The Pillow; and Cooking

I haven’t done much crafting over the last couple of days; I did make a lovely Shepherd’s Pie (what my Down Under friends would call a Cottage Pie), which all three of us enjoyed:

20130411-085138.jpg Here it is after supper:

20130411-085217.jpg . . . and that’s before Mum had any (she eats later than her sister)! I found a recipe at Simply Recipes, then (of course) made a few changes, some deliberate LOL. I had planned a meatloaf, so the extra lean ground beef was already in a bowl with breadcrumbs, eggs, garlic salt, white pepper and poultry seasoning (’cause I like it, that’s why!). Plan altered, I went ahead and mixed it all up. Melted a bit of butter in the cast iron skillet (at medium heat) then sauteed finely chopped onion ’til it began to brown and added about 2/3 of the meatloaf mixture, breaking it up with our smallest wooden spoon. Meanwhile, I set the oven to 450 to pre-heat and buttered an oval casserole dish. When the meat was browned, but still soft, I turned it into the dish. More butter melted in the pan, then the remaining meatloaf mixture was added and broken up. Next I added a cup and a half of frozen mixed veggies (I’m more adventurous when cooking only for myself, so use what you like in the way of veggies. I stirred from time to time. Then I read skimmed the recipe! I recommend reading the recipe first, but I myself usually skim it, often, as now, when halfway through and working from hazy memory . . . Anyway . . . beef broth was called for! We never buy it, but do keep chicken broth powder on hand. Good thing I’d added the poultry seasoning, eh? So I added a heaping teaspoon to a cup of boiling water, then poured a bit more than half into the skillet to simmer with the veg and meat mix. It reduced fairly quickly and I dumped spooned the whole thing over the meat and onions and stirred it all up. I poured the rest of the broth over the mix and stirred some more.

Back up a bit here: as the first set of meat cooked, I took the leftover mashed potatoes from the fridge. Someone had been using them for suppers past! Only about a cup was left . . . too late to peel and cook more . . . what to do? Easy solution: I ‘baked’ two large potatoes, scooped out the insides (I ate the peels; YUM!!) and added that to the mashed in the bowl; a bit of butter and a dash or two of canned milk (use what moves you); then I beat ’em up with a fork! When the lumps were gone, I used a large spoon to make little mounds, spaced out, all over the meat/veg mixture. After smoothing it out so the meat was completely covered, I used the fork to shape lines and peaks all over (because they are so decorative after baking, when the tips of the peaks and ridges have browned a bit).

Popped the dish into the oven, turned the oven down to 400F and set the timer for 30 min so it would bake, bubble and brown . . .

15 min later, I could tell it was bubbling; a distinct smoky scent was drifting into the living room, where I was stitching on my pillow. I hastened to the kitchen, checked the oven for flames (none!) and formed a makeshift tray from aluminium foil. Slid that between the two oven racks and returned to my stitching.

15 minutes more and it was done. There wasn’t much ‘drip’ on the foil, so I brushed that off, turned it over and voila! the drip tray became a cover . . .

We all enjoyed ‘pie’ for supper 🙂

Then it was back to crafting:
A couple of days ago, I dumped one of the button cylinders into a small dish my CF kindly gave me

20130412-084507.jpg and picked out all the green buttons that were
(a) one of a kind and
(b) the right size

20130412-084815.jpg I don’t know why, but I changed my mind here and instead picked out buttons that somewhat matched the variety of colours on the batik side. I chose seven I liked and started sewing:

20130412-090152.jpg

I had planned to use satin ‘rat-tail’ to form button-loops, but all the store had was white. So I bought two hanks of embroidery floss (different greens) and cut three long pieces to braid. After a couple of inches I saw that it was too thin and, anyway, would take too long. But I had a crochet hook in my bag of tricks . . . I chained the whole length in no time, then began sewing it on:

20130412-090640.jpg

20130412-090704.jpg I began to wonder if the chain was long enough, but resigned myself to making a second if needed (passing lightly over the question of making a decent join). Somewhere the sun was shining, though:

20130412-091006.jpg that’s the last button, my friends, and you can see that the chain is just long enough, and enough ‘tail’ left over to tuck inside and secure with a few more stitches . . . resulting in this:

20130412-091228.jpg another FO!!

Here’s the pillow on my cousin’s forest green recliner:

20130412-091345.jpg

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10 thoughts on “The Pillow; and Cooking

  1. What a brilliant idea re the chain and loop for buttons and closing the pillow. The finish is better than excellent. I shall be using this idea and giving full credit to you. That chair does indeed look inviting. It is amazing how a bit of embellishment can completely alter a look of a chair. Fab and funky!

    • I’m glad you liked it! I was being lazy; I’m not too good at buttonholes . . .
      And share away; sharing makes us all wealthier . . .

      You are right about the chair, too. It’s a bit old now. The pillow lives upstairs, though; my cousin doesn’t like ‘clutter’ (like a lot of younger people these days).

  2. Love the cushion Linne. Those colours have come together beautifully. Great choice of buttons too 🙂 Is your cousin the lucky owner of the cushion now? The cottage/sheperds pie looks delish too

    • Thanks, Kym. No, I’d never make anything for my cousin; he doesn’t see meaning in things as I do and throws stuff out all the time. That’s ’cause ‘Input’ is my fourth highest strength, but it’s low in him. I’m sure glad I was given that book (at my last job); I used to have NO patience with people who don’t value keepsakes . . . now I get it.

    • The pie WAS yummy, Kym! I’m currently working on tempting my Aunty’s appetite, so am cooking more of what I grew up with when I’m down here.

    • Thanks, Stacy! It took me a bit to choose between those and all green, but as the rwo-sidedness of the pillow is already playful, I went with that for the buttons, too.

  3. That pillow is gorgeous Linne! How beautiful and doesn’t it make that chair look inviting? I want to curl up with a good book and feel the solidity of that wonderful pillow behind my back as I delve into the world of fantasy :). Job most wonderfully done girl! That Sheperds (or cottage as you so rightly put it…sheperds pie is made with meat cut from a roasted leg of lamb 😉 ) pie looks delish! Steve still has 1/3rd of his pie left in the fridge that we are going to use up some left over butter shortcrust that I made earlier in the week to make him some Cornish pasties that he was hankering for and we are going to invent a shepherds pie pie ;). Why not? That’s the great thing about making things yourself. If you like it and you want to combine it, who CARES if someone else thinks it’s weird :). A nice buttery shell around some shepherds pie sounds AOK to this little black duck and accompanied by some nice steamed veggies it should go down well :). Again, that pillow is wonderful Linne and you were very clever to crochet that embroidery thread. Obviously the powers that be thought you were too and saved you from having to devise some kind of neat join in embroidery thread… I guess they took pity on you ;). Have a great weekend 🙂

    • I shall have to call you Miss Quark, my little black duck . . . your Cornish Pasties sound wonderful. If my StarGate had arrived when it was supposed to, I’d pop down for a sample. 😉

      Glad you like the pillow; that was my Mum’s chair when we lived in her house; she gave it to my cousin. It’s her (and my) favourite colour: green! A dark forest green. Wish you could curl up for a good read too . . . and yes, you’d be welcome to the pillow 🙂

      So, I’d forgotten you read fantasy; me, too, and sci-fi, but I’m not sure if we have much cross-over there; I did read Pratchett some years ago and Keith Laumer’s series about Jaime Reteif (interstellar diplomat) is still one of my favourites. He makes me laugh every time and I’ve re-read some of them a lot. I really have to add some titles to the ‘Books’ page soon!

      Hope your weekend is a good one, too; I guess you’re halfway through already . . . 😉

      • Yup, Sunday morning here and it isn’t raining so Steve is going to want to get wood chopping today so a nice early start on my behalf is probably a good thing. Have a great weekend as well Linne and enjoy crafting 🙂

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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