Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Manly Mittens


I got a great big sack of yarn at goodwill. David needed some new mittens. He always pokes the fingers out of those cheap gloves he uses anyway, so I didn't put any fingers on his mitts. This used up one whole ball of very thick yarn, and a little bit of something else.

The blue yarn worked up to about 4 st/inch, the gray, about 5 st/inch. Fiber content unknown. They look like dryer lint. After my epic scarf project, I needed some instant gratification, these took only a few days of knitting on the bus during my commute.

I was really trying to not acquire even more stuff, but it's so rare to see any yarn at goodwill that isn't 100% acrylic Vanna's Choice or Red Heart or novelty Fun Fur yarn that no adult would want to wear that I snatched it up. There are a bunch of nice wools and a pair of lovely balls of lace weight yarn that might be alpaca. And about 8 balls of Fun Fur, but I'm going to knit Jej a vest out of those. She will never wear it, but her kids might.

David said something like "I want you to knit me a pair of underwear out of dryer lint" and I said really? and he said "No, I meant gloves." So there you have it.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Garlicky Cheezy Taters


I actually looked at my blog the other day and I thought jeezus do I ever eat anything except tofu, broccoli, and noodles?

Yes, sometimes I eat cheese. Melty cheese is the best, and if you put it on potatoes, it is even better.

2 medium russet potatoes

2 T butter
2 T flour
1 clove crushed garlic

1 1/3 cup milk
1/2 lb grated cheese, maybe a little more
tsp Dijon mustard
dash of nutmeg
a pinch of lavender
pepper & salt

Pre heat your oven to 375.

Cut the potatoes into 1/8" slices. Butter a heavy, oven safe skillet and arrange the potato slices evenly in it. Set them on a medium low burner, and once you can hear them start to sizzle add 1/3 cup water, cover, and let them continue to cook while you make the sauce. No stirring.

In a smallish saucepan using medium heat, saute the garlic in butter until it is just barely starting to brown, then remove from heat. Mix the flour into the butter, wait a few seconds for the oil to soak into the flour, then add the milk. Put it back on the burner, and start stirring. When it starts to thicken, add the cheese. Stir until the cheese is completely melted, remove from heat, and season to taste.

Pour the cheese over the potatoes in the skillet. Top with additional cheese if you feel like it, and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until it's as brown as you want it.


1. Yep, it's exactly like making mac and cheese. Plus garlic.
2. I used cheddar mainly, but I always think it tastes better with more than one kind of cheese. Be aware that cheap Swiss will be kinda stringy though.
3. This is very fatty. I like to put it on top of some arugula to eat it. It's like salad dressing.
4. Roux. I think the reason you melt the butter and then mix in the flour is to coat the flour particles with oil, which prevents them from clumping together when you add milk. Instead, the flour is distributed evenly throughout the liquid so that as the temperature rises you get a smooth sauce.
5. Remember not to toast the flour in the butter. If you do, the starches will have a reduced capacity to thicken the liquid, and the sauce may break, or separate into a bunch of little particles in a thin liquid. Tastes just as good, but it doesn't look very appealing.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Rush job


Lately, dinner has been an un-photogenic, ad hoc sort of affair. There have been a lot of nachos. There was a pretty tasty chicken and chick pea pottage, but pottage does not look as good as it tastes. Lots of fried tofu. One time we ate grilled cheese and carrot sticks. It was delicious.

But! I did make a noodle salad the other night which I got a photo of before we ate it.

1 lb tofu
1 T dark soy sauce
1 T fish sauce
dash of sesame oil

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup light soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1T sesame oil
1T sesame paste
dash of cayenne

chinese noodles
2 cups broccoli florets

sesame seeds
yellow bell pepper slices

Cut the tofu into 1" cubes and press it firmly to squeeze as much water out as possible.  Toss the tofu in a bowl with the next 3 ingredients and let it sit.

Combine the next 6 ingredients. This is the dressing. Mix well.

Boil the noodles in salted water. When they are about 30 seconds from being done, toss the broccoli florets into the pot with them to blanch. When the water comes back to a boil, drain the noodles and broccoli together. Run cold water over them to stop the cooking and remove extra starch from the noodles.

Toss the nooles, broccoli and tofu together with the dressing, then decorate each serving with sesame seeds, pepper slices, and cilantro if you like it. I like it a lot.

"It works perfectly!" he said.
So, what the heck have I been doing all this time? I made a scarf. An epic scarf. 2 months and 55,000 stitches of knitted scarf for my brother's 40th birthday. After I dropped it off, I thought maybe I should have gotten a picture of it, but I was basically sick of looking at it.

He sent me this picture of himself modeling it. Pete's One Scarf rules them All.