Wednesday, October 13, 2010

First Prize and Judge's Choice!

The Red River Quilter's Guild in Wichita Falls, TX. hosted their Quilting in the Falls: Bi-Annual Quilt Show on October 9th and 10th.

DDIL enters each show with a quilt that she hand quilts.  Her work is so perfect that even though she encourages me to enter my quilts... no   So here I am in bragging mode and delighted that she placed with a blue ribbon and also won Judge's Choice this year.

She does much more than just quilting.  She crochets, embroiders, knits... and is just as talented with those crafts as with the quilting.
Have a look at some of the things she is working on now at her blog Black Cat.  It's written in Japanese, but the pictures are self explanatory and there's always Babblefish.. ;o)

Congratulations, Tomomi...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Crystalized Ginger... Easy Almost Tutorial

I use ginger root in my tea sometimes, but often have lots of that tuber left over to throw away after it shrivels up into nothing.  Today I decided that there was no way I could drink enough tea to use up what I had on the cabinet, so I searched the net and found recipes to crystallize it.  Had no idea it would be so easy. 

First... peel or scrape the ginger. Rinse it off and slice it as thinly as you can.

Put it in a small saucepan and just cover with water.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer and simmer the ginger for 30 minutes.  It should be tender and getting translucent when this step is done.

My sweet DH came in about now and I forgot to take pictures of the next steps. (Did I tell you to open all the windows and turn on all the fans in the house?  I didn't!  Well, perhaps you should.  ;)   I actually like the smell, but some people don't, so better safe than sorry.)

When the 30 minute simmer is done, pour off the water.  Measure the amount of cooked ginger using a food scale or  a dry measuring cup.  Place back in the pan and then add an equal amount of sugar and about a teaspoon of water.  Bring to a boil once again and it will take another 20 minutes or so for the syrup to boil down.  When it reaches the stage that it begins to look like the bubbles that come up when making candy, be sure to stir it constantly until it is almost dry. 

While the ginger is cooking, take a paper plate or something and put about a cup of sugar in it.  Gently spread it around a little.

After the ginger has cooked almost dry, pour it onto the bed of sugar.  Using a fork, spread it around quickly to cover each slice of the ginger.  Spread it out on a paper towel and let it cool and dry out completely.

After the ginger cools and dries, it can be stored in a sealed jar for several months.  The left over sugar has now become "ginger sugar" and can be used in your tea or in baking. 

I love this and will definitely not be without it from now on.  As I was researching ginger, I found that chewing this is good for nausea...among LOTS of other things.

BTW... if you were one of those kids who loved Red Hots  when you were a kid, you'll love this.  Tastes wonderful, but as you go along eating it suddenly it becomes hot and then hotter.  Never hot like a jalapeno tho.. just more like the Red Hot candies..

This was fun... If you try it, I hope you will let me know how your came out.

Have a wonderful day.. ;o)