Monday, October 12, 2009

So it's really autumn now...

It's a rainy, rainy day, so pictures today are not great. Still, I finished something! And it hasn't been a month since I last posted, a bonus!

Pattern: Love Bites Scarf from Gherkin's Bucket
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Archangel (one skein)
Needles: Size 5

Notes: This pattern is fun and easy. I sometimes forgot it was time for a fang mark row, so they're not as evenly spaced as they could be. Whatever. My chosen yarn doesn't really fit the vampire theme, colorwise, but who cares. I love the yarn, which is soft and squooshy and subtly shifts from one gorgeous autumn-ish color to the next. The indoor photos really don't do it justice. I really like this scarf, and it'll get a lot of wear. It came off the needles in a tube, but a quick steam-ironing* flattened it nicely.

*I bought the ironing board in summer 2007 when we moved here...and just took it out of the shrink wrap today to block the scarf. Stuff like this is why I don't put "housewife" as my occupation when I fill out forms. I'm pretty sure real housewives iron. I usually put "woman of mystery."

Other knitting: I started a Lace Ribbon Scarf in Misti Alpaca. I'm making it a bit narrower, eliminating two lace repeats.

Hjalte is still going...slowly...

Reading: Mostly Harry Potter re-reading. I did read part of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for book club. I'm not as into it as I expected. I love quirk, but odd things bugged me. Like, I was fine with Lizzy and her sisters being trained in zombie combat. But at other bits, I would get mad and say "Lizzy would never say that to Mr. Collins! It's just too rude!"

Writing: Not really.

Cooking: Oh, yes! First, last weekend was Lakefest, and I sold jam there. A lot of jam. Over 70 jars. I still have some stock, but a lot of my flavors are completely sold out. I rescued a jar each of my favorites for personal consumption. The best part for me was when the flavors I had out for sampling would sell quickly. Talk about validating. It's also fun to watch people's reactions when they try them. One woman said, "That's so good it'll make you want to slap your grandma!" How much fun is that? I still have apple butter and pear sauces to make this fall - I think apple picking might happen this week.

I made a nice on-the-fly pasta with fennel, onions, eggplant, yellow squash, and crushed tomatoes. I used lemon zest, crushed red pepper, and thyme from the garden to season. I think the squash was unnecessary, but the fennel/eggplant combination with those seasonings was really bright and fresh, but with depth.

I tackled the Dobos Torta from my Kaffeehaus cookbook and really enjoyed it. It involves making six thin layers of cake by spreading batter on parchment paper in circles, buttercream spread between the layers, and a caramel layer on top. It was a bit humid for caramel, but it worked out all right. I brought it to book club, planning to bring half back home to feed my in-laws, but the hostess's dog ate the other half. Since it took four hours to make, that was sort of tragic. I don't think of myself as good at the fiddly, cosmetic parts of pastry chef-ing, but I thought this looked pretty nice: