Thursday, May 14, 2009

I Won a Door Prize!

I went to Women's Garage Party at the Harley Shop in Longview this evening. This was their first time and it was a great success. We were divided into four groups and went to four stations...finishing with a fifth station to fill out a survey. We were shown the Harley's, appropriate riding gear, parts department told of several things that can be done to make 'your' Harley a better fit for 'you,' and how to pick up a 500+ pound bike. I did it! I've been wanting Sam to lay my bike down and let me try to pick it up...well, not pick it up, but set it upright. My bike is another 200 pounds heavier though. I still need to give it a try.

AND!!! I won the big door prize! They gave away two t-shirt celebrating May as Ladies Month. Then a basket with a bag that can be worn over the shoulder or clipped to the belt loops on a pair of jeans, a pair of shades, a disposable camera, a photo frame, and a doo-rag. YEAH ME!!

On to more sedate things...this is what I've been working on with the ribbon yarn.
Rats, the cables don't show up very well. This is the first time I've ever attempted cables.
And, look at this. I read someplace that when doing stockinette stitch, that the purl side looks looser on the right side. Mine does. Look just above the ribbing at the thick and thin rows. I am now making a concerted effort to tighten the purl stitches and make looser knit stitches. The stitches closest to the needles are more even. I am NOT going to ribbet what I've already done. I am still learning how to knit...and I am extremely proud of what I've accomplished so far.

Monday, May 11, 2009

This Week...

Not much has been going on around here. Too much rain to get on the motorcycle...which I haven't been on mine since last fall. The weather has been so odd...cooler and wetter than a normal May. But, hey! This is northeast Texas! really is normal.

Returning from the Aggie reunion in San Antone I found these in bloom.
I've been cooking. For a week now, I've been thinking about banana pudding...made of course with Nabisco 'Nilla wafers. The recipe is on the box. The only thing I do different...the recipe calls for 3 eggs separated. You beat the yolks into the pudding and make a meringue with the whites. I use two whole eggs. Whisk them with the milk for the pudding. Instead of meringue, I top with Nilla wafers.
Do you like spaetzle? I do. Sam doesn't care for it. But I found a recipe in Emeril Lagasse's book From Emeril's Kitchen. Sam like this better than the original.

Creole Mustard Spaetzle

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 ¾ teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup milk
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon Creole mustard
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Combine flour and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk, then add to the flour, whisking until smooth. Add ¼ cup of the mustard and the oil and mix well.
Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl; set aside.
Bring 4 quarts water and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt to a rolling boil in a large pot. Pour half of the batter into a colander and with a rubber spatula, force the batter through the holes into the water. Cook, stirring, until the dumplings rise to the surface, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a long handled slotted spoon to the ice bath. Repeat with remaining batter. Drain and place in a large bowl.
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is foamy, add the remaining 1 tablespoon mustard and swirl to blend. Add spaetzle, parsley, and lemon juice and stir to mix. Cook until spaetzle is warmed through, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

My recipe for plain spaetzle comes from a 1950 Mennonite Community Cookbook.

Spatzlein (Little Sparrows)

1 egg 1 cup water 2 1/2 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt

2 quarts boiling water 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Beat egg throughly. Add water and beat until well blended with egg. Mix flour and salt and add to liquid. Beat until smooth. Bring salted water and drop spatzlein into water. To do this, tilt bowl containing batter in a position that it can be cut with the edge of a spoon as it purs over the edfge of the bowl. The spatzlein should be an inch long and 1/4 inch in diamter. Cook for 3 minutes after batter is all in the water. Drain in colander and top with brown butter. Makes 6 servings.

I have a double boiler. The top portion has holes in it similar to a colander. I hold the insert above the boiling water while I mash half the batter through the holes. After 3 minutes, I ladle the spaetzle out and into a bowl. Then mash the remaining batter through the holes in the double boiler insert.

You can serve these with plain butter or herbed butter.