Sunday, January 24, 2010

Making and baking (but not making bacon - yet)

For Christmas I got a stack of books including: three cookbooks, a sewing book and a book on toxic plants. Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it was especially enticing because amongst the recipes/directions are those for curing your own bacon AND rendering your own lard. Not that I'm ready to do either of those things but I like that the option is there when I want to. I had not had a chance to make anything from the books until this weekend. I saw the recipe for homemade chocolate peanut-butter cups in Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it and decided to try it out. There was no actual cooking involved, just food processing and melting. First you make little disks out of roasted peanuts, honey and a couple of other things (processed until smooth) and then you melt semi-sweet chocolate chips. Once that's done you coat the cupcake liner with a thin layer of chocolate, lightly press in one of the peanut butter disks, add more chocolate on top and let them set for at least four hours. They were perfect and relatively simple to make. Plus as long as they're kept in an airtight container they're good for a week or two.This weekend I also made a favorite of mine, arborio rice pudding. I adapted this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, adding a little extra almond extract, using vanilla bean paste and subbing almond milk for the whole milk. The texture was perfect but I should have gone a little easier on the almond extract, especially considering I used almond milk.My Featherweight cardigan is making me crazy. My sleeve increases are all kinds of jacked up and it seems like each row takes forever, although I finally got to the point to pull off the sleeve stitches and put them on scrap yarn. So since that project was driving me nuts what do I do? Cast on another project of course. This is the Saroyan scarf/shawlette thing, from Feministy. It's a super easy pattern and with worsted weight yarn and size 10 needles, it's flying. I cast on last night and I'm already done with the first section. The yarn is Madeleine Tosh worsted in Tern bought in Seattle in December. I love this yarn, the color is exquisite and it's so flippin' soft with a hint of springy-ness. Adore!

I dusted off the sewing machine today and cut out the pieces to make a straight skirt (a Simplicty pattern) with a zipper. I didn't get around to sewing any of the pieces yet but I did cut them all out. The fabric is Anna Maria Horner I bought in Portland last summer. This year I really want to branch out and expand my sewing skills past elastic waist bands. Kind of like how I want to knit a sweater that's shaped for my measurements so it doesn't look like a sack.


spike. said...

Those pb cubs look amazing (and no cook!). Good luck on the sewing/knitting projects. I'm the worlds worst knitter.

Diane said...

the pb cubs were to die for. I hid them. Gave one to G after she did the mountain of dishes from the party. Then I begged one bite the next night when she finished them off. thank you so much for sharing!