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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Craft On: Vacations and Birthdays and Sales, Oh My!

In case you missed it on my main blog page, I just found out a few weeks ago that Blogger/Google stopped sending me any comment notifications about two years ago. I happened to click on the comments tab to adjust something and found around 25 or 30 comments just waiting, some since last January. Please accept my apologies. Some of those were questions, and I am working to answer those notes first. I will try to answer all of them, however. Also, I'm trying to get them to actually send me my notifications from now on - Google actually turned it off and removed my e-mail address, even though that is the address I use to log in and I asked for notification (and used to get them for each and every one without ever turning it off myself). I just found another comment of which I wasn't notified.

We have had an incredibly busy two months, and took several days to go up and down the Oregon coast and the I-5 corridor, visiting friends and family. While it was a bit of a whirlwind, we really needed it, and it was wonderful. We had to take a little bit of a rest last week to make up for it, but it was worth it. Since my birthday was this past Saturday, Rich gave me some excellent gifts. One has already arrived, Traditional Costumes of Saudi Arabia and the other should be here by Friday, Crafts of the Kingdom: Culture and Creativity in Saudi Arabia (for free shipping, get the gift wrapping for $5, which will save you about $7 from the shipping costs). I am so excited about both of these books, not just because they explore the traditional dress and crafts of my heritage, but because they are a treasure for ideas for my knitting, as well.

I have finished a few projects. One will have no publicly modeled photos, except for one on Edith Headless up there. I had enough yarn leftover from making the shorts, that I jokingly said something about making this halter top and Rich told me to get on it. So, this was his birthday/Father's Day gift from me. This would have been completed much earlier, except the pattern had you simply cross stitch the elastic on to the band, so the cross stitches were the only casing it had. I thought that was sloppy, and would get hung up and caught on fingers and shredded in the laundry. So, I simply switched to a smaller width of elastic, and sewed up a casing around the thinner elastic. It's not like Rich will complain if there is less of this garment. The socks were half finished for far too long, and I took them on as my weekend knitting after I finished Alexander's convertible mittens.

I have done almost no serious reading. We have had such a hard two months, and I just haven't been up to it. So, while Desert Queen and X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking have been neglected, I read a few happy, little murders (you can see the titles and links in my sidebar). However, the kids and I finished Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea and are enjoying the Anne-girl again as a family. We began Anne of the Island today. When we finish that and Anne of Windy Poplars, I will play the second Anne movie from Kevin Sullivan.

If you have read this far, I want you to know about a sale I have going on through the end of the month. I have a bundle on PayHip and one on Ravelry which include the eligible patterns. If you use the coupon code Top10, you will receive 45% off any of those patterns through the end of the day, PDT, July 31, 2021. Don't miss out on this sale! Usually I don't share the big sales like this with folks who don't subscribe to my newsletter.


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, July 25, 2021

Menu Plan: July 25 - 31

How can it already be the end of July?! It seems like time always gets away from me. Our gleaning group has kept us in local, ripe fruit, which is awesome. This week we got about 60 pounds of peaches and 20 pounds of sweet cherries. We also have a lot of yellow zucchini and cucumbers through them. A friend who loves to garden, but lives alone has been keeping us in fresh onions and spring onions, as well as Swiss chard, beets, and radishes. We bring her eggs, and she fills our car with produce. I feel like we are getting a better deal. Our salads and vegetable dishes have been wonderful.

We have two repeats this week, one because I ended up much more exhausted than I expected Friday and shifted gears to a different dinner and because Rich wanted to make a meal for my birthday that he could do largely on his own or with help from the kids, so I wouldn't have to cook it myself. I did the searing of the scallops, but he and the kids did everything else. Also, funny fact, I evidently have seafood on nearly all of my birthdays. I didn't notice until my facebook memories showed me years of photos of meals with shrimp, salmon, crab, lobster, and so on.

I decided to pick up a piece of cake for me, and give the kids some other treats that were safe for Jerome. It seemed so awful to make a delicious cake that all of us could have and he could only watch us eat. I will make my own black forest cake when Jerome is able to have it.

We are now in the fourth of six months of Jerome's allergy diet. This means that he is past the halfway mark, and is ever closer to starting to have foods returned to him. Since we already avoided lima beans and he doesn't care much for bananas (which are the one thing the doctor mentioned as possibly being a permanent loss because of true allergy), I would be thrilled only to have to avoid those in the future. The other kids and Rich like bananas, but we can eat different fruit at breakfast or lunch, and he can avoid banana bread quite easily. Please pray that these are the only permanent losses in his diet.

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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Monday, July 19, 2021

Menu Plan: July 18 - 24

After a whirlwind trip down to Oregon to visit family and friends, we are back home and recovering from our vacation. This was our second trip with one of our kids at home while the rest were with us, but the first that the oldest two and Amira were home while we had only the other five. We realized we have to get used to that. Much of this week is down time and catching up at home and work. However, my birthday is this week, too, and while the Jazz in the Valley folks got the date wrong this year (we can forgive them because of the confusion of last year), so we can't go to that this weekend, it will be on next weekend and they have made it free, I think, so we might take some more kids with us.

We have a large amount of cucumbers and summer squash, plus two boxes of pie cherries that we are going to make into pies and pie filling for the freezer. Rich's aunt sent us home with a few bags of marionberries from her yard, so I have a pie and some marionberry lemonade planned. I am so excited because we were able to get some coconut aminos, so I can start to make a semblance of Asian foods for Jerome now. Also, we are so happy with Banza pasta. It is a bit pricey, but it feels like real pasta and holds up, even in a pasta salad for four days in a cooler/fridge, without turning to mush. It has allowed Jerome to have something approaching normal pasta. If you can get it, I highly recommend it.

We are almost in the fourth of six months of Jerome's allergy diet, and the blessing in our trip was how well and how much the restaurant staff were willing not only to accommodate his needs. Often, they went far above and beyond the necessary, as well, making sure he not only had food he could eat, but delicious food, as well. We so appreciated that. It made our trip much easier than it could have been, though we did bring foods with us that he could eat, for those occasions when he couldn't be accommodated, or for times we were not eating out at restaurants.

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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Sunday, July 11, 2021

Menu Plan: July 11 - 17

This is a big week at our house. Rich was finally able to take some vacation time, less than we initially hoped, but enough that we can take a little break. We also celebrate our 27th anniversary of our first meeting on Thursday. We only know that date, because we met at a dance on a Friday that was the Friday week before my birthday. However, we celebrate it every year. This year, Rich has something special planned, and I am excited about that.

We are in the third of six months of Jerome's allergy diet, which is the only wrench in the works. It makes eating out much more challenging and even eating with others is challenging. In general, I have just been planning on cooking every meal or bringing food he can eat wherever we go. The folks at church have been awesome about checking with us on what he can eat, and have brought meals a couple times. They are so careful to include him, even though I said to make whatever was easiest for them and that we would bring food for Jerome, so they didn't have to worry about it. That is a blessing in our struggle.

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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Sunday, July 04, 2021

Menu Plan: July 4 - 10

We had another busy, but good, week, and between the heat, and the extra work, Rich took Friday off, only to spend nearly the entire day doing work via phone/text/laptop instead of in the garden. At least he has tomorrow off for Independence Day. Now, we just hope and pray that everyone else does, too. Our Independence Day celebrations will include music and fireworks on the lake.

It's another birthday week here. Yasmina turns 13 this week! It is exciting having another young adult in our house. This week is a little cooler than last week, so we aren't sweltering, and we can have more normal meals. It's only supposed to be in the 90s most of the week, with a few days that the over-eager weather shamans are predicting to be just over 100˚. Since they were off by at least four to six degrees all of last week, I think it is safe to assume we won't get to 100˚.

Our beef was delivered, and we have beef for quite a while. Since we didn't order this butchering, specifically, we couldn't ask for specific cuts or roasts, so it is missing some of the things we would have asked for, like the beef cheeks, oxtails, shanks, shin bones, and rib roasts. However, we have a few tenderloin roasts, which will become our Christmas dinner this year, instead of the rib roast, and loads of other roasts and steaks, plus all the ground beef. Since we had to rearrange the freezer to fit it, we found some things that were on my inventory lists, but that nobody seemed to be able to find, though we are missing a package of rack of lamb that we only got two months ago. That was supposed to be for a date night for Rich and me, so I'm hoping it turns up soon.

We are in the third of six months of Jerome's allergy diet. Even when it is over, it will be another year of slowly adding the ingredients back, so it will be a year and a half before he is completely through it. He is going to have Thanksgiving without a lot of his favorite foods, which is why I made a Thanksgiving dinner for him on his week of reprieve. He should have egg back, by then, and I can modify some of the dishes to use dairy free and gluten-free substitutes. It has been rough, and I didn't realize just how much I depended on egg and dairy, lentils, peas, sesame, cilantro/coriander, and even soy (sauce), for our meals - especially the vegetarian ones. I knew the gluten, wheat and oats would be hard, and I knew that dairy would be a challenge, but this has been more than I expected. He can't eat ketchup, for instance, unless we make it at home. He can't have a lot of things like sausages and bacon, simply because their ingredient list simply says "spices" and doesn't articulate which ones, and the company customer service doesn't get back to us (I'm looking at you Kroger!). I have become best friends and a penpal to several companies (even some in other countries, who reply better than Kroger, by the way) to ask about their cured meats/sausages/sauerkraut/etc. and talk to them on a weekly basis. Every can or package we buy, which is a small quantity, means scrutiny. Mustard might be safe, or not, depending on how well they list their ingredients. We hardly buy pre-made foods, so I cannot imagine what this would have been like for people who do. We are doing the best we can, and trying hard for Jerome's sake, but I really, really pray that we get through this well and that he doesn't have to give up anything permanently. His doctor only really thought that bananas might be a permanent loss, but he doesn't love them, so that is no big deal.

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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Sunday, June 27, 2021

Menu Plan: June 27 - July 3

Rich didn't get to take tomorrow off, because of necessary meetings, but was able to get Thursday off, though he still had to do work at home, not only Thursday, but Friday and Saturday, though he still had his four day weekend to "rest." He didn't really rest, because he worked on the air conditioners, planted in the garden, and worked on his CFII renewal, however, he got to do so on his own schedule. Because of a lot of the responsibilities we had to the airshow, we ended up pushing our end of schoolyear work to this week, so we are finishing up our school term this past week. We will take a break to just rest and read, and then we will pick up some science and history and a little math for the summer.

It is another scorcher this week, so again we are trying to eat cool things or things that can be grilled, cooked in the pressure or slow cooker, made ahead, or made quickly. Some of the meals from last week have been moved because of this. Our whole week is supposed to be in the 100˚ - 115˚ range. We are also getting one and a quarter beef delivered this week, which means we are rearranging freezers (at least that is cold work) and eating as much as we can from our freezers.

We still have quite a lot of asparagus, so we are eating a bit of that. There was no time for pickling, between the airshow and the ballet recital. The girls' recital (sans audience) went well, and all the dancers worked so hard. We are immensely proud of them. However, we are hoping that these next couple weeks of rest, even in the heat, will help get us moving for summer fun and projects. This weekend, some newer, but dear, friends are coming into town, and we are planning on spending a bit of time with them. Their kids are friends with ours, and haven't seen each other since the middle of April.

We are still making meals that are safe for Jerome, so if you have allergies and need ideas, I hope that helps. If you have ideas for us, please share them! We are also keeping the Wednesday and Friday abstinent fasts, though not perfectly strictly. Also, if you didn't see my announcement, please note that I am working through the comments of the last year and a half, now that I know they are there.

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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Monday, June 21, 2021

Many Apologies for the Inconvenience

I just found out today that Blogger/Google has failed to send me any comment notifications for almost two years. I happened to click on the comments tab to adjust something and found around 25 or 30 comments just waiting, some since last January.

Please accept my apologies. Some of those were questions, and I am working to answer those notes first. I will try to answer all of them, however. Also, I think I have made sure that I will actually get my notifications from now on - Google actually turned it off and removed my e-mail address, even though that is the address I use to log in and I asked for notification (and used to get them for each and every one without ever turning it off myself).

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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Menu Plan: June 20 - 26

We had a successful and fun airshow this weekend. However, it began with a terrible tragedy. The airshow was helping give a local motorcycle racer a platform and place to make an attempt at a Guinness World Record breaking jump. On his first practice jump, he fell short and was thrown off of his motorcycle, with his helmet flying off, and ultimately died. This was all in front of the public, and most of his family. Our youngest two daughters were directly on the frontline with me watching as it happened, four of our children were working at the airshow when it happened and saw from a distance, and Alexander was at his job on the field, so heard the news, but didn't see it. Rich, of course, had to be on the spot to take care of what they could and to keep everything else running in the meantime. Please pray for everyone. Please pray for Rich, who had to keep the whole airshow running all weekend while still processing what happened. Pray for Alex Harvill and his family. I will never forget his mother's screams, his wife and brother's sobbing, and his two little children who no longer have a father here, one of whom was an infant and will never know his father. What a sad Father's Day for their family today. Please also pray for Mariam and Nejat, who saw it happen live, and know that he died, but so far don't seem to connect the two, and haven't yet realized that they watched a man die on Thursday. I pray they don't ever make that connection. As soon as I saw it happen, and saw his helmet fly off, I put the girls back into our hatchback where they couldn't see the family's rush to him and grief, where they couldn't see the ambulance and EMTs at work, nor the life flight helicopter. We simply sat together and prayed. When Elijah and Jerome got off their traffic directing shift, they came to us and I had them sit and pray with their sisters, as well.

The airshow itself went off really well and was a fun time for everyone. It was wonderful to have something resembling normal again, to see people's faces and to see their smiles as they left, as Rich said. The pilots and demonstrators did an amazing job, and all went off pretty much as it was supposed to do. I am so thankful for that. The weather was hot and sunny, but not as hot as the one was two years ago. Although, I still got a little sunburned on my shoulders, which was a bit of a surprise for me. Now, we are on to dress rehearsal and ballet recital. Rich has taken Friday and next Monday off to recouperate, so we are also praying for no work emergencies that require him to head back then. We are holding him a little tighter on this Father's Day.

This week is supposed to be a scorcher again. It is projected to be in the mid to upper 90s most of the week, and then go back toward the 100s on the weekend. My meal plans are going to reflect that, because I just don't want to be eating lots of hot foods, or cooking in a hot kitchen for a lot of the week. My plan is to make salads and quick pastas and such, or to make meals that can be cooked in the morning earlier in the day or the day before, and heated quickly for dinner. We are still making meals that are safe for Jerome, so if you have allergies and need ideas, I hope that helps. If you have ideas for us, please share them! We are also keeping the Wednesday and Friday abstinent fasts.

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 18, 2021

More than a Half-Life

It is Rich's and Dominic's birthday today. Dominic is 21 years old and Rich is 51. Dominic is still growing into the man he will be, but he is off to a great start.

Rich, though, is such a great example to him, and is the best man we know. He is a man of integrity, compassion, and kindness. He is a man of faith, love, and optimism. It's been a while since I have done this for him, but it has been an extraordinarily challenging week, so here are:

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Menu Plan: Of Birthdays and Airshows

It is another busy week here. We have the airshow, which will keep all of us busy. It has been keeping Rich late at work for the last couple weeks, and we are looking forward to having him home more after next week. He even took a couple days off to work and rest here. Several of our kids will be volunteering at the show, like they did last time, and we are going as a family to watch and enjoy it. It is also both Rich and Dominic's birthday this week, and it will be busy with work and airshow activities, but we are hoping to take a break and celebrate with them that night.

Next week is going to be pretty busy, too, with dress rehearsals and a recital. I cannot wait until we can rest a little. I've been tired depressed.

We are trying the chicken fried steak next week. There were a ton of leftovers in the fridge, and we had a lot less energy than needed. Friday was the last asparagus run of the season, and we have something like 60 pounds of asparagus, so we are eating with just about every meal. It's going to be a fairly warm week, so we are doing a lot of meals that can be made early in the day or in the pressure cooker or crock pot and things like salads. We are still making meals that are safe for Jerome, so if you have allergies and need ideas, I hope that helps. If you have ideas for us, please share them! We are also keeping the Wednesday and Friday abstinent fasts.

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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Thursday, June 10, 2021

Craft On: Generation X or Whatever. Never mind.

My socks are finished, though they still need to be blocked, and I am pretty close to finished with my trio of mittens. That picture shows where I was yesterday. Can you see that the shared mitten is kind of heart shaped? Albeit with some aortas coming off of the top, but how else can you wear it as a mitten?

Aside from making some more real progress on Desert Queen (it helps when my husband is working late and asking for my editing skills; it gives me more reading time), I also picked up X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking. It is hilarious, and as wry, ironic, and scathing as my generation is. There are some minor quibbles I have with the author, but overall, I think he makes a good argument, and does so in a funny way. Rich asked me when the whatever generation started worrying about itself as a generation, and I said that I think it was when the next generation got attention. We were fine being ignored if we were no longer doing that kind of thing, but it got to be a sticking point when the kids after us weren't. Also, we kind of like being ignored, so we can complain about it a little. Anyway, if you are Gen X, you probably will enjoy the book, if you aren't, you might still find it funny.


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, June 06, 2021

Menu Plan: Corpus Christi

This is another western, and relatively modern, feast, but again, one we adore. It is the celebration of the Real Presence of the Body of Christ in the world. There was no procession with the monstrance and canopy today, but that is one of my favorite things we do on this day. You have the people, who are symbolically the Body of Christ on earth, proclaiming and celebrating the Eucharist, which is actually the Body of Christ on earth. We pray and sing hymns and proclaim in word and action that Christ is alive and here with us. He offers Himself in the Eucharist as a gift to us, a medicine for sin and for our salvation.

Last week we had a heat spike that put us in the 100 degree range for a day or two. So, we switched several meal plans and have some repeats this week. I am so excited to find a way to make a gluten-free, dairy and egg free, chicken fried steak and gravy for Jerome, so we are trying that, too. We are still making meals that are safe for Jerome, so if you have allergies and need ideas, I hope that helps. If you have ideas for us, please share them! We are also keeping the Wednesday and Friday abstinent fasts.

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 05, 2021

Recipe Round Up: Turkish Flatbread

These are really simple to make and quite delicious. I tried them with a gluten-free all purpose flour blend and a coconut and cashew milk yogurt for Jerome, and they worked perfectly. So, if you are dealing with those kinds of allergies or sensitivities, this recipe will still work for you. These don't take as much time as Khoubz Araby, but they are delicious and perfect for wrapping around a gyro (like Slow Cooker Faux Gyros or Eggplant Gyros) or shawerma. Again, I failed to get photographic evidence, but when I have it, I will share it with you.

Turkish Flatbread

2 1/2 cups warm water
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups whole milk yogurt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + more for cooking
2 tablespoons kosher salt
7 1/2 cups pastry or all purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Combine the yeast, sugar, and water in a large measuring cup and mix well. Set aside for 5 - 10 minutes. The mixture will be foamy and bubbly.

In a large bowl, add flour and parsley. Whisk in the yeast mixture, yogurt, olive oil and salt and stir with a sturdy spoon or spatula until the dough comes together.

Turn dough out onto a well floured counter and knead for a few minutes, until dough is no longer sticky and springs back when lightly pressed. Sprinkle more flour onto the counter as necessary during kneading, being careful not to add so much as to make a dry dough. Divide into 24 equal pieces, sprinkle lightly with flour, and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat a griddle or large frying pan every medium heat. Fill a small bowl with a little olive oil. You will likely replenish it as you fry the flatbreads. While the pan is heating, roll the dough portions until they are about 1/4 inch thick. Brush the top surface of one lightly with the olive oil. When the pan is hot, pick up the first circle with your hand and place in pan, oiled side down. Lightly brush the top surface with oil. Repeat with enough rounds to fill the pan or griddle with room to turn them. Allow to the flatbreads to cook for about 1 - 2 minutes, until top surface is covered with bubbles and underside is golden around the edges and in spots. Adjust the heat as necessary. You do not want these to burn.

Flip flatbreads over and cook for another minute to minute and a half, until a few small golden spots appear. Be careful not to overcook. Repeat the oiling and frying process with remaining uncooked flatbreads.

Stack flatbreads on a clean kitchen towel after cooking and wrap up to steam a bit and retain softness. If you are lucky enough to have any left, you can store them in an airtight container or ziplock bag and reheat on a dry pan or in the oven to eat later. We never have any left.

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Sunday, May 30, 2021

Menu Plan: Trinity Sunday

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

Trinity Sunday is not as big a feast day as the Paschal feast or Pentecost or the Nativity, but I love it. Even though I tend to lean east and tend to "read" east online, this is a thoroughly western feast that I think the entire Church should enthusiastically celebrate. It is a theological feast. It celebrates what we believe. We believe in, rejoice in, and love the Trinity! In the east, it is celebrated along with Pentecost, 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 in the west to primary first class status in 1911, again to counter heretical teaching. In the east, while it is not primary, in the quite the same way, it is the first of the three day observance of Pentecost, and is also called Trinity Sunday. God is unity (one God) and community (three Persons) and has created all people to be in one in community.

Since Rich has Monday off, we are hoping to get some rest in this weekend. It has been such an exhausting time for us, with a lot of things to decide and think about and just a lot going on right now. It doesn't appear that life will slow down significantly until around the end of June, either. Please pray for us. We are still making meals that are safe for Jerome, so if you have allergies and need ideas, I hope that helps. If you have ideas for us, please share them! We are also keeping the Wednesday and Friday abstinent fasts.

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, May 29, 2021

Recipe Round Up: Red Potato Salad, Persian Chopped Salad & Eggplant Gyros

Red Potato Salad

4 pounds red potatoes
10 scallions, finely chopped
17 ounces Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1 cup olive oil
juice of 3 lemons
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup fresh dill, finely chopped (or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried dill)
mayonnaise, to serve (optional)

Quarter potatoes and boil until just done. Drain and cool.

Make vinaigrette out of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and dill.

Put potatoes in large bowl with scallions and olives, toss lightly. Dress salad and toss to coat each potato. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Serve cold with an optional dollop of mayonnaise.

Persian Chopped Salad

12 Middle Eastern cucumbers, or about 2 - 3 long English cucumbers, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 pound cherry or pear tomatoes, halved or quartered, according to size
8 scallions, finely chopped
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves finely minced
juice of 4 limes
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
salt and pepper, to taste (I use about a teaspoon of each)

Place all the vegetables and the mint in a large bowl. Whisk the lime juice, olive oil, honey, and salt and pepper into a dressing. Toss the dressing with the salad. Taste to adjust seasoning, you do not want this too sweet; the honey is just there to balance the tartness of the dressing. It should not be tasted in the final salad.

Eggplant Gyros

We made these a little differently than we normally do, because the za'atar blends that are available usually include sesame seeds, which Jerome can't have for quite a while. If we could get ahold of just the herb itself (which is a wild marjoram - some say oregano or thyme, it seems to cross all of them - and we are going to try to grow it this year), rather than the blend with other spices and seasonings, we could use that, too. This recipe can be scaled back or scaled up, as necessary. If you do make a quantity this large, you may wish to roast the eggplant, rather than fry it, but frying it is really tasty. Jerome has some cashew and coconut milk yogurt that we used for his gyros, and some vegan feta "cheese" that he used while we used a nabulsi cheese with nigella seeds in it and regular yogurt. We had the taratoor to go with ours, and he simply didn't use it. If you like, you can load these up with roasted or fresh pepper slices, kalamata olives, and other vegetables. It is a delicious way to get in all those vegetables, and is perfect for summer abundance. One of these days, I will share how we make our Turkish style flatbreads. They are a simple yeasted griddle bread, and are delicious.

6 eggplants, cut into bite sized cubes (about 12 cup uncooked)
3 tablespoons olive oil + more for frying or roasting
6 tablespoons za’atar (can be found at Middle Eastern markets and many spice shops)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt, to taste (I usually use almost 1 1/2 tablespoons of kosher salt)
Aleppo pepper (or freshly ground black pepper, if you cannot get this), to taste (I use a good teaspoon)
2 medium red onions, peeled and very thinly sliced
3 - 4 Persian cucumbers (or 1 large English cucumber), thinly sliced
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 bunch parsley, leaves only, finely chopped
1 small bunch fresh dill, trimmed and minced (or 1 1/2 tablespoons of dried dill weed)
30 Greek or Turkish style flatbreads
3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 hearts of romaine lettuce, shredded
taratoor (optional, to serve)
plain, full fat yogurt (optional, to serve)
crumbled feta or nabulsi cheese (optional, to serve)
Kalamata olives (optional, to serve)

Place the eggplant in a large bowl and rub with olive oil, za’atar, oregano, salt and Aleppo pepper until well coated.

To sauté: heat a bit more oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and cook for 10 - 15 minutes until very tender. To roast: Place the eggplant in a jelly roll pan, drizzle with a little more olive oil, and roast at 425˚F for 30 - 45 minutes, until they are very soft and shrunken a bit.

Combine the very thinly sliced onion, cucumber, vinegar, parsley and dill in a bowl. Let sit while you cook the eggplant. When you serve it, use a slotted spoon so you don't get too much liquid and make your gyro soggy.

To serve, place a flatbread on a plate, scoop some eggplant, some of the quick pickled vegetable mixture, sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and drizzle with the taratoor and/or yogurt. Sprinkle some cheese and olives on top, roll it up and eat it. Some will fall out, but that will just make the beginning of your next one.

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Friday, May 28, 2021

Craft On: Crafting and Sales

This past week I have been working on socks and mittens. The socks will probably be finished either this weekend, or shortly after that. It's fun to watch the stripes appear, and it is easy, mindless knitting to do while I am doing or listening to something else. The toe and heel are done exactly the same, and are not too difficult to remember, either. The mittens are moving right along, and I am hoping to get the trio finished so I can block and take photographs in the next couple weeks, then get the pattern to my tech editor shortly after that. Everything takes me a bit longer than I expect now, which I have started to expect, but I am evidently still not quite there on just how much more time it will take.

Since today and tomorrow are the last two days of the Ember Days for this season, I thought I would put this pattern on sale for 30% off through tomorrow night at midnight, end of day PDT, May 29, 2021. You can use the coupon code emberdays2 on both PayHip and Ravelry.

But wait, there's more! As it is Memorial Day weekend, I am also putting all my individually sold patterns in my PayHip store and Ravelry store on sale for 20% off with the coupon code MemorialDay through the end of the day PDT, Monday, May 31, 2021. We all need a little pick me up, so I thought that this was as good a reason as any. I hope you enjoy your discount on these patterns!

I have been able to spend a little more time with Desert Queen, and it's getting really good. Now I know better than to make predictions about how long it will take me to finish. Nejat has become interested in the story, and she has had me read a little to her every now and then.


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, May 23, 2021

Menu Plan: May 23 - 29

Blessed feast! This is the second highest feast of the Church year. It is the birthday of the 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. We are having our Tongues of Flame Barbecue again this year! It's not as big and extensive as they have been in the past, but we are doing it, which makes me so happy. One of these years, we will also do a talent show to show off our gifts of the Spirit.

Our weather is warming up, so we are having more cold/cool meals for dinner now. Still keeping up with Jerome's dietary restrictions, and keeping two meatless days each week. I hope our menus and recipes help you if you are looking for allergy friendly foods, or eating with the Church, or simply looking for something different for dinner or breakfast. I found a biscuit recipe that is vegan and gluten-free, so I am using that to make some breakfasts this week.

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

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, May 22, 2021

Recipe Round Up: Loco Moco, Vegetarian Rouz Bukhari, and Koubbat Battatas

Loco Moco

This recipe is really a general one. I use either hamburgers we have made or leftover hamburgers from grilling or pre-shaped ones. Just use the ones you like. It is really tasty and makes a filling meal. I serve it with garlic rice and fruit, vegetable or salad. This week, we made roasted asparagus with it, as well as having some fruit. Because of Jerome's dietary restrictions, I used oil and bacon grease in place of the butter and increased the worcestershire sauce and left out the soy sauce. Normally, though I use the butter and soy sauce, and it really is better that way (though the bacon grease cooked onions are pretty good). We also skipped the fried egg for him. Next year, we will go back to normal. The way I have written the recipe here, it serves our family of 10. You can easily adjust for the number of portions you need.

10 hamburger patties

Gravy:
4 tablespoons butter
4 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I prefer either sweet onions or red onions)
4 cups strong beef broth
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup soy or tamari sauce
4 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
generous amount freshly gound black pepper
1/4 cup corn starch
1/3 cup water

oil or butter to fry eggs
10 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste

white rice or garlic rice
1 large bunch parsley, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons per person)
2 bunches scallions, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons per person)

In a large skillet, fry your hamburger patties about 4 - 5 minutes per side. Set aside on a plate.

In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat and sauté the onions until well browned and soft. Remove from pan and set aside.

Pour in the beef broth, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce and water. Bring to a boil and season with black pepper.

Make a slurry with the corn starch and water and drizzle into gravy mixture to thicken. Remove from heat.

Fry the eggs sunny side up in an another pan, seasoned with the salt and pepper. I cook them about a minute covered, then uncovered for 2 - 3 minutes, but if you like your eggs more or less cooked than that, adjust as you wish.

To serve: Place a scoop of rice on the plate, put a hamburger patty on top of that, top with some of the sautéed onions, ladle some gravy over this, then place a fried egg on top, sprinkle parsley and scallions over that.

Vegetarian Rouz Bukhari

So, mostly this was something made with meat and meat broth and served with meat when I was growing up. However, this version of it is so good, and can be served on both meat and meatless days for us. That makes it more versatile for our family.

4 cups basmati rice
1/4 cup olive oil + 2 tablespoons (or 2 tablespoons ghee/butter) for garnish
2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 carrots, peeled and grated
2 whole cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
5 whole cardamom pods
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper (or more, to your taste)
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
2 cups cooked and drained chickpeas
6 1/2 cups hot vegetable broth or water
salt, to taste (I tend to use about a teaspoon of kosher salt)
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup sultanas (golden raisins)

Rinse and drain your rice at least three times, until the water runs clear. Then cover with warm water and let it soak for at least 10 minutes, while you prepare and gather the other ingredients.

In a large pot, over medium high heat, add 1/4 cup of oil and fry the onions, with a pinch of salt, until they soften and start to get brown at the edges. Add in the carrots and sauté for a minute or two. While the onions are cooking, drain the rice and have it ready to add to the pot.

To the onion and carrot mixture, add all your spices and sauté for about 30 seconds to a minute, stirring. Quickly add the drained rice and the chickpeas and stir gently to incorporate with the vegetables and spices and to coat with the oil. Pour in the hot vegetable broth, stir and let come to a boil with the lid partially covering the rice. Allow to come to a full, rolling boil, then cover, and reduce heat to the lowest possible setting, and cook for 20 minutes, undisturbed. Don't peek at your rice.

As the rice cooks, heat a frying pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or ghee/butter), then the nuts and cook gently, stirring constantly and never looking away for a few minutes, just until the nuts get fragrant and start to softly brown at the edges. Do not look away. Do not walk away. They will immediately burn, and you will have to start over again. When they are fragrant and just brown, turn off the heat and add the sultanas. Stir together, then remove from the heat.

When the rice is cooked, remove the lid and gently fold and fluff the rice, then cover again and let it sit for about 5 minutes off the heat. Garnish the top with the toasted nuts and sultanas to serve.

Koubbat Battatas

This is a different way to make potato koubbeh. Rather than the vegetarian way that I make, which is also wheat based, this is similar to the way the Iraqis make it, and has no wheat, but does have a meat filling. I could not get mine to fry in a pretty way at all, so instead used the oven, and coated it liberally with oil and just roasted the patties and flipped them half way, which produced lovely, browned and delicious koubbeh for us. It was also faster than frying them in batches, so I am just going to do that from here on out. This made about 20 patties for us, and left us a bit of the filling, which we simply ate over rice.

4 pounds potatoes, peeled, boiled, mashed and cooled
2 tablespoons rice flour or corn starch
1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 1/2 pounds ground lamb or beef
1 tablespoon oil + more to coat the baking pans
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

Preheat your oven to 425˚F and set out two shallow baking sheets with rims. Coat generously with oil and set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the tablespoon of oil and the ground meat. Cook until starting to brown, breaking up as you cook the meat, then add the onions, and cook until the onions are soft and the meat is brown. Add the garlic, salt, and allspice, and cook for about a minute or two more. Stir in the parsley and remove from heat to cool a little.

Mix the potatoes well with the rice flour or corn starch and the salt. Break off a piece about the size of a large walnut (still in its skin - maybe an inch or so in diameter), and hold it in one hand, hollowing it out with the thumb of your other hand. Fill with about a tablespoon and a half of the filling. Pinch the edges together to seal, then gently flatten into a disc shape and set on the oiled pan. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture and filling. Bake for about 12 minutes, then carefully turn over and return to the oven, baking for another 12 minutes. You may need to add a little oil if you weren't quite so generous with the pan initially. Serve warm.

this is what they looked like when I was trying to fry them

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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Craft On: Finishing

It is feeling good to finish things! I finished the dishtowel (next time I make one, I would shorten it by about six inches, four on the back and two on the front), and I am almost finished with a pair of stripey socks. They aren't complicated, just really basic socks with an afterthought heel, but it is so fun and cheerful. Since my sad experience with the Sock Madness qualification round this year, I just haven't been able to get into it. Even as a cheerleader who doesn't need to compete to specs or anything, I just haven't been able to get excited about it. Maybe next year, I will be able to be more enthusiastic. The warm up patterns and games were so much fun, but the qualifying round really soured me on it, and I was initially not interested in even trying next year. It was my goal to finally get on a competing team, but I was ready to give up on it. Now, I am open to the possibility.

My designing mojo has finally started returning. This past year and a half has been so emotionally and mentally challenging, and it really slowed down my work and made it harder for me to be productive. That is still true, but I am starting to be able to cope a little better. I'm getting excited about these mittens, even though I probably won't be releasing the pattern until next January, in time for Valentine's Day.

I'm enjoying the progress on these sweetheart mittens, but I am a little concerned that the joint mitten is going to look more like an anatomical heart than the heart shape.

I think I have decided to give up on Rogue Wave and I'm still trying to read the excellent Desert Queen, which requires a little more intellectual engagement. Also, I started Resurrecting Easter: How the West Lost and the East Kept the Original Easter Vision, which I have been wanting to read for some time.


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, May 16, 2021

Menu Plan: May 16 - 22

We had a trip back "home" this past week and got to spend a few minutes on the harbor. It was literally a breath of fresh air. We had such a delightful time by the salt water, the trees, the mountains, and it did fill us with some homesickness. However, it is good to be back home again with our kids. I really needed that break, too. It has been a while since I posted any updates on my crafting or reading, and I hope to get back to that this week, also.

There is a lot of roasted asparagus on our menu this week. It is fresh and local, and we are getting it for $0.75/pound, and we just haven't had time to do any pickling of it. That will be on our next load of asparagus, I think. We also have a couple repeats on meals this week, just because they didn't really work out with our schedule last week. Rich and I had to leave a day earlier than planned, so I simplified a meal so the kids wouldn't have as much to keep track of with regards to Jerome's diet. We will see it again this week, though. Breakfast is still pretty automated. However, I am going to be including more eggs for the kids, because our chickens are producing a ton and we have too many at home. With Jerome not eating them, we aren't using them as ingredients in shared foods or meals, so that means a few breakfasts and a dinner that will almost be two different meals, rather than the same one, so they don't go to waste. Also, if you are local, maybe we can work out a trade or something, and you can get fresh eggs from us.

The koubbat battatas we made last week was delicious, but frying it was a disaster. I ended up coating a jelly roll pan generously with oil, putting the formed potato koubbeh on the pan, and cooking at a high heat, then turning over to brown on both sides. This was successful, and actually made it a quicker process, so even though I couldn't get them to fry up properly, I don't know that I will try it again, anyway. We salvaged the detonated koubbeh from the oil and ate it over rice. I may share the recipe here, too. I found a recipe for making chicken fried steak and fried chicken that is gluten-free, egg and dairy free, as well. I am thrilled, because I have been wanting to make that for a while, but didn't want to leave Jerome out of it. I can use his gluten-free flour mixture to make biscuits he can eat, too. The gravy is something I am still working on, but I will let you know when I have a solution there.

This week, we have another birthday, and we are so excited. Nejat turns eight this week, and we are having a small celebration with the family, which she was trying to plan so that Jerome can eat it with us. The kids have really been wonderful about looking out for him. She will have a party when we can work it out with her guests' schedules. Pentecost is next week, which is the second highest feast in the Church year. We look forward to the birthday of the Church and the bestowing of the gifts of the Spirit. Christ is risen!

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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Sunday, May 09, 2021

Menu Plan: May 9 - 15

The kids and Rich gave me a lovely and restful Mother's Day. Rich had me get myself a burr coffee grinder that I have wanted for a while, and sent me off yesterday with a friend to a local fiber festival where I picked up some socks and yarn. The three younger girls put together a gorgeous floral bouquet for me, Amira made me that card, Alexander made meals with Rich and did loads of cleaning, Dominic gave me a gift card so I could go out for a treat, Nejat went with Rich to spend her own money to buy me some fancy chocolates, and made me a bead ring, and all of them did what I wanted for the day and made me feel appreciated. We talked birth stories, which interested most of the kids, actually. The younger girls asked to see my c-section scar. That was a little odd, but I thought it was good that they were interested.

This week will be full of a lot of busy-ness, but I am trying to have good meals, anyway. We have the first of the asparagus of the year, so there is a lot of that, too.

The Ascension is Thursday, with Pentecost coming shortly after that. Christ is risen!

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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Sunday, May 02, 2021

Menu Plan: May 2 - 8

Spring has finally sprung here for real. Now, we have lived here long enough to know that we might still see a killing frost between now and Memorial Day, but we have hope. Even our place, which is a little outside of town, has a different microclimate, and folks in town don't see as cool temperatures, as late into the year, as we do. We've had many years of lost fruit on trees, though, and have learned to be cautious. The flowers are blooming, though, and we have lilacs in abundance, violets, daffodils, tulips, and grape hyacinths. From now through July is the most pleasant, prettiest time of the year here.

It is also starting to warm up a little. The morning temperatures last week were almost never below freezing. We are supposed to be in the 70s most of this week. It is going to be pleasant and, except for my allergies making things more difficult, I plan to enjoy it as much as possible. We are still doing a lot of cooking out of our freezers and pantry. All our meals will either be completely safe for the numerous food sensititivities for Jerome, or have a simple alternative to make it so for him, as well as preserving our two meatless days each week. Breakfasts are honestly the hardest part of this for me, so I have kind of automated it to be mostly the same dishes or types of dishes each week.

Christ is risen!

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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