Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Where have I been?

Well, it's that time of year -- busy!

It snowed all day on Saturday. It wasn't a blizzard, just a nice steady snow that made it a good day to stay inside and bake. From the back windows of my townhouse, I can see the front door of the grocery store across the street. Midway through the morning, I heard the ding-ding-ding of the Salvation Army bellringer turn into thumping Conga drums. I could see a guy playing them and tried to take a picture, but even with the zoom, mostly you see snow and cars. But see his red hat and can you make out the red kettle next to him? I kept thinking I should put on my boots and walk across to take a better picture.....

Conga players in the snow

Instead, I stayed inside and baked two batches of Carrot Coconut Bread (the second one turned out just fine) and finished my niece's Christmas hat. Here it is on my head -- it's hard to take a picture of your own head!

Sarah's hat on my head

If you use this pattern, watch your row gauge. Mine was way off, which meant I had to stop making cables sooner than planned. The yarn is Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky Hand Dyes in Peace Pink. I'm not a spinner, so I don't know the technical terms, but this yarn has little to no twist -- it's almost like roving or something. It was nice to knit with, and the color is beautiful, except that it's SO bulky. My hands are used to little needles and lace and socks, and knitting this with size 10.5 DPNs was not really fun. Of course, your mileage may vary.....

Sunday, the weather cleared up, and gave me the opportunity to record the temperature.

Sunday, Dec. 16, 2007
23ºF (-5ºC) doesn't seem very cold anymore....

Monday evening, the baking disasters continued. I made this cranberry cake, on my sister's recommendation. She warned me that turning it out was difficult, because the cranberries stick. Boy, was she right! When I first tried to turn it out, it didn't move. I poked around the edges some more, turned it over, shook -- and it fell out in about 11 pieces. If I had just been planning on serving this at home, no big deal -- I would have scooped it into bowls and maybe put some ice cream on top. But this was for our holiday luncheon at work, so I got out the ingredients again, and made another one. I made the second one in a pretty glass baking pan, and didn't try to turn it out! (The first one tasted just as good as the second one, though! One of the comments on the recipe suggests lining the pan with parchment, which I will do next time.)

Tonight, I blocked Mom's Hemlock Ring Blanket, which I finished in October.

Harley helping, part 1

Harley helped. Can you see what she's after?

Harley helping, part 2

Yes, that's a blocking pin in her mouth! I want to leave it out overnight, but will cover it up so she doesn't try pin-nibbling again!


AndreaLea said...

That cranberry cake recipe sounds delicious!

Chris said...

Adventures in baking... bless the parchment paper! It's a staple here.

I can't leave blocking out where May can get to it because she steals pins, too.

Amysatx said...

Whoa!!! Snow!!! Love it!! Are you still planning on coming to SA?

Bezzie said...

Harley's just practicing for her circus audition to be the world's cutest sword/pin swallower.

Anonymous said...

Amy, she IS coming to San Antonio! She, Mom, our brother and our niece will be here late on the 26th. I can't wait! Oh heck, I need to clean the house!! :)

The cranberry cake is fab...but I've only gotten it to turn out nicely twice and I've made it probably six times!

Anonymous said...

Oh man, it was snowing hard! But how handy is it to have a grocery store so close!

Libby said...

So this weather in Iowa City is getting out of control. Thanks for the comment on my blog and I hope you like any of the recipes you may try.

I live in Coralville (North of I-80). We have a constant stream of deer (though I think it is the same deer family) and we see them every morning and evening. They are not at all spooked by people, and we can actually get really close to photograph before they run away.

There are tons of deer in Iowa City. When I was in law school, I would see them around that area, and there are a ton around Finkbine and Carver.