Friday, December 30, 2011

Sierra Beauty Apple Pie

We've fallen in love with apple pie made from Sierra Beauty apples:

We get them at our local farmers' market, from Pomo Tierra Ranch, and they have so much more flavor than Granny Smiths. We've found that whether you eat them raw, or bake them into a pie, the first taste is sweet, but they have a tart finish, and are so aromatic--almost floral. We've been making pie after pie out of them, almost one a week, just like this one:

If you can, get some Sierra Beauties--enough for eating, and enough for pies!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cedric visits the Norton Simon

We had a great time at the Norton Simon in Pasadena. A rather small museum, it has a wonderful collection, so one could spend just a few hours or even all day.

Cedric particularly enjoyed the sculpture garden, especially "Mountain" (above) and the beautiful landscaping:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cedric at the Gate

Cedric and I were lucky enough to go sailing on Alma, and even luckier that Captain Jason and his wonderful crew took us just out the Gate! This is Cedric as we were approaching the Bridge, all of us very excited.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Knitting for Barbie

It's been a long time since I've knit anything doll sized, and it's as fun as ever!

I call this the "Starry Night Bra & Panty Set," and the pattern's no. A58 from a wonderful site, Sticka till Barbie, and it's available in Swedish, Dutch, English and French--and it's free!

The pattern is really easy to follow, and it took just a bit of leftover sock-weight yarn, and I used 2.0mm (U.S. size 0) needles.

There's over 1000 patterns at her site, and I can't wait to knit more of them!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Date custard pie

I wanted to try something completely new, and am so pleased with the results! It's not the prettiest pie, but is so delicious. The recipe is from the Fannie Farmer Baking Book, and I followed it as written. It's very simple, and I used the best ingredients I could find: free-range, organic eggs from Riverdog Farm, fresh dates that I bought at the farmers' market (I forgot to note the farm), plus milk (I used organic soy milk, since Paul can't handle cow milk), and a little salt--that's it. There's no added sweetener--all the sweetness comes from the dates.

The crust is the buckwheat crust from the same cookbook, and it's spectacular. Half wheat flour, half buckwheat flour--it's nutty and really flaky.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Whole wheat baguettes

These are the prettiest baguettes that I've made! I've really gotten the recipe down (King Arthur Flour's) so that I can whip these up even with a nasty head cold. And I still follow Julia Child's suggestion about the slashes (mentioned before), but now we have a French carbon steel knife that's incredibly sharp, which makes the slashes very easily.

I've also adapted the recipe to incorporate whole wheat flour: I grind 3/4 cup wheat berries, which gives somewhere around 1-1/4 cups of flour, and I substitute that for some of the white flour in the "dough" part of the recipe. The only challenge is the crust--they're not as crusty as the white flour version, so I'm working on that!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The turtle will move

I haven't yet mentioned this on my Ravelry project page, since it's a square for a baby blanket for one of the Ravelers, and we don't want her to see it until it's sent to her! But, in the meantime, I mention it here, so others who are working on the blanket can take a look.

It's going to be a Pratchgan-baby blanket, and the turtle is a tribute to the Discworld's Great A-tuin, as well as the turtle who was a Small God.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Timson's April Fool's

Timson likes being in the spotlight on Ravelry--normally a bit shy, and rather a homebody, he nonetheless likes being the center of attention at a photoshoot, and he always looks forward to April Fool's when the silly hats are out and about. This year, he loved his formal look--he thinks the top hat was tops.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Celebrating Earth Hour with Cedric

We had a lovely Earth Hour this year. Most of the neighborhood was very dark, and we lit a lot of candles. I knit, Paul read, and also took this photo of Cedric celebrating with us:

Timson was afraid of the candles. He gazed at the stars out the window.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Satchel rather than purse

What started out to be a purse has ended up as a wonderful satchel, the perfect size to carry around my netbook, or magazines, or books, or knitting project, or quite a combination of any of them:

The lining fabric is one of the Miyabi fabrics from Sentimental Studios for moda, and I sewed a tube to sew into the strap to line it:

Since I wanted to see nothing but the beautiful right side of the fabric, I took my time sewing two pockets, one large one with a zipper, and a smaller one for pens & pencils:

I just love it. It's a bit larger than my other purses, for when I'm taking along a knitting project, or my netbook, but smaller and more comfortable than larger satchels and backpacks.

It's the second project from the birthday yarn that Paul got for me so long ago, before all those hand injuries, and I'm really excited about starting the next project with the warm gray Karabella DK Merino Silk--I'm swatching for the Essential Cardigan--we'll see!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hexacomb Cardigan

It's finally finished--my Hexacomb Cardigan. I made it with two inches of positive ease, out of Rowan Handknit Cotton (seven skeins), because I wanted a loose, boxy sweater for hot weather--not for wearing outside when it's hot, but for when you walk inside from the hot weather into an overly air conditioned building, and need a little something over your shoulders, maybe even buttoned up at first against that chill. Also, I think it will be perfect for when the breeze first comes up at nightfall after a hot day, and you need just a little something over a tank top to prevent that slight chill.

So bring on the hot weather. I'm ready!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cedric visits Alma and collections storage

Cedric had a grand day out--he got to accompany us on a tour of the work being done to San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park's scow schooner, Alma. My coworker, Gina, was also there, modeling her hard hat (we're librarians who get issued our own hard hats!):

We got to go aboard Alma, and Captain Jason told us all about the work being done, and it was very interesting! Cedric is standing on new wood, and the older looking wood in front of him (under the tools) is part of the work done on Alma in 1992:

After our tour of Alma, we got to tour some of the collections storage, and Cedric was so excited to learn what it would be like for him to live in a museum, and be an object in a museum collection--he would be assigned a special number, and photographed in a very special way:

Cedric thought retiring to a museum would be a wonderful way to live, but not for a long time--museum objects don't get outside much, although they go get to travel if they're lucky enough to be loaned to another museum for an exhibit. Then, they get to meet lots of people who visit the exhibit. Until then they lead a very restful existence in their special home. Right now, Cedric likes traveling too much to think about retirement.

Monday, February 21, 2011

February Hat

I call this my February Hat, because it's still so cold out that I want a warm, wool hat, but it's also the month that the plum blossoms emerged in the garden, looking glorious, and there are still winter winds coming through, causing the "snow fall" of their petals.

The pattern is "Tigress Hat" by Kim Salazar, but I wanted more of a cloche, so I added a row of stockinette before the crown, and two more rows of stockinette before the brim, and it fits down over my ears, keeping them warm. The yarn, Rowan Harris Chunky, is much softer after a cold water soak and blocking. The hat used almost all of the skein, 75-80%.

The flowers are crocheted in DMC Cebelia cotton thread size 20, with a size 11 hook, with pink embroidery floss around the center to evoke the look of the plum blossoms. The pattern is the flower part of “Narrow Violet Edging,” from Rita Weiss’ Crochet Edgings.