Saturday, September 29, 2012

Worth all the fuss!

I had one more thing to do before I was free to go on a 2 night camping trip.  I had to deliver the teal shawl I had finally finished.  I had blocked it the night before, and it came out beautifully!

The first picture it true to color, I just love the magic of blocking!
I can't wait until my client sees it!  Knitting for money is not really worth the it, but it is really nice when someone likes what you have done!  

I have now knit the same pattern three times in a row, and in less than 1 month.  I have never done that before, and I probably will not do it again.  I loved the pattern, and I did get a little quicker at it, but I was really trudging along by the end of it.  Dear One can attest to the fact that when I finished the final cast off, I threw it on the corner table, and there it stayed until the next day!

I delivered it as we were heading out of town on what will probably be our last camp out of 2012.  We have continued to favor the Elkmont Campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  We have toured several other campgrounds in the park, but by far it is our favorite.  The sites are roomy, and sometimes you can get a site by the river.  We have camped 4 times this year, and we hope to increase that number next year.  Dear One is wanting to do a winter camp out as well, but we will need a smaller 4 season tent and some super sleeping bags to pull that one off!

According to the forecast, we expected Friday to be wet and cold, but we had done cold and wet before, so we were not dissuaded.  To our delight Friday turned out to be fantastic!  We had sunshine the whole day, Dear One got a long run in, while I knitted, and then after lunch, we enjoyed a hike, and a fantastic dinner.  One of my more complicated ones.

I like to have several really easy meals and one that I have to mess with a little.  Plus, I always take 2 or 3 extra meals, like soup and bread, or beans and cornbread. ( I was expecting it to be cold!)  This time, for my fussy meal, I brought some steak, corn on the cob and potatoes, and I wanted to cook it all over the fire! 

 I wrapped the potatoes in heavy duty aluminum foil, and stuck them in the coals.  I soaked the corn in water for an hour and then placed the two of them on the rack above the coals.  I turned all both vegetables frequently, and when I thought that the corn was done,(I could smell it) I wrapped it husks and all in foil and set it to a cooler spot on rack.  The potatoes took forever, but when they were almost done, I put the marinated (italian dressing) steak on the grill.   (fireplace tools really help when you are cooking potatoes in the coals!) 

I watched the potatoes and when they were done, I put them with the corn to stay warm.  When the juices appeared on the top of the steak I flipped them over and took the potatoes and corn to the table.  The corn husks came off like magic, and the potatoes slipped out of the foil, ready to be opened and buttered.

By then, the steaks were done and I placed them on the plates, beside the veggies.  Then the moment of truth, Dear One took a bite of the steak, mmmmmm, it was wonderful!  Of course the corn and potatoes were great as well.  We washed it all down with Mikes Hard Lemonade!  It was worth all the fuss is all I can say, I think this may become a camping tradition.

After an evening walk, it was time for Smores.  I ate mine and Dear One's as well, since he doesn't really like them.  Can you imagine that!  Not liking smores!  Unbelievable!

The rain did finally catch up with us, 2:30 am I heard a gentle rain hit the tarp that covers our tent and porch area.  It was raining softly off and on this morning, as we took down the tent under the cover of that tarp, and packed all of it up, until all that was left was the big tarp.  By then, the rain was over and we were able to shake off a bunch of that rain, and leaves too.

Back home again, the tarp is already hung up on the line for a good airing.  The tent is put on top of one of the cars to air out too, and dry the little bit of rain that it received.  As I write this, the camping boxes are stored the tarps are almost dry, the first load is in the washer, and the tent is ready to be stored.   Again, it was worth all the fuss!

I am going to miss this!  I can't wait until next year!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Spinning and Knitting, Tina

Friday, September 21, 2012

Brings back Memories

Last week, I posted a teaser about Crock Pot Granola.  I have just recently rediscovered Granola, it was a staple in my formative years, my Daddy loved it!  He also loved making it!

He would mix it up just right and then spend some time keeping watch over it in the oven.  I know that Mom made it too, but I remember how much he enjoyed the process. I must confess that I have not tried to make it in years, it is just too much fuss for something I can pick up at the store, right!  Plus it had always been too easy to burn!   Then about a month ago, Lou Ann started talking about making Granola in the crock pot.  I was intrigued.  She was going home to make some that very afternoon, because her sister was coming in for the weekend, and she thought that J would love it!  (She did!)

Lou Ann has started something here.  As soon as I got home I did a quick search on Google, and I found any number of recipes for it.  Like so many of these things, there is a great variety out there.  Everyone puts in what they like, and it comes out perfect!

I pieced together a recipe of the things I like:

Combine in a big bowl:

5 cups Old Fashioned Oats
2 T milled Flax Seed (Omega 3)
2 T Wheat Germ ( in the breakfast foods aisle with the cereal)
some Shredded Coconut (I like at least 1/2 cup in there)
Slivered almonds ( or whatever nut you like!)
Cinnamon (to taste)

Combine in a small bowl:

1/2 cup Honey (some use only 1/4 cup of sweet stuff)
1/2 cup butter (I use the real thing,  and again, some use only 1/4 cup)
1tsp of vanilla

Combine the two mixtures, then pour it all into a 3 qt Crock Pot that has been sprayed with a non stick spray.  Turn the Crock Pot on low and leave the lid off.  Most recipes say to have the lid on with a spoon stuck in it to let the moisture out, but I have to tell you that it takes a lot longer to cook that way.  In my Crock Pot it took well over 6 hrs when I had the lid partially on, so I am taking it off completely next time!

Unlike many Crock Pot recipes, this one you can't just fix it and forget it, you have to be around.  You don't have to stand over it, but you do have to have your nose on alert.  When you can smell that goodness in the air, it is time go give it a stir. Usually, that will be about every 30 minutes or so.  I have on a couple of occasions just turned it off when I had to go out, and resumed the cooking when I got back.

When the Granola is toasted to the color you want it to be, turn it out onto a cookie sheet to cool.  Now is when you can add all kinds of dried fruit.  My favorite is raisins, Lou Ann fancies Craisins,  but they are a bit tangy for my morning taste buds.  I have even heard that some add Chocolate chips to the mix once it is cool!  I have a plastic air tight container that I store my Granola in, it lasts me about a week, unless Dear one gets into it too! :)

The aroma, brings back such sweet Memories of my Daddy.  I need to see if  I can get their recipe from Mom, but then again, as I have seen, it was probably a little different each time they made it, just like mine has been.

What do you like in your Granola?

Happy Weaving, Spinning and Knitting, Tina

Friday, September 14, 2012

Couldn't Sleep

Every once in awhile, I have trouble sleeping.  My mind is racing in so many different directions, and there is no stopping it!  The only thing to do is to go upstairs to the Studio, and do something quiet, so that I don't wake up Dear One!

My plan was to go thru my knitting yarns and see what would be good to use to weave a scarf or shawl. (Lou Ann has let my In Town Daughter and I borrow her Rigid Heddle loom to use our wool yarn, and while Daughter has her yarn chosen, I have not.)  While I was rummaging around, I ran across the black shetland yarn I had spun up for Dear One's Cardigan.  I ended up doing a Vest instead, so there was a lot of yarn left over.  I found a couple of skeins and a sleeve and the back to the sweater.  I stopped sorting yarn, and I immediately began to frog it and wind it onto the Niddy Noddy.  I decided wait until morning to soak it.

Doesn't it look funny all poodled up!  I have found that a soothing activity like spinning yarn, or knitting, or even frogging a long discarded project, soothes my mind.  It lets me relax, and just zone for a minute or two, or 20!  Then relaxed,  I surveyed my skeins of yarn, with a slight feeling of accomplishment,  I glanced at the clock, it was 3am, and I was ready for sleep.

The next morning, I put the skeins in to soak before I did the outside chores, so that by the time I came back in they were ready to hang up to dry.  This afternoon, they are almost dry, and I calculated that I have 525 yards of fingering weight black shetland.  That is enough to do a smashing shawl for me, myself and I.  I have been combing Ravelry today to find just the right one.  If I really need to, for just the right project, I know I have another lb. of that roving that I can spin up!  Maybe on my next sleepless night!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Spinning and Knitting, Tina

Yummm!  Did you ever hear of Crockpot Granola!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Without Power

The power went out on Monday, for 6 hours!  It has been doing that lately.  We have had a little rain from Isaac, but really not much to worry about.  It got me thinking about all the jobs I have held, and what would have happened when the power went out.

When I was a Library gopher at 16 years of age, the place would have gone on just fine, we were still doing it manually when I started.  By the time I moved on to my next job, however, they would have come to a standstill, because they had become automated!

At the JC Penney candy counter, I would have been able to clean all the sticky candy bins, getting the sticky all over my arms, (I lost 10 lbs working there!) but no sales would have happened without the cash register!

At French's Market, or the White Store, we would have been in trouble, again, no cash registers!

When I worked at the Pre-school for a couple of years, I suppose we would have done just fine, except that the kids would have freaked in the dark!

I kept kids at home for a very little while,(4 kids under 4, call me crazy!) until my own kids started coming, we would have brought out the blankets and made a tent over the table, found the flashlights and had a party!

On the Mission field, it would have depended on if it was night or not, things didn't start happening over there until 8pm!  I don't think I could hang with them now!

The Coffee shop I worked in when we returned state side would have been out of luck, as would have the  Screen printing/ Embroidery shop I worked at for a couple of years.  The Vet Clinic job I had for 6 years would have had some problems!  We could have done the treatments of course, but all the fancy blood work machines wouldn't have done us any good, and we would have had to send out the bills later, when the power came back on.

Somewhere in there I cleaned houses for a couple of years.  That, my friends was by far the hardest job of all!  I often had 2 small houses in one day, or one big one.  I had to quit one of the farther out jobs because I almost fell asleep at the wheel coming home twice!

Now however,  except for the fact that I would have to pull out the camp stove to make coffee, it doesn't affect me at all!

Happy Spinning, Weaving, and Knitting, Tina