Monday, August 22, 2011

Beet stew - yes, really

Today I came home from work and decided I needed to eat beets. I grabbed three beets, a summer squash and some basil and oregano from the garden and an onion from the fridge, and went to work. I sauteed the onion and beets (thinly sliced) in some coconut oil, then added some tomatoes that had been sitting on the counter for a week (we'd saved them from the chipmunks, but hadn't figured out what to make with them). I let that simmer for about 7 minutes, then added chopped summer squash and the herbs. 5 minutes later, I had a delicious sweet and earthy veggie stew! I added a sprinkle of feta to finish it, and I wished there was someone around I could have fed it to (DP hates beets).

In other news, I finished the cowl, which is drying on my new blocking squares (thanks DP!). Once I get pics, I think I'm going to toss it up for free on Ravelry. There can never be too many free patterns, right?

I started a tiny tea leaves for my niece using STR lightweight. I'm making the size for a 4 year old in sock yarn, so it should end up fitting a baby :) The color is little bunny foo foo, a melange of browns and pink, and it's so beautiful, I just like watching the colors as I knit.

I also joined another fiber club - the wheel of the seasons - and bought some batts from the Cupcake Fiber Factory. I asked a person on Ravelry how the batts spun up, and she gave such a glowing review that I had to try them. Since my experience with my home made batts, I'm willing to give spinning them another try. Hopefully this means that I'll have some good spinning fodder for the blog this winter.

Finally, I'm getting a cat! I know, I know: I'm allergic. But I found a breed of cat that has somewhat less of the protein I'm allergic to in its saliva, so we found a kitten who needs a home. We'll get her in November...I can't wait! My whole life, I've wanted a cat, and I'm finally getting one. DP is really excited too - I wouldn't have even tried this without making sure he was on board. He already has a name picked out for her.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chunky banana bread?

That's what's in the oven right now. It's what you get when you're too lazy to find the potato masher. The batter tastes good, though.

I'm moving along on my cowl; I had a lot of time to work on it today, when I was waiting for tech support to convert my database. 2 1/2 hours! Now I'll be working on two machines in two different rooms until I finish the upgrades.

I found a gorgeous cardigan on Ravelry, but the pattern isn't out yet. I can't wait for it to come out - I think it would look good in the tweed I have running around...the tweed that's been knitted into about three cardigans so far!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Italian Chain?

I'm trying out a new-to-me ribbing: Italian chain ribbing. It looks great in the stitch dictionary picture, but we'll see how it looks actually knit up.

I'm about a quarter through the latest Song of Ice and Fire book, and I'm both happy and sad. Happy that I have it left to read, sad that I'll probably have to wait five years for the next book! It's kind of like Auel's Earth's Children series. If you come to it late, you have a backlog to read, and it makes the waiting less painful.

I think that it's chipmunks that have been eating my tomatoes - I overheard someone on the bus talking about chipmunks eating their tomatoes, and the signs point to the same MO. I'm not sure what to do about it...I don't really want to kill them, but I want to be able to eat at least some of the things I'm growing! I think those fiends must also be eating my green beans.

I have to ply up the three singles I spun for the Camelot-along, and then I'll have all my Gawain and the Greene Knight yarn ready. Instead of making up my own pattern, I may just make another Eva shawl. It's plain, but I wear it all the time.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Beet it

So, I love beets, but I haven't done much with them besides pickling and roasting. However, I have concocted an amazing beet soup twice, so it's not a fluke :)

I sliced beets into pennies, then sauteed them in coconut oil. When they're half done, I add the chopped beet greens and a bunch of basil (or dill), and cook that down until the greens are wilted. Then I top it up with beef broth and add about a teaspoon of black pepper. Simmer it until the beets are done, and you have a delicious - and blood red - soup that goes great with crackers or bread. Yum!

I'm currently up in the air about what I should be knitting. I have a shawl on the needles that's going slowly, so I think I may need to whip up something small just to keep my spirits up. I bought a skein of cormo/silk/alpaca from Foxfire Fibers with my last sheep shares box, so I may knit that into a cowl/neckwarmer. It's gorgeous yarn, so I have to do something worthwhile with it. I also need to knit another baby cardigan...I'm thinking of tiny tea leaves, but I'm not certain about it.

The babies wore the hats I made for them home from the hospital, and they seemed to be a hit. Cotton, while not my fave to work with, was just right for this application. Here's a pic, sans babies:


They worked up fast and were fun to knit.

The reason I need to knit a second cardigan is that I finished the first for one of the twins - the whirligig shrug. It knit up really well:

shrug front

My sister thinks it's cute, which is all that matters!

The reading mitts also worked out:

winter mitts

They feel so nice to wear, I wish I could keep them.

The shawl is done, and DP thought it would work just right for a witch/wise woman:


I've been on a roll, which probably means a lull for a bit - with all the work coming up in the next few weeks, I probably won't have much time to think.