Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Drive

We drove down to Prickett's Fort. We wanted to take take the kayaks out since it was pushing 70F but we decided against it and we were glad, since we got there and the bay was frozen over. We visited with the geese, enjoyed the pretty day, met a blind three-legged dog, got a show from a kingfisher and left when the crowds showed up. 

We explored a few country roads we had never traveled. They took us to a a place in where the road ran out called Montana. We turned around and came back, tried to stop at Valley Falls but learned that they were closed for the season. 

It was a pretty laid back weekend otherwise, just what we need before going into this week.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kitchen Notes

Basically, the kitchen has been used as an alternative heat source this week. I had some left over roasted potatoes that I tossed in the deep fryer and served up as breakfast with sage sausage. We shared a bottle of wine in celebration of passing a major milestone for Julian's PhD. I made four pints of mincemeat, set back to use in Christmas baking - just 34 days away. My aunt sent me my Grandfather's Mother's mincemeat cookie recipe from her church cookbook. Special.

Maybe I will have more to report from the kitchen when the temperature warms up... or after we move the stove to the bedroom. What's going on in your kitchen? What are you doing to keep warm?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rock Candy Shawl

I started this shawl, ripped it out because I felt it looked sloppy, and started again with modifications. I still don't like the very beginning - it is knobby and curling - do you know of a great way to start a shawl? This pattern did not use a garter tab but I wasn't 100% satisfied with the garter tab I used in my calico/redwoods shawl, so I am at a loss.

I have started reading Marilynne Robinson's Home. My friend, Devon, read it when it first came out, she said it was good but weird and that I could take my time about reading it. She loaned me her copy which was then stolen from my office. She wasn't very upset, so I figured it wasn't worth finding a replacement or reading the book.

Now with Lila out and getting good reviews, I figure it is time I make myself familiar with Robinson and her work. I've got the book on audio and to say that the narrator's voice is a bit grating is an understatement. I am soldiering on, though. I haven't finished a book on over a month, so I've got to buckle down!

What are you knitting/reading? Show and tell with Ginny.

PS - In other news, it snowed.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Its been a very good weekend. I spent three hours getting our cell phone situation sorted and brought home two new iPhones {a transition for us}. Julian got two job applications sent off, his presentation for tomorrow polished and practiced and we topped the time off with a dinner in with friends. It has been since mid-August since we last hosted our supper club and a lot of life has happened since then. Let's hope the week starts as well as the weekend has ended. Blessings!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Kitchen Notes

lasagna :: farm fresh (and free) eggs :: caramel apples :: two times :: 
ginger green tea :: courgette soufflé ::

The kitchen has been filled with goodness, despite my not posting last week. I was clicking my heels on October 31st, praising myself for avoiding my perennial October cold. By November  4th (happy birthday, little brother!) I had the tell-tale tickle-tingle of a sneeze trying to sneak up on me. That feeling - and the cough, and the sore throat, and the congestion - stayed the whole week through.

I got my heart set on lasagna, and I swear, its just something you can't do without a good recipe. For real, whenever I wing it, it doesn't work out. So this go 'round, I worked off two recipes, my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook {never fail} and the recipe on the side of the don't-have-to-cook-them-first noodles. Ugh. There is a reason the noodles called for exactly DOUBLE of all the wet things, all the things I didn't have double of. It was tasty but it was dry. Case in point - always use a good recipe for lasagna.

I am starting to think about {and test drive} some recipes for this year's Christmas cookie tins. It is a heck of a lot of work, but people just love them, and it is so nice to be able to give a cookie tin to someone that you want to give a gift to, but your budget might not accommodate. I try hard to make as many components as possible gluten free, and I will be sharing some of them in my kitchen notes in the coming weeks. What are your favorite baked goodies and candies for the holidays?

And another thing - the moment after I click publish on this post, I'm going to start making my Christmas mincemeat. Recipe here. We are less that six weeks from Christmas and its time to do all those good things that take time to steep and sit and brew.

PS - I wrote  two weeks ago about this great fresh pickle "salad" and I was thrilled to see a new recipe on Smitten Kitchen along the same lines. Yum, yum, yum... stash some of this in the fridge this winter as your pie antidote!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Temari, take two

A few years ago, we really got into making temari balls. By that I mean we sat down with a book from the library, bought a bunch of supplies, and in the course of about two weeks, created twelve of them. Then we stopped.

They have lived in a big bowl my dad gave me and greeted guests in our living room ever since. They are quite the conversation starter, and people are always surprised to learn that Julian is much better at the craft than me.

He's back at it. A few months ago, I suggested to him that we make up a few more to give as gifts for our dear friends when the time ones for us to move away. With more and more progress made on his dissertation and each week ticking by, leaving has become much more real of an idea for us.

Aren't they so beautiful and so unique? I am looking forward to knowing that, when we are gone and our friends are still here, we will leave a little piece of the life we've made together behind.

Keep calm and craft on, together with Frontier Dreams.