Knitting

Food By Mom -- Kumquat Marmalade

Last year for the first time, I made kumquat marmalade and we loved it. So when kumquats appeared in the supermarket again, I just had to make more. I found the recipe last year on Habeas Brulee. I like it made with Earl Grey tea.

Here it is -- do try it!

Get 1 1/2 lbs kumquats and slice them up thinly, reserving the seeds. Tie the seeds in a cheesecloth bag. Put the kumquat slices and the bag of seeds together in a non-reactive pot with 4 cups water or Earl Grey tea and cover it and let it sit for 24 hours.

The next day, put the pot on the stove and bring the mixture to a boil over moderate heat. Once it boils, reduce the heat to a simmer and let the mixture reduce down for 45 minutes to an hour, or until it has reduced down to about 4 cups.

Once that’s done, 4 cups of sugar goes in with constant stirring, and everything cooks for another 15-20 minutes, or until it hits about 220 F and a teaspoon of mixture dropped onto a cold plate gels. 

Remove the bag of seeds at this point, and the marmalade is done. Seal in canning jars. I like using the small ones and I end up with around 12 jars, plenty to give as gifts.

TGIF

It's been one of the weeks where the days rush by and here we are at Friday and it's all a blur.

So here's what it looked like when the snow ended --

                   

Yeah, that's about 30" altogether on the ground, 12" from Monday's storm. Today it is warm, 45F now so there is melting. But of course, more snow is due on Sunday. You all may be having signs of spring but it is winter here for at least another 6 weeks. And that's okay.

I haven't done a lot of knitting this week because I have been resting my hands and arms. I started the lace cardigan from Vogue again, this time in eggplant colored merino from Colourmart. And I reaped the harvest of my disdain for swatches. Because I started it 3 times before I got the right size needle. I am using US 3's now and the fabric feels just right. Starting over 3 times means not much to show for my efforts -- the sweater is knit in one piece except for the sleeves, so that's a lot of stitches per row.

                  P1000610

I made the 4 row garter edging on the bottom because otherwise it curls too much for my tastes.

SNOW DAY!

School kids are getting an extra day of vacation today as we are having a snowstorm. It should wind down this afternoon, leaving us when it is all over with around 10 or 11 inches of new snow. Here are some shots through my windows this morning --

Out the window next to where I am sitting -

                   P1000585


                   


From my office, which is upstairs and in the back of the house --

                   P1000597

From the window of the "From My Window" series --

                     P1000588

And out the front -

                     P1000591


So it's a day for knitting and watching movies, I guess. 

The quirky nature of memory

I have a long time interest in memory -- memory plays an important role in the work in psychotherapy. Almost 2 years ago I wrote about memory in relation to  painting by Magritte, La Memoire  and wrote then:   

The words "memoir" and "memory" come to us from the middle English/Anglo-French word memorie, and from the Latin memoria, derived from memor, which means "mindful." Russell Lockhart  in Words As Eggs: Psyche in Language and Clinic  traces it also to an Indo-European root smer- -- which in one form refers to grease and fat. How is memory connected to ‘fat’? Think about how difficult it is to get rid of fat.  It sticks. It adheres. It won't leave. It leaves traces. A memory is what sticks, what adheres in the mind. Memory is the fat of the mind.  Related words that share the history of memoir include remember, commemorate, memorable, memento, and memorandum. The word mourn also shares its derivations. The same root that gave rise to memory gives rise to mourn. When someone has passed away or slipped away, we mourn that memory. When we are in mourning, we are deeply engaged with the memory of that person. Our mind is full of memories. We can only mourn through memory and with memory. We mourn for what we had and can now have only in memory.

Therapy for a cranky day

Yesterday I had a cranky day. You know, the kind of day where every little things just rubs you wrong way and you spend a lot of time muttering to yourself. I tried knitting to make things better but I couldn't get into it. So I spent time with my plants instead and it seems to have done the trick because today everything feels right in my world again.

My amaryllises don't require much tending but they are fun to watch. These aren't great shots but you can see that they are coming along. Flowers soon! 

                    P1000574

            

                      P1000575

I love to grow citrus -- something about the contrariness of growing lemons and limes on my windowsills in Maine just tickles me. I have had some problems with scale on them and I have to keep a close eye lest they get ahead of me. This time it was the Ponderosa lemon which got my attention. It is an odd plant. I have had it for about 6 years and it isn't very big but it produces at least 2 HUGE lemons every year and one was ready to be picked today.

I'm a reader

Cursing Mama had this meme today and since I am fresh out of hot knitting news, I thought I would do it too.

"The Big Read answers a big need. Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, a 2004 report by the National Endowment for the Arts, found that not only is literary reading in America declining rapidly among all groups, but that the rate of decline has accelerated, especially among the young. The concerned citizen in search of good news about American literary culture would study the pages of this report in vain. 

They say the average American has only read 6 of the following:"

Key

1) Bold the books you have already read

2) Italicize the books you intend to read

3) Notes in parentheses next to note-worthy titles.


1) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 

2) The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

3) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

4) Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

5) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

6) The Bible

7) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (I think I read this, at least it feels like it did)

American Beauty

I don't know where the week went but go it did. I didn't do a lot of knitting because my hands were hurting and I decided that wisdom dictated giving them a rest. So I contented myself with planning and imagining future projects.

I am intrigued by Bad Cat Designs latest offering -- the American Beauty shawl. First, I like the way she is doing it and I think I will do something similar for my Eve's Temptation patterns -- not a KAL really but a chance to knit along with me as the pattern develops. It's a possibility anyway.

So I settled on a lovely pink cashmere/silk yarn from Colourmart. I am using it doubled because the yarn it 1/30 and would be too fine for the beads selected in single strand. Right now, knitting it from the cone, it feels like cotton almost, with none of the silky softness I know will appear when the spinning oils are washed out when it is finished.

Here's how it is looking so far --

                      P1000567

The sinuous lines of the border intrigue me -- I want to play with this pattern later for a stole.

Food By Mom -- Teriyaki Wings

I really like chicken wings and I like teriyaki wings best of all. Years ago friends of mine made them with lemon juice, soy sauce and rosemary and they were good but I could never get the same result. So I have longed looked for a good recipe. And now, thanks to some experimentation my husband and I have done in the last few weeks, I think we have found what we want. Of course, we will continue to tinker with the recipe but it's pretty good now. So we made some for a pot luck we are going to tonight.

                          

Teriyaki Chicken Wings

5 lbs chicken wings

3/4 cup soy sauce

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup vinegar

1/4 cup peanut oil

1/4 cup ketchup

grated fresh ginger

3 cloves garlic, crushed or grated

1/2 tsp Thai chili garlic paste


1 Mix all ingredients.

2 Add wings and marinate at least 8 hours.

3 Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

4 Remove to a cooling rack after cooking.


If you don't want to make this many, simply adjust the amount of marinade. We used 2.5 lb bags of drumettes and this amount was right for 5 pounds.

Food by Mom -- Duck legs braised in Red Wine

We like duck a lot in our house and have found that frozen leg quarters serve us very well when we have a hankering -- isn't that a great word? -- for duck. And we did today. I like this preparation for its intense flavor and easy preparation. The recipe is adapted from one at Epicurious.com.

  • 2 large whole duck legs (about 4 1/2 pounds total), trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  •  dried sour cherries, chopped dried apricots, chopped pitted prunes, raisins, cranberries

Pierce the skin of the duck in several places. In a large heavy saucepan, over moderately high heat, brown the duck first skin side down until they are almost mahogany colored -- about 15-20 minutes. Turn and brown the other side -- 3 or so minutes.

P1000563



Remove duck from pan and carefully pour off the rendered duck fat. We use it to roast potatoes that we serve with the meal.

Return pan to heat and add onion, garlic and thyme to pan and stir. Add salt to taste. Add wine to pan and deglaze scraping up any bits in the bottom. Return duck to pan, skin side up. Add fruit. Reduce heat to simmer, cover pan. Simmer on low for 2 hours.

Remove duck from pan. Reduce liquid in pan until it has thickened somewhat. Serve over duck.

Tonight we used cranberries and blueberries from our freezer as our fruit.

P1000566

This is a wonderful winter dish. It would work well with chicken legs also, but duck really is special.


Yes, I am knitting

Remember weeks ago I started knitting the two lace cardigans from the Holiday Vogue? You probably don't but I don't blame you because I sort of forgot too. But for the past few days I have been working away at the lace coat, which I am knitting from two strands of a 50/50 merino/silk laceweight yarn from Colourmart. I am knitting it on a US 5 needle. But I can't knit on it for long as my hands start to hurt. There is something in the way I use my left hand with these larger needles that is different from when I use small needles and it makes for discomfort after a while. I am also a little worried that I won't have enough yarn even though I am making a cardigan not a coat. Anyway here is a progress picture --


I have actually done one more repeat since I took that picture. I love the pattern. If I end up without enough of this blue yarn, I will recycle it into a shawl and use some gorgeous purple DK weight that I have to make it. Or maybe I will do that anyway.

Spike and Moe watch from the comfort of their chair --

Connecting parts

Recently I have been thinking about the way I have this site organized, with Jung At Heart as an umbrella over both this knitting/everyday life blog and the section on my more professional interests and thoughts. And someone suggested to me that having them together undercut my professional presentation.

This brought to mind a quote from Marie Louise von Franz on knitting that I have cited here before:

Everybody who has knitted or done weaving or embroidery knows what an agreeable effect this can have, for you can be quiet and lazy and also spin your own thoughts while working. You can relax and follow your fantasy and then get up and say you have done something! Also the work exercises patience...Only those who have done such work know of all the catastrophes which can happen -- such as losing a row of stitches just when you are decreasing! It is a very self-educative activity and brings out feminine nature. It is immensely important for women to do such work and not give it up in the modern rush. (The Feminine in Fairy Tales, Spring Publications, 1972, p. 40)

St. Brigid's Day

My contribution to The Fourth Annual Brigid in the Blogosphere Poetry Slam:  


       Rememberance 

  

And you wait, keep waiting for that one thing 

which would infinitely enrich your life: 

the powerful, uniquely uncommon, 

the awakening of dormant stones, 

depths that would reveal you to yourself. 

  

In the dusk you notice the book shelves 

with their volumes in gold and in brown; 

and you think of far lands you journeyed, 

of pictures and of shimmering gowns 

worn by women you conquered and lost. 

  

And it comes to you all of a sudden: 

That was it! And you arise, for you are 

aware of a year in your distant past 

with its fears and events and prayers. 

  

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~ 

© Cheryl Fuller, 2007. All  rights reserved.