Grape Sauce for a Roast

This sauce is redacted from The Opera of Barolomeo Scappi.  The original recipe called for grape must, but as I do not live in wine country, I was not able to find any in my area.  All research I did said a good substitution was to simmer grape juice until it was 1/3 it’s previous volume.

Start with 1 cup of grape juice, and simmer it until there is only 1/3 cup left.  To the Must substitute, add 2/3 cup of roast juices, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon tapioca starch, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, dash of cloves, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a simmer, and let simmer for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.  Keep warm until serving.

This is a good sauce for either beef or pork roast.



New Year, New Energy

It has been a while since I’ve posted on here.  I’m sure all two of the people who follow me here have been wondering what’s up with me.

The short story is that I was suffering from a very bad case of depression.  I did not work on very many things last year.  I didn’t write about anything because of the depression.  I have found two things that are doing a good job in helping the depression go away; one is an over the counter supplement, the other is good counseling from a counselor who regularly kicks my butt.

In the past couple of months, I’ve started to want to work on my art and my crafts again.  I’ve pinned so many things to Pinterest, things that inspire me, things I want to do, and things that just look really cool.

As I said in the title, it’s a new year, and I have new energy.  I have decided the first things I’m going to work on and complete are my UFOs — those UnFinished Projects I have laying around.  Some of them are over 11 years old (I’m looking at you, Cloak of Doom), some about 6 years old (a lavender suit jacket I started to make and then never finished), some a year or less (lace cuffs and a couple of doublets that have been cut out for a couple months).

So my first priorities are to finish those things.  After that, I want to really start thinking out of the box with my art.  Yes, as long as I do period recreations on my needle lace, there will be a certain amount of flat things (handkerchiefs, cuffs, things like that), but I also want to do some 3-D needle lace items.  I want to push my limits on color and shape and size, while staying in needle lace.

Yeah, that’s a lot for a year, but I’ve got the energy now to do it all.

Hope all y’all will enjoy the pictures I put up, as soon as I take pictures of everything!

Trying to make a go of this again

I know it’s been a long time since I did any posting here.  Life became difficult for a while.

I think I’m back now.


While I haven’t been posting, I have done a few lace items I want to upload here.


Pink Punto in Aria2

This was my first attempt at doing “Punto in Aria” lace.  I took the inspiration from a plate I bought at the grocery store:



I learned a lot in that piece, and there are things I would definitely do differently.  But it was a good learning piece.


New Lace

People are encouraging me to enter some lace into the State Fair.  I’ve decided I’m going to attempt it.  I have a little while before I have to commit to it.  If the lace turns out bad, then I just won’t enter!

I’ve decided I’m going to use this owl graphic.

I have it all printed out.  Tomorrow, I will cover the cardboard in clear contact paper, and start sewing the couching threads for the outsides.   Hopefully, by the time I have the cordonette couched down, I’ll have decided what to do with the big owl shape.

Hopefully, it’ll turn out well!

Strawberry Short Snake

(Hi world, I’m back!)

Last winter, I became hooked on Pinterest, a place for storing and sharing links to all sorts of websites.  The ones I tend to visit are mostly food and do it yourself sites.

While I was searching Pinterest one day, I found a cute recipe for “Strawberry Shortcake Snake” from Disney Family Fun.  At the time, I pinned it and thought I’d get around to making it some day.

That day was yesterday.

Of course, me being me, I changed it a little (I don’t really like whipped cream on strawberry shortcakes, and I like a bit sweeter of a biscuit for shortcakes).

Strawberry Short Snake

Shortcake biscuits:

2 cups AP flour
4 tablespoons powder sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400* F.

Mix the flour, powder sugar and baking powder thoroughly in a large mixing bowl.  Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter.  When it’s ready, the mixture should look like coarsely ground crackers.  Make a well in the middle of the mixture, and pour the milk into it.  Mix the milk into the flour.  You may have to gently kneed it at the end to saturate all the flour mixture.

Turn onto a lightly floured counter and press into a 6″ by 8″ rectangle (about 1″ deep).  If you want a huge snake (like shown) cut into four pieces 1/5″ by 8″.  If you want a smaller, single person serving size, cut into 8 pieces.

Transfer the dough onto your baking  sheet, and shape into a curved snake shape.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.  Take off the pan and let cool.

Strawberry American Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter (one stick) that is room temperature
3 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-6 cups powder sugar
2/3 cup strawberry preserves

In the bowl of you electric mixer, beat the butter until it is light and creamy (about 3 minutes or so).  Add cream and vanilla and beat until it’s all incorporated.  Add the strawberry preserves and beat until it’s incorporated.  Add the powder sugar, a little at a time, until the frosting is stiff.  Depending on weather conditions and how stiff you like your frosting, that can be anywhere from 4 to 6 cups.


One quart strawberries reserving 4 to 8 nice strawberries for the head

Wash all the strawberries and reserve the 4 or 8 nicest looking strawberries for the head.  Hull and thinly slice the remaining strawberries.  Split the snakes open carefully.  Spread some buttercream frosting on the bottom layer, and then layer the sliced strawberries on top of the frosting.  Place the top of the biscuit on the strawberries.  Carefully spread some buttercream frosting on the top of the snake, and layer some strawberries on top of the buttercream.  Take one of your reserved strawberries and flatten out the hull.  Insert a toothpick into the flat of the strawberry, and attach it to the front of the snake, making sure the toothpick is in the biscuit.

For the eyes, you can either dab a bit of frosting on the top of the strawberry, or you can take two mini chocolate chips or two M&M Mini’s and attach them to the strawberry with frosting.

The original recipe is here:

Reticello Sampler Complete!

Here are some pictures!


Some of these are the obligatory “with quarter for scale” pictures, of course.