Thursday, September 19, 2013

Creamy Mashed Potatoes using Prep Masha

Back in the 1980s, our take away food of choice was a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken (yes I was around during the pre "KFC" days) with a side of coleslaw or bean salad and the obligatory tub of potato and gravy. Being Chinese, we always ate this meal accompanied with rice, so I never felt like a typical Aussie kid. My favourite was the potato and gravy (bliss!), and this Prep Masha electric masher makes perfectly creamy mashed potatoes from actually potatoes (not like the KFC version which is supposedly made of potato flakes).

Just look at how creamy the mash potatoes turn out! It's just plain boiled potatoes, whizzed up in less than a minute with no added milk or butter. We seem to fear carbs these days, but to quote Mr Collins from the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice "And what excellent boiled potatoes. It's been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable" just says it all. Just embrace the potato goodness.

Oh, and yes... we still eat mashed potato with rice! With the Aussie love of fusion cuisine, I'm waiting for steamed jasmine rice with potato and gravy to appear on the degustation menu of three hatted restaurants in Melbourne. Gee, can recipes be patented?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Guilt of Unfinished Patchwork Quilts

I've recently started sewing a new patchwork quilt...even though I have several unfinished quilts, but the lure of playing with new fabrics and designs are just too great, hence a cupboard full of UFOs (sigh, first world problem). I've given myself a year to finish my current project as it is for my friend C's milestone birthday next year (yep, ahem her 21st?), and since I've already told her about it (so I can't procrastinate), I've been diligently working on it. Here is a sneak peak:

So I have taken the following photos to make myself even guiltier about unfinished projects, and perhaps if I look at them long enough, it might inspire me to complete them...or not!

I don't think I'll ever finish this blue and yellow quilt ~ it was awfully ambitious for a first patchwork but I fell in love with the pattern and didn't even think about the l-o-n-g process of sewing all the pieces by hand (agh, the naivety of youth). All those curves, what was I thinking? I suppose I could quilt it as is, but it would have to be for an extremely thin person!

This pink quilt is made of eight different kinds of quilters quarters I bought from Lincraft when I was at uni. Because of the simple design, I had plans of hand quilting a lotus pattern in each block. I love the look and feel of hand quilting, but one lotus takes quite a few hours to complete! It's not like I can machine quilt the rest of the quilt! Fifteen full blocks to go...yeah! Oh I know, thick polyester wadding! It was what I could afford during my student days, no organic bamboo wadding then.

Oh the Grandmother's Garden quilt which I started in February 2004, I had great enthusiasm for it last year but lost interest (again). I 've only completed the sixth row of ten "flowers", and I had plans for ten rows. I've finished the "flowers", it's just the boring cream hexagons which I'm not excited about. 

With the blue quilt below, I managed to make three quilts from seven lots of half-metre fabrics so this is the third incomplete piece. It's perfect for one person to snuggle on the couch in front of the TV, and I already have a recipient in mind so I have to start thinking about machine quilting. Ah, maybe for Christmas 2014?

What's with the hand sewing? I know, another ambitious piece which were hand appliqued before I discovered pellon and freezer paper. As you can see, I started hand quilting, but I think I should have left larger gaps between the rows. Shall I unpick the quilting and machine quilt instead? I love colours and just day dream about finishing it one day.

I started the snowball quilt in mid 2011 and finished it during the summer of 2012 using three lots of Moda Buttercup charm packs. With more sewing experience, the pieces fitted together so I'm rather proud of this quilt top. So much so, it deserves two photos!

The boarder did cause some frustrations, but I've learned to just leave it and return to the project with a clear head.

So a big sigh with my loss of enthusiasm with these quilts, I hope dear reader that you can boast about how you finish all your projects.

Quilts I have finished ~ the pink is the very first I made for my Mum, the blue Ohio Stars for my Dad and the half triangles for me!