Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Muggy days of summer

Between the heat and humidity making me feel more than miserable, not feeling well on top of it and finding K with a sore eye and unable to put any weight on one leg, it's been a rather unproductive two weeks!  For some reason I had this brilliant idea of putting in a new patio sliding door, but nope, instead I'm paying for not one, but 2 sets of X-rays and later today, we'll find out what else we need to do to fix that leg..  We've no idea what he did to hurt it, silly kitten!

I got a bit of knitting done and finished one plane sock, but haven't got the second one on the needles.  With a humidex of 43° C, I couldn't bear to have a ball of yarn and sock sitting on my lap!  Instead I read, read a bit more and then read again.

Finally, I dug out a project I'd stashed away before we'd moved.   I'd thoughtfully put the instructions with the actual supplies, instead of in a "safe" place.  Imagine that!  Even with a tub of cold water and a wet pile of reed on my lap, it wasn't all that cooling an activity.  It took several days to get the base to the correct size as it's been a while since I played with these materials.  However, the basket is almost done, just needing the rim lashed on.

In the past years, the birds or someone/something else got the red currants before I had a chance to harvest them.  Last year, with the weird spring, there were few berries on the bush to begin with.  However when I went out one evening, I realized that there were gleaming red jewels weighing down every branch of the currant bush.  I grabbed a bowl and started picking.   Two days later, I picked some more.  Then last night, I was able to harvest the sparkling, red berries again.  There might even be a 4th picking out there!  Right now though, there is about 2.5 kilos of currants in my freezer.  I looked through my 19th C cook books and I have several Red Currant Jelly recipes from 1808 - 1838, which sound like promising experiments.   Someplace I've read that jelly wasn't slathered on toast as we eat it, but instead, small spoonfuls were eaten as a sweet! 

I did make jam though.  We had to clean out the freezer to make room for the incoming meat birds.   I found a bunch of frozen blueberries, which I turned into a very yummy jam.  This year, instead of crushing the berries, I pulsed them in the food processor.  The blueberry flavour in this jam is much more intense than previous batches.  I think perhaps the food processing released much  more flavour, enough so that I'll try it again.  Of course, I also managed to finally kill the food processor too.  The poor bowl was falling apart and finally the stress cracks on it, stressed too much and it popped apart, luckily after I'd scraped it clean.   It was well over 10 years old and a cheapie at that and quite well used, so it isn't sad, just that the timing was bad.  I have enough blueberries for another batch of jam but will wait until the right machine goes on sale, before I make the next batch.

 I ended up spinning up the black merino to ply with the summery blue green singles.  It does change the yarn from light and airy to brooding like a stormy sea.  However, I couldn't think of what I'd make with that bright summery yarn and this yarn inspires me.  I can imagine wrapping myself in a shawl with this!


thecrazysheeplady said...

The black accent is stunning!

Leigh said...

Oh my, those currents! That's something I can't grow because of our heat.

I had to laugh when you mentioned not putting the instructions in a safe place. I lose more things that way!

I like your idea of using the food processor for your blueberry jam. I seem to always make my jams lately from frozen fruit and hadn't thought about doing it that way. Sorry yours died!

Woolly Bits said...

hm, blueberry jam.... I never make my own, because we're so greedy that the berries are finished off before I'd have enough (and the blackbirds finish the currants:) the yarn looks very tempting, and I am sure there'll be plenty of cold days, where you fancy knitting again. I only knit with linen/viscose when it was so hot over there, that the wool stuck to my fingers.. I hope that K will be alright again soon - that patio door would be nice, but it won't purr, when you give it a cuddle:)
(ps. I bought my food processor specifically because it has stainless still bowls = unkaputtbar, or at least I hope that they are)