'Tis the season for thankfulness, and I have many reasons to be so. If you also have much to be thankful for and can share, please read Laurie's blog post today and consider helping someone who could desperately use some reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving season.
I recently won a Major Award--although it wasn't fre-gee-lay. Nope, this prize was meant to be taken apart, sliced and diced, soaked in water and subjected to high temperatures.
You can see that it was a good prize.
You have to love a box that comes with this note on the outside.
Inside--look at the treasures!
What are all those goodies? So colorful! So varied! So many of them!
Let's take a closer look.
Dried mushrooms. Specifically: samples of maitake, porcini, chantarelle, shiitake, oyster, black trumpet, lobster, and matsutake mushrooms.
But that's not all.
Aren't they pretty?? What we have--or rather, what *I* have, too bad for you--is samples of puya, pasila negro, habanero, chipotle, ancho, aji panca, japones, new mexico, ghost, smoked serrano, and aji cereza peppers.
And that's still not all.
Salts: Hawaiian black, gray sea, smoked sea, habanero, Hawaiian red sea, espresso, szechuan pepper, and lime. Oh: and vanilla sugar, granulated honey, and demerara sugar.
I'm still contemplating all my choices. What do you guys think? Any suggestions? Some of the items I'm familiar with (chipotle, ancho), others not so much (espresso salt?). What should I do with these things? How shall I cook with them? What would taste good?
When it comes to cooking, one thing I am most emphatically *not* good at is making up my own recipes. Occasionally I can throw some pasta sauce together, and I do a mean job of mixing things into scrambled eggs, but attempt a recipe on my own? Nuh-uh, not gonna happen.
So I felt it was quite brave of me this week when I attempted to create my own enchilada filling. (Yes, I'm aware it's not a big step from pasta sauce to enchilada filling. Work with me here.) I had some delicata squash I wanted to use up, and I wondered--hmm, how would that taste in an enchilada?
This of course led to additional work, because to the males at Casa Knit Think, enchiladas mean animal protein and cheese, and nothing else, thankyouverymuch. So I'd have to have two fillings, one an old standby, and one just for me.
How luxurious, to create a filling just for me.
First I roasted the squash.
This was one of the best discoveries of the summer. I think delicata might be my favorite of the squashes. By the time it was roasted, I was rethinking the enchilada thing and considering just eating the squash. But no. I persevered.
I sauteed some onions and sweet bell peppers. Yeah, I could have roasted them. If I'd thought of it before I took the squash out of the oven. Oh well.
I mixed my chopped veggies with a can of black beans, some pico de gallo, cilantro, and brown rice. Yummy
And then I folded it into tortillas, poured enchilada sauce over the top, added a bit--OK, a lot--of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, and baked.
This was so good. The sweetness of the squash and peppers were a wonderful contrast against the spicy pico de gallo. I added a little--really, I mean it this time--sour cream to the top. Perfect.
After the monstrously long time it took me to complete the Diamond Fantasy Shawl, I needed some quick and easy projects. Fortunately, some months ago Debra had asked if I'd be willing to participate in the Cups of Kindness event again this year, which solicits handmade items and artwork to be put on sale to raise money for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. (If you keep an eye on the Cups of Kindness site, I believe some of the pieces will be posted there and available for sale soon.)
So! Dishcloths. Festive holiday dishcloths. Quick to knit--even for a slowpoke like me--and quick to block.
I have a love/hate relationship with blocking. In some ways, it's a soothing pastime, kind of quietly mindless. On the other hand, it's dull. Boring. A giant snore.
Which is maybe why I haven't blocked Diamond Fantasy yet. I have blocking wires, but have never used them. Will they make my life easier? Any tips to using them? Because, after all, poor Diamond Fantasy's been off the needles for a while now and is destined to be put in a box under the Christmas tree. Clock's tickin'.