Sunday, August 31, 2008

Simple Foods

Simple September: preparations begin!

In advance of my planned budget for September, I have been seeing recipes for great-looking dishes from scratch. I must try that Lasagna Soup that Hakucho posted about last year (now that I'm no longer a staunch vegetarian, I can do that!) I just found
this recipe for homemade soft tacos--I can only say that I had these once when I lived in Oklahoma for a month doing a clinical rotation, and they are incredible! My family has yet to taste some of the great things I had there, so finding this recipe really got me excited. I can't wait to make these and see their reactions! =D

One other recipe that came out of that trip is my favorite broccoli salad. Oh man, is this a great tasting salad. I guess I'll post that now:

Idabel Broccoli Salad

2 lbs fresh broccoli florettes
1/2 c (6 oz pkg) raisins: goldens & cherries mix is best
2/3 c minced red onion
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp & crumbled, with drippings reserved
1/2 c sliced almonds for topping
dressing: 1 c mayo + 1/4 c sugar + 2 T vinegar + fresh ground black pepper

Toss together first four ingredients. Mix dressing well, and toss with the salad, adding bacon drippings. Chill for at least 2 hours. Toss in the nuts just before serving (they taste better if they are toasted first, in a dry skillet until browned!) YUMMY!!! This serves 12 people, and is a classy dish for potlucks or showers.

This is just one of my favs...and boy do I remember the incredible barbecue they had there. And, well, they had a Sonic in town--I ate there nightly, heh! I can dream about it now.

I hope you all like this recipe, and try the soft tacos. Oh, and Angry Chicken has posted a recipe for great looking Banh Mi--I've never tried those, but they look incredible! These are all on my upcoming menu....

New websites I love: Black Apple,
Sublime Stitching (because I LOVE outline stitch, running stitch, redwork, etc!), and Soule Mama. Fun stuff :)


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Simple September : 30 days of Nothing

I saw a post about this here, and it spoke to me.

While I am not necessarily into feeling deprived, the whole idea of green, earth-friendly consumerism really appeals to me. Our (read: my) propensity to spend so much more than necessary, for the acquiring of things seems very wasteful. The idea that I could get along with spending much less $$ is very appealing. I am taking up this challenge: Less Spending in September.

During the next month, I will not buy anything unless absolutely necessary. (And nothing knit related. I already have a huge stash of books, patterns and supplies. I have yarn AND books on order that have already been paid for but are en-route.) I also have fabrics sitting there waiting to be made into clothing, so I will not be buying more clothes. I am going to shop for groceries in a minimalist-style (no more frozen dinners) and locally if I can. It's not too late in the year for our local farmers market...Keeping in mind that simple dinners go a long way, I should be able to pare down our grocery bill by at least half.

For entertainment, we will enjoy simple pleasures. DD is coming over for a "first fest" of this sort in 2 days. We are planning a Scrabble tournament, for which I will probably bake something special to eat. Cheap, easy, fun, and family-oriented. Reading, gardening, cooking, organizing, embroidery, quilting....I need to stay in touch with my family, when I am not at work.

No more excess consumerism. I still have my old car, and my 3-year old cell-phone. Do I need new ones? No, mine are working fine.

Simple September is going to be the way of things around here. It's about slowing down the consumer treadmill, constantly working so hard to keep up the purchase power. I want to spend less, and start saving, so I actually feel ahead of the game! (Lest anyone think I'm scroogy for doing this, just read back over my knitterly acquisitions for the past 2 months....YIKES!)

So, no pedicures unless they are of my own doing, I will keep trimming my own hair (been doing that for a while--what the heck, it's only 2 straight lines!), I may even try to start walking to work. It's about a 12-14 block walk, but I always drive. I could definitely use some exercise....

If the sound of this appeals to you too, read what No-Impact Man has to say.

More on this later. I must knit now =D


Friday, August 29, 2008

Knitting Holiday

YAY for 3-day weekends!!! Ya know what I'm gonna do with mine? KNIT! SPIN! CROCHET! and hopefully SEW! I get three whole days to do whatevah...!

I (sneakily) started the Aran Wrap Cardigan Sunday. I have been poking my way through it. This week has not really given me too much time to knit. I ran errands almost every night after work, and by the time I got home, ate and sat down, I was done for. I slept 9-1/2 hours Wednesday night, and about that much last night too. So it was a real treat to go to knitting tonight. I opted to bring the lace sampler stole instead--I would like to keep working on that til it's done. It' s so close to being done, the fire is starting to get lit under me to FINISH it!!!

I spent about 5 hours knitting the remainder of chart #10 on the Summer Sampler Study, while chatting and munching with my knittah chicas. Now I am well into chart #11. There is only this chart and one other, then the edging! How cool is that?! I'm really pumped. I might have a finished lace project soon!

I am so looking forward to doing stuff on my own time for 3 straight days...can't even tell you how much I look forward to that.

Especially after having spent $250 to get a replacement plastic exterior door handle put on my '97 Camry after the old one snapped off in my hand last weekend. Grrrr. It irks me more than you can know, to think I just paid that much for another cheezy plastic handle. That one better last 11 years, too! Why do they make those out of plastic, for crying out loud?! It drives me nuts, this whole throw-away economy. I have a car that still runs, even though once in a while we have to replace a part. The paint is chipping a bit where the hailstorm 5 years ago dinged the roof, but it still runs. It is my baby, and I'm not getting a new car. I drive 7 minutes to work--this thing should last me another 20 years easy at this rate! If the parts they cheezed out on could just last that long....sigh.

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A quilting break...

Foot-fish (using his fins for feet!) at Maui Ocean Center

Now it's time for a break. I have a history of quilting, starting with a really hilarious attempt for my first quilt when our kids were infants. Then, I worked and worked on becoming better, attending quilters guild meetings, buying books, scouring the library for patterns, and making notes wherever I went to get ideas. I was completely 100% immersed in quilting....

Then we bought this house. It is too small--I know, I know, I have whined about that so much you guys probably know that by heart! But it's true. One of the only reasons I quit quilting and sewing is that this house is so small to have a work-table to leave out all the time. I transferred to yarnwork, and hence my quest for improving my knitting began.

This has all gone on for the past 15 years or so. And I still have the MOTHERLODE stash of quilting fabrics. But it's not until recently that I have been able to even look at the stash again. My love of quilts is being reborn.

See, I tend to be an all-or-nothing kinda girl. When I have a fascination, an obsession if you will, I latch onto it like a wolf onto a piece of flesh! No letting go until I master it!!!! (Lovely simile, eh?!)

But, some of my favorite blogs are those of quilters, and I've recently begun visiting them again. And look what I found! There is a scavenger hunt on at Bunny Tales...and it ends with the winner being drawn Thursday August 28. So if you want a fat-pack of great cute quilting fabrics, this is the place to enter. If you do, please mention me for sending you :)

Squeeee, I'm so excited to see who wins!!! Love the cutie country quilts. One of these days I'll get around to adding pics of my quilted FOs. There are a lot of little ones, and a number of big ones I'm proud of too. And of course, there's the unfinished one I started for DS when he was in kindergarten!!! He's now a sophomore at college, but, what can I say?!

Good luck you entrants!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Maui botanic garden

Cute stuff: look at this cute free giraffe pattern! So fun, I'd like to make one for my little nephew for Christmas...

Don't you just love knitted toys?! They are so cuddly and can be extremely cute :) I really like the patterns that Anna makes! They are surreal, and adorable! I love Jean Greenhowe's patterns too.

I'm embarrassed to say that I still have the Crafty Alien Kitty in progress. It's in pieces. I started that nearly 2 years ago. And the Baby Bobby Bear also. And the Jess Hutchison Bunny. And the Kittyville hat, for crying out loud! IT JUST NEEDS AN EAR!

Okay, before I start another project, I have to make an attempt at some of those. Geez. I want them off my list :)



Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lacework Sunday

What else, but a lovely plant in Maui!

Oh, my. Looooooook at
these books on Irish Crochet Lace. Another group of books I really want to add to my collection! Irish Crochet has been a fascination for me for decades. I was first and foremost a crocheter, initially knitting in my 20s for baby bootees for DD! (Which as you can see, has snowballed into out-of-control knitting ADD!)

However, old habits die hard. I have a collection of really neat lace crochet books, some of them vintage. Dover Press (check out the McCain and Obama paper dolls!) has had some fun re-prints of old Irish Crochet patterns, which I added to my library in the late 1980s. (Their books are nice and economical.) Didn't find much else on the Irish-crochet topic for many years, with the exception of random finds in an antique store. Then, in recent years, and much thanks to Ravelry, I have seen many other references that I'm all excited about!!! Not that I really need to acquire more books, mind you. That IS my achilles heel. Acquiring books. I need a room I can devote to library shelves, as currently some of my books are sleeping in plastic bins in the crawlspace!

Here's one of the Dover books I own:

Taken from Mindy's blog, here are some really great links for tatting and lacework:

  1. Tatting. There are some neat techniques pages here.

  2. Australian Crochet History This is where those history of Irish Crochet books are found.

  3. Lace Archives This is a great on-line archive of lacework of all types. Really neat!

Here is a sample page scanned in there, check out this Filet Crochet masterpiece by Mary Card:
click to see it close-up

And, I found a really neat on-line way to get your lace eye-candy. It is the Lacis museum; they have some spectacular slideshows there! You can find any type of lace there--knitted lace, crocheted, whitework, etc...Love it!

Okay. Now my own lace project, the Summer Sampler update--finally finished chart #9. One of the prettiest charts, and not as technically challenging as the 7/5 maneuver in an earlier chart, but somehow it had me by the throat for a couple of weeks. BIG SIGH of RELIEF! Finally started chart #10 today. Only 3 more charts, then the lace edging to go...interesting :)

Now, to deviate entirely from the delicate subject of lace. You have to check out this next website, a compendium of cake-decorating flops! My absolute favorite so far is this one, ha ha haaaaaa!~. What a scream that blog is!


Saturday, August 23, 2008


Sunset on Maui

I exercised a rare budgetary virtuosity today. I decided NOT to go to the Stitches Market, but instead went to Barnes & Noble and got the fall issues of some knitting mags I've been waiting for. Then I popped into my LYS and picked up 36" size 8 circular needles. I really am kinda pumped about making something in the Fall 08 issue of Vogue Knitting. And, I have a bone to pick with them.

Why do they sell a magazine with partial patterns in it?! You have to either send a SASE and request which charts you need or go on-line to download the charts at your own expense. EXCUSE ME, didn't I just pay $7 for your freaking knit magazine? Why are the patterns in it incomplete?! That little comment in there bugs me: "due to space constraints some portions of certain patterns are unable to be printed in the magazine". Nope. Doesn't hold water. Not when there are pages and pages and pages and pages of advertisements hogging up half the magazine's bulk. You could very well have put the freaking cable charts in there too. What a lazy way this well-known publishing house has gone. I'm really miffed.

Nonetheless, I hope to knit this soon:

It's the
Aran Wrap Cardigan by Angela Hahn., on page 107 of the fall 08 issue of VK. Here is the designer's list of errata and tips. I was turned on to this pattern by watching the Rainey Sisters progress on theirs. Now I just have to get the stinking chart from Vogue....

Anyway, I was speaking of virtue. Maybe it is not virtuous of me to vent like that on Vogue...but on the Very Virtuous Side, I saved a ton of $$ today by not going to Stitches! Though it only comes round once a year, and this year it's closer to me than ever, I can't bring myself to go. I didn't go last year either. And I didn't DIE or anything =p So I guess I will simply sit on the edge of my seat and await my online purchases. I already shot my wad. (where on earth did that phrase come from?! My dad always used to say that...)

And while I was exercising said Virtue, my Hello Kitty books from Amazon arrived in the mail today...
The first is the
cutest picture book I could ever hope for.

Lots of laughs all around :D Some of the pics in here kill me (especially Geisha Girl Kitty, and Airplane Pilot Kitty...)

The other is the story of
the business side of HK, which I can't wait to read. I like that kind of stuff.

I am making another mosaic stripe washcloth. I like these, they're pretty, thick and useful. Fun to have some variety in our washcloths. I like this pattern so much, I think I'd like to make something bigger in it--maybe a towel, or rug or mat...I'll have to think about it :)

Happy Saturday everyone.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lace Mojo

A Mauian leaf in the rainforest...

YES! I got it back. It deserted me for about 3 weeks. I had the hardest time with chart #9, but am almost finished with it now. And it is making sense, and much easier than it was!!! Don't know what happened there, but I'm glad my Lace Mojo is back =D

I finished my mosaic stripe washcloth, and used it for the first time. I really like that texture nearly as much as garterstitch for a washcloth. Nice and thick. The nicest part is there are no holes when it gets wet (like what happens with the four-corners dishcloth. I have yet to figure out how to have NO holes at the slipped stitches, but haven't tried making another one of those since working on the ballerina cardi. The techniques used in that are beautiful, and I'd like to apply them to the dishcloth...)

Anyway. Thursday. Yay. Payday. And Stitches Midwest is this weekend. Twenty minute drive from me. It's time for some sturdy budget resolve. Can't spend $$ on yarn or patterns. I can't. You would not believe what I bought on YesAsia. I must wait for delivery, no more purchases! But, I have been wanting a Jordana Paige Knitting bag for a while, so may go in search of one of those....and of course, if I see any Alice Starmore patterns/books I'll have to get them. And also if there are any vintage crochet magazines in a booth, I'll have to dig... And I've always wanted a fair-isle stash of Jamieson Shetland....

I'm in trouble o.0


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Japanese books

Bug Face...

I was surfing YesAsia's craft books, when I came across this...

Someone needs to double check their translating from Japanese to English! I can't imagine buying a book with that title~~giggle~~

And yes, I have no business surfing more pattern books. It's a sickness, I think. But those Japanese knitting books are incredible, and my fascination is fed by my involvement in this website :) I like to see the patterns knit up. The lace and texture-stitch patterns they come up with are amazing!!!!! Some of those sweaters are incredibly beautiful, and I lust after those patterns. I admit it openly :)

Boring knitting update: I've come to a standstill on the Moderne Log Cabin. I need my other two colors of yarn to proceed, but I just placed the order a week ago. Darn, I was hoping to get a bit farther on this before I had to stop, but I have other projects to work on...

like this:
My rip-off bathmat in Sugar n Cream, doubled and knit on size 11 needles. It has not been blocked, but it's a rug, so I'm just gonna use it and throw it through the wash!

The mosaic stripe dishcloth from the book by Lily Corporation. I got this book from Michael's, thanks to Hakucho whose post here spurred me on. Next will come the other mosaic dishcloth pattern in that book!

And, the Summer Sampler Lace project. Which has been in a time-out after chart #9 had me gritting my teeth and muttering words that should not be repeated. Maybe I can pick it up again, though I've been avoiding it. It's a full moon--should I try?!

I finished my Sunflower dishcloth. It was fun, but even though the correct pattern stitch (not the way I did it) looks more sunflower-y, I don't think I'm doing another one. The petals were enough done once :)

I also have the surprise for my sweet Babboo to work on...I should see if I can post a sneak peak without giving the secret away. If you have Ravelry, you can see it on my projects page (bumpydoink).

I might be doing some blog housecleaning today. I can't stand how overgrown my sidebar is--kinda like my patio weeds. So I will be pruning...


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Housecleaning: Favorite Free Patterns & Tutorials

Due to my desire to clean up the sidebar....

Aim's Free Patterns and Mods (to other people's patterns):
(scroll down each post to find the pattern)

Nana Slippers
Girlfriend Hat
Penguin Peeps (Katknits)
Simple Rib Scarf
Chevron Scarf
Aim's Ripple Blankie
Crazy Weave Scarf
Utopia-matching Scarf (SMarieK)

Here are the links to all my favorite free patterns:

Bacon and Eggs Bag
Bunny Along Blog
Bunny Peeps
Chevalier Lapaset
Cupcake Hat
Christmas Tree Hat
Corn Skillet Handles
Craftoholic Mermaid Gloves
Daisy Granny Square
Four Corners Dishcloth
Garterlac Scarf
Garterlac Dishcloth
Granny Squares Variations
Hello Kitty Hat
Hello Yarn free patterns
Log Cabin Triangle
January One Miter Blanket
Jen's Stuffed Toy Archives
Hello Kitty Look-alike Doll
Kureopatora's Snake
La Parisienne Beret
Mae's Slippers(no longer avail)
Miter Washcloth
Monthly Dishcloth KAL Blog
Peacock Doily
Petal Dishcloth
Pinwheel Dishcloth
Ram Wool's free patterns
Aim's Ripple Blanket
Saartje's Bootees
Sandal Socks
Snowflake Afghan
Swiss Cheese Scarf
Tomato Baby Hat
Yoga Socks
Ysolda Skull Illusion Scarf

Helpful Links & tutorials:

Antique Pattern Library
"Aran Paint Plus" Demo
Cable Graph generator
Crochet translations
Knit Translations
Fair Isle & Norwegian Knitting Tutorials
Spinning Videos
Lace Knitting Tips


Housecleaning: Favorite Recipes!

Due to a desire to clean up my sidebar...

Links to my favorite recipes I've posted :
(scroll down each post to see the recipe)

Aim's Deluxe Hot Cocoa Mix
Aim's Fudge Shortbread
Aim's Hummus
Aim's Special Oatmeal
Apple Pie Squares
Blueberry Breakfast Bars (by Farmgirl Fare)
Broccoli Salad from Idabel
Brownies, Fudgy Favorite
Caprese Salad
Cheese Danish
Chocolate Shortbread
Brunch Casserole for Christmas
Coconut Macaroons
Crockpot Spiced Apples
Crockpot Cheese & Broccoli Soup
Easy Cinnamon Buns
Fruit Pudding Cake
Ilda's Seafood Salad
Jam Tart
Limoncello di Capri
Madras Cocktail
Microwave Brownies
Mom's Western Cake
No Knead, Make Ahead Roll Dough
Onion Soup
Oreo Truffles
Peppermint Patty
Puerto Riquena Potato Salad
Roasted Poblano Soup
Robin's Moroccan Vegetarian Stew
Roti (Indian flatbread) with video
Sauerkraut Salad
Stuffed French Toast
Sweet Sun Tea
Thumbprint Cookies
Tomato Soup
Trail Mix ;o)
Turkish Potato Salad
Vegetarian Chili


Monday, August 11, 2008


Central Maui. Sugar cane fields. Haleakala.

Hey. Here's one for ya....

Your Birthdate

You're a restless rebel with an unpredictable nature.

Bright but unbridled, you tend to seek out wild experiences over new ideas.

People are frustrated by your great potential, but you love your unconventional life.

You're a heartbreaker. People get attached to you, and then you're gone.

Your strength: Your thirst for adventure

Your weakness: Not taking time for slow pleasures

Your power color: Hot pink

Your power symbol: Figure eight

Your power month: March

Hmmm. Okay. (what the heck is a power symbol?!)

I started a total rip-off project. I am such a copy-cat! I saw Amy #7's King Charles Brocade bathmat she was knitting on size 11s out of double-stranded sugar n cream...and HAD to make one myself. So, I got on ravelry and found a dishcloth pattern for the texture-pattern, printed out the chart, and started knitting. As if I don't have enough distractions--I am sooooooo pulled in all directions by my knitting projects!

Anyway, Amy #7 told me that she got the giant skeins of SnC Solid yarn for $3.79 at a Michael's store where they were clearanced. I then trekked to 3 area Michael's stores, but only scored some yarn at the first one. But I'm glad I did :)

Here's a pic of my bathmat in progress:

Is it not cute?! I'm using the chart from here, and only knitting the pattern rows w/o border stitches (except that I did 2 rows of seedstitch along starting row, and will do the same when I come to the cast off.) It's not the color I would have picked, my bathroom always being blue or green, but hey, a Sugar n Cream bathmat is not to be ignored--in ANY color! Cushy! Soft!

Although I dreamed big, yesterday did not give me the time to do all I wished. Oh, well, such is life at 46. But I did get to knit on said bathmat while watching the Olympics. That Men's Swimming 100m x 4 Relay was awesome! Gave me the absolute chills! Go TEAM USA, woo hoooooooo!

I have studiously ignored the Ravelympics. I have so much on my plate now, it's not funny. And I don't need more pressure! I do that to myself all the time :D So, I'll just watch y'all cranking out the projects, and keep on cranking (more or less quietly) on my own. We'll all get to the same place in the end....

Happy Knitting This Week everyone.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday Hopes

Here's a link to a really fun looking lace project...this might be my next lace. If I ever finish Summer Sampler Study Stole. Right now I'm on a chart that literally made me want to rip my hair out the last time I touched it, so it's been about 6 days since I have! I'd better work on it today, though. In between getting my hair highlighted (yes, I'm doing that again--it looks awful in it's natural color state) and going to a b-day party for my niece and doing the bills. Yeh, I'll have lots of free time. Not.

I had the best pedicure ever yesterday. I can't stop staring at my toes.
Aren't they CUTE?!!! I have cute toes... :)

I love the summer. It is coming slowly to an end. NOOOOOOOO, my inner child screams. I don't want any more winter. We'd better get ourselves moved to Hawaii pretty quick, because I might be able to stand maybe 2-3 more Midwestern winters. If that. And I love the ocean.

Since I posted it on Ravelry, I figured I'd post it here too. Here is a sneak peak at my freeform crochet Maui-inspired WIP called Honu's Home:

This freeform stuff is really right-braining it. I spent most of last Sunday working on it, and when I looked up, 5 hours had gone by!!! Couldn't believe it, but it felt amazing to be completely engulfed in a project like that. I love freeform and free-wheeling it!

Here's my stripey sunflower washcloth in progress. Doesn't look anything like a sunflower, does it?! I like the colors though :)

Heres a WIP pic of the Moderne Log Cabin blankie.
I worked on it yesterday while getting the pedicure, and at knit-night with all my chicas at Mollie's. It is the best kind of project for working on while watching Greta Garbo in Camille, which I did on Thursday night, and for watching Dog the Bounty Hunter on Wednesday night :D I love big giant garterstitch projects!!! So soothing, that repetition!

Speaking of repetition, and soothing, I really want to get spinning. Maybe I can squeeze in some time for that today, too! I had started spinning some blue variegated top I bought last year at the fiber fest, then stopped. It is making gorgeous singles....

One can only hope for enough time to do everything (oh, yeah, I have to do laundry too, and we are out of milk and bread....)Sigh.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Maui plumeria in bloom--oh they smell like heaven on earth!

Wheeee, look at this cute dishcloth from Mason Dixon...I decided I had to have one. I started it last night, as a break from big giant ongoing projects. I love dishcloths for that very reason (of course I have yet to use one as a dishcloth, they all get used to wash ME!)

Funny thing is, mine is not working up to look like that! I'll add a pic later. I must be doing the color change at the wrong place. Hmmmm. However, I like what I'm getting, so I guess my first attempt will just have to be a cute, striped sunflower :)

And speaking of sunflowers...I want to make
this afghan(Rav link), it is so graphic. If I can't find the pattern, I think I'll just try my hand at figuring it out myself. That is...after I do all my other projects. Man do I have knitting ADD!

There are some crochet sunflower patterns

Tonight is knit night. Yay! TGIF!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Summer dreams

Wierd skinny fish (?eel) on the reef in Maui.(click for closeup)

I love the summertime. I wish it could go on and on forever! Especially when the weather is like this. Temperate with a breeze, so you can have the windows open and airflow throughout the house. I long for that in the middle of winter, when the house is shut up so tight and the heater is on. It feels great to open a window once in a while then, and recall the fresh air in your home!

I think that's why I want to move to Hawaii. I want to be able to have my windows open and the fresh sea air blowing through year round. Man that would rock!!!

Sigh. I'll just have to store up the memories of soft summer breezes brushing the skin, the sound of cicadas and crickets at night, the colors of flowers and the green, green, green of the plants, so that I can recall them in the cold hard winter. Just like Frederick in "Frederick" by Leo Lionni, one of my most favorite books ever. This book was so special to me as a child, and I used to read it to my kids, too. Like the Dr. Seuss books, it left a lasting impression!

It's almost Friday, thank God for miracles :D I had a very, very, very long week at work (the boss is gone again), but happily that's almost over. And each time I'm left on my own it gets easier, it's not nearly so stressful as in the past.

Here's a first: on my way to an appointment this morning, driving much farther than I ever do on a normal work day, I got stuck at many traffic lights. I had my Moderne Log Cabin project with me in the car, so I kept it on my lap while driving, and knit on it while stopped at each light. Who cares how many red lights you get when you have your knitting with you?!! That was a fun realization! :D

Knit on, dreamers of yarny dreams!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Puerto Rican Taters and a Madras

Puerto Rican Potato Salad!

I love this stuff. When you see what's in it, you'll love it too! What's not to love about bacon drippings?!

I call it Puerto Rican because where I used to work was very much a melting pot. One thing we all had in common was we loved to eat! We always had some kind of potluck going, and the most wonderful Indian, Mexican, Colombian, and Puerto Rican food was brought in. I loved the ethnic foods in particular. One young Puerto Rican girl always brought in her mother's famous potato salad. Giant pans of it. She would never tell us the secret ingredient, but after I left there (and they had a going-away potluck!) I decided to try to find out what the recipe was.

I went online and scoured tons of potato salad recipes, and puerto rican recipes. I found two that seemed to be the simplicity and ingredients I thought were in it. So I combined them for:


5 lbs potatoes

1 lb bacon, cooked, crumbled/torn, and grease/drippings reserved

1+ cups mayonnaise

1/2 medium white onion, chopped

salt, as needed

6 hard-cooked eggs, quartered into slivers

12 large pimiento-stuffed olives, halved

Boil potatoes whole. Cool slightly, then chop (peels and all). Put into bowl with bacon and onions. In another bowl mix mayo with 1/2 the bacon drippings (you can add the rest later if you so desire) until well mixed, then stir into the potato salad. If it seems too dry, add more mayo-drippings sauce. Salt to taste. Put into serving dish, and decorate the top with arrangement of the slivered eggs and olive halves. Serve warm for best taste, but you can eat it cold too!

Now, go jogging to clear your arteries back out! This feeds an army....
If you want, you can wash it down with my brother's famous drink:

Fill a glass with ice. Then fill it 1/3 full with cranberry juice. Add another 1/3 full of orange juice. Then top it off with Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum. YUM! This is a rockin' drink for hot weather!!!

All this southern-type cooking at it's finest :D

Now, knitting content: I promised last weekend to show my yarny yield from unravelling a sweater. The fiber mix is ramie, wool, silk, nylon, and feels very 'dry' like cotton usually feels (I guess ramie is a by-product of cotton?) I loved the colors, but there's really nothing special or luxurious about this yarn. I thought I'd make some pillow-covers for my bed out of this. Here's what remained of the sweater after reclaiming the yarn:Now that's efficient!!!

And here is the yarn, hanging out to dry after a nice wash. Sunday I wound the yarn into balls.

I got 5 full balls of yarn out of this. It has an odd texture, and some pilling from all it's been through. I hope it's gonna be usable, otherwise it was just a training exercise in recycling :)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tagged by Carola

See the scary jellyfish I almost stepped on in Maui? It was low tide and we were wading on the beach. I'm lucky I saw it--those things are darn near invisible!

I've been tagged by Carola. And so, to quench my readers' mad lust for more info about me (~giggle~), here it is:

The rules:
1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking to them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged bloggers' blogs letting them know they've been tagged

Okay, here goes:
1. I'm really into good food--eating it, preparing it, reading about it, watching tv shows about it...Yeh, that explains my increasing weight :)

2. I've been published: I wrote a craft how-to article that was published in the magazine "Crafts n Things" in the 90s. And nothing since.

3. I can't bring myself to eat the last bite of a hot dog, a banana, or a pickle--the puckers turn me off and I just can't do it! (A fixation from toddler-hood.)

4. I like to hang laundry on the clothesline to dry, and it really annoys me when I can't (i.e. mid-winter.) Bedsheets and towels smell so good when line-dried (but I draw the line at hanging out underwear! And really, who cares what that smells like?!)

5. I CAN'T STAND long fingernails. Eeeeeew, just thinking of all the bacteria and stuff that could be lodged under them gives me the creeps.

6. I used to play the piano, guitar, and french horn and write my own music. The only instrument I have anymore is the guitar, and it's been 3-4 years since I played.

There. Wasn't that enlightening?! =p

Okay, who do I tag? Let's see, I think...
1. Lisa at MidwifeKnits
2. Jeanne at JMknits
3. Judy at knitwithmeonline
4. Hetty at Craftycreations
5. Susan at knittingalone
6. Marianne at picperfect

Happy Weekend :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Think Winter

Well, not that I really WANT to dwell on that thought, but winter is coming whether I acknowledge it or not. So, not only am I beginning work in earnest on the two wooly afghans I'm making for gifts, but I also just purchased the Bird In Hand mittens pattern from Kate Gilbert. These are really cute, and they're made from worsted weight yarn! So, I'm getting prepared for the long cold winter ahead. I think I'll knit them up for ME!

I am also a member of the Bird In Hand KAL group on any tips from others will be available. It seems there is a lot of crying about knitting the estonian braid on the cuff--I'm not sure if I'll be one of those crying about it!

BTW, that's a pic of DH wading on the reef in front of our condo in Maui at low tide, early in the morning. What fun that be posted later this week, photos of sea critters we saw on the reef!

I'm in the middle of making sun tea, and Puerto Rican Potato Salad. This stuff rocks! I'll have to post the recipe here later today. For now, Carola said she tagged me...hmmm, I'd better scoot on over there and see what that's all about :D

Oh, and Hakucho, I mailed your prize this morning, so you should have it early next week. Happy Knitting!