Thursday, October 22, 2015


A new section has been added to my web page—A collections of recipes. Some are favorite recipes— that were first featured on my blog; these have been edited and improved. Others are new recipes appearing for the first time. Find them in the left hand column, Recipes and Cooking,

There are 5 recipes, so far, and many more to come. Several breads, and more soups, and a few one dish meals. Most have been published before, and some are ones I have worked out on my own, others are ones I have adapted to my taste.

I always start the fall by filling my freezer with warm savory foods—soups and stews and roasted meats, so when I come home, cold and tired, (from anywhere) I can make a quick dinner of what I have previously prepared; with just a quick reheat in oven (or micro wave oven)  These recipes are as much for me, to use, as a refresher, as they are to share.

As a child, my mother complained I was a picky eater—I was to some degree. But mostly, we just had a different sense of taste—The vegetables I liked, she didn't and her favorites, were my least favorites.

A match made in hell. And it wasn't just vegetables—I love Chinese food—she hated it. I love nuts (every sort and kind!) Nuts were another food on my mother's never to eat food. She loved cured meats (ham, brisket), and pickled pigs feet(or trotters as she called them)-- and I dislike these foods (Yes, I am Irish, and NO, don't like corned beef!)

Part of her flavor profiles of tastes, was formed in her youth—and by the depression—in general, and living in a poor country, with limited access to imported foods.  So she grew up eating a narrow range of foods. My father was more adventurous, and exposed us to a wider range of foods, but he worked full time—and rarely cooked.. so we got exposed to lots of fruits, but not a lot of cooked food—Cooking my mothers purview—And she rarely add anything she hadn't eaten in her childhood. This did change as she got older, but by then, I was off on my own, exploring new foods on my own.

In both Ireland and England, the slogan “Heinz means Beans” was a long standing advertizement, and beans feature in “full Breakfast” meals. But in our house, when I was growing up, a single small can of pork and beans (an 8oz, can) sufficed—for a family of 7. Servings of beans consisted of so few beans, you could readily count them.

And that was the only beans that were served. Over the years, I have expanded my tastes (and like pork and beans the least)--Now chick peas, (in soup, in humus, as felafel, or curried) are a regular part of my diet, and so are Black beans (mostly as soup, but occasionally as a side dish). Kidney beans, pink beans, small white beans, too, are in the mix. They show up in chili, (real made with dried chili's and no tomatoes, and eastern (US) style with chili powder and tomato), and in US Senate bean soup, or curries, too.

Lentils are in the mix, too. But they were never favorites. But I have discovered French green lentils, (about ½ the size of common green lentils, and very small black lentils (and other colors, too!)

To show the scale, here are a few lentils, (dry) nestled into the finger holes of a small scissors. Look how small those black lentils are! They cook quicker than larger lentils, and have a lovely flavor. I like these cooked with a few vegetables for lunch and in soup, and in a tomato based curry sauce (made with several spices, not with a yellow curry powder)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

It's been Weeks

 Once again, its a long time since I posted here. I've been busy—New knitting videos on my web page, and more to come (very soon) and other work there, too. I've also been working on a scarf (that is about to bite the dust...6 inches in, to a complex lace, and too many errors have crept in, and I don't like the results, even where it is perfect—so I will have to rethink my plans. I spent a lot of time creating a chart for this—I'll keep the chart—it might work for socks..

It's been weeks filled with busy, work, nothing useful or accomplished. Little things like putting aside the dribs and draps of left over yarn (still in sock kit bag) and restocking the bags ( New business cards in one, hand cream in another, and so on) but I haven't packed any new kits (YARN!) I still have 1 kit to do) and 2 kit as a UFO,(the lace topped Swizzle, and Rubeckia from the spring). January might be a good time to make a set of new kits.

I did, finally, make a start on my next pair of socks, They are now just a half dozen rows short of 7 inches, (and the start of the heel). I have been thinking about making another vest/shell in sock yarn-(hot pink). The yarn is in sight, packed in a clear plastic bag, crying to be started. I have resolved not to start it thought till the current pair of socks are completed. I haven't decided on a pattern either—Lace panels? Or all over lace?

I said in my last post (almost a month ago), I was going to make a pair of stranded work socks, but there wasn't enough contrast—I had some left over KnitPicks sock yarn in Pumpkin, and a pre-divided skein of Lion Brand Sock Ease in the Red Hots color way. Both are great fall colors. The KnitPick yarn is left over from the pumpkin pie socks I knit for my grand daughter a couple of years ago.

So, I changed over to a HUGO inspired pattern Not quite HUGO, but....Partly because I hadn't planned to do Hugo after a cuff-- I tried a few rows of simple spiral pattern—and it was a flop. I didn't even bother to undo those few rows. Can you see them? It's pretty easy to see where I started the Hugo like pattern-- I switched over in the evening, which is when my brain goes into low gear—I should have divided the front stitches into more even groups but no matter. I have the key elements, with biases side panels, and the center straight.

I have gotten over my annoyance at loosing my size 1 needle—Here is the edging I worked out for the sock. The main yarn (Reynold's Swizzle) is simple sock yarn—widely space stripes.. It's not quite busy enough to NEED a plain sock, but not quite plain enough to need a fancy pattern.

The lacy cuff detail was a sort of compromise. I like the big open lacy picots—there aren't nearly enough top down picot edges. The green isn't a perfect match for the green stripe in the yarn, but it is close. I will break down and buy another size one needle--(soon) and get back to work on these socks.

I've gotten some soup made (and Monday was a soup day—36° (circa about 3 to 4°.)in the AM, and about 13°C---Low 50° in the mid afternoon. Unseasonable cold (a normal high temp is 60 to 65 (16° C or a bit more). I was out all day, taking a Historic tour of lower Manhattan with a friend, and lunching at Fraunces Tavern—Something GW did 200 years ago, or so. I had oysters for the first time in my life, too. Well, make that raw oysters—they were lovely. For most of my life, oysters were out of my price range, and I was reluctant to spend that much money to try them—Now I know they are worth the price!