Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The China Dolls Meet Again!

I believe I've written at least one blog about the new quilting bee that has formed in my neck of the woods, the China Dolls Bee.  I didn't know how I'd manage with yet another meeting to attend, but I have loved being in this Bee.  The women are a fun, talented bunch, and we help and advise one another each time we meet.  We meet usually twice a month, taking turns hosting.  Yesterday it had rolled around to be my turn again.  Each bee member brings something to work on.  Many of these women are machine embroidery lovers and true experts, so often they bring their amazing embroidery machines.  Some bring handwork to do, applique or hand embroidery or perhaps sewing down the binding on a just-completed quilt.

The hostess usually prepares lunch for the group, and, oh, the wonderful meals we've shared!  Soups of all sorts this winter usually, but yesterday I decided to prepare a much-loved chicken wild rice casserole, plus two congealed salads, tomato aspic and pineapple/lime.  The aspic, I would say, got the most raves!

The last time we met, at Lynne's, was on Valentine's Day, which also happened to be her birthday.  She had made a delicious chicken chili and huge tossed salad, but also some beautifully decorated Valentine cupcakes.  Lynne invited the editor of the weekly paper for the two communities of China Spring [thus our name] and Bosqueville to come learn about this new quilting bee in China Spring.  This charming man is not only editor but also photographer, and as a graphic artist himself, he was fascinated to learn more about quilting.  He tooks many photos, some of which ended up on the front page of The Enterprise, his paper, under a huge headline reading "Queens of Quilt."

Below are two of the pictures Clint took:
Here I am, embroidering  my first Japanese embroidery, Sashiko. 
Am I right, fellow blogger LinLin, that I was the one who
got you interested in Shashiko?  I'm wearing
a little felt heart pin.  I made all of my Bee friends these pins; you'll
see them on many of them below!

From left:  Dodie, Hilary, Priscilla, Rita, Sandy, Alice B., Alice E., and Lynne, our hostess.  Lynne is the
maker of the quilt under which we are sitting.  When I saw this picture for the first time yesterday, I said
to the gathered group:  "You know what?  We are a pretty darn good looking bunch of women!"
And, just for fun, my aspic recipe:

1 box of lemon Jell-O
1 can of stewed tomatoes, any flavor, but preferably peeled, sliced tomatoes
1 tablespoon vinegar

Heat the stewed tomatoes to boiling.  Pour in the Jell-O and stir until dissolved.  Add the vinegar.  (Rice vinegar is mild, but I used red wine yesterday, and that was good and tangy.)  I have a large Tupperware ring mold that I use, and for this, I triple the recipe.

Pour into a small oiled mold or a small square Pyrex dish.  Chill until firm.  Serve with a dollop of mayonaise on a pretty lettuce leaf.


  1. I've told you in an email what nice pictures these are. You all look VERY HAPPY to be doing the BEE together. I've wanted your aspic recipe, so it's a treat to have it. Thank you.

  2. Yes, you are a group of good looking women, but you, my dear Alice, are the CUTEST! I made tomato aspic early in my married career for a church dinner and it bombed. Personally,I thought it was 'delish,'as Linlin says. Too old fashioned, I suppose for most people. What fun you are having!

  3. What a super blog...great photos and a recipe. What fun you must have being with all those talented creative ladies. Thanks for posting all of it!