Postcards from Rhinebeck ’14

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IMG_6516.JPGIt was so good to get out of the city this weekend and head upstate to Rhinebeck for the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival. The weather was the most perfect October weather you could ask for, by turns dramatic, steel grey skies with the woods all orange and red and gold and the clearest blue sky and sunshine with cold air and chilly breeze. It was perfectly cold and that meant that the hand knits could be worn comfortably, but not so cold that you needed a jacket over them. Florrie finished her Aunt Fred and it looked so great on her, I would have lost my marbles knitting a whole sweater in that fiddly sport weight wool. Kudos to her. I wore my Astoria cowl, it was snug and perfectly warm.

Florrie had much more shopping restraint than I did, I bought two skeins of Miss Babs Yowza in a really pretty green/blue/grey colorway (Shaken Not Stirred), the line for Miss Babs wool was predictably long, a giant bag of Maple Cotton Candy, some Hot Maple Mustard (it’s seriously the best thing ever), a gorgeous cherry wood stirrer/spatula from Chester B. Basil’s stall, some beautiful grey/green ceramic buttons from Melissa Jean and on the way home when we stopped off in Tivoli at Fabulous Yarns I got a squishy red skein of Blue Sky Alpacas Extra.  I’m not sure if it was because it’s the third or fourth year that we have gone, or if it was in fact smaller this year. Not sure, but it was fun and we got to scratch a few goats and sheep under their chins, and see so much beautiful wool.

Until next year Rhinebeck, maybe I’ll get my act together in 2015 and have my own sweater to wear. 😀

-Marie

 

 

The Mystery of the Missing Needles

trixie  Image  Image

I was a huge Nancy Drew fan as a kid (not to mention Trixie Belden, Cherry Ames and Hardy Boys).  I would sit for hours under the mimosa tree in the back yard with my very best friend Gina and pour over those books, certain that when I was older and wore pumps I would be solving crime and unraveling mysteries just like my heroines.  Trixie Belden books were great, because there were always fun mysteries to solve set in the gorgeous lush hills of the Hudson Valley. The Trixie series had something the other books did not… a rich neighbor girl who had horses!  I loved that Trixie was a tomboy like myself.  I could seriously relate. Cherry Ames was a wonderfully plucky and clever girl who became a nurse at the outset of WWII instead of becoming a wife. Again, very relate-able. The series follows her through nursing school to the battlefield in titles such as Cherry Ames Student Nurse and Cherry Ames Army Nurse.  Then on to more banal nursing jobs after the war ended including Cherry Ames Department Store Nurse. lol!  I love the first six or so books in the series especially.

Which brings us to last night.  Last night I was looking for needles to cast on for a swatch and I KNOW I have a set of double pointed US5 needles. But where were they? It seemed as if my inner nine year old was hot on the trail of a new mystery.  I’m not exactly the neatest egg in the carton, but I’m not a complete wreck either, and my needles could only have gotten so far. I looked everywhere that I thought they might be and came up with nothing. Well not exactly nothing. I did find my missing needle gauge.  I need to begin my swatch tonight so I’m going to buy a new set on my way home today. I guarantee you that they will turn up shortly after my purchase.  They’re probably on some unfinished object in the bottom of a plastic bin, covered by yarn stash.  Hmmm. Maybe this weekend is a good time to go through my stash and organize a bit.  Or maybe I’ll just curl up on the couch and re-read the Mystery Off Glen Road.

-Marie

Bacon Basil Sandwich

Thick slices of smoky bacon, delicate peppery basil leaves and creamy avocado come together in the sandwich to make every bite just heavenly. Make a meal out of it and serve with crisps or chips. I think this has to be my most favourite sandwich, I’m salivating just typing this up! It’s not just the combination of flavours, but the contrast of textures that makes this sandwich so satisfying to munch.

So grab these ingredients and get to making it; Bread, Mayo, Bacon, Basil leaves, Small onion, Lettuce leaves, Avocado and Salt & Pepper.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

Look at the crumb on that!!

Take your bread and slice it. If you know anything about us then you know the love we have for a home made boulé. Feel free to lightly toast you bread if that’s your preference.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

The prefect strip barely a whisper of fat

Everybody has their own way of cooking bacon, but this is how I cook mine. I lay the strips on to  a cooling rack, which has been placed over a baking tray, and then I grill it. I find that the rashers stay flat cooking it this way.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

Sorry, just had to get a closer look a those rashers

This bacon is from Mountain Products Smokehouse, and I think it’s fab-U-lous!!

OK, back to the sandwich, I am constantly side tracked.

If you want your onions cooked, now is the time to do it.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

Just a dollop

My condiment of choice this time is mayo, I think I’ve also made this sandwich with mustard too, both yummy options.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

Spread it thinly or thickly it's up to you

Check your bacon, and turn it for crispy perfection on both sides.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

I just can't get enough

I’ve sliced up half an avocado, I thought about using more, but decided that would be greedy.

Bacon Basil SandwichA little sprinkling of salt , just enough to draw the flavour of the avocado out.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

Slightly charred

I like to keep the small boiler onions around as they are the right amount for one. Depending on my mood I’ll either cook them or have them raw in this sandwich.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

Delicate in appearance, bold in taste

One or two leaves aren’t enough for me..

Bacon Basil SandwichI like to taste them in every bite.

The star of the showMinimal shrinkage, minimal curling. I slice each rasher in half and pile it high. All that’s left to do is add some lettuce and top it off with the other slice of bread.

Bacon Basil Sandwich

Sandwich Perfection

Go get your chops round this!!!!

Dutch learns to knit

Dutch wanted to learn to knit and as luck would have it, Marie was on hand to give her a one on one lesson.

Marie shows Dutch how to begin, by making the cast on loop

Marie shows Dutch how to begin, by making the cast on loop

Now the loop is done....

Now the loop is done....

......Slide it onto your needle ...

......Slide it onto your needle ...

...and pull tight

...and pull tight

The face of concentration

The pout of frustration

Casting on more stitches

Casting on more stitches

Insert the needle front to back through the loop

Insert the needle front to back through the loop

Showing how it's done, Maire teaching by example

Showing how it's done, Maire teaching by example

Cross the needles

Cross the needles

Round the back and through the middle

Round the back and through the middle

Bring the needle through the hole, slip the stitch off and...

Bring the needle through the hole, slip the stitch off and...

...the joy of becoming a knitter

...the joy of becoming a knitter

A successful cast on edge

A successful cast on edge

Dutch was a fast learner, maybe the awesome teacher had something to do with it!!

Dutch was a fast learner, maybe the awesome teacher had something to do with it!!

If you are interested in a knitting lesson, and live in the New York City area then email Marie at Florriemarie@gmail.com for more information.