Sunday, December 12, 2010

Merry Christmas from Illinois and Summer Spread Defined

Besides quilting, I like to cook - hate to do dishes (even with a dishwasher), but I love to cook. So every year at Christmas in my regular and online Christmas cards, I send a Recipe Newsletter, instead of a Newsie Newsletter.

Before I share my recipe, here is an idea I'd like to share that is not exactly quilt related, but it is one that I have been doing for about the last ten years - maybe you'll like it to.

I started a file on my computer with our family recipes. I divided them up in sections in the file -- just like they do in the regular cookbook and then when anyone in our family or friend circle gets married (or graduates from HS - if there is an interest in cooking). I copy it off and put it in a three ring binder with those subject dividers (remember them from high school - English, Math, etc. etc. ) only I write in the different food groups.

I buy the three ring binders with the paper insert ability on the front and I make up a sheet which reflects the person(s) receiving the cookbook - insert that in the front. It is all recipes that are tried and true. This is an easy and very USEFUL gift for kids heading off to college, getting married, or starting their life away from home for the first time.

Now my online Christmas card to you....

Christmas 2010

Fresh Apple Cake Preheat oven: 350 Grease: 9 x 13 cake pan

In a large bowl combine:

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ¼ cups canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3 medium Granny Smith Apples – peeled, cored, and chopped (3 cups)

Spoon Stir batter only until it is moist (batter will be thick) – Do not use a mixer.

Spread batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.

Special Note: If you do decide to substitute another kind of apple make sure you use another type of baking apple.

Centennial Eagle Summer Spread 1870-1910

Parks Wildemuth Collection

Summer Spread Defined: A summer spread has the look of a quilt and/or a quilt top, but is not a quilt for a very simple reason - it is not quilted. Like the piece above it is usually a single layer with the edges finished (quilt top has unfinished edges - summer spread's are finished). Summer spreads are usually applique.

What did they use summer spreads for?

When I was a sophomore in HS we (my grandpa and I) visited my Aunt Frances in North Carolina on an airplane --it was my grandpa's first airplane ride and I was to help him get through the airport at O'Hare. On that trip we visited my aunt's mother on her farm - little did I know back then that there would be a farm in my future. It must have been foreshadowing of what was to come because I fell in love with this big two story farmhouse next to a creek filled with antiques. It was the kind of place an author would live in and that lady could cook to - you have not lived until you had a slice of one of her pies.

My cousin and I were wandering about the place and went upstairs because she wanted to show me her grandmother's quilts. In one bedroom there was a four postered bed stacked with quilts laid flat and all were covered with a "summer spread." Aunt's mom used one her of her summer spreads to protect her stash of quilts from the sun and dust.

BUT...I believe the more common use for them was as a bedspread during the summer.

Merry Christmas everyone and all the best with all your projects.

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