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Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

We’re in the last week of the Ravelympics and, as the title of the post says, exhaustion is setting in.  Actually, I might be tired because I stayed up too late and have just completed 2-1/2 hours (count them, two  and  a  half  hours!) of plying my sock-weight yarn for the Ravelympics.  I’m pleased to announce that said yarn, all 625 yards of it, is in the hot tub taking a nice soak and preparing for its final event, sock knitting.  =)  Oddly enough, a soak in a nice warm, sudsy, tub of water is sounding pretty good to me too at the moment.  I’m sure that the picture of the yarn still on the plying bobbin is out of focus due to overly tired hands and that those hands would benefit from bubble bath therapy.

In The Kitchen

Another two recipes have been cooked from Simply In Season.  Last night I felt like having breakfast for supper, so I whipped up the Nutty Sweet Potato Waffles and Sausage and Apples.  Now, I don’t have a waffle iron and I refuse to get one on the basis of it having only one function and it seems silly to take up precious kitchen space with an appliance that only does one thing and won’t be used that often.  If I could find one that doubles as a griddle, I might be tempted to buy it.  My mom has one like that and I’m holding out for one like hers.  Where was I….oh yeah.  So, no waffle iron means no waffles so I made them into pancakes instead.  The recipe was HUGE and the pancakes were filled with all kinds of healthy ingredients:  mashed sweet potatoes, ground hazelnuts (yum!!), ground old-fashioned oats, whole wheat flour, etc.  They were heavier than typical pancakes but perfect for supper.  The flavor of the hazelnuts really came through and reminded me of Nutella, which might be a nice addition to these pancakes (just a little smear on top).  The Sausage and Apples was a really simple recipe and combined the flavors of apples, sausage, onions, a wee bit of Dijon mustard, and basil.  The combination of apple and basil was a bit unexpected, but good.  Leftover pancakes went into the freezer for breakfast on another date.  There wasn’t a lot of the Sausage and Apples left over, so those will be eaten as a side dish at another meal.  I’d make both recipes again, but maybe cut the waffle recipe in half so we don’t have so many leftovers.

Books, Books, Books

I just finished listening to A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens last night.  I’ve been listening to the CraftLit podcast for a few years, but avoided listening to A Tale of Two Cities until last year.  It sounded so boring and, come on, Charles Dickens?  There were so many other authors out there that I’d much rather read.  But then there were so many comments in CraftLit and in the CraftLit forum on Ravelry about “What would Madame Defarge knit?” that I finally gave in and decided I’d have to listen to A Tale of Two Cities so I’d know what everyone was talking about.  I started by occasionally listening to a chapter or two here and there, whenever I had caught up on the other podcasts.  Then, in the second half of the book, it became a regular listen.  Towards the end of the book, it became an obsession and I’d listen for 2-3 hours a day until it was done.  Now, here’s my question:  Why did no one ever explain about Charles Dickens?!  The book is brilliant!  It’s one of those stories that will probably haunt me for weeks and I’ll definitely remember it for the rest of my life.  I was talking to The Husband last night about it and complaining that no one had told me that Charles Dickens was such an incredible writer and, wow, who knew that A Tale of Two Cities was so awesome?  He replied, “Well, that is why it’s called a classic.”  Sigh.

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In the Kitchen

There was a lot going on this week, so only one new recipe from Simply in Season:  Marrakesh Lamb Stew.  I served this with couscous and apple and carrot slices.  So, overall, a fairly healthy meal I think.  The stew was incredibly fragrant with lamb (bought at a small local green grocer), onion, garlic, and lots of spices.  The full teaspoon of ground cloves was particularly pungent.  One could also smell the cinnamon, cumin, and turmeric.  There were plenty of vegetables in the stew to make it hearty and the addition of raisins and prunes rounded out the flavors with their sweetness.  I would definitely make this dish again, maybe reducing the amount of ground cloves just a bit.  The tart apple slices were a nice contrast to the heavier flavors of the stew.

With this dish made, it’s time to go get more groceries.  I’ve planned several menus for the next week or so.  I’m really enjoying the structure that this little project is giving to my menu-planning.  It appears that there are 49 recipes for the Winter Season section of the cookbook and I’ve only made 5 so far.  Time to get cooking!

Ravelympics Update

Just a quick update on my Ravelympics projects.  The sweater only has about 3-4 inches to go before the body of the sweater is completed.  Yay!  I’ll knit the sleeves next and then some trim around the neckline.  The sleeves might be a bit tricky as they are capped sleeves and incorporate short rows for the shaping.  It shouldn’t be too bad though.  In the spinning department.  I have my first bobbin full and am about halfway through the second bobbin.  Once I have all 3 bobbins filled, I’ll have to ply the yarn, set it, and then I’ll have a pair of socks to knit yet!  So, I’m a bit behind on the spinning.  I’ll need to spin a lot this weekend if I’m to catch up.

Out to the Garden

Okay, it might be a bit early to actually go out to the garden, especially as it was snowing this morning.  But the garden is definitely on my mind.  Last weekend The Husband spent one afternoon raking part of the back yard for more garden space.  We’ll have to rent a rototiller to till up the dirt as soon as the weather gets warm enough.  In the meantime, I’ve been looking at seed catalogs!  As you can see, I’ve already put in an order and received several seed packets.  I love getting seeds, all that potential waiting to happen!  We’ll buy some local tomato seedlings once spring has officially sprung and probably some other seedlings for the vegetable and herb gardens.  We also ordered 3 blueberry bushes to put out in the front yard next to a particularly sunny cement wall.

Since all the seeds have different germination periods and will need to be started at different times and then transplanted out at different times, I’m thinking I may need to make a spreadsheet with all the dates of when each seed needs to be planted and transplanted.  I should also map out the garden.

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the Olympics (and Ravelympics too!)  I’ve really enjoyed watching the snowboarders.  They always look like they’re having so much fun!  And with that, I should probably get back to my own olympic events, knitting and spinning!

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I’ll start out by warning you that this post will be long and full of pictures.  What can I say?  There’s been a lot happening here at the homestead.   So much that I’m feeling a little dazed by the whirlwind of activity.  I’m also feeling a bit hyper, but that might be the caffeine.  So, let’s start with the Olympics.

Olympics/Ravelympics

Finally, the Olympics have begun and with them the Ravelympics.  After waiting anxiously for weeks to begin my Ravelympic projects, the opening ceremonies marked the mass cast-on for knitters and spinners (and weavers and dyers, etc) all over the world!  Wahoooooo!  I decided to start with my spinning project and spun for approximately 30 minutes before switching over to the knitting project, clearly too excited to sit with any one activity for too long.  I was, of course, expecting to hear/see the opening ceremonies as I started my projects, but NBC, for some unknown reason, decided to time delay the broadcast, so my first hour of spinning and knitting was done while listening to the pre-ceremony spiel.  That was something of a let down, but that just meant I could concentrate a bit more on my projects and could play with the other Ravelers in group chat rooms.  =)

As of tonight (Saturday night), my progress is as follows:  Spun:  Maybe an ounce of the nearly 8 ounces I need to spin.

Ravelympics Spinning

Knitting:  The top back of the sweater is knit and I’m beginning the front left and right panels.  The sweater pattern is Slinky Ribs in the Custom Knits book by Wendy Bernard.

Ravelympics Knitting

Fleece Study Group

My fleece study group met today.  This was my first time attending, so I was feeling a little shy.  Of course, I had an absolutely lovely afternoon with the women in the study group.  Silly me, feeling shy about meeting with other fiber friends!  Sarah M. was a wonderful hostess.  Thanks, Sarah, for opening up your home to us!  A couple of us scoured some fiber samples and we all compared notes on various methods of scouring.  Luli had brought numerous hand cards and combs for us to practice with and showed us how to use the combs.  Cayenne showed us how to use hand cards.  I had brought some washed Polwarth

Carded Polwarth

that I started carding and Sarah had some extra Wensleydale samples that she had scoured for us so we could practice carding that during the get together.

Washed Wensleydale Fiber

A sample of the Gotland I washed

Here are a few more pictures from the fiber study group.

Carded black Wensleydale

I have a few more pictures from the fleece study group, but I should probably ask those in the picture if they mind having their pictures on my blog.  =)  I should also mention that I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Sarah’s dog Alex!  What a sweetheart!

In The Kitchen

The culinary adventures continue as I cook and bake my way through Simply in Season.  This week I made Carrot Cookies and Hazelnut Coffee Brownies:

Carrot Cookies


Hazelnut Coffee Brownies (yes, there is a piece missing!)

and here’s what’s left of the Winter Borscht:

Winter Borscht

The Winter Borscht was a beef borscht and gets its red coloring from beets.  Cooking this was a journey back in time to my childhood.  It brought back memories of my grandma (on my dad’s side) and her house, of jars of borscht being bought at fall festival, many meals of borscht at the same fall festival and MCC sales, and, of course, meals at home.  I was not a huge fan of borscht growing up, but it tastes much better now; warm, filling, and full of memories of home and family.

So, that’s it for today.  Tomorrow is more knitting and spinning, some time out on the town with The Husband to celebrate Valentine’s Day (for me), probably the NASCAR race (for him), and more time in the kitchen.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and Valentine’s Day!

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