Monday, December 20, 2010

A shawl, a scarf

I started out knitting the Vine Lace Shrug (free download on Ravelry), aiming to use up some stash yarn, Classic Elite Bam Boo. The pattern is based on Barbara Walker's "Vine Lace" (from her Treasury of Knitting Patterns) and looks gorgeous in the Bam Boo.

As I knitted away, using up the stash, I realized the length wasn't quite right to sew up the shrug--it's a gift for a dear friend who's shoulders measure the same as mine, but her arms are shorter, since she's only ten years old!

So I made a fastener, so she could wear it as a stole, sewing a covered button and a long, tube "button" together, and inserting them into one of the lace holes:

It slips in and out without deforming the lace, so if she wants, she can take the fastener out, and wear it as a scarf:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Refining the crackers

I've made the crackers dozens of times now, and found that they're even better if you roll them out twice as thin. That is, the recipe tells you to divide the dough in half and roll out two large squares--I've found that they're even better if you divide the dough in fourths, and roll out four large squares. You have to remember to pay attention to the ones in the oven--being so thin, they can brown too much very quickly, but they're so much better thinner. They brown evenly, and each and every inch is crisp.

I've also given up on the scoring and trying to get them square--we just crack them up into pieces. It's faster to the table that way!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


"White Crackers" recipe from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, 13th ed., edited by Marion Cunningham.

These are amazingly delicious with red wine--just enough sweetness and saltiness to enhance the flavor. I substituted agave syrup for sugar (so I could eat them), margarine for butter (for vegan & husband friendliness), and rather than measuring the salt, just sprinkled the amount that I'd want over them, and they're incredibly delicious. They're also really easy to make--just a few minutes to throw them together and get them in the oven--they're as easy as pie.

Tomorrow we'll have them with soup. Can't wait.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cedric at Point Bonita

Cedric had a wonderful time visiting Point Bonita earlier this month. Although it was foggy, it wasn't too foggy--the views were spectacular.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

On the Alma

Cedric got to go sailing on the Alma and had such a wonderful time. We sailed around Angel Island, and got to see the Immigration Station and Fort MacDowell from the water. The sun even came out for a while!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


These are my best looking baguettes yet. Granted, they're not gorgeous, but they're so much prettier than the previous ones!

I was never successful following the King Arthur Flour's recipe's instructions, "make three diagonal slashes in each baguette. Hold the sharp knife at a 45° angle to the bread, be quick, and use firm strokes." I couldn't get cuts that would open. The sharpness of the knives wasn't the problem, but I couldn't master this "45° angle" technique.

So I turned to Julia Child, From Julia Child's Kitchen, which had been of immense help with poached eggs: "Immediately make three lengthwise slashes in the top of the dough with a razor, cutting almost parallel to surface, as follows..."

That was the ticket. "Almost parallel." Worked like a charm.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Parking Sign Cozies Have Appeared!

Some absolutely delightful parking sign cozies have appeared in our neighborhood! I think they may be the work of a blogger I always enjoy reading, Streetcolor, but I don't know for sure. This one is on Solano Ave. in front of Pegasus books:

And this one is down the street, nearer to Peets:

I just love them--such darling colors & festive stitch patterns--I hope more appear!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Stocking cap

This is the beginning of a stocking cap, using Maggie's Rags Witch's Hat pattern as the basis for the beginning.

This gorgeous yarn was a terribly thoughtful gift--Opal, "in Variation nach Hundertwassers Werk, "Good Morning City." I'm in love with the colors!

I started this because the sprain in my hand occasionally acts up, and knitting with smaller needles is much more comfortable right now that with larger needles. Also, kntting in the round lets me do just a little bit, and then stop anywhere if I get any aches or pains, so I'm sure not to push it.

Why am I making a stocking cap rather than the socks from the pattern on the yarn's label? Because, well, I really don't like knitting socks--don't tell anyone!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The colors in Harrisville Designs Heathered Bulky

The sprain in my hand is healed enough that I can do a little knitting here and there, so I'm working on the strap to the purse (Aran Pocketbook by Edie Eckman). I am struck by the wonderful colors in this yarn--the bright blues, the soft pinks--the strains of bright colors complement the base purple so beautifully. The name of this color, "periwinkle," doesn't due the variety of color justice. Sure, the purple is very true to the periwinkle blossoms in front of my home, but the gorgeous bright blues and pinks surrounding it are absent from the flower--but delightfully present in the yarn.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Slightly wheat challah

My favorite recipe for challah (OK, the only recipe I know for challah!) is King Arthur Flour's Four-Strand-Braided Challah. It always turns out beautifully, and is delicious.

This time, we tried substituting some home-ground flour for white flour, almost two cups worth (from one cup of wheat berries).

It was fantastic. This is the way I'll be making challah from now on.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


The April Ravelry pie challenge is "round," and we're a bit in between fruit seasons, so the fresh fruit choices were apples and rhubarb--but although I love those together, I didn't love them enough to make another apple rhubarb pie so soon, so it was off to the frozen food aisle. We've been paying attention to the EWG's food news (about pesticide levels in some foods), so got the organic strawberries--and in the same section they had blueberries and raspberries:

They made a delicious pie. I used a cherry pie recipe, figuring that the berries matched the sweetness level of cherries, but omitted the lemon that I usually add to cherry pie, since the raspberries probably added some tartness. It was delicious! (I also made Slightly Wheat Water Rolls, and lasagna for dinner):

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The theme was green

The Ravelry pie challenge group's March challenge was "green." I had been thinking of spinach pasties, or green peas in chicken pot pies, but the springtime fruit caught my eye--I started with these:

And ended up with an apple rhubarb pie:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Pi Day

Happy Pi Day, or, 3-14.

We celebrated with apple turnovers.

(The little piece of paper says, "POINT"!)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Home ground flour

Fresh wheat berries, ready to be ground.

We just got the Kitchenaid grain mill attachment, and it's wonderful! A local market (Monterey Market) carries wheat berries, but if you're not near there, Whole Foods has them as well.

And this is the first loaf we made--we substituted 1-3/4 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour for white flour, and the bread has an almost buttery taste, in addition to the complex nuttiness of the freshly ground whole wheat. It's just amazingly delicious.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chocolate. Pie.

The February pie challenge in the Ravelry Pie Challenge group (requires free login) is chocolate pie--but Paul can't eat chocolate, and although I want a whole chocolate pie to myself, that just didn't seem advisable. So what to do?

Make a favorite pie, such as pumpkin, and apply bites of pumpkin pie to squares of chocolate, such as this amazing chocolate that I'm so lucky to be sent every now and then by friends in Germany. Every bite is amazing.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Pita bread, first try

Today I attempted pita bread for the first time--although they came out absolutely delicious, the puffing was uneven. I used the King Arthur Flour recipe, and everything went well, except for the fact that the pitas puffed around the edges but not in the center. (This is not so useful for putting something inside them after you cut them in half!)

Our theory: I rolled them out with a french pin which made them flatter in the middle than on the edges. So next time, I'll try patting them out by hand, which usually results in a higher middle and lower edges (at least for me!)

We had them with the cannellini patties (we call them "bean burgers"), with a yogurt dressing and sliced cucumbers--putting it all on top of the unevenly puffed pitas like a pita pizza. Delicious!

Can't wait to try them again.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mines of Moria knitting needle case

Made for the Peoples of Middle Earth swap, celebrating the culture of the dwarves, based on Caitlin's Knitting Needle Holder Pattern (June 2002) (.jpg picture file).