Needle Tart

If I'm not knitting or sewing something, I must be cooking something!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


After almost twenty years, out cat died this morning. For the last three weeks we have been calling him "Puddles". Ususally we screamed his new name right after one of us stepped in the puddle in front of the fridge. This is Puddles in his favorite cold weather position:

He was a good cat (in spite of the puddles). When he joined the house, Elder Son was just learning to walk and he would chase Puddles through the house shouting, "Puppy!", as anything with four legs and a tail was a puppy to him. Several years later, Younger Son joined the household and Puddles adopted him as his kitten. Whenever Younger Son would cry, Puddles would come and find me and howl until I followed him, no matter where I was in the house.

During his middle years he was a great mouser, catching at least 15 mousies before they could nest in the yarn (and one mousie got tossed into Husband's work boots). We played (just put a cat treat at the bottom of a wine bag and laugh for hours, don't forget to drink the wine), tripped over him, threw him in the snow (only when it was piled high enough and only when he was younger), used him as a book rest, and I just can't believe how much I miss him already. For almost 20 years I have complained that I am allergic to him (very true) and that he got more attention that I did (not so true). In truth, Puddles was our middle child and the house seems empty without him.

Good-bye, Puddles, we will miss you.

Love, Mom and Dad

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Smells Like Passover!

I know that I promised quilts, but it's nearly Passover and the cooking has begun. Last night "the Baby" came into the house and said, "It smells like Passover!" Now, you must understand, this is the child who lives on bread. Sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. He is 6'1" and only weighs about 165. If he can't eat bread, he'll starve (or so he tells me). To stave off starvation for the Elder child and myself, I have been making Passover granola for the last 20 or so years. This year I decided to try a variation I call American Granola.

I used maple sugar in place of brown sugar and added pecans, walnuts, dried cherries, and dried cranberries. I will test it out on the Elder child Thursday morning. The original recipe came from AvRutick's Passover cookbook. Over the years it has changed out of recognition from the original. Here is the way I make the large (very large) batch.

Tropical Passover Granola

2 pounds farfel

1 pound shredded coconut (I use organic due to allergies)

1/4 pound shelled Brazil nuts

1/2 pound almonds (whole, sliced, whatever you've got)

1/2 pound walnuts

Whirl the nuts in a food processor until medium chopped. Mix nuts with farfel and coconut and toast on sided cookie sheets for 15-20 minutes at 325 degrees. (This much granola takes about 8 cookie sheets. I told you it makes a lot.)

While the above is toasting melt:
3 sticks of butter (3/4 pound)

Then add:
1 1/2 cups brown sugar 1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 1/2 cups honey 2 Tablespoons vanilla

1 1/2 teaspoons salt 2 Tablespoons cinnamon

Heat this mix to a simmer. Pour over the farfel mix and stir well. Toast the coated farfel mix for 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly borwned. (This takes about 9 cookie sheets).

Put the browned mix in a large bowl and add:
2 Mangoes (diced and dried earlier in the week. You can use store bought, but due to allergies I do my own).

1 Papaya (diced and dried ahead of time)

1/4 pound of dried Pineapple cut in small pieces

1/4 pound of dates snipped in small pieces

1/4 pound of raisins

Any other dried fruit you may have around and enjoy.

Allow the granola to cool and store in an airtight container. (I use a 9 (nine!) litre Tupperware container, and it is full!)

Last year we had about three cups of granola left, but after 8 days of two or three bowls a day we were pretty sick of it and out the leftovers went.

Just in case you think I let the Baby starve, he has made plans to eat at his girlfriend's house and the corner pizza place the whole week. Now that he is nominally an adult, it is his decision. In the past I have made him matzoh pizza and home made Passover brownies to tide him over.

May you have a peaceful and joyous holiday, whatever you celebrate.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Promise fulfilled!

At the end of my last posting I promised to talk about socks. Since reading the Harlot I have gotten back into knitting socks. The last pair of socks I knit was for my father in 1974. The pattern doesn't change much but the yarns have gotten better (or I've gotten better at shopping). I knit these for Bob as a Valentine's gift. The "pattern" is from Sally Melville's purl book. The yarn is Froehlich Wolle in color 437. This is a very nice yarn. Bob has worn these socks once a week since the end of February and I have washed them in the washer and dried them in the dryer with only improvement! They just get softer!

Since I knit for the husband, I decided to make a few pairs of socks for myself. I used the same basic pattern, but added a picot edge and a lace heart over each ankle on the red ones. If I had any idea what I was doing, I would post the pattern. The yarn is Knitpicks Essentials. The striped socks are a self-striping yarn I got at the local AC Moore's. The little bit of started socks are the Jaywalker pattern from Grumperina. I was a little worried that they wouldn't fit my rather large ankles, especially when I read a comment on the Harlot that these socks don't stretch as much as regular knit socks. It turns out that I knit a lot looser than Grumperina and they fit the ankles just fine. Now about the skinny little feet.....

Just as a tiny update on the sinking house, Bob got rid of two bags of books and one box by taking them to the local library for the spring fundraiser, and then he ordered "a few" cookbooks. Sigh. For those who are interested here is the pile of books I should read and recycle.

Well, I suppose I should get reading. Next time: Quilts!