Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Making Silk Flowers and Caldo Verde

Gathered five petal blossoms and a few more to finish
Acquaintance who knows I sew:  "What are you working on these days?"
Me:  "I'm burning the edges of 90 six-sided silk petals shapes before gathering them into blossoms to decorate a sweater."
Acquaintance. "Oh."

And I'm listening to DVDs of Carl Hiaasen's book,  Nature Girl.  Pretty clever, funny story of characters here in SW Florida.  I've never read any of his humorous novels before and I can understand why people enjoy him.  I'm not sure I'll run out to get another of his soon but it's light reading while I've been doing this embellishing task.

Here's my inspiration:
Threads link to Kenneth King flower instructions and video clip
Here are my steps:
Traced my flower shape onto different colors of silk dupioni

Carefully burn the edges of the flower petals
Wipe the soot off the edges before stacking them in desired color sequence

I am still gathering these flowers to attach to my next Ann Taylor sweater.  I'll be wearing it and my tweed skirt tomorrow to the theater in Fort Myers so will make sure that I get a snapshopt of the outfit for your inspection.  In the meantime, I thought I'd share a wonderful new recipe that we tried last week when it was cold.  Yummmm....and rather healthy as well.

Caldo Verde
From The Best Recipe Soups and Stews, by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine
Serves 6

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling over individual bowls
1 large onion, chopped medium
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
6 c. chicken broth
1 lb. (about 4 medium) red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 oz. chorizo or smoked kielbasa sausage halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
1 spring fresh savory or oregano (1 used 1 tsp. dried)
6 oz. kale, stems removed and laves cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips (about 4 1/2 packed cups)
ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.  Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2. Add 3 cups stock, the potatoes, and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Increase the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.  Remove the pot from the heat and mash the potatoes in the liquid with a potato masher until no large chunks remain and the potatoes thicken the soup slightly.
3. Return the pot to medium-high heat.  Add the remaining 3 cups stock, sausage, and savory and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer to blend the flavors, about 15 minutes.
4. Remove and discard the savory.  Stir in the kale and simmer until just tender, about 5 minutes.  Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately, drizzling each portion with olive oil, if desired.
Caldo Verde pics and directions


  1. LOL, I'm imagining the look on your acquaintance's face! We understand though. I can't wait to see the finished product.

  2. Oh Jane, that was too funny! :) Thanks for the chuckle.

    I wonder if the blossoms were allowed to fray a little if that might be a nice look - certainly less trouble....

  3. Yum! That soup does look good! (Getting close to meal time.)
    Those flowers are looking beautiful. Can't wait to see them in place!


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