Sunday, January 22, 2012

An Extreme Case of Startitis...

It's not even three weeks into January and it has occurred to me that my "resolutions" seem to have ALREADY flown out the window.  It was only here that I listed them out, but apparently I need to keep a closer eye on them. 
Fortunately I'm keeping up with my blogging commitmenet of posting at least once a week and it seems to be paying off.  Today I hit 1000 pageviews!  I was impressed and excited and may even have done a little dance when I saw it. 
I'm not even going to talk to you about the healthy eating and excercise resolution, because I've basically pretended that it doesn't exist.  I'll get there. 
As for spinning, I've completely abandoned it for no real reason other than being sick and then promptly obsessed with knitting again.  I think knitting is my long term relationship.  You may not always feel the butterflies but there's definitely something there that keeps you excited and coming back again and again.  Crochet is more of a one night stand for me and spinning is kind of on par with having coffee with an old friend every so often.  It feels comforting and fun, but you never think to do it more often than that. 
And then there was the promise to get the ripple blanket off the hook and the mitts off the needles.  Sigh.  There are so.many.ends....gah!  I must be doing something wrong.  Lucy from Attic24 CANNOT weave in this many ends in each blanket.  That would be crazy-making and she seems fairly sane.  As far as the mitts go, is it possible to have second MITT syndrome?  If it is, then I've definitely got it.  So, perhaps I'll have these things done by the end of February instead?  I did finish an object in January already as you know from my last post, but I really just keep wanting to cast on new things. For instance, on Friday night I came to the abrupt realization that I had no "purse knitting".  Nevermind the fact that I carry my entire project bag with me pretty much everywhere I go, nor that I have about 6 things on hooks and needles that want finishing, that means nothing.  What is really important here is the lack of project cluttering up my purse.  Right.  So what's a girl to do?  Cast on socks, that's what.  And that's precisely what I did do.  I cast on a pair of Wendy Johnson Toe-Up Socks with a Difference for Mr. Frogged since he has yet to know the delight of handmade socks.  He picked the colourway and everything.  The only mod I'm making to this pattern is a 4x2 rib on the instep and the leg of the sock.  I'll post pictures on Tuesday when I'm a bit further along.  There's no doubt in my mind that it will be on my positive things list.  Why are socks soooo addictive to make?  I can't figure it out. 

What I also did this weekend was cook!!!  I love cooking, especially when it takes little to know effort as was the case Saturday night.  Saturday night I made Pappa Pomodoro which is a dish I first ate on a trip with Mr. Frogged and my family to Tuscany.  We were having lunch in Florence at a tiny restaurant in a back street near the Uffizi where the tourists don't go (because frankly going where the tourists DON'T go is the only way to get good food on a trip).   The Mister ordered what we were told was a traditional Tuscan soup of tomato and stale bread.  I realize that this neither sounds all that appetizing nor does it sound much like something you should pay money for, but it was sooo delicious that when I came home I had to learn how to make it and since I like it so much I'm going to share the recipe with you. If you, like me, think the best part of pasta is sopping up the sauce with a good piece of bread, this dish is for you!

This will be less of a recipe and more of  I don't ever measure anything and I don't write things down, I just cook to taste because that's how my mom taught me, so when making this use your own judgement on amounts and things to suit your own palate. 

The basis of this dish is essentially a good tomatoe sauce.  I make tomatoe sauce probably once every other week in a large batch.  I then freeze half for later use.  When I want to make this dish, I simply use that sauce from my freezer.  I think it's pretty imperative that you make your sauce from scratch for this.  To make my sauce I simply fry garlic and green onions in olive oil until golden, and then add tomato puree or blended whole canned tomatoes, basil, parsley and salt.  I let it cook for at least two hours to get the acidtity out of the tomatoes. 

Imagine you have this sauce in your freezer, and you have some left over crusty Italian bread or baguette lying around that you can't use for anything other than perhaps a blunt weapon.  First, obviously thaw your sauce.  Meanwhile fry MORE garlic (about another 2-3 cloves) in olive oil in a pot on the stovetop.  Add the sauce and 2 cups of chicken broth to this pot and stir.  It will appear to be a runny soupy sauce now.  Break up the loaf of bread into the saucepan and stir frequently.  As the bread absorbs the liquid it will begin to break down into a kind of mush.  It should have the consistency of a tomatoe-y smooth porridge, or polenta type thing.  At this point, simply ladel it into a bowl and top with parmesan cheese and chilli peppers to taste and there you have it!  Dinner made quickly and super cheaply!

 Buon Appetito and Happy Crafting!

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