I love the fall. The weather gets cooler and you find yourself under a pile of blankets when you wake up in the morning. Today is about perfect around here. It’s about 60 degrees and cloudy (ok, I like it a little bit cooler, but I’ll take this.) Time for soup! Do you make soups in the fall and winter? I have some favorite soup recipes, but am always looking for other good ones. Do share, if you have a family favorite.
Here is one for Steak Soup from my friend Diana that is wonderful. This is crockpotting at my house today. I will admit, it doesn’t look that great in the photo – but it will look and taste great by the end of the day. (You don’t add in the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, corn until the last hour – so you’re seeing it in its beginning stages.) What I like about this recipe is that it’s so thick and hearty. (4 lbs. of hamburger and tons of vegetables.) Speaking of vegetables, I learned a good trick for slicing onions without the tears. Oh, I know the regular tips – burn a candle nearby to get rid of the fumes (that does help), leave the root end intact while you cut (not sure that really helps), etc. But at a cooking class that I took last year in CA, they told us that we should cut the onion in half and then put the cut-side down on the cutting board. Next, cut into wedges and then dice. This one really does work the best out of all the onion tips that I have tried. Since you need 3 cups of onions diced up for this recipe, you will need to know how to do it without tears. (Unless you can take your tear-stained face into the room where your family is parked, announce that you just need some time to “find yourself and pull it together because it has been a stressful week”, and then can sneak away for a few hours of uninterrupted knitting. In that case, tear up good and enjoy.)
Diana’s Steak Soup
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
3 cups chopped onion
2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups sliced celery
2 lbs. (or 4 cups) mixed veggies
2 (1 lb.) cans diced tomatoes (I use Zesty)
1 Tablespoon Accent
8 cubes beef boullion
2 teaspons black pepper
2 envelopes Lipton Onion Soup Mix
8 cups hot water
4 lbs. ground beef, cooked
Melt butter in a large pot. Stir in flour. Add water slowly and stir. Add cooked meat, veggies, and seasonings. Bring to boil. Simmer until veggies are cooked, about 1 hour.
(Or use your crockpot. In that case, add in everything except your carrots and mixed veggies. Simmer all day long. Add carrots/mixed veggies for the last hour.)
For a really great meal, add Janice’s Corn Bread Rolls with this soup. (her 9/18 entry)
On the knitting front: I am working away on my Log Cabin Quilt. I liked the strips better when they were short and each color went by quickly. I’m on the longer strips now and am forcing myself not to get bored. I have also started the twin to my Regia sock that I finished at my meeting last weekend. I am determined to get all of my twin-less socks under control. I have also figured out a knitted-gift solution for the people on my list, which I’ll share with you next week.
On The Loopy Ewe front: Have I mentioned how much I love my Namaste Vintage Knitting Bag? It holds several projects, and I love that I can put my favorite pairs of needles around the sides. We have these in Camel, Black and Red. Did you know that red leather is “IN” right now? And did you know that the red leather Namaste bags are hard to find? I have just one left. I’m tempted to snap it up for myself because I just love the red, but then what would I do with two of these bags? Be sensible (she tells herself.) Actually, we have just 2 camel and 3 black ones left, too. When I took mine to my knitting guild meeting two weekends ago, several people asked about it – it really is that great. So did you want to treat yourself to one of these?
It’s September. Do you know what gifts you have to have knitted by December? It’s only three months away – time to get crackin’. I have been pondering which of my own projects are going to turn into gifts for friends and family. Here is my list:
The Cherry Tree Hill Java socks. I have one done, and just need to knit the twin. This is the colorway that reminds me of fudge and coffee. I love the Wildhorse Farm pattern that I’m using on these. Never mind. Those need to stay with me.
The Yarn Pirate Viola socks. I have one done, and just need to knit the twin. I don’t have any other purple socks and I’m trying to make a collection of every color under the rainbow. Plus, I also love the Wildhorse Farm pattern that I’m using on those. So, never mind. Those need to stay with me.
The Socks That Rock socks in the no-longer-available colorway. I have one done, and just need to knit the twin. Never mind. Until Tina-The-Wonder-Dyer decides to let us carry Socks That Rock, my STR sock-knitting is few and far between. (Well, because I have so many wonderful sock yarns to choose from here. How can I justify buying more sock yarn when The Loopy Room is overflowing with sock yarn wonders?) While my STR knitting is limited, those need to stay with me.
The Fleece Artist Jester Fall Socks. I have one done, and just need to knit the twin. But these are MY fall socks. I’m working on socks for each season. Never mind. They definitely need to stay with me.
The blue/purple color-stacking bag that is half completed. I ought to be able to finish it in just a few hours. But it’s such a pretty little bag. It would be perfect for winter. Never mind. I can use that bag myself. That needs to stay with me.
The lime/green sweater. It would be great to have a deadline for that sweater, and three months is definitely do-able. However, I did pick the lime/teal colors out just for me. And it will make a great spring/summer sweater. Never mind. That needs to stay with me.
The Log Cabin Quilt. It’s turning out so pretty and would make a wonderful gift. No doubt I’ll be able to finish it up in a month or two. However, it does remind me of Vera Bradley Java Blue, and I’m the one that is into blue/brown. Never mind. That needs to stay with me.
The blue/turquoise scarf. I just have a few inches done, but you know scarves – they are quick to finish. I guess I did pick this out to go with one of my sweaters. And I do still love the color/yarn. Never mind. That needs to stay with me.
The brown/green felted bag that I have not yet started, but bought the yarn and pattern for. It’s going to be beautiful and I can’t wait to knit it. Or use it. Ok. Never mind. That one needs to stay with me.
The cashmere fingerless gloves that I have not yet started, but bought the yarn and pattern for. They are to-die-for. Can you imagine wearing cashmere on your hands in the cold winter air? Are these not going to be great? Might have to make a scarf to match. I will love these. Never mind. They need to stay with me.
“Houston – we have a problem.”
Apparently “someone” is too attached to her knitting projects. How did that happen? I guess everyone on my list is getting Barnes & Noble Gift Certificates instead. (Quick and easy to buy, insures more knitting time for me. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about?)
Please inspire me with your knitting gift lists and encourage me
not to be so selfish with my knitting to go out and buy more yarn to make wonderful things for others this season……
Thanks to Marianne for letting me know that no one can leave comments on the blog for some reason. I will look into it and will get it fixed post-haste! I thought I must’ve just written a really boring post and no one felt the need to comment. Marianne also wondered if it was Prairie Dogs that I saw in Texas. Do they have heads and tails like squirrels? Hmmm. I’ll check that out. Meanwhile, off to check on the comment-less blog problem……….
(Updated note, 1 hour later: it’s fixed now. Talk to me!)
I’m back! Nice trip. Here’s what I discovered while in San Antonio:
- they have nice hotels. (I stayed at the Hyatt Hill Country and was glad someone else was paying for it. I also liked their spa. Hard to believe I went there on business, right?)
– I need to find a good recipe for Tres Leches Cake (not sure of the spelling, but very sure of the wonderful taste. Probably best not to know all that goes into it, calorically speaking.)
– I loved visiting Max Lucado’s church (I snuck over there on Sunday with a few friends. Do any of you read his books? They are so good.)
– they have weird squirrels. They are longer than Missouri squirrels, they walk like dogs, the upper half of their body is black short-hair, and the lower half of their body is “regular” brown fluffy squirrel. Every time I snuck up to take a picture of them – they disappeared down a hole in the ground. Very strange. Googling Texas Squirrels did not turn up a picture of this unique creature, so you’ll have to use your imagination. So can any of you Texans enlighten me? What’s up with those squirrels?
– I love Vera Bradley’s Java Blue pattern. This has nothing to do with Texas, except that one of my friends at the meeting kept showing up with different bags in this pattern and now I think I need something in it, too. I’m trying to resist.
This is the sock that I completed during my meetings. It’s one of the two Regia colors that I have no color sample for, and we have only 8 balls of it left. I’ll have to post this picture on The Loopy Ewe, too. It is a discontinued colorway, but I loved the colors in here (and in this other one that I just took a quick picture of to show you), so I bought them right up for us. You may wonder why I started yet another sock, when I have several “twins” that need to be knit up? (I’m sure there are a couple of you out there who keep track of these things. Unfinished projects and such.) I needed a mindless pattern to work on, so that I could pay attention in my meetings. I find that people running meetings don’t mind you knitting, if you can still look alert and participate. It’s when you have needles clacking, yarn balls rolling, patterns crinkling and scissors snipping, that they think your mind is on your knitting and not the meeting. The socks I have waiting on “twins” were all sock patterns that I had to think about too much, thus the need to start a new yarn. I may break tradition and knit up the twin to this one right away. Can you believe that?
A special thanks to all of you who placed orders while I was gone. Wonder Husband and Knitting Daughter had so much fun packaging them all up for you! Here is the stack from Day One. (And then they got a real workout, thanks to Wendy’s wonderful 9/21 post at www.wendyknits.net while I was gone. Wendy’s blog is one of the very first knitting blogs I ever started reading, and one of just a few that have their own icon on my toolbar. Her posts constantly inspire me to get more knitting done, as she seems to do so much with the hours in her day. Plus, she has a very cute cat, Lucy.) Of course now I click on all of your blogs when you leave comments on my blog, because I’m always interested in getting to know who you are. I really ought to leave comments every time I do that, because I know how much I like getting comments from all of you.
You did a great job of guessing yarn delivery dates! If you have not left a comment with your guess, you can still do that. I have dutifully copied your name and guess onto a calendar, so that as soon as the first delivery comes in, I can post a winner. Did I tell you that I had to expand The Loopy Room already? I have more new shelves, just waiting to be filled with Yarn Pirate, Sweet Georgia, and All Things Heather. (Still trying to re-do things a bit for the other yarn line that will be coming in in October or November – a wonderful cashmere blend from Posh Yarns that I ordered about a month ago.) So many wonderful yarns, so little time to knit them all up……….