Friday, November 28, 2008

Free For All Friday

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone enjoyed the day. I walked into the kitchen early yesterday morning to find that my husband had been busy with this:

He used to bake his own bread all the time but hasn't in quite a while. He works for a slave driver (himself) and doesn't have time for frivolous pursuits like baking one's own sourdough. But we were asked to bring rolls and sweet potatoes to Thanksgiving at my brother-in-law's and he decided to make the rolls instead of buy them. Here they are, all finished:

He also made bread stuffed with sausage and cheese (yes, it really sucks to be married to a great cook):

I meanwhile made glazed sweet potatoes. Here's the recipe, though I modified it by not pre-cooking the potatoes and I used maple sugar and syrup instead of brown sugar. Sweet potatoes, butter, maple syrup and bourbon - can you possibly go wrong with that combo? I think not.

Anyway, Brian and I packed up our respective culinary creations and headed over to the brother-in-law's for this (picture taken before the table was loaded up with food - they did feed us, I swear):

My sister-in-law sets a much more elegant table than I do. I can't even recall the last time I set my table, actually, much less made it as pretty as this. Here's my niece displaying the effects of a sugar high (but doesn't she look elegant surrounded by the crystal?).

California Seasons Still Freak Me Out

I'm still not used to how the seasons work in California. Here in the Bay area, winter is the greenest time of year. And instead of dying or going dormant for the season, plants grow like crazy. Here's what's going on in our back yard right now. Freaks me right out.

Peas are up and thriving:

As are the onions. Or maybe that's garlic - I didn't check the label. Either way, it's green and growing:

And the figs are ripening:

And the roses are blooming:

I may never get used to it but I definitely enjoy it.

It's Baaaaaack...

My knitting mojo is back and in spite of some time spent mucking around on Facebook (I joined recently and oh.good.god it is crazy out there) I've managed to make some knitting progress. I finished sleeve #1 on the Ribby Cardi and am nearly half-way through sleeve #2.

Now that it's actually a little chilly here (at least in the mornings and late evenings), I'm looking forward to wearing this one. I also picked up some yarn at Purlescence for Clapotis. (I may be one of only about 36 people in the whole freakin' country who hasn't knit Clapotis yet.) Anyway, this is Twisted in the Thraven colorway from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Lovely stuff and each skein contains outrageous yardage so it's a very good value. I should have plenty to make Clapotis plus a little something extra - a hat or fingerless gloves or something.

And I have a new project to start in the near future. This is the Mohair from Nebu Rock Textiles I bought at the Retzlaff Winery last May. I'm going to turn it into the Lily Cardigan from Marie Grace designs.

I think between that, the Clapotis, Ribby Cardi and the newly finished February Lady Sweater I should be pretty well set for warm clothes this winter.

Stay-Cation, All I Ever Wanted...

Well it's not all I've ever wanted, but I'm certainly excited about it. As of yesterday, I'm on vacation until Monday, December 8th, and I'm not going anywhere. I'm hanging at home and I plan to accomplish some things I've wanted to for quite a while but haven't yet found the time. Things like framing some fabrics my mother bought when we lived in South America over 40 years ago, hanging pictures, clearing out the garage, etc. My plans aren't exactly exotic but I'm hoping by the end of it I'll have a home that's less cluttered, more relaxing, and where possessions I enjoy are easily visible instead of somewhere in storage. And of course there will be some creative time too - I'll be engaging in a biscotti-baking frenzy and of course there will be knitting and spinning. A vacation wouldn't be a vacation without some of that.

Happy Holidays.


Nell said...

That sounds like a perfect vacation!

Big Alice said...

Happy Thanksgiving!
I'm one of the other 36 that is Clapotis-less. One of these days....

Mrs.Q said...

That is the BEST kind of vacation, IMHO! I'm looking forward to a couple weeks of the same over Christmas...Enjoy!

(And, you know, if you need anyone to help you eat that biscotti, I'm all helpful that way. Just sayin')

Nora said...

Looks like a great holiday!

Oh, and I'm one of those 36 people, but I've been thinking about a Clap. They are pretty, aren't they?

The Knifty Knitter said...

I too am Clapotis-less. Your stay-cation sounds awesome! I'm having one of my own in 3 weeks for Christmas. Enjoy your time off, sounds like you will be super productive.

AlisonH said...

Count me among the clapotis-less too.

Biscotti? Oooh... Those sweet potatoes were already getting to me. (Of course you use maple syrup! What else would do?)

spinnity said...

I'm one of those 36, too. No Clapotis's over here, either. I might be saving myself for handspun Clapotis. Yes. Yes, that's the reason, I'm sure it is.