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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Greetings…

I haven’t visited here lately.  The “multi-tasking” hasn’t been the most productive for me. 
So as I stop in here today, I will not be talking fiber.  I will talk about some of what has been keeping me so busy.  This just might push me over the top of sane and leave all of  you wondering if I have completely lost it. 

I am headed back into the kitchen today…I mean for this rant.
 
A friend introduced me to “no knead bread” back in September.

Only 3 ingredients – if you don’t count water as an ingredient. Mix it and let it sit.   And let it sit some more - 12 – 18 hours actually.

She was quoted as saying “…I can’t do anything to ruin it…”

I found that this may be true for the taste, I too haven’t made a bad tasting loaf yet…but I will confess to having a not so visually appealing loaf.   Maybe even a few, not so appealing loaves.

I have been mixing it before bed and will then bake it the following afternoon and enjoy with some hummus and smashed avocado.
 
Yummy!

Otherwise, refrigerate it - cut off small chucks - roll it flat and bake  on a cast iron skillet for fresh naan (Indian flat bread).

Another kitchen activity that has me busy is yogurt – but we travel to the Mediterranean Sea for this delicious treat.

Karie and I like Greek Yogurt and we really go through it. 

When I researched making yogurt online, it appeared that it could be made for half of the cost.

Well that isn’t exactly true.

Because of the excess liquid being strained out, Greek yogurt is a much firmer yogurt and homemade yogurt is very soupy. 

More of thick drink consistency. 

I understand that this is probably the natural way, this is the old school yogurt of years past. 

No added pectin or powder milk to firm it up, but we like the thicker Greek style.
  
And since I am trying to keep this as natural as possible, I don’t want to add pectin and since I am making this organic, I don’t want to add the store bought powdered milk because of the uncertainty of it’s origins.

I understand that pectin is so called “natural”, but so is uranium and I don’t really want that floating around my soup…

And while I can get organic powdered milk online, I don’t know if it is worth the hassle and extra cost. 

So for now, I put up with the straining and end up with a 40% loss of volume.  But it is not wasted.
The strained liquid is none other than whey. 

Way!

I always wondered what Miss Muffet was eating from whence the spider frightened her away.   And being from Wisconsin, I am rather ashamed to say…”I did not know.”

I have been trying it with cooking the bread, baked goods and just taking a swig or two for medicinal purposes.  I think all it gives me is gas though.  ;)

Anyway…

The third and final act of craziness has been making ghee.

No that is not a British accent, it is what we call clarified butter.  But ghee comes from India and India has been around longer than the states, so ghee it is.

See how this story has come full circle?

The 2 great benefits of ghee is non-refrigerated shelf life for the end of the world…well that didn’t happen - and a higher smoking/burning point.
  
And what might be better is brushing a little ghee on the naan and sprinkling with sea salt before eating. 

Namaste…

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Click…

A few weeks ago, I had a small photo shoot for my little people sweaters.  (I hate to call them baby sweaters, as the cute little girl that helped me out is a year old and hardly a baby.) 

I needed to get some photos done – where time was of the essence – but I wasn’t organized enough and frankly I didn’t have the money to employ a professional to get it done for me.

The plans were sort of spontaneous and it worked out well for the lack of preparation.  It came down to a week schedule at the moment of asking – to the day of the shoot.

I threw out a few days that would work form me, and my mom friend picked out of those days what would work for her and we had a plan penciled in.

Day of the shoot, we drove around a little looking for the “perfect” spot.  And what that came down to was – where were the fall colors still available to us.

Where is this going…well, the point of this is I had a blast!

Photography is something that I enjoyed in my past life and it just sort of faded away with the time. 

Photography became a documentation of holidays and/or special outings. 

I no longer went out in pursuit of photo opportunity.  Walks when I could just walk and look. 

Opportunities like the orange mushroom that rested just of the path.  Or the moss on a damp rock that had tini-tiny flowers blooming and thriving. 

As I said, I had a blast. 

Photography is another creative outlet for me and it draws me in with all of the possibilities of what it could be. 

It might inspire me to try more of my own shoots and hope the models are patient and work with me. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It’s Only Knitt’in…

That would sound really cool would be if I could write the above statement, only with an Irish Brogue.

I make this statement as a way to minimize the fear that so many of us have when knitting and encountering a mistake.  We all face mistakes when knitting. 

Really, how could it be any different?

There are so many opportunities to drop a stitch, add a yarn over, cross a cable on the wrong row.  An almost infinite amount of opportunity – to just screw up!  If it were easy…

I know – hear the rumor mill now – how could I possible say that?  Knitting is easy…ish. 

Here it is, I just get in a rush – when I switch from a purl to a knit…or visa versa, hoop there it is.  A new stitch when I was completely content with the number I previously had.

Again – I am in a hurry and don’t complete knitting the stitch. When I slide the stitch from the left needle to the right needle, I don’t really have an actual stitch and again – oops. 

The same simplicity that attracts me to knitting, often doesn’t appear so simple when frustrated. 

All we do is create loops and pull them through or across other loops – and soon we have a piece of fabric.

It’s only knitt’in…

The great thing is that seldom do these minor mishaps require ripping out and re-knitting.  Most of the time you have the opportunity to just re-work those few stitches and fix the mistake where it is. 

But, for the “more serious” mistake – you can rip out the previous 5, 10, ??? rows.  It’s not the end of the world, it’s all fixable.

Maybe you don’t like the way your design is working out…

Rip it out.

Back up and try a different decrease to see if that one fits the pattern better.

Add a couple of short rows to your pattern, because your curves are better than the designers curves…

The point of all this is most people get panicked when they discover a goof, or don’t like what they see in there time consuming knitwear. 

But as they say – it is what it is.

Unless you full/felt it, you can fix it.

It’s only knitt’in!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Now What…

Well, last weekend was my last official show of the year.  I finished the season off exhausted but looking forward to next year. 

Michigan has so many cool events that I may just move over there.  Well, probably not. 

I do wish I could drive straight across the lake to get to Michigan instead of having to drive through that one cruddy town to the south.  The only good time to drive through there is late at night, otherwise there is always traffic. 

But now that the season is down for an extended time, I have to occupy myself with some projects.   And I am really looking forward to getting tired again at the beginning of next season.