Sunday, July 17, 2016

Fair and Family Fun

My brother was here all week squeezing two weekend military drills into one week before his deployment.  His family joined us on Friday and my younger niece and I were inspired by The Great British Baking Bake Off so we baked up some raspberry hand pies.  I always brush them with egg wash and sprinkle them with coarse sugar before baking but I'd had this multi colored coarse sugar and wanted to try it.  I thought they'd either look really cool or the colors would melt together and look terrible.  Here they are brushed and sprinkled prior to baking.
Here they are all baked and puffed.  The sprinkles look pretty good!  Granted they look like circus turnovers but they were fun and colorful and tasted just as good.
John came with me to the fair on Thursday and I'm proud to report I nabbed the grand champion with my bead knitted bag!  I entered 23 things and got 2 white, 3 reds, four items didn't place and the rest were all blues so I'm happy with how I fared at the fair.  Tonight I go and pick up my stuff.
We had chilly weather the day we went and it was awesome!  I wore a long sleeve shirt and got to eat my potato blossom!  This is my absolute favorite food item at this fair.  You get all this crispy fried goodness for $6.  All you need is a friend to help you eat it!
The first cherry tomatoes ripened this weekend too which was exciting.  My sister in law picked today's raspberries and my nieces picked a colander of peas for me today while I was unloading the dishwasher.  They gave all the dogs baths on the deck too but I didn't take pictures of that!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I know I've shared about our berries before but I was out in the garden this morning picking the ripe fruits for the day and just struck how pretty they are.  I think our berries might even be wild raspberries.  The colloquial term 'round these parts is black caps because they are so dark and almost black when ripe.  I hated picking raspberries when I was a kid because I was afraid of bees.  I'm still afraid of bees but these berries grow more on a vine than on a bush so you don't have to shuffle through them.  And no my fingers aren't bleeding, those plump berries are just so ripe and juicy.
I can't always trust Dave to pick them because most of the berries go in his mouth.  When I pick them, they go in my top dollar sour cream container Tupperware and into the freezer for later baking.
I have been so pleased with my dill this year.  I planted it back in May and every day I go out and look at  it and water it and I've fertilized it once.  I had 4 vibrant plants developing...HAD.  I went out yesterday and some critter had bitten the stalks right off so this pot went straight up onto the deck!  I'm hoping they'll come back.  I don't have any cucumbers yet so I don't need it for pickling but I wanted to have some bushy sprigs for grilling fish!

Fair Finishes

The Ramsey County Fair starts today and I dropped off my entries yesterday morning.  Dave and I will go tomorrow and maybe my brother John will come with us depending on the time.  Here is what I've been frantically finishing the last couple weeks...
Here is my finished Lucille sweater.  I was so pleased with the way this turned out and I have a full skein of yarn left over.  In a last minute executive decision, I opted to knit the smaller version of the sweater due to gauge concerns and I'm glad I did.  The wrong side of this diamond lace had me constantly thinking about a Victorian Pineapple Bag and I think I'm going to have to tackle that for next year.  Hmmmmm.....
I'm entering the sweater as a 3 piece baby set along with this matching bonnet.  I used my last meter of Sajou ribbon I purchased at Liberty's of London back in 2012.  The third piece of the set is the old reliable ribbed booties but I didn't take a picture of those.
I didn't actually knit this in the last few weeks but I threw it in the blocking bucket once I had it out.  I thought it was cute after I first knit it, but boy what a difference blocking makes!  This is a Baby Surprise Jacket knit from some Liberty Wool Light I bought at a yarn shop in Cannon Falls a few years back.  We were on our way home from my niece's baptism as I recall.
Here is a little scalloped cotton bib I knit out of some Island Collection using this pattern.  It is a pale mint green finished with a streaked pearly mint and pink button.
On our last trip to Fargo, I bought 2 skeins of this Malabrigo colorway and knit a Windschief hat out of one earlier this spring and I just finished this pair of gloves out of the other.  One skein had a little more white showing through so I was lucky to finish this pair out of the single remaining skein.  I had about 24 inches left over!  I also bought a slate blue/gray/navy colorway for a manly pair so I might have to use a neutral color for an inch or two of cuff when I ever get around to knitting those.
Last year I happened to have the baking entry day off so I got up at the crack of dawn to bake raspberry hand pies.  I'm proud to report I won the grand champion in baking with those and I also took home the blue ribbon in the chocolate chip cookie lot.  This year I am working every evening of entry day so I'm not going to break my neck scrambling with baking.  I am going to branch out by entering some photography.  I've never ever entered photography at the fair, even as a 4-H kid.  I'm submitting a photo of Jock the cat from Chartwell--Winston Churchill's home, a photo of the baptismal font and reflection of the ceiling of Salisbury Cathedral, and Dave is entering a photo of the spring bunnies we had in a nest in the garden.  I'll make a 4-H kid out of him yet!