Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Farm to Table Week 3, Hand Dyed SW Merino Singles

Farm to Table

This week's CSA allotment was huge! Zucchini, broccoli, scallions, beets, chard, lettuce, peas and my absolute favorite fruit- Rainer cherries!

We are really enjoying the chard and beet greens and I thought I'd share my sautéed chard recipe. This also works great with beet greens (or any greens I'm sure).

Sautéed Chard

De-rib generous bunch of chard.
Chob rib into 1" pieces.
Cut chard leaves into 1/2" ribbons.
Heat 1/2 tbsp. butter in sauté pan.
Lightly sauté 2 tbsp. diced onions or scallions.
Add chard ribs & cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add chard leaves and another 1/2 tbsp. more butter.
Add dash of sherry & lemon juice.
Sauté until leaves are wilted but still bright in color.
Add a large clove of minced garlic, salt & pepper to taste.
Cook very briefly & remove from heat.
Optional: Add tbsp. or two dijon mustard to sauce.

Adjust the sauce ingredient amounts to your taste. This is just an estimate as I usually eyeball it and taste and I go.


I just finished spinning up 4 oz. of superwash merino that I hand painted. I'm making this into a 2-ply and it should turn out to be a heavy fingering weight. I really had to pack my bobbin full to get all the singles on one and it created a bit of a mess when I wound it off into a center pull ball for plying.

In the end I was able to get it untangled and wound just fine. I think I need to look into getting a jumbo flyer and large bobbins though.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Farm to Table Week 3, Kale chips & Skeining

Here's the haul from out 3rd week of Farm to Table, the CSA program Rach and I signed up for. This week proved very plentiful with zucchini, chard, kale, scallions, beet greens, rhubarb, cabbage, peas and cherries. We are really loving all this fresh, local, organic produce! Cherries are a personal favorite of mine and that quart is almost gone already, even though I've been using restraint. If these were Rainier cherries there would have been no hope for them at all.

I've used up all the kale we've been getting making kale chips. I removed the leaf from the rib, tore them into bite-sized pieces and gave them a spin in the salad spinner. They were then tossed with a drizzle of organic extra virgin olive oil, spread on a cookie sheet and sprinkled lightly with garlic salt. Then into a 375F oven for about 7 minutes (the recipe I followed said 15 minutes, but the first batch got a little burned after 10 so I found 7 was a better time for this variety of kale). They are light, crispy, and quite tasty!

I've also been spending a lot of time skeining yarn to dye up for the shop. I thought some of you might be interested in how I skein my yarn. Here's a look at my highly sophisticated skeining setup (note the pure sophistication of the cardboard box on the floor to keep cat hair off the yarn).
Someday I'll have an electric skeiner to make this process a lot faster, but for now this works. I just have to say thank goodness for Netflix instant! Without it my brain would surely turn to mush during the long hours of winding yarn. Here's a close-up of the setup:

To the left you can see all the cones of yarn I still have to skein. The end result of all this mind-numbing work however, is a gorgeous blank canvas just begging to be hand-painted with dye. Totally worth all the effort!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Farm to Table Week 2

This week's installment from our local CSA program: Peas, scallions, asparagus, kale, rhubarb, and strawberries. I'll be busy this week using all this wonderful food!

Strawberry Rhubarb Deliciousness

Here's the strawberry rhubarb pie that I made from some of last week's CSA haul. I forgot the granulated sugar on top of the crust until it was already too late (whoops). It was still delicious and really made it feel like summer around here! We have another pickup today and I'll be sure to post pictures of all our goodies later.

In fiber arts related news I am working on the foot of the second sock for my friend Heather's little girl. They're just a basic kids sock which I gussied up a smidgen with some k3, p1 ribbing. I'll throw up a photo when they're done. I also have some sw bamboo-merino-nylon on my spindle and some sw merino on my wheel that I'll try to photograph too.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Farm to Table Week 1

Today's content has nothing to do with fiber arts, but it does have to do with my life and some of the other things that are really important to me. I've been wanting to make an effort to blog more regularly and I think if I give myself permission to blog about my life in general, instead of trying to only post fiber arts content, it will be a more engaging process for me and hopefully for my readers as well. I don't function in a fiber arts bubble and so readers will be getting a more complete look into my head & life.

Food is something I am very passionate about and I truly believe that a good, wholesome, ethically balanced meal eaten together at the dinner table is what holds people together. Understanding where our food comes from and how it gets to our table, eating consciously in other words, is vital for instilling in us the gratitude which shapes our attitudes towards this planet and everything we share it with.

My girlfriend Rachel and I signed up for a CSA this year at our local organic food store. The program (called Farm to Table) runs through November and has weekly food pickups. The food comes from a variety of local farmers and almost all of it is grown organically (apples are the exception to the rule).

Rach and I eat as much organic, local and whole foods as we can (and as little processed, refined and packaged foods as possible), so we are very excited to participate in the program this year. Today we picked up our first installment of food. Asparagus, kale, strawberries, rhubarb and a quart of Grade A dark maple syrup.

The strawberries and rhubarb will probably become a compote. The syrup will grace our buckwheat and flax pancakes. The asparagus will be steamed and eaten with lemon. The kale might become kale chips, or it might just get steamed too. We can't wait to see what we get next week!

Just to sneak a bit of fiber arts content in at the end, I am currently winding skeins of all of my yarn bases and new handpainted yarns should be up in the shop soon!