Saturday, March 18, 2017


That is what has happened to this break.  It has simply flown.

There's been a whole lot of writing and a decent amount of grading.  There's been a bit less reading that I had hoped, but that's because I was busy with the writing and the grading.

And yes, there has been knitting. Of course there has been knitting.

The break was a good opportunity to pick back up on the Persian blanket.  This is hexagon #5. I'm about midway through hexagon #6.

There are 24 hexagons in the pattern.  Plus a whole lot of stitching and edging. So I can't really say that I'm a quarter of the way through it, but I can say that it's... moving along.

And of course I began at least one other project and worked at a couple of others.

Disaster also struck in the form of HOLES in not one, but TWO of my pairs of socks. I couldn't believe it. Luckily for me, they were in the cuff and the upper leg, not the foot or--heaven forbid--the heel.

Because you may not realize this but darning a sock is not easy, and it is somewhat difficult to get the thing mended without leaving a bump that would be quite uncomfortable if it's anywhere on the part of the foot that's going into a shoe and getting walked on.  But for me, such was not the case, so...

You can probably see the mended spot in the sock on the left. That's because it that case, although I searched high and low, I simply did not have any leftover yarn from that skein that I could use for the mending.

For the pair on the right, I had far better luck: I had spare yarn to use, so I could match it and fix it so it's far less noticeable.

All in all, this felt like a triumph, needless to say. Very few things are worse than spending a lot of time knitting something, seeing a hole develop, and realizing that it might very well unravel right before your eyes.

There was also a bit of cooking. In particular, I got a hankering for something I haven't had for years and years (and years--we're talking, like, when I was a child): Boston Brown Bread.

If you've never had it, you don't know what your missing.  It's a whole grain bread (cornmeal, whole wheat and rye flours) with molasses, raisins, egg  baking soda, and buttermilk. You pour the batter into a (greased! in the name of all that's holy, it must be greased!!) can, cover it with foil, put it in a water bath and steam it for an hour.

You'd hardly believe it's bread, if you saw it in its preparation stage.This is what it looks like when it first comes out of the oven. Kinda funky, I know.

But this is what it looks like when it's been removed from the can, sliced and decorated with a little butter.

It's really quite tasty.

And my childhood craving was quickly satisfied, needless to say.

Since yesterday was St. Patrick's Day--also, shout out to St. Gertrude, Patron Saint of Cats, since it was also her day as well--I decided to make a nice little dinner.

I didn't make green food. I don't do that.

Instead, I made a traditional Irish beef stew with stout, which turned out really well, thanks to a couple of hours of slow cooking.  It really makes quite a difference. I also made Colcannon, which is basically mashed potatoes with leeks and cabbage. I liked it.

I was stymied for a dessert, though. Most of the desserts I found involved chocolate and Baileys, which is fine, but I didn't need to be eating a platter of brownies all by myself.

Then my friend, who joined me in the feast, happened to mention St. Joseph's Day and zeppoles. So I got googling and found a recipe for zeppoles san giuseppe, and...

They're actually not terribly difficult to make. For me, personally, using the pastry bag was the challenge. There's a little knack to that thing, and I don't make pastry enough to practice. (The zeppoles went far better than the time I tried to pipe icing. We won't talk about that.)

My friend was... astounded! So all in all, the break has been a success, and at this point, my only wish is that it could be a bit longer.

But with breaks, all things must end and we're at the end of this one.

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