Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My First Preserves!

Earlier this month, T and I finally dug up the carrots from the garden, and I'm telling you, root vegetables are officially the most rewarding thing to plant. Every time a new clump got forked up, we got the biggest kick out of the fact that "Hey! There were actually carrots growing in there!" This was the same delight we got from digging up potatoes. Something about the wait-and-see quality of planting these waaaaay back in the spring, and not seeing anything but greens for so long, made the reveal very magical. Aren't they just thrilling?!

The problem was then - we have about 85 million (overgrown) carrots. They smelled spectacular, and were all kinds of crazy shapes (thinning out is hard to do!), but no one wants that many fresh carrots. I decided to make the leap and preserve by freezing.

I'm sure it was nothing compared to canning something, but lord, what a lot of work. They had to be topped, washed (clogging up the sink with dirt), peeled, chopped, blanched, frantically spooned out of the boiling water, cooled, then vacu-sucked (by my personal lungs) into freezer bags. And since it took so much work, I only got about half of them done, and the other half went rubbery and gross on me by the next day. Oh well, live and learn. Even if we didn't get to eat them, they're compost now.

Ta da! All frozen and ready to go into soup and stew and what not. They are, admittedly, a little tough, since they were in the ground too long, but they still taste very good. I'm hoping to be more on top of things with the garden next year, seeing as there will be no wedding hoo-ha going on. I'll probably plant fewer carrots, that's for sure!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sweater for Baby J

This sweater is hot off the presses! I just finished sewing the buttons on, and since it's been such a long time since I actually completed a knitting project, I wanted to post it right away. It's yet another very gray and rainy day here, so sorry for the very dark picture.

The pattern is from Kristen Rengren's Vintage Baby Knits. I had to return the book to the library, so I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the pattern - but, needless to say, if you have the book, it's in there! Almost every single pattern is achingly adorable, so I imagine I'll be trying a few more in the future.

This little cardigan will be for my niece J, who will hopefully be visiting soon. The sweater is knit all in one piece, so there's no headache of attaching sleeves. I did find some of the instructions with the pattern chart a little confusing, but I just powered through by making any errors consistent. It may not be exactly like the pattern instructs, but no one can tell!

T actually helped me to pick out the buttons - he got pretty excited over my Grandma's button tin. Of course, I didn't have 5 of the same buttons, but I liked the look of 5 different white buttons T chose. I think it adds a quirky texture detail.