Dessert in Five Minutes

My favourite dessert to serve in the summer is sponge cake from Briwood Farm Market in St. Thomas topped with freshly whipped cream and berries.  If you live elsewhere, I suggest you take some time and hunt down that perfect sponge cake.  It'll be worth it.  This particular sponge cake stays fresh for two weeks, so I pick up one up every now and then when I am in St. Thomas.  I always have a small 500mL carton of whipping cream in the back of the fridge because one never knows when you need whipped cream, and it is usually good for up to two months.   So all I ever need to do is a quick berry run.   Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries are all good.  Or mix 'em up like I did here.  I think peaches would be pretty snazzy too.  If whipping your own whipped cream is holding you back, do not fret any longer.  This is what I do:

1. Chill your beater attachments and the whipping cream and the bowl (if you can fit it in the freezer - I can't so it's no biggie) in the freezer for about twenty minutes.   Any longer may freeze your whipping cream, and that won't do.
2.  In a large deep bowl, pour a 500mL carton of whipping cream with a tsp. of vanilla and 1/4 cup of sugar.  I might put less sugar.  I really don't know 'cause I just throw in what looks good.  I don't like my whipped cream too sweet.  Let the berries and cake do that work.
3.  Beat with your hand mixer on high until peaks form.  You'll know when it's done.  It takes approximately three minutes.  Don't over mix.  The whipped cream will get all airy and bleh.
4.  Serve with sponge cake and berries, and watch it disappear!

Now we can all be twins!


Heat wave

I finished this little number just in time for the heat wave. It's been in the 80's and 90's, that's 20's and 30's for the Canadians, and humid to boot. It's the Frock Camisole from Interweave and it's a free pattern. The yarn I used was Tahki Yarns Sierra in Sage, a nice, light silk blended yarn. It's a great pattern, knits up quickly, and it's one of those roomy tops that covers you in all of the right places. Perfect for those summer picnics when you've had one too many ice cream cones.

Recipe for a Nice Day

Baking bread in less than five minutes is perhaps the sweetest thing next to having the littlest beg for more bread and butter.  The giant hug I got for baking the second loaf knocked me off my feet.

A pound of cherries from the farmers' market - all eaten by cherry monsters.

Chillin' at the neighbourhood spray pad with friends followed by eating ice cream cones on really high stools.

Additional highlights included:

  • washing the car and doing laundry (Seriously.)

  • knitting (I finished one sock and one hat.)

  • visiting my parents who just returned from a Baltic cruise and receiving a giant hank of sheep wool from Estonia (I hugged them so hard, they nearly fell over!)

  • catching up with Community (how did I miss this very smart and funny tv show?)

  • lots of easy laughter with teenagers (that's practically worth gold!)

EZ #6

A friend of mine told me she was pregnant a couple of weeks ago, so it only made sense that my next EZ knit be a February Baby Sweater.   I love this pattern to infinity and beyond.   I could knit 100 of these and never tire of it.  Seriously.  Black *.  I'm thinking it will fit a newborn perfectly.

I used about two-thirds of a hank of Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton Silk DK in a straw colour.  I picked this up at Shall We Knit in February, and it was sitting in the stash ready to be a February Baby Sweater since.  It feels so warm and buttery and soft all at the same time.  Like petting the belly of a well-brushed kitten.  Yes.  That's what it feels like.

So that brings me up to six out of twelve Elizabeth Zimmermann patterns so far.  I think I'm pacing myself quite nicely.  I still have to steek something as it's on my list of to-do's, but I'm confident that I can finish another six projects before year-end.  Absolutely


* When someone is caught saying 'seriously' in my immediate family, it is ALWAYS followed by another person saying 'black'.   It was funny once, and oddly enough, still sends us into uncontrollable fits of giggles.  I think it's a Harry Potter thing.

Some wanty items

Schwinn Cruiser Bike - Thinking about upgrading my $10 Craigslist cruiser for this fly model.

Lufdesign leaf ties - These are adorable and could be used in the home or office in so many ways. Who can resist practical and cute?

Fiorello dress - From Etsy seller Lirola. I love this dress with its vintage feel and ruffle detail.

Wanting to try out Mom's Banana Bread recipe from Saveur. Could it possibly be as good as Mom's?

Spam musubi - a Hawaiian treat that I've never tried but have suddenly become obsessed with making and consuming.

Knit grass rug - Are you allergic to grass like me? A cute and DIY way to bring the outdoors in without the sniffles! I can see this in our sun room.

Camwear poly food storage container
- Exactly what I need for my large batches or no-knead bread dough.

What are your wanty items?

Hillbilly Tooth

Oh my dear lord!  My sweet little love has had a tooth ferociously jutting out for weeks now.  I've politely requested that she push it back into place, but she insists that it is quite impossible.   I'm certain I shriek a little inside each time she smiles my way.  And the irony is not missed on me that next week she has a dentist appointment.  There was a tooth hanging by a string at the last visit, and the dentist offered to gently tug it out but to no avail.  That tooth managed to hang on for several more weeks.  I give up.  But this too shall pass. :)


Goofy Girl With No Hands

And then she was gone.


Gettin' bibby with it

Please excuse the hokey title for today's post. It's casual Friday at the office, the staff is getting a catered breakfast, and it's finally sunny and warm. Who can help being a little keyed up today?

I found this baby bib pattern on Ravelry the night before a colleague's baby shower and thought that she needed one. This pattern truly lives up to its name--The Perfect Baby Bib. It involves no sewing on of buttons after the knitting is done and, while not being a parent, seems easy to get on and off of a child.I've made three in about a week and plan on making a bunch more. Now if you'll excuse me, I smell bacon and waffles that need to get eaten. Happy weekend my friends!

EZ #5

It's another ganomy!  This time I pulled from my stash, my very first skein of real wool.  Do you remember your very first skein of real wool?  I remember the day I bought it clearly.  It was on the clearance shelf at London Yarns, and I fell in love with the harvest gold refrigerator colour in addition to the bulky weight that I knew would knit up quick and easy.  I'm not quite sure what took me so long to actually knit with it.  We're talking five years ago here!  And this pattern is brilliant 'cause it's simple and I LOVE that it keeps my favourite ears cozy and heated throughout the winter.   Hats don't get better than this. 


In Today's Mail

Dear T,

I found myself in a kitchen wares store the other day.  I hadn't been there in years, and when I first walked in, I couldn't think of one thing I needed in that store.  After a complete walk-through of the store, I settled my eyes on a wall of stainless steel pots, and after deciding on one and nearly calling it a day, I hollered over to the salesperson, "Would you happen to have any pizza stones???"  I have no idea what made me think of a pizza stone at that very moment as I have never seriously considered buying one until months ago when you recommended Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, but you also noted that I would definitely require a pizza stone.  But I didn't have the book, and I really think in these cases that the book needs to come before the stone.  However, the store had a pizza stone, and I threw the pot back on the shelf, and I bought that pizza stone.  And it's a very good thing that I did!

Thank you SO much for the book and the fabric and the skirt pattern (I will make oodles of them!), and most of all, thank you so mother flippin' much for the crocheted acorn basket!   Honestly,  I think I screamed when I opened the box.  Well, and there was the unicorn card!  I'm still not sure how that one got past me.  You've been holding on to that one for a while.  I'm impressed.  And humbled.  You did good.

How'm I supposed to top that?


Mums Day

The girls and I went on a photowalk this morning at the university, and although I didn't take many pictures of the buildings, I did manage to capture some good ones of the girls as well as the gardens.  Thank goodness I haven't packed up the winter woolens because we needed them to stay warm. 

Here it looks like the Bumblebee is chomping on her big sister's arm. Weird, but that's how these two roll. 
And my sister and I survived the Handmade Festival and chased it with half a pomtini each.  :)  We also spent a good portion of our earnings on the other craft tables - there was so much awesomeness around us!  I even taught her how to crochet a headband.  Good times. 

Now this mum (me) is going to rest up and warm up before her first soccer game.  It's too late to chicken out, and believe me, I want to chicken out badly, but I am in charge of the oranges, and I take these things much too seriously.

Happity Mums Day!  An even bigger shout out to my mum who's traipsing around Europe at the moment.  Cheerio!  I'll catch you when you get back.


Sneak Peek

Last weekend, my sister and I did a run-through for the Handmade Festival that is coming up TOMORROW!   Oh dear, I'm so very anxious and will be quite glad when this is over.  I'm not  good at selling my wares or myself.  Thank the stars I'll have my sister by my side and two 14-year old assistants that seem to be much more excited than me.  They've been texting back and forth about all the details and giggling.  I'm not clear what that means for us.  As for what one will find on our table, we have earrings galore, big flower-y barrettes, winter-y wool hats and cowls just in time for the summer, cotton head scarves and head bands, quilted coasters and hot pads, magnets, zippered pouches, tote bags, reversible baby bibs, and bathtub stickies.  We have a little something for everyone.

Handmade Festival
Central Library, 251 Dundas St, London
Saturday, May 8, 2010 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Come by and say hi.  I will probably blush and mumble something incoherent, but please know that I will be eternally grateful. :)


Slide Bump is Only the Best Game on the Playground

Followed the Bumblebee to the park after dinner, and I knit a handful of repeats on the lacy baktus, and when I got home, I switched up my knitting gears and started on a pair of EZ's Norwegian Mittens using some leftover Briggs & Little from J's Cobblestone and some leftover cream merino wool from my most recent sweater.  This shall be my May project.   Who says rowlets???   EZ, of course.  Ooh, and the lilacs in my backyard are in bloom, and the sweet fragrance makes me want to dance in circles.   If only I was not crippled from Friday night's soccer practice!   I'm hoping to recover in time for tomorrow night's practice, but the enormous bowls of raspberry bugaboo ice cream are not helping at all.   Oh dear.



I made vegetable broth today!  Oh my lord, this was easy!  Besides cleaning and peeling all the vegetables, I just sat back and let it simmer for four hours.  I added more water when it looked like it was getting low, but that's it.  I have enough for probably two or three big soups.  I'm pretty happy about this.  I used red peppers, snowpeas, green onions, garlic cloves, radishes, celery, carrots and one cherry tomato leftover from the Bumblebee's lunch box.  It smells so good.  Next up - cauliflower soup!
With the fair-isle yoke sweater absolutely finished and blocked to ginormousity, I can resume knitting on the lacy baktus scarf.   I'm just in the home stretch.  The second half is SO much easier than the first half.  Don't ask me why.  It just is. :)

Happy Saturday!