I'm officially ready to start doing something besides relaxing for the rest of my vacation, but I've sure had fun in the mean time. I've wasted hours and hours browsing through other people's blogs, admiring their accomplishemnts. Bear Toes knit Alan Dart's entire Advent calendar from an insert in the October issue of Knit Simply magazine. I, on the other hand, managed to knit one of the ornaments, the hat, which took about twenty minutes. I'm into instant gratifications, I guess.
I did manage to do one thing that took a little effort though. I cast on a sweater for Paige. I bought 10 skeins of purple Aurora 8 yarn on sale back in October, and I've been looking for a pattern that Paige would like ever since, a very difficult prospect. I've finally settled on The Perfect Sweater from Maon Dixon Knitting. I'm going to knit the V-neck version.
I cast on a picot edging with a contrasting color for the back. This sounds like I actually knew what I was doing, which I did not. I had to do a crochet cast-on. I've only crocheted with my fingers making a chain when I was a kid. This was my first time using a crochet hook, and it took a while to get the hang of it. It was kind of cool to use my crochet hook for the first time though. I inherited it from my aunt who died about twenty-four year ago. I know it was twenty-four years ago because even though she was very ill, she flew out for my husband and my wedding, which was... twenty-four years ago today. (As I told Russ, I do think that our anniversary is worthy of celebration; I'm just sick of eating right now, so we've just congratulated each other for making such good choices in our impetuous youth.) My aunt died several weeks after our wedding, which is very sad, but instead of feeling like it was our wedding that did her in, I like to think that she might have died alone had she not come to California.) I've mentioned before that I don't have much of a "knitting history," except for memories of this special aunt. She had severe scoliosis and never married, so we kids were pretty special to her, I thnk. She'd come to stay for a month each summer, which we kids thought was great. (As an adult, I now have to wonder if that didnt' bug my mom a bit since it was my dad's sisiter. I definitely wouldn't appreciate any in-law, even my two favorite "Ann" with and without an "e" sister-in-laws coming for an entire month.) My aunt wasn't a big time knitter really. She was an artist, so I more remember her sketching things rather than knitting. She did, however, get me started knititing. When I was in college, she took me to my first real yarn store. I still remember buying some mauve Brown Sheep wool there for a sweater from McCall's magazine. That was a huge tangent, just to make the point that I know that this crochet hook probably belonged to her mom, my grandmother who died before my parents even met. I like that I'm using it...even though it's probably made out of ivory from some poor elephant.
I'm rambling tonight, so I'll just continue. I crocheted my cast-on and when I was ready to pick up the stitches, I tried to unravel them, but they wouldn't unravel. I had to pick apart all of the old stitches to make the hem. I don't know if that makes sense. I guess I picked up the wrong part of the crochet stitch after the cast-on. It's all good now..until I have to cast on for the front.
I'm going for my record blog lengthwise tonight I guess, Barbara asked if I'd share some of my Danish recipes, which I'm, of course, happy to do. Here's another Christmas favorite. When I was a kid, anytime we had meatballs, unless they were in spaghetti, we called them frikkadeller. I doubt that they were authentically Danish. It was just what my mom and grandma called them. I use a Danish recipe when I make my own now, which isn't very often. This is a recipe from an old cookbook that I also probably inherited from my aunt...or stole from my mom:
1 1/2 lb. ground round
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 grated onion
3-4 slices bread
1/8 tsp. pepper
4 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup milk
Blend meats together. Add grated onion and bread, which has been softened in the milk. Mix well. Add the remainder of the ingredients, stirring well after each addition. Shape the meatball into ovals and in a hot pan with shortening or canola oil. Fry them until they are light brown.
I sometimes made Kronisburg Frikkadeller, which just means they have gravy on them with a few capers in it. Mmmm, you might as well add a little more fat to such a fattening dish. If I'm feeling really authentice, I also prepare rødkaal, which is red cabbage. Kai thinks it's gross, but Russ, Paige, and I love it. Here's a recipe for it.
1 medium head red cabbage
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup vinegar (I usually use white, but it doesn't matter)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar (sometimes more)
Shred cabbage very fine. (I use the food processor.) Melt butter in a large kettle, add cabbage and vinegar, salt, and sugar. Cookly gently until tender, then season to taste with salt, and more sugar or vinegar, if necessary.
OK, I believe my work here is done:)