Monday, June 26, 2006

Postscript to the Bavarian Cream Pie - extra strawberry cream is most excellent on Sunday Morning Banana Waffles.
Just saying.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Kodak falcon eyases have fledged and probably won't return to their nestbox. A group of people go down every day and fledgewatch from the bridge, keeping an eye on the fledgelings as they learn to fly and then to hunt. One of people blogs at:

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Summer's here.

The strawberries are ripe and it's time for Strawberry Bavarian Cream Pie. This can be made with any berry; strawberries or raspberries are recommended. I honestly can't tell you how it tastes with raspberries. It's rich enough I only make it once a year and strawberries are ripe before raspberries, so...

1 quart strawberries, whole -- hulled
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons gelatin powder, unsweetened (1 packet Knox gelatin is 2 tsp)
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons water -- boiling
1 tablespoon lemon juice -- optional
2 cups whipped cream
1 pie crust -- 10 inch pie pan
Mix up pie crust (I like to use 1-1/2 c flour, 1/3 c nut flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 c shortening). Chill dough.
Crush hulled strawberries. Add sugar. Let stand for 1/2 hour.
Roll out pie dough (10 inch pie pan is best; you'll still have filling left over) and bake pie shell at 400 for 10 -12 minutes. Let cool.
Soak 2 t gelatin powder in 3 T lukewarm water.
Stir in 3 T boiling water until dissolved.
Stir into berries, addiing lemon juice if desired.
Cool gelatin mix. When about to set, fold in lightly 2 c whipped cream.
Pour strawberry cream into pie shell. Chill for 8-12 hours.

The extra can go in small single custard dishes or a single dish for scooping from later. It can be eaten at any time, but might be better for several hours of chilling.

This has, of course, a bazillion calories per serving, most of them fat calories, but I don't recommend trying to rescue it from itself. Just make it only once a year.
It was quicker and easier to tink the whole damn thing. Suffice it to say, the Hyrna is back on track and making progress again. Slow progress, to be getting slower as each row is more than 300 stitches and will be much more than that when finished.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Why do people who don't spin/knit/ weave/crochet/ sew/whatever think that what spinning/ knitting/ weaving/ crocheting/ sewing/ whatevering takes is patience? Patience is what it takes to watch your child do something slowly and clumsily in 3 minutes when you could do it in 15 seconds flat. Patience is what it takes to wait (and wait and wait) at the doctor's office while they don't call your name. Patience is what it takes to wait at the gym (or the soccer field or the baseball field or the music store) while your kid has practice or a lesson. Patience is what it takes to not scream on a 10 hour driving trip when your kid just asked 'are we there yet' for the 15th time and you still have 8 hours to go.

It might take patience to learn to knit or sew or whatever, but after that knitting or sewing or crochet or spinning is what gives me patience to do all of the above. Not a bad return on investment.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Razzafratza.... Where's Yosemite Sam when you need some really good cussing?

Somehow, in the heat of knitting and watching the CHAMP car race on Sunday, I managed to screw up a line on my Hyrna. Now, each line has two distinct halves. I screwed up the first half (instead of k1, yo, k2, k2tog, yo I managed to k1, yo, k2, yo, k2tog, yo, k2 and went on from there). How I managed to NOT NOTICE THIS at the time, I have no idea, but apparently when I got to the midpoint, I reset and got the second half right. I discovered this after the return trip when I got to the end, some 600 stitches later.

It should be possible, one would think, to just tink back on that side, reknit those stitches and then refinish the purl row. Yes, it is possible, but my tension was different. I had too little yarn to finish the row and now I have too much. So, I'm slowly working my way back across, evening out the tension in the stitches as I go.

Let me just say, it will work. But it would have been quicker and probably easier to just tink the whole damn thing to start with.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Camporee! Whee! It wasn't raining. It was too hot. 225 girls, women and men in a perfectly lovely campground on the side of a hill (everything was either up or down) with too many mosquitoes (scritch, scratch) and a lovely cool breeze all day even when it was too hot. The cots didn't suck, the campfire was wonderful, the girls had a good time. We had a nice time with the activities and the hike we took in the evening was a good one.

Question: If the parents had to sign a special release ahead of time to allow the girls to have facepaint put on, why on earth did they tie dye shirts without gloves or notice to the parents? There were some pretty purple hands going home.

We hibernated on Sunday. The temp was up over 90 and as I may have mentioned once or twice, anything over 75 makes me melt. Today is a more reasonable 80 with rain showers.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Odds and ends

It's been a peculiar week. We went on Saturday (KIP day - I had my shirt on) to the Aquarium at Niagara Falls. Nice little aquarium. The subject of knitting in public came up and one of the other mothers said "Well, it's nothing new for her. She's ALWAYS knitting. She even knitted through Intermurals." (Well - Duh! Sitting through 1.5 hours of supervising 3 boys bowling, or 1.5 hours of watching other people supervising 12 kids playing tennis?) Another woman came out with that standard "I just couldn't knit. I don't have the patience" and I gave her my standard " I don't have the patience not to knit". She gave me sort of a double take...

I need to update my list of books read - One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey was quite amusing. I'm stuck in Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass - don't know if I'll finish it. I'm in the middle of A Walk in the Woods and Notes from a Small Island and Neither Here nor There, all by Bill Bryson. My MIL lent me all three and I keep being able to find only one at a time, not the one I was most recently reading. All have hysterically funny moments in them, as well as, WHAT on EARTH were you THINKING? moments.

I found a copy of Ha!Ha! 24 Great Comedy Songs on the discount rack at the grocery store. I've never heard Anything You Can Do all the way through before, or anything but the title of I'm My Own Grandpa. It's got Flat Foot Floogie, which is one of those serendipitous moments as I was just watching a Looney Tunes cartoon which referred to this song and the commentary mentioned which song was being referred to. (The more period music I know, the funnier the Looney Tunes cartoons are because many of the musical motifs used were from contemporary music that emphasizes the action on the screen. And yes, I'm a Looney Tunes junky.)

I've been trying to get caught up on my sleep since the weekend (overnight at the aquarium with 15 Cub Scouts) and moving books on Tuesday morning followed by moving dirt on Tuesday afternoon left me with muscle twitches that interrupted sleep Tuesday night. I staggered around like a zombie Wednesday. I did manage a nap Wednesday afternoon but that merely changed the quality of my zombieness as I moved into that state where one's head is stuffed with cotton wool and nothing really processes. A reasonable night's sleep last night left me with merely a headache this morning and a desire to avoid doing anything useful. Maybe a swim will help.

Monday, June 05, 2006

There is that old saying: "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." When I was younger, I thought of this saying as a sort of metaphysical "The universe will move a teacher to your location as soon as you are really ready." I have come to believe somewhat the opposite as I have grown older: I believe that teachers are all around us, giving us information all the time. When the student is ready, they hear the information they need. Until the student is ready, the information doesn't stick.
It's a variant on that other phenomenon that once you hear about one xyz, you suddenly hear about xyz in all sorts of contexts. It really just means that you have become sensitized to xyz.
The relevance? Well, a short while back, June of Twosheep posted a lovely entry on the subject of keeping one's grist constant through the simple use of an index card. Place several wraps of a singles around an index card and fasten them down under tension. Then, as you are spinning, every so often lay a current bit of singles between the ones on the card and see/feel how it looks.
June credits Elaine Benfatto with telling her about it, and it is very possible that I was on a list to which Elaine posted this idea before; it sounds vaguely familiar. But when I (may have) heard this before, I wasn't ready for the information. It didn't stick. Now, it's a solution to a problem I know I have but hadn't addressed consciously. When I read June's discussion of the technique, I went Aha! Just what I need.
I used to spin one thing at a time. I had one wheel, I had no particular use for spindles (I had only two spindles, both the same size) (whoops sorry, I had a boat anchor too; I still have no use for that one). I spun one fiber til I was done and then moved on. Sometimes I stopped for a while and had trouble getting back to the grist I had been spinning, but all in all it worked fairly well.
Now I have multiple spindles at varying weights and I have (shhh!) several different projects going on the wheel. Keeping track of making even grist has become more important to me. This is the (current) perfect solution to my problem. And the proof of the pudding is that my grist on the latest two skeins of the same thing is 1. 1490 ypp and 2. 1450 ypp, which is really good for me and well within the tolerance level of my ability to measure either weight or length; i.e. my ability to do either with my current measuring tools has a fair amount of error built in. Best of all, the skeins feel like they go together, which has not always been the case on previous projects.