Thank you Ami for choosing this recipe! I have wanted to try my hand at making French macarons ever since experiencing these tasty little cookies at Pierre Herme in Paris. The macaron shops in Paris reminded me of jewelry stores with their glass cases of beautifully coloured confections. We were equally impressed with the ones at Laduree, especially the pistachio macarons. Yum!
I was excited to make these and read nearly every post on the Daring Baker's forum in anticipation of possible failures. I, like everyone else, was after those illusive little feet that grow on the cookies during baking. A few too many or a few too little strokes while mixing up the batter will result in no feet. A too hot oven may result in no feet. Batter too wet? No feet! Needless to say I was nervous when I started this recipe on Sunday. A few days before I started I aged my egg whites in a bowl on the counter and I made my own almond flour too, which I left out to dry. That part was easy enough. Oh, and did I mention that I started making these as symptoms of Swine flu were coming on (more about that later)? That surely did not help matters.
Here are the shells drying before being put into the oven for the first time. They are green tea flavoured.I held my breath as I opened the oven door after the second baking and low and behold......feet! Glorious feet! I think Mr. T heard my screams of "they have feet!" from the living room. I think I may have browned the shells a little too much but they didn't stick to the parchment paper at all and they were wonderfully chewy on the inside.After they cooled I sandwiched them with a green tea infused white chocolate ganache. These babies were tasty! Not quite Pierre Herme but they will do in a pinch when I feel like having macarons but don't have the time to fly to Paris. Oh, and as it turns out I most likely do have the H1N1 virus. I was prescribed Tamiflu today and will go in for tests tomorrow. I don't think I've gotten off of the couch for three days. Well, at least I don't have to share any of my macarons!
Reason #91 why I shouldn't feel guilty for leaving the girls at home today. This little guy was lying on the floor for a long time. I had plenty of time to find my camera in the bottom of my bag, turn it on, take the cap off, find the setting and focus. People were just walking around him.
I casted on for this blanket, not really knowing how it would turn out. I wanted a basic blanket that was cushy and had no large holes in it that little fingers could get caught in. What came about was the Elizabeth Blanket, a nice, pebbly stitch with a crochet picot edge, just enough girly pinkness for a fourth child (I know, I am a fourth child!).
Here is the pattern that I've written up. This is my first pattern so please bear with me. If you find any mistakes or would like to give me some advice on proper pattern writing, I would welcome your comments. Feel free to modify this pattern for a smaller/larger blanket.
Needles: Size 9 (5.5 mm) circular knitting needle
Crochet Hook: Size 9 (5.5 mm)
Yarn: MC - 6 balls Lion Brand Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton in “Almond”
CC - 1 ball Lion Brand Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton in “Strawberry”
This yarn is classified as "Medium" or worsted-weight.
Gauge: doesn’t matter too much since this is a blanket
Finished size: Approximately 50 inches X 30 inches
Using size 9 circular needle CO 120 stitches.
Row 1: *k2, p2*, repeat from * to * until end of row
Row 2: *k2, p2”, repeat from * to * until end of row
Essentially you will knit the purl stitches and purl the knit stitches until all 6 balls of MC are used up. Be sure to save enough yarn to bind off. Weave in loose ends.
To finish add a crochet picot edge using CC. You can do a single crochet row around the blanket before you begin your picot (I did not) but then you would need more than one ball of CC (about 1 ½ balls is my guess).
I have written the instructions for doing a crochet picot edge below but never having written instructions for crochet before, I fear that I may be confusing you, dear reader, more than I am helping. Bear with me. If after reading my horrid instructions, you are left with more questions than answers, have a look at this video.
Instructions for crochet picot edge:
Work a single crochet into the first chain.
Work a single crochet into each of the next 2 “stitches” or holes.
Using the last single crochet that you did, chain 3 and repeat (single crochet into first chain, single crochet, single crochet, chain 3, etc.).Continue the picot edge all the way around the blanket until you reach your first picot, cut the yarn and weave in the end.
And Lauren was right. That cashmere was perfect for a Purl Cashmere Cowl. It was simply endless 1x1 ribbing until I used every inch of it up. The Bee would like to think it's hers, but I am only prepared to share it at this point.
PS. The turkey is in the oven stuffed with stuffing. Mmmm-mmm-mmmm . . .
Enough about that, I have to hunt down a turkey - preferably a fresh kill since I haven't the time to thaw a frozen one since we would like to eat the bird tomorrow night. This all crept on me a little too quickly when I was reading the Bee's Thanksgiving wish, and all the kid wants is turkey. She's a turkey monster. I thought it sweet until ten minutes later while reading an email from my dad in which he mentioned that my pies would nicely complement my mum's roast beef. EEK!! So off to the market, I must go and find a small-ish turkey to feed just the four of us. This will also be my first time cooking a turkey. I've got Donna Hay beside me to help. I can not go wrong.
The pattern is Plush Bunny Slippers from Lion Brand (login required) with some of my own modifications. They seem kind of wide but I showed them to a few people at the lunch table and was assured that they would be fine. One Christmas gift knitted, about a million more to go.