Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving, 2010

Life is moving quickly on. It's hard to believe Thanksgiving has come and gone. We had Thanksgiving this year at the bed and breakfast where Caitlin is living this winter. It was a delicious meal and a lovely time spent with my children and their friends. It was most wonderful having dinner cooked by 5 professional cooks, with 3 of them being my children. And what a beautiful place to have dinner, a century old farmhouse in the middle of the High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains.

The thing I was most thankful for was having all four of my children together. We talked and laughed, cooked and washed dishes (commercial dishwashers rock when cleaning up after Thanksgiving dinner for 8), ate delicious food, drank a little wine, did a jigsaw puzzle, and a little football was watched too. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day.

Guess what these young men are doing.

Our feast.

Hungry group.

Begonia being contained so that she couldn't eat cats.

The happy O'Brien family, well fed and content.

I have returned home to prepare for the 2010 Craft, Food and Wine Show to be held at Cheel Arena in Potsdam next Friday and Saturday, December 3 and 4. It is my first year doing the show, and my booth will be next to my brother Tim, who is St. Lawrence Valley Roasters, and my sister-in-law Lisa, who is North Fork Gifts. It should be a fun time, and I hope to see a lot of old friends and make some new ones. I am putting together kits with Anne Hanson patterns and my yarn, and will also have some new thrum mitten kits, which will make a great gift for the knitter in the family. Because this is a non-fiber show, I have also knit some hats, socks and miscellaneous things to sell, since many of the attendees will not be knitters, spinners or crocheters.

I have a lot to do in the next few days. My least favorite thing will be taking Tim to the train to return to New York City and then onto Dublin, Germany, and Austria, his final destination. I know I will see him again in six months, which is a lot better than a year, but it will still be hard to say goodbye. He is heading off on another great adventure, this one on the side of a snow covered Austrian mountain.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Wanderer Has Returned

I am filled with joy because my son Tim, who has been traveling and living in Australia, Southeast Asia and China, is almost home. He arrived in the states on Wednesday, and is currently in New York City visiting with friends and family there, and selling some things he has in storage. He will be continuing his travels in December and will be going to Austria to manage a kitchen at a ski resort. Since he is the only one of my children without culinary experience, I did ask if he had sent his brother's resume instead of his. (Travis has a degree in Culinary Arts from Paul Smiths College). Tim assured me he got the job all on his own.

When I think of the things he has seen and done in the past year it is mind boggling. Tim has been traveling with only a backpack that contains all his possessions. He told me the one pair of jeans he has is pretty bedraggled, but he is going to keep them because they have been on four continents. I will be traveling to New Jersey to pick him up soon, which will give us the opportunity to visit the old neighborhood. I can't wait!

In fiber news, the newest Spindies boxes went on sale on Wednesday. They are gorgeous! I know this because I am the Spindies member who mails out the boxes, which is great because I get to see all the beautiful fiber each month. The colors this month are Harvest Night (navy blue) and Harvest Moon (gold). I twitch a bit when I say the colors blue and gold together and flash back to way too many Blue and Gold Banquets I have attended over the years, both as a child when my brother was in Cub Scouts, and when my own children participated. But when I see the fiber, all those bad memories are swept away and I want to spin the gorgeousness that is the boxes.

This is my contribution to the Harvest Moon box-"Golden Slumbers", a blend of merino, silk, cormo, tencel, firestar and angelina.

This colorway was my contribution to the Harvest Night box-"Blue on Blue, although my contributions to the box were dyed on Finn wool instead of this merino/tencel blend. I discovered after dyeing the contribution that I had no more Finn to dye.

I will be listing full sized samples of the box contributions in my shop today.

I spent an hour in this little country cemetery on Tuesday, where some of my ancestors are buried. A cousin is interested in genealogy and traveled all the way from Kentucky to visit this cemetery, when my brother finally figured out it's exact location. Look at that beautiful sky. We were blessed with a sunshiny day-the only one this week.

My mother's maiden name was Fish, and this is the Fish family stone.

We visited this cemetery at least once a year as children, because it was important to my mother to honor her ancestors. When I started looking around I realized that this was the cemetery where I had decided the names of the five daughters I planned to have-Faith, Hope, Charity, Remembrance and Experience. Turns out I had four sons and one daughter, so that plan didn't work out. I'm sure Caitlin is happy I changed my mind when it came time to name her. Here is the stone of Experience Bacon. Can you imagine having that name, not just Experience, but the combination of the two conjures a lot of images to my mind.

We had a lovely visit with my cousin and his wife. I'm glad they decided to come to visit relatives, both passed on and still here.

Time to take a sick kitty to the vet. Gerard has been sneezing and is congested. Right now he has taken over Seamus' spot and is asleep on my arm as I type.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Yummy Applesauce Cookies

I was cleaning my bedroom the other day and discovered this delicious recipe under my bed. I'm not quite sure how it got there, but I do remember going through some of my mom's recipes there a couple of months ago, and I'm assuming this one escaped from the basket. It seemed like a nice autumnal (love that word) recipe, so I made some and they were delicious. My one error was using sea salt to replace regular salt, since I seem to have no salt that isn't in huge chunks. As I was doing it I was thinking just skipping the salt would be a better idea, but I do love an experiment. It's a little odd to bite down on a chunk of salt in a cookie, but they are still tasty.

Applesauce Cookies

3/4 cup soft butter or shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup applesauce
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup nuts, chopped

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix thoroughly together shortening or butter, brown sugar and egg. Stir in applesauce. sift together flour, soda, salt and spices and stir in. Mix in nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls on greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Enjoy! You can also use pureed banana in place of the applesauce, and I increased the spices to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of cloves.

I finished the Spiraling Leaves Fingerless Mitts I was making. It's a pattern by Lynne Vogel, very well written and easy to remember. I think it's a great pattern for someone just starting in lace knitting. I used some of my worsted weight merino yarn in the colorway "Celery Tonic".

I think the next pair I make will be fingering weight. I am looking forward to making another pair, and think it will be good to do it soon so I don't have to relearn the pattern. I did make two right gloves my mistake but realized my error before I was done and did a bit of frogging. They are very soft and warm and will bring some springtime cheer to a dark winter.

I know you are wondering if there will be a photo of a cat. Seamus has recently taken a great interest in helping me when I am at the computer. He likes to sit on my right hand as I am typing. Here he is in helper mode, not understanding my impatience with not being able to use my right hand, just purring away. He is a good hand warmer, but makes getting work done a bit difficult.