Monday: Muffins, Moos and Musings

Actually, some of the muffins were made on Sunday, but I am still up (it’s nearly one am) and by the time this is posted you will be reading it on Monday except for those who are bolshie enough to live across the Great Divide from us and who will see it on Tuesday . . . and I rather liked the sound of all that alliteration . . .   🙂

So here, in no particular order, are my thoughts and creative efforts.

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Here I am in the Canadian Army Peacekeepers jacket that my cousin gave me a while ago. I’m still wearing it without the snap-in very warm liner jacket. It was Army Surplus  when he bought it about 20 years ago and is still in great condition.  The other picture is of my new 50% wool socks, very heavy and meant for men who wear boots. I wear a pair of thinner cotton socks inside them and my feet are toasty warm.

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This barn is not far from where we live and I see it every time we head into Salmon Arm for some shopping or to visit the library. Don’t you think the red is extra cheery set down amongst all that snow? I do.

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I don’t know if you remember my writing about making something my Mum used to call “Pear Mousse“; at least that’s how I have always thought of the dish all these years. And then, a couple of weeks ago, searching for recipes that might have been made by my dad’s mother (he grew up in a Mennonite family who emigrated from Russia when he was one year old), I came across a site called “Mennonite Girls Can Cook” and I discovered that the correct spelling is “Moos”.  It seems to mean ‘soup’, but the recipes I saw were mainly for fruit soups. This photo is of my “Plumi Moos” as it bubbled away on the stove. I made more of the pear moos a couple of months ago and I made it as Mum always did; with  cornstarch, sugar and pears cooked in some water and then a can of evaporated milk added at the end. My cousin liked it well enough, but his Mum made it quite differently. Never just pears. She  made it in the winter with canned fruit, so plums, pears, peaches and sometimes cherries. And no evaporated milk. So a couple  of weeks ago I bought some pears and peaches because I wanted to use up the last of our home-grown plums.. And I made Plumi Moos. Without the canned milk, too. (and if you only use plums for the fruit, it’s called Pluma Moos) I thought it turned out very well, but of course I was using fresh fruit and my cousin’s memory was of canned fruit, so it didn’t taste like what he remembered. Still, he liked it and so did his wife, and it is now all gone. Cousin S and I both like oatmeal porridge (M doesn’t; he prefers uncooked cereal), so we ate the Moos mostly on our porridge in the morning. I added yoghurt as well. And a couple of times I had it for lunch with a piece or two of toast. Mmmmm . . . . .  I’ll be making this often for myself once I’m settled again.

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This was taken before I finished the pattern, which I’ve done now. Just one border band to do and then the last few inches of plain knitting to go. This is the second end of the scarf I started for my friend in Tacoma early this year. She did all the plain knitting once I had it started, but struggled with the patterning. Not to mention that I used two circular needles and there were loose ends flopping around. Surprising what bothers us, isn’t it? I never mind the floppy bits, but I’ve also got a few more years of knitting under my belt, so to speak. In the end, I did the first end’s patterns, she did the middle part and I brought the work here with me to complete for her.  I’ll post a photo once it’s done. Did I mention that this is worked in the round, Fair Isle and Norwegian style? And the yarn is fairly bulky, so it will be very warm indeed.

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Toe of one of my second pair of Fair Isle style socks.

Remember the pair of Fair Isle style socks I was working on? Well, they are on hold for a bit. My cousin took me to Armstrong to The Twisted Purl Yarn Studio so that I could add to my Jamieson & Smith yarn stash. I had run out of the colour I was using for the heels and toes. Black, I thought it was. But the yarn store had no black, only dark chocolate brown. <sigh> So I bought four or five balls of colours I would need for the next couple of pairs of Fair Isle style socks, ordered black and a couple of other colours to go with those and we went home. Where a niggling thought began to work on my mind. Could it be? I took the socks and held them under a very strong light and yes, it was true! The ‘black’ heels and toes were, in fact, dark chocolate brown. Now, Armstrong is close, but not so close that I was willing to ask for another ride to the yarn store. Especially as we would take the truck and gas prices have been going up. So I called the store and they kindly agreed to add a ball of dark chocolate brown to my order that was coming from Scotland. From Shetland, actually. And did I mention that I had ordered the new colours from Jamieson’s of Shetland. I’ve been wanting their yarn for a bit, but The Twisted Purl was out the day I first went there. And now they have some ladies wanting to try their hand at lace knitting and were putting in an order anyway, and so . . .  By the way, the J&S yarn is fine and I’ve been loving knitting with it. I’m switching because the company is part of The Wool Brokers. The fleece from Shetland is shipped to Yorkshire to be spun,  and I’ve read that it is mixed with fleece from other places, whereas the Jamieson’s spin their Shetland fleece right there on Shetland, unmixed with other fleeces. I’m quite excited to see my new yarn, which should be coming in soon. I’m not all that happy with choosing colours from a computer screen, as that isn’t always very true. So we’ll see. For socks, it will be fine, in any case. More on yarn in the mail in a bit.

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Same toe, further along.

I appear to be congenitally unable to do nothing and, as I can’t read much these days, I have begun my second pair of Fair Isle style socks. These are also toe-up, which I like very much, but I’m still not getting the joins along the sides quite right. The holes are a bit larger than I’d like. I may just stitch them up once the knitting is finished. I think when the next yarn order arrives I may try the Moebius toe-up cast-on. Back in Edmonton I knitted a Moebius scarf, so I do get the concept. This pair I began with more stitches in the initial cast-on, as I don’t really care for the wedge toe, at least not the look of it. The toes on the first pair do fit just fine, but I still prefer a more rounded toe. Just sayin’ . . .

Are you wondering about the other yarn shipment? Well, I’ll tell you . . . I’ve been invited to a good friend’s wedding next May and, of course, wondering what to wear. A dress, of course, and probably I’ll get some sandals, too. And then I came across this shawl, designed by Amy of Love Made My Home . . .  It is SO me! I fell in love and then, when I realized that Yarn Canada carries the same yarn Amy used, I went there and guess what> I not only ordered the two skeins the shawl requires, but I also ordered four balls of Kroy Sock Yarn, two in a lovely red and two in a colour called Clover Colours. I will be using my finest 2 mm double pointed needles, as I’ve read that using smaller needles and knitting tightly will result in socks that wear like iron. These two pairs should knit up faster, as I’m doing plain knitting for them, no patterning. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Above on the right are the two tuques I’ve been knitting for my RN sister’s two grandsons. Because my sister and I (and our siblings) are half Norwegian due to our mother’s parents both having been born in Norway, I chose a Norwegian pattern. The original was of a boy and girl holding hands, so I changed it to be two little boys. I’m calling it “Brotherly Love” as these two are very close, even at one and nearly four years old. But the top of the younger boy’s tuque didn’t decrease as expected, as you can tell from the picture on the left, although I did follow the pattern exactly. (goes to show you, doesn’t it?) So I will soon be frogging the crown and re-kitting it. After I finish the other tuque and make sure I have a decrease that works. frogging . . . not my favourite thing. Oh, well . . .

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On the left is part of the latest batch of cinnamon buns, before they went into the oven. I tweaked the recipe, of course, and used part whole wheat flour, along with some wheat germ for added nutrition and extra flavour.

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On the right is one of the pans after Cousin S added the slightly lemony glaze she makes so well.

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ON the right, the latest apple pie. I slice the apples; Cousin S makes thee pastry. She uses no sugar or cinnamon; she just adds a few tablespoons of cinnamon hearts as she puts the layers of apples into the shell, along with some cornstarch. The hearts were suggested by Cousin M to his Mum when ye was just a boy and it worked so well my Auntie never made apple pie the old way again. On the left is my serving.

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The last of the home-grown tomatoes. The cherry ones are already eaten up.

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I have been on a sort of muffin bender. Two weeks ago I made two dozen cornmeal muffins with some of our home-frozen corn in them, along with wheat germ and some whole wheat flour. I try to maximize nutrition whenever I can. I haven’t taken a photo of those yeat; the ones above are the second batch. Cousin S bought and cooked a lovely French variety pumpkin. She cooked it in the slow cooker and I mashed it once it was cool (she had gone to work by then) and put a couple of packages in the freezer. The rest I used to make the scrumptious muffins above.  I haven’t finished writing up my recipe, but will share it once it’s done. I had meant to put in some raisins and chopped walnuts, but became distracted half-way through by having to look for the new bag of cinnamon and then getting it into the tin. Still, we all agreed that these were the best so far. I’ll be making them again, with the nuts and raisins added next time.IMG_5353

My muffin efforts inspired Cousin S, who made these earlier today (well, earlier Sunday, really). They are Christmas Muffins, with molasses, candied peel, raisins, nuts and more. The recipe needs a little tweaking, but I’ll post it here once we’ve made it at least once more and finalized it.They were pretty good, though.

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The sum of Sunday’s Kitchen Creativity.

Left to right:  Christmas Muffins, Apple Pie, Egg Thingy (Frittata) and, in the slow cooker, the spaghetti (made with fusilli instead of spaghetti), which will be supper for the next five days. Some is packaged up for Cousin S to take with her to work.

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When I stayed with my last Auntie in Princeton earlier this summer, she loaned me some of her crochet books and patterns. I was very excited to see two patterns for Humpty Dumpty. One is for a toy that is made in separate pieces, each stuffed, and then set up on the edge of a shelf or table. When he falls off, he comes apart and the child then can re-assemble him.

That is not this one. This one is from the pattern my Auntie used over thirty years ago, when she heard that my RN sister J was expecting her first baby. That baby;s grandfather named the toy ‘Harvey’ and the little boy always slept with Harvey on one side and Pokey, a polar bear, on the other. My sister took very good care of handmade items and that boy, now in his early thirties, is the proud father of two wee boys of his own. Those are the two whose tuques I showed you near the beginning. My Auntie doesn’t follow patterns anymore, so I am making two of these Humptys, each with different colours for their shirts and stockings, as Christmas gifts to the boys from their Great-Auntie (me) and their Great-Great-Auntie. I am safe in posting about this, as to my knowledge, no one in my family reads this blog.

Well, that’s it, I think. It’s now after three in the morning on Monday and I really need to get some sleep. I haven’t been sleeping well, or at least often not through the night, so staying up may help.

 

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Some surplus pillowcases from the Dept of National Defence. More on this project later . . .

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Icicles outside my bedroom window a few days ago; Mount Ida as seen last Wednesday from Salmon Arm. This is close to the view we had of the mountain from our front yard, back when I was living here in my teens. Along the foot of it runs Foothill Road and that’s where the cemetery is where next year we will inter our parents’ ashes and those of one brother, with a memorial to another brother. Cousin M’s parents’ ashes are there already along with our paternal grandfather. We lived on Foothill Road when my RN sister J was a baby and I was seven; then later, when  I was twelve, we lived on Harbell Road which runs from the foot of it to where the last home stood, across the Trans-Canada Highway. A walmart stands where our garden and the neighbour’s home once stood and a dollar store occupies the space where the front lawn was, with the flowers and ornamental trees that were planted by my Mum. I love this view; it holds so many memories. I remember climbing on it with our Dad and the older brothers once, picking juniper berries and dad telling us how those were used to flavour gin. We trick and treated along Harbell Road for years and I would walk down to our former landlord’s place to buy eggs for Mum, taking the older siblings along and keeping them off the road by having them play leap frog and similar games. I know changes must come, but I do wish our home had been spared. I lived there for seven years, longer, I think, than in any other place ever. We moved at least once a year for most of my childhood and I moved often as an adult, too. The hosue was classified as a heritage house, with Arts and crafts details that I loved; I have no idea how walmart got permission to demolish the house. It was in good shape when I saw it last, just over ten years ago. Anyway, I like to remember.

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These are the Honeycrisp apples that we have been making into pie. They are good keepers, with a slightly waxy coat. Delicious flavour and very well named ‘crisp’. The tree was planted five years ago. Two years ago it had less than a half dozen fruits. Last year it had a couple of dozen apples on it. This year we took off over seventy-five pounds of apples. In the grocery store, Honeycrisp apples are already going for $1.99 a pound. So that tree produced over $150 with only a bit of watering and the picking to do. We would highly recommend this variety.

That’s it, my friends. I wish you all a week of good weather, good food, good friends and as much creativity as makes your heart sing. See you soon!  ~ Linne

 

12 thoughts on “Monday: Muffins, Moos and Musings

  1. Jamieson and Smith yarn is really lovely – even the lady who owns our LYS knits with it, and she knows a thing or two about wool! You have been so creative – my mouth has been watering reading this post and I’m particularly interested in the “moos”.

    • It IS lovely, Jan; my switch is partly fanciful and partly political, in a rather meaningless (except to me) fashion. I have come to realize the true depths of creativity;s meaning for me, as I hardly made anything over the past year and a bit since my Mum passed away. Having the urge return was a sign of healing to me. I seem to be making up for lost time, don’t I?

      In Norway, the Moos is called Fruktsuppe or Sotsuppe (Sweet Soup); there they seem to use tapioca as the thickener. I suspect it depends on what one has handy. I think it was an easy dish in the winter; a way to use up fruits canned or dried or both for a warm supper. It’s as good cold as hot or warm, though, and in summer I understand that it’s often made with berries. A very thrifty soup, I think. and one I will make forever. I still like the pear moos with evaporated milk and (my tweak) some finely chopped candied ginger. You can use any combination of canned and dried fruits, raisins, prunes, etc. Whatever is in your pantry. I wrote about the two varieties common to my mum’s and her sister’s kitchens. A couple of scones with cheese goes well with Moos, as does homebaked bread and the like. Can you tell I’m very traditional, in spite of also liking to seek out new trails? The eternal conundrum.
      Hope your week is going well, Jan. I popped over to your Etsy store; home my drooling didn’t damage the vintage laces, etc. 🙂 Warm hugs to you. ~ Linne

  2. My goodness, you have been busy! All the knitting and cooking and baking. No wonder you have little time to blog. It all looks quite tasty. The boys will probably never know there was a mistake in your knitting, only that they are warm. Have a wonderfilled week and stay warm.

    • Thanks, Marlene. I rather like being busy just now; Only 31 days plus today and then the days begin to lengthen! Not that I’m counting, of course. 🙂

      The boys wouldn’t know, but my sister feels the top of the light blue one looks a bit ‘girly’ and the parents wouldn’t want that, of course. Luckily, it’s not a big item, so the fix should be fairly quick.

      My family is fairly conservative to quite conservative, generally, so I try to take that into consideration. No point knitting for the thrift store LOL

      I wish you plenty of wonder in your week, too, along with enough warmth to keep you happy. No plus 30s

      Hugs and Happiness. ~ Linne

      • It’s warming here again, too, but snowing up high. We expect rain over the next two days. I think we shall only get to 10C, but then, we’re farther north than you are.
        Spring weather, indeed! I almost want to go out and dig in the garden, which lucky for me is still covered by a white blanket. Instead, the knitting calls once I’ve had a long chat with my lovely Auntie. I think I shall send you some warm hugs; they are virtual, after all, so not too warming for you. Enjoy your walking; wish I could join you; In the winter of 1999 I was living with Mum in Thorhild, an hour north of Edmonton. I had a friend there and we walked four miles every day after she closed her shop for the day. All four sides of a section of land. Even at -30C it was invigorating. Mum and I moved to Edmonton before the summer truly set in, so I never had to face walking in +30C. Didn’t miss that! Have a Light-hearted week, my friend. ~ Linne

  3. Wow Linne, so happy to catch this as first post in my reader this afternoon. And you have been so busy, Love all of your knitting and your incredible patterns, And of course love your home bakes.. We finished the last of the home grown tomatoes last week, I made soup, as many had marks on their skins, as hubby had taken them off the vine a while back ready to ripen on my kitchen window sill.

    Apple pie one of my favourites, and using up windfalls. 🙂
    Your Christmas Muffins look delicious.
    And happy Knitting with your Yarn for your shawl. Lots to keep you busy over the winter months.
    Sending Many thanks and Hugs your way. 🙂

    • Thank you, Sue. I love soup, too; great way to use things up, isn’t it? The cousins never make it, though. Still, I saved the bones from our Thanksgiving turkey in October and have a squash (they don”t really care for squash, either), so will be making some turkey broth and with that a bit of squash soup. The other half of the squash will go into a casserole in a cast iron frying pan. A friend shared the recipe; it’s from the Moosewood cookbook and is absolutely delicious!

      The shawl will be crocheted, so ought to go fairly quickly. I think it’s not too deep, either, so perfect for a spring wedding.

      Glad you enjoyed the post. I do hope your eyes are continuing to improve; sight is so vital, isn’t it?

      Stay warm and keep spreading the Light. Love and hugs. ~ Linne

      • Glad the eye is healed; hope the eyestrain is a thing of the past soon. The shawl is lovely; the yarn I’ve ordered is exactly the same. Hope to do the soup soon; Friday maybe. Wish I could zip soup, muffins, etc. to my friends in the Virtual Village . . . wouldn’t that be fun!

      • haha.. that would be amazing fun.. and who knows with the way our technology is heading haha.. Just look at the last one hundred years of progress.. Hate to think what awaits us in the not too distant future.. ❤ 🙂

      • I think that if we can imagine it, we can create it; I do hope we ask more of the ‘right’ questions before inventing too much more technology. We have so often settled for short term ease and are now paying for that with long term ‘dis-ease’ and I don’t mean only of the body. My grandparents were born to a world where the big tech stuff was trains and steamships; they farmed with horses in the beginning. My grandchildren who are blood-related were all born in the 2000s and all nine of them in the Space Age. My oldest son was born the year before the moon landing, but after the first Sputniks, etc. A lot of change, indeed! My Auntie remembers their first car, tractor, telephone, crystal radio, and so on. I wonder what the grandchildren will remember in the way of changes. Hopefully that we smartened up and began living responsibly and cleaning up our messes . . .
        ❤ & Light to you, Sue. ~ Linne

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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