Friday, April 17, 2009

Pita power!

I made pita bread this week! I was totally afraid of it for the longest time, but I got sick of paying $3.50 for six pitas at the grocery store. I found this recipe and decided to give it a whirl. They actually turned out great, and I will definitely make them again. Even Sydney loved them (she spread butter on the top of hers and sprinkled it with cinnamon sugar - how could she not love it?). Next time I will bake them a little longer and roll them out a little flatter. I had no idea what I was doing this time around, and they came out a little doughy and the pocket didn't form as well in the pitas that weren't rolled out quite as much. I felt like such a rock star in the kitchen, though, the day I made these!

To celebrate, I went to our local kitchen store and bought a Sauce Master (in preparation for this summer's tomato bounty). I am determined to can a gajillion tomatoes this year so I don't have to buy the cans next winter. The canned garden tomatoes are so much yummier! I was on the hunt for a pressure cooker for making rice and beans but the only on they had there was $350. I don't really want the $35 one from Target that's from a brand I've never heard of, but $350 is a bit too far in the other direction. Anyone have a reasonably-priced pressure cooker recommendation?

I also spent much of the day yesterday (it was nice out, at long last) weeding our front garden. It is such a mess, but I managed to make a bit of a dent. The garden's now in pretty good shape (apart from the strawberry patch, which needs some serious attention), but our front slope is just hopeless. The kids had fun playing in the long grass. I swear, we're going to be the family on the news whose neighbors have reported them to the city for yard neglect. I'm determined to get it into shape somehow, but it seems so daunting at the moment. I need to keep reminding myself that I can just do it a square yard at a time - I don't have to weed the whole slope in a single day! If only we didn't have blueberry bushes we wanted to save - I'd take a flame weeder to the whole thing and be done with it. It was heartening to see that we have both pea shoots and asparagus appearing. The asparagus is now 2 years old, so we'll be able to harvest a few shoots (and next year we should be able to go nuts on it at last).

Since I don't have any pictures for this post, I'll leave you with a preview of the neck warmer that will be debuting in the line in June. It's a "fauxbius", which means it uses a 360 degree twist in the cast-on (a true moebius is twisted only 180 degrees). It's made from a single skein of Lorna's Laces Pearl, their new silk-bamboo blend. Yummy!

And a close-up of the back of the neck and the stitch pattern...

Love that Gordian Knot cable! Right now I'm finishing the neckband on the lone sweater I'll be offering for the fall. It's an empire-waist design made from Schaefer Danya, which is one of those mohair yarns that looks skinny but knits up fat. It's really lovely and lightweight, and it doesn't shed like other mohair yarns I've knit with. I was kind of afraid to knit a whole mohair sweater but it has gone quickly and I've really enjoyed this yarn. It also smells dreamy. Bill thinks I'm completely nuts when I sniff the yarn, but I love that vinegary freshly-dyed smell and this yarn has it in spades.

I've managed to get lots of knitting done this week while watching the Masterpiece Theatre version of Anna Karenina (which I highly recommend - it was excellent). Good thing I didn't manage to get my hands on the 4th book in the Twilight series. We own the first three but I have to borrow Breaking Dawn from my brother-in-law. Otherwise, you know what I would've been doing this week instead of knitting...


Blogger Carol said...

Again I marvel at how busy you are and still maintain your sanity. I keep looking at my yard thinking I should weed and plant but don't seem able to get motivated...

3:30 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Go to your local hardware store that carries everything, NOT the big box stores, and hunt for canning supplies there. Chances are you will find a fabulous pressure cooker there without paying a freaking fortune! Otherwise, start hitting up friends and older relatives who may have them stored in basements/attics and bribe them with some of your bounty. :)

1:07 PM  
Blogger Native American Momma said...

One of the benefits of yard. Also a freshly grown vegetables

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Krista said...

I have had Lagostina pressure cooker for years and use it at least two times a week. It was the best kitchen gift I ever received. I use it just about everything- soups, grains, beans, etc. It is not really big enough to do canning in however- we use a huge old one that I think we found on the farm years ago. Glad to hear you are making pita. Todd has perfected the bagel and baguette and they are to die for.
Hope all is well with you and yours.


5:39 PM  
Blogger Alison Boon said...

Reading Breaking Dawn wuld have been pretty exciting though.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Lee said...

Good for you! I am definitely going to try this recipe. I felt like you when I made buttered biscuits instead of buying Pilsbury brands in the store. It feels so good when you make something from scratch. Get Breaking Dawn, I read it and you are in for a treat. It is also more than 800 pages so plan your time well, my house was upside down because I couldn't put it down. LOL.

2:18 AM  
Anonymous Peggy said...

I'm going to check out that pita recipe. Thanks for posting it!

I'm in the market for a decently-priced canner too. Thanks, Karen, for suggesting the hardware store. I would never have thought of that. :) I hear that amazon has good prices but I'm in Canada and doesn't carry household items like the US one does and I don't want to pay to ship it across the border. Good luck in your search!

10:58 AM  

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