long overdue mitt repair.

Last night, after taking way too long to read a relatively short book, I was itching to have that great feeling that comes with crossing a long-overdue task off of my list. Out came my thanksgiving day mitts: knit three years ago in a purple-y shade of Cascade 220, these were my go-to mitts until Boh managed to attack one of them in fall 2008 or winter 2009. Since then, they’ve sat patiently on top of a bowl of yarn odds and ends, waiting to be mended. And yesterday was the day. I dug out my very special set of knitting needles (from a woman I think of as an honorary grandmother) in order to find a set of size 5 dpns. (So great to be able to look up what needles I used on ravelry!)

And then I re-knit 15 or so rows, including the thumb-slot, and bound off, all while my dinner simmered away on the stove. The discerning eye can tell the old from the new sections, but after a bit of wear, and the gentle felting that happens to well-loved mitts, I think it’ll be hard to tell that anything was ever the matter with these mitts!

The dinner I spoke of (soon to be today’s lunch as well) was this potato-leek soup. Simple and delicious, all from farm food. I sprinkled some smoked paprika on top just before savoring this comforting bowl of soup. Can’t wait to heat up the leftovers!

And here’s Boh, sick of me putting the camera in his face and tempting him with dinner in order to get him to look at me. (He can be surprisingly — and adorably –stubborn.) I think he knows that we’re back to school today, and his routine is about to change for the worse. Shorter cozy reading sessions on the couch, more time alone at home…poor Boh. (Little does he know that once the semester is over, he’s getting a lake house! Thanks for all of your kind comments about that. It is wonderful to have that to look forward to, as this is going to be a crazy semester for me.)

Off to campus. (Sigh.)

Advertisements

the forecast.

The farmers at the CSA I belong to send out an email with the week’s “veggie forecast.” This week’s report suggested that the nights are getting cooler, and that a lot of the crops available for picking will likely last only until the first frost…which might be here sooner than we think. So, yesterday, instead of knitting sleeves as a break from my reading, I decided to spend an extra hour at the farm. I gathered at least 15 quarts of paste tomatoes, a canvas bag full of green beans, and a few handfuls of tomatillos for salsa — all in addition to the week’s share (onions, peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, salad mix, basil, parsley, potatoes, leeks).

Looks like that veggie forecast has turned into a bit of a rooster forecast — I think I know what I’ll be doing this weekend! (Preserving. I just saw a recipe for tomato jam that looks pretty yummy, I’d love to can a few more quarts of tomatoes for the shelf, and I can always use more dilly beans…)

Also, I couldn’t help myself. I picked a huge armful of zinnias — the fields are still practically overflowing with them. Yesterday was the first farm day that felt like fall, and the cooler temperatures made it much easier for me to linger in the rows of herbs, flowers, and veggies.

I had about a quart of handpicked paste tomatoes that had ripened nicely in the fridge yesterday, and the plan was to make a small pot of sauce. I actually finished the book I had set out to read yesterday, so I decided to do something more elaborate — homemade noodles. This was the first time I’ve ever hand-cut noodles to a fettucine-ish width, and boy, do I need some more practice. Despite their irregularities, the noodles were delicious. We ate them immediately, with some homemade sauce. (And I didn’t even think to take a picture. My stomach was too excited about dinner.)

I do, however, have some non-pajama action shots of my textured shawl to share.

This is slightly too scratchy to be worn super close to my neck, but draped a bit more loosely, it adds a nice amount of warmth. It is also perfect to wrap around my shoulders while curled up on the couch. This will certainly be in my rotation of warm things this fall and winter — and I think it might look really nice with my Kerrera! Extra motivation to start those sleeves later today…

canning/cowling.

On Wednesday night, I blanched, peeled, and cored about a gallon and a half of paste tomatoes. And then I went to bed, more tired from the start of the semester than from the hour and a half of tomato labor! Thursday morning, before I put the water on for coffee, I filled my canning pot, gathered together some jars and lids, and set to sterilizing. 4 quarts and 2 pints of tomatoes had been raw-packed and processed (45 mins in the water bath, according to the scanned cookbook page my parents sent me, complete with my mom’s tiny, perfect notations about the number of tomatoes that fit in a pint or quart jar — love it) by mid-morning. I’m hoping to do this again next week if there are still tomatoes to pick when I head out to the farm on Tuesday.

I’ve also been cowling, which is how I’m referring (aloud, to no one in particular) to the act of knitting the cowl portion of idlewood. I am in love with the way this fabric feels and drapes in this gauge. I think I’ve got about ten inches, so I’m about two-thirds of the way there. If I can finish a book this morning, I’m going to let myself watch last night’s episode of Project Runway and do some cowling. Happy Friday!

yesterday, produce. today, productivity.

And that’s just what was left on the counter when I thought to grab my camera. The first raspberries and blackberries have ripened, so we were able to pick 1 pint yesterday. I also brought home a handful of deep sweet red peppers, a baby eggplant, cucumbers, zucchini, orange and yellow carrots, pink and orange beets, rosemary, parsley, and spring onions. (I chose to load up on the heartier stuff this week rather than go the lettuce/cabbage/salad mix route, but all of that deliciousness was available as well!)

I tried out a recipe for onion biscuits from a favorite cookbook of mine (Recipes from America’s Small Farms), but these were only okay. (I still highly recommend this cookbook.) Part of my frustration stems from the fact that I didn’t watch these carefully and they turned out a bit too golden. (Multitasking while baking a new-to-me recipe is clearly not a good idea.) But beyond that, these were too harsh and onion-y, and I cut back on the onion in the recipe. I think these need some cheese, or even something sweeter, like a touch of honey, to counter the super strong onion-y taste. (And I love onions.) I was going for a kind of summery biscuit dinner, so I made a very light tomato sauce with zucchini, squash, fennel, onion, and basil to pour over these. The sauce was delicious, but not an awesome match for these biscuits. You win some, you lose some, right?

Boh, on the other hand, won big yesterday. I picked up a trachea while restocking on Boh’s food at the natural pet supply store in town, and he spent the afternoon working his way through it. Cheap, fun for him to eat and play with, and a natural source of glucosamine. Triple win.

I spun a bit more of the brown alpaca yesterday, and I’m almost through the second three ounces. Plying soon, but probably not today.

My morning has already involved a heavy dose of this, and it is time to get back to it.

bachelor buttons and wedding pinwheels.

Bachelor buttons in the late afternoon.

One and a half rows to go on the wedding pinwheel. (I will finish it today. I must, if I’m going to block it before I head home for the wedding!)

Tuesday = farm day. Thus, my kitchen overflows with flowers.

If I were to hang this photo on the wall, its caption would read: Pesto. Soon.

The boy and I picked about 12 pounds of sugar snap peas today…and ingested another pound or so, I’d imagine. After a string of hot, humid, sticky days, today was perfect. Breezy, partly sunny, and cool. An afternoon in the pea patch followed a morning spent with my friend T. picking strawberries on the second last day of the season.

A perfect day. These are destined to become jam.

I love summer.

And now, back to that pinwheel.

giant bunch of tat soi.

I had to completely rearrange my fridge to get this bunch of tat soi inside. Isn’t it beautiful? I’ve been buried under a pile of grading this week (one more paper to grade before I head to campus), and while I do most of my reading on the couch and writing at my desk at the computer, I grade at my kitchen table. I have devised a strategy to help keep me on track, and (big surprise here) it involves food! Having something in the oven — granola, applesauce bread, squash roasting, etc. gives me something to occasionally check on AND a way to peg my progress to a more specific timeline without getting out the timer for each paper. Plus, there is something delicious for break-time.

I made a big pot of carrot soup and let it simmer away while I graded on Tuesday, and I’ve been enjoying the leftovers all week. I followed this recipe!

I also roasted some butternut squash this week while working through my grading pile. Yum!

And here’s a knitting shot. Here lies my garter yoke cardigan. It seemed appropriate to leave it in a big pile, as I’ve really only been able to knit half a row here and there this week, but I am so close to finishing the body. (Like, 4 rows away!) I decided not to use handspun for the bottom edge, as I like the simpler look of the brown Cascade 220. I can’t wait to wear this!

Alright, I think there is enough coffee in my system to warrant the last of the grading. Back to it!

 

still waking up.

goodmorningboh

It was hard to get up this morning, and I’m nowhere near full alertness. I’m mostly through my first cup of coffee (and will need a second). Boh has already given up, and is currently mid-snore.

hibiscus

I started plying the AVFKW targhee in hibiscus yesterday, and I’m hoping to finish this today so that I can get ready to do some sampling for my first sweater-spinning project!

sye shawl washed up

I snapped this picture while waiting for my french press to finish working its magic — seems I stopped knitting mid-row last night because I just had to get into bed. The colors are way off in this picture, as the shawl is resting on the arm of the couch underneath a very bright lamp, but I liked how it looked as I stumbled kitchenward to put water on for coffee this morning.

Things were a bit rushed yesterday, so I didn’t take any pictures of my farm share, but since I’ve been documenting my weekly haul here, I picked 4 quarts of raspberries and a quart of blackberries in the fields, and then picked up lettuce, a few pounds of heirloom yellow and purple carrots, cauliflower, hot peppers, red peppers, italian eggplant, bok choi, basil, and the last red tomato of the season.

Off to pour cup #2…