Saturday, September 15, 2007

Vegetable Love

A friend from New York was visiting this week. He and Mike went camping all week, while I was in class (Boo) but when they came back and I was done with class for the week, we went to Sauvie Island to pick vegetables for dinner.

Caleb and Mike are both excellent cooks- Caleb is starting culinary school sometime soon- and it was the first time Caleb actually went to the farm to pick his own dinner, so he was especially inspired to make something scrumptious.

We ended up with boatloads of delicious veggies (including strawberries! In September! Who knew?) and Caleb went to town in our little kitchen. He did two types of baked acorn squash (chili-spicy and brown-sugary), pan seared red peppers and onions, and delicious green beans with mustard seeds and toasted almonds. It doesn't look very appetizing here, mostly due to my totally lame photographic skills, but I promise, it was the essence of delicious. It is the most wonderful thing in the world to go from field to dinner in less than four hours. At 5 pm these veggies were still eating from their mamas, and at 8 pm, they were giving each other high fives in our mouths (Caleb's metaphors). Incredible.

While dinner was focused solely on fall - acorn squash and pumpkin beer- we leaped back to early summer with dessert. Amidst Caleb's frenzy in the kitchen, I whipped up my Grandmother's strawberry shortcake. It's just a simple baking powder biscuit, but it's so flaky, so light... I can never eat strawberry shortcake with angel food's cake or whatever other people serve it with. For me, it's Grandma's biscuits or nothing. Strawberries in September! Amazing.

Today, we took Caleb to the airport and drove around northeast Portland, looking for yarn stores until Ikea opened. We needed some cushions for the incredibly uncomfortable futon in our living room. And those you just can't get on Craig's List.

We're going to a wedding next weekend and I've been planning to make the Ribbed Lace Bolero to wear over my dress since this summer! The wedding is in LA, so it's probably not going to get too cold, so I'm wearing a fun summer dress and these little silver heels I've got, and I had a dream of the bolero in a light, silvery cotton yarn. I went to (the awesome and amazing) Yarn Garden shop in SE Portland, but couldn't find the right yarn. I had to go to Jo-Ann's to get the cheap (and oh-so-wonderfully soft) Lion Brand Microspun. (I know, I know- I'm a bad knitter. I tried to buy from the LYS, I really did. We went to 3 yarn stores before we found one that was open. But if you don't stock the right color yarn, I just can't help you.)

I've never seen this particular strain of Lion Brand, and even with the ridiculous splitting action, I have to admit to liking it. The designer of the bolero used Lion Bran Cotton Ease, which I'm convinced only exists in other people's blogs, because I've never seen it in a store, and when I've looked for it online, I get told that it's been discontinued. Is it just me? Anyway, Cotton Ease is worsted weight and Micro Spun is sport weight, so I dropped to size 7 needles for the ribbing, but I'm going to go ahead and to the lace part on 10s anyways. Mostly because I don't own any 9s, which would be the logical size to use.

The photo is of my swatch for this sweater. Yes, that is my entire swatch. I really hate swatching. All I can think when I'm doing it is, "I could be knitting something for REAL!" So I tend to do as little as possible to measure the fabric, and then rip it right out to cast on for the project. This here was 20 stitches over about 5 rows. So far, though, I've managed not to make any completely egregious gauge mistakes. I also haven not actually knit that many things from actual patterns in which gauge, like, matters.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

You never liked the acorn squash as a kid - glad you have branched into all sorts of foods. Grandma's Shortcake is just so wonderful - and easy to whip out. But fresh from the garden strawberries in September - how scrumptious! compare that to here - we had our first frost warning last night and I am putting up my raspberry covers today! That Lace Bolero is really cute and should fancy up your dress for the wedding.
-- Mom