Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Bake

My spring break looked something like this:

Challah from smitten kitchen.
I'm extremely proud of my 6-strand braid. I found the braiding instructions in the recipe didn't really work for me, so I used a YouTube video. This made Easter dinner grilled cheese sandwiches for my Auntie Connie and me, and the last bit of the loaf made excellent French toast when it had started to go a little stale. It also makes an excellent snack toasted or not with butter, peanut butter, blueberry jam, or Nutella.

Snickerdoodles from smitten kitchen.
Let's just say mmmm, cookies, and leave it at that.

Peter Reinhart's Bagels, via smitten kitchen (sensing a trend yet?).
I love that I went on a Jewish-carb-fest during Passover. I think this is my best bagel attempt yet; third time's the charm. Note though: the full recipe doesn't fit in a KitchenAid mixer. Cut it in half or get ready to knead a lot. I don't mind kneading massive amounts of bread dough by hand. When I made bread for Old B dinners, I would never use the big mixer for my batches containing about 36 cups of flour, but I was a little out of practice. My upper arms were tired.

Grandmothers of Sils' Apple Yogurt Cake. I'm not even going to tell you where I got the recipe, because if you can't guess, you have not been paying attention.
I am highly afraid of black licorice, so I left out the Sambuca. I added some Lady Grey tea instead, but you couldn't really taste it in the final product. I might try orange juice next time, and oh will there ever be a next time. This cake is amazing. Just eat it plain, any time of day. It has apples and yogurt in it. It's healthy. It can be breakfast.

Coming up next: a few updates on my life, some recent knitting, and the world's best early-spring salad.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Garter Stitch

I'm a terrible blogger. 3 1/2 months between posts? Maybe this isn't my thing, but I'm going to try again.

So, all 4 people that read this, you may or may not know that I have been having a rough year. I came to Madison in July raring to go, and was wildly disappointed with school. My program wasn't a good fit, and I started to come to the realization that I don't want to be a chemist. I just didn't know what I wanted to do instead. This meant the better part of a semester of being pretty miserable. I was ridiculously unhappy, a feeling made even more difficult by the fact that I had been ridiculously happy during the first half of 2009, when I was still at Oberlin.

In January, I reached a breaking point. I am dropping out of my program after this semester. I applied to the School of Library and Information Studies here at UW. I'm hoping I get in, and I'm hoping I can find a source of funding. But this is a start. I'm so excited. I'm rebuilding.

And I am knitting.

Now, that in itself is not unusual. I knit a lot. But this time, I am just knitting. No cables, no lace, no purling. Just knit, knit, knit, repeating the familiar, soothing motion over and over for what will end up being thousands and thousands of stitches.

Vast swaths of garter stitch in what might be my new favorite yarn are cascading off my needles and piling up in my lap. I'm building blocks of garter stitch as I rebuild my life into something that I want it to be.

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket in Cascade Ecological Wool (cream, natural grey, grey-brown, and black)

And if it doesn't pan out? If I don't get in? If I can't find a way to pay for it? Well, my life will suck for a while. But I'll figure it out. And I know it won't be any worse that it was last fall. And if it doesn't work, I'll keep on knitting and keep on rebuilding. And I really have a feeling it's all going to be okay.