Sunday, August 14, 2011


Maybe if I close my eyes and hope, I'll wake up from this nightmare.


What if I pinch myself?


Still no. I may be forced to admit that this is reality:

I ran outta yarn two rows and a seam away from finishing my lace. I may have another ball hidden somewhere, but failing that I'll have to finish it in white.

On the plus side I made a washcloth.

The image in the background is the pattern sheet I picked up from Michael's. It gave me a break from all fine gauge lace I've been doing. This pattern is available from Michael's stores or you can get it here:

That is all

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Had a nice relaxing day today. My husband had the day off so we spent the day napping, relaxing, and fooling around. He made a new Magic: The Gathering deck, I got two crocheted motifs done on the lace I'm making. I felt very accomplished because I finally washed, sanitized, and oiled my wooden cutting boards. I usually wash them, and I put vinegar on them to sanitize them once or twice a week. But the vinegar needs to sit for at least 30 minutes, and then they need to dry before I can oil them. And usually by that time I need to start dinner, so they get dirty again. But not today. Today they were properly cleaned and oiled. It makes me feel good. And my husband unclogged the bathroom sink, which was draining slowly. The house is finally getting some semblance of order. More on this later.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

An Excellent Beginning

Some days just start off right. It's a great morning, you wake up on time, and everything comes easily. And as the day progresses the morning stays with you, making everything happy and relaxed. Those kinds of days should start with pie for breakfast.

Pie is a breakfast food. Totally. It's full of fruit, can be eaten hot or cold, and depending on the filling can be portable. Think of other things considered to be breakfast. Pie is way better for you than a jam-filled donut, and has more vitamins than a fast food sandwich. The only time I eat pie for dessert is the night I make it. After that, it's all breakfast from there.

The pie I made was a pull-together of fruit that needed to be used soon-ish. So it was cherry/peach/pluot pie. Besides, healthy foods are considered to be "bird food" and as my cockatoo Ali demonstrates, birds like pie.

Afterwards I went to my friends' house, where I ate blueberry pancakes. Then some grocery shopping, eating gelato out of the container with a tiny spoon, and Joy the Baker's fantastic Lavender and Toasted Walnut Scones with a cup of Earl Grey.

It was every bit as wonderful as it sounds. Also my mom sent me an Edible Arrangement. Once my husband gets off work it will be consumed.

Homemade Pie

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter
4 tbsp water

4 cups fruit
0.75 - 1 cup sugar
5 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon

To make crust: Mix salt and flour together. Cut in half the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse meal. Then cut in the rest of the butter until it resembles peas. Add the water one tablespoon at a time until you have a nice dough. Knead lightly, divide in half, and roll one half out as the bottom crust and reserve the other half in the refrigerator until ready.

To make filling: Pit and chop fruit and add other ingredients. Use less sugar depending on how sweet the fruit is. Mix until combined and pour into crust.

Top with rolled out upper crust, seal edges, cut slashes or design in top, bake at 425 degrees for 35 - 45 minutes.


Strawberry-Cherry Jam

2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups pitted cherries
3 - 6 cups sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 tsp butter
1 box or pouch of pectin

Slice up your strawberries and pit the cherries. You can slice the cherries as well, but since I used really juicy cherries I just crushed them with a spoon while they were in the pot. Put fruit and juice in pot and heat over medium. Add lemon juice. Slowly add sugar one cup at a time. If you are using a no-sugar pectin and/or have really sweet fruit, so should only need to add about 3 cups sugar for sufficient sweetness. If you are using regular pectin and want your jam to gel correctly, you're gonna need to add closer to 6 cups. Bring to a boil. Add pectin (and butter, if you like, to reduce foaming) and boil for one minute. Turn off heat and let it cool a bit. Pour into sterilized jars.
Makes 6 - 8 cups.

Lemon Curd 

4 tbsp lemon zest
0.5 cup lemon juice
1.5 cups sugar
6 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
3 eggs, lightly beaten

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine zest, juice, and sugar. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add butter and stir till melted. Turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Add eggs to lemon mixture until blended. Return to heat and cook over medium-low, stirring constantly, for 10 to 15 minutes or until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Do NOT allow to boil or it may curdle. Let cool.
Makes about 2 cups.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Making Pretties

Been working on getting the house in order. I finally finished a pair of cross-stitched pillowcases I started over two years ago. I know, I'm bad at finishing my projects, but I'm hoping I can work on that. Now with the pillowcases done I'm crocheting a lace border to sew onto the edge. I found a free pattern online, and after fixing the errors I've been speeding through it.

I plan to chart it out, and once I do I'll post the pattern for anyone who wants it. I think it will definitely compliment the duvet cover I finished just about a week ago.

In order news, Monday was Lammas. Lammas celebrates the first harvest of the season, and specifically the grain harvest. Since the only thing I have planted right now is a pepper plant that hasn't started fruiting yet, I celebrated by making a cornsheaf loaf. The loaf is shaped like a bundle of grain, and mine turned out very well. I didn't follow the recipe exactly, which called for 5.5 cups of white flour. Instead I used 2 cups whole wheat, 1 cup spelt, 1 cup buckwheat, and 1.5 cups white flour. I used more oil and water to compensate, and the bread turned out as delicious as it looks.

Interestingly, I did a little research on spelt and buckwheat, since I knew very little, and it turns out buckwheat is currently being researched because it has a compound which may help treat Type 2 Diabetes and PCOS. That's right, soba noodles are magic.