YOPing on a Sunday

I updated my Year of Projects (YOP) list today, and it felt good — a reminder of why I should keep doing Year of Projects.

Fiber Art

I reached out to the gallery owner to share my work so far, and make sure the show was still on in September. And it is! So yesterday I looked through my photos for inspiration. I think I will spend some time sketching today. I have four pieces completed, although the fourth is in the still-hemming-and-hawing-and-stitching phase.

Knitting

I’ve been working on my Water shawl since I finished Turtledove. I’m almost to the short row panes.

I also need to cast on the Getting Warmer cowl (Rav link) for the silent auction winner for our fundraiser at work This will be a nice mindless knit for when Water is too challenging for my evening brain.

Sewing

📸 The Avid Seamstress

This is the raglan dress I’m making in the plaid flannel, although I think I will make the sleeves elbow length and a little more fitted than these.

📸 The Avid Seamstress

Here’s the short sleeved version which I will make in a blue cotton shirting. They have a tutorial on their website if you would like more information about this dress. Today my plan is to piece the pattern together.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here.

Bonus content: I am trying my hand at making vanilla extract. At work we are developing a partnership with a Fair Trade vanilla bean farm. Extract is super easy to make. I split the beans and dropped them in vodka. They have only been in there 2 days and it already smells amazing!

Mince Pies

📸 The Pattern Pixie

Yes, there’s a knitting pattern for mince pies. I’m filing this one away for later. (Ravelry link)

This is the second year Bob and I have made homemade mince pies. I make the filling and he makes the crust. This year I’d forgotten how I made the mincemeat last year. I recreated it, but even better! I’m posting the recipe for next year when I forget again.

This is only the recipe for the filling since Bob’s gluten-free pie crust recipe is top secret.

For the mincemeat:

2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
1 cup dried, sour cherries
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried sultanas
3/4 cup dried currants
3/4 cup dried figs, chopped
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, chopped fine
1/4 cup orange rind, chopped fine
1 cup raw sunflower seeds, hulled
1 cup raw pepitas

Mix the above ingredients in a large bowl. Add and fold in:

3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Bob’s pumpkin pie spice (Ceylon cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, cardamom, and allspice)
1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups apple cider

Mix until ingredients are evenly distributed.

In a separate bowl, grate 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter. Add 4 tablespoons of gluten free flour. Mix with hands or pastry cutter until crumbly.

Add the butter and flour mixture to the mincemeat mixture. Stir well.

Turn into a buttered casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake in a 250 degree Fahrenheit oven for 90 minutes.

Cool mixture. When ready, fill pie shells. Top with lattice or cut outs.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes for small pies, 40-45 minutes for a big one.

We filled enough pies for one of Bob’s gluten-free double pie crust recipe, and still had enough mincemeat to fill a one quart jar.

I might have eaten a mince pie before dinner while watching A Christmas Horror Story.
Moondrake Yarn Advent Day 14

Gluten Free Rosemary Shortbread Stars

I haven’t been knitting much lately due to work. But last night I did bake some cookies for Holidayville, our neighborhood’s Christmas shopping event. Shortbread is my favorite cookie, and rosemary is my favorite fresh herb, and I’m pretty sure I’ve had herb infused shortbread before. It sounded delicious, anyway.

First I cut and chopped fresh rosemary from my plant and made a compound butter with some Irish butter. I specifically chose non-US butter because I recently heard on The Splendid Table that European butter has a higher fat content by law. I thought, that’s gotta be a good thing for cookies, right?

After the butter had been infused for about 48 hours in the frig, I followed this recipe using my rosemary butter. However, I used Trader Joe’s gluten free flour mix, and I have learned that flour mixes are the kiss of death for gluten free cookies. But I didn’t have time to go to the natural food store and get all the right flours, and I did have xantham gum to add.

These cookies came out okay, but they were crumbly until fully cool, so I had to be careful transferring them to the cooling racks. The Irish butter makes them so rich you only really want one. If I were to make them again, I would use plain old unsalted American butter and go shopping for the individual flours like I should have done in the first place.

After Holidayville today, I plan to come home, plant myself on the sofa, watch goofy Christmas movies and knit until I pass out. I think tonight I’ll watch Christmas with the Kranks, one of my goofiest favorites. Bob will probably let me have my way, even though he doesn’t enjoy the dumb Christmas movies like I do.

Maybe next Saturday we’ll invite the kids over for Rare Exports, our most favoritest Christmas movie ever. We also enjoyed Krampus, and I think that should be queued this holiday season as well, even though it isn’t as well done as Rare Exports.

Do you have a favorite holiday movie? Is it silly and fun? Or serious and sacred? Or a horror, like ours?

Gluten-Free Gingerbread

This year I adjusted our gingerbread recipe so I’m going to post it here.

Cream:

3/4 cup coconut oil

with

2/3 cup blackstrap molasses

1/3 cup sorghum

(You can use all molasses.)

Add:

1/2 cup whole cane sugar

1 egg

Mix well.

Sift together:

4 cups gluten-free flour mix

(I added brown rice, tapioca, and sorghum flours to my regular mix.)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons ground ginger

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon ground cloves

(We like our gingerbread cookies really spicy. Also, look for fair trade spices, coconut oil, sugar and molasses.)

Add dry mixture to wet and mix well. While mixing, add hot water one tablespoon at a time until dough is no longer crumbly. (I added three tablespoons.)

Refrigerate until stiff, 2-3 hours.

Roll out to 1/4″ thick and cut into shapes.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

Makes a lot of cookies.

I mixed butter, powdered sugar, milk, and meringue powder for the frosting and decorated with candies. Look at these holiday candies I found at World Market this year!

They don’t break your teeth either. They have the consistency of, and taste like, a fun dip stick, according to Hans.