The Living is Easy

The Living is Easy

We have some much-needed rain in the forecast today – the skies are cloudy and it smells like rain.

It’s the perfect day to make a batch of Salsa Verde and a jar of Sweet Pickles.

And…by week’s end I think I will have enough little tomatoes to make a batch of Roasted Cherry Tomatoes.

The only other thing on my agenda today is a wee bit of letter writing!

What’s on your agenda today?

Weekending, A Little Bit of This and That

Weekending, A Little Bit of This and That

It was a warm summer weekend here in the ‘Burgh. Our usual Friday snacks were done Al Fresco, including a Bee’s Knees Cocktail, and it was so nice to have a spot on the cool porch to sit. There were beautiful breezes though, which made sitting under the pergola after we had eaten a real treat.

The Fireflies even put on a light show. It was really a lovely evening.

Saturday was Mt. Lebanon Farmer Market and a visit to our favorite farmer. He still has strawberries and we got some raspberries as well. I turned both fruits into jams – another batch of Judy’s Oven Roasted Strawberry Jam and Nigella Lawson’s “Hand’s Free Raspberry Jam.” I have not tried the raspberry jam as yet, but I will give it points in simplicity. I am not sure how it will set up but, worst case scenario – it will be perfect in plain Greek yogurt. I will let you know when I have tried it.**

Saturday also saw us spending another good chunk of the day in the gardens. There were some things that still needed planting (3 Weigela bushes and 4 Salvia plants, to be exact) all of which required the expansion of a garden bed.

I also began working on the clue number four for the mystery shawl – however, I think my brain was done in by the heat from earlier in the day – I kept making the same mistake over and over. If you like me are having some issues with the Knit 5 Together’s – I think Lorilee Beltman has something that might help you – it certainly helped me!

Some easier knitting was in order in the form of Carole’s Picot Edge Socks! A pair completed and I immediately cast on another pair. This is really my favorite knit.

Sunday we decided to make the early trek to Mount Washington to cross an item off my Summer Bucket List – a sunrise was beautiful and the skies were clear. It made getting up at the crack of dawn so worthwhile!

I love standing above the Monongahela River with a view of how it winds into Pittsburgh. The confluence is visible also from our vantage point, the merging of the Mon with the Allegheny to create the Ohio River. Magnificent views that I never get tired of!
The remainder of the day was filled with a flurry of activity and poof! It was over before I was ready for it to be over. The only saving grace is knowing that next weekend will be a nice long one.

Hope your Monday is over before you realize it and it is filled with a little of this and that.

**The worst case scenario is really excellent on yogurt. Oh man, so excellent!

The Piquant Tastes of Summer

The Piquant Tastes of Summer

Reveling in the lush greenness that is everywhere I look,

Weeding the garden and marveling at how it is growing,

Sipping iced coffee in the early morning while listening to the birds sing their summer operas,

Savoring the delicate flavors of freshly pickled vegetables,

And, knitting under the pergola,

These are the tastes of my summer.

The First Weekend of Summer

The First Weekend of Summer

Welcome to Tuesday (that really feels like a Monday)!

What could possibly help this dire situation? Reliving the weekend thanks to Carole and her 10 on Tuesday request:

10 Things You Did This Weekend

The weekend arrived a bit early here, Steve only had to work a half a day on Friday. Summer arrived in full force as well, with temperatures into the 90’s here. But, all in all it was a great weekend with a full spectrum of things to do.

We finished a garden bed that we had been working on expanding this month. Whew!

It was also a weekend of discovery – that is discovery in muscles I did not know – or forgot – I had!

There were plenty of cocktails – thank you Blackberry Brambles, Frose’s, Shrubarb (Thanks Vicki for this FANTASTIC new word!!) coolers, and even a beer or two.

The grill got the maximum amount of possible usage for burgers, grilled chicken, and grilled asparagus! There was also Lobster Ravioli, which was not grilled but so delicious!

In moments of respite from the maximum heat and humidity, there was sewing. Specifically, 100 Acts of Sewing, Dress No. 1 in a lovely Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Linen that I got from Spool in Pittsburgh. Bonus points were achieved in making and installing the best bias tape I have made and stitched in to date!

There was some spinning – I finished up spinning and plying the ITW batt that I got last year from Maryland Sheep and Wool – I love how it turned out – 400 yards of heavy fingering weight yarn. I almost finished the Shetland done for my sweater project. I just have a tiny bit of spinning to finish and then plying can begin.

There was knitting…I finished sock number one from Carole’s Picot Socks. I LOVE it! Sock number two will be cast on shortly. I also began my Summer Wish List of those WIPs I want to get done this summer – starting with Indigo Cones. Sitting and knitting under the pergola is really lovely, just sayin’.

There was reading – I finished Ann Cleeves White Nights and it was excellent! I thought it was much better than book number one, and I will definitely be continuing with this series this summer! Which is good, because I need a book set in another country for my Book Bingo card! I started The Goldfinch, and within a few pages I was enthralled. This book will be hard to put down – this is a very good thing because as everyone has reminded me this book has over 700 pages!

There was a spectacular Happy Hour under the pergola on Friday!

There was time spent just enjoying that it was the weekend, with deep gratitude that it was not over yet on Sunday night.

There was time spent in meditation and reflection of what the holiday really means, beyond a long holiday weekend, and being filled with profound thankfulness to those willing to serve and give their lives in defense of freedom.

So, tell me – what was your favorite part of your weekend?

Weekend Recharged

Weekend Recharged

After having several irregular weekends in a row, we celebrated having just a normal old weekend here at Casa del KatKnits!

There were Rhubarb Mules, mmmmmmmm.

It was nice to start the weekend with something that makes us so happy and relaxed!

We did some Farmer’s Marketing, some IKEA wandering, and some Green House visiting.

There was reading, and knitting, and spinning, too.

While the weather was not spectacular, we did all kinds of things that help in the recharging of body and soul, and makes Monday not the challenge that it wants to be!

How was your weekend?

Buffalo Cauliflower:

  • Pre-heat oven to 425°F
  • 1 head of Cauliflower, cored and cut up (try and cut the pieces in even sizes so they cook uniformly)
  • Toss cut cauliflower with 1 TBSP olive oil and 1 tsp of Chili powder and lay on a baking sheet.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or so, until they begin to soften and brown but are not mushy.
  • Remove from oven and toss with buffalo sauce, serve with blue cheese dip or ranch if that is your preference.

Steve’s Buffalo Sauce:

  • ½ Cup Frank’s Red Hot
  • 2 Tbsp Butter, melted
  • 1 tsp White vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • Chili powder to taste (add more or less for spiciness)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Dash of celery salt

Steve finds the best way to heat the sauce is in the microwave at 10-15 second intervals on high, stirring as it warms to keep the butter incorporated. You do not want the sauce hot, but just warm enough to combine. If you overheat it the butter separates.

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