Monday, December 01, 2008

knitting, thanks ,and cha cha (cha)

In keeping with the season - and I would have posted this at least a week ago but life kind of hijacked me- some small things to be thankful for. We're not talking love, family, a house to live in , good healthcare or democracy . Nope, I'm talking about small things that just take your day up a notch. Here're three for starters.
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1) Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day. Seriously, deliriously brilliant. See that bread up there? I made it and it was no freakin' big deal, it was just today's basic loaf. These folks deserve a Nobel prize for Home Baking Genius.
Have you ever noticed I don't go on & on about recipes or the joys of the domestic life especially baking? It is - along with political reasons- because I am a sucky baker . I lack patience & precision. Other than making killer pies, you don't want my baking.

Last spring Christina posted a link about this book. I waited for the weather to get cool. Now, it's fab bread every day. I plan to work my way through but honestly the first two basic recipes for rustic peasant loaves (white /sourdough , and european peasant wheat/rye) are slaying us. Why did no one notice you could do this before- in a few minutes make a sticky unkneaded mass, throw it in the fridge, and have 4 loaves worth of incredibly good crusty bread?
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2) Cowls. The kind that can be pulled up to cover your head as a hood and still cover your neck. We're not talking that many less stitches than a scarf but I just love going round & round on these, and it seems like they go zoomingly fast. This one will be a gift, it's Mountain Mohair in the Zig Zag cowl pattern. 88 stitches and size 9 needles do the trick , and it looks like the two skeins will make just the right length. Technically I'm behind on the holiday knitting but not sweating yet. I've got the cowl to keep me happy.
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3) 1-800-2 Cha Cha. You dial (ok punch it in) and ask a question. Any kind of question. And an answer is texted back to you. For free . Could that be any cooler? Since learning about this 2 weeks ago, I 've asked about locations of businesses, when a play is coming to town, store hours, if a specific dvd was in stock at a store, and a slew of phone #'s. I have not asked any of the really big questions, like where do all the paperclips go and why do dryers eat socks, and if you eat a pound of something like potato chips with dip, can you gain more than one pound of weight? but give me time.


Blogger the Lady said...

Whoa. Cha Cha. Is Cool.

1:57 AM  
Blogger Carole Knits said...

I love Cha Cha and use it all the time! I'm going to see if the library has that bread book.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Jean said...

Something about fresh baked bread... I had better success with the America's Test Kitchen version but it looks like you had no trouble at all with the one in the book.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Baby Beth said...

Umm, hi. I want that bread. I live for eating good bread. Bring some to Ann's!! :D

9:05 AM  
Blogger Mary Lou said...

Ooooo - I do love bread. When I was in college I baked a lot. Now, I don't because I'll eat it all. Except pie, I am also a pie woman. I must try cha cha, and see if they can tell me the meaning of life.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Vicki Knitorious said...

Oh yum. Just added that book to my Wish List. Thanks!! Never heard of ChaCha before, so thanks for that too!

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Cathy R said...

I've been a bread baker from way back, but have cut back due to the stress on my poor little carpal tunnel wrists and hands (too much bread making led to more pain for knitting - not good). I'm so happy for your suggestion and have just ordered the book from Amazon.

Your yarn and your cowl are lovely. Lucky recipients. I don't normally "do" holiday knitting, but this year am planning to make two of Kate Gilbert's bunnies for my Goddaughter and her sister. They should be quick knits.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Archiknist said...

Not related, but before I forget: I Love You Honey But the Season's Over is by Connie Clausen.

It's out of print, naturally, but it looks like it's semi-available at libraries:

I could also loan you my copy, if I can remember to bring it back form my parents' house at x-mas.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Enjay said...

Long time lurker, first time poster. The bread looks delicious, and the knitting is fabulous. What really brought me out of the woodwork is ChaCha, I'm a ChaCha Guide. I'm so glad that you've enjoyed our service, it's almost as much fun answering the queries as it is asking them! We have a new partnership with Palm for their Centro Claus advertising campaign, it's pretty cool. Thank you for asking ChaCha!

1:17 PM  
Blogger Enjay said...

Gah! Sorry, didn't mean to sound like a commercial, I just was so tickled that you mentioned ChaCha, and thought you might have fun with the Centro Claus campaign. I Hadn't seen the cowl before and have added it to my Ravelry list, it looks like it would be good for showing off some handpainted yarns too.

1:22 PM  
Blogger gale said...

hey Enjay, I hope you see this (your email is blocked by blogger) I am glad you delurked. A ChaCha Guide reads my blog?!! When I first heard of chacha I went to the site to see if I could figure out who runs it and thought being a guide would be very fun.Glad I was right.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Cookie said...

Why haven't you told me about this sooner?! I need to start making my own bread. I'm so tired of getting the store made stuff that's full of chemicals.

Love that cowl. The yarn is wonderful!


7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love that bread? Use the dough (any dough, but especially the olive oil dough, which btw makes fantastic bread) and make THE BEST PIZZA YOU'VE EVER HAD. Honest. I, too, have never gotten along with bread dough, but I do love this book almost as much as I love Malabrigo.

1:55 PM  
OpenID said...

And I didn't think to take a bite of that at Ann's!!!! DOH!

Now we need another party so we can enjoy your bread! :)

2:12 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

What beautiful yarn for your cowl. Nice! Gotta check out that bread recipe. Thanks!

7:50 PM  
Blogger kelli ann said...

i wholeheartedly agree about the bread baking technique:: and love, love, love it when something so great can be demystified. don't you feel like a superhero when you see the loaves and their perfect crusts come out of the oven? cheer, happy holidays, lots of good things for the year to come!

11:26 AM  

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