Sunday, December 14, 2014

Winter yummies

There's something about being in the colder climates and having soup frequently. It's like an instant hug for your insides and brings back childhood memories. Beef stew, fish chowder, tomato soup...the list goes on and on.
One of my co-workers brought in a cauliflower bisque for lunch one day. She was raving about how good it was, and it smelled wonderful. So I asked her for the recipe and made my first batch. This time I added curry to it. Another friend added fish to it for her version of fish chowder. I'm imagining so many things to do with this. It is so flexible and a great base for other ingredients. I think next time I may add bacon.
Almost vegetarian and easy to make. All you need is a blender at the end. You could use either a hand or full sized one. Just as long as you can it pureed and creamy without lumps.
All you need is:

1 small onion
3 cloves of garlic (more or less depending on your personal preference)
1-2 Tbsp butter (I use the unsalted kind. Again, your preference as to how much)
4 cups chicken stock
1 head cauliflower
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz chedder cheese (I use white)
Salt and pepper to taste

Sautee onion in melted butter until translucent. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add stock and cut up cauliflower. Simmer until caulilflower is mush. Trust me on this. Add heavy cream and cheese. Stir together until cheese is melted. Transfer to blender, approximately 3 cups at a time. Using the highest setting, run until smooth.

I added the curry at the same time as the cauliflower so it could infuse in. I'm looking forward to trying different seasonings in this. Currently this and pumpkin soup seem to be the lunches of choice for my daughter and I.

The weather is up and down, and as the winter settles in for the long haul here in Maine, I've also been working on hats, mittens and gloves that are destined to be Christmas presents. I can't wait to work on some stuff for me, especially to spin some. My poor neglected wheel. I can't even make eye contact with her right now.

I have some exciting news coming soon, so stay posted for that. Just as a teaser-6 new patterns.

Since that is pending, I will be posting more when I have exciting news. Most of my days are spent either at work or just doing fox and geese mittens. Same old same old. Not really post worthy, especially since there is already one on these mittens.

I can't wait to hear from you.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11 2001-2014

13 years ago our whole outlook on the world changed. I got a phone call from my best friend to turn to a news channel-any one because it really didn’t matter. A plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. At the time it was thought to be accidental. And then the 2nd plane hit, in came the news about the Pentagon being hit and a 4th plane missing with the speculation it was aimed for the White House.

I sat there stunned and numb. Should I get my daughter from school? At 4, she wouldn’t understand. My 3 year old son certainly didn’t understand why he wasn’t watching Blue’s Clues. We lived in such a remote town in western Maine surely there wasn’t any threats to us. Disbelief and horror overtook me watching desperate souls jumping from the towers. The unthinkable happened-they fell. The lost 4th plane crashed in Pennsylvania.

During the days, weeks and months that followed the country came together with a renewed determination that we stand with each other. I was able to travel to Ground Zero. There was reverence, sorrow, support, prayers and love for everyone lost.

There are no words to describe the appreciation I feel toward our first responders and their families. They run into the dangers. Even knowing that these buildings were unstable, they gave the ultimate sacrifice to attempt to save people they didn’t know. To the silent heroes of Flight 93 who gave their lives to make sure that our nation’s capital was not attacked. We know the stories of the innocent civilians and military personnel that were in the buildings and perished.

In the midst of our world’s chaos on this day, we come together as a country again to mourn the losses and to celebrate the heroes. Survivors are interviewed, we are updated on babies that were born on that day and we ask each other if they remember what they were doing the day our country changed. We were united in common goals. To find survivors and to bring home those who had perished. To offer up prayers for the souls lost. Street vendors stayed to make sure essential personnel were fed. Restaurants delivered meals. Clothing, personal care items were donated and given out. On this day we remember our solidarity.

And then that feeling of togetherness fades. We go back to fighting over politics. Conspiracy theorists begin again on why the US was hit. And it saddens me. I know other countries deal with terrorism on a constant basis. I know we have the threat of world war. I know we have civil unrest over racial divides. But I also know that when we join together in a common goal, this country is capable of greatness. That is what I take away on this day-the admiration and the hope we can join together again to help our fellow man not only in the face of horror, but also in everyday moments. That we all CAN get along. I know that there will always be terrorism. Not everyone will be able to get along. But there is always hope. So thank you to first responders, nurses, doctors, military personnel and volunteers who give of themselves to help their fellow man. Thank you to the everyday heroes that go unnoticed but continue to do.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Things to ponder

It amazes me how quickly time flies. I had thought I posted more recently, but I now see I haven't. I also realized how long it actually is since I've seen friends.

~Take time to send a quick email, Facebook note or even something by snail mail to let people know you're still thinking of them. They DO understand the hustle of everyday life, and the fact that most of us don't have the money to travel.

~Take time for you. Even if it's 5 minutes of reading. Just take that moment to refocus and breathe, especially after a hectic day.

~Always hug your specical people and tell them you love them. They know you do, but it's also nice to hear it.

~Learn something new to keep your brain and fingers mobile. As knitters we seem to get into a rut with techniques. I hate the holes wrapping and turning leaves when working short rows, so I avoid them. Recently I've taught myself "German Short Rows". Amazing to use and no holes! I'm designing a shawl right now in a wonderful new yarn to be debuted by South West Trading Company, and it features these rows. I love it. While doing stockingette stitch:
On knit side, bring yarn to front. Slip first stitch as if to purl. Bring working yarn to the back by looping it over the right needle. Knit the next stitch normally. You will have a funny looking stitch with both legs pulled over the right needle. When working the "funny stitch", just knit or purl it as normal, making sure to go through the legs.
On purl side, yarn to front. Slip first stitch as if to purl. Bring working yarn around as if it's a yarn over, purl next stitch normally.
When working garter stitch, the only difference is that you slip the first stitch purlwise, bring yarn over right needle to the back, and knit on.
I've also discovered how to cast on for ribbing, although that is a bit trickier.

On the cooking front, it's harvest season here. I'm baking a lot of zucchini bread. Thankfully it freezes well. I'm also going to try out relish.

Pictures to follow.