Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Novel Approach

"The most wasted day of all is
that during which we have not 
by Sebastian Chamfort

One small town in southern Minnesota has found a fun and unique way to share its rural landscape, creative talents and community values with visitors. Since 2009 residents of Truman, Minnesota have been creating barn quilts. No, I do not mean quilts found inside the home but those posted outside on barns and other agricultural buildings.  Barn quilts are quilt patterns using geometric shapes and folk designs painted on wooden panels that are hung on exterior walls. A recent show on TV featured some of these barn quilts and the artists who make them. Often families who commission one for their barn have requests for the artist to create one that has specific meaning for their family. The following link below is a slide show to some 65 barn quilts patterns.
Barn quilts began about 300 years ago with the arrival of immigrants from the Rhine River region of Germany. The last few years there has been a resurgence of popularity in states such as Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa and South Carolina who have developed quilt trails. These trails are usually a self guided driving tour through a particular area to view the barn quilts. I think barn quilt trails are a novel way to attract visitors to certain area.
Some families like to take on the barn quilt project themselves.  This one is from Grundy County, Iowa 
I did some sleuthing (via the Internet) hoping to find out if barn quilts are popular in Europe. I was unable to find any information. Please let me know if you have heard of quilt trails in any European countries. 

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Mushrooms
  • 2 (8 oz.) packages of refrigerated butternut squash-filled ravioli (I found them at Super Target)
  • 4 TB. butter
  • 1 small box white mushrooms, cleaned patted dry and sliced
  • 1 tsp. prepared garlic (it comes in a jar)
  • 3-4TB. chopped green onion
  • 2 TB. parsley fresh or 1 TB. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. sage
  • shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Prepare ravioli according to package directions. Keep warm
  • Melt butter and sauté onions and mushrooms about 3-5 minutes, add garlic, sage and parsley sauté 2 minutes
  • Add cooked ravioli and toss gently
  • Serve immediately with shaved fresh Parmesan cheese

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