Time Out

Well. Last you saw me I had Wallace and Grommit on and I was going to finish it. And I did. And it is in time out. I have knit the top of that dumb thing 3 times. Then I finished it into a short sleeve sweater. And the top is still wrong. STILL WRONG. Still wrong. As in not at all right. Not even close. And this is so sad for so many reasons. I loved that yarn and it’s the kind of yarn that is sticky and you can really only pull it out and reknit it so many times before it is no longer the type of yarn you can knit so much as a fuzzy felted fuzz. And even if I did, I cannot bear to do that again right now. I had this panicked thought that I should just cut it up and sew it into potholders or something. Before I got the scissors out and got chopping I had the sense to back away slowly… So sadly it sits in time out until I can get up my sense and do something. I’m thinking I can keep the bottom, rip out the top – AGAIN – and try one last time. I think the problem is it was top down. I can knit bottom up without incident, apparently, but have had little to no success starting at the top and going down. Which makes no sense because it is just the same thing backwards, but such is life.

So since I refuse to show photos of exactly how bad it fits because after all it turns out I have a ** little ** self respect, I will instead show you last weekend. Last weekend, in Boston, we got snowed in. Like honest to goodness can’t leave the house snowed in.

Blizzard 2013_11

I cannot remember the last time I’ve been actually snowed in. There have been time I’ve used it as an excuse to stay in, or to eat crackers and peanut butter and ice cream for dinner because I was too lazy to go out in the snow to get proper food. But last weekend for real, there was an honest to goodness driving ban, 2 feet of snow, and based on how the driving was the next day, I think it was good and warranted. I did, of course, make sure we had cookies, because in emergencies, cookies are just about required. And made for a fantastic breakfast of shoveling champions the next day. YUM!

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So I spent the majority of the storm sitting with some tea and some cookies and finishing my scrap blanket, which I’m pleased to say is finished and has eaten an ENTIRE bag of scraps! Woot!

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And then the shoveling began, which was actually kind of fun. Good times. So with the scrap blanket and the delinquent Wallace and Grommit finished for now, I’m on to bigger and better things. From the bottom up this time.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Not sure where December has gone, but coming up for air to write a post. I have new sheets with hats and mittens. I love them.

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Our tree is up, and decorated. The angel is a little precariously placed this year, it didn’t occur to me to cut off the too high top until it was too late. Now I kinda like it.

TREEEEE

And I have finally gotten off my arse and made the cushion cover and curtains for the kitchen. Excuse the somewhat fuzzy iphone photo…

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Greg’s sweater is started, a pair of baby overalls was started, ripped out and will be restarted tonight, and I have the Wallace and Gromit sweater going, as well as the scrap blanket. I never do this, I’m a one project girl. But I figured what the heck. They all need to get done, so there they are.

Gift buying is for the most part finished, I’m just waiting for everything to come in, while I sit in panic and hope it all makes it here in one piece and on time. Which means we can move onto the fun part of the holidays, the part where you bake a million cookies, watch a bunch of movies, drink a bunch of wine, and sit by the fire. The millions of cookies happen this weekend, the movies started last night, and well, I hope there’s no fire, since we don’t have a fireplace, but I’ll light a candle or something. Onward 🙂

Cooooooooooooooookies!

I have really few excuses besides my recent project being a gift and therefore not blog-able, and then just being plain old boring. But here are some thoughts.

Once again, there was the annual cookie baking party.

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This year there was the addition of silly hats.

This:
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turned into this (We think 800+ again. We lost count…):

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Which turned me into this:

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and it took two beers and crying uncle before we started the meringues before any semblance of sanity returned. I think the meringues would have put us right over the edge.

But work folk seemed to love them, any excuse to gather and eat cookies and drink coffee instead of working! And last night the gifts got wrapped, I got my nails painted a shiny sparkly gold, and today was my last day of work this year. So things are looking good! Hopefully it’ll be a crafty, blog-filled break! But in the meanwhile, enjoy your Friday night and Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Happy Festivus, to the rest!

Seriously, BUSY!

Tomorrow is my favorite holiday of the whole year. And tonight was supposed to be a nice and relaxing baking type night. Instead we had beer bottles explode both in the oven an in my hand, did all the weeks laundry, organized photos from the first half of the year, poured beer on the floor, cleaned the floor, poured beer on the floor again (it’s bottling night… somehow the same night I’m baking 3 loaves of bread and making cranberry chutney…?)… It was that kind of night. So here are some photos I’m going to go sit on the couch and knit with pointy needles and hope the excitement is over for the night.

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I learned how to braid my hair in a circle around my head. This made me exceedingly pleased.

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I’m in charge of bread and cranberry chutney for 30 people. Done.

Happy Thanksgiving to you if your Turkey day is tomorrow!

Back to Work

Been busy, here’s a few things that are up here Chez Moi:

1. Cookies. There are a very few fruits and veggies that are still truly seasonal, at least around the Boston area. Asparagus is available all year round. So are tomatoes (granted they’re sad tomatoes). But pumpkins and cranberries are two fruits are still seasonal. You can only available a few weeks a year. This to me makes them better, you appreciate them so much more. We’ve had pumpkins up the wazzoo. We’ve had pumpkin soup, pumpkin and pancetta pizza (I highly recommend this one), and yesterday there was Pumpkin and Pecan cookies.
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YUMMERS!!!!!
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2. You’ll notice I also got a clicker remote for my camera. This allow me to take riveting photos of things like me watching cookies cook! And sitting in a chair!! And whatever else I do.
3. I’ve been spinning a bunch, there will be new yarns up in the shop and hopefully continuing to be be added throughout the fall, so keep checking in!
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3. And Acer is coming along, almost done with the body hopefully will be closing the shoulders this weekend.

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I like it. I’m not sure I love it, but I at least like it.

Part II: In which a ridiculous amount of Jam is made

And so our heroines return from the farm famished, but luckily there is salad to be had and naan and everyone recovers from near-monster-hungry.

Now this is the same sister with which there was the 800+ Christmas cookie extravaganza. From this you should take that under or just-doing it is not our style. Give me overdone or give me death. And so we began hulling the strawberries. One quart. Two Quarts. At some point it occurred to us to look up a recipe, which we determined called for 2 cups of puree and 4 cups of sugar. We did some quick mental math and some measuring and decided to stop pureeing at 4 quarts because, well, that’s a lot of sugar…

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We then walked across the street to the grocery then I proceeded to embarrass my math skills, which I swear are good. The recipe claimed to make 5 pints. We had 4 recipes worth… and the tupperwear held things like 1.25 cups, or 2.25 cups, and I felt really dumb. At any rate we came home with 4 packets of pectin, what we assumed would add to 40 cups of jam worth of containers (plus what I’d brought from home, futilely thinking would be enough… it was like 5 cups worth) and proceeded to hull, boil, mix, wait, pour, and stack Jam. Luckily for us, since my math was lousy, it made 5 CUPS not 5 PINTS. Minor detail. Anyways, we had a shit ton.

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I show the second photo to elaborate on the herb picking. I mentioned we picked herbs. What we really picked was more forest like. And since we’d previously, on the drive home, over-zealously declared “fresh pasta!! With Fresh Pesto!!” of course we then set about doing that. But not before we tried to heroically use the rest of the strawberries… With cake.

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This is strawberry cake. It comes from food-porn blog smitten kitchen. You should make this. It is delicious. Sadly, it consumes less than 1 quart of strawberries, leaving us with 3, but totally worth it.

Anyway I digress. And so we made pasta. And pesto. It was delicious

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Freakishly delicious and totally worth it. After 12 hours of picking, cooking, baking, pasta making, and eating, I toddled on home and recovered with my remaining 2 pints of strawberries, which have since been frozen in sugar, awaiting daqueries or pancakes… because I couldn’t muster the strength to make strawberry leather as I’d intended. Alas, overdone must stop and some point.

In Which City Mice Wear Inappropriate Footwear

Herein lies the first installment of a multi-post memoir of a fabulous day of picking, cooking and eating.

My 1/3 lawyer of a sister is a member of a CSA based in central Massachusetts. As such, she is entitled to pick-your-own privileges. She brought up on a Friday her desire to go pick things on Saturday, and despite the rain forcast, I thought it was a fabulous idea. And so, in the rain, we embarked on the drive out there. I was thinking ‘WTF, that’s a long drive’ but then what else was I doing? So we drove out, through downpours, wondering about our questionable footwear as we went and discussing future trips to Europe and pastry classes, and were soon there.

We pulled in and there immediately decided it was the greatest idea of all time. We were there to pick 8 quarts of strawberries, 2 pints of peas, and as many herbs as we could carry. And so we began.

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We began with Peas. At first we weren’t quite sure about it, but after we traveled down the row we discovered there were in fact plenty of peas. They were delicious. Being organic Peas, I tried more than a few just to be sure they were Very Good Peas, which of course they were.

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We then proceeded to the Strawberries. There were thousands. Millions. Probably more. They were delicious and super red and small and did I mention delicious? Because I also sampled these, you know, just to be sure. They make such a satisfying popping snapping sound when you pick them! We discussed craft beer, and if we were in fact peasant stock meant to work in the fields. We determined we were in fact peasant stock, but need stronger backs.

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There were other people there, several kids in backpack type things, and lots of strawberry picking. After we filled our 8 quarts, we went in search of herbs.

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Everything was perfectly labeled and plentiful, we came home with chives, thyme, basil, oregano, mint, marjoram, parsley, maybe something else too, I’ve lost count…

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When we were done the Very Nice Lady let us use the hose to rinse off our questionable footwear and feet, and we were off back home for Part Deux: In which a knitter and a 1/3 lawyer make a ridiculous amount of jam. Stay Tuned…