Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Recipe: In a (Non-Knitting) Slump

Back from Ottawa, where the quantity of snow was truly shocking. I grew up there and knew there would be more than here in Kingston, but wasn't prepared to be driving through Rockcliffe in single file between canyons of tall snowbanks. No inkling that spring might be just around the corner. It was a relief to arrive back home yesterday afternoon and see patches of grass.

First up, a big thank you for all the lovely things readers have written since Buttonbox was published a couple of days ago. I woke up to see the pattern as the third most viewed pattern on Ravelry and I'm quite frankly stunned. I apologize for not realizing that the numbers on the schematic for the back of neck measurements had accidentally been omitted. Hope to get that taken care of quickly.

I knitted up this waistcoat late last spring when I had just made the breakthrough of being able to spin usable yarn with a drop spindle. I wanted something a little tailored, but also rustic and feminine (can all those characteristics go together?) and I was going through a mild obsession with gansey patterns. It all came together rather quickly, as many successful designs do. Later in the summer, I knitted the version you see Isabel modelling out of BTs Shelter. It was a blistering hot day with practically gale-force winds coming off the lake.

As it turned out, the wind added life to the photos. If you're familiar with Kingston, you'll recognize the venue as Murney Tower, which is just a 2-minute walk from our front door.

The name of the design is a reference to this. The little boxes in the pattern stitch reminded me of these treasure-holding compartments.

One of my greatest regrets is that I don't know what ever came of my grandmother's buttonbox. As a child, I used to love to sift through it, discovering once a 19th-century button from the uniform of a Northwest Mounted Police officer (now the Mounties) and beautiful large glass buttons from the 1920s and 30s. 

Now, for the Friday recipe. 

Blueberry Slump (a Stovetop Recipe)

This is my emergency dessert of choice, especially in winter when frozen wild blueberries are plentiful and make a welcome change from apples and pears. Very handy when the oven is taken up with other cooking tasks, but you need a dessert. We have been known to eat this for breakfast.

1 quart of fresh or frozen blueberries—this is only a rough measurement
½ c water
½ c sugar

1 c unbleached flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 c milk or soymilk
2 tbsp canola oil

In a deep frying pan, mix together the blueberries, sugar, and water, and bring to a simmer. While the blueberries are heating, mix together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Drop the dough by spoonfuls all over the fruit mixture. Cover and cook for about 20 min.

Time for a bit of music practice. Concert tonight. 
P.S. Just bought train ticket for last weekend in April so I can get to the Toronto Frolic. Via Rail has a sale on, in case you're thinking of going!