Last week was Pie Week at the Museum. What, did you think a historical museum was some dusty collection of old stuff looked after by a dusty collection of old docents? Well, what if it IS? We still like pie -- think of this as our version of "par-TAY down!" As we werent' scheduled until Thursday, Mr Dearling and I determined to do our baking on Wednesday. Oh yes, you can add "pretty decent baker" to his other glowing accomplishments.
As we had something over 20 lovely green tomatoes on our amazingly productive little plant, and as it was forecast to freeze - FREEZE, none of your "might get a little chilly", we brought in all remaining fruit. I have a variety of recipes for your traditional Fried Green Tomatoes (including the one at the back of the book by the same name...) DIGRESSION: Have you read that? I recommend it highly. The movie was OK too, great cast -- I loved Jessica Tandy anyway, but the book was better. As usual.
ANYway, a little tour around our innernet produced a recipe for "Green Tomato Pie" which sounded intriguing, and Mr Dearling decided to make that. For my part, I wanted to reproduce an old favorite left over from Society for Creative Anachronism days: Chykken Gallantyne. We're nothing if not nontraditional in this house. None of your rhubarb-strawberry here. My Gallantyne contains carefully shredded chicken, Turkish apricots, slivered almonds and a sauce made of yellow mustard, brown sugar and ginger marmalade - Dundee, in the white glass jar. I'm very particular about that.
This is the Gallantyne - oh, and may I add: Mr Dearling made his crust from scratch, as he is wont to do (see above!) and it's flaky and fine. Me? Well now, see, pie crusts come in these wonderful little tubes where you just unroll them, thereby allowing time for knitting. That's what I use. So what???
OK. Finally, KNITTING! I guess it hasn't appeared here so much because I haven't had the chance to do as much as I'd like. Don't you hate that? I also feel like I've been travelling around the world or something. But I did finish the third punkin hat at NAVC, made some progress on the toque (although I had to stop because I'd forgotten the second skein - PLAN AHEAD!)
However - during the course of the NAVC weekend, I was pleased to receive seven (7!) new commissions for toques. Three chaps want red (two a brick or russet, one a brighter red); two requested French Bleu (a somewhat grey-blue) and one fellow asked for a deep, rich green. This last may be somewhat untraditional, but there's nothing to prevent such a thing. Bless his glowing little heart - much as I love all shades of rouge or red or russet or brick, I am tickled by the occasional bold use of another color. Also, I'm going to have the opportunity for using different yarns: the russet color I'll be using Nashua "Creative Focus" worsted in "Brick". It's a bit frou-frou for a voyageur (75% wool, 25% alpaca) but the color is wondrous and it's SO soft and lovely. The green one is going to be Lamb's Pride worsted, which I have well-represented in my stash, because I just LOVE the crisp stitch definition. (Read: I can see my blunders right away!)
Picture me curled up on my end of the couch surrounded by skeins and knitting toques happily....my pattern? My documentable, historically-accurate, authentic pattern for a Voyageur's Toque, circa mid-18th century? Well, it goes something like this: Cast on 12. Increase to desired width. knit mindlessly while watching TV, attending lectures, in the movies (yes I have too, leave me alone), riding in the car, dozing....yeah, I really have nodded off and awakened moments later to find myself closer to the stitch marker than I was....to desired length. Then decrease back to 12 stitches, draw up stitches and perform small dance to "Another One Bites the Dust".
Now then, Punkins. I did finish the punkin hats...and I'm actually pretty pleased with them. Aren't they CUTE?? Of course, you can't hardly get more basic, but that was one of the first times I've started caps at the bottom. I almost always start with the increase (see "toques" above) and I rather enjoyed it. Of course, I had to check them out with the Knitwear Authority:
I was glad to see that they passed muster. Mistress Evangeline, in fact, spent the better part of an hour lying on them, sleeping on them, rearranging them, and of course applying (artistically) the proper number of cat hairs, without which no knitting is complete. To my delighted anticipation, I have successfully arranged for all three little boys to stop over this evening (Wednesday) to receive their Autumn Punkin hats AND pose for a series of pictures in them. Do I assume that, like my favorite children's story, "The Cap That Mother Made", they will wear them until they simply don't fit anymore? Well, no. I suspect the bigger boys will tolerate them until they're out of my sight; Littlest Grandson may wear his because he's not quite old enough to make clothing decisions for himself. We'll see, but in the meantime I'll have photographic evidence. (You can get a lot of blackmail mileage out of hats like that when the boys are big enough to bring girlfriends over ::snicker::)
And lastly - the reference to Sprouts: last Saturday we spent the morning at the Museum working with groups of Girl Sprouts...well, Brownies, to be perfectly accurate. They were working toward a "Listening to the Past" badge, and we took them through the Museum pointing out items and telling stories about children in an earlier time. It was huge fun, although talking about "history" is dicey, particularly when everyone in the crowd was born (are you ready?) AFTER the year 2000. Think about it! They'll one day say "I was born after the turn of the century" and they're NOT going to mean La Belle Epoque! It was a lot of fun, actually. We played some "pioneer and Indian games" with them - Jacob's Ladder,Cup-and-Pin, the Game of Graces....and I showed them some poppets, cornhusk dolls, penny dolls, all of which they declared "BETTER!" than Bratz dolls. Oh yeah.
I'm gradually getting back on track...