Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Baking Day and My Crafting Adventure

Today was the first baking day this week, and tomorrow will be another. Teddy's weekly cookies, Oatmeal-Raisin, will be made tomorrow (although I think I'll use dried tart cherries instead of raisins).

Tonight I decided I wanted to make a recipe in the current issue of Cook's Illustrated, my favorite cooking magazine. The issue is #101, November & December 2009, and the recipe is on page 22, "The Best Shortbread." And let me tell you, it IS the best shortbread!

I've made shortbread over the years trying in vain to recreate the first shortbread I ever had, from Baby Watson's in Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts. (Incidentally that was also where I heard reggae music for the first time, so I always associate shortbread with the music of Bob Marley!) Anyway, every shortbread I made was either so tender it fell apart, was too hard like cardboard, or was tasteless. FINALLY I have found the perfect recipe. Because of copyright issues, I can't share the recipe here, but the magazine is on newsstands right now so run out and get a copy! Here's a photo of my shortbread.

Today was also my Craft Adventure Day. For the past two years or so, several times a year, I meet my friend Kathie and we spend half the day perusing the plethora of craft shops in her neck of the woods (northeast of Detroit). I swear, she has the BEST craft stores over there! Good thing they're more than an hour from my house otherwise I'd be broke!

The main thing I bought this time was yarn and a beginning crochet book so I can TRY to learn to crochet. (I tried once years ago and it was pretty ugly!) My sister Pat said that my "Needle Arts Segment" on my podcast MUST include crochet and knitting, and I do neither, so you'll get to see me bumble my way through a pitiful scarf or two!

So here is a picture of the yarn and book I bought. My friend Kathie, who is a fabulous knitter and crocheter, let me borrow one of her needles. I'm making a simple scarf from page 69 of the book, and I selected the very yarn they recommended (it's simply GORGEOUS in person, and I hope I don't mess it up!). It's Noro Japanese wool variegated yarn, color 154.

I have started the chain and ripped it out more times than I can count, and have even looked at videos on YouTube and visited a variety of free crochet Web sites. I might be a lost cause, but I promised Kathie I'd give it a go. And besides, what else would I do with this beautiful yarn?
I promise to keep you posted with my progress!

We also went to Archiver's where I spent my 30% coupon wisely, and to Hobby Lobby (where I was a Good Girl and didn't get much of anything -- even though LOTS of stuff called my name!). Sadly my very favorite store we used to go to has closed. It was Indigo Rose, and I understand the owner has decided to retire. I'm glad the economy didn't drive her out. Interestingly enough, every time we went to that store (which was a specialty knitting shop) it was packed with customers, so even in this tough economy, people need to CREATE!

I think being creative helps me maintain my sanity.


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