Luxury Problem

IMG_6672I _almost_ feel bad because of what I’m about to do: lament the summer vacation’s being over. Gone are the days of daily swimming, crafting whenever I felt like it, no parents rep responsibilities, actually no responsibilities period, beyond being with the kids and catering to everybody’s culinary and recreational whims. Sigh.

It sounds like a lazy time, reading through that first paragraph, and some days were certainly slow-paced enough to call them lazy. Not that we actually did _nothing_ that much. There was swimming, playing, reading, cooking and baking, and I actually managed to finish sweet A.’s sheets, check ‚em out: IMG_6659Doing the math makes me realize what took so long. I was going to have the project finished by mid July, and I was done with the crochet part by then. But: Darning in threads in 60 crochet flowers (4 apiece) takes time, and is extremely tedious work. I was done with that by early August. Then there was the color sequence to figure out. Thankfully, I had help with that:IMG_6638Once that was done, the flowers pinned to the sheets, there was the step I dreaded even more than darning in threads: stitching the flowers to the bedsheets.IMG_6691I don’t know why I don’t mind knitting or crocheting for hours but find sewing so painful – but it is what it is. Some days, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I guess that qualifies as lazy all right ;-)). But in the end, the flowers were in place and the pins back in their glass jar, so. IMG_6731Now all I need to do is pack up the sheets and send them on their way so A. and her husband can have sweet dreams in them :-).

I saw less of some friends over the vacation weeks than I would have liked, and more of others than I would have thought, and, oddly, I did not miss the city one bit. I’ve been back for a couple days now, and although I appreciate the restaurant and organic foods situation, as well as being able to hit the stores for my kids who managed to grow over the six weeks like you wouldn’t believe, I can’t help wishing I was back at the cottage and packing up the swimming gear,IMG_6676goofing around with my baby girl

or baking with my boy

Instead, this morning my husband took the red-eye, the kids trotted off to school heaving long-suffering sighs at having to be up at the ungodly hour of 7 a m, and I have a translation to sink my teeth back into. I also am really and truly all by myself for the first time in weeks.

Although the heat called for a lot of fruit and salad, cooking did occur. For instance, I made a somewhat unorthodox quiche-like affair with store-bought puff-pastry dough:IMG_6441Leeks, chanterelle mushrooms, cashews, cheese, eggs and cream, and no crust to prepare – that was one easy dinner right there.

My new favorite salad is this:
IMG_4868It’s boiled green beans, blanched and seeded tomatoes (great for using up tasty, over-ripe ones that have become too squishy for regular salad), a chopped shallot and olive oil. Salt and pepper. Lovely as a side dish for barbecuing, or with a pasta dish, or all on its own.

Also worth mentioning because it’s such an old favorite of mine I had all but forgotten about: the Taco Salad :-). Our friendship stems from my healthy-diet-be-damned, happy-hour-after-work-heavy advertising days in the Nineties. Every once in a while, it’s a very happy Tex-Mex indulgence, even though I wash it down with iced tea instead of Margaritas, these days.IMG_6207.JPGIt’s easy enough to make, if you want to try.

Tempting Taco Salad

1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into strips

5 tomatoes, cubed

1 can chili beans

1 can corn

1 store-bought salsa

1 bag corn chips

large handful of grated cheese

1 container sour cream

200 g ground beef, browned in olive oil with a chopped shallot, a handful chopped cilantro, seasoned with chili flakes, cinnamon, cumin, salt, sugar and pepper

After browning and seasoning the meat, layer (in a glass bowl for a better visual, if you have one) from bottom to top:

shredded lettuce

meat

chili beans

corn

salsa

sour cream

tomatoes

cheese

one half of the chips, crumbled

Decorate with a row of whole tortilla chips all around the rim of the bowl and sprinkle with pepper. Serve with extra chips & salsa, queso if you’re so inclined, and guac.

There. Now my lunch-break is officially over, and I’m hungry. Go figure!

Have a great week everyone, and smile at a picture my kids took after I failed to clean up after myself like I usually scold them for doing:IMG_6671No worries though, my legs are still their regular shape :-).IMG_E6727To Berlin-based readers, happy first day of school, and to everyone, enjoy another week of this spectacular late summer.

 

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Summer Appreciation Post

IMG_6363Welcome to serenity;-).

This is what I see when I spread out my blanket at ‚our‘ spot by the lake. Isn’t it beautiful? I’m always astonished at how few people come here, but of course I’m not complaining. To the contrary, I’m deeply thankful we get to have this place to ourselves more often than not.IMG_2394As you can guess, we have moved our life out to the country cottage for the next few weeks, and so far it’s been pretty chill. We’ve done the things we usually do when we’re here: Walk in the forest, swim in the lake, find mushrooms, cook, grill, sleep in, play games, sit by a fire, gaze at the stars at night. Our lazy routine is punctuated by the kids‘ sudden cravings for favorite foods, or certain things that need to be eaten because nature or the garden supply them.

When we found chanterelle mushrooms after the rain last week, we made the best fanfuckingtastic grilled cheese from them, see above. Pimped with green onions and fresh rosemary, yum.

The above are plum dumplings, one of my childhood favorites. I learned how to make them at an early age, since they were one of my Dad’s specialties. It’s not difficult, albeit a messy process. Consisting of a mashed potato, flour and egg gnocchi dough wrapped around a plum and boiled in salt water, they’re breaded in buttered breadcrumbs and eaten with a bit of sugar. The kids just like to roll ‚em in the stuff as you can see above, and depending on the type of plum you use, it may be necessary too.

Other Parents Have Time to Cook foods are: lasagna, pancakes for breakfast, as well as, notably, my husband’s Jewish pizza topped with chanterelle mushrooms, what a treat that was! I was going to take a picture but the pizza was gone so fast I didn’t have a chance. So sorry, maybe next time. But you get the idea – thin, crisp pizza dough topped with sour cream, onions, mushrooms and cheese – very good stuff.

IMG_E6285The above was my adaptation of a classic Arabic basbousa cake; I was inspired to make one myself when I read about it on Cleobuttera’s blog. Her recipe sounds very good, but that particular day I was dying to know whether it isn’t possible to add dark chocolate to the orange flavor, and use spelt semolina instead of the called for wheat. And what can I say? It was certainly a worth-while experiment.

As of late, I’ve become quite the home-made syrup buff, check out the flavors we made for the school fair in June (yellow is elder flower, red is raspberry), so the orange syrup part didn’t scare me.IMG_5955We ended up with a lovely melt-in-mouth dark chocolat-ey concoction soaked in sticky orange bliss. Nice with a glass of milk, black coffee, and (I was told) with a glass of fruity champagne. Not drinking much myself, these days, as my body does not appreciate it anymore. Who knew I’d end up becoming such a health nut??

We have a sweet four-legged visitor for a couple days who is making puppy dog eyes at me, urging me to leave the hammock I’ve been typing away in and take him for his midday run:IMG_6375Cooper is an Australian Shepherd, and he’s a very cute bundle of activity, this one. Since we also brought the cat, it’s an interesting experiment. So far, they’ve been giving each other the evil eye, and the kitty needs to be coaxed to come out of the house at all:

IMG_6369That hammock has become a favorite place to do favorite things in, here’s my new couch blanket coming along nicely, on DC row at a time.IMG_6297Have a beautiful summer, wherever you are and whatever your favorite seasonal activity may be. I’m off to the woods with a strapping, woofing young fellow now.

The Boy With Blue Hair

I have written about my son’s school before. It’s an independently run Waldorf school and a small one at that, which has both its perks and its pitfalls. Sometimes, you need advanced social skills and emotional intelligence for coexisting with certain teachers, colleagues or classmates, as you can’t simply switch into a parallel class (there’s one of each grade only). If you’re absolutely incompatible as human beings, you may be forced to change schools, which has resulted in a fair number of comings and goings over the years, but fortunately, these rarely concerned us personally.

If things go smoothly, though, the kids are solid with each other, and the teachers really care about them, this creates an exceptional environment of mutual respect, affection and trust. I’ve attended breathtaking theater performances that were born from this safe space, I’ve read astonishing papers, and the kids have written and publicly read absolutely incredible poetry. They never fail to impress me.

But let me tell you about what happened yesterday. The German teacher had assigned the kids to write speeches, about a topic of their choice. One of the boys (E. with the blue hair) wanted to talk about homosexuality. It went well, E.’s very bright, and a good speaker. And then, in closing, he came out to the class as gay! After a moment of silence, there was cheering, applause, and the teacher complimented him for personal courage.

As a parent, I cannot help feeling glad to have enrolled my kid at a place where there exists such an atmosphere of trust. My son said the boy hadn’t even told his mom before opening up to his friends and teacher in class. Remarkable, isn’t it?

On this positive note, I’d like to add a few pics of my latest crochet project: It’s a blanket for our couch, in a simple but gorgeous color block design I found on Pinterest. The pattern can be found here, but I’m changing everything but the color scheme, really. My yarn of choice is thinner, my hook is smaller … so 220 instead of 81 stitches across, double crochet instead of single crochet, and God knows how many rows this is going to take … but I knew that going in, and I ordered a generous amount of yarn, I’ll be fine. I couldn’t wait to start swatching and starting out, even though it made for a late night yesterday, and the need for some extra caffeine this afternoon.img_5314.jpgHave a great weekend, everyone.

Crochet Flowers My Way

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Soon, it will be my dear friend A.’s birthday. We met at day care when our daughters were not even two, and quickly bonded over the kids, who were each other’s first BFFs (very cute to watch :-))). And over the course of the girls‘ many, many play-dates, and all those afternoon hours spent on each other’s couches, we became close friends too. We have a similar geographic and sociological background in the Balkans, and of course, we both like to knit – the ultimate crafter’s mind-meld. And while A. feels more comfortable recreating solid Ravelry patterns, and I always go rogue with those because diagrams and stitch numbers and such confuse me, we both end up with pretty handcrafted pieces and love each other’s work. Last year, A. made me this thing of beauty for my 50th:

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I’ve only taken it out for a few special occasions, and I always feel wrapped in love, warmth and luxury when I wear it.

But about those little flowers. I plan to sew them on to a set of white bed linen, much like the one you see below. That one’s a duvet cover I made for my daughter a few years back, and it has been a favorite ever since. When A. recently said it was the ‚most beautiful thing she’d ever seen‘, there was no doubt in my mind that I needed to make her one of her own for her birthday. So here I am, crocheting flower after flower after flower, ‚cause I’m going to need plenty.

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And seeing that I’ve actually taken photos of the individual steps, to show them to another friend who was interested to learn, I thought I’d put a real pattern (not really daring to call it a photo tutorial) on here and be done with it. So here’s how I go about crocheting five-petal flowers.

Cute Little Crochet Flowers

The yarn I used for this is very thin mercerized cotton. I believe you could do embroidery with it if you wanted, it would certainly fit through any sewing needle’s eye. I was working with a 2 mm hook for the center and a 1 mm hook for the petals.

You will, as has been pointed out to me, need to be familiar with these US crochet abbreviations to understand:

SC single crochet

DC double crochet

I’m not going to start explaining how you do those because there’s excellent YouTube tutorials for that kind of thing. I’m just going to assume you already know how to make those.

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Using the 2 mm hook, crochet 11 SC into a magic ring. Pull tight and join with a slip stitch. If you’re as anal about these things as I am, you want to use your second color for the slip stitch already. The color change will be invisible if you do, see?

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With the second color, chain 1, then proceed to make 1 SC in every one of the stitches of the round. Join with a slip stitch.

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Chain 1. Then make 5 DC in the second stitch from hook.

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Chain 1. Slip stitch into the next stitch – 1 petal made.

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Make 4 more petals in the same manner.

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End with a slip stitch into the last stitch next to the first petal you made. Bind off and cut yarn.

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Now all you need to do is darn in the 4 threads, which I don’t need to explain, and go and make more if you had fun doing the first. Crochet flowers can look great on just about anything:

IMG_1507Canvas totesIMG_1611Birthday cardsimg_1400.jpgShoulder bag decoration

I’ve sewn them on T-Shirts, knit hats and I mended a hole in a much beloved sweater using a crochet flower – the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

So, try it out and let me know how you did with the pattern! Oh, and remember the old Instagram lore, pics or it didn’t happen 😉 – you know I am always curious to see your stuff.

Thank you for reading, and happy hooking!

Road to a Blanket

IMG_0367Scrolling down my photo library, I can see that I must have first gotten the idea for this blanket in March 2016, unbelievably long ago. It seemed like such a simple, straightforward design then! I love the little polka dot drawing I jotted down on my blotting pad so much that I cut it out after having scribbled all over the rest of the sheet, and kept the clipping. Now, I don’t design many patterns myself, usually I just see something somewhere and try to copy it as best I can, which is probably the reason for my being that attached to this one. Would you like to see how it turned out? Oh, please be interested, because I cannot wait to show you:

IMG_5493To me that is pretty much the loveliest little girl blanket I can think of, and I’m incredibly pleased with how the design turned out. Almost (but not quite) as importantly, my daughter loves it to pieces and is showing it to all her friends – can’t ask for higher praise than that, am I right?

So, in the beginning there was that drawing on my desk pad. Then there were the first few dots – made just like any Granny Square center, only that the first two rounds were the same color.IMG_5635It’s entirely possible that there would have been an easier way to make the off-white square shapes, but I couldn’t really think of one, so I went with what I knew and crocheted simple Granny Squares.IMG_3331I was very happy with how they looked, and went on to make more. Over time (and by time I mean over the course of roughly 2 years), I crocheted about 140 of these babies, 126 of which made it into the blanket. It turned out I had just too many pink ones in the end, and I have a small pile of leftover squares that will need to be dealt with eventually.

And then life happened, other things took precedence, and I didn’t even think about the Dotty Blanket for a long time. When I did look at the few measly squares I had done, and after a rough estimate of just how many of the darned things I needed for the blanket to be a reasonable size, I couldn’t even – so I put them away again.IMG_1812And then, finally last summer, I knew I was looking at a two days drive (as a passenger) to Brittany, and I chose making dots as a vehicular crochet project. At this point, I had gotten over myself and done the actual math; I realized the color scheme needed a certain symmetry of chance, if that makes sense. So I counted, and calculated, and ultimately figured out how many of each color there needed to be. I was off by only a few.

It was a bizarre two days in the car: my family were all wearing headphones and listening to their audio books, and I was doing my thing with the crochet hook, probably mostly meditating. It is a very repetitive motion, making those round centers. When we arrived at our destination, I had made about 100 dots, and was feeling pretty zen ;-)).

Then our cousin M. had a baby, and I decided to crochet her a baby blanket, so that’s what I mostly did by the beach, as well as on our drive back. By the way, the book my people were listening to was The Expanse – which is now out as a really awesome TV show on SyFy – to a Science Fiction geek, it doesn’t get much better than that. I’m having a great time watching that show with my squad :-). Two words: Shohree Aghdashloo!!!

Over the fall break in October, I took up making off-white squares again, and by November I had finished, and sat down with my daughter to determine the final color sequence. It took us the better part of a Sunday, and I actually taped the final arrangement with transparent packing tape so as not to upset the order. First the taped down makeshift blanket was actually stuck to the parquet, which, for a few most annoying weeks required cleaning around it. Before Christmas, I was forced to transfer it onto the clothes rack for the holidays – where it stayed until February, when I finally had time for the home stretch.IMG_E4387.JPGBy now, the suspense of this post must be killing you (on the other hand, nobody forced you to come here and read, so you must be here by your own free will, right…?)

Maybe you’d like me to tell a joke in between. Here’s one I love: Why are ghosts such bad liars? Well…? Because you can see right through them! Hahaha, I bet that woke you up!

Where were we? Oh, right, in February I finally started the assembling process, crocheting the squares together with rows of SC. The result looked like this:IMG_5053Pretty early on, I had a bad feeling about the proportions – they seemed a bit off (too little off-white in between the dots), but it was only when I realized the blanket would be way too small like this that I gnashed my teeth and ripped the SC back up, swearing a blue streak, and proceeded to add yet another, final off-white round to _every f…ing one_ of the damn squares.

Looking at the finished blanket, I know it was the right decision, but I won’t lie, it was not pretty. Given that I’m not the tidiest person in the world, I’m sometimes amazed at how anal I can be about this stuff.

Anyway, here’s what it looked like before darning in threads, of which there was an impressive amount, as you can imagine. My kitty loved sitting on it as long as they were there, probably hoping there would be mice popping out of it.IMG_5262I even took a picture of the thread snippets after I was done, the pile was so impressive.IMG_5574.JPGFinally, there was the important question of whether to do a border or not. I couldn’t really make up my mind, so I thought I’d just go ahead and see what it looked like, and then decide whether I liked it or not – by then, I’d become sort of cavalier about ripping things back up. I decided the edging needed to look like the rest of the off-white fabric, so I did rows of Granny clusters, like this:IMG_5380I just added row after row until I found the symmetry pleasing, and declared the blanket done – no, that’s actually not what happened. It was my sweet Princess N., la chefesse du design, who made that decision. Shukran, habibati. Soooo – let’s see two final pics, and then it’s a wrap for this post, and we can all breathe easy 🙂IMG_5629IMG_5630Thank you, dear stitch readers, for reading through this. I really appreciate your attention, as I’ve appreciated each and every one of you who gave me advice and encouraged me to keep going with this project – you know who you are. I love you guys!

Ba-ba-ba-Banana

Everybody already has a recipe for banana bread, I’m sure, and if you don’t, there’s always Jamie Oliver or Martha Stewart or Cynthia Barcomi to look to. I started experimenting with banana bread using Jamie Oliver’s recipe, in fact. He uses a lot of honey, and the overall experience is kind of sticky, and too solid for my personal taste.  With absolutely no disrespect to any of the paragons of modern cooking, I feel the compulsion to share with you these fluffy, moist and wholesome banana buns today. There’s next to no sugar involved – all of 2 TBSP is all the dough needed. I did use 10 fresh dates (my new favorite sugar source), which I pureed with the bananas. You see, it’s like this: My daughter claims to detest dates, so I thought it might be wise if she wasn’t even aware she was eating any. Seems to have worked, too, she and her sweet friend wolfed down 2 apiece after school ;-). Wanna give these babies a shot? Here’s how you go about that.

Boombastic Banana Buns

4 overripe bananas

10 fresh dates (or more to taste, pitted)

2 eggs

100 g butter, melted

1 glass of milk, warm

1 TSP sea salt

1/2 p vanilla sugar

Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon (it was just there, you know how that goes)

1 p dry yeast

500 g spelt flour

Potato flour, maybe a large handful

2 TBSP sugar

Some spelt semolina (or flour, which I was out of, hence the semolina which added some nice crunch, though)

Warm milk and melt butter in it while you’re at it. With a stick blender, puree dates and bananas. Add vanilla, eggs and the liquid butter and milk. Add salt, sugar, flours and yeast. Grate the lemon zest and squeeze. Knead the dough until ingredients have blended well. The dough will be somewhat sticky, but that shouldn’t faze you, as you’re going to use a muffin tray later on so you don’t need the dough to hold its shape.

Set aside to rise. I left it to its devices for approx. 2 hours.

After, I preheated the oven to 160 °C and buttered my muffin tray. With a large TBSP, I scooped out portions of the dough and set them in the tray.

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The coarse stuff you see is a bit of semolina – I was out of spelt flour and felt the surface needed a little dusting of, well something that wasn’t wheat flour, as I gave that up for lent. Joking, I’m joking. I’ve not gone all Catholic on you all of a sudden. But I am taking a break from wheat, in the (maybe futile) hope this will make my belly fat magically disappear. We’ll see. It’s a long-term experiment.

A word on potato flour while I’m discussing unusual ingredients. The other day, when searching for a recipe for one of my favorite Arabic indulgences (and there are many), Oum Ali, a creamy-bread-pudding-raised-to-the-max, I stumbled across a charming food blog. It’s called Cleobuttera, and the Cairo-based blogger lady is fabulous, in an almost anarchistic calories-be-damned way. Maybe she’s very young, maybe she has an enviable metabolism, or maybe she just doesn’t care. Either way, in the recipe linked above, she explains all about the use of potato flour, so I’ll just let her do the talking. She makes a valid case, and I’ve been substituting a portion of regular (or as the case may be, spelt) flour with the fine white powder ever since I read that post. I’ve also bought Za’atar ;-). Yum. Not on banana buns, though. Duh.

I put the tray in the oven and baked it for approx. 30 minutes. Mine is a gas oven, so yours may need other times – just watch the buns like a hawk after 20 minutes. They should look like this when they come out:
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Whether you eat them with butter, cream-cheese, jams, honey or Nutella is entirely up to you. I had mine with apple slices, which was all I needed this greyish cold end of winter afternoon.

Work-wise, I’ve submitted my piece of the Story of Food – a book as huge as it sounds; I translated about 250 pages in a matter of weeks, phew … After what felt like a full day of exhaling, I started on my next book project, a very cool modern embroidery book by crafts artist Kristin Morgan whom you can also find on Instagram as marigoldandmars. Such pretty, creative hoops :-).

Because of my recent work overload, my own crafts projects needed to take a backseat for a while. But I picked up speed again after submitting the manuscript a week ago. Here’s what happened:

Pair of new hand-knit socks for my little squirrel.

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A bright little mandala for my friend A. who turned 50 and will hopefully enjoy seeing it when taking luxurious sips of outrageously expensive Sencha green tea from her pale green Japanese cup ;-).

And I have begun the process of assembling the Dotty Blanket, finally, check it out:

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So many Granny Squares, OMG … one day I’ll have to work out how many hours of happy crochet went into that blanket. It’s seriously the most time-consuming project I’ve ever worked on. But I have a feeling it’ll be worth it once I’m done.

Punching out today with a few ice skating pics I took last Saturday – check out the magic, misty early spring sunlight, and my two hobby figure skaters:

Enjoy the sunshine while you can … and do let me know how your banana buns turned out!

What’s on Your Mind?

This is how my template greets me when I log onto wordpress, which is genius, because it’s about as certain to get me talking as the well-tried therapist’s opening question ‚How are you today?‘. It’s a common topos in Science Fiction for the cyber intelligence to ask human beings this question, and as everyone knows who is online more that out in RL, it does the job nicely.

But this is me, actually asking you, dear stitch readers, because I really want to know how you guys are doing and what you’re up to. I hope you rang in the new year with (a) loved one(s), and I wish you all the best for a happy and fulfilling year to come. Despite the highly dubious situation of world politics, I have a good feeling about 2018. I’m not going to brood too much about that, and just enjoy the serenity while it lasts :-).

After a comparatively quiet Christmas, which we spent among our little nuclear family of four (five, if you’re counting the cat, sorry Fritzchen). We didn’t even squabble this time, let alone have any epic fights. Tree was lovely, we didn’t make a big fuss about cooking, and we didn’t celebrate my husband’s 50th birthday _at all_ – because he didn’t feel like it. I did meet his cake request, however, albeit with some trepidation. Therefore I am proud to report I now have a new notch in my baking belt, check it out:
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As you can see, it’s a meringue pie (of the lemon variety), and may I say it was as good as it looked – not always the case when I bake, but you obviously don’t know that because I wouldn’t be showing any shitty looking cakes here, duh.

I also made a couple really really nice salads. IMG_4621Lamb’s lettuce with red beets, radishes, green onions, quail’s eggs and goat cream cheese, dressed with a classical vinaigrette. I made that one twice because we loved it so much :-).

IMG_4671Romaine with green onions, orange fillets, fresh dates, roasted pine nuts and blue cheese, dressed with an orange juice based vinaigrette (guess you could call it an orangette ;-). I made it for New Year’s, with my Egyptian bestie Princess N. in mind.

On the crafts front, I have been sooo busy. I did some knitting for a few people before and over the holidays – notably, these lace knit wrist warmers for my mother in law:

They’re in the knitting book I’m currently working on, a whole book about mittens and gloves and, obviously, wrist warmers, and I simply couldn’t resist wanting to recreate their intricate beauty. I just happened to have a gorgeous skein of baby alpaca/silk/cashmere blend that seemed perfect, and I combined it with a thin off-white merino sock yarn to give it a bit more stability.

I’m not gonna lie, these beauties were a challenge to make indeed. Initially, after a few false starts (my brain had some trouble comprehending the chart) it went relatively smoothly. The first mitten hardly gave me any trouble. But then I didn’t immediately move on to the second – big mistake, as it turned out, because my lizard brain or muscle memory or whichever part of the system must have gotten instant amnesia. I needed to rip up the second one three(!) times, which sucked big time. Had I had any other gift option, I would have thrown in the towel… But with way more stamina and persistence than I usually have, I managed to finish them, and my MIL seems really happy with them. She appreciates my making the effort (as she should, she used to teach crafts in elementary school so she def. knows the drill).

I also made socks, socks and some more socks. Everybody seems to want hand-knit socks this winter, and obviously I always say yes. Here’s the models of the last couple weeks:

Upper left went to my favorite girl in Reykjavík, upper right went to my godson here in town, the wildly colored pattern was obviously for my tiny-footed baby girl, and the elegant purple ones went to my worthy Assistant Children’s Birthday Bash Manager C. for her birthday.

Right now, I’m working on a pair for my son who needs them for the ice skating rink (his home away from home during the winter season). They’re made of a very nice hand-spun and hand-dyed grey sock yarn from my favorite local wool shop, as were the other plain-colored ones.IMG_4730.JPGOne of the wonderful, thoughtful, colorful Christmas gifts I got from my dear friend A. in Frankfurt was this crafts sleeve, complete with notebooks, a pretty ballpoint pen and some really cool utensils – sort of like a Knitter’s Leatherman, you probably know the multi-purpose pocket tool gadgets that my son can’t live without, and this is similarly amazing. IMG_4707So, I don’t know about you people, but in my neck of the woods, we’re experiencing this Exceptionally Dark Winter. I can’t even remember having ever gotten this few hours of sunlight in all the 50 winters I’ve been around. It feels like a small ice age, and I’m hating every day that goes by without my much needed lux fix. Despite that, I’ve made the resolution to take a walk every day this year, come rain or shine, and so far, I’ve been good about it. Some days like today, it was actually a treat, for we did get to see the sun.

Checking out now with some pics I took on January 1st by the lake. Sometimes all you need to get lucky is to have a camera on you and randomly press the release button :-).

Wishing you a great start into a happy New Year 2018!