Sunday, November 30, 2014

Talk to the Hand? Really?

Yes, really.  And remember, it's Christmas shopping season.

You are very welcome!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I'm Too Sexy for My Shirt.

Nope. That's not it. Definitely not it.

I'm too clever for my kitchen?

Probably not.  

But I did get clever enough today to turn the leftover pumpkin pie filling from the previously-mentioned William Sonoma pie recipe into these cute little mini muffins.

I had about two cups of the pie filling left over and there was all kinds of good stuff in it: pumpkin purée, heavy cream, dark brown sugar, eggs, and various spices. 

So, thought I, why not add some flour, salt and baking powder and see what happens!

I used a random muffin recipe, added half the amount of flour, baking powder and salt called for and the mixture seemed to be the right viscosity (Is that a cooking term? Or just for oil? Viscous. That sounds gross.) and filled up the cups.

And now I have two dozen pumpkin mini muffins and they taste just fine.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014


One of these things is not like the others,

One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

I promise not to sing.

So, what do we have here?

A floured stone countertop, nice and cold to roll out dough.

A silicone rolling pin.  (Best invention ever)
A metal ring to protect the pie edge after it's been awhile in the oven.
A pretty pie plate.  (You can't see it but I know it's there.)
All are items I use to make pies.


a Plunger???

Which I DON'T use to make pies, but the garbage disposal clogged up with all of the apple peelings and parts. My husband says that this plunger, which he promises he has thoroughly cleaned and sanitized (uh huh), is exactly what he needs to clear the clog.  

I persuaded him to wait until I was finished and had the pie in the oven.  Phew.

It's a holiday, so of course, something has to go wrong or there would be no stories.

And now, two Thanksgiving stories:

We go to two friends' home each year for Thanksgiving and have been for 25 years. There is always a great gathering of their various friends from various stages in the hosts' lives, and often we visit with "friends" we've known for 25 years, but only see once a year because they don't even live here. But there have been incidents.

One year there was an oven fire caused by some drippings from a dish a prospective daughter-in-law had brought to the future in-laws' home. It would have gone out on its own soon enough, but some people (men) kept opening the oven door to see if the fire was out yet, giving another burst of air to the fire. The host ultimately deployed his fire extinguisher and that was the end of that.

Then there was the year that the police almost arrested a couple of the male guests.  The host mentioned during the dinner that the alarm at a house two doors away had been going off all day.  A couple of the guests went to the house, saw that the front door was open, and from there they could see a dog peeking out of the laundry room from behind a door that was not on the hinges, but was leaning against the doorway. One of the men came back, called 911, and while the others were rescuing the dog and trying to see if anything else looked amiss, the police arrived. The police checked out the rest of the house, but were understandably unhappy that the men had even gone in the front door and said to one of them, "How do I know you haven't taken a Rolex?" 

Wise guy guest replied, "How do I know YOU haven't taken a Rolex?"

Things went downhill from there.

The other men quickly returned to the hosts' home, and wise guy was left to deal with a now angry police officer.

So tomorrow is another Thanksgiving and maybe, but I hope not, another story.

(Song lyrics from Sesame Street) 

I Think I Should Drink

when I cook or bake.  

I am making two pies today, one apple pie from the Silver Palate cookbook and one pumpkin pie from William Sonoma. I've used both recipes before, but only once a year and I tend to forget small details. Apparently.

So I ended up with two pre-baked pie shells. How I ended up with two is a long and confusing story, even to me, and I was here to witness it. Realistically I should have ended up with only one, but...never mind.

In my defense (have you noticed I ALWAYS have a defense; I should'a been a lawyer), the recipe for the pumpkin pie reads as follows:

The list of ingredients clearly calls for a pre-baked and cooled piecrust.  Right???


So I work on, mixing all of the ingredients while letting the pre-baked  pie crust cool.

And then I get to the part about pouring the filling into the piecrust and I read this:

Do NOT pre-bake piecrust.  

What the #$%^&*()?

So anyway, I am currently baking a pie in an UN pre-baked pie crust.  And I am going to put a note on my copy of the recipe, so that I don't do this again next year.

I wish you a lovely Thanksgiving tomorrow, and I wish you a sober cook!

Unless, like me, the cook SHOULD drink.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Only 14,000 stitches to go!


I just turned 1,000 stitches, more or less, into 2,000 stitches, more or less. Mostly more, I think.

Because I'm crazy?

No, because I'm in the home stretch, yo!

I started working on this Nuvem months ago, and have finally reached the FINAL SEVEN ROWS!!!

14,000 stitches!!!  yikes.


It takes 1 1/4 episodes of Poirot to knit 2,000 stitches in stockinette on size 4 circular needles with lace weight yarn.  6,000 down, 8,000 to go.  Lots more Poirot!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I Know This to be True

From the New Yorker Magazine

as a result of the British mysteries I have watched:

Inspector Morse (ugh. Morse is depressed. Makes the series depressing. And then he dies.)

Inspector Lewis

soon to be?  Inspector Hathaway???  Make it so, PBS.


Agatha Christie's Miss Marple

Inspector Lynley

Foyle's War

Sherlock Holmes (a few of the old ones.  Don't like that Sherlock.  Love the newest one: Benedict Cumberbatch)

Endeavour  (Covers the younger years of Inspector Morse.  He is not depressed yet, apparently, and the episodes are watchable.)

And last but not even remotely least:

Poirot.  But I understand all of the conversations in this series; after all, Hercules Poirot is not British (or French).  He is, as he so often says when he is accused of being French, Belgian

Sunday, November 16, 2014

From This:

(This had been in a hank, but a certain feline got to it and had too much fun.)

To this:

To ?

I don't know yet. A generous friend brought me this yarn from Santa Fe but I don't know how much there is; my husband and I measured some out and weighed it, then weighed the whole amount to determine the yardage. I didn't write it down because I would remember, only I don't. I think it was somewhere around 400 yards. I don't know the fiber content but I suspect twisted and untwisted 100% wool. A burn test is in the works.

Now I will search through Ravelry to find the best pattern for it. The colors are pretty true in the photo, sort of pastel Santa Fe-ish colors, my favorites.  

At last Thursday's knit night I made this cowl:

from Malabrigo Rasta.  Easy, easy, easy!  And the yarn is the softest, a joy to work with.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

To My Fashion-Challenged Daughters,

Just so you know.  The Wall Street Journal style writer says:

And don't forget my Birkenstocks.  They are IN too. They are CUTE!

You are very welcome for the fashion tips.


Your stylin' mom

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dear Reader, I Am a Fiber Artist!!!

How do I know this?

Well, quite honestly, I've always suspected it, but on Saturday it became official. I was wearing this:

and I was on an elevator at the High Museum.  A totally random (but very knowledgeable and intelligent) woman looked at me and said:

I have one of those (ponchos) and held out a blue one.

FA (fiber artist, me) said:  Oh! Did you make one too?

RW (random, but very knowledgeable and intelligent) woman: You MADE that?!

FA: Yes.

RW:  Oh! You are a fiber artist!

FA:  (modestly) No, I'm a knitter. 

She said that I'm a fiber artist, and just like when the Internet says something, it must therefore be true.

Although, and this is a big although, I didn't actually make it. Explaining this to her would have been complicated and a longer conversation than the two-story trip in the elevator would have allowed. I did intend to make it, but as Sallyknit was laying hers out to block when were all at a house in Asheville, Anna (Knitting Wizard) said: I could make that in an afternoon on my knitting machine. (Knitting it by hand takes forever!) I raised my hand to stop all conversation and volunteered to make mine on her machine. She agreed.  

Back in Atlanta, we did try to have me make it on the machine, but the machine is tricky and it kept jamming. So Anna (Knitting Wizard) had me leave it with her, and she worked on it bit by bit when she had time and patience.  

So I didn't actually make it, but I totally could have.


Your Fiber Artist

Sunday, November 9, 2014



So I realize that I'm entering into crabby old person territory here, but c'est ça. That's the way it is.

We went to a concert Thursday night. I won't say who the bands were, the first one because I don't know who they were, and the second because I'm told they are actually good. I couldn't say because I COULDN'T HEAR THEM over the noise they made. My husband says it's the venue's fault for not getting the sound system correct; I'm suspicious that it's laziness on the part of the groups. If they don't feel like performing well, all they have to do is play so LOUDLY that nothing other than the base comes through. The venue shook, like a car with a large speaker system in it does in traffic. Just imagine lots of cars with large speaker systems surrounding your car and you almost get the idea.

Kind of crazy thing to do: no one who heard the bands for the first time Thursday night would go out and buy the groups' music. 

AND my second get offa my lawn observation:  

I hope that when I was young and had long hair I didn't fling it all over the people near me. Seats were not assigned at the venue and my first seat was next to a young woman with long, long hair, which she flung around ON me, so I moved. The woman who moved into the seat in front of me was a hair-flinger too. She and her date appeared to be in their late 40s or early 50s and spent their time there...what's the current word?...canoodling? 

Geeze.  Get a room.

Maybe they did.  They left after the opening act. 

OK, so that's three get offa my lawn moments.  

Chill, knittergran, chill.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tacky? Who, me?

I have mentioned that some people in my family (my two daughters and very occasionally, my husband) have accused me of having tacky taste.  My daughters say that this jacket proves their point.  

I, of course, disagree; otherwise, I wouldn't have bought it. I LOVES me some fringe and this has fringe yo!

Normally, buying something is not a blog post, because who cares, really? But this was an unusual purchase because I literally bought it off someone, as in, off someone's body. I had been admiring it from a distance while I was at the Country Living Fair at Stone Mountain, and when I walked by the woman wearing it, I noticed a price tag on it. Weird. It turned out that she was a vendor at the fair and she WAS hoping to sell the jacket. So I bought it. Legitimately. I did not wrestle it off the woman and run.  

The price was great. She was happy; I was happy and I just retrieved it from the cleaners.  (Vintage clothing bought off someone else's person is not necessarily shiny clean.)  

I have fringe!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


said one of the reviews for this recipe for Cottage Pie.

Well, I suppose it was.

But I think that messy might have been a better description.

My husband gets to clean it up; that was the deal I made (with myself) when I decided to make cottage pie for dinner. 

Two dinners actually---the recipe serves 10.  

Update:  It was yummy!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

And at the Same Time as

Every knitter's most dreaded words. Well, maybe not every knitter's, but most. Ok, so maybe not most, but MINE for sure.

I have reached the point on the back of State Fair where I begin the decreases for shaping the armholes and neck....and at the same time as...I continue the cables. It could drive me to drink, but then I would be guaranteed to mess it all up, instead of just likely to mess it all up. 

Heeeerrrrre we go.  

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Charcoal Anyone?

When I was at Stone Mountain last week for the Country Living Fair, I had delicious Brussels Sprouts for lunch. They had been flash fried and then coated with a mixture of Thai chili sauce, honey and garlic.

Really delicious!

So I just tried to make them, but I roasted them (too long at 40 minutes) at 400 degrees and then put the sauce mixture on. They are a good bit blacker than they look in this photo and some really are just dust.

Others, however, are great. Next time I won't cut such small sprouts in half and I WILL watch them as they roast.