Monday, October 06, 2008

weekend update

I've been pleasantly surprised that SNL has actually been funny lately! It had been years since I had watched the show, and now Tina Fey's Sarah Palin has me rolling in the aisles, as did Anne Hathaway's Mary Poppins! Who knew that supercalifragilisticexpialidocious was actually a sexually-transmitted liver disease? What a bummer for poor Burt... I've always had a soft spot for Dick Van Dyke.
So... the weekend was nice. Busy, but nice. YarnCon was a fairly small but pleasant event. Leah and I had a yummy breakfast at Milk & Honey first. The highlight was meeting Franklin Habit from the Panopticon, chatting about the joys of Latin, and picking up some of his knitting gift cards. Alas, Dolores was nowhere in sight. I had hoped to meet up with Karen, too, but never wound up finding her. A pity...

My only other purchase was a skein of wonderfully pettable angora/merino from animals raised right here in Illinois via the Green Pastures Fiber Co-op and Esther's Place.
Sunday involved an excursion outside the city. We loaded up into a friend's minivan and headed out for a breakfast of Swedish pancakes and lingonberry smoothies and a trip to Edwards Apple Orchard. Rain came in patches, heavy at times, so no orchard photos. We brought home a bounty of apples, feasted on cider and apple donuts, and fell asleep in the minivan on the way home. Yes, it made me feel as if I were 5 again.

While I'm dying to try this decadent apple-almond braid recipe, I managed to resist this afternoon and instead whipped up some easy applesauce. No Foley food mill, blender, or food processor needed. While I'm not a big fan of kitchen gizmos (in a move that would shock many Kitchen-Aidophiles, I often just use a wooden spoon to mix up a batch of cookies), I was disappointed that I couldn't find my nifty apple corer and slicer. That actually does make this recipe even easier. I like to use a mixture of apple varieties for this recipe -- this time the mix includes Jonathan, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, and Autumn Beauty.
Easy Applesauce

10 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
1 C. water
1/8 C. brown sugar (if you really like it sweet, you could go up to 1/4 C.)
1/8 C. sugar
(if you really like it sweet, you could go up to 1/4 C.)
1/2 - 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cardamom
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Throw all ingredients into a big pot and stir. Bring it to a boil, then cover, turn it down to a simmer, and ignore it for about 25 minutes. Check to see if the apples are tender and falling apart. If not, stir it and give it a bit more time (covered). When everything's very tender, stir to break up the apples. You can use a potato masher to break up any larger chunks. That's it! It may seem a bit watery at first, but as it cools it solidifies to a good texture.

My minivan knitting included lots of garter stitch: the beginning of an EZ Tomten Jacket in wonderfully soft handspun wool. This is my first time knitting with handspun, and I love it. Now I just need to find a good source for handspun (or learn how to spin, but I don't see that happening right now).

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