Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Little Help From My Friends

My friend Lee, who is also a knitter, is a fantastic cook/baker who is starting her own business selling preserves, but she's having trouble coming up with a name she likes for this new venture. Since you all are a creative lot, I thought I'd post about her business-naming contest. I keep coming up with either lame generic names like "Season's Best Preserves" and terrible, cheesy phrases like "berry-rific" and "jam-tastic", so I'm sure you can do much better.

Here are the rules, paraphrased from her site:

1) It can't have my name in it.
2) It needs to be relatively short and end in preserves- i.e. "Naked Berry Preserves"
3) I do jams, jellies, pickles, chutneys and syrups using fruit and vegetables so it should be inclusive. Naked Berry is actually my favorite so far but I have nixed it for this reason.
4) You don't need a blog to win, though. If I choose a winner from comments left on the blog, the winner will get a six-pack of my favorite preserves from this season. Apricot vanilla butter, yum!

To enter, visit the contest entry here and leave a comment. Get your entries in by October 15! You will soon be able to buy her preserves online, and I can tell you they are wonderful. Thanks for helping out!

Here are the boys visiting my husband's parents' house last weekend. We are not the only ones in the family to pamper our cats! Their "cousins", Cassie and Hektor, each have a chair on the porch with a big cushion on it. Our boys like these, too. Mirando has a bath while Geronimo just hangs out.

Knitting: I didn't knit last night at all, so everything's still in the same spot. I did edit my last entry to add a second picture of my finished scarf, though. Blogger was feeling more cooperative today. I love the Cashmerino Aran! It's lovely to knit with, and machine washable, so I'm not surprised I'm not the only fan. It's just a garter stitch square, but the yarn is very soft, and what I remember most about my childhood blanky (actually a pillow creatively named Pillow which lost its stuffing at one point) is the texture, and I was thinking that garter stitch would be a nice texture for Butterbean, without holes to poke little fingers through. I am starting to think that the Vintage Beaded Gloves might be my first Christmas present, actually. I'm not sure how many I'll get through this year. I've left it so late that big knit gifts are pretty much out. I may have to figure something else out for this year. I'm starting to plan my Christmas baking a bit, too...I love Christmas baking.

Reading: Hmmmm. Constantly posting that I'm reading nothing of substance is making me feel bad. I think I'll have to poke through and find something.

Writing: Chapter 7. The funeral chapter! Will the killer show up at the funeral? Will there be an exciting confrontation? Well, duh!

Cooking; Last night I made Mediterranean Vegetable Stew Over Soft Polenta from Cooking Light and it was lovely, as always. It's a 20-minute recipe, but tastes like much more work than that. I have Red Onion Focaccia, also from Cooking Light, rising at the moment, and last night I soaked split peas for Alpine Split Pea Soup from Paola Gavin's Italian Vegetarian Cooking, a lovely and decidedly un-light cookbook (though the soup isn't that bad for you). These two dishes will be dinner tonight, in honor of the first really autumnal day of the year (very cloudy and high of 49). If I have time, I may put together cobbler from some peaches and nectarines we have.

It's Day 2 of Sourdough Madness! I just poured off a cup of the starter from each and "fed" them with fresh flour and water. I made two starters, one with bread flour and one with whole wheat flour. One site recommended naming them so as to create a bond that prevents me from just tossing them down the disposal. One food blogger named hers Mulder and Scully, which I thought was excellent, but I didn't want to be a lame copycat, so I'm going with Ernie and Bert. Bert is the whole wheat, because well, I'm sure Bert prefers the healthy, high-fiber breads. I'm referring to a few different baking blogs, as well as this very clear tutorial, but as with anything, there are variations. Some people recommend feeding the starter every 12 hours, some every 24. I hit it somewhere in between today, and I haven't exactly settled on which I'll do.

Anything else of note? Well, I'm going to paint my toenails tonight, while I can still see/reach my toes!


Rain said...

The boys look very content.

I'm off to put my thinking cap on.

Marie said...

That chair certainly looks cushy! Lucky kitties!
The blanket is going to so scrumptious. :) I pet the cashmerino everytime I go to the yarn store.
Have fun painting your toes!

Holly said...

Oh but, when you can't see/reach your toes, you should definitely go pay for someone to do it for you! Ah, pampering! Love it!

snowdrop said...

I love Christmas baking too! My secret guilty pleasure is silver shot/dragees and icing on butter cookies... And gingerbread... And shortbread... O my...
I'm trying to think of a name for the preserves...

lee said...

Allison, Thanks for the link! We should get together soon and I'll bring you something tasty!