Sunday, September 26, 2010

A day late and some ribbing short

Hey, I'm still alive and kicking, just crazy busy. Like going to Pittsburgh for a whirlwind trip.

There are other photos which none of you will find interesting, except this one, of yet another building being demolished by a wrecking ball. The closed doors in the middle of the sky, now enclosing nothing, are especially strange and sad.

I knitted really really diligently to finish DH's birthday vest in time. This is where I ended up on his birthday, so close, done except for the armhole and neck ribbing!

Damn ribbing! It gets me every time.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hot chili pepper paste

Did you know, midwesterners are super-nice? Even if your lack of green thumb turns all of your plants into infertile/tall specimens (the plant equivalent of supermodels), random co-workers will share the bounty of their, apparently much more fecund, gardens. DH's co-worker gave him "some" peppers:

Yikes! And this is after about 10-15 or so had been used up for various purposes. An internet search for hot chili pepper pastes and sauces wasn't particularly useful, as most of the recipes used up 3-4 hot peppers at most. Are these people out of their minds? What are you supposed to do with the remaining 372 peppers? Well, I got out the food processor, and you know what that means...

Hot chili pepper paste
2 c hot chili peppers
2 t salt
1 T sugar
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
10 cloves garlic

If you want less spicy paste, use more green and less spicy peppers:

If you want spicy paste, use more red and spicy peppers:


This is not rocket science.

Directions: Boil large pot of water. Cut tops off peppers. Put peppers into boiling water, turn off heat, and let sit 10 minutes. Meanwhile, put other ingredients into food processor. Transfer peppers with slotted spoon into food processor (it is ok if still a bit wet). Whizz all in food processor for 30 seconds, scraping down sides halfway through. Pull a Clinton and DO NOT INHALE when you open the lid!
Place into clean jar, and store in fridge for up to 1 wk or in freezer indefinitely. DO NOT TOUCH EYES for the rest of the day. The beauty is that if you make multiple batches, you don't have to wash the food processor parts in-between batches.

This paste tastes a lot like Sambal Oelek initially, but over a few days in the fridge it will get less and less spicy, and taste more like a tarty, hot relish at the end. Surely there is a good food-sciencey explanation for how one or other of the ingredients breaks down the capsasin so that it gets less spicy with time. For the layperson, there is much pleasure in matching the changing hotness-level with appropriate foodstuffs. This tastes good in/on/with:

-mixed into chili
-mac & cheese!
-soy dogs (also, I assume, hot dogs)
-crudites, esp mixed with sour cream or mayo
-fries/chips, esp mixed with mayo
-fresh spring rolls
-pizza, hot or cold, deep dish or regular
-cheese & crackers
-mango or other fruits
-asian noodle bowls or ramen
-ok, this list could go on forever with all the foods I eat...

Hope you enjoy!

eta to add measurement units for vinegar

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

WIPs in waiting

Aaaah, autumn is here, the dreadful humidity/heat has departed (knock on wood), and the knitting is back! There has been lots of secretive knitting, but here's some non-secret stuff.

This is the ginorm amount of ribbing for the bottom of Jersey with a soft bow, from the book A Stitch in Time. That's 4 inches with size 2 needles, 240 stitches per round! This officially absolves me of all knitterly and non-knitterly sins for the next 2 years!

I love the happy yellow Spud and Chloe Fine (sock) yarn in the sunlight. The pic from the book is on the right--it's a fun book, lots of original patterns from the 20's-40's with modern-day "translations." Sadly, the modern-day models are truly unfortunate-looking, made even worse by terrible styling and lighting. It's the most bizarre part of this book, how people who could produce such a huge and great book managed to include the *worst knitted FO pictures in the universe*.

The bodice is actually almost done now--it's a quick feather-and-fan lace pattern--but has to be set aside for another vest for DH's upcoming birthday. This time, he wanted a sweater, but changed his mind in the yarn shop that he wanted a vest after all, this time in cream with gray stripes. During discussions of what type of vest he wanted, he rummaged through his drawers, then asked with a light bulb over his head, "Did you know you've knitted four vests for me?" Nah, no way, I answered, no one would remember creating garments one stitch at a time!

This is a lot of sheepish goodness, in Smart yarn. The swatch is done and blocked (I feel smart already!), and now I just need to figure out the exact locations/nature of the desired stripes before casting on. Oh, poor Jersey with a soft bow, you will be a WIP in waiting for a long while!