Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Now more than ever, Val and I are realising the sentimental factors to certain recipes and foods. Especially with "The Holiday Season" in full swing.

Mom looooooved cranberry sauce so much we made two different kinds every year. I have to say it's grown on me. I cant decide if its because of the nostalgia, the fact that by eating it I justify making it, or that my "tastes are maturing."

It was a holiday dish that we could help my mom with as kids. Separating good cranberries from bad, shoving them down into the grinder, and stir stir stirring!

The most traditional is the Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce, which is cooked on stove top. This recipe can still be found on the back of the Ocean Spray Bag.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 12-ounce package Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, rinsed and drained


Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time. Makes 2 1/4 cups.

The second is a Cranberry Relish that we make with the KitchenAid grinder attachment. Why? Because that's how we've always done it and also....because we can. (One might be able to use a food processor as well. This recipe also used to be on the back of the bag, but is no longer.

Ingredients: 2 cups washed raw cranberries, 2 cored and chunked apples, 1 large whole (peel on) seedless orange, cut into sections, 1-2 cups granulated sugar.

Directions: Grind, mash, process. Mix in sugar. Keep at room temperature until sugar dissolves. Store in fridge. Hard huh?

Val shows off the finished product! We made a big batch.

Take a close look.

I love these colors. The perfect hand dyed yarn color combo. Someday I will make yarn in these colors (maybe a little less orange) and I will call whatever I make from it "Cranberry Relish."

Monday, November 29, 2010

What one might find in their garage...to be thankful for.

In the midst of high stress and emotions, Val and I have been constantly trying to remember that when it all comes down to it, we're thankful that we have the chance to go through all of my mom's things even if it is a lot of work and we're not keeping it all.
 These corn husk dolls seemed to be a symbol of the season for me. First, because it's fall and harvest time. Second, because they were my mom's when she was a young girl. I found them in the garage in a box with some fantastic doll items (spinning wheels, cast iron cookware, fantastic wooden furniture.) I recognized them to be from Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. Mom loved to go there on vacations to see her family, and was able to share it with us on one of our trips out that way. We learned crafting projects of our own while there.
While I'm not sure that either of these were made by my mom, they help us to recall memories and things we have to be thankful for be it corn or "stuff."


to curling up under flannel sheets tonight.
Only two things could make it better. The first, if Luke was here, or the sheets and I were there. The second, if I didn't have to wake up for work in the morning.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Postcard Posers...or not.

On the 13th and 14th of November we (Me, Valerie, Laura, Mark, Cindy, Cheri, Dad) went to San Francisco to watch Beach Blanket Babylon in honor of Valeries birthday.
Right before the show, we had some time to kill so Val, Laura and I hiked up to Coit tower. Believe me when I say that its a hike people. Right up the side of a mountain.
Me and Laura In front of the Golden Gate Bridge. (Its there. You can just barely see it between that shadow of a mountain and the tall city buildings.
Val sent the picture below to "the grown ups" to prove that we really did go on an adventure. They thought we took a picture of a post card. Go figure.
We (Val, Laura, Me) were walking back from Coit Tower 3 people across the sidewalk. I was on the street side and I just walked right under the sign. We thought it was funny that I was short enough to do so.
 The next day we were shopping while "the grown ups" went to the opera. I saw all of these old Singers in the window and of course we had to go in.
 It was a clothing store but check out this wall covered in giant industrial empty spools.
 Here are the sewing machines from the inside at the front end of the store.
Other fun sightings: Knit Grafitti (picture on my dad's camera)
Fun Food: The Stinking Rose (garlic, Garlic, GARLIC!!!) and Ghirardelli Hot Fudge Sundays!
Too fun! What a good weekend in San Francisco!

Monday, November 22, 2010

What one might find in their garage.... (2nd edition)

3 inch high (maybe 4 at the time of purchase) platform Flip Flops
Modeled by Valerie
Purchased by both of us in Jr High (maybe early High School) years.
We thought they were the best. Both pairs have since been discarded.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's What's For Dinner

My sister asked me to show her our mom's way of making Beef Stroganoff the other day. We made it today and it was our first meal in the apartment. She showed me how to make artichokes. (Boil 'em to death. We like em done done.)

It was fun cooking this together. Our mom never used a recipe for this one. It's one of my favorites and so I specifically asked her to show me how to make it. Now I'm glad I did. In my young adulthood I would cook it for my mom if SHE wanted comfort food and she would cook it for me if I was wanting some home cooking. It always tasted better to us if the other made it. Mom preferred to serve it over white rice, but I always requested it over noodles. She typically used egg noodles but we had some others leftover so we used those.

These are the general steps as processed by Val and me while we were eating:

-Put a little olive oil in a pan at Med High heat.
-Add 2/3 a chopped onion and 2 cloves chopped garlic.
-Add and brown one package (more meat for Luke, less meat for sisters) of stew beef cut into bite size pieces. Salt and Pepper. (Add mushrooms at this point if you want them.)
-Continue to cook until the water is evaporated. (If there's water moisture you'll get dumplings when you add the flour/thickener)
-Once you're down to browning "fat" in the pan add about 2 tbsp. of flour to the mixture. Stir until the flour is no longer white.
-Turn down heat
-Add 2/3 container sour cream. When well blended add milk so sauce is 1/2 frying pan full. Stir well.
-Add a juice glass full of water.
-Turn to low to simmer for a while.
-Add Worcestershire Sauce, beef base, and salt to taste.
-Lengthy cooking and the sour cream should help to tenderize the tougher stew meat. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Funny Friday-Scott Z and Tyler P

Both went to high school with Luke in Oregon. Neither were actually at the wedding. Somehow they ended up making comics for us. Tyler P's is particualrly funny becaue he makes use of my past with World of Warcraft. My suspcions? Jacob, Craig and Kyle. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What one might find in their garage...

1 yikes bikes eyelash yarn caterpillar crocheted scarf and 3 fanny packs.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bitter Break Up

My sister and I have been cleaning out the garage and moving out of my dad's house and into our apartment. In conversations with Luke and Val I have come to realise this situation has all the hallmarks of a bitter breakup. (The kind where you still try to be friends after?)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Funny Friday- Mark Party Crasher

Mark Party Crasher. That's all it said on the back. I have two gueses though since this crasher knew about my special interest in things that come in every color. Guess one: My Uncle Mark (who I hear reads my blog and doesn't comment) Guess Two: My new Brother-in-Law Mark who I dont think reads my blog but knows about my infatuation. So Mark Party Crasher....if you're reading this take credit where credit taking is due! These are funny!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What are you knitting now?

Thats what Charlotte and Levi asked me on Monday at Monday Night Football dinner! Can I just say it warmed my heart that they knew I was knitting!!!
It also warmed my heart to see these pictures of the two of them in the hats their Grandma (find her blog here) bought for them!
 Levi with his bulky dino hat and Charlotte with her hat made to match her American Girl Doll's Hat!

Here's Charlotte's doll's hat.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hootin' Roarin' Good Time

over at Two Adults and One Brown Baby (and her now big brother!) Two hats went to live with these cute kids:
and Iris!
Though I was informed by K in the most classic K wording that: "The picture of Iris should come with the caveat, though, regarding her fairly pissy looking face and that is that it was near bedtime when I shoved the precious owl on her melon. : )"

Now you know why I'm one of her loyal readers. I kid you not every time I read that I chuckle.

Happy hat wearing and thanks for sending pictures!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Serendipity at Starbucks

Last Saturday I went to knit with my cousins Tanya and Kim at Starbucks. I started a baby hat since I seem to know tons of people having babies these days. I made a newborn version of the hat but the whole time we were not quite sure if it would actually fit a child. They get big so fast its hard to imagine their heads actually being that small.
It was just our luck though that a family came in with their new baby boy. We asked if we could just sort of look compare the hat to the babies head and explained our dilemma. They told us they had wished they had a small enough hat when he was born because all that fit him were the hospital hats. Done deal! If the hat's gonna fit,
I can make another!

Just enough yarn! Aren't they fun!
The hat pattern is called Serendipity and can be found on Ravelry.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Try Not To Cry

I used to love me a good chick flick. A cry fest if you will. I vividly remember going to see A Walk to Remember with my friends multiple times. This was partially because of Shane West, and partially because the scene where his character can't help but cry could guarantee a handful of tears.
However, I have, in the last two years or so, come to dislike crying in a strong way. Not because I never feel like I could use a nice unloading session. I get that feeling on a regular basis.
I avoid crying because when I cry, my nose gets stuffy. When my nose gets stuffy the sinus pressure transfers to my ears and they start to hurt bad. And then my head feels like its going to explode. Then I have to get control just to make the pressure in my head go away and it takes me 2 hours to be feeling at all like I can even speak in a non congested voice. It's physically a lot of work. There's not really a relief of emotion.

This may in fact be part of why I seem to be avoiding issues, why sometimes I disappear or seem to zone from a conversation. Must avoid a catalyst.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Funny Friday- Debbie

Debbie is and has been one of my honorary moms. From being the camp nurse pulling out splinters (and storing our candy) to telling us TMI as she drove us to school shes been there for longer than I can remember! Extra info: Debbie is Emilie's mom and has ALSO been to Forks, WA for the Twilight tour. Jealous x 2!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vesty Shrug

Some of you may remember this shrug that I made for my sister:
It was a hit with knitters are the quilting retreat! After speaking with Joanna Popiel of Colorado Springs she agreed that I could post the pattern and put it in Ravelry so that her name could be famously associated with this great pattern!

Sooooo....(drum roll please!) here it is!!!

Vesty Shrug (in the round)
5 skeins Donegal Chunky Tweed

#11 – 32” circular needle

Cast on 240 sts (place ring marker at beginning of row and at stitch 120)

*K2, P2* in round for 8”

Decrease Row: *K2tog, P2tog* for 1 row (120 stitches)

*K1, P1* for 1 row

{Put 60 sts on stitch holder or waste yarn}

Working on half of stitches – (60) *K1, P1* for 16” - (from cast on edge = 24”)

Bind Off

Bring stitches in alignment (i.e. 60 stitches from stitch holder(s) and 60 stitches from circular needle)

Using a 3 needle bind off
Bind off 60sts

Secure tightly

If you are tall or want a longer back, add ‘inches’ (i.e. 2”, 3” etc) when “Working on Half stitches” (i.e. instead of 16” increase to 18” [or more])

If you need more ‘inches’ around body, increase circular inches (i.e. instead of 8” increase to 10” [or more])

Truly, it's as simple as that! Once again many thanks to JoAnna Popiel for sharing her wonderful pattern!