Oh Mother, Where Art Thou?

As you get older it gets hard and harder to spend Mother’s Day with your mother. Much less than that, it gets even harder to spend the day with your grandmother. And then there are all the other mothers in your family or among your friends who deserve appreciation. But even if you can’t spend the day with them, you can still make the day special for the mothers in your life. There is always the classical option of ordering flowers for them. In fact, you can order all kinds of things online. You can order gift certificates for some pampering – spa and other options like that are popular. And of course there are all kinds of other gift certificate options as well. There’s the jewelry option. You can offer to take them out for dinner when you’re in town the next time. Oh, and everybody says that household appliances aren’t a good idea. But my sister loved the KitchenAid she got which she’d been wishing for (a bunch of us chipped in).

But the gifts my family appreciates most are the handmade kind. I know Mom treasures every handmade card that we made for her as kids. I’m pretty sure she’s kept them all. (Same with Christmas and birthday gifts.) So, what to give to my Mom? Last year I was in town so I made a special meal for  last year I made handmade gnocchi with pesto and then homemade scones with strawberries two ways, one of them being a lemony strawberry “pan-jam.” (Let me know if you want the recipe). Even if you’re not in the same town as your Mom, you could always make her a care package. It’s not a new idea, but I was reminded when Giade de Laurentiis and Ina Garten featured care packages on their show.Careful with shipping food from abroad – I don’t think you’re allowed to mail those kinds of things. And as you know you’re always asked if you’re mailing food or perishable items, so choose a delivery method where you can make sure that your package arrives in a timely way. Nothing worse than getting a package of spoiled food a month after the fact.

What did I give my Mom this year? Well, you’ll have to visit back tomorrow – I need to show it to her first. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!

Btw, if you run an image search on the term Mother’s Day you’ll find all kinds of cheesy and overly cutesy images. And so much pink! Good golly Miss Molly.


Melon salad

I love watermelon, but I’m not really a fan of honeydew or other melon sorts. But I had a honeydew melon on hand, and wanted to eat a salad. So guess what I found: a NYTimes recipe for a melon salad with a honeydew dressing. I once again improvised since I didn’t have any prosciutto or fennel, but I did have frisee lettuce. I used sliced almonds instead of hazelnuts. The dressing is basically pureed honeydew melon with oil and lime. I also added a bit of my pickled spring onions, and that was an excellent addition to the salad. This would also be an excellent fall salad. (Btw, do you want me to put up the bread recipe?)

Homemade bread, and melon salad. The perfect meal.

I had plenty of dressing left over, so I used it for the next days salad, where I added oranges, a yellow bell pepper and walnuts with the remainder of the frisee lettuce. Yum.

Today I’m linking up with Ginger Snap Crafts for her Wow Me Wednesday.

Ghostly whisper

It’s time for another blast from the past. Ok, it’s not that old, but here’s a finished object from 2011. Meet my Ghostly Whisper. It’s a lovely cowl, knit in laceweight yarn. This was my first time knitting with Rowan Kidsilk Haze. I liked it, but boy, the finished cowl fuzzed all over my shirt. Is fuzzed an actual word? Anyway, I feel like you need to take a lint roller along if you wear this cowl. But the yarn is very soft, and very very light. It could just fly away in a light breeze. In fact, I tried to take some ‘floating’ pictures, with me throwing the cowl in the air, but the lighting wasn’t good enough, and as you can imagine, the mechanics were more than a bit challenging. It reminded me of my photography project where we had to ‘photograph’ movement.

I knit this pretty much as written in the pattern. The cowl ended up a bit longer than planned – it fit loosely over my shoulders and draped nicely. I would have liked for the cowl to be just a little bit shorter so it would be a bit more snug around the shoulders. I used the invisible cast on and cast on onto a spare Knitpicks needle. That way it was really easy to graft the ends together. You have to be really careful while grafting to avoid fabric puckering. The pattern suggests to pull the length of yarn through at the end, after the grafting. I don’t think that’s a good idea, given the nature of the Kidsilk Haze. Instead I pulled the yarn through along the way, making sure to keep enough tension, without puckering up the seam.

The cowl has since been rehomed and went to my friend Hanna as a birthday gift. Yay for handknit gifts!

I’m not Cap’n Crunch

Hello all you people who visit looking for the food part of this blog. I know, I’ve neglected you for the last few weeks. So, since I haven’t put up a post for you guys in a while, I thought I’d share one of my current favorites –  broccoli slaw. Yum. Crunchy broccoli, sharp onions (ok, they’re shallots), toasty almonds and sweet cranberries. And buttermilk dressing. What more could be better? I think this is my favorite way to eat broccoli, closely followed by steamed broccoli with lemon and garlic. Only disadvantage is that your breath will be rather oniony afterwards. In the interest being considerate to your fellow humans, you should brush your teeth or ate least suck on a cough drop. Btw, I’m not a fan of mayonnaisy dressings. I think they end up making a dressing so heavy, plus mayonnaise spoils so quickly if you make your own or buy the organic kind. I generally substitute yoghurt for mayonnaise, especially in dressings. Apart from that, iI you want to make any other substitutions, I think you could use pickled spring onions instead, and you could use pomegranate arils, both fresh or dried instead of the cranberries. And you could obviously easily substitute cauliflower for broccoli. But I like it just the way it is.

Why yes, that is a Brezel in the background. Brezel and broccoli slaw, what more could you want?

I’m also still looking for a great cabbage slaw with fresh apples and without carrots. And one that’s not made on a mayonnaise basis. In my opinion is makes the slaw soggy, and who wants a soggy slaw? That defeats the whole purpose of slaw. If you have a recipe you’d like to share let me know!

Btw, there were rumors that Cap’n Crunch is retired? I never ate it, but it’s almost like a childhood institution being retired, like Lucky Charms or Snap, Crackle and Pop, or even worse, Tony the Tiger. (Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I occasionally crave – and eat – a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Yay for childhood).

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Photo Nominations!

Hello, hello! Remember the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Photography Challenge Day? Well, unfortunately none of my photographs made it into the closer selection, but the 10 nominated photographs are so awesome!!!! The creators did an incredible job, you should check all of the photographs. It’s going to be really difficult picking one of the pictures. The nominations are open until Sunday, I think. Go and vote!

1: Big Teal Bird Needs More Food to Get Bigger, but Finds the Bird Feeder Not Quite Big Enough by Stitched Together

2: A World Of Yarn by Annie Claire

3: A Yarny hair Day by Crea In The City

4: Jerk by The Harpy

5: Dark Side Of The Yarn by Bear Ears

6: Knitted Beach by Wool & Cotton

7: Clash of the Crustaceans by Disorderly Twinings

8: Pixie Winslet by Crafts from the Cwtch

9: Chinese Takeout by The Gauge Wars

10: Treasure Island by Meule de Foin

Something different – but it’s still Wednesday

Another Wednesday! It’s once again time for a yarn along, but I also want to talk about last week’s Knitting and Crochet Blog week.

I’m still working on my Erin Go Bragh shawl. I know, I’m almost done, and I should have finished this project before the end of the month, but I’ve been so busy blogging this past week that I really haven’t made any progress. But, I have a new wip! Yes, even though I already have plenty of projects on my needles (I think I need to make a collage of my wips!).

But actually, I’m not the one who decided to cast on for a new project. Noooo, my knitting needles decided. In fact, my knitting needles decided to cast on a Windward scarf and have a little battle over the yarn for this project (Wollmeise 100% in Indisch Rot). Don’t believe me? See for yourself:

There is a good reason why I made this video. Remember the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week? Well, Friday’s topic was all about creativity:

Day 5: April 27, 2012. Something A Bit Different It’s back, and this time it has the most amazing of prizes (look for the prize for ‘most creative post’). This was a massive success last year, and for many it was the highlight of the Blog Week, so this year you are challenged, again, to find a new way of blogging. This is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create.There are no rules of a topic to blog about but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog.

Wednesdays are the days with the most traffic for me, so I thought I should spread the love and share some of the other awesome creative posts out there. Here are my favorites:

  • A Pile of Sheep created a Yarn Personality Test! I’m Madeline Tosh Vintage – I’m an “easygoing person with just a touch of wild child for spice!” What are you?
  • PumpkinSpins used mind mapping to draw up a chart to answer “Why I create” – really interesting, and now I want to think more about why I myself create
  • Knit One, Stitch One, Save One drew a series of images, and created a quick animation out of the gif images to show what her hands look like while knitting. So creative – and the drawing are just beautiful.
  • Stitched Together is planning to knit a shawl with stripes, and the color of the stripes will be based on the comments that people have left on the blog, and in the end she’ll hold a random drawing where the winner will get the finished shawl. Awesome!
  • All She Wants to Do Is… created a knit/crochet version of The Onion website, call Crafting News Network. How hilarious!
  • When Did I Become a Knitter: It’s a post from the perspective of her Roan sweater, a wip of hers, at a self-help group called Unloved Knits Group. I have a few nominations from my wips for that group too.
  • Sanday Spinners put up a Knitting Riddle – I’m still trying to figure out the answer on my own. And you can win a knitted item from her!
  • Wickedly Artsy created a visual knitting timeline with images of the different stops in her knitting life
  • Fidlstix has a great post titled Something You Should Know About Me (no, I’m not going to tell you what it is, you need to play the video yourself)
  • Laylock‘s animated gifs of her knitting techniques (cast on, knitting, purling and cast off) are really interesting – my version of those techniques look different. Plus they should be really helpful to new knitters
  • KellPattsBlog‘s contribution is a crytoquote. How cool!
  • AStashAddict made a Hexipuff Evolution vlog. I haven’t made a Hexipuff yet, but I foresee a Hexipuff blanket in my future.
  • Frog-Soup‘s funny drawing (naked sheep in need!) made me giggle
  • and a ton more more…

And then there’s of course my stop motion animation – I’m ridiculously proud of this video. The family is already discussing whether we should do a video for my grandmother’s 90th birthday.

I hope you liked all of these different, creative takes on the something a bit different topics. I had to stop adding posts to the list or it would have been unendingly long. You can find more posts on this topic by googling 3KCBWDAY5. If you’d like to nominate any of these posts (or any others!) for the creative award, click here to go to Eskimimi’s nomination post. Of course, if you’d like to, you can also nominate my post too 🙂 If you cannot submit your nomination even though you’ve filled out all the fields correctly, then that means that someone else has already put in a nomination for that post. Nominations close on May4th, at midnight British Standard Time.

That’s it for this Wednesday. I’m participating in this week’s Yarn Along – there are links to other great Yarn Along posts there, with information on how to participate yourself. You can also find a link to this post through Tami’s Amis, through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) series.