Well, how did the week go? It was a stressful one in ThimbleannaLand. Big layoffs at work yesterday and it was very sad to see some of my friends lose their jobs. Especially in this economic climate where it will be hard to find a new one.
So, it’s in that frame of mind that I’ve read several posts on several different blogs about the “Dumbing Down of Quilting”. I’m too lazy to look up the links, but I’ll bet a google search will get you there. I think both sides of the argument have valid points. I get that a lot of what we see on blogs seems simple and without challenge. I even roll my eyes when I see another “pattern” pop up for a square-in-a-square quilt. And I get really frustrated when something appears with the idea that it’s a new concept. There’s really very little that’s new in quilting. Our grandmothers nailed most of the geometric shapes out there, a long time ago. (Although part of the original complaint may have included “art” quilts, that’s not what I’m talking about here.)
On the other hand, someone, somewhere made the statement that we need to push ourselves and do something more challenging. If we’ve made tons of quilts with half-square triangles, we need to move on to applique, or something like that. Really? Do I NEED to do that? I love a good challenge….I like to make different quilts….but is it required that I do that? If I’m perfectly happy to just make big ol’ one-patch quilts for the next three years then shouldn’t that be ok? (The simple quilts are still some of my very favorites.) I’ve been sewing a long time — I’m pretty sure I have the skills to make most of the more “challenging” quilts. So, I hope if I make an “easy” quilt that it will be ok. Or if I make a quilt with a fat quarter stack, that that’s acceptable. It’s not that I don’ t enjoy picking my own fabrics. I LOVE scrappy quilts and almost all of my quilts have been scrappy. I do understand that using precuts seems lazy and dumbed down — I’ve even complained about it before. But sometimes, a collection comes along that I love so much, I just want to have fun playing with that collection and only that collection (re: Bliss. And if I could come up with something, The. Pips.)
Well, that’s my two cents worth. I could ramble on, but in the big picture, I think we’re all just taking ourselves a bit too seriously. Quilting should be whatever you want it to be, but most of all FUN. If you can sell a pattern for something that I can draw up with a little graph paper, then more power to you. I might roll my eyes, but you go girl LOL!
Ok, at the risk of dumbing down our cooking, I have my late entry for Randi’s Recipe Box Swap. I love a challenge in the kitchen, but after a long day at work, I want something simple. My good buddy Gurney (who is a fabulous cook — I’m so lucky that all my quilty peeps are awesome in the kitchen) gave me this recipe years ago and it’s become a family favorite. It’s unbelievably easy and in about 30 minutes(during which time, you can be watching tv or whatever), you can have a delicious dinner. (Btw, Randi requested main dishes, but this recipe is the whole dish — main and sides. Also, Disclaimer #1: This recipe calls for frozen green beans and I didn’t have any, so I didn’t add them to this recipe. We still ate green beans, but they were canned. So….this is a case of “do as I say, not as I do!” ;-) )
Skillet Pork Chops and Rice
4 to 6 lean pork chops
1 – 6 oz. package Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice mix
9 oz. frozen, cut green beans
In large skillet, over medium high heat, brown pork chops on both sides; remove and set aside. In same skillet, combine rice mix ingredients and water according to package directions; bring to boil.
Place pork chops on rice mixture.
(Disclaimer #2: Your pork chops sitting in the wild rice mixture won’t look exactly like this — I inadvertently added too much water. Not to worry though, I siphoned the excess off, and as you can see in the first picture, it all turned out just fine.)
Reduce heat; simmer covered 20 to 25 minutes or until pork chops are tender. Arrange green beans around edge of skillet. Cover; simmer an additional 7 to 10 minutes until water is absorbed and beans are crisp tender.
Thanks for a great recipe Gurney!
Have a good weekend …
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