Friday, 28 June 2013

I am done for

I made some more steel cut oats for breakfast this morning, using this method.  When it was reheated, I scooped some into a bowl for myself, stirred in some brown sugar, sliced half a banana on top and sprinkled over some roughly chopped toasted pecans.  It was yuuuuuuum.  And there's enough left over for breakfast tomorrow, which is good because I can go for an early run and eat when I get home without having to wait for something to cook.  Yes I could eat cereal, but it's winter and cooked breakfasts are way better.  Especially when it's the weekend!  I've been on a bit of an oatmeal bender lately, trying all sorts of stuff.  You may have noticed.  It kinda makes me giggle really.  Porridge used to be a pretty boring affair - rolled oats cooked in water, with some white sugar sprinkled on top and served with milk is how I'd always had it as a kid.  Cooking rolled oats with milk and serving it with brown sugar and cream was my idea of really fancy.  So naïve...  So far I've tried persimmon cranberry baked oatmeal (a definite favourite), cranberry apple cinnamon baked oatmeal (I had to use up the cranberries), PBJ protein oats (not as gross as it sounds.  Colour me surprised), and steel cut oats with apple, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Having had success with all of these recipes, I decided to branch out a little more and see what else I could try.  Then I stumbled across 'The Oatmeal Artist'.  Well, knock me down!  I want to try ALL THE OATMEALS.  First on the list I think will be the pecan pie baked oatmeal, then maybe her version of PB&J baked oatmeal.  I'm rather intrigued by the green monster oatmeal as well.  There's also salted brownie baked oatmeal, pumpkin pie oatmeal, french toast oatmeal... starting to hyperventilate...  Oh my goodness!  So many oatmeal recipes!  And the best thing?  They're all one serving.  So I can make all my own crazy oatmeal flavours just for me, and not have to try and fob them off to other family members.  Deane's a trooper and will eat whatever I throw at him.  X will eat most things, but tends to stick to pretty plain porridge - ie: no fruit, no nuts, no 'weird stuff' (hmm, I wonder if he'll try strawberries and cream oatmeal?).  T... definitely not a porridge-eater (he's missing out on so much!).  I'm guessing having oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner isn't really a balanced diet though...  Can't wait for Sunday now ;)

We've been having some more yummy dinners lately.  The other day I finally got around to making pumpkin risotto - something I've been wanting to make for aaaaaaages.  It was just as good as I thought it would be, and X ate it too.  Yay!  I made Deane some leek and mushroom risotto last week, but just couldn't bring myself to eat it.  I'm working on trying to eat more mushrooms, and actually managed a beef stroganoff the other week, but aside from taste-testing the risotto for seasoning requirements and done-ness, I couldn't eat it.  So there's heaps in the freezer for Deane's lunches :)  Last night I tried something else new - satay.  This aversion to satay stems from my lifelong-until-just-recently dislike of peanut butter (that sentence totally doesn't make sense).  We had received our order of Green Meadows Beef that morning, so rather than use pork mince as originally planned I decided to use beef mince to make meatballs, which I baked in the oven.  Much healthier than pan frying.  And by the way, I baked them just on a tray with a layer of baking paper and no oil.  Not a single drip of fat escaped those meatballs.  Not one.  Now that's what you call lean beef mince!  I made some fresh pita bread and a satay sauce using this recipe but just adding all the sauce ingredients to a pot and whisking it while bringing it to a boil.  I was once again pleasantly surprised.  It was rather delicious, and I'm looking forward to eating the leftovers for lunch today.  Deane didn't take them with him to work, and I wasn't going to chase him down to remind him ;)  Sadly, there's no pita bread left.  T devoured three of the eight pitas for dinner.  I swear, if you put that child on an island with just bread and water and no other human contact, he'd be just fine.  X had two, and Deane had two.  I was quite full after one, stuffed full of meatballs and salad with satay sauce.  Tonight's dinner will be pearl barley pilaf with tomatoes.  I made this some time ago, and I remember it being quite nice.  Must be about time to try it again.

As for baking, I've been a little slack.  I bought commercial bread for the first time in months, and some bread rolls for the kids lunches.  And I also bought some commercial biscuits.  Shock horror!  I had baked some corn flake cookies, but they didn't like them (fussy little horrors, they're actually quite nice).

In other news, we are preparing ourselves for an onslaught.  Batten down the hatches!  Drop the sails!  Hoist the anchor!  Pre-teen hormones are rife in the house of kreachr.  X has had quite the attitude for some time now so that hasn't come as much of a shock for any of us, but just the other day I found myself at the supermarket, purchasing some Clearasil face wash.  He's been getting the occasional spot showing up in recent months so I decided it was time to get him into the habit of proper skin care.  Bless him, the odds are not in his favour.  Both Deane and I had problem skin as teenagers (still do on occasion, in both cases).  He's only ten now, so I don't like his chances of navigating through the next several years blemish-free.  Oh dear.  Rocky times ahead, and we've only just begun.  We'll be in for quite the hormonal poop-storm, I can feel it in my waters...

I'm still waiting on final results for my last two papers.  The assignments have been marked, but the final grades for each paper are yet to be calculated.  I'm estimating an A and a B, but I have no real idea what they will be because I don't quite know how they calculate them.  Ugh, I hate waiting :(  I've started obsessively checking the website every couple of hours, hoping they've updated the information.  A bit ridiculous really, since they send you an email anyway.  Have I mentioned I hate waiting?

I'm also waiting for the Tour de Fleece to begin.  I never know whether I should go by date, or by actual start time.  Since France is ten hours behind, the official race start times would be late in the afternoon.  So I guess I'll just go by date and start spinning tomorrow morning once I've been for a run, had a shower and eaten breakfast.  I'm actually looking forward to it - I haven't had My Lovely out since last year I think.  Perhaps the last TdF... gosh, it's been a while!  I've brought her downstairs and given her a good dust off, and the 500g bag of cormo is sitting there, waiting patiently.  I doubt I'll get the whole bag spun, but I'll give it a go anyway.  I'll be aiming for singles at around 28-30 wpi, since fingering weight yarn is 14 wpi or thereabouts.  I'm quite out of practice so it'll be interesting to see how I get on, especially since I've never spun cormo before.

I was hoping to finish my hand spun Citron shawl before the Tour started, but those plans got scuppered when Deane came home from work yesterday complaining (in a roundabout way) about the bottom ribbing of his hand knit sweater.  It was puffing out and had a tendency to roll up.  He said he felt like he was wearing the sweater version of those rolled-toe shoes that jesters wear.  I'll admit I was a little hesitant about the ribbing when I first read the pattern - it says to cast on x number of stitches with 3.5mm needles, work k1, p2 rib for 1.5", then change to 4mm needles and decrease x number of stitches.  That's rather unusual, considering the rib is supposed to fit a little more snug than the rest of the garment.  Sure, it's knit on smaller needles, but not enough to balance out the 78 stitch decrease (Deane's sweater was an XXL, requiring 318 stitches cast on, with 240 working stitches after the decreases).

So like the good wife that I am, I sat and patiently picked up 240 stitches around the bottom of sweater body just above the ribbing, snipped a stitch, then proceeded to painstakingly unpick a row of knitting in order to remove the entire ribbed section along the bottom.  I then re-knit it in the opposite direction (the sweater was originally knit from the bottom up) without increasing back to 318 stitches - the ribbing now has 240 stitches like the rest of the body, knit with 3.5mm needles.  It actually looks like its supposed to, cinching in a little at the bottom of the garment instead of flaring out.  I bound off somewhere around 11pm, but the bind off was unfortunately a little too tight (despite the instructions saying it was super stretchy.  Pfft).  I put it down for the evening, finished watching the episode of Boardwalk Empire we were on, then went to bed.  This morning, after sorting the kids breakfasts and lunches, I sat down and unpicked the bind off, then re-bound off with a slightly different, much more stretchy bind off.  By that time Deane had left for work sans sweater (but with his Doctor Who scarf, yay), so I'll have to wait until he gets home to see if its okay.  Next time around, I'll trust my knitterly instincts a little more.

Next on the needles will not be the other half of my pair of argyle knee-high socks as originally planned, but a new pair of socks for Deane.  He has five pairs*, but they're getting a little thread-bare in places and a couple of socks have small holes.  They're not really darning-worthy since they're getting so thin, so I'll just have to knit him some more.  Because of my yarn diet, I'm limited to stash yarns.  The other night I pulled out all the skeins that were man-friendly (ie: not pink or purple) and laid them out.  Which skein did he pick?  The most expensive one - my skein of SweetGeorgia Yarns Cashluxe Fine in Cayenne - 70% superwash merino, 20% CASHMERE, and 10% nylon.  Typical.  The things I do for that man...  Apparently he picked that colour because it would look the coolest peeking out from under suit pants.  Whatever.  He just has expensive taste in yarns.  It will be knit into these socks.  I really hope I have enough yardage - yarn chicken is not a fun game.

Ooh, its lunch time.  Satay beef and salad, here I come!  Enjoy your eats people, and have a good weekend :)

* He would have six pairs, but the TARDIS socks were so well-loved that the 100% merino bits at the top - the parts that had the POLICE BOX writing - fell to pieces.  The rest of the socks (knit in Patons Patonyle) were fine and could've just kept going.  One of the many reasons I will always knit socks with sock yarn that has a nylon content in it from now on.


  1. When I first read this title I thought you might have a running injury - thank goodness that is not the case, as you are progressing so well!
    Now all this talk about porridge is making me hungry and I might have to go make some right now! I have it the same as you did as a kid - love how the white sugar melts :)

  2. No injuries thank goodness, all is well and in good working order (touch wood!) Things are going very well at the moment. I ran to Mount Eden again yesterday. My only issue with that run is having to stop at all the traffic lights! Hope your injury is recovering well. It's good to see you getting some more mileage in :)