the last supper…before the dining hall reopens

While school doesn’t officially start until August 30, yesterday was my first day back to work, with dorm planning in the afternoon.  I’m realizing that going back to school is very similar as a teacher as it was when I was a student.  To some degree, I’m really bummed the summer is over.  I enjoy reading, crafting and baking.  On the other hand, this week I’m beginning to get bored being home all day.  Perhaps its because I planned my crafting well and all my major projects – fixing up the apartment, knitting baby presents, and working on my quilt – have now been completed, but Thursday I sort of just wandered around trying to figure out what I should do with myself.  I think I am putting pressure on myself to make this last week of break relaxing, but productive, while also fun.  It’s not really working out.

Last night, for my last hurrah before the dining hall reopens, life gets crazy, and I only bake for the boys on duty night, I decided to make a really tasty dinner with fresh tomato sauce using CSA tomatoes, meatballs, creamed corn, and a peach tart (Baking by Dorie Greenspan).  It was a little over three hours or prep, cooking, and dishes, but I loved every minute.  When the meatballs took slightly longer than I anticipated, I decided to cap the meal off by getting out our wedding China.  David wasn’t quite as excited about cooking for two hours when he got home from work, but he participated willingly, especially once he tasted dinner and then had leftover meatball sandwiches today.

Let’s just say it was a night well spent, capped off by watching the new British miniseries Sherlock on instant netflix.  If you like CSI or Castle then you should give this a try, it was really good, but the episodes are on the long side at 1.5 hours.

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baby as a teddy bear

One of the two projects I needed to finish before I start using the new yarn was this cute little baby outfit.  Imagine it with a baby in it and it will help it not look like a furry ghost.  This is for a couple friends from Divinity School, who are also having a baby in October.

For those knitters out there, the pattern is by Sirdar and it’s pattern #1774. I absolutely love the finished product.  It’s soft and snuggly and washable, all of which are perfect for a baby.  The process of knitting was a little crazy.  The yarn (Sirdar Snuggly Snowflake Chunky) catches really badly and the whole time I was worried about losing a stitch because there is almost no stitch definition, making fixing a dropped stitch difficult.  It was also hard to pull the yarn apart if I made a mistake.  The other slight frustration was piecing.  There were a LOT of pieces.  I think it took almost four and a half hours to piece together, weave in ends, and add the buttons.  On the positive side, the thickness of the yarn made the knitting part really fast and it hid mistakes well.  I’m not sure I would knit it again, but I’m definitely happy with the final product.

weekly csa round up

wk 7 share: lettuce, tomatos, green pepper, garlic, onions, cantaloupe, oregano, parsley, watermelon, tomatoes, jalapenos, corn

This is probably the last week of real cooking and eating at home because school gets going next week.  Most of the ‘meals’ for this week are some version of a potluck, so next week’s list of recipes will be a lot of salads.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  As far as last week’s share we did pretty well this.  We had a few vegetables that we couldn’t quite finish, but we ate at least half of everything and often everything.  Here’s how it happened.

Tuesday: Ratatouille from an old edition of the William Sonoma Bride and Groom Cookbook
Veggies Eaten: Zucchini, Onion, Eggplant, Tomato, Thyme, Green Pepper
Comment: This would definitely be better as a side and not a main dish, we were left hungry.  We also confirmed our dislike of eggplant.

Thursday: Chicken Tostadas and Salsa
Veggies Eaten: Tomatoes, Radishes, Lettuce, Onions, Jalapeno
Comment: I have always loved this recipe.  This is probably the real recipe of the week, but I knew I liked it so I’m going to give it to something that was new this week.

Saturday: Arugula, Corn, and Bacon Pizza from the Minimalist Cooks at Dinner
Veggies Eaten: Arugula, Corn
Comment: This recipe has potential.  It would probably be better with cheese (either Parm or Moz) and the Arugula should be added after cooking rather than before as the recipe requires.

Sunday:  Vegetable Frittata with Asiago Cheese  
Veggies Eaten: Zucchini, Tomatoes
Comment: Really good.

Monday: Potato, Green Bean, and Pesto Pasta from the Minimalist Cooks Dinner 
Veggies Eaten: Green Beans, Potato, Garlic Scapes
Comment: This recipe may have been improved by using regular pesto and not the garlic scape pesto that I made weeks ago and froze, but even then it was pretty bland and needed both salt and cheese to be edible.

Recipe of the Week: Vegetable Frittata with Asiago Cheese

 

Getting Ready for School Crafting

Last Friday marked the one-week mark to my return to school.  I decided to begin my preparations for the return to school the way any good teacher who knits (and now crochets) would do, I bought a lot of yarn.  The beginning of school, especially at a boarding school, is really busy and I knew that I would not have a lot of time to find new patterns once I finish my current project and even less time to drive to the yarn store and buy yarn.  So I went on a back to school shopping spree, except instead of buying clothes, I bought yarn.  A couple of the items will become clothes, so its kind of the same thing.  I’m so excited about the new projects, it’s a little hard to keep working on my current project before starting on something new.

Crochet

I did get started on a new crochet project, to ensure that I don’t forget what I learned in class.  I decided to go with the placemats I showed in a prevoius post.

Then I also bought yarn to make a few more potholders using patterns from the book 200 Crochet Blocks.

Knit

This week I’ll probably get started on this cowl because it’s a nice small project that I could easily take to back to school meetings.

The moment I saw this cardigan I was excited about it.  The best part is the back.  I really want to start it yesterday, but I have another sweater project I really should finish first.

Sources:

Placemats: purlbee
Potholders: 200 Crochet Blocks
Cowl and Sweater: Knitscene, Fall 2011 

crochet bootcamp

Halfway through crochet class, and here is my progress:

Crochet class has really turned into crochet bootcamp.  Tuesday, not kidding, I crocheted at class (10-12:30), then after running errands and and making dinner, I crocheted while the Ratatouille cooked, then at Home Depot, and then for two hours after we returned home.  When we went to bed I still wasn’t finished with the homework and had half an hour left of work in the morning.  So you can see why I didn’t post yesterday.  Today I had some free time in the afternoon so I finished early.  It got me thinking about what I’ll work on after the class is finished.  Here are my top four project ideas.  Thoughts or other ideas…

Beautiful Crocheted Hangers:

From Dottie Angel.

Crocheted Placements:

From Purlbee.

Another Potholder:

From a German website.  Thankfully someone translated it into English.

Peek-A-Boo Pillow:

From Knitting Loves Crochet.  Right now this is slightly too advanced, but perhaps in a few months.

weekly csa round-up

wk 6 share: radishes, arugula, carrots, sungold tomatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, green beans, zucchini, jalapeno, eggplant, corn, green peppers, herbs

It’s getting easier and easier to eat vegetables.  Of course this week, we had my mom’s help and then took some with us down to Connecticut when we visited friends.

Tuesday: Steak, Beet Salad (from my friend Mia), and green salad
veggies eaten: beets, lettuce, cucumber, green pepper, carrots

Thursday: Stuffed Green Peppers (from The New Best Recipe), Green Salad
 veggies eaten: green pepper,  tomato, lettuce, corn, green pepper
comment: in theory these sound really good, but this recipe was a little bland.

Saturday: Zucchini, Tomato, and Mozzarella Sandwiches (created by my friend TJ), Fish Tacos, Corn, Salsa (created by my friend Hannah)
veggies eaten: zucchini, tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, corn
comments: everything was delicious.  The sandwiches were grilled zucchini, with fresh sliced tomato, homemade pesto, mozzarella, balsamic vinegar, and toasted bread.  I really want to try to replicate this, especially for a weekend lunch.

Monday: Chicken, Potato Gruyere Gratin
veggies eaten: potatoes
comments: The potato gratin was great and fairly quick, but it was meant to go with this lamb dish, but our lamb went bad while we were out of town so we had to substitute chicken.

Recipe of the Week: TJ’s Zucchini and Tomato Sandwiches

my first trip to the machine quilter

Today was an exciting crafting day.  In the morning, I began my week-long crochet class at Webs yarn store (more on that tomorrow).  After the class, I took my finished quilt top and bottom to a machine quilter.  The machine quilter was incredible.  She took almost an hour with me picking out the batting, pattern, and thread color.  Above is the pattern I chose.  It will be in a thread color called ‘mint green’, although it looked more like a pale blue.  Now I’m playing the waiting game until the end of September when she plans to have my quilt finished, so it looks like the summer quilt will have to wait until Fall to be finished.