my kingdom for an oven

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, designing, food and garden, lace/shawls, projects


i’ve mentioned a few times that the peaches in our area are spectacular this year. i’ve purchased several batches and have been bagging them up to put in the freezer, but the last batch i had was too green to do right away. so i cleared a corner in our temporary “kitchen” and laid them out on a cotton rug, careful that none were touching, and covered them with newspaper to ripen. it took a while but finally they were ripe enough to start eating.

by today though, i had to figure out what i was going to do with the remaining nine, poised at the perfect stage of ultra-juicy ripeness, ready to begin their descent into rot if not eaten post-haste. mmmm, so ripe, the skins came off almost in one piece. so ripe that my mouth exploded with flavor at the smallest bite.

let’s see, i believe the equation goes: nine ripe peaches = pie.

i looked at my oven


standing unmoored as it had all summer, forlorn and useless in its corner, suffering the further indignation of serving as a cupboard for pots and pans and a support for our makeshift “pantry”. poor oven.

no, we were’t going to be baking pie together this morning . . . dang, i can almost taste it, too . . .


so i set about cutting the fruit up into little chunks suitable for mixing with yogurt and cereal.


nine little bowls full, mmm. i’m sure they’ll be much appreciated in february, but today, all i want is pie.

seriously though, the summer without a kitchen has not been stressful. i’m too busy to notice that we aren’t cooking much and it’s been nice to eat a lot more raw food. there have been but a few times like this morning when i really REALLY wished i had an oven, a pie dish, and some ingredients for a crust.


the transformation in our home has been totally worth any inconvenience and david has taken on most of the fallout that there is (doing dishes in the tiny washroom sink, for instance).

the new porch windows and doors look great, don’t they? what an improvement over what we had before.


it’s going to be even better when we don’t have a kitchen out there. we’ll paint, install proper lighting, put down rugs, and load in some new furniture. it’s about time we had real porch chairs.


we also got new windows on the other side of the house, where someone had put in picture windows that didn’t match the originals. once these are trimmed out and painted, the whole house will have windows that match.


from inside, the room that used to be our office doesn’t look remotely the same. its astonishing.


and guess what? we are closing in on a finished project. this is the view from the dining room into the kitchen.


inside the new kitchen it’s going to feel airy and roomy with lots of natural light, yay.

david has been plastering for the last two weeks and is finally in the home stretch; he should be done tonight or tomorrow. the flooring, the cabinets, the butcher block, and the lighting are all onsite (and more things i can’t remember); the stone we are using in one area is waiting at the supplier. everything just needs to get loaded in when he’s done. there will still be some odds and ends that need doing, but it looks like the rest going to pull together pretty quickly.

so what’s new in my knitting world?


well,i have been devoting most of my knitting time to secret projects (sorry!).

but most isn’t ALL; i’m still working on my sea pearl cardigan, which isn’t a whole lot further along than when you last saw it—a situation i hope to remedy this weekend, now that a raft of pattern work is finished.


and the finishing work on my olive tweed sticks and stones cardigan in woolen rabbit sporty is moving along well, a little at a time. i’ve been using this as my public project when i knit with friends who are in our fall knitting club and shouldn’t see my secret projects.

the button bands are on and the sleeve caps are almost completely sewn in; once they are done, i will give everything a nice steam press before moving on to the underarm and side seams. it’s starting to look like a finished sweater and perfect timing with fall on its way. i just need to pick out buttons.

speaking of which, i decided to go with the horn buttons for the new highlander that cherie knit in stone soup DK. i’ll need to reknit a few rows of the buttonhole band to fit the smaller buttons, but that shouldn’t take more than an hour, as soon as i have one free, haha.

now i bet you’re wondering what ever happened with that book give away we had last weekend—i didn’t forget! thank you all for sharing your stories about canning and preserving; i always enjoy reading the touching, thoughtful, funny, things you write in comments—and i do read all of them!. (the winner of course is chosen randomly, not judged by their answer.)

anyway, let’s congratulate stephanie b. who wrote:
Strawberry jam…my grandmother always sent us home with jam when we would visit.  My mom canned all kinds of things every year and my sisters and I always talk about the rows of canned food in our basement, my dad even built her a whole shelving unit for one wall of the basement.  I wish the 2 of them were still around to tell me how to make it work but, I’m going to start slowly this year.

alright, i’ve got a few more tricks up my sleeve but i think i’ll save most of those for next time. i do want to show you something really fun from our neighbor bret—his newest brainchild


he gave this old golf cart a new paint job and is using it to drive around the neighborhood for cleanup duty. i think it’s a great way to get kids involved in keeping the neighborhood looking nice; they won’t be able to resist riding around with bret in the flashy cart.

anyway, he was selling ad space on the cart to support our neighborhood association and david just couldn’t resist (i was away somewhere but i agreed it was a good idea). one side has the knitspot sign and the other has bare naked wools.


and the inside has bret; he wants YOU to keep your neighborhood clean or he’ll have to come and show you how it’s done. and i think you’ll agree that’s the last word for today, haha.

ETA: okay, not exactly the last word—patternfish, a long-time partner and supporter of my work, has published a really nice spotlight on knitspot in their august newsletter. maybe you’d enjoy reading it and checking out the rest of their website; click here to beam over . . .

21 thoughts on “my kingdom for an oven

  1. Is this how you normally freeze your peaches? I am going to be getting a batch fresh from CO in a few weeks and plan to freeze them (I don’t can, yet!). I am wondering if I have to blanch and skin them, or if I can skip those steps before freezing.

    ps – LOVE the golf cart 🙂

  2. I just love your neighborhood clean up cart! What a great idea, and ‘good on ya’ for being the sponsor!

  3. Love that cart! And all of your freezing has inspired me to do some… your talk of fresh peaches in February did it, so I’m off to a farm stand today!

  4. First, freezing peaches raw is new to me as well.
    Second, your first floor transformation is just amazing!! I envy you David’s many renovation talents.
    Third, we finally see Bret! And OF COURSE he did that golf cart – that man’s creativity, humor and community spirit know no bounds!

    Reading this was a great way to start the Labor Day weekend!

  5. Wow, the house is looking fabulous!! I especially love the windows and all the natural light. David is a man of many talents.

  6. I, too, am wondering about freezing peaches. Did you do anything other than peel, cut & freeze? By the way, I love your renovation to date and I also love the first installment of the Fall Knitting Club, the yarn and pattern are beautiful!!!

  7. Love your porch and the kitchen looks like it’s going to be fabulous as well! (color me jealous).

    I may have to get to the farmer’s market this weekend after seeing your peaches. I know you’ve talked about this before, but can you give us a little primer on your freezing process?

  8. Reading this post brought back all the excitement of our own rmodel whilefervently wishing you lived next door, so Icould have a tour! What you and David have done is just remarkable–clearly you’re both supremely talented.

  9. LOVE the renovation work. When I have done a restoration project – even smaller ones – I always envision the house smiling, proud again. At the risk of over-personifying, imagine how happy your homes is feeling now, all shiny and showy again!

  10. Wow – the house is looking great! Won’t be long now. Just think what a wonderful cozy winter you are going to have in your fresh clean space. And speaking of wonders – that Bret is quite a guy, isn’t he? Happy Labor Day to you and David!

  11. I cannot wait to see your finished kitchen. It is going to be fabuolus. The golf cart is cute and I have to say your neighbor, Bret is one clever guy!

  12. Renovation looking good! I suppose if I had to pick a season to be without an oven, summer would be it. Soon you’ll be baking up a storm in a magical kitchen!

  13. One of my friends makes peach pie filling and freezes it in a ziploc bag, placed in a pie tin. She adds Fruit Fresh to keep the fruit from oxidizing, but I think you can use lemon juice. In the early winter, she’ll make a pie– it is just delicious!

  14. Wow I love the room with all the windows and brick. I bet you spend a lot of time in there and just smiling while you are knitting and doing lots of other fun things. Hang in there, it is almost done and the rest of the changes will go fast.

  15. I think you should go get the ingredients for 2 pies. Bake them both in a friend/neighbors oven and leave one for them.

  16. Those peaches look delicious. We ate some really luscious ones for breakfast every day in Greece. They were so sweet and juicy, mixed with water melon. I bet you can’t wait to have your house back again. It can’t be long now!!

  17. Those peaches look so yummy! I can hardly wait to see what your new kitchen will be like. I wish a remodel was soon in my kitchen’s future as I could really use a good space for canning and some larger burners on the stovetop would really help.

  18. I want to live on that porch.
    There are many recipes for Crockpot peach cobbler on the Web. Would that be close enough to pie? They’re not expensive if you don’t have one.

  19. Fresh, juicy, Tasty peaches DEE-lish

    Love knowing David is plastering -my dad was a plaster by trade

    Enjoyed your interview with Patternfish. I’m knitting Sprossling
    And just know it’s gonna be wonderful

    Blumchen is going to be next


  20. The house is looking so wonderful! We have amazing peaches here in Oregon, so big this year I had to quarter them to fit into the canning jars! I kept myself from baking like a crazy person tho…to many calories. Only one peach cobbler! So de – Lish! Soon you will be baking up the yummiest fall comfort food! Blessings! Love, Josie

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