Sunday, May 6, 2007

Now You See Me...

Apparently, now you don't! I don't know what's going on or how I get so busy that the days just fly by! It gets harder when Mike has to travel and I have juggle the kids' activities and schedules and my own, and also cook meals, do laundry, and keep the furballs off the floors. So, let's catch up!

I must start with knitting. I finished the textured rib socks. You read correctly: they are DONE! I do love them. They fit like a dream and are beautiful, too. I'm not sure if I'll keep them or gift them. It's pretty warm for wool socks right now, so I guess I'll just wait and see. It was so inspiring to actually finish them that I immediately started knitting like crazy on my lace shawl, then started another project! I started working on the Lutea Lace-Shoulder Shell from the newest Interweave Knits magazine. I really like the pattern. I don't LOVE it, but it looked easy and I had some yarn I've been holding onto for about 2 years now and it just seemed like the right pattern and the right yarn. What yarn, you ask? Okay, don't laugh. I had 3 skeins of TLC CaraMia yarn that I bought on sale at least 2 years ago. The gauge was right on and the yarn is soft and easy to knit with. I love the fabric. I just hope the yarn holds up well, as it is...inexpensive.

Speaking of yarn... I drove over to KnitWit in Olathe yesterday to take advantage of their sale: 30% off all yarn! I bought all of this:

For: another Lucy bag, the Little Silk Shrug from Lace Style, the Ogee Lace Skirt from Interweave Knits,(that's for my daughter), and a pair of tennis socks for moi! Yes, I have decided to knit some tennis socks for myself. The hardest part was selecting a yarn. It couldn't be all wool, or too thick, or too thin and flimsy. I wanted some cotton, but not too much. I chose Sockotta. It is a cotton/wool/nylon blend that I think will hold up well and also produce a sock that stays up! I know, this will also depend on my ability to knit at the correct GAUGE, which is not my forte, but I'll figure it out, one way or another:-) More detailed info on the projects will follow, as I knit them, if and when I get to them. (I do have lots of yarn in my stash, all designated for projects, so we will see what mood strikes me next!)

Just a word here about a knitting book I love: Lace Style by Pam Allen and Ann Budd. It is part of the "style" series, along with Scarf Style and Wrap Style, and I love them all. Lace Style is filled with lace patterns, ranging from easy to difficult, fine yarns to heavier, small projects to a complete, full-length dress! The photographs are beautiful and inspiring and I'm sure you will enjoy browsing through this book.

Moving on to food, another favorite subject! I'm continuing to explore the raw foodstuffs. For the record, I don't have any intention of becoming a total raw foodist, or converting my family, or anyone else, for that matter. I am interested in eating healthier and also, anything that will help ease my digestive woes. So, on I go. I've tried a few new recipes: first, I made some "raw" hummus. You actually simply soak the chickpeas and then use soaked chickpeas instead of cooked ones to make hummus. Simply add the chickpeas, olive oil, water to thin, lemon juice, tahini, garlic and salt to your VitaMix and blend til it's smooth and creamy. The taste is delicious. It is a bit more bitter than traditional tahini, so you will need to use the lemon juice and salt to adjust it to your taste, but it's really, really good.

This morning I made almond milk. I soaked almonds overnight, then just blended them with water in the VitaMix. Okay, you are supposed to strain out the solids through a cheesecloth and I ran out of patience, so my milk has some almond bits floating around in it! I only wanted it for breakfast, on raw oats or raw granola, so I don't really mind. OH, it's really bland. I added some honey and some vanilla, which helped, but I'm now considering adding some maple syrup. (I do like it sweet:-)

I will give you two recipes today. The first one is called "Mediterranean Kale" from Raw Food Made Easy by Jennifer Cornbleet. This book has a lot of very basic recipes if you are new to raw foods, like I am. This dish can be made with kale or swiss chard or spinach or whatever. Marinating the greens in the dressing makes them softer and tastier.
Mediterranean Kale (1 serving) (easy to double or quadruple)
4 kale leaves, stems removed, sliced into thin strips, then chopped
1-1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
1 Tbs pine nuts
3-4 sliced black olives (kalamata are good!)
black pepper to taste
Place the kale in a bowl with the olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Toss well with your hands, working the dressing into the greens. Add the red bell pepper, pine nuts and olives and toss gently. Marinate at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving. Adjust salt, add pepper if desired.
The second recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson. I've been looking for things I can prepare ahead of time and I suddenly remembered my crockpot! This is a dal recipe. Not exactly traditional, but easy and the whole family loved it. I served it on basmati rice and put out tamari, lemon juice and cilantro as optional garnishes.
What a Dal

2 Tbs olive oil
1 lg. onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger root
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1-1/2 C dried brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 C water
salt and pepper to taste

Pour oil into crockpot and set on high. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, cover and cook while you assemble the other ingredients. (just cook until it starts to soften, to take the raw onion taste out)
Stir in all the spices and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
Turn setting to low.
Add lentils, kidney beans and water, cover, cook on low for 8 hours. Season with salt and pepper before serving to taste. If desired, you can puree 1-2 cups of the finished product and then return it to the crock pot, to make a smoother texture.
(I used a bit more water. It looked sort of dry to me, so I added even more at the very end. Maybe up to 4 C altogether.)
I plan on using a few more crockpot recipes this week, so I'll let you know how they turn out. Why, you ask?? Well, it is finally here: my week-long yoga intensive workshop with Max Strom!! It is right here in Kansas City, so I will be able to come home each evening (and often at lunchtime!), but my days will be spent at the Yoga Gallery, immersing myself in all things yogic. I am going to try to post during the week about my experiences and thoughts and feelings during the workshop, so please, check back, so you can share in what I am sure will be an awesome week.
I'm off to complete my pre-workshop reading. Have a beautiful week, and stay dry:-)


Anonymous said...

Hi Cheryl,

I hope you have a great week at the yoga workshop...I'm dying to see what you've learned and I'll really miss our class this week. However, it will make me enjoy next week all the more! See you soon.

Anonymous said...

Hum, or shall I saw raw hummus? That would be good too!

I have one question? Your socks actually look the same in that done on purpose?
Oh here's another question. Is the lace book full of complicated charts that the author says are easy???

Oh how fun that your Yoga retreat is next week. Be sure to share what you learn. I am still searching for a class.

Have a great time.

Cheryl said...

Barbara, you keep me laughing. Amazingly, both of my feet are the same size, so my socks DO match on purpose:-) The lace book does have some charts, some patterns with words and charts, some just words. Really, there ARE some easy patterns!