Saturday, May 01, 2010

Playing Catch-Up

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I oscillate between having not enough going on to bother updating, and having too much to talk about!

In the last few weeks the weather has been beautiful, and I have woken up from my winter hibernation. I have discovered shortcut walking paths to the beautiful park in downtown (to which I have been 3 times now), have taken up jogging (which I suck at), and went wine tasting with friends on Thursday. I've also been doing a lot of spinning, per usual, and have a rare case of start-itis! Must be spring!

J and I had our first picnic of the year in the lovely Kurpark, near the beautiful Kurhaus and pond, under blooming magnolias and cherry trees. One of my favorite wedding gifts from my Mom was a fleece-lined picnic blanket with attached carrying strap. We took our lunch and our books and spent the afternoon soaking up the April sunshine! Unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to do it in true European style, like I had originally intended, with fresh bread and cheese and fruit from the farmers market and local wine, because J had hurt his knee and we had to drive instead of walking. Soon though I want to take a hike through the vineyards to the Niederwald Monument above the Rhine and have a proper feast!
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Last week we bought propane for the grill! Time for summer food! We made Moroccan grilled chicken, with grilled zucchini and tabbouleh salad one evening, and had Gazpacho the next. Gazpacho just screams summertime to me! Here is my recipe for the perfect meal on a hot sticky day:

Spanish Gazpacho
Serve chilled with fresh soft bread and avocado on the side. Goes perfectly with a Mojito!

1/2 small onion
2 jalapenos
2 cloves of garlic
1 cucumber, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 green or red bell pepper, diced *optional
3 Tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lime
1-2 pints V8 juice, to taste
salt and pepper
cilantro for garnish

Combine the onion, garlic, jalapenos, lime juice, oil, and half the diced cucumber in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a little of the V8 if necessary to get it smooth. Pour into a storage bowl with a lid, add the rest of the cucumber and diced tomatoes and peppers if using, the V8, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine well then refrigerate for at least an hour. Garnish with cilantro before serving.

The semi-sweet German Auslese wine I bought on Thursday would also go really well with Gazpacho, or the Moroccan chicken! We tasted 18 different German reds and whites at the Alexander Freimuth winery, overlooking fields of grapes and yellow rapeseed blossoms. I can't believe I forgot my camera!

In craft-related news, I am very jealous of all of you who get to attend the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival this weekend! It will be the first in 5 years that I have not gotten to attend! I usually buy all my spinning fiber for the year there, so I will have to do some serious online shopping to replenish my stores. If we were not going back to the US in July for a wedding I would have flown back in a heartbeat. Maybe next year!

I finished spinning up my FatCatKnits fiber , Buster in Falkland, and Sante Fe in BFL.

Here's the BFL, navajo plied fingering weight for socks:
Santa Fe sock

And about 300m of light worsted singles from the Falkland, to be stripes in a future Malabrigo cardigan
Buster singles

from this fiber
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I also did a lot of dyeing lately, and hope to open and shop soon!

For knitting I am working on the Laminaria shawl from in some chartreuse merino laceweight, designing a fisherman sweater in Rambouillet wool, and itching to start some socks in my VERY FIRST WOLLMEISE! The color is Sonne (Sun) which is blindingly bright yellow, orange, and red. I'm torn between Hedera from Knitty, and Sam from Sock Innovation. Both by Cookie A. I just received the sock book and it is fantastic! Totally should be part of any sock knitter's collection.

What do you think? Hedera:

 Or Sam?

I like to listen to audiobooks while I knit or spin, and for the last few months I have been on a huge Vampire kick! Last fall I read all the Sookie books, and I love the True Blood TV series too (YAY for new season in June!), and then I read the Twilight books (better than expected, but the movies are hilarious in their teen-angsty-ness), the Mercy Thompson werewolf books (go well with the Sookie-verse) and now I am reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood books which I am really enjoying. I think I will read The Historian when I finish this series!

J and I wanted to take a bike ride today, but it is cloudy and threatening to rain. Maybe I will buy some new window boxes and do some planting instead.

1 comment:

choperena said...

That soup sounds amazing, and I would have loved something like that this weekend, when I was yarn shopping in 85 degree sun. As far as the socks, I like the first lace like ones, but it could be the weather thing again.

As far as books, I love vampire and fantasy novels! I read the Twilight books... two summers ago? and enjoyed them, but when the movies came out, I really couldn't stop laughing! Holy crap are they ANGST!bad. I am currently reading through the Sookie books and am half way through Dead as a Doornail. I really loved Dead to the World and am struggling by the position it has put her through in this one. I liked not-Eric :(