Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Retro Night Review

I guess I wasn't expecting fireworks, so really I shouldn't be too disappointed. Our first retro dinner was the "Left-over Ham Casserole". Perfect because I had cooked two hams for Easter and we only ate one. For this dish I had to butter day old bread and put half of it into a casserole dish. Then I layered ground up ham mixed with mustard, and cheddar cheese. Topped that with another layer of buttered bread and poured a mixture of pizza sauce (the recipe called for tomato sauce, but I was out, so I subbed the pizza sauce), milk and three beaten eggs over top of it all. I was to let it chill for one hour, bake it and serve immediately. There was my first problem: I was so gung-ho to get my dinners for the week made that I was finished the dish by 10:30 Sunday morning and we weren't going to be eating it until Monday night. The dish was pretty soggy, and I'm guessing it's because it soaked too long. The bread was also supposed to be day-old, ie. somewhat firm, but the plastic-like Wonder bread I bought never gets to that stage. It was also pretty salty, so I'm very glad I didn't use the salt that was called for in the recipe. I figured there would be enough salt from the ham and pizza sauce, and I was right.
I liked the ham in it, but not the mushy texture. I don't think I would even try this again using better bread and salt-less tomato sauce.

Last night we had Ginger Beef Pie with Pureed Turnips and it was much better. At least the pie part, because I thought the turnips were bitter. For the pie you have to cook "economy beef" ( I used stewing beef) with onions, carrots, mushrooms and consomme for an hour and thirty minutes all together, then pour into a dish with more consomme and cover with pastry to bake. It was pretty well received all around. Would I make it again? I'm not sure; I have a meat pie recipe I like that doesn't take as long to bake, so that would be my first choice. This picture doesn't look very appetizing but I forgot to take a photo when I first cut it up. We had already eaten this much before I remembered to get my camera!

I won't make the turnip recipe again. I had to cook potatoes and turnips separately, then mash and whip them together. It was very creamy, but the turnips were bitter. Actually I used a rutabaga, but that's a kind of turnip isn't it? It called for a one pound turnip and I don't think I've ever seen one of those purple and white turnips that big. I have always found one of them to be bitter, and couldn't remember which at the grocery store. Mr. Crafty World and the Houseguest seemed to like it, but if the cook doesn't, that's the death of it!

I managed to get a few things out of my sewing "In box" the other day. The first was the ballerina quilt! Yay!! I bought it before Christmas and told My Favorite Girl it wouldn't be ready until spring-time. I didn't do too badly on the deadline!

For those of you that don't know the story, I fell in love with the ballerina quilt last fall and bought it at Home Sense. I ended up taking it back because I just couldn't justify the $100 it cost. If My Favorite Girl was two or three years old maybe, but there's no way she's going to want to still have it when she's nine or ten. I also didn't think I could get three years out of it, because truth be told it's not the most well made thing in the world.

Flash forward to December and the kids and I are perusing the thrift stores. What do you know, there's a very well worn ballerina quilt for $20. The over-all quilt was OK, but most of the ballerina skirts were very faded and a lot of them torn. I took a gamble and bought it, and since then I have been replacing the tulle and cotton skirts. It looks so much better and I'm happy I paid the $20. My favorite girl wanted more colors on there, so I added some green and yellow as well. Now it's a true original!

I also finished my "Josephine" purse. That's my name for it because the blue and white stripe-y part just makes me think that. It's actually called "Bailey's Bag" and it's a pattern by Cotton Way.

This is my first purse and I'm pretty happy with it. There is room for improvement that's for sure, but I'm not going to point everything out here. I made notes on the pattern while I put it together, so I think the next one will go a little more smoothly. It's nice and spring like, and goes well with my new blue coat. I figured since I'm going to the Creativ Festival on Friday night I should get it done in time for that. I know that when I go there, no one will think I picked it up at Winners!

Have a great day!

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