue beauty and a "retro-bird" which my mom let me drive whenever I wanted-what fun!

Now it's back to the very sedate van.

Monday, July 15, 2013

nuntium centesimum tricesimum quintum (135th post) Removable Lace "Tat"oos

There are times when I think I'm the only woman in North America who does not have a tattoo.  I suspect there are others but I haven't seen them lately.  So, I've decided to join them - MY WAY!  Hence my "invention" of removable lace "tat"oos!
I couldn't afford a foot model.

My lovely daughter's ankle with motif #18
 This another of Donata Jones' patterns.  She does not have the pattern for sale but you can buy the tatting in her Etsy shop.
As a bracelet

All done in Lizbeth, size 20 - med green and Grape Splash, Victorian Red, Royal Blue (which we just call Tardis Blue)

simple hook for closure, no eye - makes them "sizeable"

my fave

"Too Christmasy" says the family
I have some black ones too and blacks pairs with colors but instead of taking pictures, I'm test-tatting!  Wahoo!