Category Archives: other

end of a short week

Friday noonish and I’m remembering Agatha Raisin‘s deep freezer that housed (houses?) her frozen ready meals (Americans say tv dinners), along with casseroles from Mrs. Bloxby & assorted offerings from other Carsely friends.

Considering the small (by American standards) size of U.K. fridge/freezers, do they still have deep freezers?

Remembering my own experience here across the pond, there was a time when folk could purchase half a side of beef and get a freezer to put it in — cut up and portioned into neat freezer-paper wrapped packages, of course! In some places — I’d guess cattle country — you probably still can.

What looks like chaos is actually order.
Floppy bags don’t help.
😖

Over here most everyone has a combo fridge/freezer, with no room for half a side of beef. We apartment dwellers are on a stricter regime: See mine at left. Of course, there are plenty of old fridges in house basements, chock full of extras, both frozen and un-.

So why the pretty pear picture? I ordered a bag of organic pears from Aldi’s, and when it arrived they were all green. I was in a bit of a quandary: What to do with green pears?

Time to do a little searching on the ol’ web… where I discovered that pears are shipped unripened. They’ll hold in that condition in a fridge for some weeks.

If left sitting on a counter, they’ll ripen in company with other pears, as they all exude the same gas-whose-name-I-don’t-recall.

Or you can put an apple or a banana in with ’em to hasten ripening. (They exude the same gas). Plus — you can also let them ripen in a brown bag on the kitchen counter. With or without the extra fruit.

Living in a southern section of the country where bugs are rampant year-round, I wasn’t about to leave anything around that might attract ‘visitors.’ 😱

I used the brown bag method, and yesterday and today have enjoyed a lovely, ripe pear, with two more ripe ones in the fridge for the weekend.

Unripe pears-in-waiting

Another four green ones are being cosseted in the fridge ~ Autumn’s on it’s way.

Hope whatever your next season is, it’s a good one!

❤️ 🍁 🎃 🍁 ❤️

silly saturday

Thought I should make mention of the Agatha Raisin Season 2 that arrived last weekend and was immediately watched.

The first season had been 8 or so of the usual 45 (or was it 54?) minute episodes, all based on author M.C. Beaton’s books, using the same titles as the books. (Thank goodness!)

Some characters were changed/added/subtracted, and Agatha herself was upgraded from the 1990’s to the 21st century. I thoroughly enjoyed the first season repeatedly for several years, all the while wishing they’d done more.

Surprise! Surprise! They did, and I’d missed ’em, thus last weekend’s little orgy with Season 2 (and Season 3 winging it’s way as I type). These episodes are double the length, which feels just right. But there were only three – aghhhhhhhh!!! So I watched them twice. 😆 🤣

Ms. Beaton (a.k.a. Marion Chesney) was also the author of the Hamish Macbeth detective series, as well as a series of Victorian novels that I never read.

Wanting to know a bit more about the Scots author who died last year, I located these two articles (here and here), which gave me additional insight into her character and writing.

Incidentally, she thoroughly approved of this whole series. In 1998 she penned a book in the Hamish series, Death of a Scriptwriter, which ought to tell you how she felt about that telly “adaptation.” 😬

From Folkwear Pattern’s August newsletter comes a very interesting-to-me note about a book on indigo, Indigo – The indelible color that seduced the world. I had no idea the real deal is indelible, and that Columbus’ ship sails were made from denim.

NPR, our national public radio, did an interview with the author, Catherine McKinley, some years ago. At just 13 minutes, it was most enjoyable!

This past week has also been an enjoyable respite from the previous week’s triple digit “feels like” temps. (You know, when a high temp plus higher humidity makes the air feel like you could wear it.) Alas, next week it sounds like we’re going back.

Dummm-dee-dum-dum. . . . . Something tells me that cardi I was thinking so hard about earlier ain’t gonna be uppermost in thought . . . . and that microwaved-not-baked cake will return . . . .

wordless wednesday (not really)

Editor’s note: The maaany links in today’s post should all open on separate pages. Should, but they won’t all cooperate & I’ve given up trying to force them. Just wanted you to know, in case you’re expecting them to all do the same thing.

As most frequent readers will know, the recipe above was altered when I made it up — I was looking for a spicy microwave cake recipe that didn’t require an hour’s baking time (in other words, a quick Raisin Spice Cake alternative). You can download it here.

I’ve been giving the above with spice variations a trial run. So far have made it twice, managed to waaay over-spice the first one (hint: 1 teaspoon of ginger, not 2 ), forgot the molasses the second time, but got the spice amount a bit better.

As usual, I only used 1 tablespoon of brown sugar rather than the 3 listed. Have yet to try it with a few raisins, but the chocky variation, which includes chips, came out nicely. So maybe a few raisins will be fine.

As mentioned above, this also chimes in with Deb’s & Donna’s monthly #WhatsOnYourPlateBlogChallenge.

Above piccies are further research into a yarn substitute for The Habitat Cardi by Make & Do Crew mentioned in a previous post. Thanks to the lovely Lynn (of The Tialys blog) for telling me about the wonderful web site YarnSub.

I adore the colours of the James C Brett Marble Chunky MC07 yarn on the left (see how I made it up here) and know the soft and easily washed yarn well. The way they go from one mixture to another is why I think it might be about the same weight as the sweater calls for.

But I’m tempted by this one as denims would “go” with everything. It’s James C Brett Marble Chunky MC10.

However, on close examination (hence the close-up), all the Brett Marble Chunky is probably 2-ply. But aren’t those strands thicker than the 4-ply of the red Vanna Yarn on the right (which I used yonks ago & still had a bit of)?

I know Vanna is not as soft as Brett’s Marble Chunky. Which might be why I’m not too keen on using any of the specified Lion Brand yarn. Aside from the fact I cannot find any colour I like. 😒

Am also tempted by this Brett Marble Chunky MC02 – the deep, dark blue reminds me of my dark blue stretch denim skirt.

Which would you choose?

Which looks more like denim to you?

Decisions! — Decisions! — Decisions!

🙄

the unwelcome visitor

Elsa, the hurricane/tropical storm/depression raced through my area today. Yesterday was spent prepping for a worst case scenario: boiling eggs, washing & dicing fruits and veg, making sure my bottled water supply was topped up. You probably have your version of the drill.

Altogether it wasn’t the time to do a What’s On Your Plate post, but I did sneak in a quick post over on insta, to #whatsonyourplateblogchallenge.

My Weekend Special is scrambled eggs and whatever else in the fridge is leftover. Last weekend it was tomatoes, blackberries, and half a baked potato. I fried potato slices before scrambling the eggs, and left the tomatoes and berries raw.

I love potatoes done this way – golden and crunchy on the outside, with a good tangy tomato ketchup for contrast with the creamy inside – but rarely treat myself to the little extra time it takes.

(In case you’re wondering about pudding – no, I didn’t consider the berries as my afters. There’s a raisin spice cake in the freezer that’s slowly diminishing. 😉 Hehehee)!

A day late, I’m chiming in with Deb and Donna’s What’s On Your Plate Blog Challenge. Do click over and enjoy their recipes for cool meals on very hot days!

🙈 knitting heeeeelp!

No, that’s not a typo – I mean knitting!

Above is my completed, crocheted scarf… but I discovered another ball of the same yarn. So . . . . .

First, let me define some terms. I can only knit & purl, and I crochet/knit for relaxation so don’t often do anything with a pattern. Besides, with such a busy yarn a pattern’d get lost!

After I got the brown crocheted scarf long enough to finish off (see above photo), I realized I had that other ball of yarn, plus the leftover from the crocheted scarf.

Remembering how to cast on with Maggie Righetti’s “Knitting in Plain English.”

So I decided to knit another scarf.

I started out trying to do 1 row knit, 1 row purl… then forgot which one I was on when I picked it up later. Now I have 2.5″ of what I’m calling the forgetful pattern… but the whole thing’s curling quite a bit, which I don’t like.

Do you think I should rip it out & start over? I’m not averse to that, and am tempted to restart with either all knit or all purl. The thing I really don’t like is that curling, which I’m not convinced can be steamed out, given it’s half cotton, half man-made. What do you think?

Yarn deets:  Content: 51% cotton, 37% acrylic, 12% polyamide.  Recommended needle size: 4 or 4.5 mm but I only had 5 mm.

Thank you – thank you – thank you in advance!

❤️ ❤️❤️ ❤️ ❤️❤️ ❤️ ❤️❤️