Yum. Been wanting to bake all week, but have been busy caring for my wonderful husband who had all 4 wisdom teeth out at once. So mostly I have been making soft foods and trotting bags of ice to him.
It's been an interesting puzzle to solve. Making foods that are actually yummy but have no crunch or resist. I find myself also making things bland then remembering that he can have flavor, just not firm texture. It's been 5 days and he tried rice today but it was too much for him.
Some of the stuff has been good. Stirring cornmeal into boiling broth and then stirring in some cream cheese to rich it up. That is very good also with a bit of Parmesan cheese. Lots of blender time with soups and such. Tapioca, cooked pudding, also good. Might try some custard if I can conquer my fear of the bain marie. I don't know why a pan of hot water in the oven intimidates me, but it does. One of my best friends in high school used to make the custard of the Gods. My mouth still waters thinking of the silky, eggy custard with a dusting of fresh nutmeg (bloody exotic back in 1970). We'll see. I'll let you know if I overcome my fear.
I did something with these cookies (Joy of Cooking Quick Oatmeal Cookies) the first time I made them that gave them a wonderful spreading, slightly chewy, slightly lacy texture that I haven't been able to reproduce. I have both followed the recipe and varied it in various ways to try to figure out what I did. No joy. I did use some chocolate covered raisins in them this time which are quite lovely. Lots of oatmeal which make them a breakfast food in my world. Cookies are nature's most perfect food. *nods*
The sweater is done. I'll try to e-mail myself a picture of it tomorrow to post here. It's really warm and cuddly. I altered the pattern a lot but in insignificant ways such as length (made it much longer and didn't end it with ribbing which looks like the dog's lunch on me), color band at the bottom and the ribbed end of the sleeves (which look quite smart - I went down a few needle sized as well to make it quite sturdy and snug as sleeves in the polishing wheel are a bad idea), and a stripe on the much longer collar in the same indigo as the terminal bits and button band. I will put in some sort of band to snug up the collar that tends to stretch and flip over when I get around to it. But I feel quite proud of myself for finishing my first sweater. I want to make some cool copper clasps to close the sweater as I didn't make any button holes in the button band. I've got a couple of ideas for wire work ones that should be fairly easy to work up.
Socks are another thing. M gave me a pair of gray and burgundy alpaca sock for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. They are so amazing. I've been wearing them to bed to keep my feet warm and they do such a great job and are so silky. I knit up a sock for her in the handspun CVM roving I had the fiber processors make for me. (Which is wonderful!) I tried some goofy things to make it fit her feet better, but my alterations failed to do their job. So I took the scissors to the end of the finished sock and yanked out all but a few inches of the top ribbing and re-did it. She tried it on, this time before it was off the needles and it fit perfectly. Now I have to try to get another one done this week to make it in time for her birthday. I have already warned her that I will most likely fail.
The madder dyed hand spun alpaca sock is at the place where I believe I need to start the decreases for the toe. I am taking it so slowly with these as I want them to be RIGHT. They are so lovely. Then I have to start on sock number 2.
Rats, I just realized that I missed the Alpaca Festival this weekend. Sigh. Probably better. I'd have just fallen in love with a fleece or something and spent money. I have a huge amount of wool roving in both gray and white to spin up and the brown alpaca roving still to start. So far I've been spinning a bit and then knitting it up. I need to stock pile enough to make a sweater, perhaps.
I understand there is a way to knit 2 socks more or less at once on 2 circular needles that I have been having fun trying to wrap my brain around with no more information that this. I may give up and google it to see how it works. That sounds great to avoid the second sock syndrome. My problem has been being on the learning curve with the socks so I learn something new with each sock. Which makes making the 2nd sock the same as the first sock with the mistake I learned from very difficult to make (as I want to make it more right but I also want it to match - grr).
I've been poking around at the wreckage that is my greenhouse. The winds this winter have pretty well shredded it. Both doors have been torn off and most of the roof. It's quite the wreck inside with pots and trash blown in. I wish I could pick it up and turn it around. Facing the doors into the wind was probably not the best thing to do. I am totally overwhelmed as far as what to do. It makes me quite depressed as getting this greenhouse was such a dream come true for me.
I've GOT to work with my mead this week. Everything needs to be racked off the yeast and into a new container. I've got 2 - 5 gallon carboys and 2 - 1 gallon jugs. I need to get something else started so that I don't end up in the situation that I am in right now. I don't have anything to share. Everything I made last year is still being tweaked to fix it. I want to make more chai mead as I am totally out of it and it was so good. I also need to make some more just plain mead. I am almost out of the honey I bought a few years ago, I bought 6 - 5 gallon pails of honey. Pretty amazing to have gone through that much honey. Brewing is an ephemeral art. Nothing to show but the memories -and some sticky empty bottles.
I've also been poking away at the vegetable garden plan. I've got in mind doing a very heavily companion cropped garden so there is less open soil and more food/flowers to draw in beneficial insects. I've also been designing a small portable fence panel we can move around to keep the chickens out of the seedlings but so they can get at the more mature plants to eat grasshoppers. I am working with rebar/chicken wire/pvc pipe and working the design out in my head. I need to get to a piece of paper and sketch it out to see if I am totally smoking crack or if this will work.
Been doing great on my new years resolution to see my horse more. I am getting out at least 3 or 4 times a week now. It is really wonderful. I am so blessed.