Sunday, February 23, 2014


Spring hopes eternal. Technically winter is "over" next week, but I don't think that Mother Nature got that memo.
   Thing Spring and Easter (already?) and check out the Easter goodies starting to hop into the Etsy store. I have tiny felt bunny pins of all colors with sweet embroidered details. I'm thinking of making some chocolate ones for next year. I will also be putting up some decorated wooden and decoupage eggs shortly. My real world job is picking up steam for the next two weeks so shiny new stuff won't be added until after Mardi Gras.
   Speaking of Mardi Gras-I have two sweet hats up that will help you party down and maybe get some cool beads. If not, now of them already has miniature hand strung beads on it!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Knitting Thoughts

So, I've been knitting socks for what seems like forever. I think I might take a break before I turn the heel.
 I have the perfect project to fill in the time. I want to knit the Sydney Carton Cowl from "A Tale of Two Cities" from "Literary Knits". I want to change the morse code knitting because I hate the ending of the book and I don't want to have to knit the "Far far better think I do" speech.
  I have a lovely shade of worsted wool in forest green so I am thinking of knitting a morse code cowl of a Robert Frost poem. I have it narrowed down to two, which one do you like?

Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
HIs house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if these is some mistake
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep.


The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry that I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I should be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the ones less traveled by,
And that had made all the difference.

I will probably just use the last stanza in either poem.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Month of Letters-Year Two

Once again its time for A Month of Letters! Yay! This is my second year participating and I plan on trying to top what I sent last year. The neat thing about last year was that I took a vacation in the middle of the month, so I really got to be a Postal Explorer and I even sent a letter from inside of Disney!
   Can't really top that this year....So, I plan on using handmade envelopes and maybe some handmade stickers and mail art. You can still participate, just go to to sign up. You can earn badges along the way and maybe make a couple of friends.
  I plan on doing a wrap up post at the end of the month-how many letters, where they went, how many miles, etc. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Polish Pickle Soup on a Winter's Day

    It seems like this winter will never end. When it isn't 40 below out, its snowing and blowing; it's like being trapped inside a snow globe. 
   Awhile ago I was dining at "Reflections", a Polish restaurant. One of their specials of the day was a Pickle Soup. I had my doubts-pickles in soup? I was reassured that the soup was a hearty Polish traditional dish guaranteed to cure a hangover and warm you up. It was delicious. Ever since then I've been craving the soup and searching for a recipe. I found my recipe in the pages of "From a Polish Country House Kitchen". 
  Its a quick and easy recipe that makes more than enough for leftovers during the week. I served mine with some schnitzel (the soup is mainly root vegetables, so you meat eaters may want something on the side) and onion dill rye bread. 

Sour Cucumber Soup (OGORKOWA)

1 tblspn unsalted butter
1medium leek (white and green parts) trimmed, rinsed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium carrot trimmed, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium parsnip peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 medium celery root peeled, trimmed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
5 cups chicken stock
3 large baking potatoes peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
One 32onz. jar of sour dill pickles and their brine
Salt and Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
Generous 2 tblspn freshly chopped dill

Celery Root
Polish Dill Pickles-don't scrimp on the quality
Buy the best!

In a medium soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leek and cook until softened.

Cook for about 5 minutes, the leeks should get a little soft,
you don't won't them to cook all the way through or brown.

Add the carrot, parsnip and celery root to the soup pot; pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. 

Simmer down!

Place the potatoes in a separate pot, cover with water, and boil until they are cooked, but slightly firm,   approximately 7 or 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In the meantime, strain the pickle brine and reserve it. Throw out any dill pieces or garlic that was in the brine. Coarsely grate the pickles using a cheese grater or the grater attachment on a food processor. 

Ta da! Its relish!

After the vegetables have simmered, add the pickles to the soup pot, as well as the brine, and the cooked potatoes. Season with salt and pepper (taste first!) and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. 

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, or whizz it in a food processor. You want the end result to be a little chunky, not whipped smooth. Mix in the heavy cream and sprinkle with dill before serving.

Yum! This stuff will warm you right up!