Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Where do I start?

Let's see.

Once upon a time, someone offered vintage patterns and some yarn on Freecycle. I said how lovely that would be, and she said she would need to search for some more yarn, but she'd let me know when she found it. And then I forgot all about it for a few weeks... till she e-mailed me saying all was ready! Yesterday I went downtown to pick the stuff up.

The patterns were mainly arans and booklets that I have had at one time or other in the past. Some things ripped out of magazines, like this:

Unfortunately, no pattern; just a picture. All in all, not a great score. I think I will just hold on to a couple of mid-80s books for the pictures.

Ah, but the yarn, you say, maybe that made up for the "vintage pattern" part of the package.

Um, no.

It was stuffed into a canvas bag and I could see it was loose on the top, but little did I know that what I got was a whole bag full of a tangle of yarn! I have wound off a few balls, probably about 150 grams or more, and there is this whole ton still to go! You can see my feet buried in it at the left. 

There is a group on Ravelry called Knot A Problem, and they love to detangle yarn (whatever turns your crank...) so I might just contact someone from there. It is all the same, this red acrylic. It would make a blanket for a child or a lap afghan, but that would be so far down my list I would never get around to it.

However, the day was not wasted. Recently our favourite cheap and cheerful butcher shop closed, and we have been looking for a replacement, other than the supermarket. I was early for the pick-up appointment, and saw a sign for the Healthy Butcher. (Mmm, they have recipes on that site.) I went in and admired the meat (noting that an elk T-bone sells for $66/kilo: not cheap and cheerful at all) and remembered that I could use a lamb shoulder roast. When I asked about it, someone found a lamb shoulder and deboned it, rolled it all up and tied it neatly, and then charged me $43! I clutched at my heart and handed over the credit card.

I'm hoping that since I got disappointing patterns and yarn for free, it's true that you get what you pay for, and my very expensive meat will be super-fantastic.

The reason I wanted a lamb shoulder roast is so that I can make this recipe from Jamie Oliver's Jamie at Home. The book is arranged by seasons, and the Spring chapter covers asparagus, lamb, eggs and rhubarb.

I'd like to do a sort of Julie/Julia thing with this book, and make (almost) everything in it! I might leave out the drink involving rhubarb and cream, for example, or the lamb tartare, which is raw. I'm sure the Healthy Butcher could provide me with lamb I'd feel okay eating raw, but at what price!? I don't think I'd like to eat supermarket lamb raw, for some reason.

(And now we stop to discuss the lack of access to the original Julie/Julia blog. It was there a while ago, but now has been removed from its original place, and from the Wayback system, too. The best you can do is this, I think. Beware: the "read more" links lead to nothing. The book is second-best. The movie is a whole different beast, really.)

So far in my Mary/Jamie project, I have made asparagus (steamed with vinaigrette) and rhubarb fool. The asparagus was very nice. We used mint and I'd like to try it again when my basil is grown. The rhubarb was great, but I wouldn't call it speedy -- once the orange is zested and squeezed, the rhubarb is chopped, and the pastry is thawed, it goes quite quickly, but you can't think of this at 5 pm and whip it up for dessert that night... Unless you keep puff pastry ready to go at all times! Actually, though, the pastry was not really necessary and the tangy rhubarb, orange, yogurt mix was delightful without it.

This has got horribly long. I haven't even started on the knitting that is going on around here, but I'll save that for another day!


  1. You're doing a Julie/Julie thing with Jamie Oliver? How cool. I'm doing the same sort of thing with EZ's Knitting Workshop.

  2. I get keen and then falter, but stay tuned: big meal planned soon! I'd like to do an EZ book, too!


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