Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Year in the Making, Day 103

Two days in one again, as I went to a rather fabulous holiday party last night and was too tired to post when I got home. It was an altogether busy but wonderful weekend. We had babysitting during the day Saturday, and went out to brunch at The Crepe Cafe, an extravagant indulgence. I had the Heavens Crepe - black forest ham, swiss, and asparagus with bechemel sauce. Divine indeed! We also got to browse in a couple of antique and thrift stores without wondering what little hands were getting into. Also divine.

Home again, and I made mashed yams and candied yams for a holiday party. It's been awhile since I've made the sweet dish. For years I made mashed potatoes and candied yams for the holiday table, but the last few, with nods to our increasing waistlines, I started making just mashed yams. It's pretty simple, and very tasty.

Take 2 yams, peel, and cube to about 1-1.5" square. Simmer in a pan with 4 tablespoons butter and 1/4 heavy cream for about 20 minutes, till fork tender, then mash. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Or, you can take this mixture, minus the salt and pepper, and instead add 2 eggs, a half-cup of brown sugar, a tablespoon of cinnamon, a teaspoon of powdered ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon of allspice, and press into a 2-quart casserole dish. Then take another 4 tablespoons of butter, softened, and cream with 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, and a generous cup of chopped pecans, sprinkle this on top of the yams, and bake at 350F for 30 minutes. I used to use canned yams for the candied variety, but cut those out, which this makes the dish a tad less horrible for you, and tastier to boot.

Candied yams

Yesterday, while the yams were simmering, I made a new necklace from some vintage ceramic beads and a rescued vintage chain:

Brown Ceramic Vintage Choker with Vintage Chain

Experimenting with the photo style that seems to be in vogue at the moment, which really does the beads on this necklace their just due.

My goal for the rest of the month is to work on fitting myself back into my bead toolkit. I've got an 18-gallon tote into which I put all my bead boxes, but this year I outgrew it, so I've been storing bags of beads and other oddments in two 2-gallon tupperware bins. I don't think I'll be able to clear them all out in the next three weeks, but we'll see!

Here's the kit, by the way:

My jewelry kit

That picture was actually taken about a year and a half ago, so it gives the false impression that I do indeed still fit into it.

Here's what the bead boxes also looked like a year and a half ago:

My bead boxes

I've added 3-4 more of the translucent white boxes since. I wish I could find more of the larger blue storage boxes. I got the three I have at a yard sale about 3-4 years ago, and have never seen anything like them since.

The black box

But the whole point of this is that the necklace I made today was made from beads that just wouldn't fit in the toolkit, some fire polished burgundy beads. I bounce around between a lot of different styles, but always come back to the classic Hollywood era, the era of style.

Garnet Fire Polished Glass Multistrand Necklace with Vintage Butterfly Clasp:

So the stringing phase continues.

I actually started working on another necklace, a knotted one, with some more of these beads alternating with white freshwater pearls. Didn't get too far on it today, and I don't know when I'll finish, as I have to track down some of the clamshell endcaps with which to tie off the ends correctly, what I figured out I did wrong the last time I tried a knotted necklace:

They're talking possibility of snow flurries tomorrow, and we had a brief one today too. To which I must say "NOOOOOOO! NO SNOW!" Wish us luck?

1 comment:

TheBrassHussy said...

I believe we have the same storage system. :o)