Little Suzy Homemaker is Back!
Well at least the foodie version is back with a vengeance. Yesterday Monsieur Purl and I stopped by the Farmer’s Market. He waited with the dogs, while I scoured the place looking for some good food finds. I was really looking for some fingerling potatoes and came up without any, but did find some really beautiful leeks and other varieties of potatoes. I also found some lovely greens, a small cauliflower, and some very mild radishes.
These leeks were $.75 a piece and he threw a few in for free since I was buying a lot of them, plus some of his other fare. Immediately tales of potato-leek soup jumped in my head and this beautiful bunch went home with me.
Monsieur Purl already had two meals planned for the weekend – one is chicken noodle he has been craving since the weather turned and the other was beef stew. I helped with the chicken noodle doing the dicing – I’m a bit faster – he is a bit more meticulous. However, I did the stew in a one-pot meal all by myself.
I dredge the stew meat in flower and then placed in a heated pan with a little oil. After that browned I added red potatoes, carrots, onion, and then towards the end some green beans. Also, don’t forget my secret ingredient – garlic. I add a few cloves to a lot of recipes that would never call for it. About 3 cups of water and my stand by onion soup mix and away we go. Within 20 minutes and some biscuits later your eating. Really even with the chopping if you go fast and not as neat, it’s just under an hour. It’s quite a hardy stick to your ribs meal.
Finally potato leek is based on several recipes and is going to be my own version. This will be a new one for me as well as Monsieur Purl asked that I add bacon to the mix. I’m like what? No vichyssoise? Normally mine is a meat-less version, with a milk base, but not quite as heavy, so this has been quite the adventure. After a final prep tomorrow, I’ll review and let you know my success and what I would change in the future.
Finally it hasn’t been all cooking around here today… the dye-pots have been fired up for two days as I’ve done a little experimenting as well. First let’s do the oranges. These dyes are all Cushing dyes. For the record I do normally dye this bright and have this good of luck. Toning it down it the challenge for me.
In the middle a simple harvest yellow with a touch of lemon yellow. The harvest too dark and the lemon too bright, but a little lemon brightens it up. The right is the orange. Not nearly diluted enough – so it’s a shock of orange. Although – excellent pumpkin colors. When I started with the orange I thought – oh my… not just orange. Nothing in nature is one color… everything has hues and shades and so shall my pumpkins… so far so good.
Next up the greens. Much more challenging. The sleeper hit of the dye party last week was silver gray green. So I place that in one pot – which is the far left.
The next three are all from the same pot. Yes – all the same pot added at different times. First was the green, which was a comical green – not seen as much in nature, so what was I to do? Why add some silver gray of course. It still wasn’t quite right, so next I added a touch of medium brown and what we have is in the middle…well middle-left. After about an hour I added the next to the right and you can see how it picked up some brown and at that point I added touch of yellow. I don’t normally dye brown, since that is easy to find in wool, but this is an interesting green over brown. The flash seemed to get more brown than the green. Finally to get the dye to fully exhaust at another 1/2 hour I added more roving and came up with a very light green. The flash washed it out to white, but really it’s a very light green. I really didn’t plan on dyeing as much green, but really everything in nature has stems and green – so it’s not a bad thing. Maybe I’m on my way to my knitted farmyard yet.