Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CSA Salad with Garlic Naan

So I made a salad from the offerings of the CSA for lunch today.  Lettuce, beets and avocados and some hard boiled eggs with Newman's Italian dressing served with garlic naan from Trader Joes.  It was delicious.

CSA Offering This Week

Avocado; Beets, Red, Gold, Chiogga; Cherries; Carrots; Chard; Kale; Grapefruits; Lettuce; Onions, White; Oranges; Strawberries; Sugar Snap Peas; and Zucchini

May Supperclub

I prepared the corn and orzo salad but wasn't able to find fresh corn that was to my satisfaction.  I had to settle with frozen corn instead.  Even though the recipe was to serve 8, I had a exponentially large amount of salad.  I ended up taking only half of the finished product to supper club.  Here is the half portion.

Kim went to the farmer's market in Hillcrest where she picked up her CSA offering and brought fresh vegetables and made a few dips to go along.  The cucumbers had the consistency of watermelon.
Janet stated that she tried to buy halibut at Henry's but was sad to see only two pieces of fish there.  She ended up going to Point Loma Seafood where it was a mad house of people angling to buy fish and food.  The halibut was cooked to perfection.
Amy stated she spent an inordinate amount of time pitting cherries which were delicious but the apricots were a little tart in her crisp.  The lemon-buttermilk sorbet was to die for and put one in a summer frame of mind.
Too bad you need to have an ice cream maker to make this.  I could not taste any buttermilk and the sorbet was light and fluffy.  Overall another great success in the recipes.  There is nothing better than great food and even better company.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Does this count as falling off the sheep?

So yesterday, my spinning group got together for the day of fibery goodness.  We all caught up with the happenings in our lives, I did a show and tell of the goodies I got at Maryland Sheep & Wool and gave out little goodies to the peeps.  
Fluffy's Garden was the only one to bring a main dish of lasagna while the rest of us made or brought dessert.  Seashells brought cherries and blueberries which were delish.  As always, good eats!

I talked to Fluffy's Garden about my aunt's request for a remake of the Bears on Glacier scarf which I don't have any yarn for and she graciously provided me with choices from her magic binder from Ashland Bay.  I decided to buy 1322 yards of undyed superwash merino called John Day from her to dye and knit the scarf for my aunt.  We estimated that I would use 10 ounces of the 16 ounces and it was much cheaper than buying already dyed yarn.  Once I get it, I will dye by myself at home and start the scarf.

I also finished a baby hat which used 92 yards of my stash yarn.  So that is 1322 in and 92 out.  Not so much progress in my first month....:(.  It can only go up from here!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

15 Seconds of Fame

I was mentioned in a podcast!  Woohoo!  I listen to Shilo (aka aJoyful Girl) who podcasts Spin Control.  She had asked about a easy sweater pattern to knit and she took my recommendation.  How awesome is that?  I'm in episode #6.

Among Giants

This past weekend I went home for a visit.  Due to my excellent timing, I was able to attend my cousin Angie's chinese banquet celebrating her wedding to Bill back in April.  As you can see, I am among the giants that are my cousins.  Tony and his wife April (who is expecting and is scheduled to deliver on December 15) as well as Angie and her husband Bill.  I really don't know how I missed out on the height gene.

Here is the taro cake that was at the banquet.  It was very pretty as well as being delicious.  I ate two pieces at the dinner and then another piece the next day.

Sacramento weather was very much like home with a cool breeze at night.  I was able to eat Chinese food galore as well as see the remodeled T Street house that was my grandparents home for many years.  It sure looks a lot different than what I remembered.  It has been at least 3 years since I have been back to visit.

I was also able to drive to Dixon to see Tony and April's new home and Tony bbq'ed some chicken for lunch and we ate out on the patio.  Lovely place in a great neighborhood.  You have to love living in the culdesac.

On Sunday, I was able to visit the farmers market which was totally outrageous.  I really miss this here.  I neglected to take my camera but the cabbages were as big as pumpkins with all kinds of greens as well as farm raised chickens, ducks, beef, pork, and fish.  I even saw a stand for mushrooms where you can buy a kit to grow your own mushrooms.  I noshed on some cherries and got some to eat on the way home.

Whoever said you can't go home is totally wrong.  I melded in with my parent's routine and was able to knit, read, and work out.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lotion Review

I recently purchased some new lotion for my hands.  I usually have dry cracked hands and have gone through many, many lotions.

So when I was at Maryland Sheep and Wool and went to see the podcaster's meet and greet, I got a small bar of lavender soap and a 25% coupon to be applied to an order with Wolfe Farms.  I haven't yet used the soap, but I purchased a bottle of their Pomegranate Hand and Body Lotion and it is thick and creamy but dries ultra fast and does not leave a greasy feeling.  It also smells divine.  I love the fruity smells and would have purchased a citrus if they had that.

It is also great that they are in Lancaster which is sort of in my backyard even though I went to the East coast to find them.

CSA Selection This Week

So this week was my first pick up for 4 weeks since I have been out of town.  Be Wise Ranch allows 2 cancellations per quarter (each box costs $25.00) and since I was out of town for the last few weeks, I didn't pick up my bi-weekly box.  This week, the bounty included:
(2) Avocados
Very Small Cabbage Green
Mustard Greens
(3) Lemons
(8) Oranges
Spring Mix
Snap Peas
(2 cartons) Strawberries

I prepped the strawberries right away and ate some for dessert after having my dinner of leftover, frozen asparagus and sausage with rice.  I was pleasantly surprised the the asparagus froze and defrosted well.

Yummy Cashmere

So I need to rave a bit about my fabulous experience with cashmere. I got 1 ounce of mongolian cashmere from my Fondle This! fiber club and it was oh so lovely. I think I have gotten over my fear of spinning with the "good" stuff since it begged to be spun and knitted because May is almost over and the next selection will be coming to my door momentarily.

Here is the 1 ounce of mongolian cashmere in in lovely tannish gray color.

I spun up the lovely fiber on my Matchless spinning wheel and was pretty close to the specified weight. The singles were 40 wpi and when plied, doubled it was 14 wpi but I only ended up with 97 yards. It was still really soft in the skein.

The pattern is Pretty Thing by the Yarn Harlot - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I can't imagine how soft this will be against my neck on some rare cool day in San Diego.
I know that I can always wear it to Chicago if I go back in the winter.

Here is the work in progress. I'm bummed that my 97 yards only took me to row 40 of 61 so I'm hoping to get a little more fiber to finish this project.

This is my 4th project of the year from Fondle This! and I'm egotistical enough to think that I'm definitely improving on my spinning for knitting. Now to conquer the hoard that is my fiber stash of "fiber too good to spin yet."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cold Sheep

I have been listening to the podcast Stash & Burn and there have been discussions over the past few months about going cold sheep. I just let this pass by my ears since I obviously don't have a problem with having too much yarn or fiber....

Well, after the excesses of the Santa Barbara trip, the DFW Fiberfest, and lastly Maryland Sheep & Wool, not to mention the sales e-mails and links on Ravelry, I now have to own up that my "stash" is too large for my cupboards and closets....

Here is a photo of my yarn cupboards - not counting the stuff hiding in other locations.  Okay I tallied all the yarn even the strays that were in hiding - wait for it - over 108,000 yards of yarn!  Holy Batman!

And here is a photo of the fiber closet which does not include the not so nice stuff in the garage.
I think by last tally I had over 50 lbs of fiber and my cupboards are having a hard time closing all the way. I definitely need an intervention!

I purchased most of this stuff because I had projects in mind and there are even patterns to go with the specific skeins. It is a matter of finding new objects to knit and running out to get more to make those things but the newness is coming too quickly and the last new thing is languishing in the cupboard. I mean, I can only knit so fast and there are other hobbies that I really like to do. And I still have that pesky job that takes up a lot of my waking hours.

I'm declaring that I'm going cold sheep (similar to going cold turkey) and not buying any more yarn or fiber nor attending any more fiber events until my addiction is under some kind of control. There are only two exceptions: (1) honor my fiber purchase commitment to fluffysgarden's co-op, and (2) purchase the necessary amounts to complete an ongoing project.

Since I also need to start my workout program again. I'm going to add an incentive that for every hour that I work out, I can "bank" $1 for future fiber purchases.

My end date for cold sheeping will be June 2011 when Black Sheep Gathering and Estes Park are scheduled.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Gift for Val the Gardener

I am lucky to know a lovely couple from Germany - Val and Helmar who live not to far from me. Val has a super green thumb and has a small garden plot in the neighborhood that she maintains and she has a lovely garden of her own.

She has generously shared so many of her plantings with me that my front courtyard is filling out with her many offerings.

As thank you for all her effort, I gave her my knitted scarf from January's Fondle This! club. Here is the raw fiber.

And here is the spun up skein of yarn.

I thought it was fitting to give her the gift on this mother's day weekend. She loved the finished scarf.

Hopefully she will enjoy using the scarf in the future.

I'm very lucky to have such wonderful people in my life.

Back on the Budget Bandwagon

I took stock of my financial status this weekend and determined that I needed to get back on my savings bandwagon. It has been a spendy few months with the DFW Fiberfest as well as Maryland Sheep & Wool with all it's ancillary fibery goodness that I couldn't resist. Between my yarn stash and my fiber stash, I'm good to go for quite a long time. I think that my impatience gene is rearing its' ugly head and the drive to buy it now so I can work on it now needs to be tamed.

A case in point, I have lovely cashmere/silk fiber in my stash that I pet from time to time but am still having that resistance to spinning because it is so nice. Lots of money tied up there. So April's Fondle This! club offering was 1 ounce of mongolian cashmere to spin to a fingering weight for knitting the Yarn Harlot's Pretty Thing.

After trying and failing to spin on one of my new drop spindles, I got out my trusty Matchless spinning wheel and went to town. I was able to spin up a lovely 97 yards of 14 wpi. It took me maybe 2 hours to spin and another hour to ply and now it is ready for washing.

I need to work up my mojo to battle the "Resistance is Futile" lure that is fiber and yarn! So no more spending except for NEEDS in my everyday life. This will be suspended on personal trips scheduled for the next month or so.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I woke up this morning around 6:00 am and the first thing I saw out the window was this fog. It is may and it should be gray, but it was cool to see after spending time on the east coast. This is looking out the back into the canyon. Alas, the fog burned off around 8:00 am and it was another beautiful sunny day in San Diego.

Maryland Sheep and Wool

I attended the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival in West Friendship, MD and it was a very hot day. We left DC around 7:30 in the morning with Sue's group of knitting peeps. Tami drove us all in her van and here is a picture before the shopping and heat of the day began.

Sue, Tami, Inge, and Val

We first went into the big barn and everyone split up to shop before meeting back at the front of the barn after about an hour. I found some cool gifts for my spinning peeps back home as well as a present for my mom for mother's day. I also bought some silk yarn from Tilli Thomas after seeing all the "sale" signs - it is some kind of pavlovian response that I can't resist. I also broke down and purchased a purple heart spindle from Bosworth. There were so many people crammed into the place that I didn't get near the signature needles booth or the yarn barn. Little Barn fibers were also there but there were too many people there as well. Miss Babs booth was also overrun but I was able to chat with one of the ladies from Just Our Yarn to let her know that my beaded shawl I had purchased from them in Riverside was a hit. I found some dyed silk fiber and a silk brick that were priced right.

After meeting up at the front of the barn, Inge and I broke off to get some lunch (lamb sausages and iced cold lemonade) and go to the podcaster's meet and greet at the front gate. Here are the two of us after lunch waiting for their arrival since they were all about 30 minutes behind and it was dang hot.

After the podcaster's arrived, we stood in line in the hot sun as the receiving line moved very slowly. First up was Jasmine and Gigi of the Knitmore Girls.

Then it was Meghan from the Stitch It! podcast.

Then finally Jackie from KIPing it Real.

Jackie provided an awesome goody bag with samples of yarns, buttons, tape measures, and scents. She also organized a drawing for some door prizes and I've kept my losing streak going as I didn't win anything. I met some cool people while waiting in the small shady places where we shared to stay out of the sun.

After meeting up with the group after lunch, we all headed off in opposite directions to meet up again at 3:30 for the ride home. I wandered around in the smaller barns and I felt the yarn and fibers actually repelled me since it was so hot. In some of the barns, there was no air left to breath in the enclosed spaces. I felt bad for all the animals as most just laid around due to the heat.

Other items that jumped into my bag: glass circular knitting needles, a clay supported spindle, a tpi gauge, a skein of creatively dyed lace yarn, 4 oz of undyed polworth, and some magnetic pattern keepers.

I had to break down and buy a hat from a nice man from Australia and wandered into a gardening booth and bought some seeds for Janet for her organic garden.

I was pooped at 3:00 and hit the restroom for the ride home. I think I sweated out my large lemonade and two bottles of water.

When we all met up, everyone was ready to head back. We discussed what everyone acquired and what the highlights were. Inge, Sue, and I had dinner at the Macaroni Grill where I preceded to eat my entire caesar salad, a entire plate of pasta and vanilla gelato with strawberries. All my plates were licked clean.

After a cool shower, I climbed into bed and tried to sleep in the humid weather. It was an awesomely good day!

Rain and Thunder Boomers in Baltimore

I went to Baltimore for a conference on April 25th and it was cloudy and cool when I arrived. After seeing another friend from California and having a nice crab dinner at McCormicks & Schmicks which was attached to the hotel, I retired to my room with a sliding glass door which did not open out to a balcony.

This was the view from my sliding door when the sky opened up and thunder and lightning lit up the sky. It was still cool, but not cold and the system lasted for quite a few hours. My faux balcony was covered so I could leave the door open and just hear and experience the sheeting rain and boomers. I haven't experienced one of these since I was in Kansas City in the early 90s.

The conference had a few networking events and one I participated in was going to have a Maryland crab feast after taking a water taxi. It was pretty chilly on the water but the crab eating was good. I had to ask for a bib since the others sitting at my table used their mallets to whack the heck out of their crabs and a lot of it splattered on me. Yum yum, but I think for the all the effort, I would stick to my native dungeness crabs.