Monday, April 23, 2012

Baked Egg Marsala

Dear Mom,

I found this recipe in your March/April 2012 issue of Victoria magazine and it was so delicious that I am sharing it here, barely 15 minutes after eating it! The kitchen hasn't even been cleaned up yet. It is THAT good.

Baked Eggs Marsala
Makes 4 servings

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Divide the following ingredients among 4 petite au gratin or small oven proof dishes:
1/2 c crumbled feta cheese
1/4 c pitted kalamata olives (I left these out because I don't care for olives)
1/4 c chopped roasted red peppers
1/4 c heavy whipping cream
3 T fresh oregano leaves
4 t marsala
1/4 t coarse salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
4 large eggs
2 T panko (or coarse bread crumbs)

Bake for 10-12 minutes or to desired degree of doneness. Serve immediately.



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In my little corner

Dear Mom,
It may have been the result of having the kids home on break all last week, or maybe a response to all the Graduation/Prom/College Orientation events weighing on me, but I found myself sitting in a corner much of last week.
Spinning my little heart out.
That red skein on top is a roving I Kool aid dyed- it looked like this before I spun it.
I spun the whole thing onto one bobbin and then plied it to itself with my Handy Andy. It is always interesting to see how the finished yarn will look.

 That blue yarn in the middle is the last of a batt I purchased a couple of summers ago from Marr Haven. If I remember correctly, it is a wool/mohair combination. I have a plan for that, along with some other handspun that I've been slowly, steadily spinning and plying to create a gradient or sort of ombre effect that will either be a sweater or shawl, depending on my final yardage.

And that last muted skein is the result of my dye day with MelissaWhoSpinsBut DoesNotKnit. Both rovings were more pastel than I like, but plying them together gave them more oomph. And with that skein I practiced some thick/thin spinning. On purpose. When I was learning to spin and struggling to create yarn that looked like consistent, evenly spun YARN, I was told that once I mastered the skill I would find it hard to intentionally create lumpy yarn. It is true. But it was fun to play with that skein and create something different.

The blue tinted bottle with the copper pipe I showed in my last post was a wash out. Big fail. I'd read that I could make a vinegar/copper dye solution like the copper/ammonia stuff, but in my case it did not work out. I'll give the roving a good rinse and try again with something else. I spent the evening on Easter Sunday mixing up dye stock with my Greener Shades kit. When the Young Man came home and saw me in the garage wearing a mask and latex gloves, standing over a table laden with measuring cups, glass jars, note pad and digital scale he asked if I was setting up a meth lab! With any luck I will have some yarns in pretty colors to show you soon!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Chem Lab

Dear Mom,
Over the past few weeks I've had a gallon jar filled with an odd colored liquid brewing on my back porch. I checked it daily. Sometimes several times a day. Occasionally I picked the jar up and gave it a swish.

And when I'd used up all my patience watching the brew, wool was thrown in the mix to steep for awhile.

The first batch I tried (notice I said first?) used a salvaged piece of copper pipe from the recent water softener replacement. I filled my former sun tea jar with ammonia and the section of copper pipe and waited.
This is how it looked just a few minutes after the experiment started.

And this is how it looked a few days later. 

I added the chemical symbols (which may or may not be correct) after the Young Man asked if I was "making pickles".  And added the "not a pickle" sign just to be sure everything was clearly understood.

After I got restless decided the brew hadn't changed anymore, I took out the copper pipe and added my wool.

And then several days later, when it appeared that this combination had about run its course and I was restless,

and it seemed that the wool was not taking up anymore of the broth's color, I removed the wool, carefully rinsed it and let it all dry.

The wool did not evenly take up the color, which was discouraging at first.  And I believe that happened because I had it stuffed into that "pickle jar" with little room for the broth to circulate. 


the parts that did take up the color in the broth were very pretty, and I pretty much stopped everything and sat down with Daphne Joy to spin.

I spun most of it in one sitting, then finished spinning and plying it to itself last night. That's a lie.
It was early this morning, in the wee hours, when I finished the plying.

But Gosh Darnit, I am so impressed and in love with this yarn and the colors that I couldn't NOT hang in there to see how it all turned out.

It is exactly the colors in the variegated ivy growing on the back porch.

I have another marinade started.......