Monday, July 30, 2007

One Local Summer #5

For our fifth meal of One Local Summer, we had some friends over for gazpacho... we bought while in Pennsylvania one weekend...

...homemade pumpernickel with sour cherries...

...and blueberry-peach crisp for dessert.

The gazpacho was a mix of cukes and lemon verbena from the garden, tomatoes and peppers from our CSA, and garlic scapes from the farmer's market. It had a little nonlocal olive oil and cider vinegar in it, too, along with salt and pepper.

The bread, made with nonlocal wheat flour as well as nonlocal yeast and cocoa powder and molasses, had local rye in it.

Both fruits in the crisp were from the farmer's market, as was the sweetener (maple sugar)--but the oats were not local.

Lovely weather, wonderful friends, and way way way too many mosquitoes!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

University of Michigan Scarf

A gift for our neighbor, about to begin her freshman year:

David, Son, and I all knitted on it. Using Malabrigo yarn, we cast on more than two hundred stitches on a size 10 1/2 needle with an extremely long cord. Knitting in seed stitch, we changed colors every third row.

A great family project!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

One Local Summer #4

For our fourth meal of One Local Summer, we staged a dinner on the grill.

The center were burgers made of ground beef from our dairy co-op formed into patties with zucchini and chard from our garden. I added an egg to help the mixture hold together well, but I don't know if it was necessary. We served the burgers on buns made by a local bakery with tomatoes from our CSA.

Along with the burgers we had farmer's market corn grilled for about 20 minutes then shucked and gobbled down...

...zucchini and yellow squash grilled in wedges, and cukes marinated in cider vinegar (one of my Granny's favorite sides).

To drink we made mojitos with non-local rum and lime juice, mint from the garden, and local maple sugar. Tasty!

And dessert? Our favorite: simple grilled peaches (from the farmer's market).

Just as we finished eating, the rain began after an absolutely gorgeous evening. We quickly took in our plates and grabbed the laundry drying on the line, running in with our mojito-infused laughter.

Friday, July 20, 2007

From the Garden



Beans, not green:

Squash, to be picked maybe Sunday?:

Sunday, July 15, 2007

One Local Summer #3

Summer Supper

It has been too hot to contemplate eating much of anything--much less cooking an elaborate meal. All that seems appealing some days is salad. Today, though, we managed to have a low-heat culinary adventure: making goat cheese!

After reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, we were inspired to try out a lot of traditional processing--from planting a larger garden, to renewed commitment to canning, to dehydrating, and to cheesemaking.

On her advice we checked out Home Cheese Making and got to work. First we tried mysost, a Norwegian whey cheese--which turned out extremely well. Watching the last episode of Frontier House sold us on trying goat cheese next.

The process is amazingly simple. Heat the milk slightly, add the cultures from the little cultures pack (or you can even use vinegar or lemon juice!), and let it sit overnight. Drain. Season and eat. Really--it is that easy. And the results? Awfully tasty.

For this week's supper in honor of One Local Summer, we ate our own goat cheese (made from local goat's milk), mixed with a pinch of salt and a lot of chives from our garden. We spread it on top of non-local French bread along with garden cucumbers. Cool and delicious!

We finished the meal with clafouti using Julia Child's basic recipe but replacing the sugar with local maple sugar bought at our farmer's market and the wheat flour with locally-milled rye flour sold at our food co-op. The milk and eggs came from our dairy provider and the cherries from the farmer's market.

Next experiment: making mozzarella!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Due to an intense period of work and then a complete shutdown as I recovered from that work, blogging and even knitting have taken a bit of a back seat.

The hemp lace is progressing, albeit slowly. After only a few rows, my hands are spent and ready for a change.

Mystery Shawl 3 got some attention in the middle of the night when I could not sleep--and the next day, I had to spend at least as much time trying to fix my mistakes. I tried dropping down several rows and reknitting just a section, but I got quite tangled.

Eventually I wound up tinking back about 10 rows and starting afresh.

I also just cast on for another project, a two-color surprise for a babysitter/neighbor about to go to college. David and I are working together on this one and hope to have it ready for the camera soon.

A couple of exciting tiny projects won't be getting any screen time for a while, but I do hope to share them with you eventually. I'm producing a couple of items to be incorporated into my friend's Big Project. Very exciting--and almost all is stuff made with luxury yarns to boot! (On the swift? Tilli Tomas in a lovely pale pink-and-green variegation!)

* * *

Last night I had the opportunity to do some stitching and bitching face to face with a couple of women I'd never actually met before but who feel like old friends. Details coming soon!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

For David:

And be sure to check out The Little Giant for the original posting of this one:

We had so much fun making these videos!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

One Local Summer #2

For this week's meal in honor of One Local Summer, we made Garden Crustless Quiche.

The custard was made from goat's milk and eggs from our Amish dairy provider. For the filling, we went really local: it was all from our garden. We picked the last of the broccoli, the first of the squash, some dinosaur kale, some rainbow chard, and lots of parsley. On the side we served a lettuce and cucumber salad with a little minced lemon verbena, all picked minutes before eating.

For dessert...

...we had honey ice cream made at the dairy (with only their own milk, own eggs, some local honey, and a pinch of non-local salt and vanilla), served with fresh spearmint-and-lemon balm herbal tea.

There is something awfully special about eating food you have grown yourself. Now, if only Takoma Park would let us keep chickens and a goat in our postage-stamp backyard!

* * *

You may remember that last week I copied Liz's One Local Summer meal after having my own kitchen mishap. This week, I had not even seen her post when I put this meal together. Obviously, great minds think alike!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Silk Adamas

Off the blocking wires:

Adamas Shawl by the incomparable Miriam Felton, knitted with Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Silk in the subtly-variegated "Ink" colorway, made with size 3 needles.

I plan to wear this when my book is released!

This is my second Adamas, and I enjoyed it just as much as the first. From the beginning, the pattern clicked in my mind enough that I could do it without much thought. But it is never boring to knit. The look of the stitches is orderly and rigorous rather than romantic or overly ornate--which definitely suits my style. I can imagine knitting this shawl yet again at some point....

Monday, July 02, 2007

Impatient and Undisciplined

After finishing the first clue of the Mystery Stole, I was somewhere between disappointed and honestly relieved. Knitting it is an absolute blast, but I was a little too, um, obsessed focussed....

And I have several unfinished objects I should work on, as well as a shawl to block and some spinning to finish. Having a little respite from the new shawl promised me a few days to go back to these.

And then there is the book proofs that arrived in the mail a few days ago that we've been checking and starting to index. (YIKES-- what an intense job!) Not mooning over a new project might be a really good thing.


I am weak.

The UFOs all have thick wool and lots of sweater in my lap. Not right for the season.

And anyway, I am too stressed about the index to be without lace, my drug of choice, to help me through. I cast on a Forest Canopy Shawl with some hemp lace-weight yarn I bought at Maryland Sheep and Wool this spring. I knit while looking up citations, making sure interviewees who want to be anonymous are anonymous, and chasing down obscure grammar rules for the book.

I love the easy-but-not-mindless pattern. Knitting with hemp is a lot like knitting with linen: hard on the hands because of both its roughness and its lack of stretch, but also cool and crisp in the heat of the summer.

Bad knitter! Bad knitter!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

One Local Summer #1

In honor of Pocket Farm's One Local Summer as well as the beginning of Crunchy Chicken's Local Food Month, may I present a local meal:

Using an adaptation of Barbara Kingsolver's recipe, we made pizza dough with whole wheat flour (not local) and rye flour (local, according to our co-op).

We topped it with local mushrooms from the co-op, tomatoes from the farmer's market, along with the most amazing feta cheese spiked with herbes de Provence. We sprinkled the whole thing with basil and lemon verbena from the pots on our deck.

We added to our plates a salad of farmer's market arugula salad topped with CSA radishes. Delish!

Let me admit that Liz's post about her own local meal helped us overcome what was an unexpected change of menu. After we spent the morning stewing chicken carcass to make stock, I drained it into a bowl in the sink. Thinking that the still-cooling bowl was the full-of-water dirty bowl he had used to make the morning's gorgeous whole-wheat blueberry pancakes, David unknowingly dumped out the liquid and cleaned the bowl. Just this once, sparkling-clean dishes in the drainer was not the ultimate source of domestic bliss...!


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