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Sunday, July 05, 2020

Menu Plan: July 5 - 11


Our town still put on their fireworks, just not the community party and concert that usually happened before, and people were not allowed to be out in the main park to watch, unless they were in the parking lot in their cars. We went to our normal spot, at a postage stamp sized park that most people ignore, that is uphill from the lake where we could watch and enjoy.

We have another restricted birthday this week. I'm trying hard not to be resentful. Also, we have a family memorial that had to be postponed because of all that is going on in this world and the rules imposed by governments. We are choosing to celebrate this week with tons of pie and cake. That seems fitting.


What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.


Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Saturday, July 04, 2020

Recipe Round Up: Hummus and Fattoush



Hummus


My hummus recipe is a guideline. I really to it to texture and taste, but this is the basic outline of how I make mine. I make a ton at a time and usually make it from about a pound of dried garbanzos, but I have scaled this back to just a half ton for you. It stores forever, so make this amount.

Making hummus from dried garbanzos that you cook up and peel the outer skins off of first is the best, but a pain (if you want to peel them, you just pop the little bean out of the skins with your thumb and index finger). I have my kids do all the peeling. However, cooking them with a little baking soda in the water seems to soften the skins well enough. You can also make it from canned. Since we have an electric counter top pressure cooker, I soak the beans, and then cook them at high pressure with salt for about 5 minutes. You can cook them from dry, but it takes longer, uses more heat/electricity, and I prefer the texture when they are soaked.

So, now you get my hummus rant. Store bought hummus is universally vile. Every time I buy it, because it was a really good price, and it's a quick snack, I regret it. Then, I doctor it up to try to make it better, and that improves it, but it still isn't as good as homemade, and I might as well have made it myself. Hummus means garbanzo bean (chick pea). Black bean hummus is an oxymoron. It is bean dip. I will need my smelling salts if you talk to me about chocolate hummus or any other such abomination. Dairy products don’t belong in there (maybe a drizzle of yogurt on top if you are gilding the lily). Making it with any other legume is no longer hummus, by definition. That would be like making mashed potatoes, only you used carrots. It might be delicious, but it’s not the same thing.

So, canon for hummus includes:

garbanzo beans
tahina
water
lemon juice
salt
pepper
paprika for the top
olive oil for the top

Frequently found in it:
garlic
olive oil in the mixture

Optional, but acceptable:
cumin
roasted peppers
chile peppers
toppings such as pine nuts, seasoned cooked ground lamb or beef, parsley, chopped tomatoes and onions


8 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cups cooked garbanzos (outer skins peeled off for best texture), save a few whole beans for garnish, also save some of the liquid from the pot or the can - the cooking liquid is crucial to the recipe and texture
2 - 3 tablespoons ground cumin (or more, if you like it)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper (fresh is best, but whatever you like, you can use white pepper if the black bits bother you)
3/4 - 1 cup tahina (sesame paste - you can actually make your own by grinding sesame seeds with a little salt until it becomes paste)
juice of 2 - 3 large lemons (remove the seeds, but the pulp is fine)
1/2 cup good olive oil + more for garnish
paprika for garnish (regular paprika, not smoked)
finely chopped parsley for garnish, optional

Traditionally you would use something like a mortar and pestle, but I use my food processor. I put the garlic in first, and pulse it to make it tiny, then add the garbanzo beans and puree the living daylights out of it. I add the cumin, salt and pepper, the tahina and puree some more. Add the lemon juice and olive oil, and puree more. Add some of the bean liquid and puree some more. The bean liquid is really the secret.

Then I taste it and add more tahina or olive oil or lemon juice or cumin or salt or pepper and keep at it until it tastes right. Really, I do this mostly by eye, experience and taste. When it is smooth and tastes good, spread it in a shallow dish with a rim, place the extra beans on it artfully, sprinkle with the paprika and, if you want it, the parsley, drizzle with excellent olive oil so it is drippy with it and serve with Arabic bread.

If you want to be fancy, you can cook up some muffroom (a mixture of cooked ground beef or lamb, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, garlic, onions, and add some chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts to it and serve that on top, and now you have a meat dinner).




Fattoush


Fattoush is the Arab answer to bread salad. What do you do with leftover stale khoubz? Well, actually, I don't know, because I have to hide it from the kids to make sure I have leftovers. I was only able to snag four loaves, and this really could have used about six.


6 loaves leftover, stale Khoubz Araby (or set some aside when you make it and toast it over a low temperature until it is crisp)

Salad:
4 - 5 hearts romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
6 Middle Eastern/Persian cucumbers, diced (if you use regular cucumbers, you may wish to peel, or peel and seed them)
6 bell peppers, mixed colors, seeded and diced
2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (or the equivalent amount of larger tomatoes diced)
1 bunch radishes, trimmed and chopped
1 medium red onion, peeled and diced
1 bunch parsley, trimmed and minced
1 bunch mint, leaves only, and minced
1 bunch dill, minced

Dressing:
juice of 3 large lemons (or 4 medium), I strain through a slotted spoon to catch the seeds, but it lets some of the pulp through, which is great
1 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
generous amount salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Mix all the vegetables in a big salad bowl.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients, tasting to make sure it is salted and peppered enough.

Break up the khoubz into bite sized pieces and top the salad. Pour the dressing evenly over the salad and toss to mix thoroughly. Serve.

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Friday, July 03, 2020

Randomania: Modernity

So, I was telling the kids that because of how much I use voice to text, I find myself punctuating phone messages orally now. They started to laugh and said that they always laughed to themselves, because now, I also often punctuate when I am speaking to them. I had not even noticed. Not even once.


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Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Craft On: New Pattern and Sample Knitting


I released a new pattern for June! If you use the coupon code comfortable on either Payhip or Ravelry you will receive 15% off the price through July 8, 2020. Unfortunately, I cannot make coupon codes on LoveCrafts, however it is also for sale there.


This whole lockdown thing has been a lot harder on me than I thought it would be, and the releases I had planned were just a lot for me to handle. I had a couple third party publications with hard deadlines (so keep your eyes open in August and October!) that I worked on, and while I was still knitting and writing notes, it was really hard for me to concentrate on things like editing, photography, beta knits, and so on. This is why the last time I had a new pattern release was February. Right now, I am knitting (re-knitting) on Qibli and getting it written along with Ember Days. My goal for those is to have the slippers out toward the end of July, around my birthday, and the shawl out in the middle of September. While I have another pattern I would like to put out in August, it may not make the cut this year. In the meantime, I am plugging away on the knitting and writing and hoping to get back into the groove of life and designing again. Before I said that I would try to set up a Shopify account for direct sales of my patterns, but since they didn't handle VAT, I was trying to figure out how I could sell to people outside of North America, and I think Payhip will be a good fit for pattern sales. However, I am looking into Shopify for selling my stash, as I am trying to get it down to a more manageable size, and it wouldn't be such a big deal to limit my shipping to my own continent.


Also, I am looking for beta knitters to try out my Vespers pattern that will be in Knotions Magazine in August. Would you like a chance to knit this before anyone else can? Please e-mail me for details. Thank you!

Anyway, we are progressing These Happy Golden Years, which delights the younger kids, because they are so excited that Laura and Almanzo are finally a couple. I finished Babel last night, and except for some of the author's anti-religious and other prejudices that slip in (just a couple places), the book was both fun and informative. I hope to read his book Lingo, but with our library closed and only the Libby App to stand in for it, there is an ironic barrier. The book is only available on Libby in Spanish. The ladies and I are making our way through Songs of Praise and finding it refreshing and edifying. It is wonderful having Amira join us and I have so missed praying and studying with a group of other women so much. I didn't even realize how much I had missed it until I finally got a taste of it again.


Linking to Keep Calm and Craft On and Yarn Along.

If you would like to receive updates and early notice of new patterns, beta knitting opportunities, and great discounts (plus pictures of new yarns, new tools, fun places, neat hints, book ideas, recipes and more) each month, please subscribe to 1,001 Knits. My best, and sometimes my only, discounts go to my subscribers.

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Sunday, June 28, 2020

Menu Plan: June 28 - July 4

quarterlygroceries

This is what a two to three month grocery trip for a family of 10 looks like. (You can only see part of the bag past the blue freezer bag, but it's there, and there are two other freezer bags that aren't as visible behind the cooler).

We did our big Spokane trip yesterday, though we got a later start than we planned. Our goal had been to leave by 8:30, and it was closer to 10:30. We arrived home at about 6:45 and did the big unload of groceries, making sure the freezers were inventoried properly as things went in them, and made dinner. This is why you shouldn't glare at a big family for shopping big. Some of this will last a couple months, some of it will last just this week or the next. As we do not have a Fred Meyer, a Cash and Carry, a Trader Joe's, or any Arabic markets here, we go every two to three months and stock up quite a bit. We bring a cooler, insulated freezer bags, loads of freezer packs and take almost the whole day.

Anyway, the delightful surprises on this trip were that my favorite kosher salt which has been unavailable for the past three months was at the Cash and Carry, so I bought five five pound boxes, and that I found prepackaged shabboura at one of the Arab markets. Only plain, but still it was there, and I bought two large packages. We also found a nine ounce bottle of Aleppo pepper at almost half the price of what I normally pay.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.


Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Recipe Round Up: H'ashweh


H'ashweh means padding as in loaded or stuffed. It's kind of like all the extras added to something. This one pot dish is loaded with good things, and it is simple to make. The rice is best if it is soaked and drained first, but when I am in a hurry, I have often made it just by putting the dry rice on top and going with it as it is. This amount serves 15 - 20 easily, if served with a salad, and fruit or other vegetable. I like to serve it with Laban bi Chiyar, Green Hot Sauce, and a green salad or sliced vegetable plate and Kalamata or spicy, baladi (country style) green olives.

H'ashweh

6 cups basmati or jasmine rice, soaked about 15 minutes, then drained
olive oil
3 pounds ground lamb or beef
3 medium red onions, peeled and finely chopped
12 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1 tablespoon salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, divided
1 large bunch parsley, finely minced
1 cup pine nuts
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sultanas (golden raisins)

While the rice is soaking, heat about 1/4 cup olive oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. Add the meat and break up into pieces to brown. Add the onions and continue to cook and stir until the meat is broken up, browned and cooked completely, and the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the allspice, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon, about 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Stir in well.

Cover with the drained rice and sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of allspice and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon evenly over the top. Add about 1 teaspoon of salt and about 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Cover with water by about a knuckle's depth over the top, around 9 - 10 cups of water. Bring to a rolling boil and allow to boil until the water has reduced a little and you can see little tunnels of bubbles coming through the rice. Cover and reduce heat to low, and simmer, without peeking even once, for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and leave covered while you prepare the toppings.

In a frying pan, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil over medium low heat. Add the pine nuts and almonds, and stir, watching carefully, until they just start to brown and remove from the heat immediately.

Stir the rice a little to distribute the spices evenly. Turn the h'ashweh out onto a large flat or shallow dish and layer the parsley, nuts, and raisins on top. Serve and eat with pleasure.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Craft On: Moving Right Along


The slipper is now at the sole, and I'm using a reinforced pattern to give it a little more wear. I'm really happy with how these are turning out, so I hope you will love them, too. I know a lot of people are having trouble with the new Ravelry. I am one of them. So, if you haven't signed up for LoveCrafts, or Instagram, now might be the time. It's not quite the same, but it won't give you headaches, migraines, or seizures. This has kind of been an impetus for me to be more serious about setting up my Shopify store, so I hope to have that up and running by the end of July or middle of August.

In our reading, the kids and I finished Little Town on the Prairie, and started on These Happy Golden Years. I'm this close to being finished with Babel, though some late nights and early mornings have slowed me down a bit. We hosted our first Songs of Praise study and dinner, and it was wonderful! It has been almost 11 years since I have been part of any study. We just haven't had the opportunity since we have moved here. We had great discussion and a lovely dinner and fun getting to know each other. Amira joined in, and enjoyed the experience as well. I'm so happy we finally did this.


Linking to Keep Calm and Craft On.

If you would like to receive updates and early notice of new patterns, beta knitting opportunities, and great discounts (plus pictures of new yarns, new tools, fun places, neat hints, book ideas, recipes and more) each month, please subscribe to 1,001 Knits. My best, and sometimes my only, discounts go to my subscribers.

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Sunday, June 21, 2020

Menu Plan: June 21 - 27


Today was a lovely Father's Day with Rich, but also with some of the "grandparents" from our evening church. They took us all out for dinner at a local wood fired pizza place and we had such a normal, fun time with them. What a blessing it was for all of us!

Alexander has a job interview tomorrow for his first "real" job in his field. He was only able to do an internet interview for one company during all of this craziness, but they ended up letting many of their employees go because of the economic impact of all the Covid policies. So, when he put in his resumé for this job, it was exciting that shortly afterward they called him for an interview in person. We are praying for him!

The girls get to go to their studio this week, too, for intensives, and they are all so grateful for that. It has been a good week in that sense. Dominic is doing some house sitting/dog sitting for some friends who are camping this week, and earning a bit of money that way, too. Which is good, because he found out two weeks before he was supposed to "graduate" (they weren't doing graduation), that he was two credits short, so he has to get ready for a summer class so he graduates. Fortunately, he found one that was exactly two credits and was something he thought was valuable to him as well as fulfilling requirements for his degree. Rich is taking a couple days off this week to work on the garden and rest after all the early mornings and late nights he had to do at work recently. Last week, he did a lot of working from home to try to get a little rest, too, but these couple days will do him some real good. After all the rough things we have gone through so far, it is wonderful to have some good news and experiences right now. Glory to God for all things!

I switched some things around our menu last week, so I am making one of those meals this week. We are continuing with our Croatian theme, and moving around the Mediterranean a bit, as well. Because of our schedule this week, breakfasts need to be quick and/or easy to make and eat on the go.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.


Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Friday, June 19, 2020

Flashback Friday: Nativity Collection of Ornaments


I think this is my last flashback to get caught up on the years I was not posting here. In the future, I will probably still choose a pattern here or there to flashback on a Friday, and you might want to check on those, because I may include sale coupon codes, too.

This week, I am highlighting three patterns. Gifts of the Magi, a set of three ball ornaments themed on the three gifts offered at the Nativity, Star of Bethlehem, which was inspired by the famed star leading the Magi from the East, and Saint Boniface, which was created in memory of his famous illustration of the evergreen as an image of the eternal life of God.

They were published at different times, but I put them together as the Nativity Collection for a discount. If you want to purchase all three patterns, that is the best price you can get. However, if you are only interested in one or two of the patterns, you can use the coupon code nativityflashbackblog on Ravelry from now until 11:59 pm PST on June 25, 2020 to receive 15% off the price. The code will work on any or all of the patterns.

These are all available for sale on both Ravelry and LoveCrafts. (At LoveCrafts, you can find Saint Boniface, Gifts of the Magi, and Star of Bethlehem individually). If you don't want to sign up for either of these, please do contact me and we can work out how you can purchase the pattern. Again, I am always happy to invoice for the discounted price, if you mention it to me when you e-mail.

If you would like to receive updates and early notice of new patterns, beta knitting opportunities, and great discounts (plus pictures of new yarns, new tools, fun places, neat hints, book ideas, recipes and more) each month, please subscribe to 1,001 Knits. My best, and sometimes my only, discounts go to my subscribers.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Craft On: Progress and Finished Items


Here you can see a little more of those slippers I mentioned last week. I restarted the toe, both because I didn't like the fabric I was getting with the smaller needles and because the rate of increase on the toe was too steep, and looked a little too elfin. They are toe up, and I used the Middle Eastern cast on, sometimes called Turkish cast on, because which better one to use for an Arab lady who is making slippers themed on an Arabic wind? I decided that my swatch from last week would be blocked and turned into a bookmark, and voilà: I have another finished object for the year!

Also, I finally got some photos of the Kabsa mitts worn. If you would like to beta knit the mitts from last week and make at least one of them, I would truly appreciate it. Please contact me to receive the pattern for free and the details for the beta knit.


We are still reading Little Town on the Prairie, though we are rather close to being finished, only four chapters to go. I am nearly finished with Babel, too. We start our Songs of Praise study group next week, and I am so excited!


Linking to Keep Calm and Craft On.

If you would like to receive updates and early notice of new patterns, beta knitting opportunities, and great discounts (plus pictures of new yarns, new tools, fun places, neat hints, book ideas, recipes and more) each month, please subscribe to 1,001 Knits. My best, and sometimes my only, discounts go to my subscribers.

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Sunday, June 14, 2020

Menu Plan: June 14 - 20

We have lived something like a month or two in the last week. This makes up for the fact that we keep thinking that it has only been a month since something else, to find that it has been two or three. We would appreciate your prayers.

Rich is still having long hours at work and plans to try to take some time for himself and the family this week. Because of our sleeplessness and stress, I did not get the recipes posted Saturday, and I will work to get them posted this coming Saturday. Please accept my apologies.

This week, I am making a lot of Italian and Croatian food. We have been missing Croatia and the Dalmatian coast, and since we haven't been able to take the kids there, we try to give them some of the experience with the food. We have two more birthdays this week, Rich and Dominic, who share a birthday. Rich turns 50! And Dominic turns 20. That makes five Covid birthdays. It's a little depressing, but we are trying to make the best of it.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.


Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Friday, June 12, 2020

Flashback Friday: Beatitude


This pattern is named after the eight blessings that Jesus pronounced in His Sermon on the Mount and it is no coincidence that I used eight colors. You can use any number of colors and adjust this pattern to be longer or shorter as you wish depending on how much yarn you have, which makes this a perfect project for using up scraps from other projects, or minis (which is what I used). There is a little tutorial in the pattern on how to do a knitted graft, which I think is the simplest way to graft anything.

Beatitude is available for sale on both Ravelry and LoveCrafts. Please use the coupon code beatitudeblogcoupon this week, through 23:59 PDT on June 18 on Ravelry to receive 15% off this pattern. If you don't want to sign up for either of these, please do contact me and we can work out how you can purchase the pattern.

If you would like to receive updates and early notice of new patterns, beta knitting opportunities, and great discounts (plus pictures of new yarns, new tools, fun places, neat hints, book ideas, recipes and more) each month, please subscribe to 1,001 Knits. My best, and sometimes my only, discounts go to my subscribers.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Craft On: Pairs


Another finished item this week! Not only are these mitts completed with ends woven in, but the pattern is almost ready to go to my technical editor. I will be washing and blocking them today. If you would like to beta knit this pattern and make at least one of them, I would truly appreciate it. Please contact me to receive the pattern for free and the details for the beta knit.

Though I did a very little knitting on Ascalon, I am working more on another of my Trade Winds patterns which focus on color this week. I have started a pair of wonderful slippers in the most decadent yarn. Caravan seemed an appropriate yarn to make a design named after an Arabic wind, with its own name, as well as its fiber composition of Merino, cashmere, camel down and silk. I hope to have the sample knit and pattern fully written and edited for publication in July, around my birthday. Mitts and slippers make perfect summer projects, in my opinion, because they are not heavy in your hands, and they are finished before you know it. If you are where you are going into winter, these would make good quicker projects to keep you warm as winter hits you. Small projects are always the right season.

We are slowly working our way though Little Town on the Prairie. It has been a tiring and stressful few weeks, on top of the background stress of the world around us. Elijah had another seizure, this time two months, almost to the day, from his last. We still cannot find a reason for any of them, though all have happened later in the evening. All scans and tests have come back with no indication of epilepsy or other seizure disorder, no diabetes, no anything that would make them think of why he should be getting them. This last one happened when he was warm and possibly dehydrated, though, so it may have contributed. He is fine and recovering well, but it has been pretty traumatic for everyone, especially for Jerome. Though I am barely sleeping, which is bad, I have been making good progress on Babel, and I expect to be finished with it in the next week or two.

It is looking like our Songs of Praise study group for women is going to begin at the end of this month and I am so excited! Amira is joining us, which I love, as I am thrilled to see the young woman of faith she is growing into, and it looks like some of her friends and my friends' daughters might join us as young women, as well. Since we are sharing the book, I picked up some pretty notebooks for Amira and me to record our thoughts for our study. You can see mine in the photo with the other books.


Linking to Keep Calm and Craft On.

If you would like to receive updates and early notice of new patterns, beta knitting opportunities, and great discounts (plus pictures of new yarns, new tools, fun places, neat hints, book ideas, recipes and more) each month, please subscribe to 1,001 Knits. My best, and sometimes my only, discounts go to my subscribers.

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Sunday, June 07, 2020

Menu Plan: Week of Trinity Sunday

Trinity

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, one God; Oh come, let us adore Him.

I love Trinity Sunday! It is not as big a feast day as the Paschal feast or Pentecost or the Nativity, but I love it. It is a theological feast. It celebrates what we believe. Although, I "read" eastern, and our family tends toward the east, I love this primarily western feast. In the east, it is celebrated along with Pentecost, which means that, actually, we are celebrating it with the east today. However, it is a principal feast in the west. Prior to the Great Schism, it was a secondary feast and relatively minor observance. It came about around the time of the Arian heresy, which was repudiated by the Nicene and Constantinople Councils in the Nicene Creed. Around this time, there were prefaces and prayers written and proclaimed in churches on Sundays which emphasized orthodox Christian faith, and those for the Holy Trinity were said the Sunday after Pentecost in some areas, in other areas, it was the Sunday before Advent. It was emphasized to counter the erroneous teachings of the day, and was elevated to primary first class status in 1911, again to counter heretical teaching. In the east, while it is not primary, in the same way, it is the first of the three day observance of Pentecost, and is also called Trinity Sunday. We rejoice in the Trinity and love them. God is unity (one God) and community (three Persons) and has created all people to be in one in community.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.


Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Friday, June 05, 2020

Flashback Friday: Khamseen


This is another pattern I really like. Large shawls are really my thing. The small ones are great for throwing over a dress or jeans, but when I want to be cozy or dramatic, a large shawl is what I need. When I started working on this actively, I realized that it was scheduled to be released right around when my 50th pattern was. I made sure it was my 50th pattern in my store. The name Khamseen means 50, and is named after a wind that is said to blow for 50 days. Entirely by coincident, the number of stripes to get to the right stitch count for the border was 50, and of course, there were 50 repeats of the border. All of that just delighted my number loving heart.

Khamseen is available for sale on both Ravelry and LoveCrafts. To receive 15% off on Ravelry between now and the end of the day June 11, use the coupon code khamseenflashback when you check out. If you don't want to sign up for either of these, please do contact me and we can work out how you can purchase the pattern.

If you would like to receive updates and early notice of new patterns, beta knitting opportunities, and great discounts (plus pictures of new yarns, new tools, fun places, neat hints, book ideas, recipes and more) each month, please subscribe to 1,001 Knits. My best, and sometimes my only, discounts go to my subscribers.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Craft On: Working and Finishing



This week, I picked up that little mitt to make its match for a quick pattern release. It was my New Year cast on and I worked out all the challenges in it, so the next one should go really quickly. Ember Days is moving right along, and makes good knitting when I am doing something else and should be released this fall. On the weekends, I will still be working on Ascalon.

I finished some things, too! Vespers really delights me, and Yasmina is happy to have her mittens finally. I did a bit of experimenting this weekend, and made up that little baby hat with the leftovers from Vespers. This is completely unblocked and I still need to weave in its ends, but it will probably go to my midwife to pass to a new baby when those are completed.


Our reading this week is largely continuing with Little Town on the Prairie, as we finished The Long Winter last week. I am still reading Babel, but picked up my Romans and Sirach studies a little more this past week. It has been such a hard week, and I needed to read something true and beautiful. Also, I put out word to women in my area to see if anyone was interested in reading the Psalms with me, and several are interested in going through Songs of Praise, which thrills me. It is looking like it will happen in the evenings, but over dinner, which will also be fun.



Linking to Yarn Along and Keep Calm and Craft On.

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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Menu Plan: Week of Pentecost



Alleluia! The Spirt of the Lord fills the world! Oh come, let us adore Him. Alleluia!

This is the second highest feast of the Church year. It is the birthday of the Church. We cannot have our tongues of flame barbecue, or a talent show to show off our gifts, but we can go to church! We will celebrate as we can. It has been eleven weeks since we have been able to meet in a church.

Pentecost is the undoing of Babel. It is the empowering by the Holy Spirit of the Apostles to spread the Church throughout the world to every people, tribe, tongue and nation. This week also includes the feast of Justin Martyr, who said, "We used to hate and destroy one another and refused to associate with people of another race or country. Now, because of Christ, we live together with such people and pray for our enemies." These both seem to be the best responses to the cruelty and and fear of our world.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.

ACS_0696



Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Recipe Round Up: Magical Macadamia, Coconut and Chocolate Cookies, Light Bread, Not Quite from the Little House Cookbook



Magical Macadamia, Coconut and Chocolate Cookies


These cookies are really magical. If you are allergic to nuts, I am sorry, because these really depend on the macadamias. You can make another kind of cookie instead. These are my best estimate of how to make the cookies from the Magical Sandwich Shop in Tacoma. We no longer live near there, so we can't eat their sandwiches (which are also magical - there is no false advertising there) or their cookies unless we make a trip back home. If you get a chance to visit the Magical Sandwich Shop in Tacoma, go!

3 cups pastry flour
2 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups unsalted butter, softened (4 sticks)
2 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla brandy or vanilla extract (I make my own vanilla brandy)
3 large eggs
3 1/4 cups sweetened, flaked coconut (one bag)
3 cups bittersweet chocolate chunks (you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips in their place)
2 cups chopped macadamia nuts

I don't really need to tell you how to make these. Almost everyone in America can put together drop cookies, but just in case:

Line several cookie sheets/jelly roll pans with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a larger bowl, cream butter with brown sugar, until light and frothy. Add in vanilla extract, mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour mixture. Fold in coconut, chocolate chips and nuts.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes and no more than an hour.

Scoop by two tablespoonful scoops onto parchment lined pans, about two inches apart. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Let cool a couple minutes on the pan, then remove to cooling rack and cool completely. Store in airtight container. If you have any left. This makes about 5 dozen cookies, give or take a few.



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Light Bread

We have been reading the Little House books with our younger kids, who hadn't heard them all before. Of course, we are also trying to do some crafts and cooking from the books. Well, I thought I had followed the recipe for the Light Bread from By the Shores of Silver Lake in The Little House Cookbook, but I made a mistake. A happy accident, it turns out, occurred when I added extra yeast when mixing the dough after letting the sponge rise. So, here is my method. I was so taken aback at how light this bread really was. I expected it to be light the way modern sandwich bread is, but it was airy while still having substance and excellent flavor. It is what Wonderbread wishes it was. You can divide this recipe in half, but it is really so good, that I would make the whole batch and freeze the extras, wrapped tightly after cooling completely, if you cannot eat them all within a few days.

Sponge:

4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
2 cups warm water
4 cups bread flour

Mix all ingredients well, until combined completely. Cover and let rest on the counter for at least 4 to 5 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator. I used the dough cycle on our bread machine and just let it rest with the lid on it for half the recipe and our stand mixer for the full recipe.

Dough:

3 tablespoons bacon grease, melted and cooled slightly, or softened butter
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup bread flour plus 3 cups
2 teaspoons yeast
all of the sponge

1 tablespoon bacon grease or softened butter to grease pans

Mix 3 tablespoons bacon grease, milk, salt, sugar, 1 cup bread flour, yeast, and all of the sponge. Slowly add 2 cups of the bread flour, and mix in well. Add remaining cup of bread flour and mix to combine.

Knead in the bowl for about 3 minutes, then let rest for 3 minutes. Repeat this process four more times for a total of about 15 minutes of kneading. If you are making half the dough and have a stand mixer, you can do the kneading and resting process entirely in the stand mixer, which is good, because it doesn't introduce more flour. If you do the entire recipe (and don't have a commercial Hobart mixer, which I would love), then be careful to knead the dough with as little additional flour as possible. In fact, I knead the last cup of flour in during that kneading process, and try to use as little more as I can. Cover bowl and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Grease four loaf pans or a large baking sheet with remaining tablespoon of bacon grease. Shape into four loaves and place in or on pan(s). Cover and let rise for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350° F for 30 minutes. Place pan(s) in oven and bake for 40 - 45 minutes, until browned and fully cooked. Turn loaves out onto a rack to cool completely before slicing.

These can be made into rolls, as well. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes for rolls spaced an inch or so apart on the pans.

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Friday, May 29, 2020

Flashback Friday: Logos Hat and Mittens


This set, especially the hat, were inspired by the Eye of God Nebula. I saw that, and thought to myself how wonderful it would be represented in knitting.

This yarn came across my Instagram feed, and I realized it was a perfect colorway to fit the design idea. So, I set to work figuring out how to use short rows to shape the eye and make it work in a hat. The ribbing on the brim and cuffs reminded me of lightning bolts, which I thought was fun to use in a heavenly inspired pattern. The hat uses two different colorways, and the mittens use the colorway from the eye. Color choices are up to you, and there are so many different colorways you could pick. A solid or semi-solid on the brim and base of the hat, with a striping yarn or variegated yarn would be interesting and a great way to use a couple of those self-striping or hand painted skeins. This is a great design to have fun with color.

Here is your weekly flashback coupon! If you use the code logosflashback on Ravelry between now and 11:59 pm PDT on June 4, 2020, you will receive 15% off either or both of these patterns. Unfortunately, I am unable to offer this coupon on LoveCrafts, but if you contact me directly, I can invoice you for the patterns with the discount applied. Each week, until I have finished my flashbacks, I will have a new coupon for you.

Logos Hat is available for sale on both Ravelry and LoveCrafts; the mittens are available on both Ravelry and LoveCrafts, as well. If you don't want to sign up for either of these, please do contact me and we can work out how you can purchase the patterns.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Craft On: Shawls, Shawls, Shawls!


I haven't shared any pictures of the second shawl I began, but here it is, with my nearly finished Vespers. I've been wanting to get to it for several years now, and I am happy with how it going, though I'm only working on it during the weekend, so it isn't growing as fast as Ember Days is. I finally realized why Vespers wasn't getting finished. I started it on February 20, just about when all this craziness started to really filter in though our news, and it will not finish until we are finished. Or when I finish it, the house arrests will end. I will finish it today, so you and we can be freed!

The last week has been challenging, and my allergies are acting up quite a bit more, which means my eczema is acting up, and I have just been exhausted, so am only reading a little in Babel. Most nights I fall asleep before I can get to it.

The littles and I are almost finished with The Long Winter, though. We watched a little documentary on Amazon prime about Almanzo Wilder, and the kids were horrified that everyone called him Al-MAN-zo. How do you pronounce his name? We have always read it Al-MAHN-zo, especially since he was named after an Arab named Al-Mansour.

Since tomorrow is the Feast of Saint Bede, I thought I would read a little from the Venerable Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People tonight.




Linking to Keep Calm and Craft On.

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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Menu Plan: May 24 - 30



Christ has Ascended! From Earth to Heaven! Alleluia!

I'm kind of excited about this week, because Rich has Monday off. He was going to take Ascension Day off since we couldn't do anything with church, so we could have the time together to celebrate and study it as a family, but emergency work issues got in the way of that. At least he didn't use a vacation day, I guess. It's hard to have these major feasts and such a challenging time to mark them. The two highest feasts of the Church, and another major feast, have all been spent at home without the Body. We won't be able to do our Tongues of Flame Barbecue with the church, but we can prepare for it with our family, at least.

We were finally able to find some small green lentils, so I am trying to make mejeddarah again. Next, we need fava and garbanzo beans. We eat a largely middle eastern diet, and those legumes make up quite a lot of what we eat.


What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.


Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Friday, May 22, 2020

Flashback Friday: Aejej


I am really proud of this scarf. It uses stripes and stranded knitting, but keeps from having a wrong side by using knitting in the round on the stranded portions. Normally, I am not a big pom pom or tassel person, but this scarf really needed it, in my opinion. Of course, if you disagree, you are free to leave them off. I like each of my designs to feature something that you could learn (or not, if you already know how to do it), and this one features a provisional cast on, and grafting. The construction is interesting and switches from circular to flat knitting, using increases and decreases and is knit entirely in one piece. If you are new to stranded knitting, it is also pretty handy, because the ends and wrong side are all hidden inside the enclosed colorwork sections.

This week, there is a new promotion for these weekly flashbacks. If you use the code aejejfridayblog on Ravelry between now and 11:59 pm PDT on May 28, 2020, you will receive 15% off this pattern. Unfortunately, I am unable to offer this coupon on LoveCrafts, but if you contact me directly, I can invoice you for the pattern with the discount applied. Each week, until I have finished my flashbacks, I will have a new coupon for you.

Aejej is available for sale on both Ravelry and LoveCrafts. If you don't want to sign up for either of these, please do contact me and we can work out how you can purchase the pattern.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Craft On: Almost FO


I am almost to the last color on Vespers! This means that I am actually kind of on schedule for this sample, which thrills me. It will be in this coming August's issue of Knotions, and I am so proud to be included in their publication again. Seeing as how my production has been pretty low this year, I will be glad to have this sample completed. My input on yarn has been a touch higher than my output so far this year, so I need to get that under control soon. (If you are looking for yarn, I have been adding to my destash, with lots of shawl and sweater quantities). Yasmina's mittens are still waiting to be blocked. I am going to need to get on that this week.

Babel is more than halfway read now, and it is good evening reading. I'm learning so much! Language has always interested me, and I grew up in a multilingual home, around many international students in a college town, so I have always had an affinity to different languages. We are also more than halfway through The Long Winter, which the kids are really enjoying. For Nejat's birthday, we made two dishes from The Little House Cookbook, well one was from the book, the light bread recipe (which was really light! I expected it to be more like our modern breads, but it was like a pillow of deliciousness. It is what sliced white bread at the store wants to be.), we used bacon grease for the fat in the bread and let the bread sit out, covered, for a bit over four hours, rather than overnight in the refrigerator, and a smoked oyster stew that was inspired by the oyster soup in the book. We're having fun doing crafts and eating foods from the books.


Linking to Keep Calm and Craft On.

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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Menu Plan: May 17 - 23



Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

This week is going to be hard. It is yet another major feast that we cannot share with others, and that we cannot go to church, and that we won't be able to go do our normal picnic and kite flying (which was already a little harder - trying to find a decent hill here). I'm tired. We are weary. Christ is still Risen and He will ascend nonetheless. The first words we said to Nejat were "I love you Nejat," and "Christ is Risen!" Those were the most important things we wanted her to hear the first time she saw us. I'm trying to remember that now.


What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.


Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Friday, May 15, 2020

Flashback Friday: Saint Veronica


Saint Veronica, whose feast day is July 12, is the name given by the Church to the woman who wiped Jesus’ face in an act of compassion as He walked, carrying His cross, to Calvary. This cowl uses symbolism from that event. Slipped stitches create a crown of thorns on a simple background. Perfect for meditative knitting and gifts, it can also be worked quickly. I really enjoyed creating this, especially using slipped stitches to create a picture on it.

Saint Veronica is available for sale on both Ravelry and LoveCrafts. If you don't want to sign up for either of these, please do contact me and we can work out how you can purchase the pattern.

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