You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2007.

Who’s your friend?

My espaliered apple trees put out a good crop this year, and I made some apple butter.  This tangy spread is fabulous on toast, pancakes, or whatever amuses you.  My recipe is a slight variation on the one from the 1975 Joy of Cooking.  As the 1997 edition has no recipe for apple butter at all, I post this without compunction.

Apple Butter

4 pounds apples, washed, quartered, and cored

Cook slowly in a heavy pot until soft in 2 cups of apple cider vinegar — you can use water or apple juice also.

Run resulting pulpy goo through the food processor in 3 or 4 batches, processing until reasonably smooth.  Measure apple puree and return to pot.  For each cup of puree, add 1/2 cup brown sugar.

Mix in 1 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. cloves, 1/4 t. allspice, also the grated peel and juice of one lemon if you have one on hand. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.  Continue to cook, stirring often, until the mixture sheets from a spoon.  Or, place a blob on a plate – if there is no liquid surrounding the apple butter, then it is done.  Ladle into hot sterilized jars.  Lable and enjoy!

The recipe gives a yield of 6 pints — I came out with 5 12-ounce jars this time, but it is quite thick.

The Gerbera daisy is from a pot on my back deck.  They are not really considered to be perennials here, but somehow this plant has survived two winters in a not particularly sheltered location.  The table runner is a piece I wove a few years back. My weaving guild (and boy, do I need to update that webpage!) had a lunchbag exchange, and the person I was making one for requested “something colorful.” I figured a rainbow would do the trick, and of course one always puts on an extra yard of warp to have something leftover to keep, right? The draft is taken from a project in Handwoven Magazine, a 4-harness twill that emulates the look of cardweaving.

It isn’t raining rain, you know, it’s raining cyclamen

These little beauties bloom every September once the weather cools a bit.  Usually it’s after the first late summer rain, but this year the flowers unfolded into dryness, the cooler weather coming a bit before the rains. They are hardy cyclamen and I’ve had them in ground for several years. The leaves are out in the spring and summer, then die back, so the flowers emerge from bare ground.

Today there’s a steady rain, and they are soaking it up happily.  I think these are probably Cyclamen hederifolium, and I have another patch of C. coum that bloom in January, their bright pink flowers sometimes poking through a dusting of snow.

In yarny news, the new supply of superwash blend has arrived at Jennifer’s, so I should have my shipment in a week or so. She was nice enough to say my good thoughts helped the truck arrive safely at her place — by the way, do check out the lovely colors she’s coming up with! I have serious lust for the Copper Pennies colorway.

And Lisa posed a problem on her blog which I miraculously managed to solve, so I’ve built up lots of good Internet karma this weekend. I do loves me a nice ping-back.

The new Knitty is up, but you probably already knew that.

If you want to make a super quick dog sweater, check  this out. Also a good way to use up a lonely sock!

That is all  . . .

Poor little blog, it’s been a bit neglected lately.  I’ve done a bit more dyeing, made some great tomato pie from a recipe Lisa recommended,

Oozy goodness

got my son moved into an apartment in Seattle, my daughter off to the first day of her last year of high school, and went to see the Keiskamma Altarpiece,

Outer layer

a remarkable artwork of embroidery, applique, and beadwork.  I’ll go into more detail about it later.