Sunday, December 03, 2006

Status Update from the Fool

Knitting hasn't been the first thing on my mind recently, and I'm okay with that. I figure it's one of those things that comes and goes, depending on what else is happening in my life. I got a bit discouraged from my vain attempts to knit a Christmas present for Meg. I think I have frogged a total of four times now, so I needed a break.

I'm finishing up a pair of socks that kept me company at the airport last week (the ones with the forethought heel that I adore so much). I'm also most of the way through the first purple bootie that will accompany the eggplant hat that Meg made for an infant of some of our friends. (The hat is an eggplant hat, not just the color of eggplant, in case you were wondering.)

That darned baby sweater still isn't finished. I really need to get off my lazy arse and finish it. I didn't get to visit my friend over Thanksgiving, though the languishing project is really starting to hang over my head.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, we had a really fun time. Thanksgiving Day consisted of visiting a whole bunch of relatives of mine that I didn't even know existed until a few weeks ago. Meg and I briefly spent a few hours getting to know much of this side of the family (which is really quite large). Natalia, the matriarch of the family, is originally from Lithuania, and her family all grew up on the South Side. Her one daughter has seven children (my third cousins). Before we left for second Thanksgiving at Meg's dad's house, Natalia sat us down and fed us large amounts of eastern European food, including two or three types of sausage, ham, and turkey. She also prepared a "to go" bag for Meg's dad... in case he doesn't have enough food at his house.

Thanksgiving weekend was spent at a contra dance weekend called Breaking Up Thanksgiving (named after the old-time tune Breaking Up Christmas). It's our home contra weekend, so it's quite special to us. We got to play a bunch of times for dances (including as an old-time pickup band featuring twin fiddling, banjo, and guitar). I think we turned some heads when we played old-time music, as we're not usually associated with that kind of thing. We also got to sit in some great jams (the music kind, not the fruit kind.)

Speaking of fruit jam, today was Clear The Freezer day. This mostly meant making 12 half-pint jars of blueberry jam from my grandmother's home-grown blueberries. It also entailed making a mixed berry fruit pie with streusel topping and my famous Messed Up Pie Dough1 for the bottom layer (both from the freezer). More pies are in our near future, including cherry and blueberry pies.

Life is good. I worked a 1-day week last week, and I'm off to a work conference in Miami this upcoming Thursday through Sunday, so it will be a 3-day work week. And I've had lots of time to do fun things and I expect that I will continue to have a decent amount of personal time. I might as well enjoy it while it lasts before the holiday season hits hard. That's fun, too, but in a different sort of way.

1 For those of you hankering after the recipe, halve all of the ingredients for a double pie crust except for the water.


Aidan said...

THat's it? Halve everything but the water? How does it roll out? How does the dough act? I need more information!

meg said...

He forgot the next steps. Then you look at the food processor bowl and swear for a while. Then you have a debate with your wife about whether to throw the whole thing out and start over (your pov) or whether to start over, but keep the old dough in reserve, and work in the correct amount of butter and flour again (her pov, because hey, it might work, and then you'd have more pie crust) Not sure which approach he took, but the pie crust went to rest in the freezer and think about what it had done for two weeks until I went and rolled it out and while it was supple and needed a bit more flour than usual, not bad.

the fiddlin' fool said...

Actually, no. I dumped in a bunch more flour and called it a day.

the fiddlin' fool said...

Oh, and to answer your question, Aidan, the dough acts like cement.

How does it roll out? Are you kidding me? Have you ever tried to roll cement?