Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Hello, 2008!

Well, no one (i.e., me) fell flat on her face today, so 2008 should be better than 2007. Rather than risk our lives by walking in the park, Porkchop and I stayed inside nearly all day. In the morning, I exercised and cleaned and put a corn chowder in the slow cooker while Porkchop watched football and hockey. In the afternoon, I knitted and read while Porkchop cleaned. It's a good trade-off.

A Little Knitting
Porkchop is working on a baby hat for her UPS Store manager. Knitting away:


This afternoon, needing to eat and perhaps go to the bathroom, but not wanting to stop knitting, Porkchop exclaimed, "I'm a slave to this knitting!" She fully understands now...the inability to stop at just another round or pattern repeat. Knitting is a drug and we are hopeless addicts.


I, on the other hand, am ready to throw my knitting out. Well, not really, but I'm a bit exasperated.

My finished headigan was WAY too big, and my gauge was even spot-on! What started out so neat and pretty became a mess at the end when my yarn ran out and I had to finish out the hat with odd bits and pieces of Manos del Uruguay and Malabrigo.


Ugh, a mismatched mess! Since it was way too big, I had no problem frogging the whole thing and starting over with eight stitches fewer per row.

By the end of the week, I need to finish my second Headigan (nearly one-third done already) and start and finish a Packers hat for Porkchop's buddy Patrick. I have this self-imposed deadline because the yarn for my Tilted Duster should arrive at Knitty Couture at the end of the week! Yay!!!

It was a tough decision, but I finally decided on Berroco Peruvia in Avocado. So many pretty colors! Yeah, I'm actually using the suggested yarn for the pattern because I don't want anything to screw up my first garment attempt.

A Bit of Reflection
And now, I need to pause for a bit of reflection on what 2008 might bring. This isn't just any ol' new year, it's the year that will mark my 30th birthday. And, seriously, I need to work on some things.

I don't make New Year's resolutions, but I do have some goals to fulfill. Such as the following:
  • Buy a house. I'm sick of apartments. Fortunately, my cigarette- and pot-smoking, loud-talking, door-banging downstairs landlady and her loud-and-constantly yawning and spitting boyfriend have kicked my need-to-buy-a-house ass into gear.
  • Cook at least one meal a week that uses only locally produced food items. This will be easier when I can grow my own little garden, which means I need a house.
  • Recommit to recycling at home. Since St. Louis doesn't have curbside recycling pick up for everyone, I've become lazy about recycling. This is my dirty little secret. Fortunately, when it's just me living here, I don't have much recycling waste. But, anyway, we bought a recycling receptacle yesterday, and I looked up the guidelines for the drop-off recycling locations. My biggest waste is vegetable and fruit matter. When I buy a house, I'll be able to start composting.
  • Replace current cleaning products with ecologically sound ones once current products are gone. The laundry detergent that I bought in September is nearly gone, and the Clorox cleaner that's been kicking around for the past year or so is running out, so I will make a trip to Home Eco soon (hey, buying ecologically sound products and a supporting a local business!).
  • Knit garments beyond hats and scarves and hand mitts. On my way with the Tilted Duster.
Obviously, I need to buy a house. This is my biggest goal.

Leftover Things
Before Christmas, we baked quite a few things. Cranberry-oat cereal bars, biscotti, magic bars, and chocolate-dipped pretzels.

Here's a pic of me with the biscotti (I'm using my favorite oven mitt ever):


And here's a shot of the pretzels:


The pretzels are super easy and fun. You just dip pretzel rods in melted chocolate chips and then sprinkle with toppings. This year, we used ground pistachios and peanuts and toffee bits.

Also super easy is magic bars. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture, but they are super yummy! Here's how to make them...

Melt 1 stick of butter in a 9x13 oven pan in a 350 F oven. While the butter is melting, crush graham crackers so that you have 1 cup of crumbs (methods of crushing crackers include using a rolling pin, a food processor, or putting the crackers in a ziploc bag and then stepping on them...do whatever you want, but you need a very fine crumb). Once the butter is melted, mix the crumbs with the butter and spread the mixture evenly in the pan.

Pour one can of condensed milk evenly over the crumbs. Top with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and shredded coconut. You can use however much of each you want. For the chocolate and butterscotch chips, I usually use 6 oz. of each.

Put the pan back in the 350 F oven and cook for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. The stuff will firm up as it cools, and it usually doesn't reach optimal firmness until the second day.

Yum! The recipe came from the mother of one of my college roommates.

Okay, thanks for reading and have a happy 2008!

4 comments:

Valerie said...

Carrie, your blog always makes me hungry! Your biscotti and pretzels look beautiful.

Carrie said...

Thanks!

I felt a bit guilty after re-reading my post because the pretzels don't really qualify as "baking."

Oh well, whatevs...

Beth D said...

Yes a house is my goal too. So 2008 is being titled "Let's get serious about buying a house" because I realized it can't actually happen in 2008. I made us a 2008 budget plan and even though we still have lots of credit card debt, and will be paying down that as well, I have us saving each month towards a house. Unforch at this rate it will take like 3 years to save enough for a down payment. But its a start!!!!

cj said...

buy a house in madison! a mouse!

cj