Monday, September 28, 2009

The Joy of Waffles

Most of my friends have heard me sing the praises of Yam Waffles for a very long time. Erin and I bought some Garnet Yams at the Sunflower Farmer's Market the other day in anticipation of having these waffles for supper sometime this week. I discovered the recipe for Yam Waffles in the Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer about nine years ago and have been a happy waffle maker ever since.

These are made with regular flour as opposed to cake flour which most from scratch waffle recipes seem to call for. Since I had no cake flour when I decided to make waffles that day, I went to my go to cookbook, the Joy. Since I always have regular flour of some form to hand and rarely, if never, have cake flour, I was delighted to find this recipe. We like these waffles so much that I now own three waffle makers and have at least two going at once so everyone can eat at the same time. Clever Mum that I yam...

This recipe has been made with acorn squash, canned and fresh pumpkin, sweet potatoes as well as the yams, both canned and fresh. I have also made this recipe with whole wheat flour as well as a mix of unbleached and whole wheat flours. I have added, at times, chopped candied ginger, toasted pecans, mini chocolate chips and/or crumbled bacon to the batter as well. We happen to prefer the yam or squash kinda chunky, but pureed yam and squash works just as well. This is a great way to use up that leftover sweet potato casserole on the morning after Turkey Day, by the way. Usually these are served with butter and REAL maple syrup from Vermont, but I happen to have wild blueberry sauce to the ready this evening for mine. Yum!

I can't sing the praises enough of the Joy of Cooking. Everyone should have a copy in their cookbook collection as it will get you through just about anything. It is also a great resource for the substitution of missing ingredients. I also find new ways to prepare just about anything.

My sister's copy of the Joy is called the Treasure. It has no covers and falls open to the pages of the family favorites (the pages are also spattered with brownie, pancake, and various other batters from baking with the children). Mine is starting to look like the Treasure as I use it at least once a week, if not more often. As a matter of fact, the cover has been taped back on at least twice now. I am also in search of a copy of the same copyright date to give to Erin and Guy as a wedding gift. It was a request, as Erin is not so fond of the newer editions (nor am I for that matter). I mean why waste space that could hold a good recipe to tell us how to make our own tofu? Every grocery store carries tofu these days and it's SO much easier to pick up a container of it then to go through the process of making it. That's how great this book is, depending on the copyright version, the how-tos are/can be fascinating.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Knitting with an Echo in the Bone and Cake Wrecks

Which is about a book reading and signing with our favorite author, Diana Gabaldon, whose latest book, Echo in the Bone just came out this week. It's also about friendship, laughter and new companions in life's fun events.

Diana Gabaldon with my knitting, Thanks to the Yarn Harlot for the idea.

The launch was in Scottsdale, Diana Gabaldon's hometown on Tuesday and she was with us in Denver on Wednesday. Slightly creaky of voice, which surprised none of us at all since she has been stumping the book and talking non-stop, I am sure for weeks on end. Just for an instance, she was at DragonCon in Atlanta within the last two weeks.

Erin, Katte Beth, Michelle, Cindy and myself went to the Tattered Cover in Highlands Ranch last night to hear a reading from Echo in the Bone from Herself and to get our individual collections of books signed. Between us all, I think we had over twenty books to be signed. Erin and I got our HB copy of A Breath of Snow and Ashes, a paperback copy of Outlander for her friend Jo, my copy of Cross Stitch (the British version of Outlander) and our copies of the latest book signed, which completes our collection.

As you can see there were quite a few knitters and crocheter in the group waiting for Herself to show. Most were working on small projects, socks and such. Katte Beth, however, was working on baby blanket and I was working on a Nubia, which is a period scarf and Erin was working a scarf as well. Michelle and Cindy didn't bring any handwork for themselves, tho.

The Tattered Cover Independent Book Shop hosts many authors for readings and signings and their system works pretty well although we didn't get to queue up until about 10:15 pm or so, since there were over 400 people there to get see Diana.

Erin and I got there first to queue up. Although, Michelle had gotten our queue tickets earlier in the day to guarantee the spot in the queue for getting our books signed. So we caught up with each other and talked about Erin's wedding plans and such. I corralled Cindy as she arrived last.

Katte Beth was a book-signing virgin, having never been to a book signing before. She had no idea what to expect from the event. Erin was 12 or 13 the last time she saw Diana in person. That occasion was just a signing so she had never heard her read an excerpt or speak about her writing process. The last time I saw Diana was at her home Scottish Highland games in Mesa and she had us in stitches again and the men wondering what the heck they had been missing.

Diana is a great story teller and had us laughing, whooping and blushing. She did, however, give Erin hope for her writing future as Diana didn't start writing fiction until she was 35. We also learned that Dr. Who (a BBC sci-fi, time travel, fantasy program for "children") played a part in the whole phenomena that is the Outlander series. We all are Dr. Who fans as well, so this was the kewlest discovery. We also found out exactly what she likes about a man in a kilt. Let's just say it's a great reason.

These are pictures of me catching a York Peppermint Patty, one handed whilst taking a picture by the way. I think Katte Beth thought it was a parade or Mardi Gras or something. She was about 30 for 35 in her tosses, not bad, grrly. Also pictured here is Angela of Sheared Bliss Fibers and her friend and our Cindy, the ordained minister and Tango Dancer Extraordinaire and her seat companion.

We had a fairly long wait to get our books signed, so Katte and Michelle ran out to grab snacks and drinks. We also unraveled the baby blanket that Katte was working on as she had neglected some of her increases and therefore was making a basket as opposed to a blankie. Erin perused the knitting pattern books. I looked at the history, poetry and the bargains. Erin also introduce Katte Beth to the joys of Cake Wrecks, thus the mention in the title. We thought Katte was going to pee herself she laugh that hard.

So, here's Erin getting her books signed, The Girls, that would be, Leslie, Erin, Michelle, Katte Beth and Cindy and our Carlene Campbell from the Saint Andrew's Society of Colorado.

Sadly, I cannot start the book as I have a woolen cloak to make for the pregnant Eyrnn (in which I am borrowing an idea from Diana and making the hood and shoulders with a waterproof inner lining) and if I crack the cover all will be lost until I read the last page. So, NO SPOILERS, and that means YOU.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Last Day of Summer, First Day of Autumn, Acting Like Winter

Merry Mabon! May your harvest be all that you need.

Yesterday was the last day of Summer. It snowed on and off all day. We even shut all the windows, finally. Today is the first day of Fall. Here's what our mountain looked like this morning, snow even down below the tree line. I pulled out the woolies, a pair of hand knit socks and an Aran sweater to go out of the house this morning.

Due to this extreme change in the weather (I mean to tell ya, we were in shorts and tank tops last week) I was in the mood for a soup and bread combination for the supper last night. To that end, I made New England Style Clam Chowder from scratch with Baking Powder Biscuits, also from scratch. YUM!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Touting Gypsylulu's 100th Post

I was just visiting my dear friend, Anne's blog and saw this. Please do go check out my new cyber friend Gypsylulu's 100th post and give away at Gypsylulu's blog here.

She has pretties to giveaway... As most of my friends know, I am mad for amber beads and red anything. I can always use more of both.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2009 Long's Peak Scot/Irish Festival

It was a typical second weekend of September. There was sun, wind, rain and snow on the higher elevations when we woke on Sunday morning.

The weekend in spite of the weather was a great time had by all. Quite of few new Blair faces came to visit with us over the course of the weekend. Jim and Adoree brought their usual contingent and even Erin came up on Saturday.

It was wonderful to see my friend Lysa and her family from Nederland. Lysa and I went to the same HS in NJ. It was also a treat to see, from Colorado Springs, Father John Pahls, the designer of the Colorado State Tartan and Kirk and Rebecca and Lynn and Sharon with their soft-coated Wheaten Terriers. As always, it was a treat to see the various current and former members of the Ren Scots, Bill and Michelle, Robin, Cliff and Virg, and Bob who all came by to say hello and share a wee dram or two. Along with Yvonne, Scott and Julie, Kirsten, Ross and Hannah and their auntie, Erin, most of my favorite peeps made an appearance. I totally forgot to mention Friday night at Lonigan's with the Indulgers. John Barb, Nancy and Ted and I went together, where we also encountered the Coffeys, Larry and a few other band fan regulars.

I didn't get too many pictures taken this weekend as my camera decided to act up at key moments. However, if you are on Facebook there will be many pictures showing up there I am sure.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

One Million Giraffes

My dear friend Roberta had a moment and here is the result. Go check this out One Million Giraffes and then go make your own giraffe.