[cooking] No Knead Bread and my first frittata

Back from Columbus (last night) and getting ready to go to Puerto Rico (tomorrow). Got a new camera cable and was able to download a picture of the No Knead Bread I made last week:

After eating out for a week, I can't tell you how good it was to cook at home last night. I looked in the fridge and thought, "What can I use up, since we're going to be gone for a week?"

Frittata. I've never made one before and now I wish I had a non-stick smaller than 12 inches. 8 inches would be perfect. I should rehabilitate and re-season my cast-iron pan. It's kind of... rusty. Maybe I'll name the pan "Rusty".

I loosely followed these instructions, using onions, red/green/orange bell peppers and crimini mushrooms. Then all the eggs in the fridge (7) with some half & half and cheese. Cook until still wet-ish on the stovetop, then under the broiler with cheese on top.

It came out of the oven fluffy (even puffy) but settled into a flat pancake. Which is why next time I'll use a pan smaller in diameter (for a thicker frittata). Still it was good and got two-thumbs up from Dollar- but then again, he'd been eating frozen pizza all week so he was just as thrilled as me to have a real meal.


[travel] Columbus, OH

I'm in Columbus, OH for the week. I was a little hesitant about coming (Columbus? What's there to do in Columbus?) but the place isn't crowded. It's clean and everyone I've talked to has been nice. I hear there's good shopping in Easton and I might head over, but I might just stick to downtown. We'll see.

The trip out here was yet another travel debacle. I drove down to Manchester, NH and went to check in at Northwest. I told them my flight and the girl said, "Yeah... We stopped doing that flight, like, two weeks ago." So... So what am I supposed to do now? She walked down to chat with a Delta guy and they got me on another flight at around the same time. Easy.

As I went through security, a TSA agent looked at my boarding pass and pulled me aside for the heavy-duty, invasive search. One agent took all my stuff (carry-on bag, coat, shoes, laptop, belt) and went behind a screened-off area. A female agent gave me the overhaul- wand my feet, wand my legs, want my hips, beep beep, felt up the rivets (all the rivets) of my jeans, wand my arms, my chest, beep beep, felt up the underwire of my bra, wand my back, beep beep, felt up the metal bra hooks, wand the front of my pants, had me turn out the front of my waistband, beep beep, felt up my zipper area (to be fair, she asked if I would prefer to be molested in private where business men would get to see a free show- I declined in the interest of getting this over with as fast as possible). I asked why I was pulled aside like this.

"Did you pay for your ticket with cash?" she asked.

"No. But I was just issued this ticket with another airline after I found out my flight wasn't available."

"That's it," she said. "There are certain things that flag your boarding pass."

Hmm... Does this make me feel safer to fly or more violated?

The flight to JFK went off without a hitch but the connection to Columbus was delayed and then we sat on the plane for an hour. Sure we got to Columbus three hours late and yeah, it was annoying but after my Portland, OR trip, it was cake. THIS time I had plenty of knitting to do and I was able to knit a pair of ankle socks for myself.

And I just realized that the cable to download pictures from my camera to my computer is missing. Now, it COULD be that I left it at home but I tend to remember to pack it when I'm traveling. So I think the TSA agent who searched my bag failed to put it back in. I'll check Manchester's lost & found when I return Thursday. How annoying.


[cooking] Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made Chocolate Chip Cookies a couple nights ago. Work has been depressively hectic so I figured it was time for cookies. I creamed the butter & sugars, then added the egg and vanilla. Then I went to stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. This was a little tougher than it sounds because the mixture stops being wet after only half of the dry ingredients have been added. So it was a matter of trying to press/fold/roll the ball of dough around the mixing bowl until all the flour was gone. Then the chips and grated chocolate? It was like I had a huge ball of dough with chocolate chips all over the outside. I resisted the urge to knead (didn't want to work any of the gluten out of the flour- or melt the chocolate with heat from my hands). I stabbed and cut and rolled and folded with my wooden spoon until the chips looked evenly distributed.

It was worth it. Even though the dough was hard to work with, it was totally worth it. Small cookies (only 2 inches across) with height, chewyness and lots of chips. I only baked half, rolled the rest of the dough into a log in plastic wrap, and placed the leftovers in the fridge to be baked the next night.

Next time I'll either omit the grated chocolate or try to buy some already grated. For me, this ingredient didn't stand out (perhaps I grated the chocolate too fine?) and was messy to produce.


[knitting] Mother's Day / NH Sheep & Wool

I finished the dishcloths for Mother's Day. Three old fashioned ones:

And three different lace ones:

I also have the pigs and rocks I got from Gemstar Gemstone. The dark purple one in the front is meant to bring prosperity and the green one brings money.

How do I know it brings money? I "accidentally" brought it with me last Thursday night when I accompanied Dollar to his weekly poker game. I had never been and didn't know how to play any of the games they described. But I won and took everyone's money. Heh heh.

I went down to the NH Sheep & Wool festival on Saturday. I didn't spend too much time looking at the animals and dog trials, but rather scoured the vendors for the best deals. Of all the yarn I saw, The Fiber Fetish blew me away. This yarn needs to be seen and touched. Each skein was a little different but has jewel-like qualities. shiny, soft to the touch, amazing colors. I could not stop staring at this yarn.

Cormo appeared to be the fiber of the festival (at least among the vendors). If they had any, they had a sign up saying, "Cormo! We have Cormo!" Hm, what's so special about Cormo? I felt it and it was wonderful. So buttery and soft. I really couldn't believe it. I preferred all of the undyed Cormo I felt. There aren't too many fibers that I prefer undyed, but Cormo on it's own is lofty and soft when knit up.


[cooking] Roast Chicken

Thomas Keller's recipe for his Favorite Simple Roast Chicken is perfect. The chicken I used last night was a little over 3 pounds. I trussed it, made sure it was DRY DRY DRY (inside and out), rained down lots of salt, and a little pepper. Into the oven at 450 for 55 minutes. It came out achingly beautiful. So golden brown. The skin was crisp and salty.

I did serve it with a side salad and some fiddleheads. Dollar and I could only manage to eat one leg and thigh section apiece. I'm not sure how the breasts came out because we were too stuffed to even attempt. Next time, the entire chicken is going to be sectioned and that's all we're having to eat. I'm sure that's all we'd want.


[knitting] Links

Sleepy Snake eats Mischievous Mouse

Knitty Surprises are up: Arietta, Vanilla Spice, Leaf, Victoria

Monster Knitalong

Lots of new yarns from Elann this month! Lara and Callista are available now.

Knit Picks shows you different ways to cast on and dye.

Chevron hat pattern. Interesting. Looks a little like a cloche.

Tutorial on how to do a picot cuff.

[amy] Weekend wedding

Wow, the wedding was amazing. It was a traditional Indian wedding and it lasted two hours. The bride wasn't even there for the first 40 minutes. The event was full of colors, sounds and scents. It was especially fun since her side of the family is all white, Irish Catholic (his side is from South India), so there was a mix of both cultures. The wedding itself featured lots of sanctifying, purifying, exchanging garland, tying knots, sprinkling rice on each other's heads, taking seven steps together, etc etc etc. For the American reception, the bride and groom changed out of their Indian clothes into a white wedding dress and suit. Then it was party time.

So that was Sunday. Saturday I went to the first Norwich Farmer's Market of the season. I got some elk sausages to grill. Oh, and some fiddleheads (which I have to call my mother about and ask her how to cook). The field trip to Patternworks didn't happen but that's okay, I was feeling fairly run-down and I needed to get some things done around the house since I wasn't going to have time to do them Sunday.

Friday night I was sick. I finished the arduous process of making the oxtails and got sick from them. I ate mine, didn't feel right, then got violently ill in the bathroom. Dollar only had a bite or two of his and said, "There's something about this... I don't really like it." Me, I guess I pushed past that feeling while eating and ended up paying for it. Blah, I do not recommend oxtails. I admit, the flavor was good and yes, it did make a nice tasting broth but the meat was... fatty or sinewy and the texture was... Can we just stop talking about it. Ugh, never again. I'll just stick to steaks. Plain ol' steaks.

I finished all the dishcloths I wanted to make for Mother's Day from the Sugar 'n Cream Cotton Twists- six dishcloths in six days. Now I just have to weave in the ends and wash them. I made the last two while watching The Lost Room miniseries. Has anyone else seen this? I thought it was so good!


[amy] Quiet night to knit

This week has been crazy. We've had people over to eat five nights out of the past seven. Not that I don't mind feeding a small percentage of the Upper Valley (and having them compliment me on the nice pasta/chicken/beef tenderloin/curry, chuff chuff chuff), I want some quiet time with Dollar tonight. Just me knitting on the couch and him CLACK CLACK CLICK-CLACK-CLICK-CLACK CLACKCLACKCLACKing away on Guitar Hero. (I swear I'm ready to throw the plastic guitars, games and Playstation out the window.)

I've got some knitting I want to finish. The socks. The nightie. I've started some dishcloths for Mother's Day. I got some of the new Lily Sugar 'n Cream Cotton Twists a while ago:

The balls are smaller than the solid Lily cotton yarn:

I've been able to get exactly two dishcloths from one ball. No left overs for the stash, which is nice, but a little nerve-wracking as I near the end of the yarn and think, "Is this dishcloth going to be square or end up a little rectangular?"

I've been trying to knit from my stash as I am taking a field trip to Patternworks tomorrow with a fellow knitter. I'm not sure what I'll get but some of their house yarns (Bretton, Meredith Bay, Sunapee) would be affordable. I'd also like a sweater stone but haven't been able to find one at local yarn shops or at Webs. I want to remove the pills from Dollar's pirate hat.

Sunday we're going down to Massachusetts for the day, to attend a good friend's wedding.