Friday, May 26, 2006

Press Chicken recipe

I love recipes that have an interesting history and I'm glad to share this one with you. The main ingredient is a nice fat chicken.

When I make press chicken for a large group (which I usually do) I like to buy packages of breasts and thighs. A whole chicken works nicely for a family. I like the mixture of light and dark meat so that the end product is nice and moist with good flavor. Also the meat should have nice yellow skin and some fat (it makes better broth).

Before I cook the meat I like to soak it in salt water. This is something that my mom did whenever she fixed chicken she bought from the store; mom said it cleans the meat. Rinse the chicken and place it in a stock pot with enough water to almost cover the meat. Add a large pinch of salt to the pot. Slow boil the chicken for around three hours or until the meat is falling from the bone. Remove the meat from the broth to a platter to cool. Strain the broth and save; keep refrigerated until ready to use (never store broth in a metal container). After the meat has cooled separate it from the skin and bones. Keep the chicken refrigerated until the broth has completely cool and any fat is congealed. Remove and discard the fat from the broth.

I use my grandmother's meat grinder to grind the chicken. Meat grinders come in all makes and models now, but the one I use is like the one mother used. It clamps to the tabletop or counter and has three different blades: course, medium and fine. I always use the medium blade to get the same consistency my mother made. Any meat grinder will do but you may not get the consistency that I do. While grinding the meat I usually add saltines a few at a time to move the meat through grinder and saltines also act as a binder when the broth is added. While grinding the meat heat the broth, for a whole chicken you should need between 1 ½ to 3 cups of broth.

Place ground chicken in a large bowl and slowly add the broth a little at a time. Mix until it is moistened also add salt and pepper to taste. It depends on how you want to serve it as to how much broth to use. Adding a little broth will make it stiffer more broth will make is spreadable. Mom would use less broth and put the mixture in a loaf pan so she could slice it for sandwiches. I usually make it with more broth so that it is easy to spread on sandwich buns. Refrigerate until cool.

Typically no condiments are used although I like a little mayonnaise on my bread. As long as you keep the chicken cold you can make up sandwiches ahead of time.


If you have more broth than you will need boil it down some to concentrate the flavor. Or save it for another use (noodles?).

If you don't think you have enough broth add some water and bring it back to a boil.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Busy Week

This week has been a busy one....I think it's mostly because Memorial weekend is coming up. I've been to all of the local greenhouses getting plants for the garden and for my hanging baskets, planters and flower beds.

Yesterday my neighbor and I planted flowers in the flower beds at our town cemetery. We've been doing this for seemed to slip up on us this year but we wanted to have it done for the holiday weekend.

I didn't do up as many hanging baskets this year...I have other places that money can go too. The garden has been calling me and I have all of my seeds planted and some pepper plants are set out too. The tomatoes and the rest of the pepper plants are on the porch waiting....I like to repot them into larger pots with good soil before they go to the garden...just gives them a good start.

The flower bed out front needed dirt...the eve drips into the bed and the dirt disappears. I added a bag of dirt and planted vinca, blue salva and a few petunias. The three hanging baskets I made up have with yellow the other two with pink.

The wind has been blowing all day....very hard at times and the tree frogs have been singing too. I suspect we will have rain in the night. The wind always brings the Hawks and Turkey Vultures to hang glide over the trees....poor Jesse nearly ran himself silly chasing and barking at them. He should sleep very well tonight.

Has anyone heard of Press Chicken? That is my next big project this weekend. Our little community has an Ice Festival on Memorial day every year. My job is to make the Press Chicken for's a local favorite. We have people come from several communities around just for a press chicken sandwich. When I was a kid nearly all of the local ladies made it but most of those ladies have passed away and I guess the recipe wasn't pasted on to the next generation. I haven't posted any recipes here yet but if anyone would like the recipe please leave a comment and I will post it for you.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Hearts Received

Only a few of my close friends know that I'm trading hearts through the Chain of Hearts group...and they ask me about it frequently. I've even been asked to show my Hearts scrapbook to friends of friends. People are always amazed at the beauty and craftsmanship (craftswomanship) involved in the making of these little crazy patched hearts. I thought I would share the two latest hearts that I have received.

This heart is from Candji who lives in Ohio

This heart is from Hideko who lives in Japan.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

More on my First Block

I've added more seam treatments. The one on the top right on the light blue fabric is my favorite. When I look at the block it just stands out.

I used a very loose pistil stitch on the seam to the left of the center print. It reminds me of curves in a comma shape. There is still more to come.

Monday, May 15, 2006

My First Block

My first block
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.
This is the first cq block I've ever sewn together. I'm not sure I would have tried some of these seam treatments if I had to do them freehand. Press & Seal has really been a big help to me. Julia just posted a tutorial on useing P&S on her blog, Camille's Place.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Recent Tatting

Latest Tatting
Originally uploaded by Iris Susan.
Here are a few of my tatting projects that I finished recently. Click the link to my flickr site to see a larger picture.

I want to thank everyone for their comments on the cabin and my stitching and tatting. It's so nice to know there are so many people out there that like what I do.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

New Heart

This is my latest heart and it went to Belinda in Australia. All the fabric and the pink lace are from baggie swaps. I tatted the butterfly to match this heart.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Open House

The last couple of weeks have been very busy for me. So I'll catch up on the main thing that has had me so busy. Some of my readers know that I live in log cabin. My brother (who sells the log kits) uses it as a model home and we have an open house once or twice a year. Today was our open I've been busy getting ready for it by getting rid of some things that I didn't need any longer and packing away things that were setting around. Plus I've been doing and more cleaning plus the yard work. While the house was clean and tidy I thought I would share some pictures.

This is the south side of the cabin...that is a rock walk to the porch. The next pic is the kitchen and dining area. You should be able to see larger pictures by clicking on them.

This is the living room and the stairs lead to the master bedroom on the left and loft on the right. The house if very open only three rooms have doors (both bathrooms and the downstairs bedroom).

This is the guest bathroom (downstairs) I had seen these old washstands and dressers used in Log Home magazine and was lucky enough to have one to put in my bathroom.