socks, cables, bunnies, cookies, turkeys, and cashews

American Thanksgiving is tomorrow, Thursday, and today, cooks across the land are doing as much prep as they possibly can.  As for this cook, the menu has been selected, which varies little from year to year; all the groceries have been hauled in and my table is set.  The bird is a 20 pound beaut.  We positively love Thanksgiving leftovers and I admit to being one of those people who loves the big Thanksgiving feast more than any other meal of the year.  In fact, if we are invited out on Thanksgiving day, the next day at home I'll still make our own feast, just for the leftovers!  Right now the neck and giblets are simmering away with garlic (yes!) and sage and it smells so good.  (The stock and chopped giblets will be in tomorrow's gravy.)  I really really do love Thanksgiving.

This morning already I made curried cashews, and oh my goodness, they are delicious. I posted the recipe here and you won't be sorry to have them on your snack table. And also this morning I broke my own rule and made a second Thanksgiving batch of Salty Chocolate Toffee. The first batch disappeared even more quickly than usual.  I'm blaming our friends. Last night I made a half batch of sugar cookies. We absolutely don't need them because this afternoon I'm making a pecan pie too, but somehow, it just doesn't seem like Thanksgiving without some turkey cookies. Then my guy talked me into making chocolate chip cookies because he had a strong urge and I know what that's like, and he was pleading, and I like to spoil him because he's so nice, so I caved and now we have four sweets for tomorrow--for five people!  Later this afternoon I'll make my mashed potatoes, refrigerate them overnight and reheat in the oven right before the turkey is done.  That little trick is a lifesaver! Tomorrow I'll wake up early and busy myself, but nothing I do now or in the morning can ever avoid that last rush-hour of madness before the big dinner.  Right?  My son has been in charge of the turkey carving since he was taught by my uncle when he was 12, so that's under control. I'll put my husband on gravy duty, and the rest of us attend to all the other last minute crazy. But it's all part of the fun, right?

That little sock--isn't it dear?  It's made from scraps of Rowan Pure Wool 4-ply and Super Fine Merino 4-ply and is from this darling knitting book, Little Rowan Cherish by Linda Whaley.  The single sock is a Christmas gift for a very happy young couple who just found out they are expecting a baby.  It's the tiny 3 mos. size and I made it for their tree, but I loved making it so much, I think I'll make a proper set in a larger size so the baby can actually wear them come next winter.  The gray cabled sweater is also for this same baby, so boy or girl, the gray will work.  The pattern is Billy and is from the same Cherish book.  I just had a hankering to make some cables--you know what that's like, right?  The yarn you might recognize as vintage Rowan 4-ply Soft. It makes the cables so crisp and perfect. Do you remember that lovely stuff? A dear friend gifted me two bags because she remembered how much I loved it.  How very very kind of her. Thank you dear Esther.  As for the bunnies, I purchased them from Target while they still had plenty of stock. This bunny is perfect for the Wee Gingersnap and makes a darling baby gift.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers.
I hope you feel as I do, that there is a lot to be thankful for.
Thank you all for stopping by.

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"What if today, we were grateful for everything?"
Charlie Brown
"An attitude of gratitude brings great things."
Yogi Bhajan
"When I started counting my blessings, by whole life turned around."
Willie Nelson
"We must find the time to stop and thank the people
who make a difference in our lives."
John F. Kennedy



This was a first for me.  I wrote this post, posted it, I got a few comments, then after a few hours, it disappeared.  So, I'm trying it again.  Here's Kim's patterns from her most recent book, Grace.  So many beautiful, feminine details; so many lovely silhouettes.  I love everything she does.

Loving - Kidsilk Haze and Fine Lace
Jess - Alpaca Merino DK

Barrett - Kidsilk Haze

Agyle - Brushed Fleece and Kidsilk Haze

Keepsake - Kidsilk Haze
Adair - Alpaca Merion DK

 Emma - Big Wool

Blackened - Brushed Fleece

Sentiment - Super Fine Merino 4ply

Pitch - Brushed Fleece

 Kidsilk Haze and Fine Lace

Scape - Kid Classic and Kidsilk Haze

Esme - Kidsilk Haze and Fine Lace

 Gift - KIdsilk Haze

Escape - Super Fine Merino 4ply

Elin - Alpaca Merino DK

Cecily - Super Fine Merino 4ply

 Fell - Big Wool

Isla - Kidsilk Haze and Fine Lace

As a long time fan, I naturally love them all, but do have a few favorites: 
the first two, Loving and Jess, and the last one, Isla.  I'd love to know your favorites. 
You can leave a comment here.  And thank you!

You can purchase Kim's new book here on her website.
As it's just new it should be at your local yarn stores very soon.

Edited 11/22:  A few readers have asked when the shops will start to carry this book.  I don't know exactly how book distribution works for the shops, but my lys, Uncommon Threads, has a standing order from certain publishers to receive new knitting books as they are published, so she gets them right away.  It should also be available online at your favorite online knitting store, at least for pre-order.  A quick Google search found Grace at English Yarns Online Knitting Store.


Christmas Candy

Our favorite Christmas candy is almost goof-proof!  But like all candy, it requires a wee bit of attention, but not for long.  While it takes less than 20 minutes to make, I only make it two times a year; once the week before Thanksgiving, and again the week before Christmas.  My husband loves this stuff so much that, even though he is normally the most generous guy, sharing this candy turns him into the Grinch.  If I put some out for guests, he'll say, "Do you have to share it? You know we're getting low.  Can't they have something else?"  He knows that when it's gone, there won't be anymore until next year.  My trick to make it last throughout the entire holiday season is this:  I store it in a container that's difficult to open.  I also store it way out of sight, as in you'll have to use a step-stool and a flash light to retrieve it.  In this way, while it's not exactly out of mind, it is out of sight! My poor husband gets so sad, when in mid-January, he reaches in for the last piece.  He'll sigh and say, "Maybe you'll make some more?"  And I'll say, "OK, hon, maybe."  But we both know that's a lie.  It will be 11 months before it appears again.

Salty Chocolate Toffee
Click here for the recipe.

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Pretty Pink

Of all the dozens of baby garments I've knit, I think I love this the most!  Gingersnap, Wee Gingersnap and the bunny will be given to a dear friend's first grandchild.  When I heard the nursery was going to decorated in pink and gray, I knew a Gingersnap would soon be in the works.  This makes the cutest baby gift ever and I am quite thrilled.

There have been so many cute Gingersnaps (and Wee ones too) on Ravelry and I'm so happy when a new one pops up.  If you are hoping for larger toddler sizes in this pattern, well, I am too!  Hold tight as it's in the works and as soon as it's ready, I'll let you know.  Until then, both the patterns are free; the one year baby size and the 18" doll size.  Links below:

My Ravelry Page with all the details
Gingersnap Kits
 I bought the bunny at Target
Darling hangers from Container Store

I'd love to hear from you.  If you'd like to make a comment, please click here.

When you give a knitted baby garment, it's a good idea to give care instructions as well.  I highly recommend using a soft, machine washable wool or cotton for your baby gifts. These sweaters were knit in machine washable wool and the care instructions will read:  

100% wool
machine wash on gentle cycle in cool water
pat to shape and dry flat

And just between you and me, if mother puts Pure Wool Worsted in the dryer, it will survive just fine.


first fall

Last weekend we had our first autumn dinner party.  I choose a menu filled with some of my favorites:  rumaki served with the cocktails, then for the first course, wedges of gougere, a savory, cheesy, French pastry that we served around the fire with champagne. We sat on the sofas quietly savoring each bite, each sip, listening to the crackling fire. One of the guests exclaimed, "This is the best thing I have ever eaten." While it's doubtful it was the best thing he's ever eaten, it was delicious, but it was something more than that—part of a moment so cozy, so perfect.  I am so doing this same exact thing again—soon.

That gougere may look temperamental, but it's not at all.  Easy to make, but, even better: it can be prepared well ahead of time and left to rest in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it. Light the fire, pour the champagne,  bring out the warm gougere and your guests will think they’re in Paris.

Later, seated at the table, we had Julia Child's onion soup from Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume 1, a recipe I've made many times and love.  When I was newly married and at a restaurant with my husband's family, my father-in-law said he loved French onion soup and ordered it whenever he saw it on the menu.  The next time my in-laws came to visit I made this version from Julia.  He loved it, and it became something of a tradition for me to make it whenever he visited. I've never tried any other onion soup recipe, trusting that Julia knows  best. 

Both the gougere, and the soup are pretty rich, so we ended dinner with a light salad of spicy mixed greens dressed with olive oil, fresh lemon, salt and pepper, sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.   Dessert was a platter of shortbread, chocolates, apple slices, and slivers of a white English cheddar.

The tiny dewdrop lights are from Target.  They are so wonderful and when I returned the next day to get a few more boxes, they were gone.  Rats!  The wee strand of 12 lights are battery operated using two AA batteries AND were only $3.00.  Can you believe that?  They are just perfect for adding a little pop of light!  I couldn't find them online, but here are some similar.

Thanks for stopping by.
Knitting is coming up next. 

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