Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Somebody throw me a lifeline!

I wonder if I will ever learn from my mistakes...

I almost always (even when I measure) manage not to leave enough yarn to bind off a project. And it has happened again.

It isn't so bad when a bind off is a bind off and I just have to take back a couple of rows to fix it, but when it's a Summit bind off...let's just say, things are different this time.

Since each row is a tiny little set of rows, and I have to end with the waves turning in a certain direction, I have to go back half a cast off pass as well as a set of left-curving waves and a set of right-curving waves. That is roughly 342 rows, or 3762 stitches. I so hope my math is way overestimating the actual amount.

I did search through my stash for something suitable to finish off the bind off, but there just isn't anything there. I briefly considered the brown yarn I came across, but I don't think the plan to over-dye the whole thing purple will mask the color difference, and throwing a bit of non-superwash on the end is an equally horrific idea.

Had I used a lifeline at the end of the last left curve section, I could just rip it back and move on. At least the time spent to get going again would be lessened. But I didn't and now it's time to slowly undo at least this past weekend's-worth of progress. I have had to rip back on this thing before, and I know it's easier to pick up stitches than it looks. That doesn't mean I am ready.

The only real saving grace here is that I already know how to get around that silly crochet hook part. Honestly, like I wasn't going to be knitting backwards for the purl rows!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Still cooking, sometimes

It seems these days it is a rare occasion that I actually find myself in the kitchen and in the mood to actually create something. This week, though, I had some whole milk ricotta I had impulse-bought when I found it marked down to half its original price.

The ricotta reached its sell-by date, and I was determined to get in there and do something with it...but what?

The idea of a ricotta dumpling popped in from nowhere, so I looked it up and found a recipe I liked and had enough hard cheese to make. I toasted up the Bohemian Beer Bread cubes that were waiting in my fridge for a panzanella that was never going to happen, gave them a whirl with the stick blender, and used those for my breadcrumbs. And it turns out that the whisk attachment that seems completely useless when you try to use it in a bowl (unless you want to take a trip to Mess City) beats egg whites at lightning speed in its own measuring cup. Who knew?!

I did not have mushrooms, so I just topped them with some jarred tomato sauce.

And you don't get a picture because tasty

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Perfect Lemon (and Strawberry) Sherbet

After giving up on the internets providing me with an ideal recipe, I decided to just take what I had gathered and wing it. I am not displeased. I have sherbet that is sweet but not cloying, lemony but not too tart, and creamy but not heavy.

Here goes:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup organic lemon juice (from a bottle :O)
  • as little lemon oil as I can tip out of the bottle (lemon zest would be good here, but I was going for the "I don't have actual lemons version)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (or half and half)

Optional addition:
  • Chopped hulled strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • about 1/4 cup vodka

If using the strawberries, it helps to be able to go ahead and plan ahead here. Mix the chopped strawberries with the sugar and allow the mixture to get all juicy in the fridge for a day or so. When it is time to make the sherbet, pour into a blender with the vodka and blend until processed enough to pour but still chunky. Refrigerate or freeze while putting the sherbet together (or wait until the sherbet mixture is back in the fridge--it will have a little more time to cool while the sherbet is mixing).

For the sherbet, whisk the sugar into the water until dissolved. Add the lemon juice and lemon oil. Whisk in the cream. When thoroughly mixed, return to refrigerator to chill (as much time as you can spare here will give you more solid results in the end).

Transfer the sherbet mixture to the bowl of an ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Alternately, you can freeze the mixture in a pan, scraping it around after letting it set (over and over and over).

Just before it is time to remove the sherbet from the mixer, add the strawberry mixture. Exact timing is up to you, as you are the only one who knows exactly how mixed in you want those strawberries.

Right out of the mixer, you could probably serve it in a glass with a straw, but go ahead and transfer it to a container with a lid and freeze a couple of hours at least before you plan on scooping it out.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thursday, and feeling cheated.

I know it's wrong because I got exactly what I wanted, but I still feel a little cheated.

With echoes of delicious pasta lingering from my lunch from Leonardo's yesterday, I grabbed my coat and headed toward the door for one of their sandwiches. I put my ILL in my pocket for the wait and was almost outside when I remembered. It's Thursday. That's Red Pepper and Gouda Bisque day.

My absolute favorite on-the-cheap-side lunch from Chapter 2 is a ciabbatini toasted and torn to bits with the soup poured over. It soaks in and gets all chewy and delicious. It's simple, and I love it.

So I stopped to grab that instead of Leonardo's and read maybe a page and a half of my book while I waited for the bread that was on the grill.

Lunch is delicious, but now I'm back in front of the computer, not reading. The computer always wins.