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So my CSA box has done just what I hoped.  It has inspired me to cook more often and more interesting things.  And it’s overflowed to things that have not one ingredient from the box as well.  Like the Snickerdoodle cookies I made for my guy before heading down to DC for the weekend.

These cookies were more of the aforementioned payback for all the help he has selflessly given me of late.  They were made from this recipe by Martha Stewart by way of Smitten Kitchen (my favorite cooking blog by far).  They are a wonderful cookie for those who don’t like things TOO sweet, because the overall flavor is more of cinnamon than of sugar.  They came out really nicely even in spite of the fact that the pilot went out in my oven in between preheating it for the first time & trying to preheat it for the second time once the dough had properly chilled.  It’s an old oven and I ended up reaching into the broiler drawer with lit match in hand (after clearing the room of gas of course) in order to be able to complete my cookies.  After all I was far too excited about the surprise to show up empty handed even if he wasn’t expecting anything.

In the end the pilot was lit, the cookies were saved and they were met with a stamp of approval from all who tasted them.  Including myself.  Since I couldn’t help myself from testing at least one from every batch.  You know, just so I’d know which batches were the best.

After showing up with cookies (and a new, but still un-photographed hat) in hand, we cooked together with some of the veggies from my box that I brought with me for just such an occasion.  I really wanted to find something to do with that Daikon radish, so I did some internet searching for a recipe that used it in a way I could get excited about and I found this recipe for Vietnamese Sticky Chicken with Daikon and Carrot Pickle.

This yumminess is served lettuce wrap style, which is absolute heaven when you just happen to have a head of the freshest lettuce you’ve ever tasted.  In general it’s a pretty straightforward recipe but it comes out tasting delicious.  The spiciness of the chicken is nicely balanced out by both the lettuce and the slightly sweet, peppery taste of the pickle.  The only change we made was in how the chicken was cooked.  The recipe recommended grilling the chicken in a grill pan, but we were cooking in Steve’s kitchen, which is grill pan-less, so instead we cooked it in a wok.  We first put in the chicken with all the marinade and cooked it like that for a few minutes.  Then we drained the liquid out and put it to the side allowing the chicken to brown while being cooked stir-fry style in the wok.  Once the chicken was nicely browned, we slowly added the marinade & juices back in little bit at a time, allowing all the liquid to cook off before adding more.  This turned out to be the happiest of accidents since doing it this way left the chicken coated in marinade and incredibly flavorful.

In the end, for this I used the Daikon radish, the lettuce and some of the garlic from my CSA box.  Not a bad start.  There’s been a bit more cooking going on and there’s sure to be more to come, with exciting success stories such as these, so I’ll show you more of what I’ve been making and eating soon enough.

And last I just want to mention that Kirsten of Through the Loops is doing another Socktoberfest Mystery KAL this year.  You might remember just how much fun we had last year.  So hop on over to the TTL group on Ravelry to check it out.

So as I mentioned before, things have been getting a bit cooler here.  Not everyday, but many days or sometimes evenings have a a crispness to them that suggests a move towards Fall.  Last week, in the midst of all my cozy knitting time I had this moment where I wanted to start a quick knit sweater and I wanted to start one fast.  I know I’ve got my Sixteen Button Cardigan going, but it doesn’t exactly fly by.  And besides I wanted something that was all about Autumn.  So I hopped on Rav and spotted the Vine Yoke Cardigan from the Fall 09 Twist Collective.  Then I went searching for yarn.

I found this: Madelinetosh Worsted in Copper Penny, which just might be the most perfect Fall color ever.  I’m not usually attracted to yarn in these kinds of colors. I love neutrals, and neutral yarn, but more often than not I choose cool neutrals because in general I am a cool color person.  But in the Fall a place inside me opens up for all those rich warm colors I tend to pass over the rest of the year.  As soon as the yarn showed up on Wednesday I went ahead and cast on in between classes.  It took a lot of will power to get out from under the blanket & off my couch to make it to my last class.

Here’s my progress so far.  It’s going quite quickly, which is unsurprising considering the gauge and the fact that it’s mostly garter stitch.  And quick was exactly what I wanted.  I figured if I had the urge to make an Autumn sweater then it better be done soon!  I also have hopes of wearing this to Rhinebeck.  And unless I lose steam completely, at the current rate that should be a very generous deadline.  I’ve made a few changes.  I was not a huge fan of the way the lace edging at the sleeves and hem made the sweater bell in those places.  So I have decided to leave off that edging and replace it with ribbing.  After all, what attracted me to the sweater was the yoke, all that garter stitch and the general shape of the body.  So I have left off the edging stitches on both the body and the sleeve and I will go back and pick up around for ribbing at the end.  That change will make the sweater much more my speed.  I’m really enjoying working on this in the meantime.  The yarn is beautiful and the construction is very smart.  With any luck I’ll have it all together to show you sometime soon.

So those of you who know me IRL know that I haven’t been quite my fully mobile self of late.  For those of you that haven’t heard, about a month ago I had a minor accident that lead to a seemingly minor injury that turned out to be not so minor.  As a result I’ve been on crutches for 4 weeks.  No need to worry, I am convinced I will be fine sooner or later, but I’m still not fully healed and the truth is it’s been a total drag what with starting classes and everything.  But here’s the good news: about a week ago in Philly the weather turned a bit colder (although it’s likely temporary).  There was also a great deal of rain, much of which happened to coincide perfectly with the days I didn’t have class, and I honestly didn’t have too much homework (relatively speaking).  This combined with a need to stay in bed with an elevated foot more often than not has led to a lot of knitting of late.  So I’ve got some nicely progressing WIPs to show you.

This little pile of ribbing is the start of a cardigan I cast on ages ago.  It seemed like a good idea to get started on the Sixteen Button Cardigan in May so I’d have plenty of time to power through for Fall.  Of course since I’m making it out of the amazingly sheepy Black Welsh Mountain yarn I picked up from Prick Your Finger in London, the heat that arrived not so long after I got started made it completely unbearable to touch.  But the chilly drafts and cozy covers made it just the thing to pick back up this week and I’ve made a few inches of progress since.

The sweater has been splitting time with a few other things.  Here’s the start of my versions of westknits’s Daybreak shawl. The dark green is Sunshine Yarns Soft Sock in Thicket. I have had this yarn for some time and I think it is so beautiful, but for whatever reason I’ve had a hell of a time trying to figure out what to do with it.  It’s started to become at least four different things and I’m never quite happy.  I refuse to accept that it is cursed though so I keep trying.  This time I think it has finally stuck. I had the idea to use it for this shawl and I wanted to pair it with an oatmeal colored yarn so one day I managed to make it out to an LYS not too far from my new place and I picked up some Plymouth Prima Alpaca.  My friend asked what I thought about the difference in fiber and I actually like it. Soft sock is on the fuzzy side for a sock yarn so while the alpaca is fuzzier yet it doesn’t seem mismatched.  It’s going to be a very cozy shawl once it’s finished.

The last project that’s been getting some face time is a Cairn hat for my guy who has gone above and beyond the call of helpfulness over the past few months.  I’m just beginning to try and repay him, because as he’s reminded me once or twice I owe him big time.

I also have a stack of things sitting around that are fully knit up and waiting to be blocked.  I’m not yet ready for anything as labor intensive as blocking (ha! shows you how limited my activities really are) and I haven’t been able to unpack enough to find my blocking mats yet, but soon hopefully those can become real, true life FOs.  So keep your fingers crossed that I’m on the mend.