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15 January 2007

Winter Storm Warning!

011307_1520Maddy had a few places she wanted to go on Saturday afternoon, and she wanted to drive.  It was a very successful outing in that I found a pair of comfy, stretchy jeans, which I wasn't intending and really didn't want to buy, but we were there and, well, they were only $11!!  I'm wearing them now.  We also went to one of her favorite indie coffee shops and then walked down to an indie book store where I found a little something, as did she.  She still wanted to drive some more, so we just followed her nose and it led us to this farmhouse -- it's one of those that as a child I would think of as a fixer-upper.  Now I enjoy a quick and wistful memory of the little girl and her house dreams on the way to mourning.  The house is long past saving, and so sad.  There used to be a porch across the front and the back porch was originally open -- a proud pillar is visible through the broken wood.  There's not a drop of paint left on the siding.  The floor inside the side door is completely fallen away and, while there was a plank, I nixed the idea of going inside.  Everything in the house that could be removed and burned, or broken, was... removed and burned, or broken.  There were doorknobs and hinges in a pile of ashes, broken glass and porcelain strewn about.  I was startled by how compromised the foundation was in the rear of the house, pushed in and badly broken -- like something rammed into it, but underground (a really big gopher?) -- DH said that frost-heave can do that.  Incredible.  There was a barn behind me, with a loft full of hay, and a couple of outbuildings.  Maddy found an old bottle in the barn for her collection -- I let her go in a teensy, tiny bit. 

Dsc09570One of my biggest successes on Saturday was finishing the Fetching mitts while Madeleine practiced her driving!  I have always been pretty calm and cool in the girls' learning-to-drive stage, but the knitting helps to keep me even more relaxed.  When I mentioned the other day that I wouldn't mind a little more length from the thumb to the last cable cross/top of the mitt... well, chalk it up to operator error.  There's a very good reason why I so often use small sticky notes to mark my place in a pattern, and I can't really think of a good reason why I didn't use them here... I suppose it's because the pattern isn't very long or complicated.  The sticky note is my friend and perhaps I should have one pinned to my shirt, even, so I don't forget to use it.  Anyway, I had to rip out the first mitt, when was more complicated than it sounds and I actually had to rip out and re-do the whole thumb (mostly due to very good and diligent weaving in of ends!), but they are both perfect now and I have no complaints.

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There was macaroni and cheese yesterday.  I found three Martha Stewart recipes and took a little from each.  Basically, while the jumbo macaroni cooked, I sauteed some onion in butter and made a roux -- one of my favorite things in the whole wide world to do (ever since I learned how to do it correctly!) -- then a nice white sauce with fat-free evaporated milk and some skim, in which I melted two types of cheddar and some monterey jack.  I made fresh buttered bread crumbs for the topping.  It was good, but not great.  A couple of notes:  I scorched the cheese sauce and, while it didn't taste burnt, I think there was an affect on taste; I should have used all (or at least more) of the onion I sauteed; it needed more salt and, especially, pepper; try to use a less sweet bread for crumbs next time.  I'll have some for lunch today and we'll see how it fared overnight.  Also, an 8x8 or 1-1/2 quart casserole of this would be plenty.

I cannot count the times I had to look away from 24 last night.  Guess what I was looking at!  The knitted-on seed-stitch (third try) Coup d'Etat button band!  I'm about half-way up the left side.  ; )  I was looking in my closet this morning, trying to decide which sweater to wear today with the Fetchings for our first Winter Storm Warning of the year...  I chose Oatmeal, but I really need a new sweater in the rotation!!!

Comments

Mmm. MacaroniCheese. I make it every Wed evening, for his dinner (I don't dare eat before Pilates). I make the cheese sauce by lightly frying chopped onions in oil, adding skim milk, lots of reasonably sharp cheddar (if the cheese is too mild the flavour is lost in the milk) and thickening with cornstarch. Season with salt, black pepper and grated nutmeg. Mix into macaroni, and spoon into individual dishes (so everyone can scrape their own crisp brown bits off the dish), scatter as many slivers of raw, smoked bacon as you feel you can justify on top of each and bake at c. 400F until well browned and crisp on top. Usually about 25 minutes. Serve with sticks of raw carrot and celery to dip into the cheesy sauce.

I should have warned you that the Martha recipe makes a TON. But it's excellent reheated. I was knitting socks while watching 24 but I got so engrossed in the show that I kept forgetting to knit!

24 was great and more tonight! BUT, the M&C looks so good I could lick my screen.

That house would be perfect in a Hollywood slasher movie. ;) Or maybe zombies? Or just plain ole ghosts.

That mac looks yummy!

I love old houses like that, but they make me sad for the very reasons you described.

I have 24 on Tivo...can hardly wait...Chloe, we're running out of time!!!

I liked 24, too, looking forward to more tonight -- and that M&C is forbidden fruit for me, so of course it looks absolutely scrumptious.

Funny, when I read how much you like to make a roux -- ME TOO! Isn't it the most fun thing in the world? :D

That is my all time favourite dinner and it looks fantastic.

The mac and cheese looks incredibly yummy. I’ve never made it from scratch either, but now I really want to try! I tried a few new recipes last week and my kids (ages 12 and 13) didn’t care too much for either of them. Sigh.

So would you consider Fetching a fairly easy knit? I think I’m the last person in the knitting world to have not yet made a pair yet – however, I have print the pattern off at least half a dozen times!

Three cheers for snow!

Next time try this recipe,Vicki. We make our mac & cheese pretty simple down here.
http://southernfood.about.com/od/macaroniandcheeserecipes/r/bl50617i.htm

I like the MS recipe too - but definitely all extra-sharp cheddar for me, because I like it extra cheesy. (cheezy? - Heh)

Personally, I would say that the old farm house is still a fixer-upper. There is probably still materials that can be salvaged from it. But it is really sad how people want everything new and do not realize the strength and beauty of old houses.

Great photo of the old farmhouse, Vicki. It still has character but it is fading from material to immaterial, isn't it? The mac & cheese looks super from here. :-) My g'ma made it from scratch but that was a long time ago and the blue box is in my more recent history but not lately. Roux, or for me, rue. :-)

My favorite baked mac 'n' cheese recipe (fills a 3-qt casserole) has 4 oz. grated provolone, 8 oz. fontina, 3 oz. Gorgonzola, plus the usual macaroni and white sauce w/ onion, and is topped with 1/4 c. grated Parmigiano and bread crumbs. Yum. But my kids would never eat it -- they preferred the blue box. Sheesh.

OK, omigod, I've seen a lot of knitting blogs, but yours is now at the top of my list. You combine beautiful work with yummy looking food and excellent writing. I'm a fan!

Did it taste better today? It sure looks yummy.

Awww Poor old house. Bet it was once a beauty. Now I'm craving mac and cheese.

I was going to make meatloaf for dinner, but your pictures have me reconsidering ....

I always thought mac and cheese got dry in the oven until I came across this EASIEST recipe in the world. You don't need to make a roux so I know that's disappointing but SO EASY.
You cook the macaroni and put it in a buttered casserole dish, add 1 can evaporated milk, sharp grated cheese and 3 beaten eggs and put it in the oven.I put more cheese on top. And the best part? You can even reheat the leftovers and it's still edible!
Nothing like comfort food on a cold day.

All that bubbly, cheesy goodness. It sure looks yummy. Winter is here in Cincinnati, finally. But sadly for my daughter (who wants a snow day so badly) just a dusting of snow. I'd like to order some more days in the 50's and 60's please.

I make my "yummy" mac'n'cheese this way:
1 bag of rotini pasta--cook
1 bag 2% mozzarella
1 bag 2% cheddar
1 bag 2% monterey jack
1can evap'd milk (fat free)
1 8oz fat free sour cream

panko bread crumbs

Mix cheese, milk and cream in a bowl--- toss in the cooked pasta, mix and pop into a 9X13 casserole dish, top with panko-- bake at 350 for 40 minutes

even kids who had never seen anything but Kraft loved it!

Have made the MS M&C (the one with the white cheddar and the gruyere) several times. I love it and it freezes well. Last time was a recipe to feed 30, so we had lots of leftovers. Yum.

It was a macaroni and cheese supper here also last night. I like to use the ends of any cheese left in the fridge. This time it included cheddar, american, monterey jack,and mozzerella and brie left from Christmas. I also added a tiny dash of dry mustard. YuMmmmm.

I like to make Alton Brown's mac and cheese recipe (available on the Food Network site). I think using sharp cheddar, ground mustard, and more salt than you'd expect is the best way to get really good stuff. Of course, I like to throw in whatever cheese is laying around, like goat cheese. Mmmm.

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