Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Travels and food

I had a great visit with DTE for her birthday and the drive wasn't too bad. It was windy the whole way, but I only had blowing snow for the last sixty to ninety minutes and the roads were never too wet. Well, at least not until the last thirty miles on my way back home.
I am now trying to get myself together enough to leave Thursday morning to go visit my dad in Idaho for a week and my mom in Utah for a couple of days. I need to fit in a trip to the laundry mat before I leave, unless I just take dirty cloths to my dad's house. I know he wouldn't mind, but I am just not that crazy about packing dirty stuff. Hubband did ask me when I was going to go get us a new washer. I told him, "Not until I have been home from my trip for at least a couple of days." The moving of washers requires that I move two sewing machines, assorted related materials to that, ironing stuff, and other things in the laundry room out of the way. I just haven't been ready to do that yet. Just the idea of moving all that stuff to then move it back is more than I have wanted to think about. Of course, I don't really like having to think about the organizing of my life and stuff to go to the laundry mat...

Back in March, I posted about Chiles Rellenos Pi(e), though I usually call it quiche. (Why yes, I am a big believer in mixing cultures in food.) That led my uncle to post his version of Chili Relleno here and he wondered if my version was the same. I will say that is the one I was raised on, and I do still make it on occasion, but I am more likely to make the quiche version. Well, unless fresh chilies are in season at the Farmer's Market, then we go all out and roast them ourselves; then skin, stuff, batter, and fry them. That is a lot of work, but worth it on occasion! I offer you all the version I made for π Day. You can choose mine or his, or both. (DTE likes both ways and I am sure this will help make up for the last recipe I posted.)

Chiles Rellenos Quiche
9" single pie crust
1 1/2 cups Jack Cheese, shredded (6 oz.)
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (4 oz.)
2 cans diced green chilies (4 oz. each)
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 to 1 tsp ground cumin
Bake pie crust blind. (Bake for about five minutes or so after removing the beans, just so that it is very pale golden. You will be baking it more later.) Let cool for at least five minutes.
Put all of the jack cheese and half of the cheddar cheese in the pie crust and top with the chilies.
Combine the beaten eggs with the milk, salt and cumin.Gently pour over the cheese and chilies in the pie crust. Sprinkle on the rest of the cheese.
Bake at 325° for about 40 minutes or until set. Let cool/rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Driving in the snow

I am off to Duluth for the weekend. I am going to celebrate DTE's birthday with her, and go to her band concert. I am pretty excited about seeing her, but not so excited about the weather across the state.

Breezy. Light snow likely in the morning...then a chance of rain or snow showers in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Highs 33 to 38. West winds 10 to 15 mph increasing to 15 to 25 mph in the late morning and afternoon. Chance of precipitation 70 percent.
Breezy. Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Lows 23 to 28. West winds 15 to 25 mph decreasing to 10 to 15 mph after midnight.
Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain and snow showers. Highs 40 to 45. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph.

A few flurries can be expected for the rest of the morning hours... along with a continuation of blustery conditions. West winds at 20 to 30 mph...with gusts up to 40...will add a distinct bite to the morning air.
Cloudy in the morning then becoming partly sunny. Windy. Highs in the upper 40s. West winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts to around 40 mph.
Mostly cloudy. Lows in the lower 30s. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph.
Partly sunny. Chance of rain or snow showers in the morning. Chance of rain showers in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 40s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

(DTE said her Relay For Life went great.)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Food blogging

Some while back I mentioned making one of Hubband, DTY, and my favorite dinners and said I would post the recipe if anyone wanted it. Someone did, I forgot to get it up right away, so am getting it up tonight. Sorry about it being late. (I promise it is really yummy!)

Sweet Potato Stew with OJ and Black Beans

1 medium yellow onion chopped
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
1 cup orange juice
1 TBS chili powder
1 TBS honey
2 tsp. butter
2 tsp flour
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
salt to taste
Optional: ¼ cup slivered almonds

Combine onion, potatoes, orange juice, chili powder, and honey in a pan and cook (covered) until potatoes are tender, but still holding their shape. [The original receipt called for it to be microwaved, covered and stirred once for 20 minutes. I simmer gently on the stove.]
Add beans. Blend butter and flour and add to mixture. Cook until beans are heated through and stew is thickened slightly. Salt to taste (and adjust honey, chili, and oj as desired). Sprinkle with almonds if desired.
I usually make a double recipe, as it often is better the second day.

Monday, April 21, 2008

More socks in the queue

When sign-ups for this year's Woolgirl Sock Club opened up, I fell down the rabbit hole. My first shipment came last Friday; since it is still warm and sunny so far today, I figured I would introduce the yarn to my favorite chair.

Then I introduced deck bench to the yarn and the other cool stuff in the box. I figured these socks will get to know our deck really well in a couple of weeks.


I am guessing further introductions will be in order Wednesday night.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spring flowers

Warning: This is a picture heavy post. Very heavy on the "first spring flowers" pictures. These are the signs of spring in my front flower garden, right by the front door. These beauties will soon be joined by daffodils.


These are out on the hillside of our lawn that joins to the road. There will be daffodils here too, as well as some tulips, if the deer haven't eaten the bulbs. (It is best to surround one's tulip bulbs with daffodils for preservation.)

This is a fallen tree in the forest that borders the west side of our front yard. (The same forest that the Red-Tailed Hawks live in.)
(Can you tell I love my flowers, that the snow is gone, and the sun is was shining?)

Some of what has been done on the knitting front
First half of February

Second half of February KAL

Second half of March KAL

I still need to catch up with the rest of March and April, but since I got these three done this past weekend, I might make it soon. I got one gift project finished on the knitting front, but it needs to be felted. That may get to happen soon with any luck. I also worked on another gift, realized last night at knitting I had made a mistake, so need to rip out about an inch or two (best not to actually measure that part). I think there was probably another dishcloth that was made, but I forgot to get a picture. Seriously, there was other knitting, as can be seen here, but it is a bit difficult to report about it too much. I am not sure that either of the recipients read this spot very often, but one can never be too safe about these things.

I will leave you with the view I had while knitting.

Harlot event

A quick word about seeing the Yarn Harlot last week. Some other folks have written quite well about it already (as well as what The Harlot said herself, including the nasty weather for the drive home).

The Heathen Housewife, of sock yarn blanket fame, has some links to the singing. Apparently singing in Minnesota has become a bit of a tradition due to a misprint one year about "the book singing," so ever since that first "book sing"it has improved.

We had a lot of fun seeing old friends and making new ones (among others), having a big "knitter's dinner meet-up" beforehand. Well worth the trip, even with the icky snowstorm on the way home.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A quick (late) thanks

Last Friday the UPS person left a box on my poarch, and this is what I found inside. It is listed as from someone named "John Doe" and the card inside (which I forgot to get into the photo)said it is from my "Secret Sewer." It is an instalment of my Spring Fling Coffee Swap box. There is more to come...
Thanks so much to my undisclosed pal and I am sorry it took me so long to get this up for you to know it got here safe and sound. Coffee and chocolates are already being consumed and both are yummy!

I do have pictures of knitting, flowers, and general stuff to show you all, but.... It is 65° and sunny outside! I have to go take advantage of it while it lasts, 'cause they are saying it is going to rain tomorrow. I promise they will be up soon!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Life is full of choices

Choices about what to read and/or listen to.

Choices about what to knit.

Choices about which washer to use

and which dryer.

Choices about whether to fix a broken washer or just get a new one.

Choices about what washer to buy.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What I am knitting this week

Well, at least some of what I am working on anyway... I am still working on several different gift knitting projects, I actually do a lot of that. However, one of the gifts isn't really the color I want it to be, so I am not really feeling the love for it right now, but it is good practice. I am hoping I might find the proper color tomorrow on our road trip. I have also made a couple of dishcloths this week (big surprise); those just come in handy as something to knit that don't require a lot of thinking, do provide instant gratification, and are easy to transport. Unlike long, multicolored, resurrected knitting for the Easter season....
I have a sock that is almost ready to have the heel flap started, and I have two more pairs to start. One pair is a gift and the other pair is for Hubband. My sock might get put on hold for a week or so....
I am not working on any hats right now, mostly just 'cause I needed a bit of a break from them, not because of hat season being over or anything (big time snow storm in tomorrow night's forecast for the big city to the north of us).
So in short, I don't really knit according to the calender or the weather, I pretty much knit what feeds my soul. That really is why I knit after all; I love the process of watching it grow and how the pattern/colors interact and play with each other. The product is a nice thing in the end, but not as cool as watching the process.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Happy Feet

Today I loaded all three animals into the truck and took them off for comprehensive nail trims. We have given up on trying to clip Oribel's claws ourselves. Even with two people to do the job, we are lucky to get one done during the fight fest and she just winds up being really mad at everyone involved. I think we managed to get two claws done while DTE was home last month, but it might have only been one. Of course she gave the folks at the vet's office no trouble at all! Well worth the money; she isn't sticking to everything anymore and isn't mad at me. The tech said, "She is so tiny!" when she brought her back. I guess it is all relative, she seems pretty big to us these days. Simon did his usual and I could hear him complaining in the back about his foot being touched, but it won't get caught on his tags now. (Yeah, they should have gone in a month or more ago....) The dogs get to go back on Friday for their annual check-up, shots, and stuff. I think I will enjoy navigating only two leashes, without the added cat-carrier.
I got my Wee Tiny Sock in today's mail! The Yarn Floozie actually sent me two, probably because she is such a cunning knitter! Thank you!

Not much else happening around her, except for watching the plants grow. Fortunately the 27" of snow this weekend wasn't in our part of Minnesota! We are suppose to get some snow tomorrow; the most excellent thing about spring snow is that you can hear it melting.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Mature socks

They have been encouraged to grow, protected from dangerous yarn eating animals, nurtured along their way to being all grown up.
Now it is time for them to go to work and do their job.
Then I decided I needed to make a "Toe-up" tiny little sock. I just wish I had had enough yarn left from my socks to make it with.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Oh, hi there....

we really are still here, just been staying busy, and distracted. Busy with normal stuff for the most part and distracted with mostly knitting. Though I will say that having a cardboard box motoring about one's kitchen is pretty much a distraction all by itself.
I jumped onto the five minute bandwagon this week. It is well worth the leap I will say. I am thinking that DTE will be wanting a pizza stone by the time the summer is over, if she doesn't already have one. There is a pretty decent video about this craze as well. I am looking forward to reading the book, but I a will have to wait a little while. I am number eight on the hold list, but they do have three copies!

Judy turned fifty this week and she generously shared some of her presents with us at Wednesday Knitting. She also decided that some of her balloons should go home with me for Oribel (apparently she still has plenty at home). It is really hard to get a picture of a kitten playing with balloons, but I promise that she has had a good time with them. She also says, "Thank you very much Judy, for the balloons."

I did to get a picture of her just as she was contemplating attacking a dog (or maybe Hubband's foot, I forget which) on their way out of the bedroom.

Spring is slowly making its way here. I have Lily of the Valley in bloom out front, as well as some other stuff just about to pop open.The rhubarb is also coming along nicely. A few birds are making their way back, we have had a Red-winged Blackbird at the feeder this week, as well as a several Mourning Doves and robins. We should have Orioles pretty soon. Guess I better check on the grape jelly supply. It was up to 63° and sunny today, but they are predicting snow again tomorrow night, Monday and Tuesday night, and maybe also during the day on Wednesday. Le sigh. Oh, right, I said it was spring here.

Hubband decided he needed to undergo a big transformation this week. He wanted to get a crew-cut as well, but didn't have time before he left for a work trip. I am sure he'll cover that part next week. (I think he should try to find some wax on-line and turn it into a handle-bar. He's never done that before.)

I have made three or four dishcloths this week, but don't have pictures of them. All of them are gifts and I forgot to take pictures before packaging them up. Not that they were anything that you haven't seen before, I promise. I am also working on another gft knitting item (or two or three).
My biggest knitting distraction this week has been socks. Sunday I had a private lesson to learn Wendy's Toe-Up sock. I used EZ sewn bind off, which was also new for me. I have been saving this yarn specifically for this and was happy to finally use it, and learn new stuff. It is really cool to watch the striping change as you go along, and not always be the same each time you get to the "color repeat."
This is a super easy pattern, but it does help to pay attention to your short row wraps. Which kind of means I can't do them and visit at the same time. Well, not yet anyway. Give me a couple of more short row socks and I might be able to. I obviously am going to have this sock done before I go to sleep Sunday night (it is going to Adult Ed tomorrow at church after all, and I only need to finish the leg). Of course that leaves me with "What sock should I start to take with me Thursday night?"