Outfoxed Knitting

Sometimes I'm smarter than the knitting; sometimes it's smarter than me. The fun is figuring it out.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Envisioning the Gold

That's right. I can see it. I can almost touch it. I just can't wear it. Yet.

The sweater I'm knitting for the Knitting Olympics (and PsychoHubby) is close to entering the final "sleeve" phase. Due to some judicious pattern choosing, this sweater only needs light blocking so I should be able to knit right up until deadline. Of course, I may decide later to do something about the unattractively rolling bottom edge.

(Thanks, Mr. Knitting Photographer. Due to judicious tweaking and posing, your
photograph made it seem like this stockinette edge would defy all laws of knitting physics and not roll. Your bit of illusion -- and my urge to get it done -- sure fooled me.)

Regardless, I should be able to finish the Berkshire Pullover in time.

But I gotta tell you, the lineup awaiting me after the KO is pretty daunting. Even more so since I discovered I have a baby shower and triple birthday party awaiting me March 18 and March 25. Yikes!!!!!!!!!

I can do this, I can do this. I'll just pretend it's the Christmas crawl and bang it all out. I will also do my best to not remember what happened to the Christmas crawl. That would be depressing. It will also be difficult as some of the Christmas crawl is actually apart of the March crawl. Lordy, that's a lot of knitting.

Just what I need, I challenge. Here's the post Knitting Olympics lineup in no particular order:

1. Hoover blanket, baby shower -- not in progress yet. May possibly become a sweater.

2. Birthday triumverate -- What possessed this mom and dad, both born in late March to have a baby born in late March? And to top it off, what posessed them to become best friends with a knitter!!! And if you think I'm putting what the gifts are going to be in here, think again Ingrid.

Well, OK, I'll show you what I'm making for Benny-boy. He might be able to wear it for at least one pic by the time I'm done.

3. Just cuz baby coat -- For my niece, provided she's still small enought by the time it's complete. If she's not, there's at least two female babies younger than her in my gift receiving circle.

4. Mark's socks -- see that little string. That's it. That's all I've got to do. Weave that string in and it's been done. Don't ask why it's been sitting in the basket for a month.

5. Frivoli hat -- 2/3 done and I'm looking forward to grafting the seam. I really am...
6. Lorna's Laces Slipped Stitch Socks -- color is Tuscany. I'm so in love with it
7. Mitts from Weekend Knitting -- I actually used up KO time for this....we had a cold spell. Of course I didn't finish. PsychoHubby was having a hissy fit over his math homework and needed me to both doublecheck the work and listen to him vent. He's loud. Very loud. But I'm not bitter. It wasn't like I was trying to get them knit so his hands would freeze off while waiting for the bus. No. I'm not a cradle robber. He's 30 years old and going back to school. We live in Portland, OR, with a great mass transit system. So he takes the bus to school. And it's not a short yellow one.
8. 2nd Bobbi bear. Almost done. I don't know who it's going to yet. There's about half a dozen babies/kids who would love this that I'm related to. I'll have to figure it out.

And no, there's not pictures of the last projects. Why? Because I have an evil head cold. (See Mac&Cheese entry below and "I've Got a Cold entry" on the KO blog. Also, this head cold cause me to swoon as I watch the "Image Loading" icon swirl around. So no, you're not getting anymore stinking pictures.

Anyway, I'm hungry now and I have a lot of knitting to do. So y'all have fun, now. Y'hear?

Why I love mac&cheese

Here's the thing. I'm sick. It doesn't happen too often (regardless of how I whine), but when it does, I get this urge for comfort food and/or Ben and Jerry's. Despite being sick, this urge generally calls for me to cook and it can be a measure of how sick I am what I cook. To give you an idea, I'm sick enough that I seriously considered making my mom's homeade chicken and dumplings, even though it wasn't a weekend and just getting the chicken ready would take about an hour and a half. (Not hard, just boiling it that long, then letting it cool and then tearing it all apart.)

I wasn't that sick. But I was sick enough to go carb-crazy and give PsychoHubby and I some seriously delicious food. And even though this much-neglected blog is about knitting I wanted to share these recipes -- one a real find -- with my sis. So, here's the menu:

Entree: Foxy Sloppy Joes (remember, Rai Rai?)
Sidedish: Kafkat's Mac&Cheese -- Created by Emeril, Kicked up by moi
Sidedish: I thought about broccoli, but then wasted time by blowing my schnoz.
Dessert: Best Ever Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting

Order of cooking: Make the mac and cheese, during the last 10 minutes of cooking start the Joes, take pasta out of oven while it "sets" toss in Joes for broiling. Do cake as you can fit it in (i.e. prepare the dry stuff, prepare the wet stuff-- stirring is pretty quick)

Kafkat's Mac&Cheese

1/2lb (8 oz) macaroni
5 T butter
6 T flour
2 cans of evaporated milk
2-1/2 c grated cheddard (6 oz)
2 slices provolone (optional)
1/2 c bread crumbs
1 t Emeril's Essence or cajun type seasoning
6-12 dashes Tabasco or other hot sauce
1 t salt
1-2 t pepper
1/5 t garlic powder
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t Dijon mustard
(Start with half the tabasaco add other seasonings and then more tabasco as needed)

Preheat over to 350F. Grease 2-quart baking dish.

Bring big pot of water to boil, add macaroni and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain in colander and rinse under cold water. DRAIN WELL

Melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Cook over medium heat 3-4 minutes. (follow the time directions. important). Don't let the flour brown. While whisking, add milk in a steady stream. Keep whisking until thick and smooth, 4 minutes (Mine took 5.5 minutes). Remove from heat. Add seasonings and 2 cups of cheddar+provolone tasting as you go. Add the noodles, mix well. Pour into dish.

In small dish mix remaining 1/2 cup cheddar, bread crumbs and essence. Sprinkle evenly or pasta. Bake 25 minutes. Let set at least 5 minutes before serving.

Foxy Sloppy Joes

1 lb ground beef
1 package hamburger rolls (potato is best)
1 package provolone slices
4-6 T pasta sauce
softented butter

Brown ground beef. While browning, butter both sides of buns and put them under broiler until golden brown. Remove buns from oven, put tops aside for now. On bottom buns, spread enough sauce on each to satisfy, carefully top with ground beef followed by slice of provolone. Broil in the oven until melty. Remove, add top buns, enjoy.

Best Ever Chocolate cake

Yes, I know the Aunt Martha Cake. This is something different. In my opinion, the two fall into distinctly different classes. Aunt Martha cake is a stand-alone chocolate encounter. This is a great basic chocolate cake, adaptable for many uses. So stuff it, Mom and Rai Rai.

2 c flour
2 c sugar
3/4 c cocoa
2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 eggs
1 c cold coffee
1 c milk
1/2 c oil
2 t vinegar.

Mix all dry ingredients well in large bowl. In another receptacle of your choice, mix all wet ingredients well. Speaking of wells, create a well in middle of dry ingredients. Pour in wet ingredients. Mix very well. Batter will be thin. Pour in to well-greased pan of your choice. Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes. (I used a 9x13 pan and it took 45 minutes)

Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting

Find your own. The one I used was mediocre, but serviceable. If you've got one you really like, let me know.

Enjoy with ice-cold milk.