Monday, August 28, 2017

Cornpone Pie

Today I'm sharing another easy recipe that has been in rotation around here for 20+ years. I had never made it for the crew, but I only had 6 extras for a few days when we were pulling bulls, a few weeks ago, and I made this one day. They were so funny when they came in and saw it on the stove, "WOW! That looks and smells amazing! What is it?" When I told them, I got, "Oh! What's in it?" "Is it hard to make?" " How do you make it?" and once they tied into it, "Can I have the recipe?" I think that makes this a blog-worthy recipe.

Again...not fancy, but hearty, filling, and cowboy and kid approved.


Cornpone Pie

2# ground beef
1 chopped onion
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 can Rotel
a couple extra spoonfuls of fresh green chile
2 C cooked and strained, pinto beans
2 C grated cheddar cheese (I use sharp or the Mexican blend if I have it)
Cornbread batter (my recipe below)
sliced pickled jalapenos

*Preheat oven to 400. Brown your ground beef and onion. Add chili powder, Worcestershire, Rotel, green chile, and beans. Simmer for a few minutes and pour into greased baking dish (I use an oversized pie dish that I have or a cast iron skillet). Sprinkle with cheese, top with cornbread batter, place sliced jalapeno on top. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until cornbread is lightly browned. Serve with sour cream and salsa.


I serve this with corn and a big salad.


1 C cornmeal
1 C flour
2-4 Tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C milk
1 egg
1/4 C vegetable oil

*Combine dry ingredients. Add milk, egg, and oil, using a wooden spoon.

Friday, August 25, 2017

What I'm Working On and Dining Room Tables

Someone asked me about the backing I had originally intended to use for my Indian Summer Quilt last week. They are a non-reply blogger so I thought I'd pop that information in here and hope they might see it.
This is a print from Vintage Garden by Jo Moulton for Wilmington Prints. The other fabrics in this line aren't really my style, but I love this one and no, it's not dirty, those smudges are a part of the charm of this print.

I have been working on making  hsts for my Scrap Dance Waltz quilt as time allows:


I have made one

of each of the 2 blocks just to see how everything was put together and to figure out the pressing

I am so glad the cutting is done. I ended up with a full bin:


Speaking of cutting, in an earlier post, most of the comments suggested I use bed risers to add height to my dining room table which is a good idea...if my table wasn't this:


It's 4' x 8', solid oak, and weighs a ton. I also have another leaf that expands it to 10' when I have a crew or family and friends over:


Plus, these 2 pedestals are like tree trunks


I love this table.  When we were married, we moved to a ranch that DH was managing and the house was furnished. Then, when we moved to Texas, the kitchen had a conference table and that was our dining room table for 10 years


until we helped moved our pastor and they no longer needed their table, so we inherited that for $25.


 It sagged badly in the middle so DH welded angle iron on the underside and we kept it covered with a tablecloth because it was in pretty bad shape and with 2 small children and helping on the ranch, I didn't have the time or feel competent enough to refinish it. 10 years ago we saw this table at a trade show at the WRCA (Working Ranch Cowboy Association) trade show and bought it. I love it as much today as the day they delivered it. It's made to last and to hand down to future generations. We have always eaten all of our meals together as a family and many good memories have been made around all of our tables through the years


I have a small island in my kitchen and I have used that when a friend was visiting and cutting out a quilt and I'm on the hunt for another to add to my sewing space, but for now, the dining room table will suffice. I just don't spend hours at a time cutting, but apparently I get enough cut because there's always something to sew around here and that's a good thing!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Scrap Dance Two-Step Mystery Quilt

Carole, over at From My Carolina Home started a mystery quilt back in February. I wasn't previously aware of her blog, but looked back and saw her previous mysteries, both of which I am definitely going to make. She designs my kind of scrappy quilt so I jumped in on Two-Step. I did a lot of two-steppin' growing up.

I liked the laid back clue a month. I chose to use western fabrics, as I felt the need to make this for our 93 yr old neighbor, on the neighboring ranch, Grandma Lillian...aka: Miss Lillian. Until recently, she even worked 5 days a week at the Farm Store.

I've written about Miss Lillian here and here. I adore this lady! She is a true testament to a life well lived through faith. Part of the greatest generation and I'm glad she's sticking around because I still have a lot to learn from her.

Carole, thanks so much for another beautiful mystery quilt! You are a wonderful designer and I'm looking forward to the next one!

I chose favorite prints from my stash


and eagerly stitched up each clue. Feb







June & July

 Piecing the top. I guess I forgot to take a picture of the pieced top, but the minute I finished it, I took it to Jackie. I love all these fabrics:

I wasn't sure what I wanted to use for a border so I turned to DH who chose this blue tooled leather print that is one of my favorite prints. It came in cream, black, blue, red, and brown and I am sad to see it dwindling in my stash. I love it in everything. And I bought a ton of this rust red print for a backing so I had plenty of it for the binding.

Jackie quilted this barbed wire pantograph - the perfect choice...she has a knack for doing that!

And I backed it with a warm, brown Minkee

I delivered it to her yesterday and she was thrilled with it, but I got the better end of the deal because I spent the most enjoyable 3 hours in her company! Grandma Lillian is still sharp as a tack and I'm making a point of stopping in for a visit more often to soak up more of that old school wisdom. The world could use a  lot more of it these days.

This finishes at 50"x 68" and  I hope that this dear lady knows how much I love and respect and adore her.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Cheering Up Skeet

Our girl came home on Wednesday afternoon for a short visit and to pick up Harvey. She is back from Hawaii where she presented a job seminar and had a job interview so she had lots to share and enjoyed her adventure. She had to go back to begin her final semester of grad school on Thursday and now we are left with one sad and lonely puppy.


So we took him fishing to lift his spirits. :)

I miss Harvey and I want to go fishing NOWWW!!!


And he went SWIMMMING...


In my last puppy post, I said he doesn't swim, although he loves the water, but this time he jumped in without any prompting from us:


We can't get over how green we are. When our girl arrived, I told her, "It's not Hawaii, but welcome home." and she replied, Are you KIDDING? It's as green as Hawaii. It looks amazing!"


It was a glorious way to spend the morning:


I love to fish, but ya'll know I also love to take pictures so I spent the morning juggling my fishing rod and my camera


I think Skeet feels better now

Fishing has a way of doing that. :)

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Tree's Demise

Tuesday was a sad day. We had a tree trimmer come out and trim some trees that badly needed to be pruned and we had one tree that was dead and needed to  be cut down:

I'm fairly certain this was the first tree ever planted here and it broke my heart to see it cut down. And yes, tears were shed. This tree probably got the most water of any tree on the place because it was in the middle of the yard and received water from all sides when I watered. It's a Chinese Elm tree and although folks on town fuss about them due to allergies and disease, they make good ranch trees and out here in the desert, trees are few and far between and treasured. I've often thanked the folks who planted these trees. We've been here for 13 years and I loved this tree the minute we drove up here. It was not in the best of health when we moved here, and we've had 4 years of extreme drought during that time, but we babied it anyhow. The guys thought it had been hit by lightening at one time. Still, I hate that it died on our watch. I know too that it has seen many family gatherings and children have played beneath it's branches for decades. The birds were especially fond of it and I am a little surprised at how attached I became to a tree. 

There were three guys that came out at 10 and they took out the last load at 5:

Just as another rain shower came rolling in, carrying big, fat drops that soaked us all in  less than 10 seconds and left another 0.5" in the rain gauge:.

One man was the designated tree scaler:

He is 58

and climbed those trees like a monkey:

His brother owns the company and he said that's what everyone calls him, the monkey.

I was fascinated at how agile he was.

And, not being a fan of heights, I held my breath on more than one occasion

As the sawdust flew

He told DH that he ate a lot of rattlesnake and that's what kept him in shape. I laughed, but he was serious and they asked DH to call them if he caught any rattlesnakes and they'd come get them.

Ummm...ok. And rest assured, this will take place. Harvey was determined to help when they trimmed the bunkhouse trees:

We had to get these trees tended to and the one tree really needed to come down. It's branches had grown through the electrical lines and over the roof of the house and it was just a matter of time before the winds broke them off and caused some damage. Every time we had a storm, I was out the next day, hauling off some pretty big limbs. 

I had the words from this poem, by Joyce Kilmer, going through my head as I took pictures


I think that I shall never see,
A poem lovely as a tree;

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest,
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear,
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain,
Who intimately lives with rain;

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

And now I am collecting and sorting through ideas for what to do with this stump. If I had any artistic ability at all, I would carve it into an eagle or something, but alas, my chainsaw and chisel skills are nonexistent. It is 31" in diameter with a 99" circumference. I asked them to leave it as this height (40") with thought of making it a bird bath, planter or a wishing well. It sure did leave a lot of empty, blue sky:


I think I can fix it up, but truth be told, I'll be a tad sad every time I look at it:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Indian Summer Quilt

This quilt began back in October 2015 when a friend and I spotted this fabric at our little local quilt shop:


We both  fell for it immediately. I had been eyeing this pattern:


And the 2 just seemed like a good combination although I altered it a bit and used a single square for my square in a square blocks. I wanted something that would put that floral in the spotlight and when I placed it against a brown solid, it just shone:


To make it scrappy, I pulled possible fabrics from my stash when I got home and began cutting strips:


My friend and I exchanged some fabrics as we found ourselves in various shops throughout the year and gathered a few for more variety.  I  really wanted this for a backing, but couldn't get my hands on enough of it


so I settled for this green that I found on a clearance rack:


It's not my favorite, but it was 108", and I guess the green is a nice compliment to the salmon-y pinks, and it works. I don't know why, but I do not enjoy piecing backs. Jackie quilted it using a black thread and a pantograph called  Linna's Charm:


And it is 86" x 98", perfect to brighten up the guest bed in late summer, although it looks awfully nice across the back of the glider my FIL made for us:


I am still completely smitten with the inspiration fabric and have enough left for something else and I'll make it just big enough to use that backing I love. :)

This past weekend when we were at my in-laws' home, I had lots of quilt holders at my disposal


as well as a lovely setting to photograph this finished quilt that makes me smile every time I look at it:


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