About The Country Wife Blog

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Country Woolens Winter Term Class Schedule

Today was a cold, snowy, winter day, a day when all one wants to do is sit by the fire and knit, and occasionally take a sip of some delicious thick homemade hot chocolate.  It was also the day that the Country Woolens' flyer came for classes during the winter.  Because I love knitting, and Debbie Hodges and her cohorts, and the Country Woolens yarn shop in Lebanon, NH, I think I will quickly list the classes coming up...several of which I would like to take myself.

These classes are divided up into several categories:  Small Projects, Technique Classes, Larger Projects,  Elizabeth Zimmermann Projects, and Workshops.  There are beginner (beg), intermediate (int), and advanced(adv) experience classes available. 

Small Projects:
Knitted Baby Hat--Beg, Mar 22 and 29 from 7-9 PM, $30 plus materials, Judith Bastianelli
The Classic Sock--Int, (4 sessions: 1-Feb 6, 8, and 10-6:30-8:30 PM. 2-Feb 27 and Mar 1, 10 AM to 1 PM. 3-Mar 12, 14, and 16, 10:30 AM- 12:30 PM. 4-Apr 3 and 5, 10 AM to 1 PM), $45 includes all materials
Deer Clan Cap--Int, Mar 19, 21, and 23, 6-8 PM, $35 plus materials, Karen Boutin
Felted Slippers--Beg, Feb 18 and Mar 3, 10 AM - 12 noon, $30 plus materials, Merit Scotford
Felted Koala--Adv Beg, Feb 27 and Mar 12, 7-9 PM, $30 plus materials, Jennifer Kortfeld
Fun Fan Gauntlet--Adv Beg, Mar 5 and 12, 6:30-8:30 PM, $30 plus materials, Lorna Watson
Mystery Knit-Along--Adv Int, Feb 4, 11, and 18, 2-4 PM, $30 plus materials, Debbie Hodges
No-Sew Afghan Squares--Beg, Mar 19, 7-9 PM, $20 plus materials, L. Watson and D. Hodges
PGR Toe-Up Socks--Int, Mar 17 and 31, 10 AM-12 noon, $30 plus materials
Vinter Hagen ("Winter Garden") Fingerless Mitts--Int, Feb 13, 15, and 17, 6-8 PM, $40 plus materials, Karen Boutin
Winter Salsa Handwarmers--Int, Mar 5, 7, and 9, 6-8 PM, $40 plus materials, Karen Boutin

Technique Classes:
Continental Knitting--All levels, Feb 9, 7-9 PM, $20, Judith Bastianelli
Dorset Buttons--All levels, Mar 10, 10 AM to 12 noon, $20, Merit Scotford
Drop-Spindle Spinning--All levels, Feb 16 and 23, 7-9 PM, $30, Judith Bastianelli
Finishing Techniques--Int, Feb 20, 6:30-8:30 PM, $25, Lorna Watson

Larger Projects:
Easy Lace Shawl--Adv Beg, Feb 2 and 23, 7-9 PM, $30 plus materials, Jennifer Kortfelt
Friendship Shawl--All levels, Mar 13, 7-9 PM, $20 plus materials, Cally Lavigne

Elizabeth Zimmermann Projects:
Tomten Jacket--Adv Beg, Feb 7, 14, 21, and 28, 7-9 PM, $35 plus materials, Debbie Hodges
Bog Jacket--Adv, Mar 6, 20, 27, and Apr 3, $35 plus materials, Debbie Hodges

Create Your Own Sweater Template--Feb 27, 6:30-8:30 PM, $25, Lorna Watson
I-Cord Exploration--Adv Beg, Mar 8 and 15, 7-9 PM, $25 plus materials, Judith Bastianelli
Introduction to Weaving on the Rigid Heddle Loom--All levels, Feb 25, 9 AM to 12 noon, $25, Jennifer Kortfelt
Steek Workshop--Adv Int, Mar 26, 7-9 PM, $20, Debbie Hodges and Lorna Watson

Several of these classes have pre-class assignments, i.e. knitting a particular swatch or some other piece of knitting.  If you are interested in any of the classes you must pre-register at Country Woolens, 160 Mechanic Street, Lebanon, NH.  There is a $10 non-refundable deposit for each class.  For questions, call the shop at 603-448-1840.

Several times I have attended classes at Country Woolens and found each one of them excellent and just exactly what I needed.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Wheat Meat Story

Grandpa is a vegetarian.  He has been a vegetarian for many years.  It is a challenge to find pleasant foods to eat, since he really does not like vegetables.  A few months ago Jim and Mary B. gave me a wheat cookbook (Wheat Cooking Made Easy by Pam Crockett).
This cookbook has many, many good-sounding recipes.  The one that instantly caught my eye was the 'Wheat Meat' on page 245.  I am always looking for burger-like things to make.  There are really only three 'main' ingredients, plus the seasoning, so I thought I would give them a try.

The first batch I made were pretty good, but I did not have the seasoning mentioned in the book so I tried something else.  Having had disasters in the past while seasoning meals, I went a little gentle with the stuff.  Well, Bob thought they were not bad, and ate two of them.

Since that was so successful I made a second batch with more seasoning and processed a little more.  With this batch I also made some 'burger crumbles' to use in Shepherd's Pie and other dishes.

I decided to make some of the wheat meat at the kids' house.  They had a blender and a mini-food processor. These work really fine for their purposes, but wheat meat is not one of them.  Rather than burn out their equipment, I made the Shepherd's Pie with some semi-wheat meat.  Unsuccessfully.  Because the ingredients did not totally mush up together there were wheat berry balls that were too obviously not burger...so it was not a popular dish.  The old Gramster did not know that some of the children did not like corn-off-the-cob, which pretty much puts the kibosh on Shepherd's Pie.  Not one to offend easily and looking at this as a great learning experience for the grandkids:  I think they will be very happy when their mom recovers and is able to take over cooking their favorite things again.

Well, Grammie is not one to give up easily so--since Grandpa forgot to take his burgers with him on his trip to the temple this week, I felt justified in taking them to the share with the kids.

Not so successful there, either.  Jonathan thought they were "ok", the same thing his father said.  Caleb broke his up into pieces and then mostly just ate the delicious whole wheat bread Mary had brought.  Leah, on the other hand, totally unsuspectingly, took a large bite of her burger sandwich, started chewing up the burger, and almost immediately started gagging!  Gagging!  Can you believe it!!  She stuck her tongue out so far that I thought she was trying to hit her belly button, and she would not reel that tongue back in until her father had totally wiped the goo off it.  I had a hard time keeping a straight face, actually. 

SO--I brought the remaining burgers back home to eat here.  I had one on a bun with a little mayonnaise and lots of dill pickle chips.  Delicious!!  So there, unadventurous eaters!  If you want to try these delicious, healthy, vegetarian delicacies, here is the recipe.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Brycen Daniel Crossett arrives home!

What a delightful event--the new baby has come home from the hospital with his mom a few minutes ago.  Big brother Caleb had been playing checkers on the computer, having just lost and started a new game and had no interest in the big event!

Eldon came home from school and immediately said, "Where is Brycen?"  Brycen was sitting in his car seat sleeping happily.  Leah was still napping.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bad Driving Cancels Hospital Visit

Last night was a great night:  only one person awoke and required attention between 8:30 and 6:30!  At least here in Wilder.  I think things were not so copacetic at the hospital.

Big news!  The boy has a name:  Brycen Daniel Crossett.  Nice name.  I don't know if it is intentional but those are the names of our former and current Stake Presidents, both truly humble followers of Christ and great men all around.  I could not be more pleased with that sweet little spirit's name.  We will be able to tell him stories about those men as good examples.

Today went well, and will go even better when the dad gets home soonish.  Leah took a very nice nap with no complaints after two stories were read, one of which was about a Tacky penguin and some sort of winter sports competition.  She saw some doughnuts in that book and indicated her desire to have some herself, so old grandma went to the net to see if there were any recipes.  There were many recipes. To how we made these doughnuts, go here.  This is what our doughnuts looked like:

The square doughnuts with heart cutout were popular.  The heart cutout doughnut holes were even more so...
We headed out on a marathon trip around 3:30 but it was raining and long before we got to Pompanoosuc we turned around and headed back toward the city where we hoped the driving was better with all the pavement.  It was quite scary underfoot.  We did call Price Chopper for some fried cod-a very popular treat that Grammie brings every few months to the children.  All three love the fish, and even if some of the health benefits are negated by the fried nature of the beast, fish is still a good thing.

A happy fish eater seriously attending to the fish.  He loves it with catsup.

Leah can't decide between the fish with catsup and the heart-shaped doughnut holes.  {The doughnut holes won this round...}

When we got home we called to report that we were not going to get to the hospital after all.  [There had been a very big uproar in the car when the destination change was announced, but with older brother trying logic, and younger brother being willing to (finally) accept the logic, things quieted down before we got to the first stop light.  It was long enough for me!]  We set up a Facetime date and made some happy little creatures.  They are going to be even happier because the dad is coming home tonight to sleep in his own bed. I hope the Indians remain in their tents tonight as they did last night.  That will give Dad a chance to get one night of sleep before baby Brycen shows up on the scene.  I did hear a report of him sleeping from 2 AM to 6 AM.  That is a pretty good start.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Another soul to carry on the Crossett name!

What a day!  Early up to get to the library for urgent book returns and the Coop for raw sunflower seeds at 7 AM before arriving at Jonathan and Alissa's to watch the children while they went to the hospital for a surgically delivered child.

We switched cars (the Camry was already warm on this 10-degrees-below-zero-F. morning), Caleb stayed home from school, Eldon went racing off to the bus, and Jonathan took Alissa to the hospital and the day was started.

All was well at the house...lots of Star Wars gaming and doll-playing, Candy Land and marble playing.  Cupcakes were made and finally frosted.  The physical therapist arrived and worked with Caleb.  The mittens for James were completed, washed, and hung to dry.  Leah went up to her nap saying, "No! No! No!" all the way but within instants of my arrival back downstairs she was silent.

Liz dropped by with cookies and a lovely soft baby blanket (which she makes for all the babies of the workers in Rik's office).  We still did not have any news, though the phone rang while she still here and we learned that all was well with mother and baby.  There was somewhat of a gender fight at the house.  Leah was certain that she wanted a little sister and Caleb definitely wanted a baby brother.

When the phone call came we learned the Caleb had won on this one and Leah retained her position as her father's little princess!  After Eldon returned from school and was fueled up, we headed for the hospital.  Eldon saw the baby in his mom's arms and thought it was a boy.  Caleb crawled into bed with his mom and was quite emotional.  He had been very concerned about the surgery and the repercussions for his mom afterwards.

Leah, upon hearing that her new sibling was a boy said, "No!  It isn't!" and started to kick up a bit of a fuss.  She did not want anything to do with him initially but she warmed up later on.

We are now back home; the children have been snacked, beveraged, storied, beveraged again, and are finally quiet. I am not so naive as to think they are asleep, but I can hope...!  I will be following them to bed after a little pick-up/clean-up.  Don't want Jonathan to fall over anything when he returns early tomorrow morning to help with the school preparation.

No name yet.

One thing we did today that was different than the usual...we had hear Garrison Keillor speak of the den cam on Sunday so I entered the URL and the children and I watched the bear, who had given birth on Sunday, yawn and stretch and sniff a bit.  For a live video stream click here.  You may have to watch an ad, but click on the Live Cams, and Jewel's Den Cam to watch Jewel sleeping or doing other stuff.  Just now when I put in the URL I noted that there were more that 4300 people watching Jewel sleep! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Busy, somewhat productive, Day!

For several days I have been going back and forth with a donor from FREECYCLE for a blue wingback chair and ottoman.  Finally this morning I was able to pick it up in Hanover, where she kindly agreed to bring it...rather than making me drive to Grafton, NH where she lived.  It is just exactly what I love in a chair with the added bonus of the ottoman.
Chair in place near the fire.  Needs a very big bath, though.  Also there are supports under the chair which are missing.  Maybe Jonathan can help me make new ones.

After the chair pickup I went to the hospital blood lab for bloodwork prior to Friday's annual physical.  Two sticks finally got as much as they needed for the tubes.  They told me the problems were because my hands were too cold. I had taken the bus from Lot 9 then walked into the north entrance.  Glad that is over.  There is only a smallish area of bruising this time.

Next was a trip to Lavalley's to share the dimensions of the kitchen counter and get an estimate of the cost of same.Way more than I was expecting, and I failed to ask about clearance for the dishwasher.  Once we place the order it will be about ten days for the  construction of the custom-made counter topping.  Sadly, because of our corner sink, we cannot use the preformed material which has the lovely rounded edges.  We will have a square edge on both the counter-topping and the back-splash.  It will be fine, even though it will not be beautiful.

When I finally arrived home I discovered that we were not going visiting teaching as our sister had forgotten our visit and was doing something else.  Today that was good news!  I pulled the soft pretzel dough out of the bucket and made 6 of them.  When I finally finished the process I discovered how ugly they were.  Oh, well.  They were nice and chewy.  Since it was a pain to go through all the process of making them (mixing, rising, chilling, forming, rising, boiling, draining, egg washing, cooking)  I formed the rest of the dough into one oblong loaf and egg-washed it and applied sesame seeds.  The loaf looks wonderful.  It feels a little heavy.  Tomorrow we will slice it and see how it came out.  The recipe came from "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day".  Again!  I love that book. 

"Bagel: bread on parchment paper, baked on pizza pan, not pizza stone
Before the pretzel/bread project, I helped Bob put the cover back on the pickup bed since tomorrow we are expecting our first really big snowstorm of the season--4-19 inches,  depending on who you listen to.  I also picked up several tarps, folded/balled up, and put into the car port and moved seven wheel/tires into the carport BEHIND the snow blower instead of in front of the snow blower.  Next I chipped out another very large cart of firewood and, after a very great effort, got it up onto the ramp and in place outside the back door on the "loading dock'.  As we were eating supper, Bob asked what I did with the small blue tarp which he had folded up when we were working on the truck project.  I had mentioned that I never sewed the cover I wanted to make for wood cart, which brought up the subject. I went out with my headlamp and found the tarp just where it had been, though more or less nicely folded. I brought it to the loading dock and covered the wood in case we really do have snow tonight.

While working on the bread project I moved the plastic table which Bob and Owen had been using for sheetrock/tiling project tools upstairs and which Bob had brought downstairs and scrubbed up.  I took it over for a better temporary kitchen in the addition.  This is kind of clutter-y and in the way but much more convenient.  If you think the water in the 'rinse bucket' looks dirty, it really is dirty. I had just put in a mug that had held hot chocolate earlier this afternoon when I was trying to get warm from the inside out.  Didn't work this time.
This is MUCH better than the most recent "kitchen", though that one caused miles of walking back and forth to the living room 'coffee table'.
There was more to the day but that is enough to write.  Tomorrow I look forward to babysitting the little ones, or at least Leah.  I picked up some fruit-flavored candy canes for a quarter at Walgreens today.  Yes, I am trying to buy her off, or at least keep her mind of the fact that Mom is gone for a few hours.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Early-ish morning walk--and other stuff

Well, will wonders ever cease!  This morning I crawled out of  bed, dressed, put on the ankle braces, added headphones and iPod, and headed out.  I walked out to Quail John Road and had a lovely time listening to David Reidy, (from the Sticks and String podcast in Australia--not knitting today but still interesting) and looking at the various winter plants, though no animals today.

It was interesting to note that the neighbor's bushy-tree-like thing had a full set of catkins on it.  On January 9, no less!  I guess the fearsome cold weather we had early last week made the plants all think it was winter, then the 30's and 40's at the end of the week fooled the plants in great shape.  The lilac bushes also had leaf buds all over them.  Great day for a walk.  About 16 degrees F. and sunny.  I was glad to get back into the toasty warm house and stand by the wood fire for a while.

After doing a minimal amount of picking up I became edgy to get my knitting machine weights coated in plastic.  I have probably mentioned the Bond Incredible Knitting machine.  To have success in knitting you have to have the knitted fabric weighted.  I found some lead bank weights at the department store, some 4-ounce and some 2-ounce. I had four of the 4-ounce ones before.  Bob had drilled the ends of two thrift store forks and bent over the tines so they would grab the knitted fabric.  Two were great but we needed more so I hitched the other two to paper clips.  After a while I got nervous about the "lead" content, so today...

There was a person on YouTube who showed how she made some covered weights for her knitting machine.  She used several different solutions, including Plasti Dip.  I found that container at Dan and Whit's in Norwich and this morning set up a system for dipping the weights, taking into account the suggestions of the working men...  Voila, as they say...They are now drying after two coatings.  To do a really nice job I should probably coat again, then four hours minimum of drying time.  In the meantime, while drying between coats I had a breakfast salad, then set up for blanket for Britta's photography.  It may work, with the emphasis totally on "may"!
Notice the drips!

These look pretty good after two dips. 

You probably caught on that we are back to "construction zone" living (you see the table closed up behind the dipping set-up), which is a tad disheartening after having the main level so tidy and empty and home-like for Christmas and the next few days....but...it needs to be convenient for the men who are doing the work.  I can go off by myself and sulk somewhere, or perhaps do a bit of housework anyway.

Empty pantry having had last coat of sheet rock mud installed.

Contents of pantry in "kitchen".  See the refrigerator and stove hidden behind the shelves?  So easy to operate both appliances...not!  But soon.

This morning I spoke with Lavalley's about measuring for counter topping.  Yay!!  That is such good news.  Buddy will call and/or drop by tomorrow to measure then we can get a quote.  Once we have the counter topping, then we can call our plumber and THEN we can have a kitchen sink.  You can only guess at home happy that will make me!!!