six inch chef's knife

We went on vacation so Russell could take another bladesmithing class.  He was learning to forge Damascus.  Which meant that he motivated to come home and finish what he already started.  He has learned so much over the last six months that some of the knives he is finishing are just not quite what he wishes them to be.


I get all the "seconds."  This beautiful six inch chef's knife is not completely done but Russell wanted it off his work table so it ended up in the knife block.  Which means I started using it.  He still needs to sharpen it a bit more because I have gotten used to scary sharp.

The handle is beautiful!  I like a bit more rounded but it works.  Russell said he would work on it a bit.  I know he would rather be building a forge though (evil grin)


oil lamp

It is the time of year where I just wish to snuggle in.  It is a bit warm to do it but I am getting ready.  I need cozy and golden.  Pots of soup and quilts and large cups of tea.  I decided I really needed oil lamps.  Though I really like the vintage ones with glass shades, I have not found any in my thrifting and I did not wish to wait.  Maybe next month with more junk shops, yes?  The end result of not being able to find any is that I made some.

Most of the parts you can order online, find at your local hardware store, or find in your kitchen cupboard.

Our local hardware store carried similar burners but they did not fit a regular mouth mason jar.  I had to order this one so I ordered a few.

When I ordered the burner, I also ordered chimneys.  Crucial to keep the flame burning smoothly!

I took a quart mason jar off the kitchen shelf and filled it with lamp oil.  I actually saw some quart jars while thrifting so i will try there first before I bought new.  I will need to pick up some more.  They are great for more then oil lamps, storage too!  Or if you have a husband who likes pickled things....

Once the jar is fuel or nearly full of lamp oil, screw on the burner.  It is a good thing to let the wick soak in the oil before trying to light it.  I actually took the wick out of the burner and soaked it for a bit (fifteen minutes?) before I rethreaded it.  

You light this lamp without the chimney on and put the chimney on the burner once it is lit.

And there is an oil lamp.  I have the makings for a few more but I am still going to keep my eyes open for vintage ones!  I actually had breakfast by this lamp this morning.  It was the touch I needed with my tea and toast to prepare myself for the day.  It was a blessing.


pancakes with roasted apples

I am a picky pancake person.  We have friends who make fabulous apple pancakes with apple syrup.  It is one of those family recipe type meals that you feel absolutely honored being invited over for because it is so stupendous!  But when they are not there to do it, I have to figure out something that works for me.  This is what I came up with and I have to say it is pretty fabulous.

Roasted Apples

2 apples

2 tablespoons oil

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 - 1 teaspoon cinnamon - to your taste

Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cut the apples in quarters, core, and peel.  Put the oil in an oven proof pan.  Slice the apple quarters into little bits into the pan.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Place in the oven.  Give a stir at the ten minute mark and the twenty minute mark.  They should be soft and created their own syrup after about thirty minutes.   Remove from the oven and serve hot.

After some discussions with Adam, I serve this on top of the pancakes below.  But you could serve it on other things.  It is also very good stirred into the pancake batter that I have listed here.  Or mix it into bread dough. Grilled cheese sandwiches with roasted apple bread are pretty superior. 

Sourdough Pancakes

sourdough starter

3/4 cup water

1 cup flour

2 eggs

1 cup hempmilk

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 to 1 cup flour.

The night before you wish pancakes, mix the sourdough starter, 3/4 cup water, and 1 cup flour in a ceramic bowl and cover with a cloth.  Let it sit on the counter and become a bubbly growing smelly mass.  It is at its best then.  Take out two to four tablespoons and put in a jar.  Store in the refrigerator.

 Put a griddle on the oven to heat over medium heat.

To the starter mixture, add the eggs, hempmilk, sugar, oil, salt, and flour.  Stir well.

Heat some oil on the griddle.  Dip out a scant quarter cup of batter and pour onto the griddle.  Wait until the bubbles pop and the top is a bit dry.  Turn.  Cook another couple minutes.  Remove to a plate and keep warm in a very low oven.  Make sure your plate is oven proof!

Pour the roasted apples over the pancakes.  Just watch how fast they disappear.  The picture above is a good point.  I could not even get a picture before they became devoured.  

It is a good thing and makes me smile.


Last day of camping

Our last day camping, I stayed at the camp site while Russell was at his workshop,  It was a beautiful day.  It stated out needing a camp fire but it ended up with me working outside.

This was my workspace.  I actually got sunburned after a week of mostly rain.  It was truly restful.

Russell took better pictures of the sweater.  I just like the last one.  I worked on a skirt while I was at the picnic table.  I tried to put a connected petticoat with it but decided it would be to warm for normal life.  I also need some of my regular tools.  I just did not remember everything.  But it was not bad for a first time.

And my new machine works like a dream!


new crochet hooks

When we travel, I have a tendency to check out new yarn shops because I do not particularly care for the ones I have found close to home.

And I usually have Russell with me so he can pick out yarns.  And this time I have two new crochet hooks.

This is the yarn that Russell picked out for socks.  It is Cascade Yarn's wool sock yarn.  I definitely needed a new hook!  Here it is.  This does not show how tiny it truly it is.

I picked up some magnum yarn by Cascade yarns and need an N hook.  I am making a sweater with this.

Here is is without sleeves.  I started from the top and worked my way down.  There are no sleeves on it here.  I added an extra stitch every other row on the front two panels to create some interest.  I also added a mandarin collar.  I also finished the front edge with a single stitch.

I finished the sleeves.  It just needs a zipper or buckles down the front.  I have to decide.