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i believe that jess has finally convinced me to resurrect the blog.

in the last year or so, i’ve gotten really into food preservation, particularly freezing and canning.  it is a great way to extend the summer growing season and have fresh and yummy food available all year long. ideally, i would be preserving local food.  however, it is impossible for me to resist the call of all the delicious citrus fruits now in season to the south of us. i recently purchased a metric ton of blood oranges through my csa.  it ended up in a bunch of edible forms.  in addition to eating them fresh for the last couple of weeks, i’ve made blood orange olive oil cake (yummy!), blood orange vinaigrette for salads, and blood orange vanilla marmalade.

yummy blood orange vanilla marmalade

look at those gorgeous jars of pretty, pretty jewel red marmalade.  i cracked open a jar this morning and we enjoyed a breakfast of fresh biscuits with blood orange vanilla marmalade and peach lemon jam, which i made last summer. i’m really happy with the flavor.  just enough bitterness to balance out the super sweetness. i slightly modified this blood orange marmalade recipe from food in jars.

sunday breakfast nom nom nom

blood orange vanilla marmalade

10 – 12 blood oranges – enough for about 10 cups, give or take
4 cups sugar
1 cup blood orange juice – any juice will do really
juice of 1 lemon
1 or 2 vanilla beans
2 packets liquid pectin

sterilize your jars and lids as needed, get your water bath going.

place fruit, sugar, orange juice, and lemon juice in a non-reactive pot and get it boiling.   some marmalade instructions have you remove the fruit flesh from the pith, but i just toss it all in.  it ends up separating quite a bit as it heats up. scrape the seeds from the two vanilla beans into the pot and drop the beans in there too. reduce the temperature and simmer until it is shiny and starting to thicken.  most recipes say about 10 – 15 minutes.  i cooked this one down for almost 30 minutes as i wanted the peels to get nice and soft.  squirt in your pectin and bring to a boil for another couple of minutes. remove the dead vanilla bean bodies at this time.  ladle into your sterilized jars with about 1/2 inch headspace.  process for 10 minutes. this recipe got me 7 half pint jars and the cute, little quarter pint you see in the photo above.

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friday was my birthday and i had some really good fun.

the cutest, funniest husband ever made me a delicious dinner of homemade macaroni and cheese.  he used the recipe from a local restaurant, the icon grille.  everything should have molten cheese sauce on it!

the next day, jess and i headed up to bellingham to continue the celebration.  we both got our bachelors at western and have some great (and some crazy, embarrassing!) memories of the place.

first stop, casa que pasa for the most delish burritos in the northwest.  i love the potatoe; jess likes the rancho.  we both crave these on a regular basis and try to make a trip to bellingham once every six months or so to get our fix.  pan friend potatoe cubes with beans, cheese, and an amazing sauce.  to die for i tell you.

we also did a little shopping.  our main stop was texture.  we both have at least three of the awesome comfy skirts handmade with organic fibers from texture.  they are so comfortable and cute.  i picked up a black one for winter.  although they are based in bellingham, texture has a booth at the ballard farmer’s market pretty much every weekend.

to keep it crafty, i picked up a couple knitting books at village booksitty bitty toys by susan b. anderson and the knitter’s book of wool by clara parkes.  i can’t wait to crack into them.

then we hit up tony’s coffee to get our fix for the trip back home.

it was such a fun day.  i still love bellingham.  birthday’s are the best!  i do, however, have a wicked food hangover from all the mac and cheese and giant burrito.  oh well, i guess you only turn 35 once.  yikes!

i’ve been neglecting my blog in lieu of gym and/or knitting time.  two things i very much need right now, but the wips and fos are backing up.

my knitting buddies over on the sundara yarn love group on ravelry just finished up a lace kacal.  we coined this activity as a kacal, “knit and crochet a long” as to not neglect our crocheting counterparts.  we had so much fun and so many finished beautiful, inspiring projects.  the encouragement of the kacal got me to finally complete my moon dance stole.

Moon Dance Complete 10.18.2008
(Ravel It!)
Pattern:  Moon Dance Stole by Pink Lemon Twist
Yarn:  Sundara Silk Lace in Black over Fuchsia
Needles:  US 4 Bryspun Flex circs

this project took a really long time to complete.  i think i cast on way back in february.  the actual knitting time wasn’t too bad.  i just never focused on it exclusively; knitting a few rows a week until it was finally done.  honestly, i don’t have much to say about it.  it is one of those projects that i worked on for so long i’m kind of over it.

i also have a couple of new lace wips.  they both may take me just as long as the moon dance to complete.

Cherries Cleopatra Progress 11.15.2008
cleopatra wrap by mariam felton from sensual knits in sundara silk crushed cherries colourway

Estonian Mimosa Scarf Progress 11.15.2008
peacock feather and tail scarf by nancy bush from (her fabulous new book) knitted lace of estonia in sundara sock colourway morning mimosa

both really great projects, but i’m going to save the details for another later post.;)

IMG_4189_1

i’m back from my trip to los angeles, where i visted my sister, jess, and I finally have moment to blog about it a bit. we had a great time. i loved the heat, and the area she lives in is really nice. a pretty townhouse complex with lots of good stuff within walking distance. we did a lot of different things – got pedicures, saw the “sex in the city” movie, took some field trips, and hung out at the pool.

we made it out to malibu and hung out at the beach for a bit. it was a little hazy that day, but still really nice and, of course, i managed to get a wee sun burn. the following day we went to the griffith observatory.

LA observatory

lots of great views of los angeles from the observatory and a really cool looking building as well.

during our hang out time, i did some actual, factual reading. i’ve not been very good about reading the last few years as i spend most of my free time knitting. but i managed to work my way through “the other boleyn girl” (hence the title of this post) during the course of the trip. it was so good. i loved reading about all the craziness, gluttony, and scandal! i’m hoping maybe i’ve got my read back on and i’ll be on the hunt for another historical fiction type book in the next few days.

Hello!

i'm chris. i knit and spin a lot. i cook and eat food grown and made locally. i fail at the "local" part more than i'd like. i am learning to be a gardener. i'm in love with two pitbulls and an advocate for the breed.

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