Daisy Days

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The weather here has been very cold and very rainy and very gray and very dim this past week. Every night I've been piling several quilts on top of me and my sofa-seat and knitting, knitting, knitting, or taking warm baths by candlelight in the afternoon with my girl, who lounges in my lap and lets me pour warm water over her for an hour; we turn the hot tap a few times because we sit for so long it gets too cold. The swimming pool is supposed to open next week and I simply can't imagine this. A lonely, empty pool, and us Portlanders at home in the steamy bathtub.

So the midsummer festival felt more like late spring, with daisies and dancing girls and our college friends (and how lucky we are to have them here, thousands of miles away from where we all went to college!). Last year I made Amelia a baby bunad (a traditional Norwegian folk dress; hers was inspired by the beautiful dresses of the Dovre region of Norway, where her birthfather's family is from). This year I just happened to find this little red calico dress at the resale shop and it fit her perfectly. It is a handmade dress, too, so I couldn't resist. I planned to make her a new Norwegian dress every year so I'll just have to start planning for Christmas because I think little red will be too small by then. Super cute princess-seamed pattern, though. I love princess-seamed dresses. You don't see them too much lately (early '80s — I'm just sayin'!).

We had such a nice Father's Day, home all day alone together, cooking and playing. It was just a perfect day with my loves. I made a Dutch baby pancake and scrambled eggs with onions and mushrooms for Andy for breakfast. He made an awesome — possibly his best one ever — stuffed pizza last night. His recipe is the Edwardo's Famous Stuffed Spinach Pizza from the book Pizza: More than 60 Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pizza. If you aren't sure what Chicago stuffed pizza is, I will tell you: Think of an actual double-crust pie. There's a crust on the bottom, and then inside is all of the mozzarella cheese and a ton of fresh spinach. You pack it in. Then there's another crust on the top, and you crimp up the edges, just like with a pie. And on top of this top crust you add a light layer of a lovely, chunky, light tomato-and-garlic sauce, and then just a bit of sprinkled parmesan cheese. The whole thing is a massive concoction. You bake it in a cheesecake pan (I waitressed at Geppetto's in Oak Park after college, and we had special springform pans for our pizzas there, larger and shallower than a typical cheesecake pan; I need to look for one because I think it would help our crust thin out a bit). It weighs — actually, I have no idea how much it weighs, but a lot! The recipe in this book really does taste so much like Edwardo's pizza (which I liked better than Geppetto's, or even Gino's [Chicagoans, you know all these, right?]). Andy makes this about once a year and it is one of my favorite things. I love it, and it tastes like home.

I also made the Bangkok peanut ice cream from my sister's recipe and that was very delicious. Someone asked if this was a Jeni's recipe and I didn't know what that meant, so I looked it up and discovered that yes, it is! (And I am so getting her book.) I found a recipe online for the Bangkok peanut here. I thought it was really lovely — very subtle but with some texture and a bit of a kick from the cayenne pepper. Making ice cream has given me a whole new appreciation for buying ice cream. I have no idea where this ice cream thing I'm going through came from, really. I have really been enjoying it — and by the time it's time to eat it, you really only need to have the smallest of scoops to be happy. I have a lot of ice cream in my freezer. Which makes one feels rather secure. So that's nice.

Today Amelia and I are going to go to the fabric store. I need some skirts. I have a lot of fabric in my stash but it's all small amounts. I think we'll go to Knittin' Kitten tomorrow and look for '80s calicoes, too.

***My Ravelry page for the Fimma sweater is here :)

78 comments

You take the most amazing pictures. :) LOVE that sweet little dress. Of course the model you have is perfect!!! She is so adorable.

You are so lucky to live somewhere that has so many awesome fairs! I loved Amelia's little dress from last year, what luck to find a new one in her size! That stuffed crust pizza looks AMAZING! You should see the sorry ass excuse for a stuffed crust we have over here. I have never seen one like Andy's before. So nice that it reminds you of home. The sweater is lovely. Someday I hope to be able to knit something like that. Excited to see new fabric/ptterns for skirts.

Oh, your beautiful plants, just look at those! Look at that sweater!! Look at that quiche!!!!

I do always get a cozy feeling when I visit you!

Between your Fimma sweater and the Brooklyn Tweed kids' sweater collection that just came out, I'm suddenly hankering to knit some wee sweaters. I have no idea what I'll do with them, as I don't have any wee people in my life.

That adorable child of yours, striding confidently along with a treasure in each hand.

What beautiful photos as always! After reading your post, I'm now craving some Chicago deep dish pizza... We've always gone to Giordano's when we have travelled to the city. Andy's effort looks fabulous! Your dear little Amelia is growing so fast, what a doll!

Oh how do I love the little red pinafore. It reminds me of time spent living in Germany as a little girl many moons ago ...again you have awesome photos...memory shots :)
Alexa from Sydney, Australia

http://www.Alexa-asimplelife.com

Knittn Kitten is awesome I just found a delicious calico there a few weeks ago that I suspect you might love sorry to have snatched it!

MAN! That pizza looks SO GOOD. I've never heard of stuffed pizza before but never been to Chicago either so maybe that's why:) So glad you had such a sweet weekend. Is it warmer there yet? xoxoxoxo

Mmm, your food always looks so utterly delicious, I'm so hungry now. That pizza sounds amazing. Yay for homemade ice-cream, it's very popular in this house too. I do hope the sun comes out for you soon, that sweet little girl will love it at the pool. CJ xx

I love fabric in your quilts. I wonder if you can tell me what brand name it is. Love the colours.

Thanks for a fantastic blog and beautiful pictures! I love Amelias red dress and tomorrow we celebrate Midsummer eve in Sweden with LOTs of good food, mostly all kinds of different pickled herrings, smoked and cured salmon with new potatoes boiled with dill, some good cheese and crisp bread. For desert strawberries and icecream and whipped cream. There are all kinds of celebrations dancing around the Midsummer pole, that is beautifully decorated. Hopefully it will be a nice sunny day and people dress up in pretty summer dresses and with a reath in the hair made of summer flowers. We have to stay up late to see the sunset and it is a wonderful time of the year. Happy Midsummer to you all!

I do love your blog and particularly the pictures that you take so beautifully and that conjure up such a cosy world. So I hate to say this but I wonder whether the little red dress is on backwards? I grew up with many a dirndl which had a very similar look and construction and we always wore them with the two curved seams at the back. Just a thought. I hope you're not offended - I know you understand much better than I how things are made...

You know, I was totally wondering about that! The back looked exactly the same at
the “front” – that is, there were princess seams on it, too, but also a giant
green zipper, which seemed like it should go in back. . . . But the “back” was
also cut lower and seemed like the front! It was handmade so there wasn’t a tag
on it, but now that you mention it I thought the same thing!!! :)

Alicia, have you ever read Kristin Lavransdatter, by Sigurd Undset? An amazingly gorgeous epic set in medieval Norway, in the Dovre region. It's a tome, but truly spectacular!

I grew up in Chicago and as soon as I saw that picture I thought "Edwardo's"!!! Man I miss that pizza! Yours looks delicious! I'll have to try that recipe now! :) Beautiful post as always. :)

The photo of Andy holding Amelia up in the air is the most darling photo. She looks so excited and happy! And the photo on Father's Day is just beyond, she is such a sweet little dumpling. The sweater is just gorgeous - those colours!! That pizza looks so delicious - I am almost afraid to make it! Almost :)

I just can't read your posts without getting hungry! :) Love that photo of little one bundled up for sleep. I have a little girl almost the same age and your pics of Amelia always remind me of her; it's such a sweet and adventurous and wonderful age. Off to look up ice cream recipes...

The recipes look delicious, but what are you doing with all the egg whites?

Jan Olson says: June 20, 2014 at 08:07 AM

Love the new look . So fresh and clean ! It's always a delight to come to your blog. Amelia is just a treasure. She is on a mission and has her own little agenda. Lol ! What an adorable little sweetie !

That sweater is beautiful! Inspiring me to dig out the knitting! I really want to try a dutch baby too, they look so good!

so stinkin' cute! love her little boots!!

Hi! Our daughters are about a month apart (mine Nov 7) and every time I read your blog posts I feel like you're writing about my own child! She begs for outside too (also 'side!!) and races around trying to get her shoes on, all the while saying 'shoes shoes!'. I just love to hear about Amelia's antics :) Lately my daughter's favorite thing to do is to point out the colors of everything in site: red ball! puurple peeyow (pillow)! brown hair! Such joy, this parenting thing can be!

Thanks for the mention of our store and sharing with your friends a little about us. You are welcome to take pictures anytime. We got lots of hits from your comment. Hope we see you soon; Rome is purging her vintage fabric stash from her private collection. Wow! is what everyone says so far. Thanks again, Ethel

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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