Saturday, December 03, 2011

down the rabbit hole

So, I'm thinking of rewriting the little description at the top of the blog. Instead of having it say

because not everyone here really cares- OR- Where but in the knitting of an intermediate novice (see side bar)can you find such great hope in the next finished object?


relatively rational knitting with confidence and aplomb and delusional cooking with fear and trepidation

Knitting first-

I've accepted the fact that the Tangled Yoke Cardigan (circa 2007) is never going to be completed. I gave the pattern a good look over last night, thinking that surely by now I have the skills to pull off the yoke. Then I frogged the whole thing. I have never felt better about frogging a knitted item in my life. It's been taunting me for almost 5 years. Taunt no more. I still have to frog the sleeves

Barbara Walker- Top Down Knitting- Madeline Tosh- Here's what this is so far.

Imagine my surprise when I read redsilvia's post on her Hello 80's socks. Talk about matchy matchy. The off-white cuts into the whole 80's deal a little bit but clearly the Classic Rock Hits haven't left my psyche yet.

This is going to be a v-neck cardigan. I've just finished the V, am almost done with the front and will be separating for sleeves in about 10 rows. And yes, now that you ask, I will be taking it off the size 4 needles and trying it on before moving ahead (I've done it once already) because I am a relatively rational knitter (I have a big old pile of ill-fitting sweaters to prove it.)

And now the rabbit hole.

One of my favorite iPad apps is the one connected to the site While doing some insomnia cruising I found this recipe for Hearty Vegan Slow Cooker Chili.

Mr. Sophanne eats meat with his meat. Sometimes sauce but mostly meat. He's been paying attention to his health a little bit lately so I decided "what better time to throw some vegetables his way."

I'm pretty sure I could write a crack me up blog post about the whole experience but it might take too long to read and I hate it when blog posts are too long. Suffice it to say that I had taken a day off after a really grueling school day and had intended to have a zen-like, mindful cooking experience with plenty of time to relax and cook with ease. Below are the highlights on my way to chili. Any one would have been fine- there's nothing exceptional about them but when cooking delusionaly with fear and trepidation, they are bound to happen to me all at once.

1. Buy ingredients. What, no yellow squash or zucchini? That's o.k. I'll channel the daughter of Mr. Sophanne (and call her to double check my choices) and buy butternut squash and a rutabaga.

2. Prepare the vegetables. Cut the peppers (red, green and yellow) Zen started and ended with these peppers. Instead of standing uncomfortably, I sat at the table and made perfect little squares. I am GOOD at cutting peppers.

3. Cut the onion. Now I know why people stand when they cut onions. I didn't make it to the second one because I felt like a pepper-sprayed Occupy Wall Street victim.

4. Brown the above in olive oil before putting in the crockpot. Oops. Also supposed to brown the chopped garlic. Yea, o.k., no biggie. I'll added it unbrowned. This I know will be fine.

5.Call the daughter in law for guidance on the squash and the rutabaga. "good choices" says she.

6. Prepare the Butternut Squash. (much later in the evening I YouTubed a video to see how the rest of the world does this) Nearly slice two different fingers off using different "techniques" to separate said squash from it's protective covering. I should have practiced peeling rocks first. What took Our Lady of Vegetable 5 minutes to do on You Tube took about 25 minutes at House of Sophanne. I am no longer mindfully cooking but instead, hacking and whacking at vegetables. An episode from Criminal Minds comes to mind.

7.Combine in the crockpot with previous ingredients. Oh *&@**#" I forgot to slice the mushrooms ahead of time. @@*#ing mushrooms. Hack, slice, drop.

8. This &$(@ isn't going to FIT in the crockpot no matter how small you slice it!I still have three G#$ D$#* cans of beans, tomatoes, and liquid to PUT IN!!!! Here I debate running to the store for a bigger crockpot- stupid. Instead I decreased the amount of squash and rutabaga. Upon examining the recipe reviews later, I find that others had the same trouble and found quick and easy solutions.

9. Rinse the beans (white northern and black beans...who needs those #$)%**(# kidney beans anyway-it's not going to fit) RINSE THE BEANS??? It's going to FAIL anyway. I'll run some water over them in the can and call it done.

10. Add 12 oz of tomato paste. Feeling clever, I remembered Mom of sophanne opening both ends of a tomato paste can and pushing the lid through to be sure to get all of the can's contents into the mix.

11. What I failed to remember was the giant lengthwise gash in her thumb from scraping at the edge of the can.

12. Bleed for 20 minutes, wondering if I need stitches, grateful that I wasn't on blood thinners and trying to get the rest of the ingredients in. I can't stop now- I'm on a mission.

13. Open the tomato sauce to be added. The opener, once working with ease, refuses to cooperate. I find another and have a half-a$$ed open can. Just before I stick my hand into the sharp metal I realize that a fork will do the trick just as well.

14. Attempt to open the box of vegetable broth. The pull-tab fails and I stab the opening with a knife. THAT WILL TEACH YOU BOX!!!

15. Mix it all together, naturally spilling much of the contents out of the overflowing crock.

16. Return contents to crock, set on low, cook for 7 hours.

Mr. Sophanne (who sometimes scoffs at my cooking attempts) comes home, compliments the good smells, takes a peek and says, "what meat is in it?

In the end, it tastes good. It's a good recipe. Things failed to remain mindful and zenlike after step two. When I first learned to knit, I knew that by doing so I would have to become more mindful and patient to be successful. If I manage to transfer those skills to cooking, I may be eligible for domestic sainthood.


Marie said...

What app for your iPad are you talking about I just got mine and am having fun with it.

kmkat said...

I sincerely hope you did not slash Mr. S's neck with the sharp edge of a half-opened can. How could you blog from prison?

Suzanne said...

This is by far one of your funniest blog posts I have read! Thanks for the giggle today!

Roxie said...

I don't know if I would have stuck with it as long as you did. am impressed!

Anonymous said...

You do have a 80s vibe with your stripey sweater! Nice! Remember to tease that hair when you wear it.

Your cooking exploits are crazy! How do you do these things? My first piece of advice is to get the tomato paste in the tube to minimize blood loss. I'll send you one if you can't find any. You can throw the squash into the nuker and cook for a couple of mins to soften it up. BUT not too long or it explodes (ask me how I know that). Or you cut off the ends of the squash, stand it up on a nice flat cut end and get your knife good and stuck in the top of the squash. I then bang the squash on the counter with the knife handle (like a crazy tomahawk) and that sucker will split. I love squash. Alot.

Yarnhog said...

Awesome! I've had that cooking experience. I did get stitches. And strict orders from my then-four-year-old that "Mommy doesn't open cans anymore!"

Lydee said...

new recipes, always trial and error! butternut squash: stab it, toss the entire butternut squash in a preheated 350 degree oven right on rack, bake for 15 min; remove, allow to cool. peel and dice. the quick 15 min. bake will make it soft enough to peel and cut. then use it for whatever you want...