rayna gillman's blog         improv quilts & an improv life

With thanks to William Shakespeare for letting me borrow this line to talk about quilts...

I have finished putting sleeves on five of my quilts as I get them ready for an exhibit a few months from now. These pieces also need labels, and here's where I am stumped.

Normally, my artwork talks to me: it tells me its name once it is finished. But these are not talking and I can't put labels on them until I know what they call themselves. But my tired mind is a blank

Here's one that needs a title. What does it say to you?

and what about this one?

I sometimes think that a title says more about the person who names it than about the piece itself. My partner, who has a mathematical mind, came up with a title for a piece that I would never have thought of. But it was perfect.

If you have any thoughts, leave them in the comments.


Melissa Clark's NYT ice cream base recipe is where I always start (and modify) no matter what flavor I'm making. I make a quart of ice cream about every week or so and my partner Phil and I have a little bit every night. ("Little bit" is the secret).

Of course, it's your fault I had to have this for breakfast today because I had to take a picture and I couldn't put it back in the freezer container, could I?

Check NY Times Cooking for Melissa Clark's "The Only Ice Cream Recipe You'll Ever Need and please note that I think the recipe is too sweet and rich, so I use ½ cup sugar and 4 egg yolks instead of ¾ and 6. YMMV


My standby flavors are coffee (I use 3 little cups of brewed expresso), vanilla (I add a bit of grated lemon peel and some lemon juice), and salted caramel. I also love basil ice cream but haven't made it in years.

For my version of Melissa's ice cream BASE

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • ⅛ tsp salt

  • 1 cup whole milk (If you are lactose intolerant, as I am, use lactose free milk. Cream has no lactose)

  • ½ cup sugar (dark brown sugar for this one)

  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract (btw, if you are near a Costco, buy vanilla there. It is excellent and waaaay less expensive than in the supermarket)

  • Follow the rest of Melissa Clark's directions for making the custard. 4 egg yolks are enough. (no need to strain before you put it into the fridge).

While the base chills

sauté 1/2 cup pecans in 1-2 T salted butter till slightly brown. Cool on paper towel or parchment.

Once the mix is churning, add the pecans and when it gets close to being done, add 1-2 Tbs of bourbon. (If you make ice cream you know to add 1T vodka to most flavors to keep the ice cream from freezing too hard or becoming icy)

**Optional (and yummy if you have any) I add ¼ -½ cup candied ginger.

That's it, people. Enjoy!

Let me know in the comments how you made out with the recipe.



Well, the last time I flew it was before March, 2020. At that point, a couple of my 2020 teaching trips were rescheduled -- one to August 2021 and one to January 2022. And just in case, I am (as you know) working on an online class. In fact, I believe online may be great because we have all learned to do everything without leaving our homes.

So here I am, at Palm Beach airport waiting for my DELAYED-by-an-hour flight to Newark.(if you look carefully you can see the very iPad I am using).

I am on my way (eventually) to spend a week in NJ visiting my kids, grandkids, and a couple of friends. I will be visiting my daughter who now lives down the shore, and the weather report says BAD storm on the Jersey coast. I don't mind if it waits till I get there but I do not relish driving a rental car down the Garden State Parkway in a bad rainstorm.

I have left my computer and my sewing machine at home so I can have a real break.

So, I hope to fill the next two hours reading something good while I wait for an extra hour.