After a long hiatus….

Ok! I am back! Sorry it has been so long, life has been crazy. But I must remember that it is good therapy to write on the blog! What have I been up to, you may ask. Well, since the Las Vegas trip, I have been in San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Orlando for work as well as some in-state trips, and in South Dakota to be a God-parent to my newest nephew! There were some great restaurants on some of those trips, and I will share those with you over the next few days.

I have also been busy sewing/crocheting/knitting/crafting when I can. With two new nephews and one new niece in the last 5 months, I have been busy. I am glad to say that they each have a crocheted afghan, although I am working on another one for baby L., the youngest, in colors more suitable to her nursery. Then I will get started on the pieced quilts for each of them.

I have no pictures of Nephew O’s blanket from December. Asking his mother to send me some. Sometimes when I get in a tizzy to mail things, I forget to document properly. He also got some “Magic Slippers” baby booties, but again, no picture.

Nephew B received the “November” baby afghan from from the Leisure Arts booklet “A Year of Baby Afghans.” I did this one as a Camp Loopy project last summer, so you may recognize it. I love this afghan, it goes together very quickly, no seaming, and looks lovely.

Leisure arts november baby afghan

He ALSO got Magic Slippers booties, with a slight modification and addition of the ribbing/sock top which apparently makes them stay on better. “Camo” colored yarn, which was a fortuitous donation from my friend Judy, when I was looking for sock yarn for this very purpose.

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Baby L., born March 1, received the Heirloom Baby Blanket (Coats and Clark, free pattern) – this is the one that nearly drove me crazy. All kinds of errata, but none of it on the original pattern page. You have to dig around Ravelry to find it. Beautiful afghan, though. And she gets a one-of-a-kind because I am never doing THAT again. Plus, that one really isn’t in her nursery colors, so I am working on another one for her. That is the bonus she gets for being the only girl in the latest batch of babies!

Coats and clark baby heirloom afghan

She also got some booties (notice Auntie G. running out of yarn and winging it):

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And…other than wrapping up baby afghans and mailing them off, what else have I been doing? I FINALLY finished the #359 Nancy One Skein Shrugigan by Lisa Limber, which I believe I started in June 2010. This was a good airplane knit, but then I ran out of yarn, and had to search for yarn in the same dye lot (after tearing my studio apart, of course, being certain I had purchased enough) (apparently I hadn’t). I made it a bit longer than the pattern suggested, and with a different yarn, so that was probably the problem. I LOVE how it turned out, I have worn it several times already, and get compliments on it.

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And knitting and crocheting isn’t all there is to life, right?

So JoAnn Fabric had a small flannel sale. These are all destined to be made into Auntie G.’s famous receiving blankets. Some of this has already been made into receiving blankets. I was VERY excited to find the camouflage flannel, and then proceeded to buy a bolt of it at the next store (that was all that I could find within a reasonable radius….)  And I was just looking for fish flannel this morning, and I see I have some right there. BONUS!JoAnn Fabric Flannel

I decided to do some further color work, and make some mug rugs, foundation strip-piecing. I like how the red/orange one turned out (not quilted yet, though.) I call this one Mango Salsa.

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I am also making a brown/white/green one which is supposed to be called “Chocolate Mint,” and already I don’t like it as much as this one. Still in progress, no picture yet.

Andddddd…. last but not least, I always have a pair of crochet potholders going. I was working on one when we went to see the Lady Jackrabbits play in the Division I Tournament in Boulder. The chicken purse approves.

Chicken purse

Let me tell you, you could smuggle things into places in the chicken purse, because the chicken purse flummoxes the security guys. They were pretty much stunned.

Survey Says…….

Thank you for everyone who voted in my survey last Thursday. The Winner is “500 Snacks” – I am sure everyone was lured in but the attractive purple cabbage on the cover with festive snacks on toothpicks sticking out of it.

My trip to Chicago was quick but felt like I was gone a much longer time than 2 nights. After 2 and a half days of hotel food I couldn’t wait to get home. That hotel was obsessed with carrots. We had carrots at every meal. First two meals: asparagus and carrots as the vegetables. Third meal: carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. We had a sandwich buffet for lunch on Saturday – I thought I would escape the carrots, but there were carrots in the potato salad. Carrots do not go in potato salad, I am sorry. It was good potato salad, otherwise, with hard boiled eggs in it.

I placated myself at O’Hare Airport with two different kinds of soup from Rick Bayless’ Tortas Frontera. I had tortilla soup and corn and poblano chowder. The tortilla soup had more chili powder in it than I have eaten in anything for a while, but it was good. The corn chowder was also good. I had the raspberry/cactus agua fresca. I didn’t really notice the cactus but it was also tasty. I also got a large bag of 3-way Chicago style popcorn from Garrett Popcorn – (buttered, cheese and carmel corn, all mixed together).

The airplane was full of high school and college kids on their way home from spring break, including a young man next to me who at one points flopped over asleep onto MY shoulder. I strongly discouraged this.

I was excited to get home and go to my favorite Pho place, between the food poisoning last week and the travel, I needed a restorative. We did that on Sunday and it was just what I needed.

Prior to showing you some recipes to vote on (tomorrow) for what I should make from the recipe book, I am going to show you some that I will NOT be making. Remember, I said I will be trying to make some things we actually will eat, not things that waste food.

I will not be making anything with the word “jellied” in the title.

“Frankfurters take on new glamour in this gleaming aspic” – enough said.

My Love of Old Cookbooks – I Can’t Look Away

I love old cookbooks. Partially because I really enjoy trying new recipes, and looking through recipes made “the old way” calling for a #2 can of peaches, or lard, or what have you. And part of it is the horror. Because some of these recipes, and some of these pictures, are kind of scary. Or at the least, very kitschy.

For example:

That’s right, that chicken is essentially sculpted out of egg salad. No word on what to do if your sculpting skills aren’t up to snuff.

Sometimes the recipes don’t have pictures, but they can be just as frightening.

I guess these recipes are similar to meatloaf which uses oatmeal as the binder, but these are a little scary. Especially the 2nd one.

I don’t know, I like my pizza burgers with only about a half a can of Spam. And I can’t even imagine how you would grate the Spam.


Growing up, we at a fair amount of Jello because my dad liked it and would eat it. Mainly jello with fruit. At our house, you do not put jello with crazy stuff like carrots or celery. Or, god forbid, sour cream or mayonnaise. However, olives were not even a possibility that I had considered.

OK, this doesn’t include vegetables, but (see 3rd sentence of instructions) BUTTER MINTS with sugary/sweet marshmallows and cool whip? Oy.

Again, the fruit, not so weird, although dates or prunes would be unusual, and I don’t care for nuts in my Jello, but I REALLY don’t care for Grape Nuts in my Jello.

Spaghetti and pineapple do not belong in the same recipe together. Ever. I like pasta salad, and I like fruit salad, but….you get my drift.

I’m not sure what this is but the picture fits in well with the other recipes. If you weren’t feeling a little queasy before, perhaps you are now.

I am sure that many of these are beloved family recipes, and that many people would be horror-struck by some of our recipes (Snickers/Apple SALAD, please?), so please don’t take this a being mean spirited, just a raising of the eyebrows at some unusual tastes. And looking through those old cookbooks gives me quite a bit of enjoyment. Hmmm, I haven’t spent any time doing that lately, I may need to dig into the cookbook stash. I could do a post on just my Jello cookbooks ALONE…..

Recipe Fail and Happy Birthday to Mr. Fix-It

My evening:

I had been looking and looking and looking for a recipe I made once, it was something like “Easy Chicken Risotto” and it was not risotto that you had to stir all the time, and it had chicken chunks in it, and Ken liked it. Well, I finally found it again (it was in a cookbook, not online like I thought it was.) I made it again and neither one of us particularly cared for it. Maybe we have grown out of that stage. Ken even said it “needed something.” So I won’t be posting THAT recipe. It calls for mushrooms and of course I didn’t put those in but I don’t think even mushrooms would have made a difference.

Then I dug around for a recipe for baked donuts for Mom. She has been looking through her cookbooks and could only find ones that called for mashed potatoes. I was pretty sure I had one that I had tried at one point. I found it, even though it was filed under “bread” instead of “breakfast” but I guess donuts could go in either of those places.

Then I dug around on the internet looking for instructions for a chiming clock. I have created a  monster with my Dad, in that he now believes that I can find an manual/instructions/answers for anything on the internet. Well, apparently I can because I found the clock instructions, or at least close.

Mom and Dad have had this mantle clock for a few years, sitting on top of the refrigerator in our house (mantle? In OUR house? You silly….).  They got it at an auction because my Mom likes clocks with Roman numerals. Well, has never chimed before and now it has started chiming, very randomly from what they can tell. From the looks of the diagram I found, it looks like they may have had it turned to only chime once an hour, and set it so that it thought it was night during the day, so we will see what happens now that I had  Dad change some of the settings. Probably chime really loud all night long.

Well, I believe he can fix anything that is broken, so he can believe I can find anything on the internet. I purchased a LOVELY Princess phone on Ebay (because after all the elementary school field trips to the phone company, I thought they were Tres Elegante). It worked (dial tone) but it didn’t ring. I took it home to Dad, and NOW it rings, much to Ken’s dismay, because it lives in our bedroom and it has a very loud ring.

This is the original phone, now in full working order. See, FANCY. Also, Bruce the shark finger puppet, and his friend Norman the shark. Also, a couple of glow in the dark Virgin Marys.

This is now the 2nd phone, apparently I will collect these if given the chance. I have not tested this one to see if it works, but you know where I am taking it if it doesn’t.

He will at least attempt to fix anything I bring home, and usually successfully. Happy 77th Birthday today, Dad!  I love you!