Saturday, December 31, 2011

Busting some moves

During the past two weeks, gears aligned and a dance to the groove of the times kicked in.

A gift of many large kumquats (could they be calomondins?) was received, thank you IL. They were home- grown and hand-picked about 100mi from the Bay Area. 3Q were washed, soaked, then cooked in a heavy syrup that included honey.

Yields and their composition will be filled in when I retrieve my notes (I hope I took notes). 6-1C + 3-1.5C+1.5&1C syrup. In 2-2L jars: 2.5#+1large meyer lemon+_pinot grigio+_gin+1/2C light rum+_sugar. Cranberry-kumquat sauce in 1L+1Cjar.

Experiments in bag-making were resurrected and came together, complete with labels. I decided to keep one for myself.

These hats were inspired by Wurm on Ravelry and Starmore’s patterns.
Limoncello and cherried brandy have been quietly working their magic for nearly six months, and they were decanted and bottled. The cherries were not going to be consumed in one day so I topped them off with more brandy, of course.
And on Christmas day, the board was presented for the table of 14. Butterflied, brined, and roasted turkey, with potatoes and onions instead of stuffing. Thanks to everyone for their contributions of cured salmon, honey-baked ham, green beans, and desserts.

Dessert did not sit still or last long enough to get photographed. Note that next year we will need more lime pies.
The next day, "boxing day," I looked for the small pretty boxes that enclosed gifts. I wondered what to do. Projects were completed yet others waited. I’d finished reading a book, too. The list I make for myself for reference during these unoccupied times suddenly seemed overwhelming.

Eventually I decided to start a small work, adapted from L. Upitis’s Latvian Mittens. I had to rack my memory for the demonstration of multicolored and braided knitting given by B.B.Reinsel several years ago during a Stitches West class. My memory failed me so I went back to basics, held yarn like a 7-year old and slogged through the 3-color portion of the cuff. I kept the floats on the outside and had to consciously remind myself to relax, which is not typically relaxing for me. Ok so it was an exercise. I decided to cut later for the thumb.

This was completed on the 29th and turned out ok, outside and inside. I’m accepting that this may be a unique (i.e. mate-less) mitten without a thumb; it has a lot of thoughts imbued in it, though, and that’s what this is all about for me anyway.

I still had a lot of giant kumquats. So I started chopping them up. In the scale of citrus, giant kumquats are still very small compared to small lemons – maybe 4 kumquats to a lemon, volume-wise. Even with my resolve, chopping these guys became tedious, and I marveled at the number of seeds they had. I had to focus so that I would not inadvertently cut myself.
Eventually I had 5C chopped but the backlog didn’t seem to diminish. So I juiced a lot of what remained. I boiled the peels for 10min and let them soften for a day. The pectin was significant so I added 1C of the squeezed juice and 1/2C water before measuring, adding an equal amount of sugar, cooking to jam state (approx. 20min) and putting up in jars.
Yields 7C with flavor so intense it could go into 4oz jars but not anything larger than 8oz jars.

Happy New Year! It’s time to think of some resolutions and commitments that I can live with.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Design and Art

I saw this and was reminded of that.

for Miami Beach, Courtesy Zaha Hadid.
at LACMA, "untitled" by Robert Therrien

Friday, December 2, 2011

December captions

that little friend