Last night I stitched into the wee hours - a little Halloween design from the annual Halloween issue of Just CrossStitch. The design is By The Full Moon by Tracy Horner of Ink Circles; a big full moon, two leafless tree silhouettes, two black cats and pumpkins - very nice. In past years I've haven't been overwhelmed by the Halloween and Christmas ornament issues of Just CrossStitch, but this year, they are both just wonderful with lots of great ornaments. I've got quite a bit of stitching to get done before the holidays!
Someone asked me what fruit butters are. It is a jam of sorts. I've been making fruit butter for years, started with apple butter (I am known far and wide for my apple butter) and now make several kinds in addition to apple - peach, apricot and plum. They are very easy to make; cook the fruit in a small amount of liquid then put it through a food mill. All that "sauce" goes back into the jam pot along with sugar (about a half cup of sugar per cup of fruit) and spices. Let it gently simmer away until just the right consistency - a spoonful on a plate that's been chilling in the freezer will not have a liquid ring around it and will set. You have to keep your eye on it while cooking, stirring regularly as you don't want any burning on the bottom of the pot. Now, you can do a small batch and just put it in the fridge; larger batches can be frozen in small containers, but I like to put mine up in half pint jam jars. I process in a water bath for fifteen minutes - very easy. Yes, it is a lot of work, but well worth it. I give my fruit butters as gifts and they are always greatly appreciated. And, you know, there is something very satisfying about the whole process. It makes me feel good, a good day's work, something very pleasurable. Of course, I love to cook and feed people, so maybe that's the real pleasure.
Oh, one other photo to share! My birthday was back in early August. Lucky gave me a nice little bag of goodies, but told me she had something else, it was at the framers - ah ha, said I, it must be a little stitched something. Well, it took a while to get it from the framer, but here it is.
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C. S. Lewis