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In Which I Make You Hungry

I have a conundrum. It turns out that two of my favorite past-times are vying for the same space. You all know about the dyeing thing. It’s all over this blog. The interesting thing is, that for dyeing one needs some counter space, a couple of pots, probably some aluminum foil and some plastic wrap, and a stove top. This is where the problem comes in. I am really starting to fall in love with cooking, which uses similar equipment. (Not the same equipment mind you. Never mix your dyeing and your cooking materials. Dyes are not meant to be eaten.) Since it could be hazardous, I never dye and cook at the same time, which means when it comes to a choice between having enough time to dye some more products or cook a delicious, from scratch meal, the cooking usually wins out.

Joining the CSA this year was completely worth the money. I love that I can go pick up fresh produce once a week, and that there is usually a vegetable I haven’t tried before. So far it had mostly been a new type of green. It was a banner year for greens, let me tell you. This week it was turnips. I don’t know how I made it to 26 without ever (knowingly) eating a turnip, but I did. I made a turnip and potato potage from this book

that turned out delicious. In fact, I plan on having the leftovers for lunch. I the Local Flavors book a lot. It is good for generating ideas for using what you have instead of going out and buying food to cook a specific recipe. Also, the recipes I have made so far kind of follow my general method of cooking, which is to throw vegetables in a pan with some other stuff and see what happens. I especially liked making my own broth (for “Elixir of Fresh Peas”) out of pea pods.

And because I apparently have a deep desire to watch things grow and grow quickly, I bought a sprouting jar and some sprouts. I have a bag full of broccoli sprouts I have been putting on everything. They are delicious, crunchy, and have more flavor than alfalfa sprouts. I have a mix of bean sprouts growing right now that are mostly lentils. Who knows what I am going to do with those, but they are pretty.

Another recipe I have been making a lot is the Master Bread Recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Of course, I use whole wheat flour, which is not what the recipe calls for, but it turns out just as good. In fact, I find using whole grain flours actually adds to the flavor. (You should probably add an extra 1/4 cup of water, however.) This dough recipe is super versatile. It not only makes the usual little peasant loaf, but it also makes a delicious pizza crust (which Athrun will eat). I even used it to make pita bread one night. Amazing.

Tonight I am using the last of our spinach pesto (made when we had CSA spinach coming out our ears) and goat cheese pizza with caramelized onions. It’s my new favorite thing, and it makes me kind of sad that spinach season is ending. However, I am sure it will be just as good with basil pesto come August.

In Shop News
I mentioned on my Facebook Group that I have been thinking of adding some hand-knit goods to my shop inventory. Of course, this means I have to make some hand-knit goods to put in my shop. I have a few ideas, but I am slightly hesitant about taking this step. I am not sure I want to become a production knitter. (Plus, I have some things I want to make for myself, and still owe Brock sweaters…) So, I have a couple of patterns I will be knitting up over the next few weeks, and I will post them as an experiment.

But first I need finish up all my super-secret birthday knitting, so I better get to work.

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Greener Shades and Farmers Markets


4 oz. BFL Roving dyed with greener shades acid dyes.

Part of the idea of starting my shop was to become a source not only of beautiful high quality fiber, but to also to do that in as an environmentally friendly way as possible.  Because of the sales I have made so far, I have been able to take a few more steps toward that goal. Last week, I ordered the greener shades dyes I have had my eyes on for awhile. They have no heavy metals in them, which makes disposal of dye bath easier and more ethical. Also, they meet the criteria for organic production, so when I receive the organic Lincoln CVM roving I just ordered from a local farm, it can still be called organic after I dye it with the Greener Shades dyes.

With the farmer’s markets starting up, I hope to be able to start a dialog with some more local fiber farms and get some good quality Kansas wool up on the website.

This is gearing up to be a very exciting summer. For the month of April, I have been able to arrange myself to have Sundays off my day job. This means I can dedicate most of the day to the fiber arts, which can only mean good things for the shop. I have been mulling over ways to make self-striping and gradient dyeing yarns easier…I tried some gradient dyeing on Wednesday which ended in a disastrous mess of knotted wet yarn. At least I learned my lesson about following directions on the internet from my virtual yarn-selling competitors and am coming up with my own, more expedient methods.


2 Skeins of 100% Merino sock yarn in semi-solid violets. Also dyed with greener shade dyes.