It's here --
People having lunch on the Common
Kitties in the window
This is now. Now is,
all there is. Don't wait for Then;
strike the spark, light the fire.
Sit at the Beloved's table,
feast with gusto, drink your fill
the way branches
of jasmine and cypress
dance in a spring wind.
The green earth
is your cloth;
tailor your robe
with dignity and grace.
~ Rumi ~
Yes, the knitting continues. No, because they are larger lace pieces, there really isn't anything new to show you.
But there is Roscoe!
He discovers the big world outside the window --
He gets the big guys to play with him --
And shares my lap with Moe --
My daughter chided me yesterday for not having added a new recipe lately. So, this is for her.
On Fridays, we alternate pizza night with soup night. So tonight I decided to make some great cheesy bread -- Gruyère-Stuffed Crusty Loaves . Our version was stuffed with extra sharp cheddar instead of gruyere. Delicious! The soup -- a very simple tomato soup.
1 finely chopped onion
2 finely chopped cloves of garlic
2 slices prosciutto, diced
2 large cans Muir Glen Fire Roasted crushed tomatoes
1 cup red wine
2 cups water or stock
salt and pepper to taste
chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
Saute onions, garlic, and prosciutto in a large sauce pan. Stir until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, water and wine. Add salt and pepper.
Allow soup to simmer while the bread bakes -- about 30 minutes.
It's raining today -- and supposed to tomorrow and the next day and the next. So we'll think a lot about May flowers, right? The view out my window now.
Roscoe becomes bigger and bolder by the day and I know you want to see him. He happily obliges --
But hey, this is a knitting blog, more or less. And I continue to jump around from project to project there. My favorite big cardigan finally just wore out so I have turned again to working on the lace cardigan from the holiday 2008 issue of Vogue Knitting. It is slow going because it is knit in the round and I am wide. The pattern calls for a coat length, but I am making mine hip-length. I am using fingering weight merino from Colourmart, a yarn I like a lot, and using 3.25 mm needles.
I am working to complete 6 rows a day. Slow and steady wins the race.
I continue to work on the lace pieces as well but not enough to show you yet.
Rain means knitting and a movie, so I am off to do just that.
At the end of Roscoe's first week with us, he seems pretty much to have conquered the household. The sound of thundering paws racing through the house comes several times a day as Spike chases him or he chases Spike. Moe, being older and more sedate, mostly watches these antics, but he gets in on the fun too. We got a cat condo this week and though they do not yet spend a lot of time on it, it is proving to be a great place for cat games --
Moe is even willing to share his chair with Roscoe. Note the now permanent bits of Moe's fur embedded in the blanket we keep on the chair -- I swear that cat has as his major life task the leaving of fur everywhere!
Spring really is here in earnest. I think we are safe in believing we won't be getting more snow this year. The days have been in the low 50sF -- sometimes even into the 60s -- though it is still pretty cold at night. And the wise gardener remembers that last frost is not for another 4 or 5 weeks. Still, the roses are starting to break bud and I saw yesterday that the hollyhocks have started to send up new leaves. Who knows, maybe they will even blossom this year?! And we have beautiful chives ready to use already. A couple of my mini-roses did not make it through the winter so I will be replacing them. The grass on the Common is getting green so bit by bit the sere winter landscape is giving way to new life.
Something didn't ant to cooperate when I tried to upload this post the first time, so let's try again!
Roscoe is fearless and seems to have conquered the big guys -- the hissing and growling stopped by early yesterday. Here is the whirling dervish kitty playing for his audience --
They follow him around and spend a lot of time watching what he does.
The first Aeolian will be off to its intended recipient tomorrow. I am still working on the pale olive silk Aeolian shawl, but of course, I just had to start something new. I have had this gorgeous violet cashmere and it decided to become Ostara, the spring mystery stole last year from Goddess Knits.
It really is a wonderful deep purple and I am using little 11/0 beads which will sparkle a little without overwhelming the yarn. It is 2/28 cashmere from Colourmart and I am using 3.0 mm needles.
Slowly but surely the ground is drying out and soon we will be able to clean up the garden and begin to get serious about getting it ready for planting. Here is the view out my window this afternoon --
Roscoe came home to live with us yesterday. He's a wee thing, just 8 weeks old -- half Russian Blue, half Maine coon cat.
It took just a few hours for him to get comfortable exploring the house -- he is a spunky little guy.
Here he spies Spike -- the big guys are slowly getting used to him. The hissing has stopped and they're curious about him.
All that exploring wore him out.
Tomorrow we pick up our new kitten. So it seemed like a good day to get my first Aeolian shawlette blocked. Because you know the kitten will be a hindrance to such activities. It measures around 68" x 25", more or less.
Yeah, I have a helper. Moe was there a few minutes before this was taken. They believe that blocking needs cat helpers. We disagree.
Now there are people who are meticulous blockers but I am not one of them. I am content to let the edge ruffle a little. We'll just say it adds to the charm.
Check in tomorrow for kitten pictures. His name will be Roscoe.
It rained hard last night and washed away what little snow remained. Now all that is left of winter is the snow bank at the bottom of the hill --
The ground is way to saturated and muddy to do much in terms of clean up or readying the garden but at least the snow is gone. For now -- because we could get snow for another 10 days or so. Smart Mainers don't believe it's over until we are closer to the end of April.
At the feeders, the gold finches are appearing in their bright summer plumage --
That's not a great photo because it was taken through the window but you get the idea.
And my Aeolian shawlette is nearly finished -- just 3 rows to go. I likely won't get to blocking it until Friday but I will have pictures as soon as I bind off.
My husband and I have developed a new comfort food this winter, something that is easy to fix, hearty and comforting after a cold day or frustrating day -- Cheesy Rice. And this week we made a variation of it which was especially good.
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups water
finely chopped onion and garlic -- to taste
6 oz. crabmeat -- we are able to get terrific fresh crabmeat, but you can if you must use frozen
1 1/2 C. grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Cook the rice using the 2 cups of water and your preferred method. You can use chicken stock for all or part of the water.
Spear the cooked rice in a buttered baking dish or 8-9" square pan.
Saute the chopped onion and garlic in butter until the onion is translucent. We also added chopped mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a bowl stir together the onion mixture and the crabmeat. Stir in Worcestershire sauce. Stir in 1 Cup of the cheese.
Spread the crab and cheese mixture over the rice. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.