I'm on day 5 of the challenge, since I started on Sunday. So far, I've made quiche, broccoli/mushroom/potato stew (not photographed 'cause it's just not pretty, but it's tasty), and a supposed-to-be-salad-but-turned-into-stirfry of bok choy, kale, tofu, and alfalfa sprouts. (Lunch yesterday was a giant Cameo apple, and I've been eating breakfasts of cheese or asian pear butter on toast of bread that's locally made and sold at the farmers' market, although probably not from local ingredients. Dessert has been strawberry yogurt from Pequea Farms.) What I am missing the most is rice noodles and whole grains (quinoa and millet, mostly), plus things like beans and lentils and peanut butter. I'd be doing better on the grain front, at least, if I'd managed to bake anything; I knew on Tuesday that I should cook or bake something, but I spent the evening knitting. Maybe tonight; I want to make something cornbread-like with that cornmeal I bought last Saturday.
Part 3: Festival fiber usage
I set out quite a list of stuff I wanted to have done by Maryland. I have abandoned all hope of knitting that orange mohair-blend shawl, especially because I haven't finished spinning the yarn for it. I doubt very much that I'll finish the pair of Tess's Yarn socks, but I should get at least a decent start on the second sock (after I finish the first one). I also have no chance of finishing the spinning of either the silk cap or the wool/mohair locks, and I'm not going to knit those wristwarmers in the next week, either. Still, I am happy with my fiber productivity of the last several months. The one thing I want to make sure I do before I leave for Maryland is sample that ramboullet, so I can add another variety of wool to my repertoire. (Sort of, at least.)
I understand, now, how people who commute by public transit knit socks so quickly. Most of the foot was knit while sitting around with relatives in Virginia (several days of sitting and talking), but nearly all of the ribbed cuff so far was knit at a symposium I attended last week--several hours of sitting and listening. (Oh, and the fine, white hairs in the sock? Mohair from the Prairie Silk of my Highland Triangle Shawl, which I wore to that symposium and which was in my lap while I was knitting.)
I don't often take public transit, and, when I do, it's usually for no more than fifteen minutes, and I'm often standing by the back stairwell of the trolley. That means I can't knit more than a couple of rounds per trip. On the other hand, if I had a twenty- or thirty-minute (or longer) train ride twice a day, well, it adds up kinda quickly.
Don't get me wrong, though. I like my 25-minute walk.
My first real cooking of the Penny-Wise Eat Local Challenge was a quiche:
This is actually the overflow quiche--the main one was in an 8- or 9-inch glass pie pan. Nonlocal ingredients: oil and seasonings (salt, pepper, thyme, basil. oh, and soymilk). The tarragon and parsley weren't precisely local, but they're from my parents' CSA, dried by my dad. Further specs are in the extended entry.
I made cookies for last night's Fiber Night, and they were sufficiently well received that I thought I'd post the recipe. I was excited to find this recipe because they're gluten-free and sweetened only with honey, expanding the range of people who can eat them.
They're not the most photogenic of cookies, and I neglected to photograph them anyway, but here's the recipe as I made them:
3 c ground almonds [I used almond meal from Trader Joe's] 2 eggs 1/2 c honey 1/4 t salt 1/2 t vanilla
Mix everything together and chill for 3 hours. Spoon into blobs ranging from horsechestnut-sized to walnut-hull-sized and bake ~12' at 350ºF. Makes ~3 dozen smallish cookies. (They puff up a little bit, but they don't spread.)
The original recipe called for ground hazelnuts; they'd probably also be quite good with ground walnuts, and I should be able to do that with local walnuts, eggs, and honey, if not local salt or vanilla. (The eggs and honey in this batch were both local, the honey even coming from West Philly.) I had originally hoped to have enough cookies to feed some to my labmates before Fiber Night, but I think I'd want to do at least a batch and a half if I were going to split them up like that.
I'm getting ready for next week's Penny-Wise Eat Local Challenge (as previously discussed here). I'm thinking of starting early--on Sunday--so I can exclude the following Saturday and head up to New York for the day. This project is also going to (finally!) get me to the Fair Food Farmstand in Reading Terminal Market tomorrow morning, so I can get the best possible variety of local food to cook.
This is just because I can't bring myself to post without including a picture.
I picked up a copy of Stephanie's new book last Friday, and I also spent a pleasant twenty minutes looking at other books I've been thinking of buying. Victorian Lace Today has moved up on my list, as has No Sheep For You. I'm wondering, though--would it be awful in some way for me to buy No Sheep For You and knit some of the designs in wool? Is there a compelling reason not to do so? (I really like Morrigan, Jenna Wilson's fine-ish gauge aran-style sweater.)
I also want to share two of my recent music discoveries:
1. The Rosebuds: my Crafty Lab-Neighbor handed me their album Birds Make Good Neighbors and told me to listen to it. As she predicted, I really like it. It's on the poppy side of my taste in indie rock (but definitely within the range of stuff that I like), possibly comparable to Death Cab for Cutie or recent Magnetic Fields.
2. Let's Go Sailing: Phillyist.com posted about their then-upcoming show, included a link to an mp3, and advertised a shirt/totebag/cd/ticket giveaway. I listened to the mp3, entered the giveaway, and won. I was, alas, unable to attend the concert (last-minute work stuff plus exhaustion), but the cd, The Chaos in Order, is quite good. It will soon find its way into my indie playlists.
Because of general low energy this weekend and yesterday's steady rain, I spent a lot of time knitting, spinning, and cooking. (And doing laundry, but that's neither fun nor picture-worthy.) Here is a new picture of my freeform blanket, as of this morning. It's now on the floor, as it no longer fits nicely on top of my yarn box/coffee table.
(Sorry about the flash. It's grey and rainy here.)