About The Country Wife Blog

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Fabulous New Recipe!!! In the middle of pickling...

This morning I got up early enough so that by 10 AM I had finished canning the tomatoes that I started yesterday; cooked and processed the last batch of bread and butter pickles; and got the last of the zucchinis prepared for Easy Zucchini Relish.

At one point I went to my computer to check email and there was a message about a blog post from Melanie at Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  This one was about chicken pita bread sandwiches but a ways down in her message she referenced Soft Wrap Bread.  I followed the link and thought I should add this recipe to the day's activities!

That was a VERY GOOD idea!  The bread is wonderful just plain.  Bob ate three of them while they were still warm.  I ate one as a yummy sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, new bread and butter pickles, sliced turkey, and honey mustard.  One was enough but I had already torn off some edges which were a tad too "chocolate-y" for giving someone else to eat.  I put butter on my burned edges.  Just the best, even slightly burned.

It was a nice change from pickling.  Now we are down to only green tomatoes left on the porch to pickle. I have a mind to make a hot dog relish recipe but have to purchase peppers and onions to make it work.  If I was not afraid they would spoil, I might just leave them to ripen and use in tomato sauce...

A lovely pile of soft flatbread.  The top one has had an edge torn off, as you can see..
Happy day!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Piccalilli Relish

It has been another busy week!  Watching the local grandchildren two mornings was such a joy.  Some funny times, but sadly, I did not write them down so they are lost...memories of fun, though.
Bags and BAGS of cucumbers, zucchini, and green tomatoes!

On Wednesday our friends, the Foggs, gave us TONS of produce to turn into pickles and relish. You can see all the bags lined up on the porch where we are storing them in an effort to keep the fruit flies at bay.  (Sadly, that did not work...there was a banana peel left in the kitchen while we were away for two days.  Rats.)

Finally today  I got to the first batch.  Piccalilli relish is what I made.  It is 9:23 PM on my computer clock and I believe I just heard the 7th jar ping!  Bob has just walked by and said it was cool everywhere else in the house but hot out here in the kitchen/dining room.  Huh.  Wonder why.  I am broiling myself. I should probably go stand on the porch to cool off before going to bed.  Usually he is the hot one...

Seven quarts of piccalilli relish, first canning of 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

Another doll blanket

Leah wants a doll blanket.  She has many babies that need blankets.  She wants a purple blanket.  This is the blanket I knit on the Bond Incredible Sweater Machine, then picked up and knit on a garter stitch border.

Knit on Bond, picked up and knit garter border...

Better detail on the icky picked-up-and-knit stitches
Things I learned while knitting on the border:  the live stitches from the Bond are much prettier to knit from than the edge stitches where your have to pick up and knit the garter ridges;  the picked up stitches, besides not being pretty, can throw off my garter ridges' appearance,  it is possible, when using up scraps ends of yarn to totally make nasty the garter stitch border.  Perhaps Leah will not notice, but I know I will have to make another blanket and do it better.  You can see along the right side of the photo above the picked-up-and-knit stitches.  Totally not nice.  I do hope Leah will be happy enough for her babies to have a blanket all their own and not borrowed from Leah's little brother that it won't matter that it is awful.  The next one will be better....

First Doll Blankets on the Bond and Sawtooth edging pattern

Several weeks ago a very kind gentleman offered a grill on FREECYCLE.  When we went out to pick it up, he had decided to keep his old grill (the one he originally offered us) because the newer one he was using to replace his old one turned out to be missing a part.  He thought we would be able to find the necessary parts at Home Depot.  (Turns out he was right, and we have a lovely grill now for the first time ever....just in time for a dinner we were having here...)

While we are at his house his two darling little daughters came out to chat with us and watch us.  They reminded me so much of Taylor and Addison both is looks and personality that I decided to do a little knitting for them.  The little one was holding a doll very tightly to her and the older one had a bigger doll whose name she told us, but which I forgot almost immediately...so what to do by make blankets for the dolls!

Eyelet lace around the edge, knit on Bond Incredible Sweater Machine, KP3
Knit on Bond, hand-knit sawtooth border
Using the Bond Incredible Sweater Machine I cast on 70 stitched and knitted 100 rows, I seem to remember.  The first one I did a minor lace eyelet pattern around the edge.   I then hand-knit on a garter stitch border.   For the second one I knitted it on the Bond as well, but made it totally plain then added a sawtooth edge border with dark purple yarn.

To make the sawtooth edging, after finishing and binding off the blanket, on another set of needles:

Cast on 4 stitches.
Row 1: Knit 4, pick up and knit one stitch from edge of blanket. Turn.
Row 2:  SSK, YO, K3, Turn.
Row  3, 5, 7 knit to end of row, then pick up and knit one stitch from edge of blanket.  Turn.
Row 4:  SSK, YO, K4, Turn.
Row 6:  SSK, YO, K5, Turn.
Row 8:  SSK, YO, K6, Turn.
Row 9:  Bind off 4 sts, knit to end of row, pick up and knit one stitch from edge of blanket and continue on in this pattern until you go completely around the blanket.  At corners, adjust by adding a few more stitches in the corner stitch.

Several Cast-off/Bind-offs

This week I have been working on some samples for Joann Fabrics and Crafts as a potential instructor.  So far no one has signed up for the classes I have been assigned so Joann's is way ahead of me financially!

The Ladder Drop Stitch block AFTER the Jenny Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off.  Can you tell which is bind-off edge?
The items I have knit are an easy knit cap/watch cap which is knit flat then seamed up the back,  a honeycomb stitch of the month block and a ladder drop stitch block of the month/stitch of the month.
FRONT of the Ladder Drop Stitch of the Month block!
 The cap was quick and easy.  The honeycomb took quite the most amount of time.  The ladder drop stitch was quick and easy once the learning curve was over.

Honeycomb Stitch block with previous ugly bind-off.
When doing the bind-off for both the stitch of the month blocks I was quite dissatisfied with the results.  At Elsie's yesterday, and via email today,  she made some suggestions for improving the look and function of the blocks...SO...I pulled out the cast-offs of both blocks and tried the Estonian Bind-off.  That was pretty good but not  perfect.  I then tried Lucy Neatby's Modified Conventional Bind-off.  That was also quite nice but also not perfect for these applications....SO...I went to YouTube and found Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off as done by Cat Bordhi.  Bingo!  It was fabulous for the Ladder Drop Stitch block.  It was almost as good for the Honeycomb Stitch block.
Honeycomb stitch block AFTER new bind-off.  Much better but still not perfect.