Time for Pie

Not too shabby, eh?

Not too shabby, eh?

Confession time: I’ve never made sweet potato pie before. Never. So, what do I do this year? Decide to make it using fresh sweet potatoes. Someone shoot me next time I decide to do something new, especially when I start working on it after midnight. First off, I go to peel the SP, and see the flesh is white. WTH? I KNOW I picked up SP, so off to Google I go, and find out, yep, there are white, orange, and purple varieties. Ok, fine, I’ll work with it (even if it LOOKS funny- and it’s a SP, not a yam, fyi). Ok, so I peeled the 2 SP, put them in the steamer, and let them steam till done. Once finished, I mashed them Continue reading


Final: Plarn Market Bag


Success!  So my experiment with spun plarn is finished.  Just to go over it again, this market bag is made out of old grocery bags cut into circles, looped together into a long ribbon, then spun using a drop spindle (plarn=plastic yarn).  Then I just crocheted a simple mesh-style market bag using the plarn rather than yarn.  

My 9 year old loves it.  I have a funny feeling it’s getting stolen by her, since she’s already walked off with it.  It’s all good!

Grocery bags to twine or yarn


Like many people, we have a LOT of grocery bags sitting around at home.  I hate to throw them out, so I have a couple containers for them, but we collect them faster than they get used.  So when the bags were getting out of hand and my next step was to throw out some, I got the bright idea to cut them up and make plarn (plastic yarn) Continue reading

Hair Squiggles

My youngest Imagehas hair like mine: fine, slick, and has just enough body to get ropey looking after a long days play. A while back, I gave these little squiggles a shot.  The first time around, I did 2, one on each side of her head.  The result, after a night of sleep, was a head FULL of cute curls.  They were not really tight curls, but more loose.  She wanted to try more squiggles next time around.  I planned on doing four last night after her bath, but once I started, I didn’t quite get the proportions right, and the top was a lot thinner than the bottom would turn out to be.  So I did 6.

This was NOT a good idea.

The curls were just too tight for her hair.  I finger combed it all out, and sprayed it down with some water, but it was definitely a learning experience.  Next time…4 squiggles.  BUT, this looks fairly cute all up on her head.  So this will probably go into rotation during the Summer break.  I will, however, try to make them a bit “prettier” looking than they are in this picture.

Home-made Baked Mac & Cheese

I finally found time (and ingredients were on hand!) to make some home-made mac and cheese. One kid liked it, the other didn’t. I thought it was excellent. I would have added more dry mustard powder, a bit more Frank’s Red Hot, and browned it more but decided to play it safe.

Cook approx. 8 oz of Macaroni till it’s al dente
Meanwhile, you’ll need approximately 8 oz (2 cups) of Sharp Cheddar, 2/3 cup (large handful) of Mozzarella, and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Set this aside.
Melt 2 Tbsp of Butter in a pan, and add 2 Tbsp Flour. Cook about a minute, then add:
2 cups Milk
1/2-3/4 tsp Salt
1/2-2/3 tsp Dry Mustard Powder
1/4-1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp Frank’s Red Hot/Tabasco/Tapatio
Whisk into the butter/flour mix, and cook till boiling and starts to thicken. Stir in the cheese (using a spoon, not the whisk. Trust me, the whisk is not a good idea here) till melted.
Pour the cooked Mac into a 2qt casserole dish, and pour the cheese mix over, and mix well. Cook @ 350 degrees F for at least 30 minutes, or until bubbly. You can increase the time for more of a crust.

Quick and Easy Washcloth/Dishcloth pattern

ImageI have been on a crochet kick lately, mostly because I found out I had a LOT more worsted-weight cotton yarn that i thought I did.  I think it’s because of my aunt, who left some yarn here when she moved out, but in any case, it came at a time I really needed some new dishcloths, washcloths, and pot holders.  I did several corner-to-corner knitted cloths and several crocheted, origami-ish potholders in various sizes.  After all that, I ended up with a lot of small balls of yarn, in various colorways…none of which really went well with each other.  Now, after a few washes, it really won’t matter since the color does fade, but I still prefer them to look nice while making them, and for the period of time they are bright and fresh.

I read a few patterns similar to what I am now using, and made some adjustments to come up with a pattern I like.  The hanging loop is more integrated into the body of the cloth than my first attempt using another pattern.  I like this look better personally.  In the red, white, and blue cloth pictured above, I actually ran out of yarn about 3/4 the way through the row.  No biggie.  I left just enough to weave in.  No waste!

Using the Adjustable Ring (Magic Circle, whichever name you prefer), sc 14 times into the loop, and pull to snug up the sc’s.  Don’t pull too tightly.  You aren’t trying to close the ring completely, but you are wanting a nice, non-floppy ring. 

Row 1: Ch1, turn, sc into the next 3 sc’s, sc-ch2-sc in the next sc, sc into the next 3 sc’s.

Row 2: Ch1, turn, sc in the first 4 sc’s, sc-ch2-sc in the ch sp, sc in the last 3 sc’s.

Row 3 and beyond: sc in each sc until the ch sp.  Sc-ch2-sc in ch sp.  Sc in the remaining sc’s from previous row.

Keep going until you run out of yarn, or reach the desired size.