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Monday, January 30, 2023

Frugality (Part XXVI): Quick Hint on Eggs

Here's another quickie. Even with our chickens, ducks, and turkeys, the darkness and extreme cold of our winters reduces their production. The ducks and turkeys really only lay for a couple/few months a year, anyway. We used to put a lamp in with the birds to increase their production, but it shortens their egg laying years, and we just didn't want to deal with either the extra electricity or mess with them too much. So, we have more birds, and save eggs a bit more in the winter (that is another benefit of a fast right before the Nativity, we can save up the eggs laid each day so we can make our baked goods and breakfast treats during Christmas).

I give you all this background just so you know where we are with eggs. We are definitely grateful for our birds, and we are still getting eggs, but not as much as we will in a few weeks, when there is more light and heat. Eggs are selling for between $6.00 and $9.00 a dozen here, unless you find a special, and are often limited. Also, when we do buy eggs, we try to get pastured eggs which allow the chickens to eat grass and bugs outdoors, which are always a little more expensive, anyway. As an aside, we have found the the prices of items like this, pastured eggs, raw or grass fed dairy, naturally cured meats, are holding better. They were already priced where they needed to be, rather than a lower price because of subsidies or bulk purchase deals, so they have really only risen in price minimally, if at all.

Anyway, when I was at the grocery store a couple weeks ago and saw four quart cartons of pasteurized liquid egg marked down to $1.50 each, I took a second look. I will be honest, they are pretty vile if you try to eat them as scrambled eggs on their own (better if you are adding vegetables to them). The liquid egg is made of egg white, spices and seasoning. So, I bought them, but rather than use them alone, I have been using them as about 60% off my egg mixtures for breakfast casseroles, and in savory baked goods. (The seasonings are definitely on the savory side, so I wouldn't recommend this for cookies or cake). Doing it this way has made the difference in taste nearly undetectable, and has kept our costs down. It also saves our good eggs for cookies and cakes and pancakes and things like that. Each of those cartons of egg white was the equivalent of 15 eggs, and even before this egg shortage, we didn't see over a dozen eggs for $1.50.

As a disclaimer, I have to admit that we also have friends who raise chickens and either give us for free or sell us for cheap eggs when we need extras, too. So far, none of them has raised prices. I am looking forward to the end of February and beginning of March when we will start to see eight to 12 eggs a day again.

Previous Posts:
Make it at Home
Grocery Shopping
Waste Not, Want Not
Soup
The Celery Stalks at Midnight
Use What You Have
Combining Trips
Storing Bulk Purchases
Turn It Off
Grow Your Own
Buying in Bulk
Gleaning
Entertainment on the Down Low
Finding Fun Locally
Holiday Shopping
Reconsidering Convenience
More Bang for Your Grocery Buck
Preserving the Harvest
Revisiting Kitchen Strategies
Extreme Frugality
Bargain Getaways
Cultivating or Curating Abundance
Making Your Own Snacks and Treats
How Weird Is Too Weird? Things We Don't Think of Eating
Fuel Costs

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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Menu Plan: January 29 - February 4

This is the last week of Christmas, and we end with the last feast of the Infancy of Christ. It is the feasts of both the Purification and the Presentation on Thursday. It is the day that the Blessed Mother would have come back to be ritually cleansed from childbirth and brought back into the life of corporate worship, and the day that Jesus would be presented and "bought back" as the first born son who opened the womb. This practice is preserved in the Church today, through the service of the Churching of Women. In the East, both Orthodox and Catholic, it is the teaching for women to rest at home with their babies for the first 40 days, to heal, to care for their babies, and to be served. On the 40th day, they are brought back into the church for prayers and blessings, and it is common to perform the baptism for the baby that day.

It is the day of the prophecies of both Saints Anna and Simeon, and so is also called the Meeting of Our Lord in the Temple. It is a fitting conclusion to the Nativity season. We do not have the words of Saint Anna, only that she spoke of Him to all were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. Clearly, she knew who Jesus was. The Church teaches us that Saint Simeon was a scribe, and that in his work as a scribe he attempted to "correct" the Isaiah passage which prophecies of the virgin birth, since no person could be born tht way. In the moment that he tried to scrape out the word virgin and change it to wife, he noticed that his hand was being held back by an angel. That angel whispered to him that he, himself, would see its fulfillment before he died. Saint Simeon spent the rest of his life waiting to see this fulfillment. Because of this, we have not only Saint Simeon's words of prophecy, but we pray his prayer every night at evening prayer:

Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word! For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.

The end of the Christmas season means the beginning of looking forward to Lent. We only have two days between the last days of Christmas and the days of preparation for Lent. We slowly start to pare things down in our lives, and get ready for the work of fasting, praying, and almsgiving. I encourage you to prayerfully join the Church in this. We walk with all the Church in the life of Christ every year, with our days and weeks and months shaped to His time.

Most of the time, East and West share the same dates and general times for our feasts and fasts, but this week we have the Western feast for Saint Ignatius of Antioch, separate from the East. Since he was such a pivotal and important figure in the Church, we commemorate him both times. Please join us in our prayers for unity in the Church.

Last week, I told you about how the problem with Misfits Markets was resolved, or rather, not resolved. I am happy to say that they did contact me on Tuesday with a refund of the purchase of the shrimp, and an offer to help correct some of the other issues. Again, the shipping problem was not their fault, but I was dismayed that it took three full business days, and five days total, to contact me at all. We are giving them another chance this week, and will see how it goes. I did not order any seafood this week, though. Ordering through them is permitting me to avoid some of my grocery shopping, and use mostly what we have in our freezers and pantries, which also is saving us spending both on groceries and gas.

We are still enjoying some treats, and making sure that certain meals are made before Lent and Holy Week, as we know it will be a long time before we see them again. We have some fake ground meat in our freezer (still made of food, though with a much longer ingredient list than just meat) that we got as a freebie from Safeway a couple months ago, and we are saving it for around the fourth or fifth week or Lent, when it feels like a slog, and we need a little perk. We were talking this past week of using it in some sort of sauce, like the meat sauce I make, to give us a little relief in the struggle against our own flesh and wills. The Fathers teach us that the first sin was one of breaking a fast. Adam and Eve were told not to eat of something, and broke that. Likewise, the Serpent is a big digestive tract and Satan and sin are all about indulging our appetites. He who conquers his appetite for food is strengthened to conquer his other appetites. God gives us these tools for our growth and strength. Fasting reminds us how much we need and hunger for Him, that He alone can satisfy our deepest hunger. I am so grateful for a Church that uses all of our senses to allow us to live in Christ's story.

I hope that our menu plans help you in this striving and endeavor. Mostly, our rule is to keep our eyes on our own plate. However, I share about the fasts, and the Church teachings, to encourage you and give you assistance. I always appreciate when people share how they fast as a family, the kinds of foods they make, and what they do when the struggle becomes a burden.

So, celebrate this week, and prepare your hearts, and homes, and minds for the great work that is to begin for your good. We have three and a half weeks until the beginning of Lent in the West, and four weeks in the East.

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.

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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Craft On: Yathrib and More Sweaters!

I'm really itching to show you my surprise project, but it will have to wait at least another couple weeks. In the meantime, here is some progress on Yathrib. It should be finished by the end of next week, I hope. If not then, perhaps the following week. The cabled cuffs and edgings will likely take more time than I expect. I should be finished with the second sleeve by tonight, and maybe one of the cuffs tomorrow.

We are nearly finished with Further Chronicles of Avonlea and I am getting closer to finishing The Diary of a Country Priest. I'm trying desperately not to start another book right now. My reading time is so limited, and I really want to finish what I have open, so to speak. However, I have a stack of several books in my nightstand, plus one I borrowed nearly two years ago from a friend, that I really should get to soon.

Also, I wanted to give you a heads up that in a little less than a month, I am going to host a #SpringSweaterStitchalong on my Facebook and Ravelry groups. If you follow that hashtag on Instagram, or share your pictures using that hashtag, then other knitters participating will see your work, too. Both Amira and Imbat will be options to knit during the KAL, and if you are especially speedy, you might be able to make both! I will be available for help, to answer questions, and you will have others to encourage and assist you, too. Please take a look at the patterns and your stash (or go shopping for appropriate yarn) now so you can be ready to cast on for February 20.


Linking to Unraveled Wednesday.

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, January 22, 2023

Menu Plan: January 22 - 28

This is the last full week of the Christmas season, and next week will be the last of it entirely.

As for last week's menu, we had a surprising fail. The burghul breakfast cake was all sorts of things we eat and like, but it didn't taste right. Amira said that it tasted like something that we should eat with chicken rather than as a breakfast cake. We kind of forced it down for that breakfast, but had enough of it left that I didn't want it to just go to the poultry, so we sliced it and fried in butter, which did improve it (and, surprisingly, made it taste sweeter) enough for us to finish it at lunch. There was a funny save, too. On Friday, as I made our Lenten muffins, we were on the fourth night of not really enough sleep, and I made them without a speck of sugar in them. So, I ended up having Jerome make a simple syrup, and we poked the muffins all over and soaked them with that. They were a little soggy, but tasted fine.

Nejat had a little Christmas party here for a few of her friends on Saturday, so we shifted our dinner plans to something a little simpler and more accessible to a gaggle of girls. I had also forgotten about an engagement we had on Friday when I planned the meal for that night, so we ate leftovers that night and will have it this week. We're still trying to cook down our freezers and pantries a bit. Rich had to go excavating in our chest freezer for a large chunk of beef for our dinner after church, and had Amira come and help him re-inventory it, so at least if he had to take everything out, we would know what was in there.

My experience with Misfits Markets was not as good as it should have been. Part of that was not their fault (except that they chose to use FedEx instead of UPS). FedEx delivered it to a neighbor's house, marked it as delivered at our door, and I had to go searching for it. The only reason we got our package that day (three and a half hours after it had been delivered, and was sitting on our neighbor's back step, with fish and shrimp in the package, starting to thaw) is because Rich has an inside connection with the local FedEx office through his work at the airport. I was given the option of going to get it from the neighbor myself, or waiting another five to seven hours, for the driver to finish his route and come retrieve it for me. With fish and shrimp in the box. Then, after I went to go get it, they simply marked it delivered again, as though everything was just fine. I filed a complaint about the shipping issue and also asked for a refund on the shrimp, which had begun to thaw, and shipping costs. This was Thursday around 1:00 pm. The company is based in UT, which is only an hour ahead of us. I did not receive anything but an automated reply all of the rest of Thursday and all of Friday. They also did not preserve my skipping of the next shipment for this week (because I was planning on ordering the following week), so if I had not checked today and cancelled it again (we'll see), I would have been charged automatically, and sent a shipment of their own selection. If I do not receive an answer from them tomorrow, with an offer to make the situation right, and/or if I am charged for this week's shipment (after cancelling it twice), I will be calling our credit card company to reverse charges and cancelling all my ties with their company. The shipping mistake was not their error, but how they have failed to respond most definitely is. At this point, I cannot recommend their company. I will update with how they answer or correct this situation.

With the price of eggs around here, and the fact that the cold and lack of daylight has slowed our chickens' production and we are only just starting to see eggs from the ducks again, I am again amazed at how God provides for us. One of our grocery stores in town has a particularly good used section for mark down items, and had three quarts of the pasteurized egg white marked down to $1.50. They aren't great on their own, but baked in other things they are perfectly fine. So, I bought them, and we are using them in breakfast casseroles and other such dishes, mixing them about 6:4 with our own eggs to improve their flavor and color. God is so good to our family. Those three quarts are the equivalent of the volume of 45 eggs, all for $4.50. So, my breakfasts this week reflect that purchase. Almost all of my grocery shopping last week was supplied by great sales and mark down items. In fact, even our two bags of clover sprouts were marked down by the produce man when I was having trouble finding them because they had been moved to a different area, as when he found them, he found that they were on the sell by date. We knew we would eat them before they degraded, so when he offered to mark them down, I accepted. I expected to see maybe a dollar off each bag, but he marked them a dollar each. I encourage you to look for the ways that God is providing for your family, and thank Him for 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.

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Friday, January 20, 2023

Craft On: Rih and Reading

Rih is nearly finished, and I just have to find a button that is that shade of blue to sew on and I will be ready for photography. My surprise project is also almost finished, but I cannot share that one until I have given the gift to its recipient.

We've done reading in Further Chronicles of Avonlea this week, and I have made progress in The Diary of a Country Priest, but what I am happiest about is that my Bible study resumed and we studied Romans, prayed, and talked over our lives together.


Linking to Unraveled Wednesday.

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, January 15, 2023

Menu Plan: January 15 -21

Although we are still in the Christmas season, there are no major feasts or fasts for a while, and we are effectively in more ordinary time right now. I forgot to mention that it was Autumn's birthday this past week, and we got to start off our birthday season with her. They came over for the night and we were able to have some Amelia time, too. Rich commented that Autumn was born in the winter, but her name was Autumn, but then, I had a friend when I was a kid whose name was Spring, and her birthday was in January, also. Anyway, we got to stay up way too late (for us, and for Rich and Alexander, specifically, because they had work the next morning) talking and really having a great time. It was wonderful. Today is their anniversary, and it is a great joy. We are so glad that our family has grown like this.

The onion burgers we made last week were real winners, and pretty simple to do. They were Depression era food, which used a lot of onions to a little burger, but it was still a pretty generously sized, one, I think. The onions season the meat, and they are crisp on the edges, and delicious. We did use smoked cheddar, rather than the American cheese most recipes I found called for, and I used some bicentennial seasoning in the meat, rather than just salt and pepper. My technique needs a little work, but it was really tasty, and we would eat them again. The do nothing cake did, in fact, require us to do something, and it was alright, but nothing I would rave about or make again. It was sweet and cakey and that was basically it.

Our schedule last week was a little weird because of dance, and I had forgotten to take that into account when planning, so we have some repeats this week. Also, we had a lot of leftovers because now we have two of our kids out of the home, so it feels like it did when Alexander first moved. I'm making less, but not enough less. On the other hand, it is super weird to make food for eight, or fewer, and have leftovers. We might get so that we make close to a "normal" amount of food at our house!

We're trying to cook out of our freezers and pantry even more than normal, because we want to save money and make room for a couple lambs, hogs, and maybe even another steer. My plan has been only to buy dairy and produce, and things we have run out of, and maybe some really great mark down deals. Well, this week, we almost ran out of white sugar! This has never happened before, or at least not in a really long time. So, we are being creative, because I am determined not to make extra shopping trips. We should get an Azure Standard delivery on Tuesday, so we will be set. In the interim, I am using brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, molasses, cane syrup, date syrup, and other sweeteners, and choosing recipes and dishes that don't require white sugar. This does mean that I ended up substituting brown sugar for white in our cardamom, orange and dark chocolate cookies, but I honestly thought it was an improvement.

The price of eggs is going up, but not as much here in our town as it seems to be in other towns. We are super grateful for our hens and ducks right now. Also, that even when they aren't laying all that well, what with the darkness and cold, that we know other people with chickens from whom to get or buy eggs which are still a normal price. God takes care of us even in the littlest ways, and we are so humbled by Him. Tangentially, I tried out Misfits Markets (that's a referral link for me) for the first time this week. They offered me a couple half off coupons, so I thought it was worth trying it. We ordered two bunches of chard, two pounds ofsummer squash, three pounds hake fish and one and a half pounds of gulf shrimp, plus a two pack of organic pumpkin purée, all for $32.18, including the shipping to our home. I will let you know how we like the service. There is no commitment to use it each week, so if we like it enough, I may add it to my ways of shopping for the family. If not, we don't have to use it again.

Dominic is settling in at school and we miss him, but he is growing in so many ways, and we ask for you to keep him in your prayers. He's had a couple things go a little sideways, as is to be expected for his first time out on his own, but those can be frustrating. It will be a long six months until we see him again.

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.

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Thursday, January 12, 2023

Craft On: Of Trade Winds and Babies

Aside from a jacket and a baptismal gown, I actually started, and am nearly finished with, a color work hood that is part of my Trade Winds collection. It is the second to last pattern in that collection, and it should be finished, edited, and ready to beta knit here in a couple weeks. It is fun and quick and I really like it. It turns out, I even have a shirt that matches the melon colored yarn almost exactly. I've also cast on a surprise project for a friend who is having a baby soon. I won't share pictures of that until the gift is given, but it is sweet and I am excited about it.

The kids and I have made progress in Further Chronicles of Avonlea, we're more than half way through it, and I have been more intentional about taking time to read from an actual book each day. So, I've been picking up The Diary of a Country Priest and working my way through the inspiring and delightful words a little at a time, and really enjoying it.

There are still a few days left on my sale. Through Saturday, January 14, 2023, 25 of my best selling patterns are on sale for 20% off with the coupon code MerryChristmas. You can find my sale bundles on PayHip and Ravelry in the link in my profile above and the coupon is valid in both stores. Enjoy!


Linking to Unraveled Wednesday.

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, January 08, 2023

Menu Plan: January 8 - 14


Christ is illumined! Let us shine forth with Him!

We are now in the feast of the Epiphany (west) and Theophany (east). It is a feast of the Incarnation within the Nativity season. I didn't share the icon last week, but here it is for the third day of the Octave. I love the icon of Theophany. Christ is buried in the cave of water in His baptism, but is not immersed as it is Creation which is baptised by Him. The waters of the Jordan are turned back ("When the waters saw thee, O God, when the waters saw thee, they were afraid, yea, the deep trembled" ~ Psalm 77:16, "The sea looked and fled, Jordan turned back." ~ Psalm 114:3). All Creation is moved by His presence. Our readings this week reflect His revelation and manifestation to the world. All of those readings show the presence of the Trinity as well. I love how the Church teaches us about His life and Incarnation and our life and salvation because of that.

We were able to go to the blessing of the waters here at the lake, and celebrate the Theophany. It was a little shorter than normal, for some reasons of health in our priest's wife, but it was still beautiful and moving. Rich retrieved the cross from the water, but he didn't have to jump in to get it. Then, we had our knit night party, and really had a full house. There were bout 28 people in our little place. The food was fantastic, the company was delightful, and I think everyone had a good time.

We are back to our normal pattern of eating. Wednesdays and Fridays are abstinent days, but there aren't a lot of major feasts or fasts until Lent. We begin school work with a vengeance this week, but also the girls have a winter show coming up, which will keep us rather busy.

Dominic is settling in at his film program, and because of some connections in aviation, we were able to get passes so we could go through security and bid him farewell at the terminal when he flew out, like we used to do. Even though Alexander is married and moved out more than a year ago, this feels like the real first one out, because he is gone for so long without us seeing him. It will be six months before we see him, unless we can swing a visit between now and then, though even that would only be Rich and me. Pray for him and also for us. Alexander and Autumn wil be celebrating their first anniversary this weekend, and we are so happy for them. It has definitely been a momentous year.

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.

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Saturday, January 07, 2023

Craft On: Baptismal Gowns, Planning, and the Year in Review

The end of one year and beginning of the next is always a time for planning, reflecting, and cleaning. So, that is what is going on here. My new design planner is filling up, and I am making priority lists for projects and designs, as well as planning out the rest of the year for homeschooling, homemaking, and projects on our property. This baptismal gown is a little further along than the picture shows, but not as far along as it should be. We still have a little time before the baptism, though. So this gown, Yathrib, and a new design for the Trade Winds collection are my priorities this month.

A lot of my work kind of fizzled out toward the end of the year. We had so much changing and going on here at home, that I slowed down quite a bit. However, my momentum is coming back now, as it usually does. While I read a lot in the past few months, I didn't finish any books. I'm close to finishing one now, and have a couple on my list to follow. I finished more projects this year than I did in the two years prior, which I see as a good sign.

If you missed out on my 12 Days sale, you are not completely out of luck. Wven though the Christmas feast is over, the season isn’t. And it’s Christmas Day for the folks on the Old Calendar. So, through next Saturday, January 14, 2023, 25 of my best selling patterns are on sale for 20% off with the coupon code MerryChristmas. You can find my sale bundles on PayHip and Ravelry in the link in my profile above and the coupon is valid in both stores. Enjoy!

So, on to my recap. Here are my lists of finished knit and crochet projects (I should include my sewing projects this year) and books I read to completion. My goal for next year is to read about twice as many books, and more non-fiction. Although I enjoyed almost all the books I read this past year, my favorites really were the non-fiction titles. My knit night group has been growing and I really hope we keep up and become closer.

For my crafting, I'd like to complete about twice what I did this year (including sewing) and publish ten patterns. Two of those patterns are written, with samples nearly finished. Two are going to be knit by sample knitters and I plan to have the patterns written to completion in the next two or three months. There is another large pattern project I want to complete in the next six months, both the knitting and the writing and editing, and a smaller one for the same collection. This leaves four more patterns to write and knit. If I do this all, I should have a pattern out in the next month or so, another in May or June, one in August, one in September, a collection of five (!) in November made in partnership with Malabrigo, and a final design published in December. What are your goals for this year?

2022 Finished Projects

2022 Books (including read aloud books, but not picture books/story books)

Linking to Unraveled Wednesday.

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, January 01, 2023

Menu Plan: Eighth Day of Christmas through January 7


Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

We did get to have both the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services, glory to God! They were beautiful, and we were overjoyed to share our Christmas with our church family. This week is another fast free week, so we are enjoying that, as well. Even though the feast of the Nativity ends this Friday, the season still goes on through February 2. This is the real Christmas season. Don't miss it! We just shook off the commercial part of it, as a priest friend of ours puts it.

This week we are enjoying sweets and treats, but not just because of the holiday. Dominic will be heading to Tennessee this Friday morning (early, early, early), and we are trying to give him a send off with all the foods he loves. And, even though our Christmas feast is ending, for the Old Calendar folks, theirs begins Saturday.

Rich and I got to go to a fabulous party on our anniversary. One of the port tenants held a New Year's bash in a mostly hollowed out 747, complete with food, bar, band, DJ, and games. It was a lot of fun, and Alexander and Autumn were able to come with Amelia for part of it, too, since he works at one of the FBOs on the port. We will be ending this week with our annual Knit Night party, which will be loads of fun, and larger than most years. We have had several new folks join our knit night, and they will be coming with their families.

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.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Craft On: Imbat and Persian Slippers

Imbat is finally live, and I cannot be prouder. This is a simple, cropped sweater, with classic lines. However, those lines are created with a lot of attention to detail, and with clever shaping and techniques. It is not difficult to make it, but each part was designed with a lot of thought. It is designed with negative ease for a snug fit, is perfect worn over a dress or a short sleeved top. Knit from the bottom up with simple lines and deep ribbing, it creates its own shaping to fit to your body. The modified dropped short sleeves are easy to fit with minimal sewing. Even if you are not a typical crop top wearer, it might become your go-to garment for transitional weather. Slip it on to ward off the evening chill of spring or summer, or wear it as a layering piece in autumn or winter. I think you will enjoy making and wearing it, as I did.

As a Christmas gift to you, the first 10 people to use the coupon code Frightful on Payhip will receive 75% off, the next 10 people to use the coupon code on either PayHip or Ravelry will receive 50% off, and everyone else will receive 20% off at either storefront. All coupon codes are valid through the end of the day, PST December 30, 2022 (you may have to be a little patient for the shift from one coupon to another on PayHip). Merry 5th Day of Christmas!🎄

My GAL has been fun, but not as productive as I would have liked. There are only a few more days, but I have only finished one hat, one slipper (still to be blocked), and begun a second hat. I am hoping to have the second slipper mostly finished by the end of the month and event. I will work on the hat when I am not doing "work" knitting in January. These are both really fun patterns, though, and I am happy to be making them. The adorable slippers are from Jenise Hope, the Persian Curled Toe Slippers, and the hat, is the Rime of the Ancient Beekeeper Hat from Julia Decker. It is truly a beautiful hat, and a great introduction to circular brioche if you have never done it.

Unfortunately, I have gotten hardly any reading done this past week.


Linking to Unraveled Wednesday.

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, December 25, 2022

Menu Plan: Feast of the Nativity


Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

We are celebrating joyously this week! Christ is born and our salvation is begun, so nothing else is really as important. We have been bitterly cold this past week and had a Christmas tree emergency (we had to replace it on Christmas Adam, because the hard below zero temperatures froze our tree from the west side), but that isn't really that important. We have no fasting over the next 12 days, and we are making a lot of delicious treats.

Christmas was full of freezing rain and we had to miss the Christmas Eve service, as it was cancelled so people would be safe. We might have to cancel the Christmas Day service, but because we hold it in the evening, there might be enough time for the roads to clear. If we don't meet with our church group, we will have a lot of leftovers from dinner tonight.

This week is also full of some significant events in our family. Jerome gets wheat back, glory to God, and he is so happy about that. It is also Rich and my 26th wedding anniversary. We are celebrating with a special dinner here at home. The kids will be eating snack tray and leftover cookies and desserts earlier in the evening. Yet again, we are making our cookies and candier throughout the 12 days of Christmas, rather than making them all at once, and stressing ourselves out over them.

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.

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Sunday, December 18, 2022

Menu Plan: Fourth Sunday in Advent - Peace

We are in the home stretch of Advent now. Christmas Adam and Eve are upon us this week and we are so excited. I keep forgetting that it is only a week until Christmas, though, and while I have most of our gifts ready, not all of them are. And I am a little concerned. But we have 12 days of Christmas, and 40 days of the Christmas season. It will be alright.

Our plans for the Christmas tree changed a bit, because we had an opportunity to get one from the west side, and so we took that opportunity. Also, we had to move some menu items around last week, so that means we have a couple repeats this week. Since Saturday is a strict fast day until evening, we will make a light breakfast for Nejat and maybe Mariam and call that good.

Gluten and wheat have been going really well for Jerome, so that means that he may only have to avoid lima beans and bananas strictly. That is not such a bad thing, as neither of those are his favorites anyway, and we are grateful to God that it it looks like he will be able to eat normal bread shortly after Christmas! Oysters went alright, but as he doesn't love them, he probably will only eat them occasionally, bubt that means that the foods he loves so much will largely be available to him. Glory to God!

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.

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Sunday, December 11, 2022

Menu Plan: Third Sunday of Advent - Gaudete (Joy Sunday)

Rejoice! And again, I say, rejoice! This is our little break in the darkness as we prepare for the Light to enter the world. This is a reminder that our fasting and preparation are in joyful expectation of the Lord who has come, and who is coming. He will redeem the earth and resurrect the faithful to life. This is not a fast of strict penitence, but of self examination and preparation to meet our Savior with joy. We are still in the Advent anticipation, and still busy with fasting, praying and almsgiving, but are also taking time to remember the happiness that awaits us in His Incarnation and return in glory. We are planning on putting up our tree with the lights today, as we used to do at our former home, in honor of Gaudete Sunday. We will still decorate it on Christmas Eve, though.

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.

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Thursday, December 08, 2022

Craft On: Belated Baptismal Gown and First GAL FO

I have finished one project in the GAL and started another. Here is Jerome in his Acropolis hat. He loves it! He has taken to wearing it most of the time now, because he loves it so much. That is definitely a win in my book.

Speaking of books, I've been reading from this one, on and off, for a little while. You can see it with the beginning of the baptismal gown, which really should be close to finished now. Yikes. I had to rechart the cables in it, and had I to do it over again, I would have made the border design a little differently, and mirrored the smaller cables, as well as making them an eight round repeat instead of a six round, so there would be two repeats for every center cable repeat, but I'm just continuing as it is for now.

Besides It Takes a Church to Baptize, we are still reading through Further Chronicles of Avonlea slowly, and I am making tiny progress in The Diary of a Country Priest which should be going faster, but I am mostly falling asleep after reading a few paragraphs.


Linking to Unraveled Wednesday.

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, December 04, 2022

Menu Plan: Second Sunday of Advent - Love

I know the picture says peace. We don't know why. Peace is the last Sunday.

We had a lot of schedule shuffling last week, so there are some repeats on the menu this week. We are relaxing the fast on the feast of Saint Nicholas, and yet again I find myself wishing we hd a decent sized Middle Eastern population here with whom we could "trick or treat" for Saint Barbara. Though, with as cold as it has been, maybe I'm glad not to do that.

Jerome decided to take the risk on testing gluten back this week, so we will see how that goes. This means he will also try a small bite of his initial cookie on Tuesday. Please pray that it goes well for him and that it is clear whether or not he should avoid it. If all goes well, he will still have a few things to avoid or watch, but all food will be normal food for him. He will still have to avoid bananas, canola, and lima beans.

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.

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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Menu Plan: First Sunday of Advent - Hope

Blessed fast! This is the first week of Advent, the New Year of the Western Church. The West's fast is more lenient and shorter than the East's. Our family is currently walking the line between those. We also eased into it more than normal this year, because we had some sick kids, and so kept foods around that we wouldn't normally have out, for their benefit. Usually, as a matter of not wasting food, we do eat meat on the first Sunday of Advent, and then put it all away, also. Our general rule is close to the Orthodox, but we will relax more for Saints Barbara and Nicholas, including egg and dairy those days, and on weekends, except for the final week of Advent. We will be avoiding meat, fish (except on weekends and Saint Nicholas), eggs and dairy (with the exceptions I mentioned already), wine and olive oil on most weekdays. Shellfish is always permitted, and we have some in our freezer, but Yasmina really doesn't care for shrimp, so it will be minimal on our menus. I share this with you as an encouragement. We strive within our strength, and our family situation. We have discussed how to handle this with our priests and our local priests, and are considering also the parish we are part of that doesn't generally follow the fast as much. Fasting and abstinence are such good tools that God gives us through the Church, and I encourage you to try to fast with the Church. It is not as useful to pick and choose, but rather to strive for your church's rule with such accomodations as necessary for health, age, and situation. Talk to your priest. If you don't have a priest, find one and talk to him.

As for the feast we just celebrated, our Thanksgiving meal went well, and we ended up with 23 pies! Since our Saturday liturgies are with the Orthodox, we brought a mackerel paté to church for the breaking of the fast at coffee hour, and it was really well received. Quick and easy to make, too.

The only real disaster last week was that my over 40 page inventory of all our food and drink somehow has been lost. We are still keeping an eye out for it, but are taking this opportunity to thank God in all circumstances and trust that He will make something better from this ill. So, we are re-inventorying over Advent, too. Our sheets weren't perfectly accurate after three years, so this gives us a better chance to true them up, and it also will allow me to do most of our menu planning, barring fresh produce and dairy, from our freezers and pantry over the New Year, probably for a good several months, until local produce is available again. In fact, we found that we still had a couple boxes of Jerome's non-dairy butter from before, in the freezer, and we can use it during Advent, so that is a blessing for us.

The weather has been so cold and miserable. We finally had our first real snow, after several instances of light flurries. Unfortunately, the cold and dryness has caused Jerome's skin to really erupt, so we are going to postpone his gluten and wheat re-introduction until he stabilizes a bit. Please pray for his health, and for all of us.

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.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Craft On: The Biggest Craft On, Yarn Along!

This year, I am part of the Independent Designer Gift A Long on Ravelry again, and it is he 10th anniversary to boot! It is a lot of fun and I have a project on needles from another designer that is really working out well and is cleverly designed. If you aren't able to participate on Ravelry, there are challenges and contests and ways to share your projects on Instagram as well. I have a sale bundle of 20 patterns available on both Ravelry and PayHip. Through the end of the day, EST, November 28, 2022, you can use the coupon code giftalong2022 to get any or all of those patterns for 25% off.

Between Thanksgiving and the GAL, I have done hardly any reading this past week, unfortunately.


Linking to Unraveled Wednesday.

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, November 20, 2022

Menu Plan: Christ the King and Thanksgiving Week!

Blessed feast! Today we remember that Christ is King as the Church year ends. It is another Western, relatively new, feast that we love. Even the older liturgical calendars emphasize His kingship on this day, so it is really a celebration of what was already remembered. It turns out this is the day to make your Christmas cake or pudding, too. Because the collect begins with "Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord," and continues with "that they plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded," it serves both as a spiritual reminder and a fun one for Christmas preparations. They are plenteously rewarded when Christmas Day comes and their cake or pudding is ready. So, I have three pounds of dried fruit and candied orange peel soaking in brandy to make our cake Tuesday.

This past week we realized that we needed to do more garbage management, to clear our fridge and use what we had to make room for all the Thanksgiving dishes. So, some meals planned last week were moved to after Advent, and we made other things to eat. We did make the pasta Trapanese, and it was so delicious! It will definitely be making its way into our Advent menus; probably more than once.

Jerome is almost to trying gluten and wheat, and we are excited that by the first week of January, it looks like he will have almost all the foods back that he has been without for nearly two years. Our list of no-nos is short: Lima beans and bananas. We are praying that gluten/wheat goes well, because he misses real bread and pastries.

Our Thanksgiving includes Amelia, Alexander and Autumn's neighbor, a couple from our church, and a family we love who are traveling to visit us. This means 22 pies this year, but I think I will make some of them on the mini-scale in ramekins. The hors-d'ouevres and bread stuffing are coming with guests, as well as Martinelli's. I'm not sure what else will be coming. The recipes from last week and this week will probably be shared next week. We are a bit more lax about the Advent fast over Thanksgiving, both as a special dispensation here in the US, and as an accommodation to our friends and family who are not keeping the fast with us. So next week will start with a non-fasting day, then move into the fast. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

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.

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Sunday, November 13, 2022

Menu Plan: November 13-19

I cannot believe we are almost at the end of the Church year! Next Sunday is the feast of Christ the King, and then we commence with Advent and the Church's New Year.

We're in the run up to Thanksgiving, and I have been making turkey stock to have extra gravy. This also means that the Advent fast is coming soon. We try to follow the Antiochian guidelines for the fast, but as we are western, we still don't begin until after Thanksgiving, though not perfectly. We serve people who aren't necessarily keeping the fast on Sundays, so we make some allowances for that.

I think we are almost finished with all of our boxes of tomatoes, actually. We have put up salsa, green tomato relish*, green tomato chutney*, and I was basically having the kids eat tomatoes with each meal. We are down to less than half a box of tomatoes now, some ripe and some green. We should be finished with those tomatoes by the end of this week, I think. Our breakfast today probably sounds weird, but it was kind of a catch up brunchy meal. We had some lamb tongue and heart that needed to be cooked, so we slow cooked it overnight, and we had leftover pastries, and the kids wanted to eat the meat, so we just did that and ate it all.

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.

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Saturday, November 12, 2022

Craft On: Mozarab Revisted

So Mozarab is not only finished with the rights returned to me, but I finally had a chance to get my own photography done so I could release the pattern. I'm still hoping to get a photo of me in mine and Amelia in hers, but that will have to wait at least until the new year, because her little head is just too small. You can find this pattern on PayHip, LoveCrafts, and Ravelry. It is still on KnitPicks, through their Independent Designer Program, as well. If you use the coupon code, MozarabHatReturn to receive 50% off the headband pattern on Ravelry. This code is valid through the end of the day PST November 16, 2022. My PayHip store also has this offer, but will automatically prompt you to purchase the headband at 50% off when you put the hat pattern in your cart.

Since this is off my plate, I have had a little more time to work on Amelia's baptismal gown and get closer to finishing Yathrib. More photos from both of those next week.

We are working our way through Further Chronicles of Avonlea at a leisurely pace, but it is fun and the kids are enjoying it with me. I'm hoping to have The Diary of a Country Priest by the end of this month, but I almost think it will take me getting sick and having to stay in bed for a while before that really happens.


Linking to Unraveled Wednesday.

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, November 06, 2022

Menu Plan: November 6-12

Our neighborhood harvest dinner was fantastic, as was the co-op potluck. There were things we missed, and I'm hoping we get everything more streamlined next time, but overall we had successful events both times. I'm hoping it isn't too cold to do our Martinmas lantern walk this Friday.

Winter has descended with a vengeance. However, I am glad we got our stolen hour back, and I keep praying that we end the practice of Daylight Savings, and never leave Standard time again. Maybe this next year? If I could sleep through all of November, I would. I'd wake up for the week of Thanksgiving, then go back into hibernation through the third week of Advent, then go back to sleep after the Theophany, and wake for Valentine's Day and sleep until Spring. It is so cold and we have months and months of this to come. I want to move to Croatia.

Thanksgiving is coming, though, and I do love it. It is what makes November tolerable. We have a ton of apples and pears, so we are eating those a lot. We are blessed to have our freezers pretty full, so I am actually only shopping for fresh produce and dairy, and looking for hams, our Christmas roast beef, and ground lamb. Everything else, we are pretty well stocked with and though I will still browse the used meat and seafood bins for bargains, it will have to be pretty good to tempt me now. Glory to God Who takes care of big families!

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.

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