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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Menu Plan: Week of Pentecost



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

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

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

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

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Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Saturday, May 30, 2020

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



Magical Macadamia, Coconut and Chocolate Cookies


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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Light Bread

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

Sponge:

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

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

Dough:

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

1 tablespoon bacon grease or softened butter to grease pans

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, May 29, 2020

Flashback Friday: Logos Hat and Mittens


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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Craft On: Shawls, Shawls, Shawls!


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

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

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

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




Linking to Keep Calm and Craft On.

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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Menu Plan: May 24 - 30



Christ has Ascended! From Earth to Heaven! Alleluia!

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

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


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


Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Friday, May 22, 2020

Flashback Friday: Aejej


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

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

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

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Craft On: Almost FO


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

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


Linking to Keep Calm and Craft On.

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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Menu Plan: May 17 - 23



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

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


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


Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Friday, May 15, 2020

Flashback Friday: Saint Veronica


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

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

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Craft On: Mittens for May


Yasmina's mittens are finished! Just in time for Summer. There are a few ends that need to be woven in and they still need to be blocked, but they are finished. It's getting to the 70s on a regular basis now, so she really needs mittens.

Vespers is still taking longer than I wish it would, but I am making good progress on Ember Days, which at least feels better. I have taken to working on one each day, alternating, so I see some real progress, but still break up the work a little. Because the shawl grows faster, and takes far less yarn and time than the infinity scarf, I am working on it Tuesdays and Thursdays, and working on Vespers Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The weekends are still for non-design knitting or crocheting, so I am looking forward to continuing a shawl I started Sunday. It's for me and my first time trying my hand at intarsia, with a contrast edging that is knit with the shawl.

Though I am still not finished with Babel, I've made more progress in it lately than I have in a while. I am finally able to focus a little more each night when I read, so that is a bonus for me. We finished By the Shores of Silver Lake, and have finally started The Long Winter. Our winter was actually much shorter than it normally is, and we are well into spring now, but this sequestering at home has been a similar isolation. At least we aren't frozen and starving.


Linking to Keep Calm and Craft On.

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Sunday, May 10, 2020

Menu Plan: May 10 - 16



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

Nejat's birthday is this week, and she will not get her wish of freedom. We are doing the best we can with our lives disrupted as they are. The yard is getting more work on it, and our garden is progressing. We are hoping the hard freeze that happened recently was after the cherry blossoms were pollinated so we get cherries this year. A friend of ours from the grocery

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


Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Friday, May 08, 2020

Flashback Friday: Tutabaq


Much of designing is really problem solving. In this case, one of the problems was how to use a single ball of an eye catching, orphan skein of a novelty yarn at the yarn shop where I worked many years ago. The reality is that I thought it was sparkly and pretty, but other than that, it wasn't really my style. Paired with some wool and fulled to make a cool bag that was constructed rather smartly, though, it became a treasure. This purse is made entirely in one piece, and if you are comfortable with grafting, there is not a single stitch of sewing either. Do you have some novelty yarn from 15 or 20 years ago that you aren't sure why you bought it in the first place? This is a great way to use it.

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

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Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Craft On: Stay at Home Forever


So, our Imperial Governor will not release anyone in our state. The soonest things might open up, but we are pretty sure he will not go through with it, will be the middle or end of August. How has your week gone?

I am not finished with Vespers, but have made progress, and I am speeding along on Ember Days, mostly because it is at the beginning stage of quick growth. The sunshiny color is one of my few consolations right now. I knit on Yasmina's mittens this weekend, finished the first one, and am working on the thumb gusset increases on the second now.

Since I have been exhausted with depression, I am still reading Babel and we still have a few chapters in By the Shores of Silver Lake.


Linking to Yarn Along and Keep Calm and Craft On.

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Sunday, May 03, 2020

Menu Plan: May 3 - 9



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

We are getting ready for our third family birthday in this "quarantine" now, which has been way longer than 40 days, by the way. 48 days and counting - our governor has extended it through at least May 31. We won't even have Ascension Day free. We are trying to figure out how to navigate that. How are you handling things like that? Are you as done with this as I am?

In kitchen related news, one burner on our stove has been unusable since the week before Holy Week, and another that has not worked at its maximum since we got it, and the repair people at A & E Factory Service, which is the worst company in the universe. Their techs are trying the best they can, but their service and customer service and reliability are miserable. Never use them if you have a choice. We didn't. They are the company that handles Lowe's warranty service. We have had four major appliances break down since August - our refrigerator, which we replaced in August, our dryer, in October, and literally a week later, our washing machine. It took A & E until January to "finish" the calls on our washer and dryer, and still they messed up. Multiple times, they didn't show up without notice, or they would show up, and tell us that nothing could be done until a much later date, with more appointments (some missed again), and didn't have basic parts with them. Now, we were supposed to have someone come on the 17th, and an hour and a half after the window the tech was supposed to arrive we got an e-mail saying that he wouldn't make it. Allegedly, he is coming tomorrow. I am not holding my breath.

Anyway, we are making more progress on the yard and on the garden, which makes me happy. We are making some real efforts to rid our yard of grass, and get rid of the lawn, replacing it with spreading herbs and clover, English daisies, and chamomile, so we will still have something green and springy that we can walk on, but that won't inflame all my allergies and immune response. We are finding ways to make our yard around the house a shadier area, but with deciduous trees, so we will get the sun into the house in the fall and winter, when it is so cold here.

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 02, 2020

Recipe Round Up: Cheese Zombies and Kiflice


Cheese Zombies


I have no idea why these are called cheese zombies. I have no idea what zombies have to do with them at all. It looks like it was created in the Yakima valley. What I do know is that a friend of mine who used to cook for a local Catholic school made them for lunches there, and said that they were a favorite until a certain President's wife crusade to make everything "healthier" and they could no longer use as much cheese or the butter. I have no such restrictions, so I made it with even more butter and added garlic. Rich added finely chopped jalapeños to his.

double recipe of pizza dough
32 ounces of cheddar cheese or a mix of cheddar and another cheese, shredded
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup butter

In a medium saucepan, simmer the butter with the garlic for five minutes, to infuse the butter with the garlic. Strain the garlic out, reserving it for the inside of the zombies.

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Brush an 11 X 17 inch baking pan generously with the melted butter. Pat out a layer of the pizza dough into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with cheese and the reserved minced garlic. Roll out the second half of the pizza dough to fit the pan and press over the top, sealing the edges as you can. Brush the top with more butter, leaving some to drizzle over the top later. Bake for 25 minutes, and brush remaining butter over the top when you remove the pan from the oven. Cut into serving size pieces and eat with tomato soup.



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Kiflice

These little crescent cookies are so lovely and, again, are food from our beloved Croatia. I understand that if the plum preserves are not thick enough, it is fairly normal to thicken it with ground walnuts so the preserves do not ooze out of the cookies. I found a recipe online, and kind of translated it to American units and a method that made sense to me, because it was a little loose on those instructions. I used a stand mixer for this, but a hand mixer or even a bowl and whisk or wooden spoon would be fine. This recipe makes 32 crescents. If you cut the circles into 10 pieces, and used 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of jam, you could have 40.

Dough

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3 egg yolks
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons of dark rum
4 1/2 cups pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Filling

12 - 13 ounce jar plum preserves

Serving

2 - 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Combine the egg yolks and white sugar and beat until thick and pale. Add in the butter, rum, vanilla essence, lemon rind, sour cream mix well.

Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the egg and butter mixture, little by little until a soft ball of dough is made.

Cover the dough with plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to two hours. Remove from the fridge and divide into four equal pieces. Working quickly with one section at a time on a lightly floured surface, roll each piece out to about a 10 inch circle and divide into eight pieces each.

Preheat oven to 350° F and line two large baking sheets with parchment. Butter or spray the parchment.

Place a dollop of the jam, about 3/4 to 1 teaspoon, on the wide end of each triangle and roll up into a crescent.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until light golden in color.

Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool. Dust with powdered sugar to serve.

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Friday, May 01, 2020

Flashback Friday: Naseem


This little kerchief headband is a quick and easy introduction to true knitted lace. Lace knitting is made when there is patterning only on the right side of the work. Knitted lace is when there is patterning on both sides of the work. This design is the latter. It is a cute accessory and can be made as a gift for summer birthdays. It is available in two sizes, which are easily adjustable, with an option for a doll sized kerchief to accompany a child's piece.

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

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