Sunday, December 21, 2003

Long time, no post for me! I can hardly believe that the post below (with the giant stocking) was over a month ago. Work went all-out-crazy and I've hardly had time to blow my nose since then. Luckily, I finished the stockings before it went too nutty. And stupid me didn't take a picture of the second, but imagine it like the first, with the colors reversed (his starts green and has a green heel/toe, hers red). The friend I made it for loved them, she said her husband told her they were exactly what he had envisioned. Yay!

Now work seems to have calmed down a touch, and I've been knitting a scarf for Ryan. I am using two different shades of green from Morehouse Merinos, using their two-strand weight because anything heavier makes too warm a scarf for my hot-blooded husband. No pictures yet. It's not exactly a surprise, since it's hard to hide the fact that I am knitting for him when the only time I have to knit is at home and he's always here. Still, I'd rather not post progress and made it any easier for him to see. It's cool though - I am striping the lighter and darker yarns randomly, using a 2x2 rib. It's very soft and I think once I block, it'll look fantastic.

Yesterday I made some peppermint bark, very similar to this stuff from Williams-Sonoma, which is a gajillion dollars a tin (though I see it is on sale for only three-quarters-of-a-gajillion). Sure, I could afford to buy it, but charging that much offends me when it is SO easy to make - first crush some candy canes in a ziplock bag. Melt some semisweet chocolate (I guess you could use milk, but I like semisweet), spread it out on a Silpat (you could use parchment but the Silpat is soooo nice). Chill it for a bit until it's firm, do the same thing with the white chocolate, and then sprinkle the candy on while it's still melty. I found it helped to press the candy bits in a bit with the palm of my hands so they'd adhere better. Chill it again, then trim off the excess with a chef's knife, and cut or break into pieces. I preferred cutting it into semi-irregular trinagles - it isn't quite brittle enough to break cleanly.

Speaking of brittle, I also made peanut brittle today. I used this recipe, taking into account the changes suggested by one of the reviewers. It's cooling now. Mmm, I just broke off a teeny piece and it's yummy!

All of this candy is to go in pretty decorative boxes which we will bring to Missouri and give to relatives as we go visiting for Christmas. I'm looking forward to seeing Ryan's Mom's side of the family. We're staying with Aunt Rosemary and Uncle Dwight, who are just the nicest people ever. We'll get them a "real" present in addition to yummy candy.

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