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Friday, July 31, 2020

Friday Flashback: Saint Catherine of Alexandria


Photo on the left used with permission from Geneve Hoffman Photography.

Here is a pattern that I have shared before. It was published first in Storey Publishing's One-Skein Wonders for Babies, with only two sizes, but is now available for individual sale in five sizes from 0 - 6 months through 4/5 years. I played with the idea of a heart in this cache-coeur, or heart holder, which is a cross between a cardigan and a shawl. It is a really convenient garment for children, because it allows freedom of movement, but closes, using only two buttons. No wrestling a little one to get all the buttons closed. Even with the lace heart on the back (not where a baby can get fingers tangled up!), it is a quick knit, and makes for an impressive shower gift. Since it is now graded up to size 5, you can make one for an older sister to match, too. In the sample on the right, I used a seed stitch border rather than a garter stitch, and simple modifications are easy to do.

If you are interested in purchasing it, you can find it on PayHip, Ravelry, and LoveCrafts. I have a discount that was previously only available to my newsletter subscribers, but wanted to share it with you. Use the code threesizes on either PayHip or Ravelry and you will receive 30% off your purchase of the pattern. If you purchase this on LoveCrafts and wish to take advantage of the discount, please e-mail me with your receipt, and I will refund the difference. I am also happy to send a direct invoice from PayPal.

Please note that the pattern in the book only includes the first two sizes. If you are working from the book, please be aware that there are errors in rows 29 and 31 of the chart. They should read as follows:

29: K1, *K1, Kfb, YO, SSK, YO, Dec4, YO, K2tog, YO, Kfb, K2; repeat from * to end.

Row 31: K1, *K2, Kfb, YO, Dec4, YO, K3; repeat from * to end.


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

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Craft On: New Pattern and Sample Progress


In case you missed it, Vespers is now available in Knotions Magazine's August issue!

I am almost where I want to be on Qibli. The goal had been to be at the heel flap, but I am still on the heel turn. It is working as I wanted it to, though, and I have about half the heel turn and then the flap to do. If I can finish that tomorrow, then I will pick up stitches for the border edging, which will be fun, and should go quickly. I'm hoping to be able to send a picture of the slipper and the pattern to my technical editor by Friday. Please wish me speed and good fortune.

We finished The First Four Years as a family. Right now we are trying to decide what our next book should be. There is a little debate between Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Charlotte's Web. I'm still reading Kristin Lavransdatter, slowly, and enjoying it. Amira and I are working our way through Songs of Praise with the women's study and prayer group each week. I am so impressed with her insight, and how she really engages with the text and with the adult women in the group. It was supposed to include some of her friends' mothers and their daughters, but none could join us. I was concerned that she wouldn't be interested because her friends weren't there, but she has really stepped up and been an asset to our group. It is so neat to interact with her as a fellow woman in Christ and not just as her mother.


Linking to Keep Calm and Craft On.

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

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Sunday, July 26, 2020

Menu Plan: July 26 - August 1


These are my birthday flowers from Rich. He brought me 44 roses for my 44 years.

Poor Rich has had such a rough schedule the last couple weeks, and we have the rest of this week before it is through. On top of that, he ate something that did not sit well at all and ended up home, sick, for two days last week (though he still did some work from home and had to go deal with some of the things with the big project). We had not slept more than three hours at a time for over two weeks until Friday and I feel like I am about to have an episode. Part of the project is finished, though, so we got the entire weekend to rest and relax a little before it starts again Monday night.

In better news, I have some great meals planned this week. We're kind of eating around the world this week, like we did last week. The Dutch meatballs were so good, that we are having them again this week, and I will share the recipe with you on Saturday, along with one for the potato and carrot mash, and a potato and garbanzo bean curry that we like. Because of our exhaustion, last week's recipe round up is postponed, but I will share it as soon as possible. Also, we had so much food leftover on Saturday and we were still trying to catch up from our sleepless life that we ate leftovers and fruit and moved that dinner to tonight.

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, July 24, 2020

Vespers Softly Approach


I am so excited to share a new pattern with you! Vespers is available in Knotions Magazine's August Tutorial Issue and it is completely free to you.

Vespers are the prayers said at evening, from the Latin word for evening, which are meditative and repetitive. This design can also be described that way. The “cheater” brioche stitch used in the pattern is easy to memorize, and can be done at a relaxed pace without too much concentration; providing all the squish of garter stitch, with a little more interest. It is perfect for comfort or prayer knitting. This infinity scarf can be worn long, doubled around the neck, wrapped over the ears for extra warmth (or as a head covering for Vespers), or even as a shrug of sorts. It is wonderful for using those mini-skein sets I can never resist, and is also suitable for using up leftovers from other projects.

There are so many free tutorials available in this issue to help you build your knitting and crochet skills, including one specifically for this honeycomb "brioche" type stitch. The first few rounds can be a little tricky, but once you get past the first few rounds and are able to "read" your knitting it becomes much easier and fairly quick.

I have a couple videos available here for you to see how it's done:

joined_video_34558ead2e2b426cb5da61bf7fbad6e8
How to K1Below

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How to P2tog w/Strand Below




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One more thing! Because it is my birthday today, I have a special treat for you. If you use the coupon code happy15thanniversary on any of my single patterns available at PayHip or Ravelry from now through the end of Sunday night, July 26, you will receive 29% off of your purchase. Enjoy!

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

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Craft On: Back to Qibli and Newsletter Goodies


The sample is finished! I have the photograph with the publisher, and now I can work on my other projects without guilt. Also, please check out the link to my newsletter below if you are interested in bonuses for subscribers. Let's just say that this is a good week to sign up for it (and you will want to do it before Friday!). I am finally back on track for real with Qibli. It's not quite where it was before I ripped back, but almost there.

One thing I wanted to let you know was that there is now an aggregate site that a fellow designer has set up to help showcase the patterns from fiber designers who either have their own websites with shopping carts or who have a storefront with another shopping cart system like PayHip or Shopify. Indie Pattern Portal is just beginning, but has knit and crochet designers listed, as well as being open to featuring sewing and embroidery pattern designers, as well.

We finished These Happy Golden Years and started The First Four Years as a family. I'm reading Kristin Lavransdatter again, and I am enjoying it so much. The little references to yarn and dyeing are also a treat as I read.


Linking to Keep Calm and Craft On.

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

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Sunday, July 19, 2020

Menu Plan: July 19 - 25


It is my birthday this week! Because we are still on Lord Inslee's restrictions, it is more subdued, but we are getting Salvadoran take out from a local restaurant and I am making fancy cake. We have a repeat this week, because we ended up with a ton of salad ingredients and made chef salad last night instead of the dinner I had planned. I love that my birthday is between the feasts of Saint Mary Magdalene and Saint James the Apostle. I love these holy people, and I love what they did for our faith. Saint Mary Magdalene, one of the myrrh-bearers and called Equal to the Apostles, is one of my favorite saints, and her faith and brave witness as an evangelist to those in the highest places inspires me, even as I am often timid about speaking up to people I know.

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

Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Saturday, July 18, 2020

Delicious Soup and a Bonus Pressure Cooker Bean and Grain Guide

This recipe makes enough for 20, but it also freezes really well, so honestly, I would recommend making it in this quantity, eating some for lunch the next day and freezing the rest. This is an easy to modify recipe, and if you had summer squash, that would be a great addition to include when you put the potatoes and carrots in the pot.

Arabic Beef and Vegetable Soup


olive oil
3 pounds boneless beef stew meat or 4 pounds bone in meat such as shank
salt and pepper
6 large onions, peeled and diced
1 large bunch celery or 2 hearts of celery, trimmed and finely sliced, including leaves
1 large bunch cilantro, trimmed and minced
10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes, with their juices, snipped with kitchen scissors
3 sticks cinnamon
3 bay leaves
12 carrots, peeled and sliced into medium chunks
6 large potatoes, scrubbed and peeled
1 large bunch parsley, trimmed and minced
1 pound frozen peas or cooked garbanzo beans (optional)

I used a counter top electric pressure cooker and the shank meat, but you could use a regular pot and cook longer on the stove.

Heat oil on sauté function of pressure cooker and season meat generously with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, then remove from the pot to a plate.

Add more oil, if necessary, and add onions and celery, stirring until they are translucent. Add the cilantro and garlic, and stir for a minute more. Return the meat to the pot, add the canned tomatoes and their juices, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and about 12 cups of water. Add salt to taste. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes.

Release the pressure, remove the meat if it is on the bone to cut into bite sized pieces off of the bone and return to the pot, then add the carrots and potatoes (add the summer squash at this point if you wish). Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes. Release pressure and add the parsley, peas or garbanzo beans (if you are including them), and stir to heat. Remove the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves, taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper, as necessary.

I like to serve the soup with a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and a dollop of a garlic paste made with fresh garlic and salt.


Beans and Grains in the Pressure Cooker

Some people recommend cooking your beans and legumes without salt. Some people are wrong. There is a misguided idea that this somehow prolongs the cooking time. The only thing that does that is age. Cook your beans with salt. I use a tablespoon of kosher salt to every two pounds of dry beans (about 4 cups). This is not enough to make them salty, just enough to bring out their flavor. You will want to add more salt and seasoning depending on what you are making with them afterward. If you like, you may add herbs to the beans as they cook, or sauté onions and garlic in the pot with a little oil or bacon grease first, then add the beans, salt, water, and herbs. I tend to cook them fairly plainly, as I make a lot so I can freeze them to use later.

I will give both soaked and unsoaked times here, but for most beans, the texture is so much better if you soak them first, and you don't have to use as much water, electricity, heat, and time if you soak them first. The soaking water can be used to water your plants or animals. Lentils, however, never need to be soaked, just rinse them and cook them. I don't have kidney type beans listed here, just because I don't care for them and never use them. If you do, though, remember that they, like navy beans, must be boiled for about 15 minutes and then drained and cooked again in fresh water. Navy beans need long boiling, not just the low simmer of other beans, or they will not soften.

I have included information on some grains and rice, as well. Most of these should be cooked at high pressure and then have a natural release. The big exceptions are the rice and lentils, those have some more specific instruction in the chart.


Soaked Legumes:

Black Beans

Fava Beans

Garbanzo Beans/Chick Peas

Pinto Type Beans

White Beans (not navy)

Unsoaked Legumes:

Black Beans

Garbanzo Beans/Chick Peas

Green Lentils

Red Lentils

Pinto Type Beans

White Beans (not navy)

Grains and Rice:

Basmati Rice

Jasmine or Sushi Rice

Arborio or Carnaroli Rice

Aged Brown Basmati Rice

Kamut Berries

Spelt Berries
Ratio of Legume/Grain to Water; Time at High Pressure; Yield per Cup:

1 : 3/4 Cup; 4 - 6 minutes; 2 - 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 1 Cup; 5 - 10 minutes; 2 1/2 - 3 Cups

1 : 3/4 Cup; 4 - 7 minutes; 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 3/4 Cup; 4 - 6 minutes; 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 3/4 Cup; 4 - 7 minutes; 2 - 2 1/2 Cups



1 : 2 Cups; 18 - 25 minutes; 2 - 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 2 Cups; 22 - 25 minutes; 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 2 Cups; 4 - 6 minutes/Quick Release; 2 - 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 2 Cups; 4 - 6 minutes/Quick Release; 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 2 Cups; 20 - 25 minutes; 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 2 Cups; 20 - 25 minutes; 2 1/2 Cups



1 : 1 Cup; 5 minutes/5 minutes NR/Quick Release/Fluff & 5 minutes rest; 3 Cups

1 : 1 1/4 Cups; 3 minutes; 3 Cups

1 : 3 1/2 Cups; 5 - 7 minutes; 4 Cups

1 : 1 1/4 Cups; 12 - 15 minutes/5 minutes NR/Quick Release/Fluff & 5 minutes rest; 3 Cups

1 : 2 Cups; 10 - 15 minutes; 2 1/2 Cups

1 : 1 1/2 Cups; 22 minutes; 3 Cups

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Flashback Friday: Amira


Amira is one of the last patterns I posted about here on the blog when I stopped writing for a while. I love this pattern! It is flattering to so many body types, and is pretty. I graded it to 11 sizes, from finished measurements of 28 to 54.5 inches (69.5 to 136.5 cm). This sleeveless top is a fairly quick knit, especially for a garment, and is great for transitional weather, as well as under a jacket in the winter. This makes is perfect for people in all hemispheres! It uses texture and lace variations of the same stitch pattern to create some open work at the waist, but maintain a modest top. Using between 700 and 1300 yards (640 to 1190 meters) of DK weight yarn, it is also a pretty economical choice for an adult garment. If you used a worsted weight yarn, you could probably use a little less, too.

This is the first pattern I ever really designed, though it took over a decade for me to write it out and knit the sample and edit it for publication. From the beginning it was to be named after our daughter. It is one of four patterns named for our family members already published, and will be joined by six more over the next two years. Amira is available at PayHip, LoveCrafts, and Ravelry.

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

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Craft On: Knitting on the Road


I did not finish that secret project and I am still hustling to get it completed. Everything else is on the backburner. However, over the weekend, I did still work on Mariam's stocking as my weekend and liturgical knitting. I'm just about to the heel on it now, which gives me hope that it will be complete in time for Saint Nicholas this year. We had a family memorial to attend and lots of driving there and back, so I made a good dent in it (when I wasn't so tired I was dropping off to sleep). Still working on that mystery sample project for October, but I am almost finished.

We have a little less than a third of These Happy Golden Years before we are finished. I recently picked up Memoir Your Way again. It was a dream of mine a long time ago to write a cookbook about Arabic cooking as a daughter of immigrants. That has been shelved over the years, but Rich is encouraging me to look into it again. Nothing serious on that front, a notebook with some ideas and rough draft text for a little bit of the conversational bits. I don't even have a title yet, and I have no idea how to get such a thing published, but I'm starting to gather ideas and plans.


Linking to Keep Calm and Craft On.

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

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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Menu Plan: July 12 - 18


I had a whole day of beauty on Friday, and took off almost two feet of my hair as well as getting both a manicure and pedicure. It was so good! Poor Rich had to brace himself for my cutting off so much. Normally, out of deference to him, I don't cut my hair shorter than my bra strap on my back, but I wanted to go to just below my shoulders. I split the difference, and I am glad I didn't go shorter. You can see the before and after up there, as well as my pretty nails. My toes are the same, only with no gold glitter.

We had to make the memorial trip pretty quickly and Rich has to be at work even earlier than normal for tomorrow, but we did get to see our beloved Harbor, and spend some time on the beach.

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


Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Recipe Round Up: Orange Rum Cake


If you are creative with your photography, you can pretend that the pan was greased enough and you didn't have trouble getting the cake out of it.

Orange Rum Cake

My non-drinking husband ate almost this entire cake the last time I made it. The combination of the vanilla and the rum and the orange juice, the brown sugar in the topping with the rum, all of it together with the butter in the syrup is just perfect. If you don't like or can't have the nuts, they can be left off, but the crunchy sweet topping with the brown sugar is really, really good. I haven't done it with just the brown sugar and no nuts, but I would be tempted to try that rather than leave it all off entirely.

Cake:

3 cups pastry flour (or all purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
zest of 6 oranges
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup rum (gold)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract (the paste is really best, it is expensive, but so worth it)

Topping (optional, but really, really good):

1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar

Rum Syrup:

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup rum (gold)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice


Preheat oven to 375˚ F.

Generously (really generously - grease it, then grease it again when it has solidified) butter a tube or bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer, or a large bowl with a hand mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Add the orange zest and mix to blend.

In a small bowl, mix together buttermilk, rum, orange juice and vanilla paste or extract.

Add dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture, alternately, to the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients, mixing well in between each addition.

Mix brown sugar and chopped pecans and sprinkle in the bottom of the prepared pan.

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed with your finger.

When the cake has about 10 minutes of baking left, make syrup by melting butter with sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk sugar and butter until completely melted and mixed. Add orange juice to the mixture and boil for about 4 minutes. Take off heat and stir in rum, it will bubble up, which is why you need that bigger saucepan. Set aside.

Remove cake to a rack and immediately drizzle with about 1/3 of the syrup. Allow to cool and soak for 5 minutes. Turn cake out onto a serving plate and poke all over with a skewer. Slowly pour the remaining syrup over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Allow to cool completely to at least room temperature before serving so the syrup soaks in completely.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Craft On: Rolling with the Punches


My knitting plans this week changed quite a bit after an e-mail from a third party publisher yesterday. So, while I have done work on Ember Days and am only two rows from the border, the little ball of purple underneath it is my new priority. It is a secret project, though, and I cannot share it with you until around October.


I wanted to give you a heads up that my new PayHip store is populated with my patterns now, and as a welcome, I am having an introductory sale of 10% off of all of my patterns there with the coupon code HelloPayHip through July 10, 2020. The coupon on Kabsa, both there and on Ravelry, of comfortable, will give you 15% off of that pattern through 23:59 tonight PST.

Right now, I am still looking into options for selling my stash besides Ravelry, but it looks like Shopify is a no go. A friend tipped me off to another venue, though, so I will be researching that and let you know.

The kids and I are really enjoying These Happy Golden Years and are more than halfway through it right now. Croatian Desserts finally arrived (thank you idiotic postal regulations that required the author to send it to Slovenia so our postal service would accept it into our country - even though Croatia has lower Covid numbers per capita than we do, and has major cities with no deaths at all, as well as the fact that nobody is hiring someone to come with the package in the cargo hold touching it repeatedly or coughing on it, and I am more likely to be put at risk from my local postal worker than their package). Rant off. It is delightful, and I am looking forward to creating some of the things we ate while we were there, and some that are new to me entirely. I've been reading it as though it were fiction.


Linking to Keep Calm and Craft On.

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

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Sunday, July 05, 2020

Menu Plan: July 5 - 11


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

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


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


Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Saturday, July 04, 2020

Recipe Round Up: Hummus and Fattoush



Hummus


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

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

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

So, canon for hummus includes:

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

Frequently found in it:
garlic
olive oil in the mixture

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


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

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

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

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




Fattoush


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


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

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

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

Mix all the vegetables in a big salad bowl.

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

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

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Friday, July 03, 2020

Randomania: Modernity

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


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Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Craft On: New Pattern and Sample Knitting


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


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


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

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


Linking to Keep Calm and Craft On and Yarn Along.

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