Friday, January 18, 2008

I am really pleased with how these socks turned out! Okay, if I have this correct...Maryanne (from my local spin group) dyed this wool/nylon roving, which Traci (also in my local spin group) got in our holiday gift exchange. Traci spun it, then gave it to me to knit into socks (along with a whole beautiful load of other yarns to knit up - she is weaving me towels!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! in exchange!), and then I knit it into socks. What a collaborative effort, which is cool I think. :)
So, on the Essential Herbal yahoo list we were talking about beets the other day. Specifically how I *wanted* to like them, but have not yet really convinced myself that I do. And a really kind lady (*waves to Marcie*) sent me this link to a recipe for beet-infused vodka. Would that not be the most BEAUTIFUL liqueur?!? I think I'm going to have to try it. Even if I don't like the taste, it will be beautiful to look at! The link, by the way, goes to a blog by Imbibe Magazine. I truly DO love that magazine. It's filled with interesting articles and the most amazing recipes. The only bad thing about that magazine is that it really, REALLY makes me want to buy lots and lots and LOTS of booze. Which in and of itself isn't a bad thing - i just don't have the money for it!

Speaking of booze and infusions. I have discovered the joy of tea/booze infusions. Talk about instant gratification!!! i have been working on some fruit infusions, and my understanding is that these are better the longer you wait. So in late fall I infused some peaches in brandy, and raspberries in vodka. I'm thinking that the raspberries are nearly done, but the peaches should sit quite a bit longer yet. Doing infusions is really kind of a "feel" thing - i've done herb/oil infusions for years and years, so I've just got kind of a sense about when they are done. I don't know how to explain it, i just know it in my gut. So i'm just using the same instincts with my alcohol/fruit infusions. But anyway. The beauty of infusing tea in booze is - it only takes a few *hours*. not weeks, not months. HOURS. I mean - wow!

I was cleaning out my tea cupboard and noticed a LOT of chai tea. So I decided to make a rum and chai tea infusion. It was done in about 5 hours! There it is pictured above. I haven't really created any drink recipes with this yet, but it smells fabulous! Lovely and spicy. And it truly does have that bitter/rich black-tea taste as well. I'm thinking this would be fabulous in hot drinks. I will keep you posted as I experiment.....

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The folks in my local spinning group are such fantastic enablers! They passed out patterns of this fantastic thrum mitten (thank you Maryanne!) in December, and I had to make them. The pic shows the one on the right inside-out, so you can see how the roving is carried along the inside of it - s ort of like fair isle? It makes the mittens warm and soft and super cozy!