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Sunday, October 31, 2021

Menu Plan: October 31 - November 6

The weather turned last week. It went from barely winter cold to frigid. We are not okay. In any case, I apologize for my absence the last two weeks. We had several trips, some with the kids, some just Rich and I, and life was a bit more complicated during that time. It was easier to just recap now.

I think we have finally figured out how to make enough for us, including some leftovers for lunch, but not so much that our fridge can barely hold them. This week, I am making a huge batch of the hamburger stew on Tuesday, though, so we can eat it again on Thursday. It doesn't seem to matter how much chili I make, we never have leftovers of that. Also, Jerome has started testing egg, with no trouble whatsoever! We are thrilled! It will make all meals easier and make his baked goods so much better, too. We're doing it by the books, and so it will be another three weeks before he starts eating them like normal. However, that will also make Thanksgiving much simpler for us all - and tastier for him. Speaking of Thanksgiving, we are doing a mini-Thanksgiving meal this week. Some friends of ours brokered the delivery of two large turkeys that needed some rehabilitation. To be honest, they hadn't been cared for that well, and had been kept in a cramped and confined space and showed it. Rich ended up butchering one right away, but we tried to see if we could save the other. After a week or so of trying and seeing some improvement, she started to decline again, and we had to put her in the freezer. Well, we are having the friends over who worked out the rescue deal on these turkeys, so they can enjoy the meal, as well.

O Almighty God, who has knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord; Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys which thou has prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Craft On: Much Progress!

I am almost at the divide the front and back on my cropped pullover! What is a middle aged mother of eight doing knitting a cropped pullover, you ask? Well, it does't have to be worn without anything underneath it! I plan to wear it over dresses and long tunic shirts. We have a couple longer drives coming up soon, and I am hoping to get some good knitting time then to get close to finished, so I can have the sample knit and the pattern written for my technical editor by the end of this month, but I am famous for making ridiculous goals for myself. I started this a month ago, and worked on it only intermittently until recently. Had I been working on it more consistently, I think it might have been finished a week or two ago. If you are interested in beta knitting it in one of the sizes from 29" to 58", please let me know, as I would love your feedback and the publicity.

Please keep me in your prayers. I still have a lot of mouth pain, and I think there may still be an infection in the gums where my wisdom tooth was not able to be removed. We have been so busy and have so much coming up that I just don't think I can get into the dentist in the next week and a half. So, in the interim, it's a lot of ibuprofen and natural antibiotics like garlic, manuka honey, and oregano oil. I've just been exhausted from the pain and waking in the middle of the night, so I'm not getting a lot done, but I have still been able to knit a bit.

The kids and I are more than halfway through Anne's House of Dreams and I really think that I might finish Desert Queen in the next day or two. I loved the description of Ibn Saud saying that if the British women were this strong, imagine what British men must be! If you look on my sidebar, you will see that I have updated my finished books, too. Lots of them are light fiction, or short stories, but it has felt good to get some actual reading in lately.

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.

I am a participant in the Amazon Affiliates program, so the book links you see here have the potential to net me a few pennies a month.

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Sunday, October 10, 2021

Menu Plan: October 10 - 16

So, we have had more than a week with freezing or below freezing weather. It is officially winter here. We have been running the fireplace, and not just to cut the chill in the morning. It runs nearly the whole day now. Pray for us. Also, I am still hurting, even after taking pain medicine for a week and a half and taking a strong run of anti-biotics. I'm worried there is still a little infection in there, which may mean another visit to the dentist and another round of anti-biotics. Sigh. At least it doesn't look like I will need an oral surgeon, but I will have them check again, just in case. We have so much going on in the next two weeks, too, that I can't afford any surgery or recovery time until after the 27th.

We are still setting aside a leftover day, and occasionally have to do another one, or bar people from making a new lunch and insist on eating leftovers instead. I have two options for dinner on Tuesday, because we may be starting up our study group again, and one of the ladies who comes cannot have nightshades, so I need alternatives. It has stretched my cooking skills, and was a good preparation for Jerome's dietary issues. In just over two weeks he gets to introduce eggs again! I am so excited, though not as excited as he is. His next re-introduction would be chocolate, so he can have it in time for Christmas. Then we move to dairy products. He chose those for his first foods, because he misses them so much. After that, mostly, we have ordered it based on what is most convenient for me, with the two that were the most likely to be true allergies to be the last two foods. It will be a year from the end of this month before he gets everything back.

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

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Saturday, October 09, 2021

Recipe Round Up: Peach Melba Pudding Cake

I saw a recipe for a peach and blueberry cake on Simply Recipes, and thought it would be delicious, but saved it for a later time. When we were still seeing raspberries on our vines and had some lovely peaches, I thought to modify it. I've modified it a little more, because it is basically a shortbread cookie filled with a fruit pudding. I am going to try to make this crust with a gluten-free flour, coconut oil and egg substitute next to see if I can make it for Jerome.

For the shortbread crust:
1 1/2 cups gluten-free or pastry flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted coconut oil or butter (or vegan butter), cut into small pieces
1 large egg or Bob's Red Mill egg replacer (made with one and a half the amount of water)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup tapioca starch
2 pounds ripe, firm, large peaches (about 5), peeled, halved lengthwise, pitted, and cut into thin slices
1 cup raspberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon rosewater (optional, but not really)

Shortbread crust:

Place flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a food processor and pulse about 15 times, until combined. Add the coconut oil/butter pieces and pulse another 10 times or so, until the mixture has the texture of cornmeal with several pieces about the size of a pea dispersed throughout it. Add the egg/egg replacer and vanilla extract and pulse several more times, until the dough begins to clump together and form a ball.

Press dough evenly onto the bottom of a 9 or 9 1/2-inch springform pan, about 1/4 inch thick on the bottom and about 1 1/2 to 2 inches up the sides of the pan. Put into the refrigerator to chill for at least 10 minutes, while you prepare the filling.

Pre-heat oven to 375° F, with the rack in the center position.


Mix sugar and tapioca starch. Add peaches, raspberries, vanilla extract or paste, lemon juice, and rosewater and gently toss to coat.

Fill shortbread crust with peach and raspberry filling. Cover pan with foil. Bake until the filling is bubbly in the center and crust is golden, about 1 3/4 hours.

Remove from oven and set on a rack to cool, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Run a blunt knife around the inside edge of the pan to help release the crust from the sides of the pan. Then carefully remove the side of pan. Cool cake to barely warm or room temperature, then cut into wedges to serve.

The filling will be quite wet when the pudding cake is removed from the oven, but will gel as it cools.

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Thursday, October 07, 2021

Craft On: Travel Knitting

We had the opportunity to go to a work conference for Rich and I had about four days of relaxation, which were wonderful. It was such a beautiful place, and on salt water, with trees all around us and mountains nearby and in view. I made a good deal of progress on my sweater, and was able to sit in on two talks that Rich gave, and I was so proud of him. He is a good public speaker, and I know it, but this time he really shone as a good man, kind and generous, thoughtful, all that I love in him.

My recovery on my mouth from all the dental work was better, and the rest did me a lot of good. I'm still a little concerned about the fact that I still have a little pain. I haven't been taking pain pills for a few days, but it isn't because the pain has ceased entirely. There may be another dentist trip in my future.

We have made a bit of progress on Anne's House of Dreams and I am really close to finishing Desert Queen. If I get some more reading time tonight, I might be able to get to the end of the book.

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, October 03, 2021

Menu Plan: October 3 - 9

Thank you for your prayers. I'm still in pain, but it is getting better, little by little. I'd appreciate your continued prayers. We are going to have to decide if I need to see an oral surgeon if my mouth does not improve soon.

This week we have the first child's birthday in our family with that child living elsewhere. It is also the end of the birthday season in our family.

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

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Saturday, October 02, 2021

Recipe Round Up: Fluffy Gluten-Free and Vegan Peanut Butter Pancakes & Red Pepper Sludge

Fluffy Gluten-Free and Vegan Peanut Butter Pancakes

This is a recipe I have been using for a long time that I have converted into a gluten-free, vegan form. It is delicious and will be wonderful when Jerome can have egg in it again, and then regular milk. However, it is still fluffy and delicious without them.

1 cup gluten-free or pastry flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 - 2 1/2 cups milk of choice (we have been using unflavored, unsweetened almond milk)
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 large egg or equivalent of Bob's Red Mill egg replacer

1 tablespoon oil of choice to grease griddle or pan

Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, peanut butter and egg until relatively smooth. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients and combine.

Heat skillet over medium heat or an electric griddle to 275˚ F. Grease with a light swipe of oil. Pour batter by 1/4 - 1/3 cup portions onto hot skillet. Cook until bubbles pop around the edges, then turn and cook 1 - 2 minutes more. Grease pan in between batches, as necessary

Red Pepper Sludge

This basic method is something I got from Laurie Colwin. I found her cookbook at a bookstore sale for only $1 when I was 14 or 15. I would read it like a novel. It is something I made in high school and ate with bread for lunches. My method is a little different from hers, and I don't use only sweet peppers as she did, but it is a recipe that could be seen as a tribute to hers. This makes a good amount, and it stores forever in the refrigerator, especially kept submerged in oil.

12 large red bell peppers
3 medium red hot peppers

1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil
12 cloves of garlic, cut into 3 or 4 slivers each
salt, to taste
juice of 1 lemon, strained

Roast the peppers under your broiler for about 8 - 10 minutes, until they are blackened and blistered, but not burnt through. Turn and broil for another 7 minutes or so. Allow to cool, remove the peels, seeds and stems and cut peppers into strips.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and the garlic slivers. Heat for a minute or so, then add the red pepper slices and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 5 - 10 minutes, until the peppers start to break down a little. Season to taste with salt and add the strained juice of a lemon. Add a little more olive oil if necessary.

This can be eaten on pasta as a sauce or with bread. You can pour this sludge into a jar, well covered with the oil, and seal with a lid to store in the fridge indefinitely.

The picture above is of the cooking process, before it has broken down.

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