Thursday, June 9, 2011

I Broke the Knitting Jinx

Some time ago I donated several pieces of woven cotton to a woman who makes bonnets to sell in our museum gift shop. In return she gave me, among other things, a knitted cotton washcloth. I had never understood the passion some people seem to have for knitted washcloths until I took this one to the kitchen and employed it in place of the sponge for washing dishes. It had a nice diagonal pattern that created just enough friction to get the dishes clean, and I just loved the feel of it. Unfortunately I have used it so much that it's looking pretty stained and ugly, so I'm not going to show it to you, but I will show you the new washcloth I was inspired to knit as a result of how much I liked the gifted one.

Oops--I'm getting ahead of myself. What I wanted to explain was, I haven't knitted anything for a while. That teal bulky sweater that you may remember from several years ago now is the reason. No matter what I do with that bulky yarn, it doesn't work and I rip it out again. I refuse to buy any more yarn until I use that up--I paid $100 or so for it, on sale, and my failure to come up with a winning design mocks me every time I look in the sewing room closet. So I putter around in the kitchen, as you know, and work on my little translation, and play Spider Solitaire, now that Lent is over, and in general accomplish very little at home. Until yesterday.

Yesterday was really hot--95 or so. Here in the old jail we don't have central air conditioning, which is pretty inefficient, anyway, and most of the time that's not a problem, but yesterday the heat was just beastly, so I spent the afternoon sitting under the ceiling fan in the living room knitting a washcloth in a corner-to-corner design called a "diagonal bee stitch," similar to the one I was given as a present. I found the pattern here:

The yarn, a high-quality worsted-weight cotton, was left over from some long-ago project; I love the color as much now as I did then. I have a nice hot pink in the same yarn and I think I'll make a second one when time permits. I love the way this one turned out, and I'm crossing my fingers that the knitting jinx is broken and I can make a few more interesting things in cotton before the weather turns cold and I can tackle that teal Blue Sky bulky for the last time.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Recipe Report - Garden Veggie Linguine with Cilantro Pesto

The recipe appears on page 161 of the May 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I have been wanting to make it for some time, but there has been a shortage of cilantro in the grocery stores in our town (honestly, I looked at all four and the farmer's market). I finally got to make it tonight, and it was well worth the wait. In the meantime I reintroduced the boys to fresh oranges and zucchini, which I had to buy a couple of times waiting for cilantro to appear.

This stuff is delicious. DS couldn't get enough of it. I made it with fettucine instead of linguine. The noodles end up covered in spicy olive-y goodness, and the carrots, oranges and zucchini offer individual taste sensations that complement the noodles and cilantro well. I cut the salt in half and didn't miss it at all, and I used Grey Poupon mustard instead of dry mustard, which I don't use enough to justify keeping in stock. The recipe is relatively cheap to make. It's a bit of a calorie bomb (518 calories a serving), but could be dinner all by itself, so we'll definitely be making it again.

If you don't subscribe to Better Homes and Gardens, the recipe is also available on-line at the following address: