tea_and_toast: (Cinnamon Bread)
The weather has been lovely lately, sunny and 70s every day. Sigh. Back to watering.

I finished Number 2's quilt. The handquilting took weeks; the binding took a day. I promptly hauled out my scrap bags and started another quilt. Number 1 will need a quilt for a big kid bed at some point, and I have too many scraps left over as it is.

We spent the day today watering, riding the tricycle, collecting twigs, reading board books, and arguing about whether or not it is appropriate to climb on the counter.

A while ago, I made ciabatta bread from scratch, and it wasn't right. It didn't ciabatta; it was just a loaf of white bread. Wah. On the other hand, my husband made s'mores, which were delicious.

I'm full of plans and lists for the impending months of not-being-able-to-get-to-anything. Not sure I'll get it all done, but every little bit helps.
tea_and_toast: (Cinnamon Bread)
I'm working on making myself a flannel robe from a few yards of forest green cotton I bought on a whim several months ago. There isn't so much a pattern as a set of directions, here, which is just my cup of tea after learning to make clothes the medieval way. I've already messed up the sleeve width, but medieval clothes have you add a gusset (I think it's called?) for shoulder movement, so I can fix that problem. I don't have any spare fabric to do any of it over, so I have to be a little creative about it.

Six inches of rain this past Friday. That, in one day, is more rain than we got last year, which we considered a decent year for rain after some of the recent previous ones. Everything is astonishingly green.

I chose the wrong yarn for a vest I wanted to knit for Number 2 Child, and after much dithering, ordered more yarn of the right thickness. In the meantime, I cast on for a wee sweater with the yarn I did have, as though I needed a new project to keep me occupied.

The handquilting on #2's baby quilt is very, very slow. I keep thinking there must be something I can do to speed up my sewing, but perhaps it's just a matter of making more time to do it. I persevere. We're rewatching Game of Thrones, and that's a lot of episodes, so that should help.

Recent recipes we've tried: Chocolate Cherry Pecan No-knead Bread, Individual Strawberry Rhubarb Crisps, Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes, Frittata (I used asparagus and roasted red peppers), Hot Ham & Cheese Party Rolls, Pesto, Mozzarella, Baby Spinach, Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich (although my homemade pesto used very different ingredients and I sadly omitted the goat cheese for the sake of #2).

It looks as though there will be another Penric tale, per here which I am delighted to see. The last one ended so abruptly; now I know why! I find her work so engaging to read, like driving on a smooth road after turning off a country path full of potholes. One can sit back and enjoy the scenery.

So here we are, midFebruary, playing with cozy fabric and yarn, eating tasty meals, and looking forward to reading good books. It feels like the calm between storms.
tea_and_toast: (Gloomy Sakura)
Is it reasonable to talk about the holidays a month later? The little one was buried in gifts of toys, board books, clothes, and more toys. He actually got bored of opening packages. Well, we will do better next Christmas. Although there will be another one next time. I don't think I've mentioned it before, but we are having a second boy sometime around June.

It's been all about coziness around here of late. Many of the holiday presents were made of yarn.

My husband made potato skins at one point, I think because we needed the insides for mashed potatoes. Or at least that was the excuse. And I made six hour bread. I want to make more. It's always amazing, especially in the first few hours. I may have eaten a bunch of it before he even got home that day. Toasted with butter and jam, it also makes a good treat for breakfast. Alas, I don't know where I found the recipe online or I'd link it.

This warm molasses milk from Joy the Baker is yummy, too. I still have the link for that seeing as I just made it tonight.

I finished a hand-pieced hexagon quilting project, months after starting it. It's machine quilted, because the other day I came to my senses and pulled out the tiny amount of hand quilting I'd managed so I could Finish A Project. Projects that languish for too long unfinished run the risk of being given up on entirely, and that would have been a shame after all the hand sewing I'd done to put the shapes together. I need to make more executive decisions like that.

Since we found out the gender for Number Two (as I've been calling him) I've started a baby quilt, an afghan, and a vest for him, and have also been trying to finish a bunch of old projects, since the sewing desk is going away to make room for a bed or crib. (We haven't figured out yet whether we're ready to upgrade Number One to big kid status or if we should just have two cribs for a while.) So I'm currently finishing a scrap quilt of creams and browns. It's a lap quilt size, made entirely from fabric in my stash. I have enough little fabric scraps left to make at least another quilt, possibly two. That's not counting scraps of fabric big enough to bother folding. These things are fractal.

So it's all blankets and hot toddies around here. We had rain. The hills have turned green. There was frost on the grass the other day, and the snow on the farthest-away mountains lasted an entire week. I could see it from my kitchen window.

Hot Cocoa

Dec. 12th, 2016 04:27 pm
tea_and_toast: (Colonial Cocoa)

Just a quick hello. I made marshmallows (unfortunately with gelatin, so no good for vegetarians). There wasn't quite enough corn syrup left in the bottle, so I substituted in a quarter cup of honey. So they have a faintly honey flavor, which is delicious. Recipe from Barefoot Contessa but if you try it, do read through the mass of instructions for a similar recipe at Local Milk. She covers a lot more of the fiddly details you want to know before you have a pot full of scalding hot sugar boiling on the stove.

Candy making is so exciting in that "I hope the baby doesn't wake up just yet / I hope I chose a large enough pot / I hope cooking spray will keep the molten marshmallow from sticking to everything, especially me" kind of way.

Hot cocoa mix is just 1 cup cocoa powder, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsps cornstarch. Mix and add a heaping tablespoon to a mug of hot milk.

The days are short and chilly, by our southern standards. 45 degrees at night! I spend hours under my favorite quilt, which isn't the quilt I'd expect. It's all creams and browns (eight year old me would be so confused) and it's not even quilted, just tied with embroidery floss. It's so floppy and soft because of that, very snuggly, not like most my other quilts. I think I need to make my next quilt a tie-quilt to see if that step is the difference, or if it's something else.

Knitting lots for holiday gifts. Pictures in the new year, I expect.

Year's End

Dec. 31st, 2015 08:31 pm
tea_and_toast: (Tea and toast)
Oh, hullo. I've been busy. There has been a baby around here, and a novel, and handmade Christmas presents. I don't remember if I mentioned before, but I won't be sharing pictures of the little guy. I'm not comfortable putting his face out there on the internet; better safe than sorry. You'll just have to take my word for it that's he's adorable and hilarious (he is, though).

Follow Malcolm the cat's tail to the usual mix of knitting, gardening, and cooking )
tea_and_toast: (Cup of Tea)
Jam, cake, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, pizza, sushi, and more cake. Being an adult means you can make and eat whatever you please, apparently. These were spread out over a long while, honestly. My husband made the sushi (smoked salmon, avocado, cream cheese). Cream cheese goes a long way toward making sushi yummy for me.

In the kitchen )


Sep. 10th, 2015 01:20 pm
tea_and_toast: (Default)
Where to begin? The summer has slipped away, or I'd like to think it has. Children have gone back to school, discussions of holiday gatherings have begun, sweaters are being sorted for the new season, but it was 100 degrees outside yesterday and I keep skipping the farmer's market because it is TOO HOT on the asphalt.

Where have we been? )

Tasty May

May. 29th, 2015 10:12 am
tea_and_toast: (Tea and toast)
This is a post about food. I had that many pictures.

Oh, look. Tea and toast. Roasted buckwheat tea with a shot of maple syrup, my own invention and what I like to think of as the Barrayaran tea. (They're calling Warrior's Apprentice book four? That's weird.)

Om nom nom )
tea_and_toast: (Tea and toast)

Our farmer's market haul for last week. I'm a week behind. I already went this week. Anyway. The light that comes in our kitchen window is so lovely, it makes everything look beautiful. I didn't get to the purple carrots yet, but I'm thinking I'll put them in this chicken pot pie. They're orange on the inside, and anyway it's the taste that counts, right?

Last week )
tea_and_toast: (Tea and toast)
Toast and jam in the morning, silvery light:

A most splendid weekday vice. Cherry jam on homemade wheatberry bread.

also there were quail )
tea_and_toast: (Cinnamon Bread)
Lots to talk about. That's what happens when you forget to update.

I like baking. Have I mentioned? It gets hot -- really hot -- later in the year so I've been using every excuse to do baking now, while the weather is still nice and we can run the oven without feeling guilty.

Foccacia (cheese required, per my husband) can be made when you're getting dinner ready and you realize there isn't nearly enough time to make bread but you still would like some. Fresh and homemade and fluffy, it's quite tasty.

baking, sandwiches, embroidery, and yarnery )


Dec. 31st, 2013 04:44 pm
tea_and_toast: (Cinnamon Bread)
It's time to close out the year, fold up the maps we made to get through it, shut the account books full of our deeds and our misdeeds, and tuck up in cozy blankets to contemplate the freshness of an entire new year, like a shiny penny ready to spend. A year goes a lot farther than a penny these days. They tell me the years speed up. I'm still naive enough to think I can slow them down by paying attention to the things that matter to me (hint, those things change, and I look back on the past decade and wonder why I wasn't looking in a different direction).

But never mind all that. )
tea_and_toast: (Red Cap)
It's nearly Thanksgiving. I was thankful today without any great intentions to be. I went out in the garden after work to water, and was able to pick some of the lettuce we're growing. I had a moment of "Wow! I put stuff in the dirt and got food out of it! That's amazing!" Because it is.

also cranberries! )
tea_and_toast: (Default)
I made the mistake several years ago of buying enough quilt fabric for projects without immediately starting those projects. Oh, of course I had other projects to work, novels to write, work to go to, Important Stuff, but still... the fabric has languished in dusty closets. Toward the end of this summer, I pulled out my collection and started making ninepatches of these pretty pastel fat quarters.

more )
tea_and_toast: (Default)
It was chilly and foggy for a couple days... and I thought it might be... but no. Fall is still like a month and a half off. Usually the heat gives up around Halloween.

This little bird... hit our sliding glass door. The poor thing spent a good hour afterward, blinking slowly and panting right outside, before it recovered and flew away. I was just glad it was okay.

Garden and Food )
tea_and_toast: (Default)
Fine Cooking struck again. I cut this recipe out because of their full page picture of golden knotted dinner rolls, sprinkled with seeds. So pretty! They looked like celtic knots. So complex, yet the descriptions of the process seemed simple enough.

baking since it's been such a pleasant summer, not hot )
tea_and_toast: (Tea and toast)
First, JAM. Because, as you know, toast is one of my favorite things and I already know how to make bread. When my husband's mother gave us a bag and told us to please go pick nectarines, that they were falling off the tree, I somehow got the idea into my head to make jam from them. It might have been the large pack of pint jars for canning I bought on a whim, I don't know.

I've never made jam before. I recall "helping" some adult make jam with Girl Scouts. Something about cutting up lots of strawberries and then getting to take home a jar, or similar. This is not how you teach a child to make jam. But it's okay, I'm an adult now and can operate heavy machinery read directions and buy my own pectin. (I bought two kinds to be safe, such a splurge.) This is freezer jam, because even though I look through my kitchen cupboards regularly, the Canning Pot Fairy has not given me a large enough pot to do water bath canning. My jars stick up out of the pasta pot I have. I'm thinking that's not ideal. (Admittedly, I probably should have bought half-pint jars. I was thinking in terms of pickles, which wouldn't have fit. We didn't make pickles from our cucumbers. We made pickle relish, which would fit. Sigh.)

Anyway, nectarines + sugar + pectin + teeny bit of cinnamon:

and so on )


tea_and_toast: (Default)
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