Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Knitting and Reading

Happy Wednesday! It has been very  hot  for quite a while here and not much big knitting has happend. After knitting 6 bath mitts with leftover cotton yarn I picked up this project again. It is Pimpelliese a scarf/shawl. I am using a yarn I bought on Ebay a while ago because I liked the color. I have already knitted two shawls with it and there is still plenty left over. I think it is TLC Baby Sparkles in mint. As for reading - I am re-reading the first book in a series by Glenna McReynolds - 'Kelch und  Schwert' - in German. The books are pure Summer escape reading, romance, dragons and maidens, witches and wizards, knights and princes. All the good people are beautiful and the bad people are ugly and smell bad. ;-)

Take a look at Ginny's blog to see what everyone else is reading and knitting this week.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Farmer's Market

Just for the record - the cake dome in yesterday's post was empty. ;-)

We went to the farmer's market again this morning and it is really getting lively now. We ventured into the dry goods for the first time and bought popcorn and couscous. The popcorn was packaged but the couscous came out of a big bin and I used my own paper lunch sack to put it in instead of the plastic bags offered at the stall. We also bought a cantaloupe which is very good, blueberries, eggs, chicken thighs, peppers and dill.

During the summer months I don't ask Del what he would like for dinner, instead the question is "how would you like your zucchinis today?" ;-)
Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Morning

It was a lovely morning - except for the 6 brand new mosquito bites I woke up with. Darn thing must be in the bedroom, time to go hunting.

Homemade yogurt with peaches for breakfast. The first time I made yogurt with a culture instead of store bought yogurt for a starter, it came out great and tastes very good.

This morning's harvest. I confess to planting the beans a bit stupidly this year. I have to go hunting to find any in the jungle. Note to self: Next year plant beans in one row only. ;-) Have I mentioned that I am in love with my sweet little carrots? Will definitely buy more of these seeds.

An then, there was that. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Around the Garden

The first cucumbers.

Little tiny eggplants growing bigger every day.

A promise of future delights, the first tomatoes.

Zucchini blossoms.


My new herb garden.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

This and That

Just a few random thoughts.

Blogger does not let me upload pictures so my yarnalong contribution has to be postponed.

Today dawned a bit stress laden but got better. Del had his one year post-op check up and these always cause me a bit of anxiety. I try not to let the cancer dominate my life and thoughts but somehow it is always at the back of my mind and when these doctor appointments come around I get a bit stressed. But all is well, his PSA is as good as undetectable, the doctor is happy and so are we.

Miss K. is in one of her 'I don't want to eat cat food' phases again. She did however eat some cooked chicken. I always worry about her when she does not want to eat. We have switched her from the cat food she no longer wanted to an assortment of cat food of different brands and flavors and she has been eating well. I guess the heat does not help either. But other than that she is lively and does not seem to not be feeling well.

We managed to save over 400 KWh last month compared to last year, just by using the A/C for only short periods of time to cool the house down when it gets too warm. Unfortunately the savings in money were not quite corresponding since the price for electricity has gone up since last year.

With our last utilities bill came a pamphlet about our water. Yuck, is all I can say about that. We get city water and the pamphlet tells us where it comes from, how contaminated it is and what problems they had recently (something that they always tell us after the problem had been solved). I had noticed recently that our water filters for the water we drink only last for one month instead of two and that the water smells bad, especially in Summer. Now they tell us that they will add a mixture of chlorine and ammonia to the water for disinfection. The water is supposedly safe for cooking, drinking and bathing, but when you use it in your aquarium it will kill the fish, nice. So, from now on I will use filtered water for cooking as well. We were thinking about getting a faucet mounted filter, but that would be a bit of a waste since I don't need filtered water for cleaning and washing dishes and as quickly as the filters need to be replaced, it would put a little strain on the household budget.You'd think that with all of today's technology it should not be a problem to provide clean drinking water to a city in the USA, but ......

The weather is still brutally hot and last night we had a thunderstorm that did somedamage to my garden, but nothing too bad. We have started work on another section of our property to hopefully turn it into more veggie garden next year. I picked my first cucumbers today, now it is time to make some yogurt for some tzatziki to go with our grilled zucchini. It is that time of year now when we eat zucchini with every meal. :-) I also found a whopper of a zucchini that my sneaky plants were able to hide from me, that bad boy is going to become curry for tomorrow's dinner. I took a picture, but alas, blogger still is not cooperating. Sigh.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Bath Mitts

In an ongoing effort to whittle down my stash of leftovers I knitted a batch of new bath mitts for us.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Nice and quiet weekend with some gardening, some reading, some knitting, some cooking and baking and lots of rest. The forecast said we would reach 98, luckily it was wrong, it stayed around 80. Lucky us.

Blackberries hiding in lemon cupcakes.

Black cat hiding among the stuffed penguins.

Fresh veggies from the garden.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's all about the produce

Today we arrived at the farmer's market a little before 9 am and it was already buzzing. Lots of people and lots of good stuff to buy. Here is what we got: sweet onions, blackberries, blueberries, peaches and eggs.

We buy what we don't grow ourselves. I sewed up some produce bags for the stuff that is sold loose and I also keep my potatoes in their bag to protect them from the light.

 Here is what I picked from the garden this week.

And this is what I used some of it in, pizza loaded with fresh vegetables. I can't wait for my tomatoes to come in so I can have homemade tomato sauce on my pizzas.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cooking Kohlrabi

I cooked my first kohlrabi from the garden for my lunch yesterday, the way I had it when I was a child and which is still my favorite way to eat it (apart from raw). It turned out very good, nice and soft. Here is what I did.

Peel kohlrabi, cut away all the woody bits around the stem and where the leaves were. Then cut into small cubes and cook in salt water together with some peas until tender. Make a light roux with some butter and flour, use some of the cooking water to make a sauce. When the sauce is as thick as you like it, add the cooked vegetables. That's all. You can also omit the sauce part and just serve it with some butter or mashed.

Finished Things

Here are some of the knitting projects I finished recently as part of my stash busting efforts.
A simple shawl (free pattern from Caron) knit in garter stitch from corner to corner with an added crochet lace border. A nice quick project, knitted in re-purposed Simply Soft.

The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief. It has been finished for a while now I just never got around to take a picture. Also knit in Simply Soft (leftover from another project).

Lots of little slippers for the Pink Slipper Project. I used the yarn my friend Liz sent me all the way from England.

Knitting and Reading

Happy Wednesday! Hard to believe that we are already in the middle of June, although the weather has been more like August recently. Still too hot to knit anything big. I am still stash-busting and this week I am knitting bath mitts to replace some of ours that have become pretty much worn out. I am reading "O Pioneers!" by Willa Cather. I started it on Monday and I am almost finished. I like it although it centers more on the personal life of the characters and does not say very much about life as a pioneer in general.

Hop on over to Ginny's blog to see what everyone else is knitting and reading this week.
Have a wonderful second half of the week!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Liberty Belle Crash

In August 2009 we got to see her when she visited Winston-Salem and yesterday she crashed into a cornfield outside of Chicago. Nobody got hurt but she is gone. How very sad.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Homemade Tortillas

Edit in reply to comments: I used margarine since I keep neither lard nor shortening around.

Why did I not try this sooner? I used a recipe I found online that seemed easy enough and it was. I halved the recipe and got 8 good sized tortillas. They are not exactly round but so much better than the store bought ones. There flavor is so neutral it does not interfere with whatever you put into them and their texture is great too. They do not get brittle and don't get holes when you roll them. And they really are not that much work at all. One more thing to remove from my shopping list forever. ;-)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Farmer's Market and Food from the Garden

There is more and more stuff appearing at the market now and everything looks so good. We bought chicken breast (fajitas tomorrow, first try at homemade tortillas), blueberries, blackberries, eggs, potatoes and sweet onions. Miss Kitty just had to inspect the goodies.

I picked the last of the loose leaf lettuce, the rest of the beets, some peppers, carrots and peas and the first of the kohlrabi today. The first zucchinis are coming in and the birds are picking the rest of the raspberries.

With one of the potatoes and the smallest of the zucchini I made potato-zucchini fritters for lunch today with a bowl of green salad. They turned out pretty good, next time I will add a little grated onion.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Around the Garden

Today I am joining Farmama for a tour around the farm/garden. So, here we go.

Our garden is doing well this year. I planted beets and kohlrabi for the first time and they did well. I am going to harvest my first kohlrabi this weekend, I have already picked some of the beets.

I picked most of the lettuce already but there are still a few. The head forming variety was new this year, it looks like only one or two actually survived the rain and whatever it was that ate them.

The carrots did not get washed away after all and are now sweet and just right to be eaten raw as a snack.

The size of the zucchini plants this year amazes me. I spied a few squash bugs and I am fighting them with homemade soap and oil spray. So far, no damage.

Tomatoes are starting to show and tiny peppers. And the remaining raspberries are a favorite of the birds.
I am also picking the first peas. I eat most of them raw.

This is what my garden looks like in early June. Hope you enjoyed the tour.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Knitting and Reading

Time for another yarn along with Ginny.
This is the lace project I started last month. It is the Lilac Leaf Shawl from 'Knitted Lace of Estonia', the yarn is Paton's Lace in wood rose. I have not been knitting much on it the past few weeks because it is a trifle hot for knitting right now. We are now reading book four in the trilogy of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - So Long and Thanks for All the Fish.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Farmer's Market and Food from the Garden

We splurged a bit last weekend because of the holiday so this weekend we had to take it easy and stretch the budget a bit. We did not buy any meat at all, just eggs, peaches, potatoes, blueberries and yellow cherry tomatoes.

Our garden is doing so good this year. I did see the first squash bugs and immediately declared war on them. I mixed up a soap and oil spray and I am going after them whenever I see them. I also sprayed the bases of the zucchini plants and we picked off all the bugs we could find. The nasturtium I planted between the zucchinis is starting to bloom, I hope this will help too. Next year I have to plant the nasturtium way ahead of the zucchinis.