Happy Sunday!

Feeling warm and cozy here, after a big Sunday dinner!

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Roast chicken with parsnips, carrots, purple poatoes, and leeks … all from one of the few lonely farmers who was able to make it to market in yesterday morning’s snow and ice. Our bellies are very thankful he did!

However you spend it, hope you’re enjoying the last few moments of the weekend!

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Thursday Sockalong: Smooth Operators!

It’s Thursday???  How did that happen!

I had a lovely weekend at my parents’, then came back to Philadelphia to a half unpacked apartment and the start of a new academic year at a new institution.  So the last few days have been hectic.   But this afternoon, I cleared off a corner of my increasingly buried kitchen table, made a pot of tea, knit a few rows of my new socks (Susan B. Anderson’s Smooth Operators), and snapped a picture:

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Smooth Operator Socks in Trailing Clould BFL Sock “Mind the Gap”

Continue reading “Thursday Sockalong: Smooth Operators!”

New Month, New Things

New Month, New Things

I can hardly believe it’s the second day of May (and neither can the weather, it seems).  It’s been gray and dreary here the past week, so I decided I’d try a new spring recipe to remind myself that sunshine and good produce are on the way!

I love The Guardian’s recipes, and they have recently been featuring spring dishes.  I decided to give their Braised Rabbit with Radishes and Spring Onions a try (that post has so many other tasty recipes, too).  We went to the Farmers’ Market Saturday morning, but the farm we get meat from didn’t have rabbit this week, so I got chicken instead.

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The ingredients, ready to go!

The recipe’s a pretty simple one, with very few ingredients.  I think it’s definitely worth seeking out some high quality chicken for it — ours was from the amazing Liberty Delight Farms.  We love all their meats, and their chicken is super flavorful, which really came through in this dish.

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Going into the oven to braise.

I followed the recipe pretty much as written.  I didn’t get the chicken brining until the morning of making it.  The leg quarters were huge, so I had to brown them in batches in the pot.  I had a bit of a fight with a few of them, trying to move them too early while they were browning and destroying the skin a bit.  By the last one (on the left side of the pan), I sort of got the hang of it.  I was really frustrated that I tore the skin on so many, but it still turned out delicious — a good reminder that things don’t have to turn out perfectly to be yummy!

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The finished product!

This recipe had a few new tricks for me.  The first was pickling mustard seeds using the juice from a jar of dill pickles!  Like the brining, I forgot to do this the night before, so started them the morning of.  They were tasty — probably not essential to the finished recipe, but I felt very pro sprinkling them on my finished chicken.  The recipe also called for steamed radishes and green onions — I wasn’t sure about steamed radishes, but they were super tasty.  I also boiled up some red and white new potatoes from the market, with a bit of parsley and butter and made a springy salad with bibb lettuce and arugula, some pickled red onions and pistachios.  It was a big Sunday meal, and everything but the pantry items and the bibb lettuce came from the Farmer’s Market — I love those kinds of meals!

There were also some fun new things of the sheep and wool variety this weekend:

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Sheep!

Charm City Craft Mafia‘s Buzz Market was this weekend, and there were so many awesome makers with gorgeous things.  I tried to restrain myself since Maryland Sheep and Wool is this coming weekend, but I splurged on a couple of prints from Tiny Dog Press and Wooden Pencil Co., a bandanna from Radical Textiles, and this amazing sheep pillow from Fuzzy Mug!  I love this sheepy gal, and she goes perfectly with my other gorgeous sheepy pillow that Mr. N got me in the Midlands a few years ago!  Typing that all out, I’m realizing what a poor job I did of restraining myself … but it could have been worse (I was particularly tempted by Julia‘s gorgeous pottery and candles from Handmade Habitat and Knits, Soy and Metal).  It was a fabulous craft fair.

I reached the point in my May Cardigan where it required blocking (before seaming and knitting a small amount of ribbing on each sleeve), so I wound up a GIANT skein of BFL sport and did a gauge swatch for my next project, Gudrun Johnson’s new Islay Cardigan. I’m really excited about this project.  Gudrun’s hosting a KAL on Ravelry starting at the end of this week, and my mom and I are both joining.  I love KALs to keep me motivated on projects.  The yarn is a gorgeous — it’s a Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarn that is, unfortunately, discontinued at the moment because of supply issues, in the colorwary Deep Unrelenting Gray.  I love the subtle variations in the color.  It also meets two of my knitting goals for 2016: doing more knitting from stash (I bought this yarn a few years ago for a Audrey in Unst, which I still want to make) and knitting with sturdier wool that’s less likely to pill — the BFL is still soft enough to wear next to the skin, but I’m hoping it will wear better than some sweaters I’ve knit out of softer wool (see, for example, the very visible pilling on my favorite pink sweater in the above picture).

Hope your weekend was full of some fun new things — happy Monday!