On finding the best fabric stores

Fabric stores with good selections of garment fabrics seem to be getting more scarce with each passing year.  That makes me all the more thankful that two of my long-time favorites are still going strong.  Each one is usually an overnight road trip for me.  But always, always worth the trip.

Kaplans Fabrics in Kansas City on the Country Club Plaza; fifty-plus years in business, with luxurious fabrics from suitings, to brocades, to tapestry fabrics, to wedding laces.  When fabric shopping is done, the Plaza is the best place ever for a coffee, meal and a stroll, before getting back on the road.

Pendleton Outlet in downtown Nebraska City.  Upstairs they sell Pendleton ready-to-wear at great prices.  Downstairs is a basement of wonderfully-priced Pendleton fabrics; bolts and ends, and trims and fasteners.

I must take photos on my next visit to each place.

I am always looking for recommendations of unique and special fabric stores.

My sauce boileth over

Tonight I was going to make a batch of Chocolate-Banana-Peanut Butter Smoothies to freeze in individual servings.  I peeled the bananas and broke them in pieces and put them in the blender pitcher.  Then I measured and added the peanut butter.  Then I grabbed the chocolate syrup and realized it was almost empty.  Bananas turn brown when they have been peeled, so I had to somehow finish making the smoothies or throw out the banana-peanut butter mixture.  I make my own chocolate syrup because I like to control what is in it.  So, making up a quick batch would be easy.  The recipe:

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

  • 2 parts sugar
  • 1 part cocoa powder
  • 2 parts water
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)

Combine sugar and cocoa powder in a sauce pan, and stir until the two dry ingredients are well combined.  Then add the water and turn on the heat to medium-high to high.  Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves, and then intermittently after that.  Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it softly boil for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, and stir in a tsp of vanilla if desired.  Let cool and serve or store in the refrigerator.

To make the chocolate syrup, I first grabbed the sugar canister…and saw that I was almost out of sugar.  There were just a few tablespoons of sugar in the bottom of the canister.  So, I grabbed the sugar dispenser from the counter thinking I’d get some more from the dispenser.  It was nearly empty, too.  How did this happen without me noticing it and putting sugar on the grocery list?  I don’t know, but between the two containers, I was able to compile 3/4 cup of sugar.  So, with that I measured out 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp of cocoa powder and stirred it into the sugar, added the water and turned on the heat.  I stirred the mixture until the sugar had dissolved, and then walked away to do something else until it started boiling.  Moments later, I heard the hissing sound of syrup boiling over onto the burner.  I caught it before it was a cooking disaster, but it did add a cleanup job to what started so innocently as an easy pitcher of smoothies.

The smoothies are now made and in the freezer.  The stove is cleaned up and all dishes in the dishwasher.  There is a lesson or two in all of this, but nothing anyone reading this doesn’t already know.  Including me.  Sigh.

Chocolate Syrup2a