Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Creative Space: Completed WIPs and a seasonal recipe

Which one is the weed? Obviously the dandelion you say. Not so fast I say! The recipe mentioned above is not for dandelions. We have tried them but we really did not like them but maybe one day we will try them again. When the kids were little they would enthusiastically present the dandelions they picked just for me. For some gardeners the violets would create a lovely carpet of spring colour. The point of my photo is that in my garden, both of the pictured flowering plants are weeds. No matter how carefully I try to remove the violets (making sure that I have all the roots) they keep coming back and in the actual flower beds, choke out the plants that I am actively cultivating.

There are some wonderful things about Spring gardening: blossoms on the trees, waves of bulbs and the freshness of it all. It is rather difficult to be getting creative in the sewing studio when the garden beckons and seeing the violets in the lawn reminds me that I should try to get them out of the flower beds before they take over. So with limited crafting time and better weather, guilt becomes a strong motivator. The detail of the bulletin board is now evidence of a complete WIP. It really does not look any different than yesterday unless you look close up. After over 16 months it is finally varnished and ready to use.

The one above is for Number 4 and the one to the left is for Number 3. This was a project that was given as an incomplete Christmas gift to all three sons. It stayed an incomplete and unused gift. December weather interfered with the final finishing. I was afraid of using brush on varnish over the images and concerned about using spay varnish indoors. Even though I have a nontoxic spray varnish, I am much happier using it outside. The first two boards have copied images from the boys' favourite books: Graeme Base's At the Water Hole for Number 4 and Dragonology for Number 3. I did use copy written images so you could only do this for your own use and it would be preferable to use actual pages from the books. Being a book family, we would find it difficult cut up a book unless it was already irreparably damaged.

This the one for Number 1. I used purchased stickers that are reproductions of vintage travel stickers. In decorating his room, we gave it a vintage travel feel which helps in its use as an occasional guest room. The first two bulletin required a lot of careful, detailed scissor and glue work so the sticker were a treat to use. It is funny how when interruptions to the process (lack of time and weather in this instance) can lead to a dropped project. Of course, mother guilt eventually will put it back in play and I am pleased to say that these bulletin boards are ready to use.
More spaces of creativity can be found at Kristy's blog.

So what do you feed your family when there are distractions in the garden or other creative spaces. I recommend this family friendly dish originally found in the Canadian Dairy Boards annual Milk Calendar. Country-Style Spaghetti is a family friendly meal that is ideally suited for limited time and in between seasons type of appetite. We are having outdoor grilling weather at one moment and then it can rather quickly be raining heavily or blowing the next. It even uses an ingredient that might have been slated for the grill.

Country Style Spaghetti -serve 4 to 6

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. hot red chili flakes (opt.)
1/4 c. chopped pimento or sweet red pepper
1 lb. sausages (sweet or hot Italian) removed from casing and broken up
2 Tbsp. flour ( or tapioca starch)
2 1/2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 lb. spaghetti
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat oil in a large skillet and brown sausage as you break it into chunks. When the sausage is getting brown, add the garlic, onions and hot pepper flakes. Drain off any excess fat.
2. Sprinkle meat with flour and cook a few minutes, stirring. Add milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add nutmeg, salt, pepper and pimentos. Simmer gently for 15 minutes.
3. While sauce is cooking, cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling, salted water. Cook until tender 10 to 12 minutes and drain.
4. Toss spaghetti with sauce, cheese and parsley. Taste and season if necessary.

Serve with any green vegetable and if you wish, garlic bread.

Prep. Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

If you are looking for other recipes check out Randi's blogand see what else is in the Recipe Swap Box.
swap blogpost


Kirsty said...

I love the travel stickers.

randi said...

Mmmmm...I love spaghetti! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

Randi @ I have to say

Fine Hand said...

I know what I'm having for dinner tonight!

Maureen said...

Good work on the bulletin boards. One of mine fell off the wall in the night! Weird, huh...

Anonymous said...

I am so impessed with the bulletin boards, so much work! but great results and a great idea!!!I am LOVING that recipe, we must try it, 3 out of 4 of us love good quality sausage from our butcher, but Zoe (16yo) complains no end and picks them out everytime we have them in something!! arghhhh

gardener-b said...

We've had Country Spaghetti many's real comfort food and so easy to make. Love the bulletin boards- what a great way to personalize them. No matter how pretty the flower, if it's a thug and goes where it wants, it's a WEED.

Judith said...

GOD BLESS YOU for posting the County-Style Spaghetti! I had this recipe in my (are you ready for this? 1987!!! Milk Calendar) which has since gone AWOL and I have spent the last 2 hours looking for it. All my Milk Calendars are together and that's the only one that's missing - small wonder because it's falling apart and I've made everything in it. Jeez! Anyway, thank you thank you thank you for posting this recipe! Judith Somersett