Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Fun

yellow flowers

Not to rub it in or anything, but the flowers are lovely here and the weather is mild and sunny.


In honor of Spring Break and Easter, Kristen and I have been knitting Easter eggs. Well, she knit 2 and I knit one.


The pattern can be found here:

She also made home-baked bread. We will have Pumpkin Soup and home-baked bread for dinner tonight, and lamb chops tomorrow.



The bread recipe is from the Good Housekeeping Cookbook:

5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 pkg. yeast
1/2 cup milk

Combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Heat 1 1/2 cups water, milk, and 3 Tbsp. butter until very warm (120-130 degrees Butter does not need to melt.) With mixer at low speed, gradually pour liquid into dry ingredients. Increase speed to medium and beat 2 min. Beat in 3/4 cup flour to make thick batter. Beat 2 min. With spoon, stir in enough flour to make a soft dough.

Knead 10 min on floured surface. Place in greased bowl to rise till doubled. Punch down, cut in half cover with bowl for 15 min.

Grease 2 bread pans. On floured surface, roll out dough to 8 x 11", roll jelly-roll fashion and place in pans. Let rise till doubled.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush loaves with melted butter. Bake 25-30 min. till sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on wire racks.

And the Cream of Pumpkin Soup:

2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic.
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
4 cups (32 oz) chicken broth
pinch nutmeg, salt, (white) pepper
1 cup half and half cream
1/4 cup grated asiago or parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley or another herb (sage, rosemary, basil)

Saute onion and garlic in butter. Stir in other ingredients till hot and smooth. Add cream and cheese just before serving. Makes about 6 cups.

This soup is a fine backdrop for lovely homemade bread, with its mild creamy flavor. Kristen's bread was perfect, with a lovely texture.

Monday, March 10, 2008

baa baa birthday sheep

So I made this little guy out of a sock, using a pattern from a book called Sock and Glove, and then I made the cupcake out of a felted sweater. I knitted the top using a pattern from One Skein. And the candle was my own idea, made from i-cord. He was sent to cheer up Kristen in the gray gloom of Chicago's late winter, as she studies for finals. And apparently it worked, because she called me yesterday evening to say that she loves him.

Happy Birthday, Kristen!! (Or should that be Happy Baaathday?)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Watching Paint Dry

Knitting a sweater, even one that people say is fast and simple, is a long process for me. This afternoon I finally finished the back of my minimalist sweater and bound that off, and I started on the second front piece. I kind of re-arranged the order of knitting. After that wide back, this front feels fast and easy now.