It's strawberry season! The local strawberries here are to die for. We've been getting a ton from Oakview Farms through our Eat South CSA. But these were picked up from the Southern Makers event in downtown Montgomery a couple of weeks ago. Not to go off the topic of strawberries here but I have to tell you guys a little more about this event. It was an one day event which gathered Alabama-based chefs, artists, breweries, craftsmen, and designers to celebrate the creativity and innovation happening in the state. There were a ton of food, live music, workshops, activities for kids, panel discussions, and maker's bazaar. My favorite booths were Anchor and Daisy's (owned by my talented, beautiful neighbor), Matter's, and Susan Starr's (which I'm a bit bias since I had a hand in designing it). It was such a fun day; I enjoyed an amazing cup of honey latte from Mama Mocha's, ate food prepared by my favorite Alabama chef, David Bancroft. and won myself a cool little stool from Plenty Design Coop thru the silent auction. This event really showed what hidden gems Alabama holds.
Now back to strawberries. We usually just eat them fresh and whole, but we go ourselves a bucketful; I didn't think we would be able to finish them before they went bad. This is when my mom would say the Chinese proverb, "Big eyes, small belly." Which is not always a bad thing in this case since I made some pie out of it.
This is actually not just a strawberry pie, its a strawberry lime pie. I love all lemon and lime pies, so why not? And this crust is like a piece of heaven. I kid you not. Make it and you'll see! I promise that you will not regret it. Not sure if it was the fresh strawberries or the flaky, butter crust but Gary and I polished this baby off (literally) minutes after it came out of the oven. It played out something like this:
Gary: Can I have a taste?
Me: Of course.
Gary: (mouth full) This is... oh my god... so good.
Me: Let me have a bite.
Gary: (feeds me a piece) Can I have another piece?
Me: Sure, only if you cut me a piece too.
(We finish our respective pieces)
Gary: I'm just going to have another piece.
Me: Me too.
(Repeat last two lines. Gary and I look down at an empty plate.)
To kick off teacher appreciation week, I brought in some homemade granola for the teachers at Austin's daycare. I'm so glad I did because I saw that other parents had brought doughnuts and other sugary sweets. I'm sure the teachers were happy to see something healthier on the table. To add a special note, I printed a short message on some cardstock and tied it on with some ribbons. Voila!
It felt like it was just yesterday when we were counting down to the new year and raising glasses of champagne. Can you believe it’s spring already? Even though I can’t, I’m completely embracing it. I’m looking forward to constant sunshine and warm breezes but what I’m most excited for are the fruits of spring: berries... strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
To celebrate spring, I recently made a rendition of my classic red velvet cupcakes with fresh raspberries. These. Were. Amazing. I don’t know why I never thought of this sooner. And I must admit, my red velvets will never be without fresh berries again (as long as I can get a hold of them).
One of my new year's resolutions is to use my sewing machine more. But let me be honest with you, (at the time) all I knew how to make were pillows and all things that resembled a pillow. And don't even ask me about reading a pattern. Pattern what? Thinking with YouTube these days, I will be able to sew make something clever in no time. If you've tried, I'm sure you will probably agree that it is quite difficult to follow a video while doing something [new] on a sewing machine. Learning to make a bobbin is feasible. Learning to make a simple tote without a pattern, maybe. Learning to make an apron from a pattern, not-so-much. So, I raised the white flag on self-teaching myself how to sew and trekked over to Joann fabric.
They offer a slew of sewing, crafting, and cake decorating classes. I started with Sewing 101, which was a great review of what I already knew and introduction to terminology I didn't know. The first class went so well, I immediately signed up for Sewing 102, which basically teaches you how to read and use a pattern. I had so much fun making this lined, reusable tote. It even comes with a little pouch to store the tote in when you're not using it. After I came home, I wanted to try to see if I was able to do this on my own, you know, without an instructor helping me with every step. It's like the test after the lesson. It was the perfect gift for Austin's teacher. To add a little twist (since I don't like making the same thing twice), I lined the inside with a solid blue while using a pretty flower pattern on the outside.
I think I would give myself a B since I did have to spend some time with the seam ripper. Oops. All I have to say is I still need a lot of practice on the sewing machine but the classes were well worth it and my resolution is being accomplished.
Did you always want to learn to sew? Have you ever taken a sewing class at Joann? If so, how was your experience?