Friday, March 25, 2022

Mittens Yet

Last fall, I made Phoebe nice black felted wool mittens from an old sweater. I even placed the cuffs on the ribbing so that they hugged her wrists. She ignored the mittens all winter until I finally realized they were just too plain (and sophisticated and New Yorky) for her style. I offered to add hearts to them and then would she wear them? Oh yes, little pink hearts stitched on with blue perle cotton were just the ticket. 

I am still using the Purl Soho mitten pattern. It is so fast and uses just scraps of warm fabric! I can't justify knitting mittens again when these fleece ones are warm, fast, and economical. Plus, mittens are easy to lose, for anybody, not just kids, so I'm very pleased to have found easy, thrifty replacements. 

I even made myself a pair of leopard print fleece. I added a lining of grey knit cotton because I like very warm hands. 

We are having some spring-like days here and there - once I even put away the sleds and snowpants and stock tank heater from the rain barrel. That drew the attention of the snow gods and we got a not-little snowstorm, indeed we did. Spring, you really bring the drama! I have both my mittens and my barefoot sandals in rotation right now. I love it. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Family Salmon Pie

This is like shepherd's pie, only with canned salmon and white sauce instead of beef and gravy. I riffed on two recipes. One came from The Little Irish Baking Book, which is a delightful read that tucks me into the Irish countryside.

The other recipe was from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Country Cookbook, which is delightful for the interior photos of Rocky Ridge. 

I added some parsley and spinach with the peas, and kicked up the white sauce with some onion, celery seed, and dry mustard. When I drained the liquid off the canned salmon, I used that as part of the liquid for the white sauce. 

Even so, I thought the whole thing was a little on the bland side, but my family was enthusiastic. My husband called it comfort food. Good thing they all had seconds because the pie filled up my casserole dish more than I expected from my guesstimates and I was hoping I didn't have a big dud on my hands.


My mom filled this same casserole dish with macaroni and cheese when I was a kid. . . comfort food. . . one of the nostalgic necessities of home life.

And also, I realized I was making this Irish recipe wearing the Irish fisherman's sweater my parents got in Ireland in the 1970s when my mom was pregnant with me. I love these objects freighted with memories which are also in happy use in my current life!

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Seeking Advice on This Houseplant

My Grandma Weaver's house was full of houseplants, many of them given to her from owners who gave up trying to keep the plants happy. The entire wall in her daylight basement housed babies and big ones of all kinds, nurtured in plastic margarine tubs, yogurt cups, or old plastic nursery pots. When she passed on to glory 20 years ago, I was thrilled to get two of her houseplants.

My sister and I shared the jade plant and have propagated many baby jade plants successfully over the years (Locals! You can always hit me up for a baby jade plant). 

However, I am baffled by the spiderwort plant I have. It has nice looking pink and green tips, but all these papery dead leaves on the rest of the stems. I have tried re-potting, different light, re-propagating and starting over.. . . but it always reverts to this disheveled look with pretty tips.

It still looks strange even with the dead leaves removed.  I'm loathe to ditch the spiderwort because it's a direct connection to a grandma I cherish. . . but I'm not pleased with its looks. Any advice for getting rid of those dead-looking stems/leaves? For getting it to look less scraggly?

I think partly what is going on is that perfectly-shaped houseplants in trendy pots are terribly popular right now. This is testing my loyalty to my houseplants that are less cute. Also, spring is springing and I feel the urge to clean up, freshen up, and refurbish all the things. 

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Saving Towels and Washcloths

 Maybe it's just at our house, but our towels start to fray along the edges well before the actual terrycloth is worn out. I trim the strings off, zig zag the edge in matching thread, and then fold it over just a quarter-inch to stitch it down. Makes a new edge and the towel keeps going. 

Currently most of our bath towels are wedding presents from 22 years ago. . . and counting! 

Then there was this washcloth that turned up with a frayed corner. It looks like a dog chewed on it, but that's puzzling since we don't have a dog. So I cut off the top strip entirely and stitched down the flat part to make a new edge. Let's see if that one can go 22 years, too.