Episode 152

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I’ve been thinking about how many small steps build to a momentous journey.


The Back Porch

 

This #pussyhat is on its way to Vermont.

This #pussyhat is on its way to Vermont.


Ever-expanding Skill Set

With more than enough ingredients for my usual casserole dish, I filled and froze ramekins for a future (quick) weeknight dinner).

With more than enough ingredients for my usual casserole dish, I filled and froze ramekins for a future (quick) weeknight dinner.

This casserole is a spin on the shepherd's pie: pulled pork, mixed vegetables, polenta crust. Hearty and delicious.

This casserole is a spin on the shepherd’s pie: pulled pork, mixed vegetables, polenta crust. Hearty and delicious.


Off the Shelf

Lucille Clifton (1936-2010)clifton

Clifton is noted for saying much with few words. In a Christian Century review of Clifton’s work, Peggy Rosenthal commented, “The first thing that strikes us about Lucille Clifton’s poetry is what is missing: capitalization, punctuation, long and plentiful lines. We see a poetry so pared down that its spaces take on substance, become a shaping presence as much as the words themselves” In an American Poetry Review article about Clifton’s work, Robin Becker commented on Clifton’s lean style: “Clifton’s poetics of understatement—no capitalization, few strong stresses per line, many poems totaling fewer than twenty lines, the sharp rhetorical question—includes the essential only.”                                          — from Poetry Foundation website

Episode 151

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The Front Porch

I’m working on a recipe for my socks. I think I have the details worked out, and I’ve knit the cuff for each sock.  Knitting socks in tandem on dpns is really my thing.

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Ever-expanding Skill Set


Off the Shelf

Here's my motif for a golden spindle-whorl and spindle based on "My Old Woman Must Be Paid," an Icelandic folktale of Huldufolk or "hidden people." In this tale, Kidhus is the elf living in the cliff and the old man and woman portray many attributes of the characters in numskull stories.

Here’s my motif for a golden spindle-whorl and spindle based on “My Old Woman Must Be Paid,” an Icelandic folktale of Huldufolk or “hidden people.” In this tale, Kidhus is the elf living in the cliff and the old man and woman portray many attributes of the characters in numskull stories.

Episode 150

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Knit Local Getaway

Listen to Episode 149 for more information. For links and pricing, visit the getaway page. The lottery opened on January 1 and will remain open through January 15.


Taproot Make-along

The Taproot make-along begins on January 1 and concludes on March 1. You're invited to make anything from the Hands section of Taproot magazine, any issue. Projects in progress are okay too. Post your plans, progress, and finished projects on the Ravelry thread. Generous listeners have offered up some prizes for participation too. Click on the image above to travel to the group thread.

  • January 1 – March 1
  • any pattern, project or recipe from the HANDS section of Taproot, any issue
  • tag your IG posts #taprootmal
  • Ramblings blog with recipes
  • Journal Cowl by Beatrice Perron Dahlen
  • Ravelry thread and prizes

The Back Porch

Inspired by the Handspun Winter KAL hosted by Emily of Fibre Town, I’ve been knitting with my spindle-spun yarn over the holiday break.

Mitts knit with botanically-dyed handspun from my Sheep to Shawl course.

Mitts knit with botanically-dyed handspun from my Sheep to Shawl course.

Prototype for a new pattern using spindle-spun minis.

Prototype for a new pattern using spindle-spun minis.


The Front Porch

Journal Cowl knit in Cornish Tin II and Elemental Effects, inspired by Icelandic folktales.

Journal Cowl knit in Cornish Tin II and Elemental Effects, inspired by Icelandic folktales.


Ever-expanding Skill Set

Sausage, Kale and Potato Casserole from Taproot magazine -- seriously delicious. Click for a link to the recipe on the Ramblings blog.

Sausage, Kale and Potato Casserole from Taproot magazine — seriously delicious. Click for a link to the recipe on the Ramblings blog.


Yin  Hoo Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese 

I purchase lobster (1 1/2 lb.) at my local fish counter, which has a steaming service available. When I get home, I remove all of the meat from the tail, claws, and legs, and pitch shells into a stock pot filled with water as I go. A long time ago, I learned to use a rolling pin to extract the meat from the tiny legs.  Simply start at the claw end of each little leg, and roll toward the joint. The meat comes out in one long strip. Coarsely chop the lobster meat and set aside.

Make a quick stock by bringing the lobster shells (not the body — just discarded tail, claw and leg shells) to a boil in salted water, then simmer for about 20 minutes.

Heat oven to 350.

Generously butter a casserole dish.

Sauté one diced shallot and one minced clove garlic in oil or butter. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, create a roux by whisking 2 tablespoons flour into 2 tablespoons melted butter. When the roux is thin and melted, gradually incorporate 1 1/2 cups whole milk and 1/2 cup half and half. Bring mixture to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, continuing to whisk vigorously until sauce has thickened.

Remove saucepan from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups grated cheeses. I used a combination of gruyère, swiss, and chèvre. You can reduce the amount of cheese by combining with cream cheese. Stir in a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, some freshly grated nutmeg, salt, and cayenne pepper to taste.

Strain shells from stock and cook penne pasta until al dente in texture — 8-9 minutes. Before draining pasta, reserve at least one cup of the cooking liquid!

At the last minute (so the lobster doesn’t get tough), add shallot mixture and lobster to the sauce. Toss pasta in sauce, then pour into baking dish.  Top with a mixture of grated parmesan and panko bread crumbs. Add stock as you think necessary and make sure that the casserole has enough liquid so that it doesn’t dry out.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until the whole casserole is bubble and the topping is nicely browned.

 

Episode 149

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In this brief episode, I provide details about upcoming Knit Local Getaway in Washington County, New York. You can find additional information on the Getaway page.

The lottery opens on January 1 and closes on January 15.  If you are interested in attending this retreat, you should enter the lottery. Priority registration will be given to 2016 attendees. Everyone who enters the lottery will be notified of the status of their registration by January 20.

Episode 148

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The Back Porch
Collywobbles socks designed by Emily Estrada in Fat Cat Knits sock yarn.

Collywobbles socks designed by Emily Estrada in Fat Cat Knits sock yarn.

Lonely Tree shawl knit it Tamar Lustre DK.

Lonely Tree shawl knit it Tamar Lustre DK.


The Front Porch

The Taproot make-along begins on January 1 and concludes on March 1. You're invited to make anything from the Hands section of Taproot magazine, any issue. Projects in progress are okay too. Post your plans, progress, and finished projects on the Ravelry thread. Generous listeners have offered up some prizes for participation too. Click on the image above to travel to the group thread.

The Taproot make-along begins on January 1 and concludes on March 1. You’re invited to make anything from the Hands section of Taproot magazine, any issue. Projects in progress are okay too. Post your plans, progress, and finished projects on the Ravelry thread. Generous listeners have offered up some prizes for participation too. Click on the image above to travel to the group thread.

 

Episode 147

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What is on your holiday wish list? Please drop a line in the Ravelry group to let me know what you’re wishing for . . . or what turns up in your stocking or under your tree.


The Back Porch

Finally, I put the size U crochet hook from my friend Lara to use and crocheted this thick mat for under my sewing machine. I like to use it as a pincushion and stick pins in there that I remove from the fabric as I work.

Finally, I put the size U crochet hook from my friend Lara to use and crocheted this thick mat for under my sewing machine. I like to use it as a pincushion and stick pins in there that I remove from the fabric as I work.


vánoční cukroví

vánoční cukroví — Czech Christmas cookies

 

for linecké těsto (linz dough)

  • 300 g flour
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g powdered sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • pinch salt
  • for vanilla dough, add 1 vanilla sugar packet
  • for chocolate dough, add 1 tblsp. cocoa powder

Work on a cool surface with cold ingredients.  Sift together dry ingredients. Make well in center.  Add wet ingredients and work together with your hands into a smooth, beautiful dough.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before rolling out, in thirds, onto cool, floured surface.  Cut cookies and bake in 325 oven for 7 – 10 minutes.

for vanilkový  krem (vanilla creme)

  • 125 g butter
  • 100 g powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • flavor with vanilla, rum, instant coffee granules, cocoa powder, ground nuts, extracts, grated citrus rind, etc.

Blend ingredients together on high speed in electric mixer.  Store creme in sealed container.  Let come to room temperature before spreading on delicate cookies.

To assemble, spread creme between cookies.  Decorate with melted chocolate and nuts.


Off the Shelf

Illustration from Letters from Father Christmas by JRR Tolkien. Click photo for link.

The Great Polar Bear battles goblins. Illustration from Letters from Father Christmas by JRR Tolkien. Click photo for link.

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