Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What We Love

It is a nice day out-of-doors, a comfortable 50 degrees. Pieter is loving his sandbox and all those trucks and diggers. Me? I am working on a new knit I started on Sunday, the Tulip Cardigan, and trying to get rid of a cold I've had for two weeks. It is not easy having a horrible cough 36 weeks into a pregnancy! But the colorful knitting sure is cheering me up.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pecan Rolls

At every holiday meal these pecan rolls were grabbed with glee and enjoyed by all. My paternal grandmother, Gladys Tatem, made these for her family. I've decided to start collecting family recipes and will post them as I make them. I may make some adjustments, as it seems margarine was used quite widely by this generation. This is the first bread that I've made with all white flour in years. I plan on amending this with some whole grains soon. It is easily divided in half for a dozen or so rolls.

Pecan Rolls
2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
5 teaspoons instant yeast (or 2 envelopes active dry yeast)
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter
7-7 1/2 cups flour

Combine all the dough ingredients and mix and knead them - by hand, mixer or bread machine - until you have a smooth dough. Cover and allow the dough to rise to doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours. (I use instant yeast because it can be mixed directly into the ingredients without having to dissolve it in water before hand).

In a muffin pan, put the following in each cup:
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon brown sugar
A few drops of water
A few pecans

Gently deflate the dough and divide the dough into 24 pieces (or 12 if you've halved the recipe). For each piece, divide into three pieces and roll them into balls. Place three balls into each muffin cup. Cover the pan and allow to rise to double in bulk.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately turn over to allow the butter/sugar/nut mixture to come out on top of the rolls.

August 12, 1922 - January 18, 2006
Grandma, 79 years old
Photo Credit: David Tatem

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sweet Child of Mine

Pattern: Sweet Child of Mine, Beth Anne Paustian
Yarn: Dalegarn Baby Ull
Size: Newborn
Needles: US 3

Am I ready now for this little baby? I've had this pattern and yarn for a quite a while and finally, one month before her arrival, it is done. It really didn't take that long to do, just a couple weeks, but it was hard to stay focused on it with the small needles and the seaming construction. Now we hope that she'll be here when her Opa is visiting over Christmas. What better time for a baptism?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Snow in the hills

We explored our favorite falls in the hills Sunday afternoon. The new snow was magical on all the pine and spruce trees. A beautiful day for a drive in the forest.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

On the way to church

We woke to a beautiful Sunday morning with the sun shining on the fresh snow. The view out our front windows showed the hills sparkling in snow. We walked the long way to church to see the river. And found the most amazing frost on the road. What a beautiful day.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

First Storm

I was making some yummy pumpkin muffins in the late morning on Friday and listening to NPR. I heard that a snow storm was coming that evening and I looked out at all our leaves that needed raking. We've been waiting for the trees to finish dropping the leaves, but it looked like we needed some urgent action. Ben came home over lunch and we raked like mad. I kept going after he left and finished as the snow started coming down mid-afternoon. Pieter woke up from his nap to his first big snow (that he remembers) and Saturday was a day of play in the snow.
{Pieter thinks the snow plow is the best}

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Life

The green of PaperwhitesNarcissus papyraceus, are just beginning, giving us a bit of life, holding back the cold and dark of outside. We are all hunkering down here with a nasty cold, feeling sorry for Papa as he heads off to work with one, too.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Good Things

Autumn is my favorite season, full of harvesting and settling in. I do love squash, especially those pumpkins. Papa and Pieter worked on cutting up a pumpkin for me last week, which has so far made it's way into two pumpkin pies. The other good thing right now is a great fabric sale at my local quilting store. Now I have a pile of fresh fabric waiting for a little sewing time. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

In my kitchen

In my kitchen today...

: : We are coughing away from the fumes of some wonderfully hot Jalapeno Jelly being made from The Herbal Pantry.

: : Pumpkins are turning into puree for some yummy pies in our near future.

: : An amazing pot of beef stock is coming to life (recipe from Nourishing Traditions, posted by a blogger here). This huge batch in my canning pot will boil down and then freeze for all the winter stews and roasts over the next several months.

: : A new recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies from King Arthur Flour is being tested.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Beaver Creek

We went to Beaver Creek this weekend for a hike in the mountains. Just a little bit of snow has stuck and the chill is definitely present. Even though P was bundled up, he still got a little cold riding in the pack. I think it is time to find some long underwear for the little tike. Papa has been exploring the Mountain Pine Beetles, so we checked out a tree in the Ponderosa Pine stand as we made our way down into the gulch.
{pitch tube caused by the Mountain Pine Beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae}
{beetle}                                          {larva}
{a bit steep going into the gulch}
{fairy cups, Cladonia}
We came upon a pair of Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus), which we almost always do, but never get a chance to take a picture. One stuck around to be photographed, but still was a bit shy for a clear one. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Newborn Cable Hat & Socks

PatternsBaby Hat with Staggered Cables by Kate Sharaf &
Mock Cable Baby Socks by Janet Gallagher
Needles: US 5

A teeny, tiny set for the little girl. I never had the chance to knit newborn sizes for Pieter (way too busy), so now that I am only 8 weeks away from seeing this little girl, I thought I'd better get going on a few things. To warm up the needles, here is a set that just took two evenings, made with bamboo that I got for free at a yarn swap in Cambridge. The perfect color and softness! I still have a bit more yarn, so I might try to make another hat just a bit larger, since it seems so small.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Felted Clogs

{before felting}
{after felting}

PatternFelted Clogs by Bev Galeskas
Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Wool
Size: Large
Needles: US 13

My very loved sheepskin slippers from L.L. Bean finally gave out after about 10 years and with Pieter's clogs coming out so well, I decided to knit up some for myself. It really is amazing how huge these are before felting. I put in the lens cap for some perspective on the shrinkage. Now they just need to dry and I'll put them to use!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Boundary Gulch

On Sunday we explored Boundary Gulch and had a great hike. It was a nice easy walk down into the gulch, with a stream guiding the way. P did a great job walking and even made it back up out of the gulch all on his own two feet. The sunset is coming earlier and earlier these days, so we had to push along our walk to make sure we made it out before dark. There are quite a lot of abandoned mines in the area with the Eureka Mine along Boundary Gulch. That era has left a lot of evidence in the hills with pits and mounds to be seen.
Down by the stream we found some Mountain Lion scat (Puma concolor). Despite this being the first that we've come across on all our hikes, we are pretty aware that they are around us and often refer to P as "mountain lion bait" and keep him right by our side. 
{A bit of green amidst the dry and dormant plants}
{Rock throwing never gets old}
The aspen (Populus tremuloides) and birch (Betula papyrifera) trees seem to gain beauty as they drop their leaves and the white shines out so brightly amongst the pines (Pinus ponderosa). We ended our hike with a pine cone hunt to make a wreath for the winter. The last few days have been very windy, so we found lots of good looking cones from this season.
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