Friday, May 8, 2015

down the rabbit hole

Since I've been taking so many nature shots this spring, I've fallen way behind on the other things I like to occasionally highlight here.  First, the baking.  I've done quite a bit of it this spring.

Recently, baked lemon donuts, lightly glazed, from Sugarcrafter...delicious.

Back in the Day Bakery's Coconut Cream Pie with DOUBLE the coconut...just because.

A Triple Chocolate Cookie Skillet Cake from Life Love Sugar.

I made a TON (over 100) Lemon Crinkle Cookies to send out to friends and family this year for Mother's Day.  Somehow, I had a few lemons left over.  I hate to waste anything, so first I made David Lebovitz's famous no-zest lemon curd.  It wasn't as tart as I normally like my curd, but it definitely grew on me.

But now we had all this curd.

"Must make lemon curd!"
"Lemon curd is great with crumpets."
"I could also make some kind of layered pastry with the leftovers..."

...and down the rabbit hole I went.

First came the crumpets, using my trusty King Arthur Flour recipe that makes sourdough-like beauties.  A perfect companion for this mild curd.

I still had quite a bit of curd left over, and when I read The Baker Chick's post about a nutella-layered sweet bread, I knew I had to improvise.  Instead of using nutella, I spread each layer thickly with lemon curd.  I crushed up frozen blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, sprinkled them with a mixture of sugar and cornstarch, and layered them on top of the curd.  I made many mistakes - I didn't make my dough circles big enough, and this and the leaking fruit made it very difficult to do the star twist design.  It wasn't pretty, but at least it was very tasty.

I've also tried to squeeze in 30 minutes or so each day for knitting.  I've primarily been working on a large, lacy shawl that I could use as a late winter scarf.  If the temperature is 70 degrees or less, I'm chilly.  I don't like thick, bulky fabric wound around my neck, so this seems like a perfect compromise - a cardigan or sweater and this lace instead of a heavy coat and binding scarf.

Now lace, in its original knitted form, is fairly unattractive.  It's all bunched up and doesn't really look like much.

But if you wet it, and carefully stre-e-e-e-etch it out, and use pins to open up the jagged points at the shawl's edge, well, it really makes a difference.

 I think it's so beautiful...and here it is, serving its purpose.

 Love!  The pattern is SWEET DREAMS by Boo Knits on Ravelry.

Now I'm knitting a standard cardigan...

...that has a fanciful yoke of foxgloves.

It's knitted with fingering-weight yarn, which is very thin, so it will take a bit longer to finish.  I'm not in any hurry, though!

That's all the updates for now.  Have a great weekend!

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