Last year was so awful with the death of two close family members that it has taken a long time for us to feel better. Now, however, it is a year later (hard to believe) and things are looking calmer. I have found that my sewing helped me a lot last year, and I have plans for this new year. Last year I did a lot of machine embroidery which was really fun, but my little machine is currently in the shop getting an overhaul. While it recovers, I am trying to learn to use the really fancy serger the spouse got me for Christmas over a year ago. So far this year, I have made some baby bibs for my niece, who is expecting a son next month, two tops for myself, several pillow cases, and a tablecloth. I have the urge to finish up some UFOs that have been around for a long time, two of which are really nice blouses that just need the buttons.
During the last year, the house got a little out of control, so the spouse and I are trying to declutter and downsize. We have way too many books, so we are thinking about a new shelving system for the living room, and I am finally going through my thousands of cookbooks to see which ones I will never use (like dated, hippy-dippy 1970's health food cookbooks). More than a dozen have already left the building. A drop in the bucket, I know, but at least it is something. However, all this looking at the cookbooks has gotten me interested in cooking new recipes from my old vintage cookbooks so I have tried a few this week. First I tried a Golden Date Cake recipe from the Loyalty Cookbook from the early 50's. It was outstanding, moist and so good. Then I tried an oatmeal muffin recipe from an old Sunset cookbook with much less success. It had a large amound of molasses in it but was not sweet at all and was a little dry. Can't win them all, I guess. I also tried a bundt cake recipe from Taste of Home magazine website, (Apple-Raisin Bundt Cake) and liked that a lot. Recipes that use up a large amount of plum jam, of which I always have too much since we have plum trees, appeal to me. The bundt cake recipe called for strawberry jam, but I just used my plum instead. Another recipe I found for using my plum jam was the Asian Hot Wings from the Pioneer Woman on the Food Channel. I just used chicken parts instead of wings, but the sauce is really good, and would, as M says, be excellent on Spam Musubis, too. I loved it on the chicken.
Last year my resurrection lilies bloomed and formed little bulbils at the top of the flower stems. I have tried planting these in the garden bed before to see what would happen, since I would love to have my lilies spread all over the place, but nothing sprouted that I could see. This time I harvested the little bulb things and put them in some potting soil in the house. Just about all of them came up, so I may soon have 4 or 5 dozen new lily plants to set out in the garden. I know it may take a few years for them to bloom, but I am on my way to a huge swath of pink lilies in my flower beds.
Several new TV shows are on now that I am enjoying. One is Once Upon A Time, on Sunday nights, another is Unforgettable. A new show is starting up soon called Touch which had a preview recently. I really liked it, but all the scientific references totally confused the spouse who told me later that he didn't understand it at all. Too bad, because he really was a fan of 24 and needs a new good show to look forward to.