OLS: Week 11

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And another week down, bringing us to week eleven of the One Local Summer challenge. This week we decided to attack the pulled pork sandwich. I wasn’t able to find locally baked rolls that would work for sandwiches, so we found Vermont Bread Company rolls at Kimberton Whole Foods that worked out well, even if they’re not really that local. It’s probably the biggest non-local item I’ve used, but I really, honestly tried to find local rolls that would work and just couldn’t find any. Oh well! We did go the extra mile with the barbeque sauce and made that from scratch. The dinner was delicious and while the pork butt took all day to cook in the smoker and then crock pot, it was WELL worth it. Non-local ingredients used (other than the rolls) were in the barbeque sauce: pepper, salt, cider vinegar.  The rest of the ingredient run down follows.

Corn: Kimberton Whole Foods (locally grown)
Peaches: North Star Orchards
Feta Cheese: Apple Tree Goat Dairy
Pork Butt: Countrytime Farm
Maple Sugar: Miller’s Maple
Tomatoes: Jack’s Farm
Garlic: Jack’s Farm
Onion: North Star Orchards

June and July Knitting Wrap-up

I guess this is becoming a bi-monthly thing instead of a monthly update.  We’ll re-visit the Knitting Resolutions.

3. Knit one pair of socks per month
Did it again. Seven pairs so far (well Eight if you count the ones I’ve already finished for August), and I can’t wait to get to December and post all twelve of them in one big post.

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Rare Monkey Gems Jupiter Lava Socks
Pattern: Monkey Pattern: Hey Jupiter
Designer: Cookie A. Designer: Liz Abinante
Needles:  US 1 1/2 (2.5mm) Needles: US 1 (2.25mm)
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight – Rare Gems Yarn: dkKnits Technicolor Smoosh Toes
-Ravelry Project Link- -Ravelry Project Link-
These knitted up in FOUR DAYS.  Four days.  I had the pattern memorized after one repeat and it was so simple yet beautiful, I’m positive these won’t be my last monkey socks.  The rare gems came from Rhinebeck last year and I just LOVE how the colors pooled up. This was the sock of the month from Yarn4Socks.  After a false start (too tight to fit over my heel), I added four stitches in and they worked out perfectly.  I did an extra repeat on the leg since there was plenty of yarn.  The color is FANTASTIC and the pattern was super fun to knit.

4. Spin four ounces of roving per month.
Well I got eight ounces in one month? Does that count? I decided to go ahead and put away the knitting for a month and spin along with Tour de Fleece, a yearly spinning event that takes place during the Tour de France. Well I spun my little feet off and ended up with two finished skeins and one half-spun chunk of roving.

DSC_3403 This merino/tussah roving was from dkKnits and is spun up to laceweight, 789 yards.  I think maybe this is why I only completed two skeins during Tour de Fleece!  It spun up delightfully soft and squishy and I just love how the colors came out.
DSC_3401 This is a roving from Twisted Fiber Art and is the Brilliant Roving (superwash BFL) in the colorway, Blaze.  It spun up to fingering weight and came out to 420 yards.  I’ve already knitted up a pair of socks with this and they are AWESOME if I do say so myself.  An absolute delight to spin and knit, definitely a roving I’ll be working with again.

And I think that’s about it.  I haven’t really made any more progress on the other goals, and should probably get started on that considering the year is well over half done.   🙂

Cupcakes and Pickles

I honestly never meant for this to be a food blog.  But I seemed to have (re)discovered the fun of cooking and baking over the summer, in part because of the One Local Summer challenge.  I was the microwave queen – I regularly told people that I didn’t cook, I microwaved, and I got married so that I would have someone to cook for me (the husband, he really likes our kitchen).  Well I guess I can’t say that anymore, now can I?  There are two food related things I’d like to share with you today.  Maybe a knitting post later this week   🙂

DSC_3975_edit This is a sweet little creation, the Double Vanilla Cupcake.  Delightful!  There’s something so fresh and sweet about a good vanilla bean ice cream that I really enjoy and that translated 100% into this recipe.  I whipped these up last night for a friend’s birthday and they were a big hit.  We stuck them in the fridge to firm up the icing (it was REALLY hot today) and they came out just perfect, so much so that a chocoholic even rated them a 99 out of 100 (with chocolate being the unbeatable 100).  Not bad, if I do say so myself.  The real vanilla beans are what make these so delicious and I can’t imagine making them without the beans.  Oh and we had a little extra icing, so I need to find some graham crackers to make some icing sandwiches since that’s what mom did when we were kids and had some leftover icing from a birthday cake.  OM NOM NOM.

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Lemon Cucumber Pickles!  That is, Lemon Cucumber, not lemon flavored cucumbers.  I promised a post about these, and here it is. I decided to go all out and got myself a pressure canner and the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, commonly referred to as the ‘bible’ of canning and preserving. These pickles are the basic dill pickle recipe with the added garlic and were rather simple to make. Slice home-grown cucumbers, let soak overnight with salt and ice, boil pickling spice and vinegar, process filled jars in boiling water! It’s really that easy. The hardest part is waiting about four weeks for them to mature and marinate in the jars. They’re sitting on my kitchen counter, taunting me with their cheerful yellow rinds and mustard seeds, telling me how delicious they will be if I could just wait another two or three weeks. I’m not sure I have that much will power.

OLS: Week 10

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Week ten of one local summer is cooked and consumed already. The husband is home again and decided to try something different – tacos! I was in charge of the taco shells and toppings while he did the filling. I found a good shell recipe here which used both cornmeal and flour.  I went with whole wheat flour instead of regular old all-purpose flour and it didn’t seem to make a difference.  They were surprisingly easy to make and then form inside of a napkin holder lined with some tin foil.  It looked a little funny, but it worked out well!  The husband improvised a taco spice recipe (sadly, none of those are local, but it tasted great!) which he added to some ground bison and onions. I also found these curious little mexican gherkin cucumbers at the farmer’s market on saturday and just had to bring them home after Jack let me taste one.  They’re sweet, with a little sour and just perfectly bite sized.  It’s really amazing me, week by week, the different things we can make using local ingredients that I never even thought of doing (making taco shells from scratch?!).  This is totally spoiling my ideas of store-bought and semi-homemade that I had been used to cooking (and mostly microwaving), but all in a good way.  I’ve recently been doing some canning and preserving and I should do a post on that too – it’s another new thing this year that I’m trying and is again, surprisingly easy – much easier than I had thought!

There were a few non-local ingredients in this week’s meal which included salt, canola oil, and the taco spices.  Here are the local ingredients:
Ground Bison – Backyard Bison
Onions – North Star Orchard
Tomatoes – Our Backyard Garden
Peppers – Cressley’s Greenhouse
Mexican Gherkins – Jack’s Farm
Fat Cat Cheese – Birchrun Hills Farm
Lettuce – Willow Creek
Corn Meal – Mill at Anselma
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour – Mill at Anselma

Zucchini Week: Day 7

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Day 7, a week late. Oops. I’m a bad, bad blogger. Well, the meal was made on day seven, however the picture didn’t make it off the camera until today. Yeah. Anyway, in all of its glory, I present to you my own creation, a zucchini pasta salad. The idea took form after I realized I could make pasta noodles from zucchini using my mandoline. Since I heavily modify recipes anyway, I’m just going to give you the basics of what I did. Onions were browned in some olive oil, then the tomatoes were added along with the zucchini and a bit of homebrewed beer. While that was simmering, I grilled the chicken and portobello mushrooms. The mix on the stove went into the fridge after the liquid was drained and so did the finished chicken and mushrooms. After everything was well chilled, I brought it out, sliced the chicken and mushrooms, added some local blue cheese on top and finished it off with a blackberry vinegarette (Olive oil, crushed blackberries, red wine vinegar, fresh basil). All the flavors worked well together and it made for a light afternoon lunch. Zucchini Pasta Salad – My Own Recipe
Ingredients Used:
*Zucchini – my garden
*Tomatoes – Charlestown Farm
*Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
*Cheese – Birchrun Hills Farm
*Chicken – Eberly Poultry
*Onion – North Star Orchard
*Blackberries – Willow Creek