Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bits and Pieces (and Swamp Sludge)

I'm working on something for publication that I can't show on the blog, so in the meantime here's what's going on:

1. Waffle pattern socks are in the works. One finished, the second begun.

I don't expend mental energy on socks. I know a lot of knitters LOVE exploring all sorts of esoteric and convoluted techniques in sock design, but I'm not one of them. Others can do it better and have fun with it; not me. I use sock knitting as a soothing activity for when I don't want to think/ need to pass the time/ need something small to carry around in my bag. My favourite sock recipes come from this.

2. I'm about to spend a weekend with Lucy Neatby, learning a whole bunch of techniques (I hope) at workshops organized by Janie H. Knits in Perth, ON. My fear is that so much will be covered that either my brain will explode or it will all go in one ear and out the other. I've been preparing my homework swatches diligently this morning.

3. I'm leaving a batch of our favourite split pea soup for the family. Here's the recipe. Perfect for fighting the November chill.
   2 c. split peas, rinsed
   6 c. water, just off the boil
   1 c. diced carrots
   1 c. sliced celery
   1 medium onion, chopped
   2 cloves garlic, minced
   1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
   1/2 tsp. dried basil
   1/4 tsp. cumin
   3/4 tsp. salt
   1/4 tsp. pepper
Place all ingredients except for salt and pepper in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on "high" for about 6 hours. Add salt and pepper near the end. Some cooks say that adding salt to legumes before they are tender inhibits their breaking down. I don't know if this is true, but why take a chance?
If you keep the leftovers, the soup will thicken as it cools into something resembling swamp sludge (or the famous "pease porridge cold"). Resist the temptation to thin it out until it's been fully reheated. It's impossible to judge how much extra water will be needed until then.

4. Real life intrudes: our neighbourhood is inundated with national media trucks as the Shafia honour killing trial continues around the corner at the Frontenac County courthouse.

5. Ending on a positive note, the last geranium of summer is (unbelievably) still blooming on our third floor deck.

Have a happy weekend, stay warm, and get going on those holiday gifts.