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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Milestones

inside the club house at the Deutsche Bank tournament
Well, we've had a few milestones in our home this week...like my first homemade fruit spreads, and Alex's first curse word.  Yep.  His word of choice?...the S-word of course.  (I believe that was my word of choice at 4-years old.)  We were just starting to watch Transformers (which he's gotten into because of the toys and Dad has been letting him watch the movies), when he decided to use the fateful word.  I snapped my head in his direction and shot him the coldest glare I could muster, said "what did you say?!", and got up to turn off the movie.  He was just devastated.  He cried for a full five minutes because I turned it off.  I told him that he's clearly not ready for Transformers and that if he was going to use that sort of language, he wouldn't watch the movie anymore.  I'm going to have a talk with my husband about the movies Alex can and can't watch.

My own personal milestone is much safer than Alex's was.  This week, I successfully canned a ginger-peach butter, and last night I did plum butter!  The whole process wasn't quite as difficult as I thought and I just love seeing those little jars in my pantry full of sweet, spreadable fruit that I picked off the trees myself.  Today or tomorrow, I'll start working on all of my apples.  I'm thinking apple butter, apple sauce, some apple cider (if I can find some mulling spices again).  I even have plans for an apple pie, after all, I have plenty of apples.  I need to go back to Walmart again for another flat of mason jars (pint jars this time) for my apple sauce.  Alex loves apple sauce so he'll be super excited about it.  And I think I'll use Kelly's recipe for the apple butter because hers turned out so good and I don't have to worry about adding any extra sugar to it.  With all the sugar in the other two recipes, it'll be nice to have one that's better for us.

Speaking of recipes, my MIL gave me one for a veggie chili that was fantastic!  It made a good amount, not too much but enough for a few days worth of left overs for my family.  It was a big hit with everyone except Alex, who decided after laying eyes on his bowl that it was "gross".  He went to bed without dinner and with no story just to avoid eating it.  But Dante and Aaron both really liked it.  Aaron gave me the standard "this is really good...now it just need some meat in it", which is how I know if he likes a vegetarian recipe.  Anyway, the recipe calls for a 'large pepper', which could really be anything (I used a green bell-pepper), a zucchini, a yellow summer squash, an onion, some garlic, some canned tomatoes, corn, and two different types of canned beans.  There's no mention of whether or not the beans should be drained (I didn't), if the corn should be drained (I did), of which types of beans to use (I had black and Great Northern in the house), but overall it was quick and tasty.  It went really well with the Jiffy corn muffins that I baked up while it was simmering, and like most chili it taste much better the next day.  This would be a great recipe for people like me who are vegetarian, living with a family who aren't.  I can make this ahead, put some aside, and put meat in the rest for guys, or I could just put in large chunks of chicken or steak tips which I could easily pick out of my own bowl.

School and knitting are picking up.  I'm already in week 4!  There's a big writing assignment due for my art & humanities class this week so I've got some serious reading to do.  I'll be doing this while trying to host a knit-a-long that I challenged my buddies to.  One of my friends is knitting a beautiful sweater, and I decided that I needed on too.  So we're all knitting a sweater of our choosing, and we'll be peer-pressuring supporting each other as we go.  I'm working on Oblique.  I've wanted to knit this for years and I'm working on full sized swatches right now in two different yarns to see which one I'd rather use.  I intended to use my pink Queensland Kathmandu Aran for this project (as so many other knitters have) but I've had to go down to a pretty small needle to hit gauge and I'm not sure how I feel about the fabric.  My back-up yarn is my gray-green Berroco Ultra Alpaca in peat mix.  It's a worsted weight yarn (even though the patten calls for an aran weight) but I'm hitting gauge on a 4.5mm needle (which is what the pattern was knit in) and the fabric has a nice drape.  Once I finish the Queensland swatch I'll know which of the yarns to press on with.  This process might seem crazy, but it's given me a chance to feel how these yarns work up, and to test out the charted lace directions that I had to work up because I can't follow written directions without missing a step.  I seem to have gotten it right.

Well, I'm off to fix lunch for a hungry little boy.  I'll update soon with my yarn choice and maybe even a photo or two :)