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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

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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