Archive for July, 2010

Fashionably Late Lilly

Lilly showed up fashionably late to the birthday party, and laid her first egg bright and early this morning!  Hers is even more wee and round than Evie’s, and compared to Ruth’s it’s absolutely tiny.

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Big Girls’ Birthday and an Evie Egg!

Today is Ruth and Ilse’s first birthday, and to celebrate, Evie laid her first egg!  It’s pictured below, by itself and next to Ruth’s egg from yesterday.  It’s ridiculously cute and tiny!

A Taste of New England in the “South”

My long-awaited copy of New England Knits has finally arrived, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with it.  This is one of three knitting books I’d ever pre-ordered, meaning I was not able to do research on the included patterns to ensure they were worth purchasing ahead of time.  The first book I received from this experiment was a huge disappointment, and the last is still forthcoming.  New England Knits, however, is quite possibly my favorite knitting book in my entire (extensive) collection.  There are only two patterns in the whole book that I would not knit (without significant modifications, anyway) and all the rest are items I covet.  Here are a few favorites.

This is the Hampton Cardigan, which is knit from the bottom of the back, up to include the sleeves, over the shoulders, and down the front in one piece.  This creates the interesting effect of the vertical lace turning horizontal on the sleeves.  In the book the piece is knit with a decadent yak / cormo wool blend.  I started my own version in a silk / merino blend that is quite sumptuous itself.

Next is the Middlefield Pullover.  This sweater also has interesting construction, with parts knit from the top down and others knit side to side.  I love the multidirectional ribbing and the button details on the shoulder.

The Cranston Coat is another intriguing piece.  I’m normally not a big fan of bobbles, but this cardigan works so well because of them.  They represent berries amongst a background of leaf lace, which is always appealing to me.  Finally, the lace eyelet holes have a contrasting color of knitted fabric peeking through to give the whole piece a bit more attention to detail, as well as a way to keep the wind out.

The Chelsea Skirt is incredible.  I love the herringbone pattern that gives it an almost woven look, produces a flattering vertical linear pattern, as well as providing sturdiness that will prevent it from stretching with wear.  This is my favorite length for a skirt, and the contrasting lace is the icing on the cake that ensures a place for it in my wardrobe.  Finally, the button closure provides another opportunity for creativity and distinction.

There are 25 patterns in this book, and I’m planning on knitting almost all of them as quickly as I can.  I only wish this book had been published sooner so that I would have had the whole summer to work on knitting from it!

21 week old chickies

Today Evie and Lilly are 21 weeks old, and should start laying any day now (as evidenced by their “save the babies!” pose; our older hens stopped being so wild and fussy and started crouching low to the ground with their wings pulled away from their bodies, as if they were trying to shelter a bunch of little babies, within a week or two of laying.  Now the little ones have started the same thing.)

I was able to hold Evie for the first time in months this weekend.  When they were in their wild adolescent stage, Lilly was always still handleable, and Evie always made sure she was where ever Lilly was.  Therefore, putting them away after an afternoon of grazing didn’t require picking Evie up, (and in fact trying to do so made her scream) and all that was necessary was to put Lilly where you wanted Evie to go.  Now they’re both much more handleable and huggable than they had been even as babies, which is great fun.

Mmm Mmm Mmmushroom & Avocado Crepes

This evening for dinner I came up with a recipe using my wonderful new crepe maker.  Alex told me after having two that I could make this recipe whenever I wanted and he’d gladly oblige in eating them.

Crepes (makes 6- I divide the recipe in half for the two of us)

1 1/2 c flour

1 1/2 c milk

4 eggs

Pinch salt

Butter for greasing crepe maker

Mix all ingredients together with a whisk in a large measuring cup.  Pour batter through a sifter or fine strainer into another large measuring cup to remove lumps.  Allow to sit at room temperature while preparing filling.

Filling

8 oz sliced mushrooms, rinsed

1 T butter

1 T garlic (we used the pre-chopped kind in oil from Costco)

1/4 c red onion, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 large avocado, cut into small chunks

Splash of lemon juice

Melt butter in saute pan.  Add mushrooms, garlic, onions, salt and pepper to taste, and cook on medium high until liquid from mushrooms is mostly cooked off, stirring occasionally.  At the same time, put avocado into a bowl with lemon juice, and stir to cover all pieces.  (This prevents the avocado from browning.)  Add mushrooms, and stir gently to combine.

Make crepes per crepe maker instructions.  After flipping for the first time, sprinkle choice of shredded cheese (we used Mozzarella) onto 1/2 of the crepe while the other side cooks.  I also added some salami (prosciutto, capocollo, etc) that tore into small strips to the cheese.  Cook until other side of crepe is done and cheese is melted.  Transfer to a plate, add desired portion of mushroom and avocado mixture to side of crepe with the cheese, fold over (like a huge taco) and then fold in half again, so the crepe is folded into quarters.  Enjoy!

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