If you read Crazy Lanea, you may already have an idea that Big Things Were Afoot over the weekend. When we found out, way back at Rhinebeck 2006, that Amy was not only one of the fibrous, but also a contra dancer and fan of Irish music, the Fool and I started trying to figure out how we could hang out together more.
We tried some old-time jamming at Maryland Sheep and Wool in 2007, and then this year, began hatching the Big Plan, centered on the University of Chicago contra dance weekend.
Then we beefed up the plan with a trip to The Fold, the big Midwestern quilt show, and lots of good breakfast food.
The only flaw in the plan was when my camera ran out of batteries. Amy has better pictures. Go see hers.
But here's a quick summary.
Hazelnut-raspberry scones, from Bon Appetit, Dec. 2002.
2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 c. plus 2 T. chilled whipping cream
3/4 c. hazelnuts, toasted, husked, coarsely chopped
4 T. raspberry preserves
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in food processor, blend 5 seconds. Add butter and blend, using on/off turns until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 3/4 c. cream. Blend using on/off turns just until dough comes together. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with 1/2 c. nuts. Gently knead to mix in nuts.
Divide dough into 4 equal pieces, shape each into ball. press into 6-inch round, about 1/4 inch thick. Spread preserves over two rounds, leaving 1/2 inch border. Place one plain dough round on top of each jam covered round, seal edges. (can be made 1 day ahead; wrap in plastic and chill.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter baking sheet. Place rounds on work surface. Brush with 1 T. cream each, sprinkle with remaining 1/4 c. nuts, press to adhere. Cut each round into 6 wedges, arrange on prepared sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake until puffed and deep golden, about 16 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
(After discussion, Amy and I agreed the scones would also be good using almonds and apricot jam, which I'm trying this weekend, dark chocolate bits and sour cherry jam, or shredded cheese and carmelized onions in the middle.)
Angus is a big Amy fan. He generally likes the ladies anyway, but he felt comfortable enough to hop on the couch the first night Amy was here, flop down next to her and try to bite her. Sigh. Luckily, she has a feisty cat too, and recognized what the Fool and I call "the bitey face" before he got her. It turned out Angus became so enamored of her that he borrowed her green wool sweater from her room Monday morning and dragged it into our bedroom so he could roll on it and otherwise molest - and I do not use that word lightly - it. Spoot and Mab behaved very well in comparison, which is not that difficult.
The quilt show was excellent. Amy and I supported more small businesses and the Fool admired quilts, texted me with booth numbers I should stop by and carried the canvas bag with our lunch in it.
Look at this one. Here's the front.
And here's the back. (I think I rotated one of these images funny. But you get the idea.)
I like the fact that the show usually has quilts I could never make in a million years ... but some ideas for things I could actually do.
This one, too.
Here's one of those never-in-a-million years ones.
The Fool made me take pictures of his favorite quilts too. Like this one. He was especially interested in the quilts that looked more like painted pictures.
(Evidence she was really in Chicago. She's rearranging her bag or looking for a cough drop or something like that.)
Not every weekend in Chicago is packed with contra dancing, quilts and trips to yarn stores, but we're glad this one was.