Saturday, November 26, 2005

Recipe for Yams

This is what became of Yamzilla. Traditionally, my family has always served candied yams at Thanksgiving. Sickly sweet and high in calorie, I wanted to update our recipe to make something a bit more healthful but still satisfy the craving for familiar flavors. This is what I came up with. Even my mother (who is resistant to change in our food traditions) liked it and has asked that we do it this way from now on. Here's my recipe:

Yams with Marshmallows

1-1/2 lbs. yams or sweet potatoes
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 package miniature marshmallows

Peel yams and cut up into chunks. Place in a large pot and add water to cover. Bring to boiling, reduce heat and simmer until yams are tender. Drain and mash with potato masher. Stir in butter and spices. Spread yam mixture in a large shallow casserole or 9x13-inch pan. Top with marshmallows and bake in a 350 degree oven until the marshmallows melt and begin to brown. Serves a crowd of 12-16 people.

To reduce calories further, you may omit the marshmallows and serve as you would mashed potatoes.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you have all had a Happy Thanksgiving.

I have been feeling thankful for many things, some of which I will share with you here. I feel thankful for my freedom, prosperity and good fortune in general, which are not the result of my own actions and are not earned by me nor deserved by me to any greater degree than anyone else. I am thankful to have the things necessary for survival; a roof over my head, clothing, food and medical care. I am thankful for the things I have beyond the necessities; the luxury that allows me to have the time and the means to, among other things, knit just about whatever I wish for the simple pleasure of it. I am particularly thankful, however, for my loved ones, for being able to spend another cherished year with them.

I had a most pleasant Thanksgiving meal with my family, though not uneventful. In the process of preparing that meal I had a small mishap with a carving knife and cut my finger. It was a small enough injury that I was able to bandage it up and join everyone for supper before heading off to the urgent care clinic for a bit of Dermabond and a tetanus shot. I returned in time for pumpkin pie.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to do any knitting or other handwork until it has healed. I'm afraid I won't be able to get the second sleeve of my nephew's sweater knitted in time to be shipped to Canada for Christmas. I will ship the other gifts right away, and then send the sweater along later.

Switch Markers I've MadeHere is a photo of the stitch markers I have made for the Switch Marker Swap. This is not a secret swap, so I am posting the photo right now. They have all been safely shipped out and are on their way to my swap buddies all over the country.

I didn't make them all at once, I worked on them as I had the free time over a period of 6-8 weeks. As a result, they are not all the same, they are each a unique creation. I like doing it this way; with a bit of time in between each set, I can be inspired in different ways and by different sources for each one.

I do hope my swap buddies enjoy the markers I've made for them!

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Giant yam with a quarterI simply could not resist showing you the yam I bought at the grocery store this week. It is positively the largest one I've ever seen. It's 1-1/2 lbs, 10 inches long and 6 inches in diameter with an 18-inch circumference, almost as large as my toddler's head. I can use this thing to model hats for little ones until I make Yams with Marshmallows out of it for Thanksgiving dinner. We affectionately call it Yamzilla.

Bag of persimmonsWe were invited to a neighbor's house to pick persimmons and came home with a grocery bag full of them. We left some stem attached to help them finish ripening where needed. Aren't they pretty? I want some yarn in that color hehe.

We're going to try out some recipes for baked goods and jams made with the persimmons; this is the first time we've had enough of the fruits to do so. I'll report on our adventures.

First Switch MarkersMy first package came for the Switch Marker Swap. Aren't they adorable? What a cool way to keep them together, using a keychain! I love it!

Thank you, Moze, for a great set of stitch markers!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Marker Mania

I promised to post photos of the markers I made for the Stitch Marker Swap after the end of the swap, so here they are. I took photos of them as I finished each batch.

August MarkersThe first set was for August and the theme color was pinks. Bubble gum pinks, peachy pinks, pink with green and blue. Each has a different silver charm at the bottom so that you can tell them apart in your knitting.

September MarkersThe second set was for September and the theme was water. Aqua blues with the same silver charms to tell them apart.

I had a little bit more spare time that month and was able to package these prettily on handmade cards. I used different shades of aqua, blue and purple cardstock and used a wavy-edged pair of paper scissors to make it resemble water.

October MarkersThe third set was for October and the theme color was purple. I have a special fondness for purple and I really enjoyed making these, just because I was working with my favorite color.

It was a lot of fun making stitch markers for this swap, and each set that I got in return was unique, different from what I made and very inspirational for future projects.

Cabled Baby HatHere is the hat that I started at the hockey game. I made it to match the Manoir Coat. You know, that one that's been giving me fits. I have indeed set that coat aside for now. Maybe later I will be able to resew that collar with new inspiration, but not today.

Instead, I'm adding rows to the blue striped cardigan. I really would like to finish it in time for the holidays since it is meant to be a gift for my nephew. I've finished the body and have started the first sleeve. It's beginning to look like it might be a bit big for him, but I haven't checked the measurements to be sure yet. Far better that it be a bit too big than a bit too small!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Knitting In Public

Knitting at the hockey gameKnitting in public is not new to me. I knit whenever I get the chance and keep a small project tucked into my purse or diaper bag just in case I have the opportunity to work a few rows. People can see me knitting all over town. I have to admit, however, that knitting at a hockey game is a first for me.

Knitting at a hockey game is not the same as knitting at a baseball game. It's noisier and the fans are, shall we say, more boisterous. There is also the very real danger of getting hit in the head with a puck that requires one to pay attention to the game at all times. So, if you're a skilled knitter and are practiced at knitting without looking at it, by all means do give knitting at a hockey game a try.

In the photo is the beginnings of a baby hat at last night's game, Bakersfield Condors vs. San Diego Gulls. That's the goalie for the Gulls peeking through. The game went into overtime, final score 5-4 Gulls.

For those who wonder why in the world I would be talking about hockey in the first place: I'm married to a Canadian. 'Nuff said.

Friday, November 04, 2005

A Quilt and Wackiness

xmas puff quiltThis is one of my mother's projects that has been sitting in a box for a few years. She has asked me to help her to finally get it finished, hopefully in time for the holiday season. It is a puff quilt made from a large assortment of holiday novelty fabrics. We've arranged the blocks in a pleasingly random pattern and started sewing them together. I took a photo of the arrangement so that we can put things to rights again whenever the toddler kicks them out of order. Gosh, I just love my digital camera!

wacky jester hatI was in a mood for some whimsy and amused myself for a couple of evenings by knitting this little jester's hat. It's ok kids, I've gotten it out of my system, there won't be any more of this wackiness posing as holiday gifts this year. Really, I promise.

This little darling will be going into the box of charity knitting.