Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mid-Week Mix

This is our second year as members of the Gamble Creek Farm CSA and we are just into our third month of receiving shares.  Our gulf coast season for receiving produce from the farm is from November to May or early June.  That's a nice, six-month stretch of fresh, locally grown veggies. 

Last year, my family had its own share; this year we are splitting the share with my mom and her s.o. Last year we had oodles of lettuces and every week there was a large head of cabbage.  There was hardly room in my fridge for all that greenery; we had many salads and many green smoothies last season.  This season has been different.  The lettuces bolted early-on and had to be replanted.  We haven't had as many greens yet, but they are picking up again.  Last night's share included: spinach, eggplant, roma tomatoes, peppers, kohlrabi, cabbage and baby bok-choy.  We had ratatouille for lunch today and I think we'll have a cabbage and noodle melt tomorrow. 

I'm so thankful for all the online recipe sources. Vegweb is a gem!  When we were introduced, through the farm, to kohlrabi and bok choy last year, that is where I turned to get some ideas.  Vegweb is where I turn first for everything vegan -- mmmmmm!  Kohlrabi (that pale-green, alien-looking bulb in the bottom left of the photo) is now one of Eve's favorite veggies.  She loves me to cut up carrot-stick size pieces of it to eat raw.  I enjoy it like that, but love it even more roasted and in stews.

Art class began again for the new year.  Today I introduced the girls to charcoal.  They were delighted to move beyond their graphite pencils and really took to experimenting. (That's a wet rag, by the way, in the middle of the table, for wiping blackened fingers!)

After they'd practiced for a while I asked them what they thought of the new medium: friend or foe?  A couple of girls liked it and one declared it a "frenemy"!

I took a couple of photos of my newer projects to update my Ravelry page.  I'm working on a pair of Monkey socks (Ravelry link), that famous Cookie A. pattern.  Yes, I'm about 5 years behind the popularity curve for this one, but I am really enjoying the pattern so far.  They are my first socks I am doing on a circular needle instead of the double points.  I'm loving that I'm not having to fiddle with trying to keep "ladders" out of my knitting.  For those of you who don't know, "ladders" are spots in your finished work where you can see where one needle met the next.  It's kind of like seeing a seam where you don't really want one.

So, I'm liking the circular and then... this morning I found the tip of one of my needles on the floor.  I must have shut the drawer on my project last night and broken off the tip. :(  They were wooden Knit Picks Harmony needles.  They are lovely, but since my looser knitting has forced me down to the teeny-sized 0 needles for my sock knitting (ugh), I'm going to purchase the nickel-plated ones to replace these.

And here is the Watered Steel Cardigan (Ravelry link)I cast on a couple of days ago.  I'm knitting it out of Lion's Brand Fishermen's Wool.  I've just barely started on the lace pattern at the bottom of this seamless cardi, but so far, so good.

Finally, yesterday when we were at our weekly library stop, I was having Eve pick out a couple of books.  I wanted her to find another to read for school.  She found two that she liked and I was trying to convince my more reluctant reader that she could still get the other one and read it on her own time, like before bed.  "But I need motivation, Mama," she said.  "That's why I like when you assign them for school." "Well," I replied, "why don't you make it a new year's goal?  How about a '12 in 12' that I've seen knitters, crafters, and readers alike, assign for themselves? " She could give herself a book to read a month and keep a running record of it in her journal.  She liked the idea and is going to give it a try.

I like the idea too.  Last year one of my resolutions was to "read more fiction." And I did, but I didn't really keep tabs.  And some books I started and then didn't finish.  I am such a non-fiction reader and have a hard time, sometimes, settling in for fiction.  It really has to capture me and I wish I could figure out just what it is about certain books that I like and what it is about others that have me rolling my eyes and tossing them aside.

There are few romance books that I have ever really liked other than Jane Austen's.  And I loved Wuthering Heights, but that is not exactly a romance.  It is more romantic anguish!  I adored Dickens', Great Expectations, but his Bleak House grew dull for me and I have never made it very far into Tale of Two Cities (I wonder if I should try that on audio?).  I also love Anne of Green Gables and am currently, for my first book of the year, reading the third in that series, Anne of the Island (it's a free Kindle download, so you can't beat the price!).  And The Scarlet Letter was compelling, but I only got into that with the help of Heather Ordover and CraftLit.  Once started, though, I loved it!

I'm not all about classics, though. That's just what comes to mind when I think of books I have reeeeally enjoyed.  In 2010 I read Maeve Binchy's Circle of Friends and I also really liked Curtis Sittenfeld's An American Wife.

I can tell you what I don't like and that is dark novels.  I look to my reading for escape and entertainment and while it doesn't all obviously have to be fluff, I'm not interested in anything pertaining to missing or molested children, incest, or a great deal of violence.  I can read murder mysteries, but they are not usually full of sordid details of twisted acts.  That is not entertaining for me; it only serves to make me sad.

So.  I'm going to try to keep track of at least 12 pieces of fiction this year.  And I'd like to read at least two biographies too.  I'm not sure if those will be in addition to, or in place of, a few of the fictional works.  I'll also say, that my track record for setting these kind of every month or every week or every day goals is not very good.  My Project 365 of a few years ago, fizzled around April.  And even online book groups that I've tried to do do not always make it to the end.  But I'll give it another go.  I'll be accountable here and to my daughter and we'll see what we can make of it all.

I'll be perusing various book-listsand re-looking at my birthday book, Honey for a Woman's Heart for recommendations , but if you have any favorites that seem to meet my criteria, please do share them in the comments!

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