Blame Christmas

•February 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I implemented a new Christmas policy this year: If it’s stressing me out, take it off the list!

Blogging and Christmas cards were removed. We had a lovely Christmas because of this. Mummy’s drill-sergeant-alter-ego was absent so everyone had fun. Most of my Christmas knitting got finished, although I pulled one or two things out of a randomly finished items box. Maybe a little less personal, but the recipients were pleased! Unfortunately, no pictures of anything but Christmas is old news already. I’d rather share pics of what I’ve been working on since Christmas.

Finally finished DH’s socks

He’s never worn handknit socks before this! Never ever! (his mum and grandma were quilters)

I made some hats for a friend’s daughters (modeled here by the lovely Sage)

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And a long-ago request from the lovely Sage is finally finished. She sleeps in it, so I’m guessing she’s a happy customer!

Mum and I are going to tackle some craft sales next winter so I’d like to start stockpiling kids hats, fingerless mitts, socks and neckwarmers. Any other suggestions are very welcome!

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Deer Hat

•November 20, 2010 • 2 Comments

It’s finished and it’s too small. It barely fits Sage and I can’t very well give it to her, can I? I have a friend with a freakishly small head. I’m going to give it to her. That’s the best thing about hats, even x-rated ones ūüėČ

G-rated side:

X-rated side:

New one started for baby brother who better appreciate it, but probably won’t. I like this one better and I’m not lining it because it’ll be too hot in this wool and he really doesn’t need a g-rated side.

Do you swatch for hats? I tend to use the hat as a swatch and then cross my fingers….

P.S. I can knurse with this project!

Come One, Come All!

•November 19, 2010 • 1 Comment

We have been hunkered down with a doozy of a cold these past few days. My body has not yet succumbed, neither have hubby nor baby (knock wood) but my eldest children have been suffering. Poor dears. We’ll all be okay. I have a feeling that I’ll finally get it when everyone else is okay and overly hyper again. Alas, the mother’s curse ūüôā

I had planned to come to you with an eloquent blog about my Splurge (I will post a pic, I promise – and explain what “splurge” is all about) but it’s not to be. You see, my town and surrounding areas have been hit with a winter storm! Hooray! Buried in snow, finally. I. Love. Winter. (please remind me I said this come Valentine’s Day!) Being that we’ve been a bit storm-and-cold/flu-stayed, I bring you (drum roll please):

Heather’s Fabulous Cure-All and Enjoy Eating Chicken Noodle Soup

This is my very own recipe, tweaked over the years to be extraordinarily un-measured, tasty and guaranteed* to cure the common cold.

Make Stock:

Ingredients:

2 – 3¬†chicken carcass’ from freezer (these come from those wonderful Sunday dinners. Be lazy and wasteful when you carve your chicken, then throw the whole carcass in a¬†freezer bag and save for a day when you just need to make soup!)

2 – 3 onions, cut in eighths

enough water to cover chicken

3 heaping tbsp’s chopped garlic

2 – 3 bay leaves

2 tbsps Celtic Sea Salt (or salt of your choice, but this one is guilt free!)

Throw all ingredients into large soup pot and boil the sh!t out of it. (this may be why no one’s approached me to write a cookbook!)¬†I usually boil mine for 2 – 3 hours. Strain stock and save the gross chicken parts.

This makes about twice the stock needed for the soup. Throw it in jars and freeze it.

 

And now, the soup:

2 tbsp olive oil

5 medium carrots, chopped

5 stalks celery, chopped

2 large onions, chopped

1 28 0z can diced tomatoes

1 tbsp parsley

1 tsp thyme

Stock

1 – 2 tbsp chicken bouillon powder (I use Epicure, which is¬†not at all salty. If you’re using something else, you may want to cut this down)

2 cups chicken (from gross chicken parts, trust me) 

2 cups cooked noodles

Salt and Pepper to taste

Sweat onions, celery and carrots in large dutch oven for 1 Р2 minutes, just to bring out flavours. Add spices, heat until fragrant. Pour stock into dutch oven until 3/4 full. Bring to boil. Add tomatoes, heat to boil again. Simmer until carrots are cooked (about 20 minutes). Meanwhile, fish through saved chicken parts for any good meat. This sounds gross but waste not, want not. There is always a lot of meat left over on my chickens and this gets it used. If this is not up your alley, use any other cooked chicken. Add chicken to soup. Salt, pepper and boullion to taste.

Cook noodles separately according to package directions. Serve on the side. This is a large recipe and if there are leftovers, the noodles end up quite unappetizing.

Enjoy!

I always add rooster sauce to mine. It adds extra sinus-clearing oomph.

*I didn’t really mean “guarantee”. I just meant there’s lots of garlic in this soup and you’ll feel a bit better after eating it. Sorry if I got you excited about a cure for the common cold. I don’t have one. Hence this disclaimer.

What’s your favourite bad weather, cozy-up recipe?

SUCCESS!

•November 13, 2010 • 1 Comment

I have probably mentioned some troubles with candy in the past. (Like here. And here.)

That’s why I’m so very excited to display my successful¬†Poppycock. (There are 2 pans cooling in there) I’m salivating (and also procrastinating cleaning up my kitchen – it’s a bit sticky right now)

Candy – you are no longer my cooking nemesis. What kind of cooking do you steer away from?

Totally Unrelated

•November 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

If you like yarn (doesn’t everyone?) Daily Yarns n’More is having a generous giveaway. She’s got some beautiful hand-painted yarn up for grabs, and a home-made apron.¬†You have until Sunday to comment. If you mention her on your blog (like I’m doing here, see?) you can enter twice. I love prizes.

I had an incident with the Poppycock last night. There is currently half of an ice-cream pail full of rock hard, burnt candy sitting on my counter. What a depressing waste of time and ingredients. I really need to invest in a candy thermometer. What are they, like 10 bucks? Argggghhh….

The deer hat is almost done. I’ll post pics soon. My camera battery is dead.

Remembrance Day

•November 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Yesterday was spent trying to think of something to write to honour our veterans on Remembrance Day. Sadly, I came up with nothing but I did spend my entire day honouring them by realizing I had them to thank for everything. I got up and ate what I wanted to for breakfast, nursed my baby, practiced Highland Dancing with my daughter, did laundry, etc.. without any fear.

My daughter attended her first Remembrance Day Service at school on Wednesday. We asked her what she learned:

“Nothing”.

I asked, “Did you learn why we have Remembrance Day?”

“Because of the war?”

“Yes. What are you supposed to remember?”

“Let me think. Um….The men who died?”

“Yes, anything else?”

“And those who came back?”

“Right.”

“And the nurses, who helped the wounded.”

I think she was listening.

Gentle Guidance

•November 10, 2010 • 1 Comment

My husband and I have started to notice our 2 oldest kids becoming a couple of little brats. I do not like the word “brats” so I’m not using it lightly. They’ve been out of control – however, so have I. I can’t speak for him but boy am I sick of the sound of my voice these past few weeks. I’m always repeating myself and raising my voice. I caught a glimpse of myself in the grocery store window the other day and didn’t even recognize the reflection. I have become “that mum”. The grumpy one who snaps at her kids. The one whose kids are running wild and asking for everything. It’s been a gradual change but we, as a family, are at a place we don’t like right now. Time to crack down.¬†

It probably all started to go downhill when I found out I was pregnant with Hagen. I was a little more tired, so let a few more things slide. This has carried on and now he’s almost 7 months and I’ve got kids I hesitate to bring out in public. Today, I stopped raising my voice and became The Enforcer. Any time I had to repeat myself, time out with timers on. Poor kids probably sat in the corner 8 times each today. I think it may have worked, though. By the end of the day, I recognized them as my own again. Dinnertime was fun – we talked and enjoyed each other’s company without having to constantly repeat commands. I’m not naive enough to believe that everyday will go as well as today (yes, I remember, I said 8 time-outs each but it worked the way it’s supposed to) but we’re going to pay attention to consistency as much as possible and go from there!

Because we had such a good day, Sage and I managed to make 2 (count ’em 2!!) of the Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies. I’m heading off to cut them right now and get them into the freezer before anyone is tempted to eat them.

Christmas Baking: Baking done prior to or during the Christmas season that no one is allowed to touch (or even think about) until a date predetermined by the baker. Touching said baking before the predetermined date will result in a well-deserved hand slap and potential silent treatment. Any attempts to argue with the baker will result in long, drawn out lecture explanation of nice things done for the family by intended recipients. ***Be warned, these explanations are already ready and well-rehearsed***