Monday, February 24, 2014


Ha! Fooled you with that subject line. I'm not really knitting, but I did try. The Turkish bed socks from my Christmas Eve Box is the subject of my knitting interest. You might remember I discovered I had already started a pair so I went back to those to finish them. After all, I was past the heel turn on the first sock.

Well, now I know why I stopped 24 rows (according to my row counter) below the heel flap on the heel bottom. I don't know what the next instructions are trying to tell me. I have really lost it! I could follow written directions even when I didn't really know what the knit or crochet or needlepoint stitch was. Written directions are (were?) my strong suit. That's why directions shown in pictures irk me. I can't read pictures! I know picture directions are done because of the language barriers with so many of our products being manufactured in other countries, but that's a rant for another day.

Back to the Turkish bed socks:

After row 24, the instructions want me to seam each side with the mattress stitch, or save the seaming step for later. Since I need a refresher on the mattress stitch, I decided to save it for later. 

Now as you probably know, I am a Magic Loop method sock knitter. You start this sock using just two needles. Easy peasy. After the knitting mentioned in the previous paragraph, the dpns method begins and I need to start to work in the round. Oh yeah? Well, I know how to convert to that, don't I? But what does "knit . . . . . . OMG! I GET IT! It took my reading it to explain my dilemma without violating copywrite for me to GET IT!!! Du-uh!!! Okay, that's enough about that. To make up for my brain freeze, I am determined to get this first bed sock finished tout de suite.

Take two aspirins and call me in the morning.

In the meantime back to cooking and baking. Seems like that's all I know how to do these days . . . and gain weight.

I have a new kitchen gadget, a "miracle"meatloaf pan, that allows me to make a stuffed meatloaf with ease and deliciousness. I decided to give it a try yesterday. I made a ground turkey meatloaf stuffed with cornbread stuffing.

I didn't think to take pictures until half the meat was in the pan and I had made the well for the stuffing. I'll admit I cheated on the stuffing. It's Stove Top. The pan's lid is the secret. You place a layer of half the meat in the pan, then press down the multi-level side of the lid. It creates a well for the stuffing.

Below you can see the multi-level side of the lid, the side that creates the well, as I press down and shape the top portion of meat with the flat side of the lid and get the pan ready for the oven.

 Out of the oven

Plated and sliced
Can you see the cornbread stuffing?

Ready to eat. Notice the portion control.

Oh wait! I left the wine on the counter. Gotta have a wine spritzer with this.

Add the spritz. That's better.

Okay, dinner is served.

And after a small second slice of the meatloaf, dessert and coffee.

Red velvet cake curtesy of Entenmann's.

Note to self: When stuffing this turkey meatloaf with Stove Top Stuffing use 3/4 c chicken broth (half the liquid suggested) and stuff the meatloaf with all the stuffing.  (I had reserved a cup of stuffing to use as an extra side.)

So there you have it, knitting and cooking all in one blog entry.  I rock!!! . . . every now and then.

Bona Fide Knitter

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope this day has brought you happy things, fun things, delicious things and hugs, kisses and other expressions of love . . . or that the love is scheduled for later this evening.

I have been snowed in every few days since sometime in January. I am so over snow I don't even bother to take pictures and post them. I was over the picture taking when my almost branchless evergreen tree dropped ice laden branches against my minivan and dislodged some moulding under a rear window. This whole winter weather thing has been unreal and costly. I pay a teenager for snow removal: my sidewalk, walkway, driveway and minivan get cleared off and before I get a chance to go out and about for more than a couple of days, it snows again! When it's nuder four inches, I do the labor and make a path in the sidewalk, walkway, two tire paths in the driveway, clean off the minivan and hope the sun gets what I leave behind. And then it snows again, enough to need the teen with his snowblower. $$

So I've turned to baking and online shopping. One would think I'd pick up the knitting needles. Maybe this evening.

Today I made dough for a Broa. It's a Portuguese cornbread. Unlike the southern cornbread I'm used to, this promises to be different.

I use a  Lodge Dutch oven for baking bread. It is an enameled cast iron six quart pot with a metal knob. Other enameled brands have plastic knobs which might not withstand the 450 degree temperature needed for baking the bread. 

The dough has doubled in size and is ready to go in the fridge until baking tomorrow.

I started this snowbound Valentine's Day off with a festive latte.

Then I made a heart shaped quiche for one.

I had it for breakfast with a mug of French roast coffee, sections of honey bell, and homemade bread buttered and stenciled with cinnamon sugar in keeping with the theme of the day. 

And then I went out and shoveled, starting with the snow that had blown up onto the porch overnight, then a shovel wide path down the walk, the sidewalk and the drivers side of the driveway. The snow was so wet and heavy! I shoveled just enough to work off the calories of the bread and pie I might  eat today. The sun took care of the snow on the minivan.

Next came a photo op. My little doll Amelia Thimble thought today would be a perfect day to model her designer original, a one-of-a-kind ensemble made by my very generous and talented friend Melissa P. The crocheted outfit consists of a hast, dress (skirt and top), shrug and panties. Melissa also made the shoes! She is so talented! This is a very small doll, about 4-1/2 inches tall. It's not easy making clothes that small and with that much detail. Thank you MissyMiss.

I ended the day as I began, in the kitchen baking. I baked two mini apple pies, heart shaped of course.

One for me, one for the spouse. He can have the full crust. I want the lattice. Less crust, less calories. 

And then, off to knit.

BonaFide Knitter

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bread Baking

I've been snowbound, icebound and housebound. I am not complaining. It has not been bad. No, I have not been knitting. I'm not sure what I have been doing. Oh, I remember now. I've been shopping online, baking and reading. Yeah, that's it. That's what I've been doing.

I have a bunch of pictures on all my "i" devices (iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini) and my camera. Each time I took a set of pictures it was for a blog entry, mostly snow related.  Weather talk and forecasts, snow and ice, freezing temperatures? I became sooooo inured that I settled down with some good books. I became immersed in reading and buying cookbooks and kitchen gadgets. Amazon and UPS love me, USPS too.

I learned a lot. I can bake artisan bread in five minutes a day! "The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoe Francois is a wonderful cookbook! It's about dough. It's about bread and beyond. It's about baking bread from scratch using four simple ingredients: water, yeast, salt and flour--without proofing, punching or playing around. If you like bread, you'll love this method and the book.

As usual I'm late to the game. This wonderful no knead bread making method from long ago had a resurgence and became very popular in 2007 after a NY Times article spotlighting Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery who was baking bread this way. It was not a new concept, but Lahey and then Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois and others brought it to the forefront.

In January 2014 I stumbled upon it via a food blog I follow that had a recipe for pumpkin bread bowls for serving soup and the rest is history--or in this case "my story."

Here is my first no knead bread. They are my pumpkin bread bowls resting before baking.

 One baked pumpkin bowl full of pumpkin soup.

My fascination led me to many books and You Tube videos. Ultimately I bought the Hertzberg/Francois book.

Yesterday I made half the basic recipe,  let it rise for two hours and refrigerated it overnight.


When I was ready to bake bread for lunch I took a grapefruit-sized hunk off,

"cloaked" it, shaped it, let it rest, while the oven heated. Then I floured it, scored it and baked it.

Once it had cooled enough I sliced it, buttered it and had two slices with lunch. So good!

Although I even take my book to bed with me, you don't have to buy the book. Visit and find out everything you need to know to make your first loaves of no knead bread.

Bona Fide Knitter