To Amuse and Delight

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Really Good Bread

I have been making bread for a few years. I like a French sort of bread, with a good crust and chewy inside. I thought I made good bread. Then I picked up this book at the library, it's called Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish. I already knew that to get that kind of crust you need moisture. I have tried spritzing the oven with water or putting a pan of hot water in with the bread. Whatever I did, it never came out like this. This perfect crust is achieved by baking at a high temp in a covered crock. I must admit, I thought Ken's methods were a bit pretentious at first. In fact I sort of mocked him as I read parts of the book aloud to my daughter (she also shares my love of crusty bread). Ha! I said. "Well, I'll be the judge of that", I said. The verdict is in, Ken is right and his methods produce not just good bread, but really good bread.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

those dreaded sweaters-one down!

Well, I did it. I machine sewed this sweater together and so far I see no ill effects. Actually it came out much nicer than when I do it by hand. So, thank you ladies who encouraged me to throw caution to the wind and do it. It was quick, it was easy and it fits great.
I had some leftover yarn so while watching a few episodes of Pippi Longstocking with my girls I knitted up a whole slew of flowers. The idea is from Louisa Harding's Knitting in the Details. She put the flowers on one side of the sweater only, but since I made so many I decided to use them all. I just have to find the proper buttons for this one. In the mean time I have begun sewing up sweater #2 from the dreaded pile.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Treasure Hunting

I have been trying to curb my thrift store browsing now that my daughters are loving to thrift as much as I do. I just can't handle anymore dust mite stuffed animals. When we have a legitimate reason, we go. Last Saturday we were on the hunt for brown hobbit pants.  My older daughter is assembling a Bilbo costume and before I buy fabric and start making from scratch I like to see what can be salvaged. We did find the perfect hobbit pants. They just happen to be 7 times too big, but I can work with that.

 I also came away with these little klompen. Stamped on the bottom it says, "made in Holland". I went to Holland many years ago and I regret not buying a pair while there. I even went to a tiny shop where a man was hand carving them. There were shoes of every size lining the shelves and it smelled wonderful. Now I have these little ones to remind me of Holland even though I bought them right here.
I also found this adorable tiny food scale. The actual width of this thing is less than two inches.  For 99 cents how could I resist? I thought it was a child's toy from the 50's. When I got it home my daughter informed me that it said "Official Weight Watchers Scale". That just added more kitsch to it, I like it even more. And it really works!
Ahh, the skirt. Sure there is snow on the ground and it is freezing here. But, as soon as I spied this skirt I thought "barefoot-summer-fairy-skirt". I grabbed it. Besides the gold threading throughout, it is hand embroidered with copper metal wire and glass beads so it really sparkles. Conjures up images of soft moss under feet and plenty of sunshine.

 I really should have stopped here but...
I didn't, AND I broke my own rule. My daughter quickly brought my own words to my attention...
"NO more dust mite stuffed animals!"
 I felt it needed rescuing. I just couldn't leave it in that jumble of brightly colored plush madness. Though I do really like it, I hope it will be worth all the aggravation it will cause in my future. I will be forced to hold my tongue when my daughters fall in love with thrift store animals. How can I enforce a law that I can't keep myself?