We eat a lot of these during the fall. I try to sneak them in everywhere. Not that I have to sneak them …….. everyone loves them.

I just had to share this recipe that I’ve been making for years. I don’t see it much on the foodie websites. It’s simple, fantastic for people who cannot or don’t want to eat eggs and it’s very very good.

  • Saucy Cranberry Dessert
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur’s Unbleached)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted or very soft
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups cranberries, washed and drained (pick over to see if there’s stems too!)

Put everything in a bowl and mix it up. Preheat your oven to 350 and spray a pie dish or another 9″ pan. Put the dessert into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until it’s golden brown and puffy.

Now for the dessert part:

  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 butter

Put these in a pan and cook over medium heat just until butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Remove from the heat and add 1 tsp vanilla, if desired. It’s always desired around here!

I find this works best if you cut the dessert and spoon over the sauce yourself. Some people, not to mention any names of the one person who lives with me, tend to get greedy with the sauce.


Chop Chop Chop

I am not talking about carrots or onions for Thanksgiving. I’m talking about fabric.

Being in the sewing room, tied to the machine sewing strips of fabric together, I’ve changed my mind about 100 times on where this is going.

Do I sew the strips together and then cut them up and move them around and sew them together again? Do I just leave the strips as they are and sew them to the center of the piece? Do I add more squares, shapes, pieces and keep making this bigger and bigger and bigger?

God I don’t know. I guess I’m just going to keep playing with it until inspiration strikes. I must say the colors in this batch of fabrics makes me giddy with delight.


This is just one of many. You can see it coming together on Instagram – my user name is fibercompulsion1 – in case you want to look!

It’s Monday and we have snow. Only 3″ and it’s melting already. But it is snow. Somehow I thought we’d skip snow this year. I don’t mind cold ………

I should start baking for Thanksgiving today but I’m not sure. I may wait until tomorrow because those STRIPS are making me crazy.

My Thanksgiving menu – keep in mind there are two of us –

Baked Delicata Squash with Cranberries and Apples

Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic and Jarlesberg

Cabbage …….. not sure what I’m going to do with this luscious thing. I have a 6-pounder in the fridge. No one can have too much cabbage IMHO

Homemade School Cafeteria Rolls – I never ate much at school, but I ate these!

Something else – not sure what yet – no dressing because I made a ton of that recently and we’re maxed out on that!!

Other news: I watched the finale of Indian Summers last night. At first I wasn’t overly impressed with this Masterpiece series. It seemed to be just a rehash of Jewel in the Crown. Then I kept watching it and got hooked.

If you haven’t seen it, check for repeats. The finale was super-satisfying and I’m glad to hear there’s a second season already wrapped up.

Right before Indian Summers, PBS is re-airing Season 5 of Downton Abbey. It wasn’t the best season of this show in my opinion. I liked others much better. I loved Season 4 when Mary laughed in the piggery with Charles. The whole Mary wants to know if her future husband will be good in bed thing is kind of weird. And then she decides that he’s good in bed but she still doesn’t want to marry him. Whatever. Marry somebody and shut up.

The last season of Downton will start the day before my birthday. I am going to buy the whole season as I have in the past. I can binge watch it and see what happens instead of waiting on cable TV to give me the thrill. I think Lady Violet will die next season – she’s mentioned that she has to be about 150 by now. She went to a wedding in Russia in 1874 and she already had two children. Say she was 30. So she was born in 1844 or thereabouts. Now they’re in 1924 I think. That would have made her 80 last season. About right, that’s close to Dame Maggie Smith’s age. So I think she’s a goner.

They’re going to make a Downton movie. I’ll wait until it comes out on DVD. I don’t do movie theaters being generally not into rude children who don’t know how to behave. Makes my hands itch too much.

That’s Monday – one final word


Happy Birthday Papa


Today would be my father’s 99th birthday were he only alive to share it with me. I wish he was. Of all the people I have lost over the years, I miss Dad the most.

He was steadfast, hard-working, opinionated, fair, faithful and funny. He always had something to say, and most of the time what he said pissed me off.

I learned to debate growing up with this man, although I never won one of those debates in his eyes. At one point I so offended him with my conservative viewpoint, he left my house instead of staying for the whole visit. That super pissed me off and he knew it would.

It was kind of interesting in 1998 when he came to live with my family. I knew he had to be with us. He wasn’t happy on his own any longer. Mom had been gone for a couple of years  and his diet consisted of hamburgers and vegetable beef soup with occasional donuts thrown in for variety. I remember visiting him and not seeing one fresh vegetable in the house. He pointed out the 20 cans of green beans in the pantry. Oi.

My father was a Democrat with a capital D. So was I, when I was living at home. As I matured and the Democrats didn’t, I became a Republican. Now that word had never been heard in my growing up home without the word Damn in front of it. Seriously.

The Democrats my father adored were FDR, Adlai Stevenson, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. He was less thrilled with George McGovern and Walter Mondale. He thought they were dull.

He told me that Richard Nixon was the most intelligent president we’d ever had. He said it was a shame he’d been made to resign and he detested Gerald Ford. Can’t say I would disagree with that.

If Papa were alive today and looking at this administration, he would be appalled. I was so glad he died before 9/11 because The Depression had been such a psychologically horrid time for both my parents, I cannot imagine what our new age of terrorism would have made them feel. They knew there was no financial security at all and to not have any national security would have frightened them both.

He would not have liked the way the current president talks. He would sit there and say, you know, he’s got it all wrong. He’s not thinking. Papa would have been the first to say bomb the shit out of the terrorists. After all, FDR did.

Although politics would get us at each other’s throats, we did all right for most of the time he lived with us.  I got used to having the TV on all day and hearing the NASCAR races on the weekends. Something about that VROOM all day long almost put me over the edge. My son and husband were working so they didn’t get the full treatment.

We had arguments about everything, from the time I was born to a week before he died. Everything. I remember trying to lose weight as a teenager and Dad telling me water would make me fat. Okay. I remember taking him to the ER and having him tell the doctor that I cooked with garlic and therefore he had to eat bags of chocolate because garlic made him sick. He never ate one thing with garlic in it. Ever. I made him separate meals, but he forgot to tell the doctor that. Too much information, I guess and then no excuse for the BAGS OF CHOCOLATE!!!

I miss those arguments, I miss going places with him – he was game for going anywhere at any time, like to little country fairs in Illinois and farmers markets in Indiana or searching for antique quilts on the weekends. We took him with us to PEI when we closed on our home, which I had picked out because it was on the water and Dad loved to fish. I knew he would miss his home on the lake in Illinois and that he would be happier if he could look out the window and see water. And I miss his advice when I would ask him what he thought I should do about this or that. I miss his laughter which would roll up out of his center and encompass the whole room. I just miss him.

So on that cold November day, 99 years ago, deep in southern Indiana, my hero was born. Happy Birthday Papa.

What’s Next

I have so many projects on-going I almost need a diary to schedule time for them.

I’ve got two socks on the needles – one for me and one for DS. I have a scarf I’m knitting for DS from a stitch pattern book from Barbara Walker. Sadly, I tend to lose my place in the pattern so it’s kind of a jumble. Luckily DS just wants to be warm and doesn’t require a perfect piece.

Then there’s these patterns simmering on the burner:

From top left to right – The Brown Stitch, Kate Davies, Norah Gaughan, Carol Sunday, Julie Hoover, Pam Allen and Carol Sunday

I have all of these patterns and the yarn for most of them. Not the Carol Sunday poncho and jacket, but all of the others.

I just don’t know where to start next! Since I’m too technologically challenged to add a poll until DS can help me, just leave a comment letting me know your favorites!



Slow Fashion II


Now for the nitty-gritty about Slow Fashion.

Let’s say you go to a big box store in the States. There you see thousands of pieces of clothing. Look at the labels. None of them are Made in America. We don’t make clothes here – at least there are not many manufacturers of clothing left. I’d imagine there are a mere handful.

Now check out where the clothes are made. Maybe China. Sri Lanka, Malaysia ….. Vietnam, a plethora of Asian countries. Check further – see any Eastern European countries listed on those labels? I have some clothes that do have those labels.

Now you need to do some thinking and some research. How much do you think the garment workers in China are paid. Hint: it is very very very low. What are the conditions in which they work? Not good. Crowded factory conditions, few breaks, noise levels that will deafen them within years. The chances of fires that will kill most of them. Get the picture? These are inhumane manufacturers and our companies here in the US are doing business with them. We’re talking “bottom line” here.

The bottom line for us, the proponents of Slow Fashion, should be not to buy these items of clothing. We have been lulled into shopping indiscriminately for cheap clothes that have cost others dearly. We buy based on what’s new and what’s new changes every week. First this look, then that one – on and on.

It is not just the big box stores that participate in this shameful kind of business practice. Check out the expensive brands like Eileen Fisher. Where are the clothes made??????? Maybe they have better control over the conditions at their factories, but I doubt it. We’re still talking bottom line stuff here.

What can we do? We can quit buying clothing made in countries where the manufacturing practices are barbaric. We can quit succumbing to the urge to have every new fashion fad as explained to us by our marketing companies. We can stop buying. Yes. Just stop buying.

There’s a lot of talk about climate change these days. On and on and on. Let’s change the climate in a way that matters. Stop being mesmerized by the latest skimpy fashion covering the goddess of sleaze at the moment. Stop looking at people with $700 jeans made in China and consider whether or not anyone you know will be able to estimate the cost of those jeans. Do they look like they cost $700 or do they just look like jeans?

Be responsible. Purchase only what you need, not what someone else tells you that you want. Take a good hard look in your closet, in your attic (I have clothes in my attic) and in your wallet. Decide if there is something you need to purchase for an upcoming event or just because you need more work wear. Since I don’t work and I mess around with dyes all day long, I need junk clothes and good clothes. My idea of good clothes is a clean pair of jeans, a long-sleeved t-shirt and a sweater or hoodie. I paid $5 each for the two hoodies I wear the most. I am going to get dye on them. If not dye, something else.

The sweaters I knit for myself will last forever. The yarn is expensive, but I try to buy yarn manufactured in America. Like Quince & Co., a Maine company with the most fabulous range of fibers and colors – like Brooklyn Tweed which has yarn grown and milled right here in America – and many more. The yarn is not exorbitant at these two companies. I was buying from another company that was totally pre-order but all their yarn is outsourced and nobody knows from where. It is also excruciatingly expensive. Most of that cost is overhead – but it is not “Made in America” but abroad.

So we quit buying fashion fads made in countries where workers’ rights are ignored, we search out companies who are primarily concerned with providing jobs for Americans (this isn’t xenophobic Mr. President – it helps our economy and our workers) and we look at each and everything we buy with the same lens.

Can you find things you need that are responsibly sourced? Start trying to do that outside of fashion. Try to find stuff you need Made in America. A quick search on Google will pop up millions of hits.

Slow Fashion can turn to Slow Living ………. if we give it a chance. Think of the lives we’ll save.