Friday, March 4, 2011

Grandpa's Tie New Design and Curry

So I was working in my studio with some really fun upholstery sample fabric when I came up with my new Grandpa's Tie purse design. Here it is!
I used the necktie to make a pocket on the front of the purse. Another part of the tie makes a pocket on the inside. FUN! They're so cute! Here's another style with the same concept:
This one has a magnetic snap for the main compartment of the purse and a button to close the pocket on the front. Which is better? I may just make a few of each and see what people like.

Meanwhile, I got my "a Sharee design" fabric labels that I'm now sewing to the inside of these:

I made a super gorgeous little evening bag with a nice strap that can go across your body for dancing, but I can't get the photo to look as good as the purse looks, so that one isn't going to go out to Etsy or anywhere. I'll bring it to the Duluth show at the end of the month. I couldn't get the diamond-like button to photograph well, either. This is the best I can do:

To switch the topic, tonight I'm making a FANTASTIC African curry dish (it's simmering while I write this). The original recipe calls for lamb, but we always have venison. I also adapted a few things to make it easier for me to get the ingredients way up here in the north woods. You can make this with wine, just no wine goes into the dish itself..

It takes lots of spices. For those of you who live near a city, you have no excuse! Go to your big supermarket or ethnic grocer and buy some! I have to work really hard to keep my pantry stocked with these fresh spices, but you have such easy access. Of that, I'm envious.

Sharee's Venison Curry - adapted from Marcus Samuelsson's recipe
(he really does have 2 "s's" in his name!)

1 stick of butter (again, this will end up being a big pot of food, so don't be shy about the butter!)
2 large red onions halved and then sliced
1 T ginger (I use that fresh minced ginger you can keep in the fridge)
6 garlic cloves minced (or use a garlic press and squish them)
2 fresh chilies finely chopped (remove seeds and ribs for less heat - or squirt some Rooster sauce in there if you don't have fresh chilies -- Donna, you know what this is. The rest of you, it's your challenge to figure out.)
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground coriander
4 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
pinch of saffron
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 lbs. boneless red meat cut into 2-inch cubes (venison, lamb, beef, etc.)
6 tomatoes, chopped, or 3 cups chopped canned tomatoes
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes cut into big chunks
1 cup plain yogurt (I LOVE that whole milk Greek Yogurt - worth seeking out)

Melt the butter in a large pot. Stir in the onions, ginger, garlic, and chilies and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the paprika, coriander, cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, saffron, turmeric and peppercorns and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the meat and tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and simmer, uncovered for  minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and 1 cup of water and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low and simmer for a while - up to 1 1/2 hours if your meat needs to cook that long (drink your wine). I let mine simmer about an hour.

Add the potatoes, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Remove from heat. Let it cool just a little and then add the yogurt right before serving.

Make some rice while it's cooking so you have rice to serve it over. Make a whole bunch of rice and then use the leftover rice for "Easy Paella" that I'll tell you about next. YUM!

------------------- special notes learned from experience ----------------------------

Steve hates running into "debris" while he's eating this dish. So either put your cardamom pods and pepper corns in cheesecloth and then remove it before eating, or use ground pepper and ground cardamom. The big bay leaves and cinnamon sticks are easy to pick out.

Personally, I especially love getting the random pepper corn. Not so fond of biting the cardamom pod, though.

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