Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Changes in Peggotty's Corner

"Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations." - Faith Baldwin

I started this blog two years ago, at the end of my first tiring and fruitless job search after college. Since then, it has been a much-needed creative outlet as well as a huge blessing during years of waiting and working a part-time job. Now, my life is about to change.

image credit: Soul Affairs

I'm taking a full-time job at the end of the summer in another state far from home. Consequently, my ability to post here will be limited - I hope to continue blogging on a fairly regular basis about cooking, since I'll be doing that for myself, but I have a feeling that my knitting progress will slow down quite a bit.

So, to my dear readers, please continue to keep an eye on the Corner, but don't be surprised if it slows down a bit. Here's to ongoing creativity!

"Of all the money that e'er I spent, I spent it in good company/
  and all the harm that e'er I've done, alas, it was to none but me.
 And all I've done for want of wit, to mem'ry now I can't recall/
 so fill to me the parting glass, goodnight and joy be to you all.

Of all the comrades that e'er I've had, they're sorry for my going away/
  and all the sweethearts that e'er I had, they'd wish me one more day to stay.
But since it fell unto my lot, that I should rise and you should not,
I'll gently rise and softly call, goodnight and joy be to you all." - "The Parting Glass," Irish Folk Song

The Parting Glass by Waking Ned Devine on Grooveshark

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summertime in the Kitchen

"There shall be an eternal summer in the grateful heart." - Celia Thaxter

Now I will take a brief break from knitting to post about recipes. I recently came across a handful that I look forward to making sometime this summer.

First is this recipe for Chocolate Swirl Buns:

image credit: Smitten Kitchen

They're like cinnamon buns, but with chocolate. Oh, yes please.

Next are these Broccoli Parmesan Fritters:

image credit: Smitten Kitchen

I love broccoli (both the top and the bottom. Yes, I'm nutty. Or a rabbit), and can't wait to try this one.

Finally, this recipe for Kale Chips looks remarkably good:

image credit: Rawmazing

I recently tried a mass-produced, boxed version of these chips, and loved them, but they are too expensive to buy regularly. So, I am going to experiment with this recipe and see how they come out.

Bon Appetit!

Shipwreck Shawl 2: the Rivendell Edition

"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. " - "The Lord of the Rings," J.R.R. Tolkien

This is one of the top-secret projects that has been in the under-cover needles-n'-yarn bag of late. I made a second Shipwreck shawl for my aunt, but aside from the design and name, there is very little about this shawl that is nautical.

I used the "Eidos" yarn from the Verdant Gryphon in the colorway "Apollodorus." It's a beautiful, muted blend of browns, blues and greens.

click on the photos to enlarge them

I used gold-colored glass seed beads on the net section.

The gold beads on the woodland-colored yarn makes me think of Elf lights in the middle of a forest. Hence the Lord of the Rings theme to this post.

I only knitted one set of leaves in the "Madeira" section instead of two like the original pattern outlines. I think it adds well to the Elfin theme.

the shawl, under construction

I love this shawl, and it goes very well with my aunt's coloring. She loves it too, and hopes to hand it down to her children eventually.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dreams of my Knitting Needles

"A goal is a dream with a deadline." - Napoleon Hill

Even though my needles n' yarn bag is currently undercover, I'm going to do a post about the projects that are filling up my Ravelry queue, waiting and begging for time and wherewithal to become reality.

First is the Kate Middleton shawl:

image credit: Coats & Clark

This pattern is based on a kind of shawl/poncho that Princess Kate wore while grocery shopping a few days after marrying Prince William:

image credit: Bruce Adams/Daily Mail

I have a gorgeous green yarn from the Verdant Gryphon that I want to use for it called "Smuggler's Notch":

Next is the Rose Window Beret:

I'm hoping to have enough yarn left over from one of my top secret projects to make this. Maybe add a few beads too.

Also on the list is the Cable Panel Shawl:

image credit: Vogue Knitting

I'm hoping to make this with a white-gray yarn that is also from Verdant Gryphon.

Until the top-secret projects (and a few other projects that have been on the back-burners for quite a while now) get finished, my knitting needles will just have to keep on dreaming.

To be continued...

Friday, June 1, 2012

Tea Sandwiches and Secret Stitching

"Hors D'oeuvre; a ham sandwich cut into forty pieces." - Jack Benny

Normally I would be writing a knitting update post by this time. However, the handful of knitting projects that I currently have in progress are all top secret. So, consider this my knitting update: the needles n' yarn bag has gone under cover, and individual posts on the projects will be forthcoming as things get finished.

And now, I will write about my favorite tea sandwich recipes.

photo by A.Ealey

Paris has been a major theme for me this month - it keeps coming up from different angles. I visited there several years ago in May, and it really is the best time of year to go. The above photo is one I took of a sidewalk flower shop on the Avenue de Suffren.One of the things I loved most about Paris was the sidewalk cafes. They really are the best places to spend an entire day - wait for beautiful weather, take a book, knitting, journal or some combination of all three and you'll be hooked.

While none of these recipes are French in origin, they are excellent to make for a tea party, or to nibble while sitting outside on your patio or in your garden with a pot of tea.

Egg Salad and Asparagus
  • Egg salad (a bland, straightforward recipe is best)
  • Asparagus, cut, washed, and steamed
  • Pumpernickel bread
  • Celery salt
  • butter
Make your favorite type of egg salad. Toast the desired number of slices of bread, and spread with butter. Spread with egg salad, then sprinkle with celery salt (not too much). Cut the asparagus into 2 inch long pieces, then slice each piece in half. Lay four slices of asparagus on each piece of bread, and cut in half. Repeat for as many as you need (1 piece of bread makes two sandwiches).

Citrus Turkey
  • 1 lbs. cooked turkey, sliced thin
  • French baguette
  • mayonnaise
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 can of either pineapple tidbits or mandarin orange segments
 Slice the baguette width-wise into ovals about 1 inch thick. In a small bowl, mix about 1 cup of mayonnaise (I recommend Hellmann's) with 1 teaspoon each of lemon and orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon each of orange and lemon juices. Stir until combined, and add more juice as needed to taste.
Spread each slice of bread with a thin layer of the mayonnaise mixture. Top with a piece or two of turkey, then spoon a dollop of the mayo on top. Place either 1 mandarin orange segment, or two pineapple tidbits in the mayo. Repeat for as many as needed.

Deviled Ham and Cheese Double Decker
  • Thin-sliced bread (I recommend Pepperidge Farm's Very Thin brand)
  • 1-3 cans of deviled ham (depending on how many sandwiches you need)
  • Honey mustard (either your favorite brand, or make some with honey and French's mustard)
  • Kraft Olde English cheese spread
Mix the deviled ham and honey mustard in a bowl for as much as needed. Take three pieces of bread. On one piece, spread a thin-to-medium layer of the cheese. Lay another piece of bread on top. Spread a thin-to-medium layer of the deviled ham on top of this cheese sandwich, and top with a third piece of bread. Cut the double-decker sandwich in half. Repeat for as many as needed.

Bon Appetit!