acceleration.

It’s that time of the year and semester where everything is speeding up. I don’t think I’ve knit a stitch all week! (Well, that’s not entirely true. I did knit and then unknit a couple of stitches on J’s fingerless mitts to teach her how to make a thumb-hole.) There are two weeks of classes left, I’m scrambling to get a more complete draft of the first chapter of my dissertation together, Thanksgiving is approaching, I’ve been showing my home to potentially subletters (I’ll be out of town for a couple of months for research this winter), and basically, my head is spinning. I had to look at my phone to see what, if anything, I photographed this week, and here’s what I found:

Another dutch baby (why are they called that?) from Deb’s cookbook. Full disclosure: I just pulled another one out of the oven. I cannot wait to eat it.

J, working the thumb-hole on her first fingerless mitt!

Boh expressing…something.

I had nothing to do with the preparation of this incredibly delicious pumpkin-themed meal (pumpkin ravioli in sage-butter, pumpkin cheesecake for dessert). All I did was snap this action shot.

Out. Cold. Friday afternoon. This is how I felt yesterday afternoon, too. Hope you’ve got a wonderful weekend planned! More from us soon.

smitten.

 

 

I’ve been drooling over Deb’s Smitten Kitchen Cookbook all week. On Saturday morning I made latkes and they were amazing. Best I’ve ever made. I particularly appreciate that Deb did not specify how many people this particular recipe serves, because I ate them all.

Today, I made my coffee and flipped through the book again. This dutch baby caught my eye. I’ve never made one before, but the results were picture-perfect. (And oh-so-tasty.)

And just now I mixed up a simple and yummy broccoli slaw to counter the decadence in my weekend food intake. I really think you might need this cookbook. (Full disclosure: Not only did I buy one for myself; after looking through mine, I also purchased three more as gifts for my mom, my chair, and a dear friend. All have birthdays in the first half of November.)

And, you know, because this is, at least in theory, a knitting blog, look — knitting! Those are not my hands; they are the hands of my dear friend J. She’s such a fast learner. After one evening of basic instruction in casting on, knitting, and purling, she practiced until she’d used up the partial ball of yarn I gave her. On Friday we went yarn shopping, and that evening, J. cast on her first project (on dpns, no less!), a pair of toasty fingerless mitts! Hooray!

apple crisp.

I love apple crisp season. You know what else I love? The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. If you’re a regular reader here at Chez Rooster, you already know that Deb and Smitten Kitchen are my go-to cooking resource on the interwebs. This cookbook is amazing, and totally worth the wait. I want to make (and eat) it all. The crisp part of the apple crisp I made (twice) comes from Deb’s apricot crisp recipe, and it is the best crisp topping I’ve ever prepared. I expect that lots of recipes from this book will find their way into my kitchen rotation. I’ll keep you posted as I cook from it.

And Snowbird is moving right along — I finished the second sleeve yesterday, and began working on the body. I’ve never knit a sweater that instructs you to knit the sleeves first, but it feels great to know that once the body is done, I’ll be pretty close to done knitting this sweater! I plan to alternate knitting with transcribing research photos this afternoon. (And tea-drinking.)

And then there’s this guy. I have no idea what he is doing with his tail in this picture, which is why I took it. This is how he was sitting on the couch when we came in from our walk. Now he’s snoring loudly, and I imagine he’ll be out cold for much of the middle of the day. Here’s to a cozy and productive weekend!

five (oops).

My fifth blogiversary was a couple of weeks ago, and I was out of town and totally forgot to post. This space continues to mean so much to me — it is a place to document my world and connect with folks who care about similar things (knitting, spinning, cooking, outdoor frolicking, sweet and wrinkly dogs…) as well as an opportunity to write something, and often to get unstuck (in lots of ways). I like having this record of sorts. I’m a historian, so I guess that shouldn’t be surprising, but perhaps because my academic life, though punctuated with deadlines, has reached the stage where I’m working on a Really Big Project, I particularly value this alternate way of documenting some of the other pieces of my life here in the blogosphere. Thanks for being here — for reading, for commenting, and for blogging! Now, about those socks.

Yesterday marked the ceremonial(?) putting on of the handknit socks — the first time this fall! (These happen to be handspun as well.) We’re expecting a solid seven days of rain from the storms converging on the East Coast this week, and last night, as I was leaving the house, it was just beginning to drizzle. These kept me cozy all evening. Are you wondering what’s under that foil?

Deb’s Apple Mosaic Tart with Salted Caramel. You should add puff pastry to your grocery list. Seriously. This tart was so easy that I felt guilty bringing it over to the home of D and T, even though T had seen it on Deb’s blog and requested it. (It felt sort of like microwaving my dinner might feel. You know, if I had a microwave.) These are the basic steps: put puff pastry in pan, add apples, top with sugar and butter, bake. While baking, melt sugar, add a few things, and brush the caramel over the top of the tart. And it is SO GOOD. And pretty. And because my apples were huge and a little soft, I didn’t make the spiral that Deb made. Still tasty, still pretty.

Here’s a snapshot from Friday’s Yoda Thorpe fitting. M brought over some gardening wire for the ears, and we added the appropriate level of wrinkling. I’m hoping to get a picture of M’s Sexy Yoda costume to share with you!

I’ll wrap up today with some sweetness. Boh has conjunctivitis, so he’s been extra cuddly. (Except when I put his eye drops in three times a day. Poor dog.) Yesterday he napped while I graded.

Good thing I’m right-handed! We have a few more papers to work on together today.

These are my favorite trees on campus. There’s something about the golden shade of fall leaves that looks extra brilliant on dreary days. At least I have these trees to look forward during this week of rain ahead. I hope everyone in the path of the Frankenstorm stays safe, warm, and dry.

PQRS: an alphabet post.

P. As in, peonies the size of my head. Also, Pearl and the Beard. (Have you entered the album giveaway yet? You have until Wednesday to comment on Friday’s post!)

Q. For quantity. As in, how many retro table and chair sets can I fit on my porch? Also, aQua. (4 chairs and a table for 20 bucks, thanks to Craig and his marvelous list.)

R. Ricotta. Rich, homemade ricotta from Deb over at smitten kitchen, to be precise. This is Really good. Like, change-your-plans-for-the-day good. Whole milk, some heavy cream, lemon juice, and salt. The only reason I can come up with for not making this as soon as possible is that you need to go get a meat or candy thermometer. You should maybe go do that now.

S. Salad. And not just any salad; Summer Salad. Here at Casa Rooster, a Summer Salad is a salad that is eaten out of a larger-than-normal bowl.

Yup.

S also stands for Stripes. I’ve been making progress at a leisurely pace on my handspun stripey shawl, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Boh seems to like it too.

Happy Monday, folks. Hope your week is off to an excellent start.

saturdays are for dinner parties.

Dear friends came for dinner last night. (Boh was on cloud 9.) Y’all know I love to play in the kitchen, but I especially like cooking both for and with D and T — we have similar tastes (well, aside from D’s brutal hatred for all things eggplant), we belong to the same farm, and we always have a good time together. They brought homebrew, a bottle of homemade limoncello for my freezer(!), beer brewed with Japanese hops for us all to try (it DOES taste like “sunshine in a glass”), and tortilla chips for the mostly-tomatillo-with-a-peach-thrown-in salsa I made. And I decided to test out some new-to-me recipes based on what could be found in my fairly full fridge. After lots of drooling over recipes on my computer screen, I settled on two ideas from Deb over at smitten kitchen: scalloped tomatoes with croutons, and everyday chocolate cake. I paired the tomatoes with a salad of very peppery arugula, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, and cherry tomato confit with a homemade vinaigrette with a bit more honey than I usually use. I was really happy with how everything turned out — these recipes have earned spots in my kitchen binder!

Also, here are the results of peaches +bourbon, take two. I did use the immersion blender to make this more sauce-like, and I’m thrilled with the consistency: thicker and smoother, but with chunks of peach.

And here’s what I’m casting on later this morning. I’ve been meaning to start a hat for D. He’s sporting a new haircut these days, and as the weather gets a bit colder, I want to contribute a hat or two to his headgear collection. I was inspired by the Windschief that Laura posted yesterday, so I hopped over to Ravelry to look through other people’s FOs, and ultimately, purchase and print out the pattern. I’m using tosh worsted in malachite, and I’m psyched to cast on.

I really should be reading all day today, but I’m going to allow myself at least a little bit of time for knitting…

FO: new day (also, zucchini and chard).

This is 150 yards of squishy, shiny, 2-ply made from 4 oz. of Spunky Club corriedale in the New Day colorway. The orange bits are my favorite part.

And here’s the zucchini ricotta galette I made for dinner last night. (I had company.) When Deb posted this recipe recently, I knew I had to make it. I think I’ve made every galette recipe she’s posted, and they’ve all been absolutely delicious!

I’m part of the way through plying the Pigeonroof Studios merino in the chard colorway, and I am absolutely loving the way the colors are combining. So pretty! In fact, pretty enough that I might put off the reading I must finish before my afternoon meeting to ply just a little bit more…

baked chicken meatballs.

Still grading, still writing, still scrambling to figure out some kind of balance. Meatballs help. Especially these meatballs. The recipe has been waiting patiently in my binder o’ things to try, and I rediscovered it during a procrastinatory (yep, I’m making up words) purge of the recipe pile a few weeks ago. Enter a meat-eating boy. How could I not make these for dinner? Surprisingly quick, incredibly delicious, and perfect with a spring salad of romaine, radishes, carrots, cherry tomatoes and goat cheese.

No knitting — but I’ve done a (very) little bit of writing. If only the 100 words I’ve written here could somehow count towards the 1000 I need to turn in tomorrow…

Hope the sun is shining where you are. Here, it has made all the difference.

ravioli muscles.

Oof. First of all, my ravioli-making muscles are a little sore. (That’s a technical term — they are tiny, and located in the middle of the back.) This is a small (and totally worth it) price to pay for homemade ravioli, in case you’re wondering.

My friends D and T came over last night, along with their sweet dog Coltrane, for a special dinner sort of in honor of D’s recent birthday. Just as we were about to dig in, they said something like, “Wait! Don’t you want to take a picture for the blog?” They know me well.

I followed this ravioli recipe, and the resulting meal was incredible. We also enjoyed my dad’s Caesar salad recipe, and an apple pie. It was a super fun evening, and despite the fact that my parents’ pasta maker (which lives at my house) is missing a few pieces are really requires two people to properly operate it without lots of curse words, I am jonesing for more homemade pasta…

Also, I’ve finished the yoke of Shalom! I did do an extra repeat of the yoke pattern in order to get closer to the neck to armpit distance I need, and I am excited. It is a little small right now, but I’m confident (fingers crossed) that it will block out to the slim fit I’m hoping for. My button holes look a little messy — note to self — I don’t do the bind off/cast-on button holes well, but I’m sure I can clean that up a bit with yarn needle and some extra ends. Onward to the mindless stockinette portion!

Happy Friday!

in-my-bag knitting.

I’ve been carrying my handspun lacy baktus around with me, and even though I love how this looks, I find that I’m not taking it out of my bag to work on in those in between moments: after class, between appointments, before yoga. Even though the pattern is super easy to memorize and to read in my work, I don’t always remember where I am, and I think the knowledge that I’ll have to do a little bit of thinking to figure out how to pick up where I left off has been stopping me from pulling this out when I have a few minutes.

So yesterday, I decided to move my baktus to the pile near the couch, and cast on something new to carry around with me.

Yep, this is another seaman’s cap. I’m making this one medium-sized, with a particular friend in mind, though if the colors end up feeling a little too crazy, I’ll keep it and make her something slightly more subdued. I think I do best with in-my-bag knitting that is in the round and very simple: rib or stockinette. This is the worsted-ish Crown Mountain Farms superwash merino I spun up a few months ago in the rest of the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds colorway. I thought I would knit this into mittens, but I think it is a bit late in the season to gift mittens. (Let’s face it, it will be March before this is done, and probably even closer to spring before I get this in the mail.)

Yesterday, for both lunch and dinner, I made Deb’s vegetable dumplings. Last year, as you may recall, my kitchen was the site for many a dumpling recipe test. These emerged victorious. Make them. You will not be sorry.

I’ll leave you with Boh. I eventually made him move so that I could make the bed, but I think he has the right idea. It is snowing here, and I’d like nothing more than to spend the day hunkering. Alas…off to campus.