Yarn Bonging

Forgot to tell one more story from last Wednesday’s trip to the mall. They have these tall wooden decorative light stands all along the bottom hall of the mall.

The one that we saw was near the Gap and it had been yarn bombed, wrapped in various colors of yarn. And there was a big Gap tag hanging off of it so I sensed this was a corporate activity rather than a spontaneous yarn bombing by knitters or crocheters. This was also just wrapped yarn, not a crocheted or knitted object.

So I am telling Ken about this and it is one of those conversations where you are just on two different wavelengths, because he things  I am saying “Yarn Bonging” which…..I can’t even imagine what that might be, although it might be fun……if yarn is involved it is inevitably fun. Sorry, no picture of the actual yarn festooned object. If I get back to the mall I will take one, but I hope I don’t have to go to the mall in a long, long time.

This weekend I felt like I was on the run from the time I got up Saturday morning until Sunday night. And part of the time I was. I was at JoAnn Fabric four separate times, twice a day. Oy.

I got up Saturday morning, intending to quickly finish up the project bag I was making for the gift exchange at our knitting group Christmas party. Well, instead, I zipped up the zipper, forgetting that the top of the zipper had been cut off because it was too long. (This was just the 1st of many setbacks this weekend.) So, off to JoAnn to buy a new zipper. And, the 2nd bag was better because I actually sewed this one correctly so the lining was better. I had put together shrimp dip the night before, so it could chill overnight, and I put that in my Pampered Chef Chilzanne bowl (which I had frozen overnight) (recipe at bottom) and was off to the yarn store at noon. I was the 1st one there, and I was a little panicked that I had the wrong day, time, something, it has happened before. But pretty soon everyone else showed up and, we had delicious food ranging from Hot Corn Dip to Brie with Chili Powder in a Bread Bowl with Bread Dippers, cookies from the French Bakery, assorted pecans (spicy, sugared and chocolate) and MORE cookies. It was all delicious. And then we did our gift exchange, one of my friends was delighted with the project bag and purple Kidsilk Aura (which I now see is discontinued, hope she can make something w/the one skein), and I got a lovely holiday knitting book http://www.amazon.com/Holiday-Knits-Great-Stockings-Sweaters/dp/0811847187.

Meanwhile I was working on a Christmas present and running out of yarn, it was a variegated red/green/white which I have had for who knows how long. I checked to see if JoAnn’s had any after the knitting party (trip #2 to JoAnn) (no, they didn’t), but got some hunter green yarn, some pins, and some rotary cutter blades (I had coupons) and inserted some hunter green instead to finish up in the Christmas present, which worked just fine. I don’t recall being useful for much last night after the party, knitting, and eating. I did make a fine batch of chili, however.

The challenge with chili in our house is that Ken is very sensitive to spicy food and to me, there is no such thing as spicy food. So, I have to make a pot of chili that tastes at least interesting to me, if not hot, and then, I spice up my own bowl with cayenne. I will post the recipe I use sometime, it has things like bacon bits and oregano.

Sunday morning, up again and cleaning up the kitchen and reading the newspaper. Headed out by 10:00 to hit you guessed it, JoAnn Fabric. Why? I can’t even remember – Oh, to see if they had a paint pen. Every year I get the nieces and nephews a Christmas ornament for that year. Some years I get ones that are personalized with their names and the years professionally, but sometimes I buy ones I like and just write their names and the year on the back or bottom with some kind of permanent marker. Well, this year was a new challenge, because I got them wooden snowflakes

http://www.signals.com/cgi-bin/hazel.cgi?action=DETAIL&ITEM=HL7322

Well, all of my various pens bled on the unfinished wood (fortunately I had ordered enough to do one practice one) – so I was at JoAnn’s looking for special woodworking pens that supposedly wouldn’t run. Well, they didn’t have those, and they didn’t have a fine tip Sharpie either, or a very fine tip paint pen in a color other than silver or white. So off I went to Murdoch’s to see if they had a better selection of pearl snap western flannel shirts in my Dad’s size, got one more, so he is going to be really suited out this winter, with the two that I already bought. Then headed to Michael’s to see if they had better pens. They at least had the fine tip Sharpies (I had determined that Sharpies were the best of the ones I currently had, but I did not have a fine tip black one) – but the line was like 30 people long and there were two cashiers working, so I gave up on THAT idea. And went across the street to Archiver’s, where they did not have what I wanted either, but they did have their colored pencils right next to the pens! Which gave me an idea! Several of the things I had googled said that the best thing for writing on wood was a pencil, so I came home, and after a bit of a search for the box of colored pencils, that did the trick. Of course, I have one snowflake which has one niece’s name written on it about 10 times with varying degrees of success, so I will have to figure out what to do with that one……

Made Steak Strips in Gravy for lunch.

Recipe: Cut up steaks, preferably boneless, but if they are on the bones, cut off the bones. Trim fat. (I used one one package of sirloin tip and one package of ribeyes). Cut into strips, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch wide, across the wide part of the steak. Some chunks are fine too. Brown these in their own juices in a frying pan. In a separate container, stir up one or two packets of brown gravy mix with one or two cups of water (depending on how much steak, and how much gravy you want. In my opinion, the more gravy, the better.) After the steaks are browned, stir in the gravy mix. Stir occasionally, until gravy thickens. Simmer for about as much time as you have. You can also throw this into the crock pot, with or without the browning. Serve with potatoes.

The story of the afternoon and the watching of the Broncos game will wait for another day.

Here is the recipe for the shrimp dip:

Sylvia’s Shrimp Dip

3 cans tiny de-veined shrimp, drained (this is the expensive part, but do not use frozen, they DO NOT WORK)
2 cups mayo
1 cup sour cream
8 oz Cracker Barrell (or store brand if available) sharp aged white cheddar cheese, grated
2 T. finely chopped onion
1 c. grated fresh parmesan. (I use the grated parm from a jar at Safeway  – not the powdered kind, but the shreds.)

Best if made the day before and refrigerated overnight to blend flavors. Mix all and serve with crackers for dipping. Also may be spread on rye slices (or anything else appropriate) and put under the broiler and served hot. Makes a lot, but is DELICIOUS!

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