More of Ghana – My favorite soup

This post deviates from the quilting/fabric theme of our blog.  But since quilters are often good cooks as well, I though some of you might like to try my favorite Ghanaian soup.

By far – of  everything I ate in Ghana, Light Soup was my favorite.  I’ve made it quite a few times since returning home and I never tire of it.  While in Ghana I did learn to really enjoy fufu as well.  Fufu is dough-like and is served with soups.  It is to the Ghanaian’s what potatoes are to us – their staple and favorite starch.  In America I make a mock fufu with instant potato flakes.  It’s close enough to the real thing and I enjoy it….  But I’m the only one who has acquired a taste for fufu, so I usually just opt for making rice – something everyone in my family enjoys with their Light Soup!

Ghanaian Light Soup

4 chicken leg quarters, skin removed
2 – 3 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2-3 cloves garlic, peel  & crushed
1 Magi chicken bullion cube (Magi cubes are larger than your typical bullion)
Seasoned salt to taste
1 onion, chopped
6-8 cups water, divided
6-8 oz eggplant, peeled and quartered
opt. – 1 medium zucchini (4 oz) cut in half (I usually skip the zucchini and use more eggplant because my eggplants are usually larger than 6-8 oz.)
6 oz tomato paste
½ tsp cayenne pepper

Put the leg quarters in a pot with 2 cups of water.  On top of the chicken sprinkle the fresh grated ginger, garlic, Magi cube, seasoned salt and onion.  Cover and allow chicken to steam for 2 hours, adding more water as needed.

When chicken is sufficiently tender and seasoned add remaining 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.  (I often add more water if too much has evaporated while steaming or if I want to stretch my soup.)  Add eggplant and zucchini, if using.  Allow to cook for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Remove vegetables from soup and place in blender.  Add some broth and blend until smooth.  Return to pot.  Add the tomato paste and cayenne pepper.

Traditionally, the soup is served over fufu or rice balls with a piece of chicken added to the side of eat person’s bowl.  In America, we have found it most practical to de-bone the chicken into the soup before serving over a plate of rice.  Use plenty of soup with the rice and eat with a spoon.  🙂  So good!

Optionally you can use smoked fish.  If using fish instead of chicken don’t add it to the soup until you put it in each person’s bowl.  It will make the soup too “fishy”.)

Light Soup served with smoked fish and fufu

Light Soup served in Ghana with smoked fish and fufu - Yes, you eat it with your fingers. 🙂

Grace by 3 Sisters for Moda has arrived

It’s here! The beautiful Grace collection by 3 Sisters for Moda. The entire collection has arrived and is on our website now.  Besides the 45″ fabrics, we also got in Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, Charm Packs, and 108″ wide backing fabric.  There’s plenty of selection for making some beautiful quilts with this inspiring fabric.

Grace Fabric Collection by 3 Sisters for Moda

Grace Fabric Collection by 3 Sisters for Moda

Back from Ghana

Thanks, everyone for your patience and support while I was gone. I was immeasurably blessed by my time in Ghana. I went expecting to enjoy my time there, but it was above and beyond anything I ever imagined. I loved it. I loved the people, loved the culture, and loved especially what God worked in my heart and life through being there.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that batiks are hand made in Ghana. One day I was driving through Elmina with Conrad and some other SALT to Ghana workers. Through my window I spotted a beautiful display of batik fabrics. I was immediately excited and told Conrad to remember this spot because one day I wanted to come back and see those fabrics. He said, “I’ll drop you off right now and be back in 15 minutes after I run my other errand.” Wow! What a deal. I was totally surprised to walk into that little shack and find a lady in the back of it stamping the batiks RIGHT THERE! I had so much fun visiting with her. When Conrad found out that I enjoyed it, he told me that one of the micro loans the mission gave out helped start a batik business. He was sure that Sister Martha (in Ghana they often refer to each other as “sister”, “brother”, “aunt”, or “uncle” regardless of relation) would be glad to show me the entire process start to finish. Indeed she was! Sister Martha and her crew were wonderful and gave me an excellent education.

They drew their water from a hand dug well.

What you see is NOT what you get…. I declared that they “dyed by faith”! Notice the color of the fabric when they first put it on the line to dry. Then notice the color of the fabric when it is finally almost dry. 🙂

Black Friday through Cyber Monday – Sale!

Hope everyone had a great holiday with family and friends! My grandfather and aunt came to spend the holiday weekend with us. It’s great to have them here. We haven’t had a Thanksgiving together in YEARS, so this is a treat.

Thought I’d let you know that we are running a first-ever sale on our website. From Black Friday (Nov. 26th) through Cyber Monday (Nov. 29th) all digital quilting patterns, backing fabrics, quilting books and patterns will be 20% off on our website. No discount code needed…. The sale will automatically start running Friday through Monday.

Just wanted each of you to know we’re thankful for you and your business!

Happy quilting,
Allison, Tammy & Jacquie

New Pattern – Cup Of Joe E2E

Anyone who knows me knows that I am quite the java fan. I love a cup of good, strong coffee…. A lot. I enjoy lattes, frappes, and really enjoy the chocolate covered coffee beans I can get at my dad’s bulk food store. In short…. I really like coffee. (Have I said that before?!)

That explains some of my excitement about this new pantograph – Cup Of Joe E2E. It’s just my style… And totally reflects a Cup Of Joe – coffee shop style. It’s not “clip-arty”, but classy just like a great cup of coffee at your local coffee shop. And the stitch out is great…. Quick and smooth.

(And the beans?! Aren’t they great? Love ’em!)

Cup Of Joe E2E

Cup Of Joe E2E (c) Allison Payette 2010

Cup Of Joe E2E Repeat

Cup Of Joe E2E Repeat (c) Allison Payette 2010

Family Pictures

I know this is not a photography blog….  But I couldn’t help but post these pictures.  Tammy and I went to DeFries Gardens with Michael, Jacquie and Caroline to get their family pictures.  I thought you might like to see them. Our little niece is growing up and we are enjoying her so much.

Caroline Cecilia

Caroline Cecilia - 9 months

Hoover Family 2010

Michael, Jacquelyn, and Caroline Hoover

Hoover Family 2010

First Whole Cloth Quilt Finished

We finally buckled down and tackled our first whole cloth quilt.  The patterns are all ones that I digitized except the smaller inside border that is by Tammy Finkler.  The fabric was picked out by our customer and was a little scary to work with.  It was a polyester of some sort and had a shine to it.  We were a little worried that the synthetic fiber would become very stiff and unyielding, but in the end it turned out great.

Sorry the pictures are not the greatest.  We tried getting shots everywhere we could think of and in the end we still have shadowy photos!  But I guess they work….  Click on them – they get larger and the pictures look better that way.  🙂

Our first wholecloth quilt

“Tornadoes”, No Power, and Digital Quilting Patterns

Some of you ordered digital quilting patterns from me a couple of weeks ago while we were out of power. I used back up measures to send them out to you as soon as I possibly could. This post is to show a few pictures of the mess and clean up process….  And to thank you for your patience!

We had two storms come through here only days apart. The first storm hit us pretty hard. No tornadoes were spotted, but the winds had reported gusts of up to 80 mph.  Thankfully no one was hurt and we had no structural damage. However, a few trees got pretty badly torn up and our neighbor lost 3 trees in their front yard.  One tree was a huge old pine. As it fell to the ground it caught the power lines, ripping them out of the neighbor’s house and damaging the lines to our house and the pole. It also covered the road in its massiveness.

It is an incredible amount of work to clean up that many trees.  Our church sent over a few guys with chain saws and Michael came, too.  By the end of the day our entire property was clean except for a huge pile in the front yard from the neighbor’s pine.  It felt good when time finally allowed and the remains of the storm were completely burnt.  What an enormous fire!

The second storm brought 4 tornadoes with it, but they touched down just a couple of miles to the north of us.  We had more branches down, but not the major damage that others suffered.  One man had his entire barn picked up off its foundation and moved across the street!  The hay and equipment was still standing on the foundation.  Now, how does a tornado accomplish such a thing?!  But it did show me  that “gusts up to 80 mph” are definitely a different story than a real, true “tornado”.

When looking at the following pictures, bear in mind that we forgot to take pictures until clean up was well under way.  It was even worse….  🙂

The bse of the pine

Here you can see the size of the trunk on the pine. It is sad to loose such an old tree.

The guys at work

The guys at work. I'm not sure how we would have gotten this cleaned up without their help.

Dad and Tammy unloading branches onto the fire pile.

Dad and Tammy unloading branches onto the fire pile. Thankfully, the store Dad is building wasn't damaged. That is not a barn in the background - it is a store in progress!

The view of the road

The view of the road after it had been cleared almost to the point of passing. I wish I would have had a picture before it was cleared at all.

Our front yard

The pile that was started in our front yard. It looks like a jungle!

The power company cutting a branch out of the power lines

The power company cutting a branch out of the power lines. It was a big relief when they came out and repaired the lines. You don't realize how much you depend on electricity until it's gone.

I’m glad that’s over!  Hopefully there will be no more tornadoes for a long, long time…………..