And speaking of sewing, the Butterick 4549 top is almost done. Yippee! This is the pattern. :
I'm making the pink version but with the collar (or the orange version with sleeves). It's taking me much longer than it should but I'm a perfectionist Virgo. I still have to finish the zipper and hem it and then it'll be ready for its debut on the dress form. (what, me model?)
As for my baking, I made zucchini bread and zucchini muffins. The muffins unfortunately ended up in the compost bin because they were awful. The bread, however, was very tasty and we've polished off one loaf already. I'll post the zucchini bread recipe tomorrow. I got it from a co-worker of mine about 20 years ago. It's quite sweet and more like a cake than a bread. The failed muffins were from a bread cookbook I bought at the used bookstore. I can't say that we've ever made anything from this book before and now I'm quite leery of it! I was extremely disappointed in the results. And I hate wasting food too. The muffins looked like they would be tasty and included not only zucchini from our garden but fresh basil as well and were topped with grated Parmesan cheese. They smelled good but the insides were undercooked and did not improve with more time in the oven. They also didn't taste very good. I don't know where the problem was. The recipe called for one tablespoon of baking powder, which seemed like an awful lot to me but that's what I put in. Maybe the outsides cooked too quickly - the oven temp called for in the recipe was 425, which seemed high to me. Was it too much salt? The recipe called for 2 tsp, I put in just a little less. I'll post the recipe and maybe someone can spot the problem, if there is one. Maybe I made an error somewhere but I don't think so. I remember in 7th grade cooking school how I mixed up the amounts for salt and the sugar and made a mess in the oven. It obviously sticks in my mind so I read and re-read recipes now.
So this bread cookbook might go back to the used bookstore with our next load of books. The bread book we really like is: The Breads of France: And How to Bake Them in Your Own Kitchen by Bernard Clayton.
I'd like to make more zucchini bread but our zucchini harvest has actually slowed. Now the yellow crook-neck squash is coming in like gangbusters. I cooked some up with eggs Saturday morning. I fried up some onions from the garden in a little butter, added chunks of squash, some jalapeno peppers from the garden (they're really mild), then the eggs, and finally some Monterey Jack cheese. Yum! Saturday night we cooked hamburgers on the grill so I grilled some yellow squash and zucchini. The recipe booklet that came with our grill (bought about 5 years ago) came in handy finally. They had a recipe for a vinaigrette to marinade the squash so I tried that and I'm glad I did. I suspect if I'd just grilled the squash plain in the grilling basket, they'd have dried out. The vinaigrette was just some wine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, basil, and pepper. Easy and very tasty.
I had hoped to find some time to make some apricot preserves this weekend but the fruit will have to wait a few more days. It was too hot to work on it during the day and in the evening once I'm plopped down in front of the TV, I'm about done. Normally I knit while watching TV and I did start a new sock, however some shows require my full, visual attention, like Penn State football and really cool photography in HD. We finally got around to watching one of the Planet Earth episodes on Discovery Channel that we recorded and I must say...wow. I'm amazed at the photography and their ability to get such incredible views of the animals on land and in the sea. The episode we saw (Shallow Seas) showed mostly marine life and it was fascinating to see the food chain in operation. I've seen sea stars at the Monterey Aquarium but had no idea what voracious eaters they are! They increased the speed of the film and showed how the large sunflower sea stars sweep over areas and how the other creatures "scramble" out of the way. When you see sea stars in the aquarium, they're pretty immobile so one would never suspect. There was also some really incredible footage of great white sharks attacking seals. So scary.
And one final bit of info to pass on: Oxi Clean. It's summer and summer means white t-shirts (for me, at least - they go with everything). But my shirts get a bit dingy and discolored, especially under the arms so I thought I'd try Oxi Clean since I'd heard that despite the annoying commercial with the guy who yells about the product, it does work. It does! I was doubtful, I tell you. I don't trust info-mercials, but I know Costco sells it and they had it at my local grocery store, so I figured I'd try a small size. Well, it worked quite well. I won't have to buy new white shirts this year and my white Burda jacket is white again. Word to the warning, it didn't work on a bloodstain (used Shout on that) and there are all kinds of warnings on the label to test it first on your clothes so don't blame me if it doesn't work for you or you have problems. I simply want to pass on that it seems to work for me and if I can save anyone else from having to replace all their white shirts, then great!