Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Y'know what February needs?

A bit of colour! Or quite a lot of colour. Why do things by halves?

My natural inclination in knitting is for fairly muted colours - natural colours quite often, but now and then a bit of zing is a good thing. I finally got round to blocking the mad stripey thing - the pattern is Lone Arnsted's Lifelines, though when I started it she hadn't written the pattern out fully, just included notes on what she'd done on her Ravelry project page.

It's essentially an elongated stripey Baktus-type scarf. I finished it ages ago and although it's stocking stitch and didn't need much in the way of blocking, I'd managed to create a few uneven bits when I was knitting it (gripping the needles to tightly when watching Scandinavian dramas perhaps?) so it was worth blocking a bit. It's meant to curl in on itself  quite a bit (more insulating!) so I wasn't trying to flatten it, just even it out.

I can't get a decent picture of me wearing it though. Modelling's not my forte.. Neither is taking selfies!  However I have been wearing it a lot - it's warm and the very essence of cheerfulness.

I've got to show you a picture of my kitchen windowsill too - hyacinths, carnations and daffodils and a bit of sunshine make it a happy scene.

I finally got round to trying something new - I'd admired Andamento's Christmas window stars and fancied some window suns to cheer up the dining-room window. I got hold of some kite paper and found that I'm not completely clueless when it comes to following paper-folding diagrams, which is nice. Though I'll admit to a little head-scratching at times, it was very straightforward really.

Note how well this one matches my cheery new tablecloth! The kids weren't keen when I replaced the old red spotty tablecloth (which was ripped and sad-looking) with the yellow spotty one but they seem to have to come round. It's undeniably and relentlessly cheery. It's probably worth mentioning that I haven't had a hangover this millennium (after Mikey Chung's party, Dundee, 1996, was the last one in fact). Possibly if I were to suffer a hangover this tablecloth might be just a Bit Much.

And there's my star/sun hanging up:

I thought the paler yellow looked a bit like a daffodil so I tried a yellow and white star too, which I think looks distinctly daffodilish.

Compare and contrast? We had a bit of snow yesterday and today so I'm pleased I've got bright things hanging in the window.

To finish the yellow theme, I tried a new lemony recipe tonight. Bizarrely enough it was reading an Ann Cleeves (crime novelist) book that got me looking for recipes. One of her characters was making a Mediterranean lemon chicken dish and I was so distracted by the thought that I lost track of the mystery for a bit. I had a look on the BBC Good Food website which is always a fun place to browse recipes and found a Lemon and Oregano Chicken traybake which looked lovely, so I had a go this evening (no pictures because food photography is not one of my strengths). I used chicken breasts rather than thighs and omitted the bacon, but added a bit of garlic, mostly because My Beloved likes it. It was really delicious - winter one-pot comfort food combined with summery citrus. I'll probably use chicken thighs next time as it was very slightly too dry. Oh, and I got back to the mystery!


Mrs. Micawber said...

I like the word "traybake" - it must be the equivalent of the US "casserole" (which refers not to the utensil but to the mixed contents baked therein). And where I live, in the Midwest it would be called "hotdish". :)

One of my favourite chicken recipes is chicken with Gremolata sauce (http://www dot finecooking dot com/recipes/sauteed-chicken-breasts-gremolata dot aspx). Lemon, garlic, and parsley make for a zingy sauce.

That is a very cheery stripey baktus thingy - and I like the sunny tablecloth and stars. :)

Peeriemoot said...

We use casserole too (or more prosaically stew). I think this is the first time I've seen traybake used for a savoury dish, more often it's used for sweet things like brownies that you cut up once baked. I like the sound of hotdish :-). Amusingly we refer to the thing you cook a casserole in as a 'casserole dish' - a completely pointless bit of terminology. I bought one a couple of years ago and then noticed it had a label on it saying 'not to be used in the oven' which enraged me somewhat!