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{September} Yarn Along

   Hello, and good morning!~
      Today I am joining with Ginny at Little Things for her September Yarn-Along. Here are a few of the things I'm working on, and a shawl I did finish (hurray!)

    At the moment, on my wheel I have some basic white yarn I'm spinning up for some natural dyeing projects I'm thinking about. As those late summer/early autumn dye flowers like goldenrod and tickseed fill the fields around my home, I'm hoping to get some yarn spun up and some muslin bought so that I can capture some of their lovely color for future projects.

   The roving I'm using to spin with is from my friend Lavonne, who's shop you can find HERE. Her roving is my very favorite....its a dream to spin up (you can actually read an article I wrote HERE featuring a photo of her on her beautiful Montana sheep farm) and it comes in a variety of delicious natural shades, but I digress (as usual!).....

    This shawl is my most recent finished work, and I am so proud of it! I love how it came out. It started out as a Tess D'Urberville shawl, but towards the end of it I added a little fanciness with some eyelet and a picot bindoff. I want to do another one of these shawls.....its pretty easy and very pretty. I love how this particular yarn knit up too with the colors... The yarn is called "Painted Sky" and I got it at Get Stitchin' in Tulsa, OK.

  This is my current living room set-up....it's amazing how out of hand things can get, haha, when you're working on something! I've got a little quilt runner I started a long time ago on a quilt frame that I recently found at an estate sale (Oh, I love a good estate sale!) it was a steal ($6!) and perhaps it will motivate me to work on more quilting in the colder months when I'm ready to cuddle up and work on comfort projects.

   The fabric in this little runner is very special to me, because I bought them at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts when I was there last. So its not only beautiful old timey looking fabric, it is a bit of a keepsake of a beloved New England adventure! It's set far too long, and now I'm ready to get it done and perhaps work on something else (perhaps something done with autumn dye projects? we shall see!)

   And so, that's one of well....many, many projects I have going around the house ;) it's always something! ;) that's how I operate....

  What are you working on this month? Are you also looking forward to chilly autumn days where you can create things?

Thank you for your visit today!~
Take Joy,

Cooking With Tasha Tudor: Roasted Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

   Good morning friends, and thanks so much for your visit! I am so happy to have you here this Tuesday as I start again one of my favorite projects--- Tasha Tuesday!

   Now, if you've never heard of my Tasha Tuesday blog series--- you can read a ton more here. Its something I've done from time to time for many years now. Basically, its a series of posts having to do with the art, lifestyle, heirloom crafts etc. of someone who inspires me daily in my life and work-- Tasha Tudor.

   When I stumbled upon a biography of Tasha, called "The Private World of Tasha Tudor" many years ago as a college student, it really lit up a place inside my imagination. Because here was a woman and artist who loved all the same things I loved--- and not only made a life for herself with them, but flourished.  As a student, I had been told many times that the things I loved and enjoyed were no way to make a life or even a meager living. And Tasha was someone I could use as a reference point, a small whisper that said, "it's possible."

   And since then, as years have passed, I worked myself slowly towards the life of an artist who embraces old fashioned things, that sees beauty and richness in the past that is worthwhile in our present.  In small increments I was able to find work that was more and more creative, until a bit over a decade out--- here I am--- working full time as an artist, with a family, in my old house brimming with old things and animals. And I credit Tasha with giving me the fortitude to go after those things.

  And so--- thus was born "Tasha Tuesday" as I wanted to share all the things that fascinated me about her life and work!

   But this series is a little different! My daughter and I have decided that it would be fun to go through all the cook books either written by or collaborated with Tasha Tudor and try some new recipes. A few recipes are old favorites. Still more, I just needed that nudge to try, and this seemed like the perfect excuse to do it!

    This is our first week then, of 'Cooking with Tasha Tudor!' And we started off with an amazing meal--- Tasha's roast chicken with her mashed potatoes. It was amazing. Lets chat about it!~....

   I have made roast chicken many times and it is a family favorite. But I dont think I've ever followed Tasha's recipe specifically. The recipe for her roasted chicken can be found in "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook: Recipes and Reminiscences from Corgi Cottage", a must-have for any Tasha Tudor lover. The recipe-- or 'receipt' as Tasha calls them-- is full of the freshest ingredients and I made sure to collect my herbs fresh out of the back garden, and paired the chicken with fresh carrots, yellow squash and onion. For Tasha, the freshest ingredients are essential, and all are very sumptuous treats.

   This is a shot of our done-up bird going into the oven. And I'm a little bashful feeling to tell you--- that when the bird came out two hours later, looking like heaven, it was carved up in no time and I had forgotten to take a photo of the finished product! I know....what am I going to do with myself? Just trust me, it was wonderful....and tasted divine! A wonderful dinner to start on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and then have ready for a weekend feast with family or any guests! I've also found that I can stretch a roast chicken into two meals, plus make stock, so one bird goes a long way!

   A great compliment to the chicken was Tasha's amazing mashed potatoes which are....heaven. They are also found in "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook" and are very easy to make, especially if you've made standard mashed potatoes before. I always seem to come out with more mashed potatoes than I planned, which is fine because they reheat the next day wonderfully, or could be cooked into potato cakes.

   And after the beautiful bird has been carved up and all the good meat picked off (I usually pick it clean and then use the leftover bits to use in a pasta dish the next night!) you can use the carcass and any left over veggies or vegetable cuttings to make homemade chicken stock!

    My method of making chicken stock is pretty easy because I do it in a Crockpot. Basically I put the chicken bones and veggie remnants in my standard size crock pot (Or any slow cooker you have), cover with about 8 cups of water, and cook it on low over night the evening after we've had the roast chicken.

   The next day, I strain our the bones and spent vegetables (They've lost their flavor and nutritional content to the stock by this time, so can be thrown out) and then strain the stock that's been created into jars.

  You can use traditional canning jars to store your stock in for your pantry (or butt'ry, as Tasha would say! Lets just go full-on down the Tasha-speak rabbit holes, shall we!?!) , or just use heat-safe containers you have on hand to keep the stock handy in your fridge for the next week or two. This stock can be used in nearly anything else you cook through the week to give meals a more savory taste. Anything from pasts to chili to soups, etc.

Cozy kitchen illustration by Tasha Tudor! Life goals!

   And so--- that is my first endeavor in this Tasha cooking project! I highly recommend her cookbook if you're interested in old fashioned cooking. These aren't diet recipes--- but they're full or real, wholesome ingredients and I love that these are recipes that have been handed down for generations. And all the recipes start with a little story or remembrance. Its lovely!~

  Well, I am off to start a busy day! If you'd like to learn more about Tasha Tudor, you can visit her family's website HERE. There are many Tasha items, including art, garden seeds, scarves, etc. that can be found there!

Thanks for stopping by, and please come again! We're gonna keep on cookin'!~
Take Joy,

PS-- I've had some people tell me they're having trouble being able to comment! Some trouble shooting suggestions (to the best I can figure out, lol!) is to make sure you scroll down to the VERY BOTTOM of the post to see the box for your comment. It should be able to take your comment in multiple ways, but you might have to enter your email, name etc. You also might make sure you are logged into your google account if you have one, as blogger is now linked into google. Hope that helps!!