Sunday, July 7, 2013

The 4th of Fun and Fiber

Well, the Fourth of July has come and gone.  It's actually not one of my favourite  holidays.  However, we have FAB neighbours and we do almost all of our holidays together, including the Fourth.

As usual, we all got together for a big meal.  My responsibility was the procurement of burgers and baked beans.  Notice that I said "my responsibility." My partner Jeff doesn't like to be bothered with such things.  However, to his credit he always will help if I need it.

Anyway, coming from a southern family, I learned that when you cook, you don't cook for a few, you cook for many.  Now I'm deadly serious here.  In my family, you make food in batches large enough to feed all of Christ's soldiers and then have enough left overs for the Second Coming.

For example, my Aunt Mimi's, (pronounced Mem-ee, it's a Louisiana thing) gumbo recipe calls for a bunch of celery.  Now, in a normal world, you would think that this would mean a few of these, maybe four or five.

Not in our family.  When we say add a bunch of celery we mean one of these.
That's right!  You add the whole damn thing including the leaves.  Oh, and it also calls for 14 cups of stock.  Seriously, how can you possibly show your face at a Knights of Columbus dinner with a dish that only serves six.  You'll be lucky if they let you in the door on bingo night.

Anyway, this is the approach that I also use in cooking.  I can't help it.  Here is the Vat O'Beans that debuted on the 4th.
Of course, in the greatest tradition of Southern Cooking, I made these beans with this.
That's right baby, BACON.  Render the fat from these bad boys first, then saute your onion in the drippings.  YUM.  The bacon is then placed on top of the beans when you put them in the oven.  This particular batch used almost a pound of thick cut bacon and filled an 9"x15" baking dish.  Yes, I actually own a baking dish that big.  It's also 3" tall.  I love this dish.  Seriously.

I also thought I would try my hand at some of these.

Our neighbours LOVE deviled eggs.  Which is great, because we love them too.  Actually, I think that they are a total pain in the butt to put together.  However, being a good mo, I thought I would step out of the norm and do something a little different.  I dyed the eggs in beet juice and kicked up the filling by adding wasabi.  Then, the finishing touch was to add a sprinkle of hot, smoked paprika.  I'm calling them Red Devil Deviled Eggs.  They were the bomb.

So, what was Jeff doing while I was busy in the kitchen?  Why, he was enjoying his Holiday.  See....
Yup there he is relaxing with our two show girls.  The one on the couch is Libby and the one on the floor is Goldie.  They have REALLY big hair, poor things.  However, you know what they say, "The taller the hair, the closer to God."  My girls are pretty tight with the G dude thanks to that big hair.

The 4th wasn't all cooking and watching my partner relax; it also had a good amount of fiber fun thrown in.

I'm still working on those three fleeces of mine.  So, I decided it was time to do some combing while the beans baked.  Here is the Tub O'Wool before I started.
It was a beautiful day here; so, I decided to comb the wool outside on my deck.  Here I have the comb all loaded up.
Looks kinda nasty doesn't it.  Oh, and sorry for the white trash bit with my rugs hanging on the railing in the background.  Really, I don't leave rugs out in my yard.  I was truly just airing them out that day.

Here is the wool after the first pass with the comb.
Second pass...
Third pass...

Pulling it into roving...
Okay, now this is really white trash.  I am actually using the top to a milk jug for a diz.   It's actually the best one that I have.  I almost cried when I thought I had lost it.

And, here it is all ready for the spinning wheel.

Here is my afternoon's take.
Oh, please note that the rugs are no longer there.  I think they got moved in early because Jeff woke up, saw them and made disparaging comments about living in a trailer court.

Now, on the left are all the nasty bits that you get after you comb your wool.  Most people throw this away.  I'm too cheap to do that.  Plus it seems to be such a waste.  I actually go back and spin the nasty bits.

Here is a hank of some merino spun up from the nasty parts.
It's a bit nubby and bumpy but it's super soft.  I got three hanks of the stuff.  When I finish with that fleece, I might have enough of the nasty bits yarn to make a blanket.  I kinda like that "Nasty Bits Yarn."  Sounds scandalous, just the thing to have my mother call to remind me to go to confession.  What is it with Catholic moms and confession?  Oops, ignore me.  I'm digressing into the tortures of my Catholic childhood.

Oh, and here is the Tub O'Wool after all that combing.
 See, I made lots of progress, right?  Sigh....

Well, I'm thinking it's time for me to hit the gym.  I'm almost done with pattern writing; so, I'll definitely have some knitting to show next time.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for writing! I am a needle-felter/dollmaker/crafter in Southern California who loves wool, uses wool and is learning about how the wool is processed. Next month I will learn to card and dye some wool and silk. I was looking up how to blend wool colors and found your page. Thank you for sharing! - Jzin