Friday, July 31, 2015

Pickle Party

Yesterday afternoon I stared at my garden produce, trying to come up with a plan of action. I had 7 pounds of pickling cucumbers, 7 pounds of zucchini, and 3 pounds of green beans.

I started in on a pickle recipe but then realized I needed to go to the store for an ingredient. So I rounded up my recipes and went off to the store with a list.

(Side note: we had 7 items on our list, why was that so unbearably boring to my daughter???)

Armed with the proper ingredients I had a pickling party! Since all three recipes were new to me, I made small batches. There's nothing more disappointing than a huge batch of something that tastes horrible!

I got 4 jars of everything. I made: ginger garlic pickles, lemon spiced bean pickles, and honey-sweetened sweet pickles. Oh, I got four of everything but one jar of my sweet pickles didn't seal. :(

(Side note: the camera is carefully positioned so that you see none of the clutter in the kitchen or dining room! It's been a crazy week!)

Yum! I can't wait to try these pickles! I love trying new recipes when I'm canning. I always try to make sure I have all the basics covered before I start doing my experimenting, but I ended up with regular pickles still on my shelf from last year so I figured, why not? I like ginger and garlic, and lemony beans sounds good...we shall see!

Oh, and the zucchini made its way into bread and then what was left (a lot!) was given to friends. I still have about one pound of beans left which we'll have for dinner tonight. Of course, there is probably more in the garden to pick, but that will be for another day!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

52 Projects (Project 17)

Years ago, my sister gave me some gorgeous baby alpaca yarn. I didn't know what to make with it, but I thought I might want a bigger project than just the one skein, so I bought another skein. And then I still didn't know what to do with it so I did nothing. A few years ago, I used a very small amount to make a headband.

I've been in kind of a "use it or lose it" mode related to my craft and sewing supplies, so I decided to make a simple cowl with this yarn. I used size 13 needles and knit back and forth in garter stitch until the yarn ran out. Then I bound off and sewed the ends together.

Something very simple, but the end result is a cowl I can wear in either one loop:

or two:

I love this. It's soft, cozy, and warm. It worked out that the length is just perfect. But. I feel so lost with my knitting. I have been knitting, more or less, for over 10 years (about 12, actually). And this is all I can do with beautiful yarn? I just haven't been challenging myself. So I went through my yarn, pulled out some lace yarn I bought many years ago, bought this pattern, and the needles necessary to knit it. And cast on:

It will be a while before this is finished! But I am happy that I'm challenging myself!

As for the cowl, I will enjoy its warmth this winter! And of course, since I had the yarn and the needles, the cost was $0!

Cost: $0
Running Total: $43.55

Friday, July 10, 2015

I am not a Pancake Mom

I am not a Pancake Mom. I'm not into bento boxes and cutesy food that takes five times as long to design as it does to eat. (Design? Who has time to design food??? Unless you are a chef and that is your job?) I am more along the lines of, "There's food on your plate. Stop complaining and start eating. There are children in this world who don't have food to eat today." Somehow, even though that logic was lost on me as a child, I am uttering the same words as my mother.

Pancakes are something that I just have trouble with, no matter what. But for some reason, I keep trying. This morning, the pancakes were flipping quite well, so I decided to play around a little bit. I figured if it didn't work I could eat or scrap them. But it worked:

 And brought a little smile to my daughter's face when she came to the table. She declared it a "work of art". (The bar is set low, thankfully! LOL)

Maybe I won't ever be a Pancake Mom, but a little trying now and then won't hurt anything either!