Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wondermade Bourbon Marshmallows

This was a gift from the marvelous Jan of Stock, in Providence, RI. With a proviso: that I experiment with it and report back!

I'm nothing if not grateful for anything with a touch of bourbon in it, so here goes!

In a cup of whiskey-spiked mocha.
I made mocha with organic cocoa, instant espresso powder, 1% milk, water, and a half teaspoon of rye whiskey (we're out of bourbon).

I'm not generally a marshmallow fan, but these are very good--what a tradional marshmallow ought to be, I think. They taste fresh out of the package, and have a good, fluffy texture. The melt is quick and even.

Melting nicely...
 I would also serve these in miniature s'mores. They'd be wonderful for a comfort food dinner party dessert. Imagine them on chocolate covered graham crackers, with a bourbon-spiked Creme Anglaise on the side!

There are also a number of 1930s and 40s frosting recipes which require marshmallows--I'd use these in a heartbeat.

As for the bourbon's very mild, almost not there, but if tested side-by-side with the other available flavors, I think it would be more notable.

All in all, I would buy these, and yes, I'd be interested in trying the other flavors: gingerbread, Guinness, pumpkin pie, peppermint, and s'mores.

This, too: if you're anywhere near the Providence metro area, stop in at Stock (I was planning to mention this long before the marshmallow gift!). It's a beautiful locally owned shop. The items there are classic, or quirky, or'll find kitchen utensils, cookware, bakeware, cookbooks (new and vintage), dish towels, knives...and whatever else has struck the owners' fancies. It changes regularly, so stop in again if you don't find what you're looking for the first time. I've purchased frosting dyes, dish towels, parchment, and a small cutting board, among other things. Who knows what I'll find next time?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Perrier Blouse (1938)

So far, January has been as lazy as December was mad--for me, anyway. I don't mean nothing has been done around here, but I'm no longer crazy for 12 hours at a time.

And I'm able to knit for myself again! Of course I'm planning things for others, and presently making another pair of socks for DH, but mostly I've been working on a 30s blouse.

It's from a Jack Frost pattern booklet of 1938. Most of the Jack Frost pattern books you find now are from the 40s and feature rather bulky knits. This one--the only 30s JF booklet I have--features things that are a bit more steamlined.

This particular blouse, the Perrier (yes, like the water) is the second pattern. It's a short sleeved blouse, mostly in stockinette with garter trim at the top and the sleeve cuffs. There are two small garter stitch squares that overlap for breast pockets.

I'm making it with some fairly rustic yarn, not the usual for this kind of sweater, but the gauge was perfect and I'm fond of the color, a seafoam green. It's from a thrift shop sweater I frogged a few years ago. It appears to be 100% wool, but I haven't done a burn test. It acts like wool, however.

The patterns were usually offered as a (vintage) 14 or 16--this one is a 14, and that's a bit small for me. A vintage 14 is about the equal of a modern 4 - 6. Rather than re-write the pattern I've added an inch to the ribbing, half an inch to the body, and used a needle one size up on parts of the body, working gradually, then going back to the original needle size again for the shoulders (mine are narrow).

I have also modified it to use a three-needle bind off for the shoulder seams. I'll block the body before adding the sleeves, which are picked up and knitted down, but flat, not in the round.

So far it's going very quickly--cast on was a week ago, and I'm nearly at the shoulder shaping for the front (started with the back).

With any luck I'll have it to wear in the next week or so, and will remember to take some good photos and post them here!

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Miscellaneous Christmas and a Long Winter's Nap

Christmas Cake, tree and presents for friends.
On the 11th Day of Christmas, here are a few more images. (And the image of the Christmas Cake. We finished it today.)
2012 Christmas Cake
The Bros. Siamese recommend sleeping, this time of year in particular.

Dark Fruitcake, made for a friend's family, at her request.