flour to scale.

So, sometime-blogger, always-friend K. hopped a plane to a place where the words are very long. And she left me a big box of treats from her pantry, including this enormous bag of flour.

I’ll be honest. I’ve been struggling to reclaim my cooking mojo. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s the traveling, maybe it’s that I don’t really have anyone to cook for right now; I don’t know. But I haven’t been playing in the kitchen anywhere near as much as I’d like to want to, if that makes sense.

Enter that big bag of flour. I just had to bake something. So out came the measuring cups and spoons, and out came the loaf pan and an enormous farm zucchini.

And after an hour in the oven, voila: zucchini bread. This is the basic recipe in Mark Bittman’s big yellow book — nothing fancy, but it sure is delicious. (And this loaf had a touch of freshly grated nutmeg, courtesy of K.’s bag o’ treats.)

That was Friday.

I’m glad I enjoyed most of the zucchini bread Friday and Saturday, because today, I left the last sixth of it on the counter. Which, by the way, is where I leave most of my food. But this weekend, Boh and I have a house guest in the form of Tango, my neighbor’s loveable 3-year old ball of energy. Tango has taught Boh a thing or two about mischief…including, apparently, how to get the rest of a loaf of zucchini bread off the counter. Here’s hoping Boh was simply a witness, rather than a full-on accomplice.  All I know is that trouble has never looked so cute.

Oh, and here’s a bit of knitting! Like the zucchini bread, it’s nothing fancy, but I sure do like it. This is Ishbel, take 2, in what I’m pretty sure is still Yarn Pirate yarn from when I belonged to the Booty Club in a deep variegated purple. So lovely. Also, a little biased, because when I ripped out last time I wound it right back into a ball. Hoping I’ll be happy with it once I re-block. (Note to self: don’t be lazy about rewashing yarn…)

More soon.

lace FAIL.

This morning I sat down with my first cup of coffee and replied to all of your thoughtful comments and advice about lace knitting. And then I picked up ishbel, determined to finish the second chart. I knit another row, and then realized that it just didn’t look right. And so, I ripped. And when I got back to the stockinette portion, I realized I just did not have the patience to pick up 200+ stitches and get them all back on the needle facing the right way. So I just kept ripping.

These photos are from my phone — I didn’t have the energy to get up off the couch to get the camera in order to photograph my failure — but on the whole, I’m in good spirits. One less project on the needles for now, and I’ll be back. There is plenty of lace knitting in my future…but next time I’ll use a lifeline!

Time to get to work!

ishbel revisited.

Hey, remember when I was afraid of lace? Well, I’m working on that. This week I dug out my ishbel, and started the lace section. I may have had a slight freak-out when my count was off by one at the end of the first chart, but after lots of squinting at my shawl, I’m pretty sure I did something silly near the edging, because everything *seems* to be lined up in the body of the lace section. So I k2tog’ed the offending stitch, and moved onto chart B. Fingers crossed that everything will turn out…

Also, I picked a few more quarts of sugar snap peas, and turned some of them into these most delicious, incredibly simple pickled sugar snap peas again this year. Yum.

The pinwheel blanket has entered blob-land, and I’m well into the second skein. Hoping to keep cranking away on this so that it is done long before the wedding (on July 2).

Boh in a blanket. Or in more traditional dress, depending on your reading of this photograph. This look really seems to highlight Boh’s soulful eyes.

Alright, time to get to work!

resistance = futile.

This applies both to massaman curry and the WEBS anniversary sale. First, the curry:

curry

curry2

curry3

The boy has been raving about this particular massaman curry paste from one of the Asian grocery shops near his house. Last week he brought me my own container. Yum. I made a regular four-serving batch, as directed by the instructions on the curry paste, complete with tofu, potatoes and onions, and these are my leftovers! I have been eating this all week, and it is delicious.

Today marks the start of April, but it also (and more importantly?) is the first day of the WEBS anniversary sale. As this blog post’s title implies, I’ve already clicked the “complete purchase” button, and a healthy dose of eco-wool (for a hemlock ring blanket, an owls sweater, and maybe linden or shalom), as well as some classic elite silky alpaca lace (ishbel is building my lace confidence) and some jo sharp dk wool (for bracken) should be en route to my doorstep soon.

Speaking of ishbel, my version has graduated to “blob” status. It is too big to stretch out all pretty on its circular needle, so here it is in a big heap.

ishbelblob

I’ve finished the stockinette portion for the large size, which means it is time for lace. Wish me luck!

ishbel.

ishbelprog

ishbel-prog-2

The stockinette portion of Ishbel is absolutely flying! Talk about a satisfying knit. No visible progress to report on my 28thirty sleeves, but I am dutifully working on it at home.  It has taken me twice as long to upload photos for this post because I’ve been simultaneously eating half of one of these espresso banana nut muffins:

muffins

Soon I’m going to heat up some cheesy Sweet Potato Spoon Bread leftovers for lunch:

sweetpotato-spoon-bread

Both of these recipes are from Supernatural Cooking, the most recent cookbook from Heidi over at 101cookbooks. My kitchen binder of internet recipes has a healthy selection from her blog, and this cookbook does not disappoint — I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve made from it, and the book itself is gorgeous. Also, one more plug for those muffins — they use white-whole wheat flour, natural cane sugar, less butter than you’d expect, and yogurt. I was expecting the white-whole wheat flour to yield a pretty dense, dry muffin, and I was happily surprised with the result. These are light and moist, and I will certainly be making them again!

Boh is pouting because he can’t have either of these treats. I promise I’ll take him on a longer W-A-L-K today to make up for it.

Have a great weekend!

longer…

sleeve-is-longer

This sleeve is slowly lengthening. Why is it that the closer I get to completing this sweater, the slower my progress looks to me? This project is no longer appropriate for bringing anywhere except a designated knitterly gathering, both because of its size and because of the way I feel like my arms flail about as I tug on cables and untwist the sleeve along my way towards magic looping to the wrist. Whining aside, I love this and cannot wait to prance about in it. (Yes, I said prance.)

Because I have a serious problem with project monogamy, and because I had a lecture to attend yesterday, I cast on something new.

ishbel

It is true; I’ve caught the Ishbel bug. I’ve been resisting the urge to knit this for some time now: Lace is hard! Another fingering weight project when I still have socks on the needles? And then, after viewing many a lovely Ishbel, I saw this one over at brokeknits. I bought the pattern immediately.

I’m using some gorgeous slightly variegated deep purple Yarn Pirate fingering weight, and I’m hoping to successfully combine the small and large sizes — large st portion, small lace version, to use all the yarn. We’ll see how that goes!

A few more Boh pics that are too sweet and silly not to share:

boh-under-blankets

We may have fallen asleep here together on Monday night…

boheyesclosed

Someone is very pleased with his cookie. Time for me to get back to work!