Food |Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 10:51 PM

#1 Son in the kitchen
#1 Son in the kitchen

This Christmas we tried something new. Usually #1 Son comes to my house for dinner and present opening, and we watch a movie or whatever and just chill. This year I asked #1 Son if it would be fun if I came to his house instead, and we could cook together and feed which ever of his roommates or friends were around and hungry? He thought that sounded fun, and we planned accordingly.

A couple of days later, he mentioned that his Totally Adorable Girlfriend™ would be in town. I said that she, of course, would be welcome, too.

A couple of days after that, he mentioned that TAGF’s™ father, J, (who lives in Portland), would like us to all come to his house instead. I wasn’t sure if I was really ready for the whole meet the ‘rents thing. But we try to go with the flow around here.

#1 Son still wanted me to come to his house because he’d done massive cleaning and didn’t want to waste it it sounded fun. So the plan became: I go to #1 Son’s house and we whip up an amazing vegetable stew…

getting ready for the feast
getting ready for the feast

Which we take over to J’s house, where he and TAGF™ will have crafted the rest of our feast.

And feast it was! #1 Son and I contributed the stew – amazing stew! – couscous with hazelnuts, and a bottle of wine. J broiled a wonderful halibut dish. And TAGF™ mashed potatoes, steamed asparagus, and baked a cheesecake for dessert. All of the food was amazing, and I ate a lot of it. We all did, actually. J was a gracious host and I enjoyed meeting him. I had a very nice time.

There was a bit of present swappage, too.

look! I knit something!
look! I knit something!

Look! I knit something! I finished these just last night, for TAGF™, which means it’s probably the last finished object of 2009.

  • Yarn: Sundara Sock (100% Superwash Merino / 360 yds per 100gm skein) in Basil over Buttercup – less than 1/2 of one skein
  • Needles: a pair of Addi Lace 24″ circular, US#2 (3 mm)
  • Pattern: Merletto Mitts by Jodie Scofield – a free download on Ravelry
  • Modifications: continued cuff ribbing on the palm side all the way up the wrist; fussed with the thumb a little.

I think she likes them
I think she likes them

It appears that she likes them!

When questioned, #1 Son had told me that her favorite color was chartreuse. I wasn’t sure whether to believe him or not. #1 Son can be a bit of a kidder, and sometimes it’s hard to tell if he’s being serious or not – especially via text message.

This was the chartreuse-est yarn I could find in my stash. All the time I knit I kept fingers and toes crossed that she really did like green. But she assured me that she really does, and her favorite color really is chartreuse.

#1 Son told me that he didn’t even know what color chartreuse was and he’d had to look it up, so there was no way he could have actually been kidding about it.

#1 Son got his big present a few weeks ago, but I gave him a little space heater for his room. He lives up in the attic of a 100-year-old house, and it’s cold in the winter. This one can also be used as a fan without heat, so it will also be useful in the summer when his room is too hot.

a little bling for the ears
a little bling for the ears

#1 Son gave me a bit of bling for my ears. Aren’t they pretty and sparkly! I can’t wait to wear them.

And also a cute little lantern candle-holder to hang outside in the summer.

I don't know what it is but it's pretty cool
I don't know what it is but it's pretty cool

TAGF™ gave me this. I have no idea what it is, but it has lots of little gears that whir and springs that wind and little feet that go around as it scuttles across the table. The geek factor is high and I like it!

I know I’ve been mostly absent, but I’ve had a lot going on the last month or so. Gentle reader, I will tell you all about it in the next post…

Food |Knitting by Judy @ 10:58 AM

Broad Street mittens
Broad Street mittens

This is Secret Project #1 that I have not been able to show you until now. It was the last finished object of 2008. I am modeling these because I wasn’t sure of my ability to get #1 Son to pose. (click the pics to embiggen) They’re a little big on me, but fit him perfectly.

I had really a lot of fun knitting these. I made the thumbs also convertible, because that seemed cool and fun. It took me several tries to get a thumb I liked, but I’m really happy with the way that these turned out.

The buttons were a happy find at Jo-Ann. They are made from a polyresin material that’s flexible, so the buttons won’t break and won’t hurt his wrist if #1 Son bangs them against something accidentally.

#1 Son’s take: star.gifstar.gifstar.gifstar.gifstar.gif Oh, yes! Do you know how hard it is to find mittens with convertible thumbs? You just can’t get them. These are awesome! And the buttons – how cute are those! And look, I can hang them up by the loops! How did you get them just the right size? [ed. I followed the pattern and crossed my fingers]

Broad Street mittens
Broad Street mittens

The Particulars:

  • Yarn: Blue Moon Socks That Rock medium weight Mill End in an unknown colorway that I picked up at Tina’s destashing sale
  • Buttons: JHB Clay Swirl buttons purchased at Jo-Ann
  • Needles: a pair of Addi Turbo 24″ circulars, US#3 (3.25 mm) and a pair of Addi Lace 24″ circulars, US#2 (3.00 mm)
  • Pattern: Broad Street by Janis Cortese
  • Modifications:
    • I ribbed all of the fingers because #1 Son likes the fingers snug
    • I made the thumb also convertible by knitting it in stockinette and ribbing the last 3 rows. Then I followed the directions for the mitten part, except in miniature, to add the convertible part, except I kit the end following the thumb instructions so it would look and fit right. (hope that made sense)

Andean Chullo
Andean Chullo

And this is Secret Project #2 – the Andean Chullo Hat Kit from Knit Picks.

It became the first finished object of 2009 because I was up until the wee hours weaving in little ends that I stupidly did not weave in as I went. And there were a @%#! bunch of them, gentle reader. After sleeping for a few hours, the hat got a very quick steam-block, which fortunately turned out to be all it needed. I sewed the tassels on in between dinner preparations and such. It was finished, photoed and wrapped about an hour before #1 Son showed up for dinner. Whew.

#1 Son’s take: star.gifstar.gifstar.gifstar.gifstar.gif Mom! you are really rockin’ this knitting stuff! This is the best hat ever, and it fits perfectly. Look at the little alpacas on the earflaps! Too cute! My friends are going to be so jealous. They couldn’t believe all the kitted stuff from you that I wore when it was cold and snowy. [ed. that warms the cockles of my heart! what more could a mom want to hear?] So you had to finish this and is that the reason I couldn’t come up on Christmas? [ed. No! that wasn’t it at all!] Haha… Oh, yeah… there was this snow thing, huh.

Andean Chullo
Andean Chullo closeup

Here’s a closeup of the main body of the hat. I’m using this picture as my iPhone wallpaper now. 😉

The Particulars:

  • Pattern: Knit Picks Andean Chullo Hat Kit
  • Yarn: Knit Picks Pallette included in the kit – 100% Peruvian Highland Wool, 231 yds/50 gr per ball – portions of 9 colorways: Sweet Potato, White, Bark, Semolina, Pimento, Blue, Clover, Masala and Pool. There’s plenty left over for another hat, or two, or three.
  • Modifications: none. Really. The pattern is a choose your own adventure. You pick one of two earflap charts, four of six pattern band charts, and one of two different hat top charts. Colors are suggested but not dictated and I did change one or two.

Andean Chullo inside
Andean Chullo inside

And for those of you just dying to see the inside (you know who you are), here you go.

I’m a two-handed fair-isle knitter — that is I hold one color in my left hand and pick it, and the other color in my right and throw it. Philosopher’s Wool has a wonderful video that shows this technique. Their technique recommends not having floats longer than two stitches. On this hat I have floats up to 5 stitches. Do watch their video if you have not done so before. Their weaving stitches are very cool.

I will probably knit another of these hats and be a bit more adventurous with the colors. The kit came with enough yarn to knit several.

modeling the goods
modeling the goods

Happy #1 Son with his hat and mittens. 😀 He wore the hat for a goodly portion of the time he was here, so I think it was very successful.

I made a pot of chili and a pan of corn bread. We ate and watched Mission: Impossible III on cable – which is way fun when you can cheer Tom on and jeer the bad guys and discuss the physical possibilities of actually doing any of the stunts in real life and why the heck can’t they get a better camera angle than that one and isn’t the technology and aren’t the gadgets just the coolest things ever?

The chili came from a kit that was a gift from one of my cousins. The kit was made by the Women’s Bean Project, a nonprofit organization that helps women to transform their lives and move to self-sufficiency by teaching entry-level job readiness and life skills. My kit came with enough for two batches of chili – one Firehouse and one Mild – and spices for two batches of salsa.

The chili mix comes with the beans and spices, and you add a can of tomatoes, onion and green peppers. I had made the Firehouse chili earlier in the week, and found it very mild and in need of salt. #1 Son and I both like our chili pretty hot, and if that was the Firehouse I couldn’t imagine how mild the Mild would be.

So, besides the tomato, onion and green pepper, I added a bit of salt, a big Anaheim chili and about a tablespoon of dried chipotle chili. ( The kit suggested adding a teaspoon of chili powder if desired. teaspoon… hahahahaha) I’m not sure how much chili I added because I poured it in until I thought it looked like enough but it was probably around a tablespoon.

For some reason the beans refused to soften up all the way – and I’m sure that was cook’s mistake somewhere, although I followed what I usually do with dried beans. But I was also trying to get a hat finished, so I may have been distracted. At any rate, some of the beans had a sort of al dente texture – nice in pasta but not quite what you want in beans. But the chili tasted wonderful! #1 Son ate two helpings and took the leftovers home.

The cornbread was from the recipe on the back of the Albers Yellow Cornmeal box. It’s the recipe I’ve always used – fast, easy, and comes out great.

#1 Son’s take on dinner: star.gifstar.gifstar.gifstar.gifstar.gif Perfect chili, Mom! Good and hot, but not so hot that it’s not really tasty. What kind of chli did you add? Good choice! And you always make the best cornbread ever! I tell all my friends how good your cornbread is.

Do you think I should tell him what recipe I use? Nah… 😉

Food |Furry Friends |Knitting |On The Road by Judy @ 8:54 AM

Arlene and friends
Arlene and friends

I’m home again, and last night I slept in my own bed with my cats around me. I brought home wonderful memories, a bit of yarn and probably 10 lbs from Richard’s amazing meals.

The Island Retreat was held at the States Inn & Ranch, a wonderful B&B and working ranch in the heart of San Juan Island. The accommodations there are cozy and homey and Richard, Angel (who was, unfortunately, away from the ranch during my visit) and all the staff do their best to make everyone feel welcome. Usually the ranch only serves breakfast (slow-cooking oatmeal, homemade granola, fresh fruit, eggs from the ranch’s chickens, fresh-squeezed orange juice, I could go on and on), but since the retreat had taken over the entire ranch, Richard agreed to feed us three times a day. And did he feed us! I’m glad that we had the afternoons off to get a little exercise, or I probably would have had to roll home.

This was one of the most relaxing vacations I can ever remember having – including previous knitting ones. Cat planned material for us to learn every day. But if you were interested in working on something else or brought a project with you to work on, that was OK, too.

Mornings were spent gathered in the Inn great room, learning and sharing. After a sumptuous lunch each day, afternoons were free time until dinner. The Inn was close to town and to many of the attractions. Quite a few were within walking distance, and the exercise, as I mentioned, was welcomed.

In the picture, Arlene is making friends with some of the ranch inhabitants. All of the ranch alpacas are rescues that were given to the ranch. Like all of the animals there, they are friendly (especially if you come bearing carrots) and love to great visitors.

Cat modeling
Cat modeling

There was always time during the retreat to follow interests or whims. The sweater Cat is modeling was bought in an Amsterdam thrift store 10 years ago by one of the retreat participants. Cat and I spent a really fun afternoon trying to deconstruct how it was made. The pattern may be made available in the future if it turns out we were right – or even close. It has been named the Altered States Inn Sweater.

Dinner was another sumptuous meal. Cat gave away prizes each day. On the last day a prize was given to the person who could name all of the meals we’d had, in order, backwards. So maybe that gives you a clue about how amazing the meals actually were. All ingredients, where possible, were locally grown — if not on the ranch, at least on the island — fresh and homemade. Many of the recipes are prize-winning. Everything was amazing.

After dinner we gathered in the great room again. Cat would briefly discuss what we’d learned in the morning, and then there was time for questions and talk and knitting. Until everyone wandered to their rooms and fell into bed. I slept like a log every night.

Island Retreaters party with Dolores
Island Retreaters party with Dolores

I shared the Southwestern Suite with two lovely knitters – Flipper and her daughter Kristy. It was a wonderful space. We shared a common area with a small table and two sofas and windows that looked out over the ranch. Flipper and Kristy were in one bedroom and I was in the other. My room was a charming, under the eaves room with a window looking out over the hills and the alpaca paddock.

The Retreat had a surprise visit from Fibertarian Party presidential candidate Dolores VanHoofen. I will spare you from the list of the depraved debaucheries that took place during her visit. Yarn was involved. And maybe a little wine. And maybe a little Bailey’s. And a bit of campaigning. But, although it’s difficult to tell in this picture, Dolores seems to be sporting an Obama button. What can be the meaning of this?

I was sad to leave yesterday morning. But, bright and early, Simone and I left to catch the ferry. Of course Richart provided a sack breakfast, to stave off any hunger pangs.

I arrived home to find the cats alive and glad to see me, and the coffee pot still dead. As #1 Son pointed out, it’s a good thing it wasn’t the other way around.

Food |Furry Friends |Knitting by Judy @ 10:36 AM

OFFF-goers enjoying the day
OFFF-goers enjoying the day

Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival is the highlight of my fiber year. Fiber fanatics, fibery animals (really cute ones!), enough vendors to warm a fiberista’s heart, fleece judging, spinning contests, lamb BBQ (yes, I will pet my lamb and eat it, too). What more could you ask for?

The weather was perfect: sunny and upper 70’s (F). There was a hint of crispness in the breeze – just enough to remind us all that this is fall, after all, but not so much to make us forget why Oregonians live for September. (shhhh… it’s our state secret)

You can see that there were many people who agreed with me! On Saturday, there was a big crowd – larger than I ever remember. On Sunday it was a bit quieter, but there were still many people come to enjoy the day and the animals and all of the fibery goodness.

those crazy PDX Knit Bloggers
those crazy PDX Knit Bloggers

The PDX Knit Bloggers represented in style! We set up our tent under a handy tree on the main lawn. Several of us brought spinning wheels – not I, as I am not a spinner. We were prepared to demo and/or help with almost any fiber art that you can imagine. A lot of people stopped by to ask questions, look at the wheels, and find out what we were all about. A couple of us had a few things for sale, and Bobbie’s DH Tool Man brought some of the gorgeous shawl pins he’s been making. (confidential to Tool Man: open an Etsy shop!)

Not being a spinner, I wasn’t asked to demo many things. But I did teach Cindy how to use a nostepinne, and Monica (that’s the famous MonicaPDX) how to do Judy’s Magic Cast-On.

Notorious Sock Knitters represented
Notorious Sock Knitters represented

The Notorious Sock Knitters from the Blue Moon Rockin’ Sock Club were there in force to bring sock knitting to everyone. I sat over in the PDXKB tent and knit the socks currently on my needles, which I will be telling you about in a future blog post (I promise). The NSK look like they were having tons of fun, too.

aLittleRedHen modeling her Condom Amulet Hat
aLittleRedHen modeling her Condom Amulet Hat

aLittleRedHen introduced herself to us. I don’t know if you are familiar with the Condom Amulet pattern an project? It’s been quite popular on Ravelry? (Find it here on Ravelry and on its own site otherwise.) (And if you are not on Ravelry, why aren’t you?)

The goal of the Condom Amulet Project is to encourage knitters to use leftover yarn to knit condom amulets and spread the word that HIV/AIDS and STDs do not have an age boundary and women over 50 are as vulnerable as any other group.

Tina with Henri the barn boy
Tina with Kevin Henri the barn boy

Here is Tina with her new bunny Kevin Henri the barn boy. (When I met him, he was a Kevin, but I understand he is now a Henri. Stay tuned for further developments).

Tina was not the only one to go home with a new friend. Deb brought home four bunnies!

I think I’d like a couple of fuzzy bunnies to use for bed warmers during those cold winter nights. But Moo Cow and Captain Kidd might object.

shearing
shearing

I got to watch sheep shearing. I always find it fascinating how the sheep don’t move and the clippers just whiz everywhere and all of a sudden there’s a naked sheep and a pile of fleece.

fiber on the hoof
fiber on the hoof

Look at all that lovely fiber! I always want to give these guys a big hug, and then run my toes through their fleece.

Rasta fiber
Rasta fiber

Every year I find someone who looks like they’re wearing dreads. Here’s the 2008 rasta-fiber shot.

babies
babies

And here is the obligatory babies that are so cute you could just die from it shot. Awwwww… they were seriously cute.

my favorite baby with his mom
my favorite baby with his mom

This was my favorite baby, though. Look how his ears and nose are all speckled and he has that big white spot on his forehead. Isn’t that just too cute? Jennifer from Tucson (who I believe may be, sadly, blogless) and I were ooo-ing and awww-ing over him, so his mom was nice enough to bring him out and let us pet him. What a sweetie!

alpaca
alpaca

Fuzzy alpacas. I always make #1 Son’s gloves from alpaca — it’s so warm and soft.

llamas
llamas

Isn’t this the most gorgeous llama you’ve ever seen? I can’t believe how white it was. There were some other pretty darn good looking llama there, too. The llamas all shared the second barn, so it took me awhile to find them.

hello there
hello there

Some animals wanted to get up close and personal with visitors. This one was very friendly and curious about me and my camera and just what the heck was I doing, anyway?

I love making new friends.

swag from OFFF
swag from OFFF

When shopping, I looked mostly for items that I can’t get any other way. I was particularly on the lookout for unusual or pretty locally-made nostepinnes, because I’ve decided a girl just can’t have too many. I didn’t want to buy very much yarn, and I mostly restrained myself, except for a few carefully chosen exceptions. The only impulse buys were a sock monkey kit from Blue Moon (yes, I finally caved), and a magnetic tapestry needle holder made from Carob from Crown Mountain Farms, because I can’t pass Klaus’ booth without buying something. I didn’t get a picture of the latter.

My swag:
On the right is the Blue Moon Sock Monkey kit.
Top to bottom on the left: Blue Moon Silkie Socks That Rock in Knitters Without Borders. (Not available on their web site.)
A Blue Moon STR Light Rare Gems. It’s in PI green-and-blue, and threw itself off the rack at me, demanding to be brought home. What was I to do? (Like all Rare Gems, this is available only at shows.)
Tactile Fiber Arts Superwash Merino/Tencel in Golden Olive. I love Brooke & Maia and all their natural dyed, fibery goodness. I could order from their web site, but in person I get to chat and squoosh fiber.
Three nostepinnes: the top one is cherry and purpleheart and was made by Carl Herndon. It’s shorter and narrower than my others and is suitable for laceweight or lighter fingering weight yarns. The other two were made by B J Verts. The middle one is myrtlewood and the bottom one is walnut. Note the carved ring around the base of the walnut handle. What’s this for? I asked, thinking I might learn some new nostepinne secret. The answer: It rattles so everyone knows you’re working. Of course I had to have it, don’t you agree? Because I bought two nostepinnes from B J Vert, I received his cookbook — Buttered-Side Down, A Cookbook For The Emancipated Male as a gift. I don’t really qualify as an emancipated male, but I do like cookbooks. I haven’t made any of the recipes yet, but they look tasty.
Below the nosties are four stone buttons from Jason Jakubos of Rock And Wool. They don’t have an online or Etsy shop yet, but from the number of people I heard ask them to set one up as soon as possible, I’m guessing it won’t be long!

If there’s any chance you can join us next year, please do! Bring your wheel or your sticks and just sit a spell and chat. Or watch the animals. Or shop ’til you drop. It’s all good.

Food |Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 1:40 PM

new on the needles
new on the needles

It’s that time of the year again. Time to look back. Time to gaze forward in anticipation. Let’s look ahead, first, and welcome 2008.

I did not remain sock monogamous to Lenore. I cast on the toes of the Salish Sea Socks, the December Rockin’ Sock Club pattern. The colorway is called Bella Coola / Nuxalk. It’s a Cat Bordhi pattern. The colors are my blog colors, and Cat gave me a nice little shout-out in the pattern notes. So what was I to do but cast them on?

But, I hear you ask gentle reader, what is that other unfinished strip of stripy cabled goodness sharing the picture with the Salish toes?

Son Of Stitch n Bitch

That was something I was hoping would be the last finished object of 2007. Didn’t make it. It will be the first finished object of 2008, though. I will tell you more later. For now, I will only say that the pattern comes from this book, and as soon as I saw it I knew that I had to knit it. When Tangle had the right yarn, the deal was sealed.

More later.

Also looking ahead: #1 Son left yesterday for a 5-week trip to Brazil. Yeah. South America. I was not allowed to go to the airport, because Moms are so lame at airports and stuff, you know. But he called me from the airport to let me know he was there. And he called me again to let me know they were ready to board. And he called me again to let me know that their flight to Chicago had been delayed. And he called again to let me know that they had landed, finally, in Chicago but missed the connection to Sao Paulo, and now had to stand in a really long line. And then he sent a text message to say that they had tickets on a flight leaving today. And then he sent a text message to say Happy New Year and that he was at a party with Chicago friends. I have not heard yet today. He has promised to call occasionally and maybe send an email now and again. Five weeks is a long time. Brazil is very far away.

In other non-knitting news, my old lady cat, Phoebe, has been diagnosed as hyperthyroid, thus explaining her weight loss and erratically needy behavior that was so odd in a crotchety cat that mostly just wants to be left alone — except at night, when a great deal of lovin’ is appreciated at bedtime. The good news is that it’s a condition that is, actually, curable in a fairly easy way. The bad news is that the condition may be masking chronic renal failure, which is not curable. So Phoebe is on medication to bring her thyroid levels down to normal so her kidneys can be evaluated. In all of her 15 years, Phoebe has never been sick or required medication of any kind. Since she tends to hold a grudge, I was not looking forward to shoving a pill down her throat offering her medication twice a day. But my vet carries this wonderful invention called Pill Pockets. Slip the pill inside the formed treat and smoosh the end closed, and the designated pet chomps it down. Phoebe loves them. So the only issue is keeping Kidd distracted while Phoebe eats her treat. Moo doesn’t count here, because she doesn’t like treats of any kind. She only eats cat food and yarn.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Now, looking back in farewell to 2007:

In January, I decided to buy yarn. And I kept that promise all through the year. So much so that I think in 2008 I will be a bit more restrained. Blue Moon suffered through their well-publicized bank problems. And my sock class was canceled because of snow.

February saw the Snake River Socks released into the wild, unfortunately, it turned out, with several errors. #1 Son borrowed my vacuum. My brain turned up missing in action as I tried to figure out the right number of stitches to go around a sock leg.

The first Rockin’ Sock Club shipment came in March. I resolved to knit socks only with my classes (resolution soon broken). My socks were lost and then found and, it turned out (via contest), may have been running a little underground resistance movement against sock abuse.

April opened with the Magical Moebius Festival in Newport. Knitting and food and yarn and food and Cat Bordhi and food and whales, and I knit a giant moebius (unintentionally) that 11 people fit into. And it was too far to drive 10 miles to my house, but not too far to drive to Eugene or Seattle.

In May I had the plane trip from hell. While I was in Miami, #1 Son called from Toronto to ask if I could move his car in Portland (it was towed). We lost Grandpa Barney. And I learned that I still remember how to execute a perfect slightly imperfect pratfall.

June found me proving my extreme dorkiness whilst meeting The Yarn Harlot. PDX Knit Bloggers were born (can’t believe it’s only been since June). The Clapotis That Never Ends… finally ended.

In July I visited Boston yarn shops (and my cousins). The PDX Knit Bloggers had their first meet-up at Knit Purl. #1 Son reached v1.9. I was both sorted into Ravenclaw and Simpsonized.

New Pathways for Sock Knitter: Book One

August started with a heelish experience. Sockapalooza 4 finished and I was spoiled nicely. Maia arrived for a PDX Yarn Crawl — on my birthday! I still owe the Bo Diddley sock pattern to several people. A gorgeous new Cat Bordhi book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One, was published. My name is on page 22. And I was kept suitably humble by my first autograph requestor who said, I have no idea who you are but apparently you’re famous, so please sign my book.

I had more fun with Judy’s Magic Cast-On in September. I also learned that it’s a good thing to pay attention when one is turning cables. At OFFF I met a Rasta sheep and fell off my yarn diet. Hard.

October started with a very interesting computer rebuild. (lovin’ the new computer now, though) I attended the first ever Floating Knitting Retreat with Cat Bordhi and Lucy Neatby and had a wonderful time. I obtained my first ever MP3 player (knitting videos on my iPod!). We planted a tree for Barney and the Ravens landed.

In November, Tina destashed and knitters everywhere helped out. The rose arch finally gave up the ghost. I made a swift from Tinker Toys. I was thankful for finally finishing The Great Green Glob. Not so thankful when it turned out there was a dropped stitch requiring major post-blocking surgery.

I was sick for a lot of December. But I knit a scarf for #1 Son and started The Wings Of A Dream in Blue Moon Silk Thread. I pondered the future of knitting. I made carrot soup instead of carrot pudding. And I was given the gift of snow on Christmas.

Objects Finished In 2007:

9 pairs of adult-sized socks
2 pairs of baby-sized socks
2 iPod Nano socks
2 moebii of the right size
1 moebius bowl
2 baby sweaters
1 Clapotis
1 lace shawl
1 scarf
1 hat

22 finished objects total

In the queue for 2008 or currently on the needles:

4 lace shawls / wraps
2 sweaters
1 blanket
1 bag
1 hat
1 scarf
2 pairs of socks on the needles
a gazillion pairs of socks rattling around in my brain

Chances of finishing this list by 12/31/2008? We shall see.

Food |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 6:13 PM

Mama’s recipe box
Mama’s recipe box

Kay and Ann at Maxon-Dixon Knitting are hosting the Grandma Mable Memorial Recipe Box Show & Tell Contest over on their blog. (Head over there for the whole story.)

The cool result of this contest will be a virtual recipe box, full of wonderful things to cook (and eat) from everyone who enters.

Now… one is supposed to post a picture of one’s recipe box. But my recipe box is just a black metal box made to hold index cards that I picked up at some long-ago-forgotten office supply place back in the mid-1970’s. Boring. So I dug a little further into my cupboard.

This is Mama’s recipe box.

Mama was an adequate, if rather uninspired, cook. Meat and potatoes, a green veggie and a yellow veggie. On Fridays the meat was fish, on Sundays roast beef. Mama had a cupboard full of herbs and spices. Each had been purchased for a single recipe that called for it, and then never used again. The family joke was that Bro and I learned to cook because… somebody had to.

So it’s no surprise that this box is not completely full of recipes. At least 1/3 of the cards are resolutely blank.

I have no idea how old Mama’s recipe box is. Inked into the inside of the lid is her maiden name. That dates it to pre-1941. The sticker on the front says Gold Medal Kitchen Tested Recipes. It’s safe to say that most were not tested in Mama’s kitchen. The card on the inside is signed by Betty Crocker.

kitchen tested recipes
kitchen tested recipes

This recipe comes from my Godmother, a wonderful woman who was an extremely good cook and passed several recipes along to both Mama and I. It’s a great way to use up all that extra zucchini in the summer, as even the extra-large ones will be OK.

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 cup oil
2-1/2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated zucchini

Mix all ingredients together.
Grease and flour 2 loaf pans.
Bake at 350-F for one hour.

Grandma’s recipes
Grandma’s recipes

While we’re showing old things from family history, this binder belonged to Grandma (Mama’s mom).

It’s a leather three-ring binder, but very few pages are actually on the binder rings. For the most part, the individual pages and recipes and clippings are just stuck willy-nilly in with no regard for type of recipe. I have no idea how she found anything in it. The gold elastic Christmas present cord is used to hold the whole thing together.

I pulled a couple of items out randomly. The ubiquitous Betty Crocker makes another appearance with a Chocolate Chiffon Cake Recipe and my Great Aunt Bess’ (Grandma’s sister) recipe for pickle relish has been hand written on a brittle and yellowing piece of note paper from Garrett Truck Lines (no idea why).

One of my favorite items from Grandma’s binder is a little booklet entitled Make It Right With Lard, published by the National Livestock and Meat Board. The picture on the front has the word Lard spelled via holes cut in a pie crust. It contains some nifty tips for cooking with the perfect fat, and recipes for everything from biscuits to ginger snaps. Maybe it’s just me, but I cannot imagine ginger snaps made with lard.

I have no idea how old the binder is. The leather is dry and cracking in places. Many of the pages are starting to crumble. Grandma passed in 1980 at the age of 97. She was a wonderful cook and collected recipes her whole life. The binder could have been acquired at any time.

Isn’t it funny how things just skip generations? Grandma and all of my Great Aunts cooked and baked and sewed and knitted and crocheted and quilted and tatted and embroidered. But neither Mama nor her sister, my aunt G., were cooks. Neither could sew beyond the basics. Neither was into any sort of handcrafting. They had many other wonderful qualities and talents. But not those.



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