Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Serious Kitchen Power Tool

Color me one happy baker.
I registered for this when we got married 12 years ago.
My sis landed it under the tree for me this year.
Broke it in this morning making orange ginger cookies in thanks.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm a cover girl!

Oh great galloping gargoyles!
Guess who wrote about the Twin Cities...
I'm speechless.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Girl Effect

Just when I'm pushed beyond my limits for maintaining any sense of faith in humanity by stories of trampled Wal-Mart workers, mugged pregnant women, people making porn with 2 year olds a friend lands this in my lap. I pass the gift along to you today. Go to girleffect.org and renew your faith. There is good going on in the world and we can help.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Because I don't want to clean...

...I shall post pictures of snow instead: (bye bye fall!)

...and a finished project. Plaid scarf in crochet for the school auction:

To #1s dismay, this is never to be made again as it waaaaay exceeded my maximum allowable number of ends to weave in. Still, it turned out well, even with me adding a third color to the works.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Let's run in circles, shall we?

Yes, there has been a much dreaded dearth of blogging. Not that I haven't wanted to. My intentions of blogging each and every day remain pure as the snow falling outside of my window right now. It really is not my fault. Let's take this next week as an example. Here's the rundown:

Friday (or what remains of it): dig hockey helmet out from dregs of basement, pack bag for #1's sleepover, wrap b-day gift, begin dinner prep, pick up kids #1 &2 from school with #3 in tow, get #1 to sleepover, #2 to birthday party at skating rink (remember to bring previously mentioned helmet), return home with #3 to get chicken in oven and potatoes boiled before picking #2 up again to skeedadle home to mash potatoes and make salad, eat dinner, bathe children, clean kitchen, spend quality time with hub watching TV while folding about 20 loads of laundry, collapse.

Saturday: attack yard full of now soggy leaves if it is neither snowing or raining, wrap b-day gifts for neighbors, pick up #1 from sleepover before heading with her and #2 to hockey, hopefully have some quality knitting time on items for silent auction while freezing my ass off in said hockey arena, dash home with #s 1&2 just in time for neighbor kids' b-day party, pack overnight bags for #s 1, 2 &3 during party, reclaim all kids and get them to grandparents hopefully with time to spare for a shower before 7 pm party. crap, need to make 2 sausage mushroom strudels in there somewhere...

Sunday: fight off hangover while reclaiming children, rake yard full of leaves that have again accumulated overnight, clean out gutters, find boots and snowpants leftover from #2 that better fit #3 now buried in the basement, and all of the usual meal associated stuff, homework, prepping for the rest of the week which highlights:

Monday: grouping of auction items, fighting with #3 over napping, #1 after school drama club
Tuesday: class for #3 in a.m., parent day at school for #1 &2, auction meeting in p.m., something for the hub that I cannot now remember
Wednesday: frantic cleaning, hub heads out of town for interviews, #1 has drama club after school again, my sis comes to visit which hopefully offsets the impact of daddy being gone.
Thursday: inlaws come, #1s dress rehearsal, evening meeting at school, hopefully hub comes home and kids stop revolting.
Friday: 7:30 a.m school meeting, 9 am PTO meeting, entertaining of inlaws & sis, early family dinner before #1s school play at 6:30 (go travel agent #1!), more extended family time hopefully involving a few cocktails before I eventually collapse into a puddle.

So. Do not expect much of me for a bit, eh? For being so understanding, I shall reward you with pictures:

I have several new scarves I love:

Amy Singer's Montego Bay Scarf.
Handmaiden Sea Silk. YUM!
Seriously, it wraps around my head like 6 times at least.

This is a rogue stumpy modification of an Annette Petavy pattern.
Arucania alpaca with a fabulous button from Jenniethepotter.

These are Pam Allen's Fresco Fair Isle Mitts worked with 2 colorways of Noro Silk Garden. I'm supposedly making them for the kids' school's community auction. We'll see how that goes, though I think I'll easily get 3 fraternal pairs out of them so perhaps I can spare a few. Serious YUM. And I'm now addicted to Fair Isle I fear...

...and lookie what my friend Jennie brought me from Rhinebeck! More Briar Rose fiber!!! And a fabulous hook Chris' husband Roger is now hand turning. Fabulous!!!

...and more goodies this time from Toronto. I just have the best friends evah. You hear that Amy? Evah! The gorgeousness in the bag is SILK ROVING. (deserving of every single capital) And Blueprint Crochet by Robyn Chachula even! Swoon! Top it alloff with a luscious chunk of dark chocolate with candied orange rind and I'm in heaven! Thank you (5828456273) Jennie and Amy.

More crafting for the auction. In school colors. This one may push me over the end-weaving cliff. Patience is not my virtue.

...and the Tomten I most likely won't finish in time for #3 to wear before spring.

A better picture of my Wavelength scarf. Now washed and blocked so the Noro did that fabulous thing only Noro can do and it's sooooo soft now!

...and it's moebius version.

WHEW! That comes close to catching up. Off to find the hockey helmet...

Friday, October 31, 2008

A month is a loooong time.

Really, how can it be that I haven't posted for basically the entire month? Twitter is faking me out it seems.

There's oh so much to say. For now I shall give you my day's labor:

OK, so the dragon was a leftover. The Wall-E and the wood fairy took me days, and believe you me you so don't want to be spending any amount of time in my house right now, but oh all so worthy of the effort. They were both so happy. Some things are always worth doing well and Halloween is one of them.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Photographical Regurgitation

Found the entire month of September on the photo card today. Here's the scoop:

Veggies, veggies and more veggies: (example of our weekly box from the farm)

Saved from languishing unloved: (did I mention that we moved the parents for the third time this year?)

More handspun from my friend Meg's roving. This is from Eenie's lamb fleece.

And yes, soup has again made it's seasonal debut in the dinner rotation.

This is my mom's white bean with ham. It's easy peasy and SO good. Here's how you too can have beanie goodness:

What you need:
1 bag of white beans
1 leftover bone from a ham or a couple of ham hocks
2 bay leaves
1 large chopped onion
4-5 peppercorns
olive oil for finishing (optional)

1) Soak the entire bag of dried white beans overnight. Drain and rinse in the morning. Soak them again in fresh water until mid-afternoon.

2) Saute the onion in a bit of butter until translucent. Do this right in your big soup pot.

3) Add the ham bones, re-drained and re-rinsed beans, bay leaves and peppercorns. Cover with water. Bring to a simmer and let bubble along happily until the beans are soft and beginning to break down. Stir frequently. Add liquid as needed.

4) Fish out the bones. With a stick blender, puree the soup a bit. You still want to have whole beans floating around though. Chop up any bits of ham still clinging to the bones. Stir it back in. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

5) We serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top. You can skip it if you like, but you'll be missing out.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Once again on the food thing...

OK, so it was rapidly clarified that Starbucks was only pulling milk at it's outlets in China. Makes me feel a bit better about the whole thing.

A bit.

But still...

American owned company's coffee add-in. American owned company's baby food. American/UK owned company's candy. All being pulled. Not proven to have actually harmed anyone, but I read the fact they are pulling product to mean they have reason to suspect their product sourcing.

I know there's an argument. How could they know, right? But come on now. With China's recent record of consumer health scandals, you think someone might care to check eh?

This on top of the financial crisis leaves me thinking corporate America is indeed morally and ethically bankrupt. Does no one have a conscience any more?

Call to action folks. Know better. Do better. Be informed. Demand a higher standard.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Yet one more reason...

...to pay a bit more to eat LOCALLY.

Melamine. In milk. Seriously. That has to be dissolved in formaldehyde or tother chemical base before it can be dissolved in milk. One official postulates that before that they used animal skin or urine to boost the protein content of the milk they watered down to boost their production.


Before reading this morning's paper, which contained an Associated Press article on the latest in consumer health crises in China, I assumed this was a phenomena isolated to the country in question.

Not so it appears.

Said article says Starbucks is pulling their milk.


While there is not further elaboration, I would assume this means that Starbucks, the bastion of Americana cafe culture, uses milk imported from CHINA in their stores.


Yet one more thing to add to the ever growing list of "Evidence that Americans are Losing their Minds".

How does someone at a company of this stature decide it's a good thing to import their milk from overseas? Again with the assuming, but my guess is this has something to do with cost...and I will counter with the idea that the food that is supposed to nourish your body isn't really where you want to search out the rock bottom pennies for a gallon price. And at that rock bottom price, what kind of farming culture are you supporting? Farmers scraping by on the nothing you are giving them for the product of their family's labor. And I don't even want to think about what that means for the animals.

It's called personal and corporate responsibility people. Open your eyes. Know where your food comes from.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Gob Smacked.

That is me.

School stuff.


About 5 million meetings and to-dos for both.

Garage Sale.

Designs floating around in my head.

Masses of veg I'm desperately trying to use before they rot. Must take advantage of harvest here in MN.

Gob. Smacked.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I just finished reading today's paper. I think it started building after listening to Hillary Clinton's speech Tuesday evening, but these two syndicated columnists left me feeling quite unexpectedly bittersweet on a day I fully expected to feel exultation.

Ellen Goodman. (Sorry Ms. Goodman, I cannot agree with your ultimate conclusion. With the ticket as it is set forth now, historic and uplifting as it undeniably is, a potential 16 years before another female presidential candidate on a DNC - let's be real here and say "any" - ticket remains sobering. For the me this is in fact NOT history enough. Sometimes as women we are too ready to settle.)

Leonard Pitts, Jr. (Perhaps I am getting stuck on verbage here. To accuse me of this would likely be appropriate. However, after reading the column by Ellen Goodman it shines out like glaringly harsh neon. "All men are created equal." Where is the female version of Dr. King? Once again, we settle much, much too easily and quietly.)

Maybe it's having a daughter, but something in my core is just achy and deeply sad today.

So says the mother staying home with her young kids. Happy to provide your daily dose of irony. Please proceed directly to the recipe and other domestic pursuits below.

What was in the box Wednesday

Even I'm in total awe this week:

bunches of rosemary, basil and thyme
an english cucumber
more tomatoes than I can count
garlic, shallots and onions
rainbow chard
italian red peppers
an eggplant
string beans
a spaghetti squash
3 leeks

You should have seen me last night, sitting on the kitchen floor with all of this spread out around me. It was a bit like opening the clown car of CSA boxes. By the end I was truly chortling with anticipatory glee.

Plans include: baba ghanouj, leek/potato soup, potato salad with shallots and herbs, white bean salad with rosemary and veg, roasted beets with blue cheese, and plates and plates of veggie pastas and stir fries.

Here's my quick and dirty, off the cuff pasta recipe:

What you need on hand: olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, onions, some sort of sautee-able greens, butter, whole wheat pasta

Nice but not necessary additions: red pepper flakes, red wine vinegar or lemon juice, various other veggies (like peppers, eggplant, squash), parmesan cheese, herbs

The quick and dirty part: While you're cooking the pasta, heat some olive oil in a large sautee pan. Add chopped onions and garlic. (how much is a matter of taste. if you like things spicy, toss in some red pepper flakes now too) Stir frequently to avoid burning the garlic while you roughly chop the tomatoes (you want a good amount, 8-10 plum or 5 beefsteak type) and toss them in too. Let this simmer happily away. (somewhere in here you would add the additional veg, depending on how long it takes to cook) Add salt to taste. When the pasta is almost done, stir in several tablespoons of butter. This gives you a luscious silky sauce. (this is where you would add the acid if you choose, it adds another layer of flavor) Roughly chop your greens and toss them in too. (including any appropraite herbs you have to hand) Sautee until tender (if you're using something like spinachor arugula, just toss it in the warm sauce, something like chard or beet greens needs some time to cook). Drain the pasta, toss it in the pan and you're read to go.

This easily morphs into an asian noodle stir fry. Sub fresh chopped ginger root for the onion. Think about rice wine vinegar or a dash of soy. A splash of toasted sesame oil. Peapods. Mushrooms. Soba noodles. Garlic chile paste. Mmmmmmm.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Recent Acquisitions

Installation #1 in the "Things I bought at the Michigan Fiber Festival" series. We start with yarn. Both first time purchases for me...

Briar Rose Fibers. Words do not serve. At All. From the top = 2 hanks of Sea Pearl, 3 of alpaca, 1 huge hank of Grandma's Blessing. All on sale. This is what you get for being there before everyone else. :)

Yes, it is in fact Socks that Rock. All mill ends, which translates into MORE FOR ME! I ran the spectrum. A couple of lightweight, a silky and a heavyweight. We shall see what we see when I knit it...or perhaps I will be perverse and make a crochet wonder.

Stay tuned for the fiber version...batteries need charging.

Now sit firmly down.

I have finished something. Some somethings that have been sitting for almost a year now.

Basic socks with a Strong Heel. Love the strong heel. Quick as quick can be and no stitch picking up. You knit in increases as you do the heel flap...everything is one continuous piece. The pattern I used is here.

Next UFO up...the Family Adventure socks. Oh yeah, and in my finishing delirium, I cast on for a Tomten for #3. *blushes*

Monday, August 25, 2008

More from Fair-y Land

Lest you think the fair was all about bacon, here's a bit of the artsy side:

Crop art. Look at the detail. All of this is made with seeds, legumes, other natural yada. Yes even this bike:

Do they do this anywhere else? Busts carved out of ginormous blocks of butter. In an equally ginormous walk-in, sit-in, carve-in rotating freezer. This is Princess Kay of the Milky Way during her sitting. Yes, she has a tiara. And a big satin sash.

Big fat pickle:
...and last but certainly not least: big fat fat in the guise of deep fried cheese curds. I wait all year for these lovelies.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Oh how I love my state.

First day of the Minnesota State Fair. Best new food booth IMO:

Yes, it was truly both big and fat and on a stick:

(bonus points if you can tell which 2 are mine...)

They also get props for the best signage:

(and yes, that is in fact a teeny tiny picture of Kevin.)

...and shirts:

(they need to sell these...)

Sold by this fine bacon lady and her family. Nothing like supporting the local economy.

Yep, it's a camel.

In a trailer. On I94 outside of Kenosha. With 2 humps. Yes, I was hanging out of the window.

What I did in Michigan

There were classes. There was people meeting. There was fiber purchasing. There was much booth tweaking and sitting. Thankfully there was also much selling.

The March Hare fiber display.

And her purty sock yarn too...before the scrum that occurred when the buses arrived from Chicago. Oh how they luved Meg's yarn!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I miss my dog

We saw a pair of bulldogs while picking up meds at the vet today and I'm weepy all over again. I miss Willy...that's him sitting up. Emma needs a doggie friend. The kids are good with her, but she needs a dog to play with and take care of. Drat bulldogs for being so darn expensive. Drat kids for being so darn expensive. The two seem to be mutually exclusive at the mo'. Drat.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What makes me smile today

My mug.

Made by my friend. Gifted to me for Roadie services rendered. It was a great trip. More to come.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

On the Road

At the in-laws in Milwaukee. Quick UFO update for y'all. Thanks to tons of late night Olympics watching (I do not sleep well when the hub is not with me), the Depths of Montego Bay scarf is finished, 40 braided fringies and all. Have broken out the languishing Strong Heel socks and #2 is happily cast on. Had forgotten how nice this Regia bamboo was. The road trip to Michigan with Jennie the Potter starts tonight. Bracelet class tomorrow afternoon. Soap classes Thursday. Selling stuff and trying to resist mass consumption myself Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Haitus warning

Dawn shall be out of communication with the web-osphere until 8/18. There shall be driving to Milwaukee. There shall be hanging with the kids at the in-laws. There shall be some kids going to Chicago with my sister while others stay with the inlaws while I go play with jenniethepotter in Michigan. So yes there shall be more driving. And more driving. And more driving. But there shall also be soap making. Sterling bracelet weaving. Hanging out with cool pottery and it's cooler potter. Hopefully a gala of March Hare fiber selling.

A few pictures to catch you up:

I finally washed all of my handspun. Luv it all.

This one is a mega 5 ounces.
I made this a bit ago. Great hair scarf in Summer Tweed.
Am taking UFOs with me. The Montego Bay scarf is very close. (really not a UFO, but it doesn't seem right to stop working on it to pick up something that has been sitting. first things first eh? why do i feel differently about this than i do abandoning a WIP for a bright shiny new project?) Socks need to be finished. Hopefully there shall be much to show you when I come home. have fun and play nice while I'm gone, ya hear?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Flash Back

Sigh. There are tantrums today. I had forgotten how loud being 2 1/2 is. So much drama. Can't I go back here please?

Crocheting on the boat while the small people are not trying to kill each other because they are happily entertained by nature?

With the awesome rocks? They're so quiet.

Evening cocktail cruise?

Nope? Fardles. I want a lake.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

What's in the box Wednesday!

Quick reveal. Kids going nutso today.

peppers of green and red
cucumbers of various persuasions
various baby squash
red cabbage
salad greens

am thinking veggie risotto for dinner. side salad. or maybe we'll make a bacon run and do up the first tomato of the season in style....mmmmmmm, bacon.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Check it out!

So just what have I been doing with all of these boxes and boxes of fiber and yarn?


For my friend Meg who is awesome.

Friday, August 01, 2008

What was in the Box Wednesday?

Apparently inquiring minds want to know. I love that you love my CSA.

english cucumbers
carrots, beets, young potatoes
green and purple string beans
baby beet greens
summer crisp lettuce
red cabbage
huge bunches of basil and parsley
smaller bunches of thyme and oregano
various summer squashes
probably something else I am forgetting because we ate it immediately...

On other topics, I made these to teach a friend and the small people to spin. They are remarkably nice to use. I am most pleasantly surprised.

Next I shall try stone whorls.

Got another secret package. Spent the morning playing around photog-ing. Fun, fun, fun!