Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bread Baking and Crocheting and a Challenge! OH MY!

Today I baked pain de mie, which is French sandwich bread. I make a loaf every two weeks. It is baked in a special pan that is 16 x 4 x 4 inches with a top. This means that it is perfectly square when it comes out of the pan. It's perfect for French toast, grilled cheese, or as a replacement for bland, spongy Wonderbread. Here's a photo of the loaf right out of the pan.

And here is a sandwich I just made with Dietz and Watson London Broil lunchmeat from my favorite deli (so rare that I swear it says "moo!" when you poke it!), chopped cole slaw, sliced onion, and homemade mustard. I promise to provide my recipe for mustard in an upcoming podcast. If you like hot and sweet mustard, this is for you!

I've been crocheting more and more, determined to get good at it. I'm surprised at how easy it has become, but I think my stitches are still a little tight. I'm working on a hat right now that is supposed to be for Ted, but it seems small -- I'll probably donate it to our Mitten Tree at church during Advent. I am sure a child will love it! I also designed and made a "neck warmer," which is my way of saying, "Ooops! I didn't buy enough yarn of this particular type to make a real scarf!" Here's a photo. It's a beautiful yarn, very, very soft, and the store (Knit A Round in Ann Arbor) had only one skein in their "orphan bin." It's actually a nice little size to wrap once around my neck with my winter coat.

Instructions are, chain however many stitches you want in multiples of 2 and add 3. Then skip the first 3 chains, double crochet in the next chain, skip a chain, double crochet, etc. until the end of the row. Chain 3, turn, and repeat! Do that until your yarn runs out. If you want fringe, stop somewhere in the middle, figure out how much fringe you want, cut it from the other end of the skein, then continue. This stitch, by the way, is called the Mesh Stitch. It's also the basis for Filet Crochet, which I'll figure out one of these days!

By the way, I've taken a number of crochet books out of the library, and by far my favorite is The Happy Hooker Stitch 'n Bitch Crochet (click the book's title to see it on Amazon.com) by Debbie Stoller. This book was recommended by my friend Kathie's daughter Jeannie. It's a HOOT! And the projects are just wonderful -- things I would actually wear, not old lady afghans. (Um, not that there's anything wrong with afghans!) I'm crazy about the sweater on page 202, so maybe I'll actually get the courage to give it a try!

If it wasn't for my podcast, and the encouragement of my sister Pat and my friend Kathie, I would never have tried crochet. So here's a challenge: Select a hobby or art, do a little research, and give it a try! If you do (and I sincerely hope you do!), please email me and tell me all about it -- success or failure!



  1. Hi Ruthann! The bread looks fabulous - what fun.

    About the happy hooker book, I made one thing from it and had problems. I went to the website and checked the errata page - lots of corrections, no wonder. Anyway, word to the wise: check the errata page before starting a project. Tami

  2. Thanks for the info, Tami! I just downloaded the errata pages -- the library book I have IS the first edition, so the corrections aren't in it (apparently later editions were corrected). I think I'll buy a copy of this book to add to my library, but I'll make sure NOT to get a first edition!