NaBloPoMo Day 3: soup … and knitting

I just did something incredible: I made soup in five minutes. Those of you who know me in "real life", as they say, or just on Facebook know that I have a VitaMix blender and I have been known to blend odd mixtures, or at least things other people don't want to drink. I haven't used it in a while for some reason but I got some fresh red chard at the Farmer's Market on Sunday and I have a jar of fresh raw cashew milk so I decided that it was time for green smoothies in the morning again. This morning's creation was 1 cup raw cashew milk, 1/2 a small avocado, 1 apple, 4 strawberries, a couple handfuls of red chard leaves and a squirt of agave nectar and it was delicious and very bright green. Getting the blender out and making stock the past couple of days (vegetable one day, chicken the next) reminded me that one of the things that impressed me about the blender before I got it was that the demo guy made soup in it while I stood there so I decided to give it a try. Stefan was asking for tomato soup and the recipe book that came with the blender had a recipe for Tomato, Onion and Cheese Soup. So I made that.

It's 1 large tomato (I used 4 small ones), 1/4 cup onion, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, 1 Tblsp tomato paste and 1 cup low sodium broth (I used homemade vegetable) in the blender on high for 5 minutes. That's it. I may have used too many tomatoes (2 probably would have been enough) and the onion was a bit too much for me but otherwise it was good. I am definitely going to try it again. I will either reduce the onion, buy sweet or red onion or take the extra few minutes to saute the onions. I might actually use chicken broth if I did it again, to add more flavor. But… how awesome is it that I can put cold ingredients in and get out steaming soup in such a short amount of time? The only downside (other than me rocking some serious onion breath right now) is that the blender sure is loud running for 5 minutes.

In NaNoSweMo news I am up to 5 inches of my sweater. This sweater has an inset front panel but I didn't see any reason not to knit the two fronts and the back in one piece so that's what I'm doing. That makes it difficult to photograph. But here goes. (Plus, you're getting iPhone photos for the next little while until I can figure out why my iPhoto hangs up when I try to export to Flickr.)

I am doing some calculations on the back to add more decreases to the waist and then I'm going to go down to the instructions for one size smaller on the back. I find that if I do that I get a better fitting sweater that doesn't bag in the back. Not bagging is good! I think it's going to work but I need to remember to pay attention to the decreases and bindoff at the shoulder so that I end up with pieces that are the same width at the shoulder. Instead of paying attention to the sleeves from the pattern at all I'm going to do a top down set-in sleeve which will make it faster (no sewing it in!) and hopefully a better fit. My last Norah Gaughan sweater had very snug sleeves. I wondered why they were so slim and then I read a note from Norah on Twitter:

Paraphrased: A slim sleeve makes for a flattering garment. But! Knitter, know thyself =)

Well, I know myself and prefer a less slim sleeve! I'm glad it's not just me though.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend


NaBloPoMo Day 2: reading and knitting

I have to confess that I don't have much more knitting to post about today. I knit a few rows on my Anhinga sweater with my brief kid-free time today. I will be settling in to do a couple more after I write this post.

What's really on my mind today is kid's books. Niels is reading at an end of 3rd grade/beginning of 4th grade level but is only in 2nd grade so I am on the look out for books whose writing challenges him but whose subject matter is something he can handle. Our latest find is The Magic Thief. I read it first to make sure it wasn't at all scary and I thought it was a wonderful book. It's told from the point of view of the boy, Conn, who picks the pocket of a wizard and steals his locus magilicus, his magic stone. He ends up as the wizard's apprentice and, of course, adventure follows. At the end of each chapter there are bits from the wizard's journal and Conn has left notes at the bottoms of the pages written in the runic alphabet of the City of Wellmet, where the story is set. That was Niels' favorite part! We have the second one on request from the library but the third one doesn't come out until next May.

I was at the library today and found The Far Flung Adventures – Fergus Crane. The cover and illustrations really appealed to me and the cover says that the dust jacket is a map, which made me wish I had purchased it. If Niels likes it I might buy the others from the same series, if they all have maps. The site I linked above with the review of Fergus Crane is also a good find. Lots of reviews of newer children's books with a recommended age level. I will have to poke around there for other books for Niels. The authors of Fergus Crane are more well known for their Edge Chronicles books. I took the first of those out today too but they look like they might be a bit too mature. I'm going to read the first one to see if it's too scary for Niels, who tends to be sensitive to scary stories.

Does it count as blogging every day if my blogging is not at all about my usual subject? I'm going to go with yes.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend