Thursday, November 29, 2012

Baby Mittens

 I worked on Thanksgiving and Dave went to his sister's house for dinner.  When he came home, he said his niece had requested a pair of thumb-less baby mittens.  I started work that night and finished them on Saturday.  I used this pattern and some left over worsted thick and thin 100% wool from Joann's.  They were quick work but I have yet to find out if they fit.
And of course I had to post a picture of our tree.  This is a $12 Walmart tree that I got quite a few years ago.  It is pretty spartan and see through in places but I counteract that by COVERING it with ornaments!  It is so nice to have the holiday decorations up!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

New Ornaments

 I put our tree up yesterday (FINALLY!) and had to share pictures of the new ornaments acquired this year.  Most new ones this year are from London.  This one commemorates the Queen's Jubilee celebration.  Over the years I have gotten quite a few of these couched gold work ornaments while in London.  They were kind of spendy as far as ornaments go, but they are beautiful and I admire them and reminisce every year when I hang them up.
 This is another couched/gold work ornament of a Christmas pudding!  This one might be my favorite!  I have tried my hand at making steamed puddings a time or two.  A Christmas pud is a truly British symbol of the holidays.

 Here is another plush ornament--this one from Westminster Abbey in one of my favorite shades of blue.
 This is a small metal palace guard ornament.  He kind of reminds me of the story of The Steadfast Tin Soldier.
Here is a small metal double decker bus ornament.  No explanation needed here.

 This is a small terra cotta house blessing medallion that I will use as an ornament.  I got it at Baltic Imports which is a beautiful gift shop specializing in Eastern European/Baltic pieces which happens to be right next door to the fabulous Ukrainian deli Kramarczuk's in Minneapolis.
My other favorite ornament is this holly one given to me by my sister Lisa.  She found this pewter piece which is absolutely beautiful and had our names and wedding date stamped into it.  Lovely.

Hat Trick

 I knit 2 hats this month and none too soon because winter showed up this week.  We'd had a few previews of winter already this month.  Dave and I went fishing the first week in November.  Actually Dave went fishing and I went knitting.  We didn't catch a thing the entire time we were out there.
 Here is Dave's finished Minnesota Gophers hat.  I used this pattern but I made it quite a few rows longer because the first one I'd knit just barely covered his ears.  Can you see our new dusting of snow on the ground behind me?
I knit one more Le Slouch hat from the same variegated worsted I bought in Finland.  I knit Dave a winter hat out of the same yarn so now we match.  We might have to take a dorky picture together in our hats.  I looked and this pattern has since been removed but there is a similar one by the same author over on Knit and Tonic.


I got my first taste of jitrnice (say eether-neetza) which is a traditional Czech sausage.  At first glance I thought this was a word that could use a few more vowels.  Dave's parents described a dish that sounded like haggis because it is a casing stuffed with ground meat, spices and barley.  It is basically a hash that you eat with potatoes and I have to say it was delicious.  Dave's brother procured this for us.  I'm not sure if it came from a locker or maybe an ethnic deli of some sort or maybe he just knows a guy.

This is what it looks like frozen and unwrapped.  You bake it at 350 for about an hour or until the casing starts to burst.  A lot of fat comes out as it bakes.  Dave's dad was telling us about how his dad worked at a meat packing plant and would on occasion bring home pig heads that he was given or that would normally have been discarded.  He described how they'd trim the cheeks and the snout etc. and make large batches of jitrnice and store it out in the shed in the winter months.  Today we would call it waste meat but of course in by-gone days, nothing went to waste.

Here it is baked and bursting.  You don't eat the casing but it was so good that I scraped mine clean.  We have one more in our freezer.  This is a new Czech tradition that I happily embrace!