Tuesday, December 03, 2019

it just takes the time it takes

i'm weaving a four meter long rag rug. i spent weeks searching out old bedding in red and black and white in second hand stores, carefully ripping it and rolling it into balls.

on october 19, i began my rug. the end product will be 4 meters long and it will have a place of pride in my kitchen. the warp on the loom had already woven two rag rugs and they were cut off and so i had to tie up my ends. i am very fortunate to have excellent help from the experienced weavers where i weave.

i started off with an edge of 8 rows of "fisherman's cotton," which is the same as my warp.

i began with plain black fabric, loving how it looks with the pattern that's set up on the loom. i press the pedals 1-2-3-2-1 and so on.

it looked so amazing with the plain fabric, that i decided, after weaving a few rows with some of the patterns i had collected, to remove them and keep it simple with plain colors.

i'm alternating between black, white and red, more or less as the spirit moves me. i'm using less white, since at 4 meters, the rug will be too large and heavy to fit into the washing machine very easily. 

i decided early on to measure each section, so that when i come to the middle, i can begin a mirror image. i think the finished rug will be more harmonious this way.

since the loom has been in use for awhile, strings keep hopping off. it's frustrating and slows things down, but i also learn a lot from it. and it's a good reminder that this is a slow project. there's no way to hurry it up. it just takes the time it takes.

and since i can only go weave every other wednesday when the group gets together, my progress is steady but slow.

but progress there is, and i plod along. it's even slower than it should be because i decided that the strips i originally made were too wide and so i have to tear them all in half. this means that i'm doing a lot of matching up of ends, which just takes the time it takes.

but things do move forward. and i'm pleased with my edges. somehow, i'm a natural at those. but, i'll admit that when visitors to the museum stop and talk to me, i make mistakes and i have to back up. making it again, just take the time it takes. i'm learning patience. and perseverance.

and i'm well over halfway as of this shot. when i start to make mistakes, i take a break, get a coffee, walk around and talk to the others, and look at what they're doing. or i help reach things that are up high or take a turn at the desk out in the museum. and i just remind myself that this just takes the time it takes.

and now, i have under a meter to go. i didn't finish it in time for my big thanksgiving with guests, but i will finish it early next year. and i will be so proud of this significant, beautiful thing i have made for my kitchen. and i will remember that things just take the time they take and how important it is to enjoy the journey along the way.

it's so much more than cooking

thanksgiving eve salad with sesame chicken for dinner
it's so much more than cooking. i read an article with this title a few weeks ago. with my very domesticated (and wonderful) danish husband, i had to laugh a bit at the issues the author faced. especially when her husband volunteered to make dinner and then didn't shop for any ingredients, but had expected them to magically be in the refrigerator. my husband would know that grocery shopping was part of the deal. without being told. but i will admit that we do mostly divide the cooking along gender lines in our household. especially as the home renovation falls almost entirely on husband's shoulders, it's only fair that i do the bulk of the cooking. and cook i did over the past few days. we invited 10 of our best friends to a thanksgiving feast and it was my best performance ever (all that watching australian master chef is paying off).

my biggest turkey ever! 11 kilos! fresh and delicious. it went into a brine for two days in preparation for its tour in the smoker - our new kamado grill. and yes, that's sabin's first bathtub i used to brine it in.

potted shrimp as an appetizer for people to munch on when they arrived, since that big turkey was going to take forever!

i modified a maple-nutmeg custard pie recipe i found by adding pecans on top. it was delicious! though i was so full, i didn't eat any of it until breakfast the next day.

after two rounds of smoking, the turkey was looking gorgeous.

the skin got a little bit dark and i haven't perfected crispy skin in the smoker, but the meat was juicy and meltingly tender and, if i do say so myself, perfectly smoked.

it was a proud moment as husband took the serving dish to the table. it was so much fun introducing my danish friends to my favorite holiday and sharing this beautiful food with them. it really meant the world.

before i added gravy and a spoonful of stuffing. thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and although it's a lot of work, it's worth every minute. and that nap i took on sunday afternoon was bliss as well. it really is so much more than cooking, it's love and culture and sharing and friendship and happiness as well.