After 2 whirlwind weekends, DH and I were ready for, no make that needed, a quiet weekend. We were alone for Sabbath, being that DD#1 and her DH were in New Orleans for a spell (lucky, lucky them!). Yes, we were Skye-sitting so Rocky entertained his brother. DH fell under the evil spell of rhinitis, came home from synagogue early so he could cope without disturbing everyone around him, poor guy. He went through an entire box of tissues by the time the Torah was taken out of the ark! Me, I was fine until lunch (really, it's dinner on the Sabbath): chicken baked in spiced corn meal, baked yams, steamed asparagus and cauliflower, challah, pine nut hummus, and my special coconut custard for dessert. All delicious. Too bad it didn't last long in my system; sometime during the week I must have picked up a gastrointestinal virus. I was down for the count the entire afternoon. By evening I was feeling hungry enough to attempt some cookies with double-bergamot Earl Grey tea (amazing how cookies always make you feel better).
Sunday I had a full day planned. Clean the kitchen, groom Rocky, clean downstair windows and glass doors (some of them anyway), then take the dogs hiking at Hilltop Reservation, which brings us to the highest point in Essex County. That's the start of the trail at top. In the autumn, I always expect to be attacked by Ringwraiths, it has that look. Back home with 2 tired but happy collies, cooking for lunch began.
First, vegetable barley soup with wild rice:
So easy. Take a large can of crushed tomatoes, fill the can twice with water and mix into the tomatoes in a Dutch oven, start heating on a low to medium flame. Start thawing a large package of frozen mixed vegetable- you'll add them to the soup soon. Add 1 Tbs powdered Osem consommé mix, 1 Tbs Cajun spice, 2 Tbs dried parsley, a bay leaf, 1/2 cup pearl barley, 1/4 cup or so wild rice, 1 cup small noodle or pasta (I used ABC noodles). When soup begins to simmer, add vegetables. Simmer around 2 hours, adding more water as needed. We ate half of what I made in one sitting.
For dessert, blueberry-pear cobbler.
Make this while the soup is cooking. Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Prepare a 9x13 glass baking dish with Pam or whatever you like. Empty into it a 16 oz can of pears with juice, a 21 oz can of blueberry pie filling, a cup or so of dried blueberries (mix them in so them start soaking up the liquid). Sprinkle on top 1/2 package of yellow cake mix. Sprinkle on top of that 6 - 7 oz of flaked baker's coconut. Take a stick of margarine and dot on top of coconut (or melt and pour it on; I prefer making pats of margarine and placing the pats on top). Bake ~50 minutes uncovered.
While cooking, I started a sock.
I discovered that I had felted a pair of socks beyond wearing, made holes in another pair (not my handknitted ones), and just in general need more warm socks. The pattern is Undulating Rib by Ann Budd, published in Favorite Socks by Interweave Press. The yarn is Cascade Heritage Paints in Aqua Sol, such a pretty variegated blue. While going through socks, I found a pair I made that DD#2 won't wear (go figure) and a lone sock that was an experiment when I began knitting them years ago. I couldn't bring myself to throw them out (not even the holey wool ones) or give them away.
Stuff, sew the cuff, embroider. Instant dog toy.
Rocky likes it. Tell him, "Go get silly snake" and he brings you this toy.
Of course Skye got one too.
In his favorite color, orange.
The last thing we did was run a couple of errands. Next to the store we were shopping in was one called Wild Bird Center. Intrigued, we went inside. Beautiful stained glass birds, all kinds of bird seed, lawn ornaments, and so forth abounded. And I spied bags of alpaca fleece for nesting material. I showed this to DH, whereupon the owner told me selling the alpaca fleece. I mentioned alpacas and fleeces at Rhinebeck and she exclaimed, "I was there too!" Then she showed me the hand-knitted socks she was wearing, excitedly brought me over to the register to show me her hand-dyed yarn she's knitting into more socks. DH showed off his Rugged Vest, the one I made last year. She's a new spinner too, and told me about the local guild. Next meeting in 2 weeks! DH was amused. Knitters are everywhere.