the road a-head

several fun things to talk about today, so let’s get the latest FO out of the way
i finished the pavé hat which matches the mitts i’ve been working on

the earflaps will, of course, be optional and the pavé pattern goes right to the tippety top taking a wonky diagonal course where the decreases start. kinda like a bike might do when riding over cobblestones.

we are gonna knit a set in girly colors too, just to show what a difference the yarn makes (we’ll leave the earflaps off this time i think).

ok, so guess what knitspot??

we won! we reign victorious in the knitting war

i didn’t know there was going to be one overall winner . . . i thought we just had to win in our pairing. good thing i didn’t get in the habit of checking on the other warriors; hehe, i can’t take the pressure so i didn’t really scope any of them out until the end. instead, i relied on YOU for constant cheering-on and encouragement (i think you all know how instrumental good-natured peer pressure is around here).

anyway, get this: the benefactors also gave extra money to MSF for each of you who pledged to back me . . which DOUBLED their contribution—$90 dollars for each item i knit PLUS $90 for the group of supporters—that makes $180 to MSF.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL—if i’m not mistaken, if you add in the pledges of each knitspot participant, that brings the grand total of what we ALL raised to . . . $1800 dollars!

knitspot readers rule. but you knew that, right?

ok, now here’s a fun contest to participate in over at mason-dixon knitting. i found it via wendy’s blog

ann and kay got to reminiscing about recipes and recipe boxes and they want us to share our own recipe boxes with them (go to their site to read the rules).

now you know i’m always talking about and showing you dishes that we eat in my family both for everyday and for special dinners. and often i am asked to post a recipe or email it to someone. i don’t post recipes because they tend to be rambling essays rather than the thing you’d really want, and the final results rely heavily on taste, intuition, and having seen grandma do it.

also, this is a knitting blog and the food i show is mainly for distraction.

truly, most of those dishes are ones that i learned to make on the job, standing next to mom or gram while they cooked and told me how to make it, or had me put it together while they looked on, often with their hands full, making a different dish. so there aren’t really recipes; instead there are guidelines i guess.

however, baking is a different story and there, you need a little more exactness—measurements and combinations of of ingredients are more important to the success of the finished product.

so we DO have recipes that we pass around for baking. my mom gave me her old recipe box when i moved into my first or second apartment and i started cooking a lot on my own

it is made of cedar and though it’s old, i can still catch a faint whiff of that aroma when i open it. it seems to have been purchased a souvenir from howe caverns, a tourist attraction and “natural geological wonder” located in central New York State.

i had to fill it myself, but i soon did, mostly with recipes i copied from her files.

mostly, i keep in here the kind of recipes that get passed from person to person—ones you would not find in a cookbook necessarily, but which end up being my go-to recipes.

i have lots of cookbooks

and i use those too, but more when i want to read about a particular regional style or learn a new dish that my family doesn’t make.

now, when my grandma died, i inherited her kitchen tools and these books where she kept some of her recipes

seriously, i think that printed recipe book served more as a folder for her own notes than to furnish her with instructions. because when you open it, you get this

lots of handwritten documents, some of them even resembling actual recipes. hahaha!—most of them are just lists of ingredients with no accompanying instructions; often the list just trails off a bit at the end . . . you have to know how to put them together (sound like guidelines in another craft we’re familiar with?).

the most charming recipe in there is the one i’m going to share as the final part of my entry:

those are the ingredients, and here are the instructions (my favorite part)

i don’t really know the woman “jen” who furnished this gem, but she certainly knew how to be concise. here’s the frosting for the cookies (you can tell because it is entitled “frosting for the cookies”—heaven forbid if the two cards got separated; the wonder of it is, they never did):

ok, so i’m going to run over and leave a comment and link on ann and kay’s site, then i’m off to knit and nurse the nasty cold i caught this week.

31 Responses to “the road a-head”

  1. Erika says:

    Hope you feel better!

  2. Debbie says:

    I love when we get knitting from you AND family stories. We all have so many stories to share, and it never fails that when you veer-off the knitting path, I think of my own stories that are similar. I remember making chocolate fudge for my dad often. I used a beat-up old cooking pan and my mom’s ancient cookbook. Your collection of recipes from your grandmother remind me of my mom’s. She had her own versions, and she rarely wrote anything down. Before she died, she recited the recipes, and I wrote them down. I have the treasure. My brother and sister got knick-knacks! Oh, love the gloves and hat!!

  3. Debbie says:

    P.S. You’re going to have to show us what these cookies look like!

  4. Tana says:

    Yeah, I wanna see those cookies!

  5. Kat says:

    Wooo Hoooooo, Anne!!!! Okay, I am dancing the happy dance around my house right now for your win!! I had my utmost confidence in you!!!

    And, you add in recipes —- hmmm, okay, I will go dig out some recipes myself…. although I come from a family of those who write nothing down. It is a state secret, don’t you know!

    Anyways, congratulations!!!

  6. Debbie says:

    So sorry you are not feeling well. Take advice from your number one fan who is a nurse and REST…lots of fluids…you know the drill.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  7. Madeline says:

    The best part of all your recipes are the smudges, splatters, and butter stains. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, it shows these recipes are loved.

    Feel better soon.

  8. Barbara says:

    Congradulations for the big win!!! I love your old recipes. My tummy is already tasting those finger cookies!!! (I would have to change shorting to butter) Cool cookbooks you have collected. It’s one of my other passions!!

  9. janna says:

    That Jen was certainly a straight-talker — “if you want a half recipe, cut it down” and “anything but angel flake”! I love the old recipe box, too!

  10. naomi says:

    That is exactly my kind of recipe. 😉

  11. Josiane says:

    Congratulations on getting all of that money to go to Médecins sans frontières!
    Take good care of yourself. I hope you get well soon.

  12. Erica says:

    Congratulations on your victory! It would have been an impressive list that beat yours!

    Those recipes are the best kind. Put in a bowl, mix, and let magic happen! =)

  13. Janine says:

    Happy New Year! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful family story – I think I’ll try out the cooky recipe this weekend.

    Love the pave pattern, and the choice of grey yarn for the mitts. They’re like tiny little streets wrapped around your hands, which delights the five-year-old in me :).

    By the way, how are your overwintering pepper plants doing? If you managed to bring them inside, that is. None of mine made it off the front porch before a frost hit. No worries, though, because it’s time for seed catalogs and lovely, homemade seed packets arriving in the mail.

  14. Lola LB says:

    Just be aware that changing from shortening to butter may change the flavor. I think Whole Foods has organic shortening that doesn’t have transfat in it.

  15. Anne C. says:

    Hey – congrats, speedy fingers! Hope you feel better! Having gauge problems here, oh well, always something.

  16. Mindy says:

    Congrats on your victory! I hope you get over your cold soon. It’s been going around our house now for a couple of weeks. It’s no fun.

  17. Kim says:

    Those old recipes are priceless aren’t they? I cherish my grandmother’s old hand written ones.

    I hope you are on the mend soon!

  18. Anne says:

    Feel better. It’s a nasty bug going around.

    I have a couple of recipes of my gram’s I absolutely cherish. Those cookies sound awfully good, although a bit um…. vague. 🙂

  19. Jenny Raye says:

    Feel better!

    Love the hat and mitts.

  20. Kim says:

    Hi Anne,

    I have tried to email you privately a few times and the mail keeps bouncing back to me 🙁

  21. Liz says:

    Happy New Year!

    I learned how to cook the same way, and a lot of recipes involve “stir/cook/blend until it looks right.” I think I may have to make the cookies with some little ones- it would be a fun activity.

    Feel better!

  22. Miss T says:

    Wonderful recipe box, and that recipe is charming–I have to try it. Thanks!

  23. Melissa says:

    I haven’t thought about the old recipe box in awhile. Thanks for reminding me. My great aunt Edgar’s recipes have an added puzzle to several of her recipes. They actually state whose “cup” you are suppose to use. The recipe states “use Mrs. xxxx cup” and since Mrs. xxx is long gone it is hard to borrow her cup. There are still a couple that I have not been able to make successfully.
    And don’t get me started on how I am suppose to know that today is a good day to make candy or not. Edgar always knew, but couldn’t explain it. I think maybe I would have had to have her knees.

  24. Laura says:

    Congrats on winning the war!

    The box I use for recipes is one that Grandma gave me for some unknown reason when I was a child in the 60s. And it looks it. Bright splashy flowers all over. I don’t have any cool old recipes like that. They all went to someone else in the family. My cousin Michael, I think. But my hubby has some cool old recipes, his mom’s a lot of them make Jen’s recipe look downright verbose–you get a title, a list of ingredients, and… that’s it. No oven temp, no baking time, nothing. LOL What’s frightening to me, is that they make Perfect Sense to my hubby. LOL

  25. LaurieM says:

    I don’t think the rest of us stood a chance against you Anne. Congratulations.

  26. Jocelyn says:

    That is exactly what old recipes are supposed to look like. Someone asked me recently how to make my lentil soup, and when I found myself giving the “a handful of this, a dash of that, and as much of the other as you tend to like” instructions, I had to laugh. It’s one I learned by watching my mom, which is the best kind. Great post!

  27. Tonia says:

    Love the new hat and mitts.

    Yay for winning the knitting wars. I knew that you could do it.

    That box is priceless. I have some recipes that are vague like that. LOL I have one for home made dumplings and the first instruction is to put flower into the big yellow bowl. No measurement on how much flower or how big the bowl is. LOL

  28. Danby says:

    I LOVE the cookie recipe! Looks like the way I write out recipes. You really have to know how to cook to use one of mine. LOL The “roll around finger” is an interesting instruction. Would love to see a finished product.

  29. Kate says:

    It’s so funny this recent increase in old recipe boxes and binders! Last month i asked my Uncle if he still had Granny’s old cookbooks and he sent me exactly the ones I was hoping for. I posted pictures and stuff! Would love to share with all you guys 🙂

    I hope that’s OK 🙂

    Happy New Year everybody!

  30. Teyani says:

    love your new FO’s
    and those recipes are a hoot. (reminds me of my own recipes.. a glug of this and a blop of that )
    hope your cold improves very soon.

  31. Linda Doggett says:

    Oh My Gosh! The “cut it down” instruction had me laughing out loud. I guess in those days, no one had to lay it out for you!