Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Spinning Away (and other nonsequential randomness)

What does one do after purchasing a drop spindle and some fluff?

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Why, you spin your own yarn, of course!

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Isn't that just the coolest thing you've ever seen? (Okay, maybe it doesn't compare to childbirth or quantum physics, but still -- I can create yarn from sheep fluff!)

The teal colored stuff above is actually my second try, and I think its much better than my first go (the grayish stuff pictured further below). Its still thicker than I want, but its getting there.

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This gray yarn was my very first try with the drop spindle, and I plied the singles together after spinning them separately, which is a very jargon-y way to say that I twisted two of my yarn strands together to make a double-strand yarn.

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Look how it curls! So cute! I am beside myself with the wonder of it all. Spinning! Yay!

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In other random Heather-Goes-Domestic news, I have finally moved my tomato plants into two separate planters and added tomato cages. They were starting to overwhelm my little 18 inch pot. Here is what they looked like pre-move -- I forgot to take pictures of the new cages and now its dark outside.

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Hello. We are feeling smooshed.

Also, I noticed a little fresh greenery on my green bean plants, which means I must be doing something right (or at least I'm not killing them yet).

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New growth!

I let Pringles and Carlie out on the porch this afternoon for a minute when I got back from work, so they could get a little fresh air and sunshine. I turned my back for just a second, and Pringles instantly ran over to the green bean plant and stuck his face into the leaves. I smiled, because I thought he was just smelling them to make sure no other dogs had been on the porch (we are three flights up -- not likely), but then I heard a sound...

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It was sort of a crunching sound...

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PRINGLES IS EATING MY GREEN BEAN PLANT!

He was out of his mind for that plant. I tried to get him away from it and he growled at me like I was trying to take a t-bone steak away from him.

The dog is a plantivore!

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Crazy for Green Beans!

Dinners have been only so-so lately -- I tried to make Chicken Stuffed With Spinach And Swiss Cheese dish the other night, another recipe from Everyday Food.

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While it looked pretty going into the oven...

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...it didn't look so hot coming out of the oven. I used fresh spinach instead of frozen (which was what the recipe called for) and I used swiss instead of brie cheese (because Ghetto Safeway has never heard of Brie, apparently), and as I have often found with cooking, too many Heather-mods means serious trouble.

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Overcooked and kinda squeaky-cheese-ish.

The saga of the sourdough continues. I made another attempt this weekend, and it rose so well that it almost outgrew the container. I even tore the crust on the top of the bread trying to remove the glass lid while it was baking.

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Steven approved of this loaf -- he ate several slices of it with butter and strawberry jam.

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The crumb is a little loftier than before, which I attribute to a nicely-aged starter and a longer proofing time for the dough, but its still more cakey than I want it to be. I think next time I might cook it for longer than 45 min. Also, this time I only did 2 cups of flour instead of three -- maybe I will go for 2.5 cups to see if I can make it a little less moist.

And guess what I got in the mail from my dear mom this past weekend? Only the world's most adorable little set of measuring cups! You can see instantly how much water/oil/sourdough sludge you've poured without having to hold the cup up in the air and read the side!

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I love it! The set has three sizes: a 1 cup, a 2 cup, and a 4 cup version. I have been using my 4 cup version to water my plants outside, too! Double bonus!

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And now a public service announcement from Steven:

"Go Twins - first place in the division!"

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