bit by bit.

30march1

Preparing for an evening discussion: reading and commenting on the iPad Mini, and drinking tea.

30march2

First chocolate chip cookies since returning home. Made my go-to smitten kitchen recipe, and the house smelled heavenly.

30march3

Boh, lounging in the sun. (He’s in exactly the same patch of sunlight this morning.)

30march4

Breaking in my new flats while knitting stripes. This final ten percent of the blanket is taking forever…

30march5

This polka-dotted blouse was my mom’s in the 80s. I snapped this picture to send to her before heading out to dinner with a visiting professor.

30march6

Boh, keeping me company. He plays with his bone while I knit on my blanket. I’m trying to power through the end of the Hudson Bay Inspired Blanket so that I’ll have more exciting knitting pictures to share with you guys. Happy weekend!

daffodils, more dumplings, dessert…

And some other things that don’t begin with D.

Daffodils coming up near my front steps.

More dumplings.

These delicious Brown Butter Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies from Joy the Baker. (Public service announcement: browning butter can be dangerous. Or at least mine was — my butter did a fair bit of sputtering and spitting as the water evaporated. It was worth it, though.)

Lovely sunset.

Sweet dog.

Cowl knitting and spinach.

And some spinning! This is BFL from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club in “Scorch.” I spun it as a 3-ply, and while I think I began this (long ago) with socks in mind, I’m not sure there’s quite enough yardage. That’s okay, though. I still love it. There were 183 yards, pre-bath. More photos after I’ve set the twist.

And then I just wanted to keep going. This is “Floating Down” from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club, and I’m spinning this luscious BFL/Tussah Silk blend as singles. So, so pretty.

Okay, back to work. On today’s list? Commenting on papers, finishing a conference paper, and writing another page or two of this diss-chapter-chunk. (Later, I plan to reward myself with a movie and a margarita.)

biscuits, boh, and an almost finished blanket.

This is how Tuesday started. Sweet, sweet dog.

Tuesday was a constant struggle for productivity. Finally I gave up for awhile, and instead, made these incredible yogurt biscuits from one of my “Heidi” cookbooks, Super Natural Every Day. You can find the recipe here. These were AMAZING — and surprisingly easy. Maybe the tastiest biscuits I’ve ever made. I didn’t use a food processor — instead, I just used my pastry cutter to work the butter in, and then mixed with a wooden spoon. I also did a pretty half-assed job of pressing the dough into a thin square and then “cutting” (I tore) the dough in half and stacking them to repeat again. I was skeptical that my efforts would yield results as fluffy, flaky, and light as Heidi promised…but these were everything I hoped they’d be.

I ate them with some butternut squash that I’d been meaning to roast. But since the oven was otherwise occupied, I cooked the squash on the stove, simmering it with a little bit of olive oil, butter, and water, covered until tender, and then taking the lid off to brown it up with a bit of sage, which is still struggling to stay alive on my porch.

And here’s a close up. I reheated these for breakfast and dinner on Wednesday, and they were almost as awesome as they were right out of the oven. I’ll definitely be making these again.

And here’s that hap blanket — so, so very close to being done. C, if you’re reading this, get excited. I really only have a couple more rows to knit, and it has my full attention again now that M.’s wedding shawl is finished! I’m excited to bind off and block this — it is so scrunched up on my circulars that I can’t fully appreciate it.

Can you tell that I really need to start writing a paper? I can always tell — my blogging becomes extra wordy and descriptive. Time to direct that energy into today’s to-do list!

christmas week.

This is the first year in several years (really, the first since I picked up knitting again as an adult) that I didn’t knit any Christmas or Hanukkah presents. I didn’t necessarily plan it that way; it just turned out that this year I’m doing a lot of knitting for weddings instead. And somehow, despite bringing home the hap blanket and the socks I started a few weeks ago, I didn’t knit a stitch while I was at my parents’ house for Christmas. I did eat, however, and that’s mostly what I’ve got pictures of.

Every year my dad bakes Czechoslovakian hoska bread. And it is delicious.

Boh, laying in front of the beautiful tree at my parents’ house on Christmas Eve. Both of my parents wrap the prettiest presents I’ve ever seen. (I did not inherit this gift.)

A little bit of work in between Christmas celebrations. Mom and Dad napped; I made a pot of coffee and finished a book. (And it didn’t feel strange. Apparently this is how we roll. Or something.)

And then there was bear meat. This was a gift from my friends J. and E., the sweet folks who got married in the North Carolina mountains this fall. I brought it home so my parents could help me decide what to do with it — and help me eat it. Chili was prepared, and I was sent home with a hearty container’s worth for my freezer. (And it was delicious.)

I can’t believe it is already the end of the December! Here’s hoping your holidays have been filled with family, friends, love, and the warmth of handknits.

brown sugar.

Brown sugar cookies. What a brilliant idea. I saw these over at Joy the Baker and I had to make them. You should, too. Trust me. You won’t be disappointed. I ate a few (okay, a handful) on Wednesday night, and then I took the rest to reading group on Thursday. Good thing, too, or I would have eaten them until my stomach hurt. So good that I even forgot to be impatient about Agnes, for a little while at least. She is still blocking on the dining room table. Maybe tomorrow the sweater will be dry enough to wear?

Happy Friday!

pecan, peach, and apple-rhubarb.

Pies. (13 of them. 12 for the wedding, and one to enjoy for breakfast the day of the wedding. It just so happened that the groom came by and was able to start his very special day with pie.)

Next, pies on the pie stand. (Made by — and borrowed from — a local blacksmith. I’m not sure if you can see this detail in these photos, but the mathematical symbol for pi is etched into each foot of the stand.)

The peaches were local to the wedding, and the apples came directly from the wedding site.

This was a particularly beautiful wedding — perhaps because of its intimate connection to place, and, I think, because of all the extra specialness that comes from offering so many people the opportunity to give meaningful work in celebration of dear friends.

An early morning shot of the view most of the way down the mountain (and about 40 minutes into a 14 hour drive on Sunday). And now I’m home, mostly recovered, and trying to get work done before I head off on yet another research trip next week. Stay tuned for more pictures of Agnes!

pie.

Strawberry-rhubarb-basil. It could have used a little bit of sugar, as the rhubarb was very tart, but it was bright and fresh-tasting, and the basil even seemed to sweeten it a little!

Oatmeal-pecan. Pie you can eat for breakfast. You know, because of the oatmeal. (I’m baking pies for a friend’s wedding next month, so I’ve been baking and eating more pie in order to help her make some important decisions about fillings and crusts. Tough life, I know.)

Also, here’s some stuff that isn’t pie:

Dogs and books. And me. All in a big pile.

Tango, in a rare contemplative moment.

Remember what I was saying about kitchen mojo? This has been a go-to for me this summer, in part because mojo is not required. Also, the gratification is immediate. Which I like. I have been eating this on Tuesdays. And other days, too, but especially Tuesdays. I get home from the farm, slice into my weekly bread share loaf, cut up a tomato, a hot pepper, and find some cheese in the fridge. I turn on the broiler. I sliver some basil. I pile all that stuff on the toast (this week it is a rye with caraway seeds encrusted on the outside), slide it under the broiler, and wait less than five minutes, until the toast is dark around the edges and the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown. Then I take it out and make myself go in the other room, or take out the compost, or do something to not eat this right away, because I will burn my mouth. And then I take my broiled tomato toast to the porch to enjoy. Summer food, at its finest.

It is rainy this morning, and I have a hankering for knitting with handspun. Boh and I are headed to a family wedding this weekend, and amidst the packing (so much harder to throw stuff in a bag and go when you have to look pretty where you’re going) I’m hoping to find time to wind up some squishy comfort yarn. The grey, rainy morning might have something to do with that. Happy weekend!