A Recipe That’s Not For Everyone

I’ve mentioned before that I was a fussy eater as a child. It’s true. I didn’t like a lot of things like cheese, eggs, many vegetables, fish (except tuna that I insisted was actually chicken) and rice. The one crazy exception is my grandmother’s fruitcake.

This is a recipe that my father’s mother picked up from a friend. My memories of eating this goes back to before I have memories of other things. I think I ate it at first because my cousins wouldn’t and all the adults did. I got attention for it. It was served at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. My mother carried on making it for my father. Eventually when I was making the holiday meals we cut back on the fruitcake to every few years. This is the first one I’ve made in at least 8 years. I decided it made no sense to hold off until the holiday to make it since The Husband and I are the only ones who eat it now.

It’s one of those recipes that seems like it would be a bother but really it just involves dumping things in the stand mixer one after another. Finally it’s poured into a well greased, again well greased tube pan.

Fruitcake

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of cooled strong coffee with 1 tsp baking soda dissolved in it
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp each ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and mace
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 lb fruitcake mix

Cream brown sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time mixing well. Add coffee. In a separate bowl sift flour, salt and spices. Add slowly to wet ingredients. Add raisins, walnuts and fruitcake mix. Pour into well greased tube pan. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour 20 minutes.

Mine took about 5 extra minutes.

Again, well greased pan. Mine always sticks in one spot. The fruitcake mix I bought had very finely chopped pieces. It was better than the big chunky pieces I used to get. I also splurged and bought the chopped walnuts. I used to buy the ones in the shell and chop them myself.

Do you have family foods you like that others don’t? What is your holiday food tradition?

Posted in food | 13 Comments

WIP Thursday: We Shall See

I went ahead and just continued on taking a chance by adding an extra repeat. The reason I was brave enough to do this was because I went looking at completed projects on Ravelry. There were enough projects with extra repeats that come in at my amount of yarn. I finished that repeat and completed dropping the stitches. As you can see in the photo I’m working those dropped stitches down and then I’ll move on to the border.

Posted in Knits, Knitting, Loopy Academy TAG, The Loopy Ewe, WIP, yarn! | 8 Comments

Dining Out: A Quiz

I really enjoyed the last quiz about food. My most favorite part was hearing about the best meal you’ve ever eaten and the restaurant where it was served.

Since Covid we haven’t eaten in a restaurant. Not even one that’s set up outside dining. We have been doing take out weekly but let’s be honest, it isn’t the same as sitting at a table and being waited on. How about we talk about our restaurant experiences? Feel free to answer in the comments or leave a link to your blog if you’ll be answering there.

  • If you could go out to eat today, what restaurant would you go to? What would you order?
  • We already talked about the best meal we’ve ever eaten? What is the worst?
  • Do you have fond memories of a bygone restaurant? Did you have a favorite meal you miss?
  • When I was a kid it was a huge deal to go out to eat. What childhood restaurant memory do you have?
  • Fast food and casual dining restaurants are all the rage in the US. Do you have a favorite? How about one you avoid?

Here are my answers.

  • Ordinarily I’m a lunch or dinner out person but I realized just today that I really miss eating breakfast in a restaurant. I’m not one for making a big breakfast at home but if I was out I’d love to have waffles with fruit from the diner about 20 minutes from our house.
  • I don’t think the restaurant is still there. My mother, a friend and I went to a new to us Chinese restaurant. We had arrived right after they opened so the fact that we were the only people didn’t mean anything. We ordered and were served the meal and the food was horrible. It not only tasted bad, it was poorly cooked and slapped sloppily on the plates. We ate enough to not be hungry and after being there about 45 minutes realized we were still the only people in the place. This was maybe 40 years ago and it is still the worst meal I’ve ever eaten.
  • So many good restaurants are gone! It makes me a little sad to think about them. About 20 minutes from where we live there is a highway lined with stores, restaurants and shopping centers. It had its heyday in the 60’s & 70’s. So many of the now long gone restaurants were my favorite. My absolute favorite was The Ship. It was so fancy to me when I was a kid. It’s where I learned to love prime rib. There may be a dozen or so shrimp forks in my kitchen that came from there. When I want to relive the old fashioned fancy dining we go to The Continental. It’s expensive but the food is tasty and the service excellent. When we lived in California we used to eat at the Black Angus Steakhouse in Citrus Heights. It was so good. I still miss going there.
  • I have two distinct memories from dining out when I was a kid. Once a year we’d go with 3 or 4 families to the Green Ridge Turkey Farm in NH. This was a huge thing in the 60’s. We’d hang out in the lounge until our table for like 20 people was ready. This is where I had my first Shirley Temple and learned I hate maraschino cherries. We’d then sit at 2 tables, one for kids and the other for adults, and have dinner. Dessert was always ice cream. The other memory is of going shopping with my mother and grandmother on Saturday. We’d go to Grants and Woolworths. If I was lucky we’d get lunch at the restaurant in Woolworths. It usually involved a grilled cheese sandwich. One time when my cousin came along she and I were able to get banana splits for dessert. Such a sweet memory!
  • We eat fast food way too often. It’s so easy to just drive thru. We often go to McDonald’s. They have the tastiest fries. N will request Chick-fil-A. I’m not a huge fan of casual dining restaurants like Olive Garden or Applebee’s. They’re expensive and the food is only ok. I do like Texas Road House and won’t say no to Chili’s. I’d rather go to one of our local mid priced restaurants if I have the choice.

Now I’m hungry and I wish I could travel back in time to relive some of these memories.

Posted in food, Q & A | 8 Comments

The Words, They Matter

Yes. A pitiful picture of the two projects I’m concentrating on. The blanket waits.

Vary The Gate had a small issue I was able to correct without too much aggravation. After spending too much time working on One & Done I could no longer stop counting at two. I made the mistake of counting to three twice which required tinking back one row. Not a huge deal at all. It’s done and ready to move forward. In theory I’m 3 repeats from the end. I have loads more yarn so I’m going to keep knitting repeats until the ball is just enough plus a little to bind off.

Unfortunately I have two rows to tink back on One & Done. I read the pattern as most are written “ repeat from * seven times more” only the more wasn’t there so I’m guessing I only need seven times. There is a note about people running out of yarn. I wonder if they implied the more too. So if I tink back the two rows I’m ready to move on to the border. If I throw caution to the whims of the Knitting Goddess and carry on with another 10 rows I’m pretty much guaranteed to run out of yarn. So yes, later today I’ll tink back and take a moment to thank myself for preventing a yarn panic situation.

Posted in Knits, Knitting, Loopy Academy TAG, The Loopy Ewe, yarn! | 12 Comments

And The Weirdness Continues

I love how red the Japanese Maples get in the fall. I wish my yard was full of them. Alas our two trees have died. I have to enjoy others now.

In the continued weirdness category, we had an earthquake yesterday. Yes, I live in New England. Earthquakes are not unheard of here though they usually are small enough that we don’t know they’re earthquakes. This one was a 3.6 which gave our house a good shake causing the windows to rattle.

What weirdness have you experienced lately?

Posted in this place | 15 Comments

Squishiness

I may have caught the actual color of the yarn I’m using for One & Done. Well, the bright ones anyway. The pink and orange are bright and beautiful. The mid color is a blue teal shade. The dark is everything from dark teal to navy to black. It really is a unique skein. I’m not sure the name of the colorway, feel the beet, really sums it up.

The texture of this project is an illusion because stitches will be dropped once I reach the end of this section. I’ve only done one other project that required dropping stitches and I have not the fondest memory of it. Knitters worry about dropping stitches when they’re knitting because they’re sure those stitches will just run right down the project. It has been my experience that intentionally dropped stitches tend to be sticky and require much encouragement to run all the way down. Either way I’m looking forward to getting to that point. For right now I’m enjoying how squishy the fabric feels.

What are you enjoying about your projects right now? Are you enjoying the color or feeling? Maybe you’re enjoying the idea of gifting your project and making someone feel your love for them.

Posted in Knits, Knitting, Loopy Academy TAG, yarn! | 16 Comments

Some Weeks Require Three Flavors Of Ice Cream: A Quiz

When I was out today mailing the payment for the furnace I stopped at the grocery store for bread and ice cream. I decided on Neapolitan because just one flavor wouldn’t do.

Anyone who has been around here for more than a bit knows I have a thing for ice cream. It (and turkey) would be my death row meal. I thought to help pass the day a food quiz would be fun. Feel free to answer in the comments or leave a link to your post if you’re answering on your blog. Here we go.

  • What is your favorite food?
  • Do you have a favorite dessert that you can’t pass up?
  • If you were on a deserted island and could have only one food besides the fish and coconuts on the island what would it be?
  • What is the best meal you’ve ever eaten?
  • Is there a food you wish you could make?

Here are my answers.

  • My most favorite food is ice cream. I couldn’t live on it alone sadly. I also love roast turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy. But no giblets in the gravy please!
  • Apple pie with ice cream. Or ice cream cake. Or a brownie with ice cream. I love most a la mode desserts.
  • I’m breaking with expectation here and saying bread. I would want an ever changing variety of bread.
  • I’ve had a few really good meals in my life. First I have to mention the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals I had as a child. My love of turkey comes from these memories. I wasn’t a good eater as a child. Saying I was fussy is mild. But eating turkey dinner with all the fixings at the dining room table was my favorite and I ate more than two bites of each food. When I was a teenager my father took my mother and I to a fancy restaurant where we ate prime rib that was so tender and delicious. I think it is the best beef I have ever eaten. On our honeymoon we drove from the east coast to the west where we were starting our married life. Along the way we stopped in New Mexico to ride the Sandia Peak Tram and we had dinner at the top. It is by far the fanciest place I’ve dined. The views out the windows were spectacular. I’d love to go back.
  • So many things! I’d like to make pastries. Things like apple danish and cream puffs. I am a better cook than baker. I also have a tiny kitchen that isn’t great for making things that require space to roll things out.

Now that I’ve done all this talking about food I’m hungry.

Posted in food | 16 Comments

Yesterday Was For Knitting

We spent a lot of yesterday just sitting around. I made the best of my sitting by knitting at the same time. I spent two hours working on Vary the Gate. That added nearly a dozen rows. Then after dinner I pulled out One & Done and did a dozen rows. There is progress on both. Next I’ve got to work on the baby blanket.

How are your projects going? Are you spreading your attention or concentrating on one?

Posted in Knits, Knitting, Loopy Academy TAG, yarn! | 14 Comments

Like A Kick To The Face

This has been a week and it’s only Thursday. Between turning the clocks, the drama that is the election and a trip to the dentist I feel like I’ve taken a kick to the face.

There hasn’t been much knitting. The last few nights my eyes are drooping shortly after dinner. I did manage a half dozen rows on One & Done while watching The Great British Baking Show. It was a soothing hour. Hopefully in a couple of weeks everything else will have come together. That is when my permanent crown will be ready and I can eat without worry.

Posted in Knits, Knitting, this place, yarn! | 17 Comments

My Mother’s Recipe

I was asked in the comments what was the best peanut butter cookie recipe. I’d have to say these Peanut Butter Pinwheels that my mother made were darn good. The chocolate goes great with the peanut butter creating a tasty cookie. As you can see by the staining on the card she made them fairly often.

That said, I’ve never made them. They require more fussing than I like to do. But I’ve eaten lots and they are very tasty.

Posted in food | 11 Comments