It's October

comments: 53

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Oh, autumn, everywhere, and yet, it's still consistently above 80 degrees here. But the sun is low and lovely in the morning. Amelia and I play in the front yard. She collects leaves, crow feathers, splinters of chalk, seed pods and puts them in a candle holder that looks like a bird cage. I sit on the top stair and watch the world go by — dog walkers, cars and bikes, baby strollers, squirrels. Up and down the stairs she goes, leaning against me as she passes, pausing to give me a hug or sit on my lap, hair blowing against my face, sturdy little body pushing into mine. I lift her shirt and kiss her soft belly. So much sweet softness in such a hard, sad world sometimes. My heart is heavy for the people of Roseburg, Oregon. I send a prayer into the sky, up toward the morning moon. Peace be with you, friends. Please, peace.

Inside, the light is changing. I've forgotten how pretty my pipsqueak of a kitchen is in the afternoon. It has a big door-window facing south, and the light turns rose-gold around three or so. Rice pudding must be the ultimate comfort food, and Andy's grandma's is my favorite — it's more like a cooked custard with rice in it. This is her recipe, written in her words:

Helen's Rice Pudding

Wash 1 c. rice (not Minute Rice) in ice cold water. Put in double boiler and add 2 c. hot water. Steam rice until dry. (*Note: I just cook it like normal; I actually always use a rice cooker. You just want cooked rice here. :) Put in large baking bowl. Add 2 more cups of milk and 1 can [sweetened] condensed milk, 3/4 c. sugar, and 4 beaten eggs. Add salt to taste. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and put pieces of butter. Bake in medium oven — 375 degrees about 1 hour, until pudding is firm.

I've made a lot of homemade Swedish meatballs. I've never liked any of them. Or at least, I felt they were rarely worth the work they took to make (I don't like making meatballs). Martha and I were on the phone discussing something else entirely when suddenly we were talking about Swedish meatballs, and she told me that her brother made the meatballs from the Ikea cookbook (or something like that? This recipe is the same as the one she gave me that her brother had written out) and they were awesome. I then immediately made them and they were AWESOME (though still a lot of work. But awesome, so it was okay). In Andy's family, they serve Helen's rice pudding with Swedish meatballs and this is, indeed, just the best, heaviest, but most comforting plate of food in the world, should you be in need. Highly recommend.

Peanut-butter chocolate-chip oatmeal cookies, with raisins added. Not bad.

For the past six months or maybe a year or so I've been more-or-less consciously really trying to bust my stash, both yarn and fabric. Now that Amelia's birthday quilt is finished (it's finished! Photos to come!) I am in the mood for something easy easy easy. I'm thinking a blanket like this: single-colored solid granny squares (that tutorial makes a very nice "square" square, in my opinion), in a checkerboard pattern but with this sort of pale salmon pink I happen to have about six big skeins of (why?) instead of the cream. I saw the blanket in that pin and went really crazy for it and I think it will be a very nice project to work on a square at a time, with no fuss. Just a bag of skeins of worsted-weight yarn, and an ever-growing pile of squares. People don't like the joining part, I guess, but I always kind of do.

We're about to get ready for a birthday party around here. I can't wait!

***The painting is "Spring Lambs" by Bonnie Fisher.

53 comments

Oh my, I think we're right in step with each other. I baked chocolate chip cookies this afternoon and I'm thinking about Swedish meatballs for dinner on Friday. I love your kitchen too, what I've seen of it. I also have a small kitchen and we have to use the space just so to make it work well, but it's really very good and right now, I'm enjoying the light in mine too. It's a beautiful time of year, in and out of the kitchen!

We are also still being blessed with the heat but loving the golden light and the colours everywhere reminding us what time of year it really is. I'm going to try those meatballs with my family. They look delicious. Amelia's hair - so pretty. I can't wait to see the 3rd birthday party celebration photos.

While I have checked out the recipes you shared and all look yummy, I am especially interested in your granny square blanket idea. I want a granny square that has few holes and this looks like a pattern I might be able to make...one square at a time...but with the Attic 24 Lucy pack of yarn I bought which has many colors. Thanks for posting, and I hope you have joyous Happy Birthday party planning in our golden autumn days, Alicia. xx

I so enjoyed perusing your delightful images. Mimi's hair is getting so long and is so pretty.. she's getting more beautiful every day. I so wanted one of your cookies! We're enjoying the golden light out here on our farm. I'm enjoying the warmth and sunshine.. but I know it's just not normal. It's more like California weather than Oregon! *H*A*P*P*Y* * *B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y*!*!*!* to Amelia! Can't wait to see the images of her celebration. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

I'm loath to sound fawning, but there is such a feeling of kindred spiritedness streaming through this post, I feel a happy sense of recognition and connection. Finding my favorite rice pudding recipe is one of my new year resolutions, and when we finally escape the endless summer, I want to try this recipe. And I was teaching myself the very same granny square! Birthday wishes for Mimi~ And peace, for all.

WooHoo! Bring on the birthday fun!! See you soon!

Beautiful post! The meatballs look delicious, look forward to trying this recipe out. Who is the artist of the painting you posted?

So excited to try the rice pudding recipe. I love rice pudding. I also love tapioca pudding. Such classics.

Your photos are always so beautiful and calming, and show a pretty soft side of your lovely world. I imagine your home to be full of warmth and of peace. Amelia is getting so big....it's fun to watch her grow from this side of the monitor. Happy Fall to all of you! xo

Oh how I envy your tidy shelving of color coordinated yarn! Delight.,

I really want to try the rice pudding. Do you put the water in the bottom and and the rice in the top of a double boiler? I am unfamiliar with that way of steaming rice. Do you by any chance mean to put the water in the bottom and the rice in the top of a steamer rather than a double boiler?

can't wait to see your finished blanket. I see you follow Lucy at Attic 24. She has a wonderful tutorial about joining squares as you go. You might want to look into it...I live down by Wheatland Ferry and still can't believe what a glorious fall our Oregon is giving us. We are so frickin' blessed to live here! Happiest birthday to your sweetest little! She just gets more beautiful with each passing day. sent with love!

I love your blog!
I made 4 chessboard baby blankets and I highly recommend, I made far more squares so I had great choice at the end which to combine with white. And I like joining them, it's less automatic than making square :-)
Have a great autumn!

Oh how i like october, and those pictures make me do so even more!

I love rice pudding and that sounds like a very rich version. I'm sure it is really tasty. The blanket you're planning to make should be a nice change from the quilt.

Gorgeous photos, that beautiful autumn light makes everything pretty. The photo of Amelia is particularly lovely, and that chair in your garden looks so very welcoming. CJ xx

Why is Ms. Clover looking so sad and dejected in recent photos? Is she ill?

Just love your photos.

please what is the painting with the barns and sheep? that is so lovely!

Stop using your mixer for cookies. As Ina has said you are way over beating your cookie mix.

I lost my grandmothers rice pudding recipe a long time ago, but this one sounds yummmy and will be giving it a try!

Enjoyed your October photos, Alicia. Amelia's hair is so long! It's beautiful, she's beautiful! Thanks for sharing photos of your sweet corner of the world.
Cindy

I love your Bonnie Fisher art. Folk art always speaks to me. I read each post but don't always comment as I use to, someone says exactly what I would have said. Amelia has grown so big and beautiful so fast. It all goes so fast, try to enjoy every minute. Your post always brightens my day.

Beautiful~ fall pictures~love!

Amelia's hair~stunningly gorgeous!

Prayers~to God our Father~Creator of the universe~Lover of my soul!

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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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Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.