Tuesday, November 11, 2008

the Broken Oven bakery.

also known as, My Kitchen.

we have hit a bit of a monetary crisis in my household, the old scientist and i. he does not pay me rent until halfway through the month, so if he eats too much food too fast, we go without unless one or both of our significant others breaks down and buys us food. i also have a meal plan at school, so i often hoard foods (or at least fruit) from the dining commons as frequently as possible. i've been known to take bags full of apples at a time, and even to leave in the middle of a paleontology exam in order to bring the remaining six of us numerous chicken patties.

anyway, the long and short of it is, i have run out of substantial meal-making foods for the time being. so, having an abundance of flour sugar and eggs, i did nothing more than go into crazy baking mode.

it all began back in early october when william and i started going on weekly weekend visits to the local apple orchard when he was up from northampton. with these apples i made many a pint of fresh apple juice, small, manageable amounts apple sauce, and finally my new (someday)famous apple crisp.

then, there was the weekend that i went with my family up to our lakehouse in maine and on our way home, before we left town for the winter, we hit up the local orchard, which has grown substantially since the last time i was there - two or three years ago. anyway, my parents decided it was a good idea to get this HUGE bag of apples for us to split between the three of us, which ended up being the downfall of us all. i still have a basketfull of these apples in my kitchen, a month later, waiting patiently to be sliced and left for a night in the dehidrator, or cut up and stewed into sauce.

after the apple spree, i was a bit apple-ed out.
next thing i new, i had a few very brown mushy bananas hanging around in my fruit basket, so i decided to try my hand at banana bread. this was a success, so i repeated it for a second week in a row and this time brought it to william [who, up until now, did not believe that i could bake, due to a number of exceptional failures that he was witness to].

today, wanting to wait on my remaining bananas until they are mooshy enough to be delicious, i decided to dredge out some old organic carrots from the bottom drawer of my refridgerater. these carrots have been in my fridge probably for the last month and a half, if not a solid two months. nevertheless, i was in luck to find that they were not at all limp or brown (with the exception of the greens) like i had expected them to be! i went to town pureeing them in my mini cuisine art and found a nice carrot cake recipe to alter and make my own. i added wheat germ and yogurt and raisins and pecans and [my jack-of-all-trades] allspice and put my oven to work.*
the verdict is that it is pretty delicious. except that i think since i like making things moist and dense this was less like cake and more like a wide, flat loaf. i have decided that it is best sliced warm, elongated and thin and spread generously with butter [it has just enough nuts and raisins to be interesting but not overwhelming].
i am going to make it for thanksgiving to be eaten with dinner [in place of a bread roll or croissant] instead of as a dessert.

the thing with my oven is,
it has this tendancy where,
even if i bake at a lower degree,
it overcooks the outside
and just barely cooks through the center.
nonetheless, it still tastes good!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

spinning my way to the moon

the summer in review!

i haven't been able to focus at all on schoolwork, so i figured it was time for a pictoral review of missing links as pictures from summer are LONG overdue!

first off, here are some of the first yarns that i spun! the blue i did on my drop spindle, which took forever, but was fun! the green i did on kate's luett spinning wheel and used it for my hat, foliage [ravelry link].

after these small adventures in spinning, i couldn't resist more! the fiber fever hit hard, so
kate and i got some roving and decided to DYE!

it was so messy but so worth it. we used RIT dyes, which might have been a mistake for first-time dying of this sort, but we managed through it anyway. besides, we were doing it at her boyfriends house, so it wasn't like it was our counters we were ruining, right? just kidding. but
i did do my share of bleaching countertops afterwards, anyway!

so, now that i had this beautiful purple and blue wool, what was i going to do with it? i was leaving to work at camp all summer and would not be around to use kate's spinning wheel. oh my god! i was freaking out! i can't go all summer without being able to spin this gorgeous roving! it was nagging at me, pulling at all of my nerves. there was nothing i could do. i waited as long as i could for my first paycheck from the summer but chloe was behind on paperwork so finally i just broke down and borrowed the money from my parents and bought


it was so amazing i didn't know what do do with myself. i sanded it and stained it and assembled it in the back of Grube library, the only unoccupied dry space in camp, as it was a horribly rainy week and i couldn't do it outside.
then i spent my summer spinning this absolutely gorgeous and soft corridale yarn that we now affectionately refer to as Purple Rain. i started it as soon as my wheel was assembled during the first session of boys camp, and finished it the week that girls first session ended, just before i left camp and came back home to spend time with kate and william before they left for school.

...now the problem is, i don't know what to knit with it!!

very vegan sausage links

very vegan sausage links, or
sharla's sausages.

these were originally made as a joke for sharla, christmas 2006, because she does not eat meat.
i thought they were funny so i made more. i wanted to make a scarf, but didn't think it would be very practical!

yarn: pattons? tweed. some type of acrylic. color: raw meat red!!!!
contrasting yarn: i used pink, black, or another red would work as well.
needle size: US size 5
tapestry needle

thoughts: i found a tweedy red yarn that made me think of all the little bits of weirdness that you find in sausages. i also made another set of links using a red and white yarn that reminded me of ground beef with a lot of fat content in it. however, solid reds and red/browns would look fine too.
i used a pink sock yarn for the faces.


co 3 st.
knit one inch in i-chord
row 1: kfb all stitches (6 st.- transfer onto three needles if using dp)
row 2: k all st.
row 3, 4: repeat rows 1&2 (12 st.)
row 5: *k1fb, k1* to end (18 st.)
knit 20 rows stockinette.

this would be a good time to add a funny face to your sausage if you would like, using a contrasting yarn and a tapestry needle.

stuff sausage with polyfiberfill or stuffing of your choice.

row 26: *k1, k2tog* to end of row (12 st.)
row 27: knit all st.
row 28&29: *k2tog* to end (6 st. at end of row 28, 3 st. at end of row 29)
i-chord 3 rows and begin new sausage.

repeat as many times as you like.