Saturday, April 29, 2006

Still Life With Sock

Never fear, this blog will not turn into an art photography site, but I rather like this piece, which features an inch of sock, a broken size 1 dpn, and a sleeping cat. So, I'm knitting along on my first Jaywalker, and on my very first double decrease, I break the tip of my Brittany Birch dpn. Argh. I have another set of dpns, but they're longer, 7" Clovers. We'll see how that goes. So far, the sock knitting is fine, and is an excellent distraction from checking for mumps symptoms. I have not become seized with the urge to take the sock places and document its travels. I have not started waxing lyrical about the virtues of sock knitting. I am still dubious about the whole process. I will continue to document my progress, so please watch for signs of Sock Knitting Psychosis. I do seem to suffer from mild Sock Yarn Obsessive Disorder, however, but they make sock yarn in such great colors, who can resist drooling over yarn websites? And sock knitting does inspire Jerry Seinfeld-like stand-up comedy in my head. "So, what's the deal with knitting socks? Talk about your tiny needles! But seriously, sock knitters always have the cleanest teeth, folks--they carry around their own set of toothpicks!" Ahem. So, anyway....

Reading: Back to fluffy reading. The pollen here has reached ridiculous levels, which does not make my brain eager to process complex plots and character development. I did just order History of Love, the book for my next book club.

Writing: Same place, different day. My deadline for Chapter 5 is next Friday. Hear that, Tim? Seriously, I have to get moving on this. I have two literary novels and three children's books in line. Not to mention three sequels to the murder mystery.

Cooking: I made a rather nice Vodka-Tomato-Cream Sauce for pasta last night. My husband loves the full-cream version; my diet prefers my mock version with low-fat ricotta cheese. This was a good compromise, with a bit of cream added to the ricotta. It gives it a nice depth and smoothness without adding frightening amounts of saturated fat. I usually make it with crushed tomatoes, but I only had two cans of tomato sauce and one of diced tomatoes, and that worked just fine. The crushed red pepper adds a bit of heat. You could also use pepper-flavored vodka.

Vodka-Tomato-Cream Sauce (Non-Artery-Blocker Version)

1 TBL olive oil
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup of vodka (or so...I sort of glug it in without really measuring)
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cans tomato sauce plus 1 can diced tomatoes (or 1 large can crushed tomatoes)
1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
salt and black pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Add vodka, crushed red pepper, oregano, and basil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Add cream. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato products and ricotta; stir until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, covered, 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Toss with one pound penne or capellini. Serve topped with grated asiago or parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil. Serves 8.


Areli said...

That is a nice picture. Have fun with your sock :-)

Tim said...

As in this coming Friday?

Any chance I can have it today to distract me from my latest WGN-induced pain???

Rachel said...

The amazingly gorgeous sock yarns out there are definitely a huge factor in sock-knitting temptation. The colorways seem infinite. Good luck keeping your sanity.

Rain said...

Gah! for broken needles. I love the photo.

String Bean said...

My socks are homebodies, too, although they have taken to smuggling themselves into my pocket when a trip is in order. Sneaky bastards. cream sauce. Can I just have the vodka, please? And a lime, if you have it.