Knotty Witch

Cooking, Crafting, Dreaming…it's what I do

Crafting for Spring February 21, 2010

Filed under: Crochet — knottywitch @ 1:57 am
Tags: , ,

This is the Spring Scarf I’ve just completed for my younger son’s girlfriend for her Easter Basket. The roses are a gift from one of our neighbors ūüôā

The motif I used is from “Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs” by Edie Bekman, it’s motif #41, and the first time I’ve ever created anything with the use of motifs. Joining them has always intimidated me. This was easy though, I joined them at the points in the petals as I went along. Wish it was always that simple.


Preparing for Easter February 15, 2010

Filed under: Random Ramblings — knottywitch @ 2:45 pm

and DD’s 18th Birthday, now that Valentine’s Day is over. We had our dinner as planned, it just wasn’t what we had planned. We had lasagna instead, with fresh-baked bread and a salad. We ended up with way more people here than originally planned – and there is no way I was up to making 4 of those timbales with the pastry. The sauce is already made, it’s what I used in the lasagna and there is plenty left over to try the dish during the week. On the down low, I think. I’d like to try it the first time without quite as much pressure…

I think the “hit” of the party was the punch we made. We even bought plastic flutes from the party store so even the “kids” could drink from them.¬† We only had a box of eight – for $9 – that was as far as I was willing to go. They are pretty though, and washed up and placed back into the box awaiting the next occasion. I plan to get my $9 worth from them, haha! ¬†My daughter’s beau had bought red ones for them as part of her gift, plus Dh and I decided we could use our toasting glasses from our wedding – so there was enough to go around after all. They were the¬†perfect serving size¬†for the punch.

The punch was simple – 12 oz frozen pink lemonade concentrate (thawed)

                                                 12 oz frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed)

                                                 16 oz frozen sliced sweetened strawberries (thawed)

                                                    6 c. water

                                             combine and chill those first ingredients. When ready to serve, add a 2 liter bottle of chilled lemon  flavoured soda and serve.

We don’t have a punch bowl, so we used our normal ice tea jugs and that worked for us. I imagine it’d be pretty in a punch bowl with a ring of strawberries frozen into the ice.

As for pictures, once there are 12-15 people crammed into this little house, it’s so cramped – I don’t enjoy looking at it through the camera at all. Eating off the coffee table and end tables doesn’t do a lot for anything visually. Dh has been warned, we are rearranging the living room today (perhaps, why he’s still in bed this morning? haha), and bringing in our small kitchen table. There is no room for it in the kitchen. It won’t seat many people, but it will help to have a place to set the food and such when we have a lot of company – which despite the humbleness of our home, is often. Pride should never get in the way of extending heartfelt hospitality. But, that doesn’t mean I have to photograph the mess, lol!

I can’t wait for warmer weather when we can entertain and visit out on the patio. We really do use our space outside like extended living space when the weather allows. Right this minute, it’s snowing – so it’s going to be a bit of time before we get to do all that again. Soon though.

In the mean time, I’ve been looking for menu ideas for DD’s 18th birthday in March, and for Easter. I’d like to be better prepared. I’m also looking for projects to complete and put in the baskets for the “kids”. I keep putting kids in quotes because the “baby” of the family is my youngest, and he’s going to be 16 this summer…

Since we’re not really big on candy for the baskets – though we do add¬† some – I want to be ready with other things kids their age would actually like/use.

Hacky sacks

I-pod cases


book covers (we are a family who reads!)

book marks

water bottle covers

hair accessories

I’d also like to crochet baskets for them. My nephew in the Marines will be getting a basket he can share as well. We’re just not sure where he’s going to be stationed yet. He might be going to Haiti. Where he is stationed will depend on what I send to him.


Priorities of late… February 12, 2010

Filed under: Home making,In the Kitchen,Random Ramblings — knottywitch @ 12:06 am

Priorities is may be not the right word – but this is so cute, I just had to share. I am an occasional game geek. ¬†Yesterday I spent the day playing Fable 2 on my son’s X-Box 360. My son and nephew only had a half day and¬†they came here right after school with a friend, and I was still geekin’ on the game. ¬†When DD’s beau called to see what time the friend needed a ride home about 3pm or so – I told her “It would be best around 5pm because we’re eating dinner at your aunts.” At which point, both younger boys turn to me and say “We’re eating at Auntie’s (DS)/my(DN) house tonight?”¬† The looks and tone said it all – they really thought I was so into the game I just wasn’t cooking dinner. I was so sure, I ventured to guess out loud to which they both sheepishly responded with a “Yeeessss” “But, we weren’t complaining, that’s why we made sandwiches, and have been snacking and stuff – we know you don’t get to geek on the game a lot, it’s ok”

                                                                                                   I laughed so hard, I almost fell off the couch!

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†And then, I continued with my game until it was time to leave for dinner ūüėČ

Today, I baked garbagebread with broccoli, ham,and cheese. Yum! I also baked a pineapple upside down cake – no pictures, it’s all gone. Every darn bit of it. Heck, one of our regualr dinner guests – who happens to be neighbors with my sister – stopped by here, then there to my sister’s – next thing I know, she’s calling me wanting to know if she can send him back to grab plates for her house, hehe. Yeah, there’s¬† nothing left.

I also made the meatballs for Sunday’s Timballi and warned every one away from them, the remaining ground beef I made mini-meatloaves in muffin tins to add to the freezer inventory just to make me feel extra accomplished for the day <sigh>

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬† Now, I’m just patiently waiting for my turn on the game.


Progress was made February 9, 2010

Valentine's Day Dinner

I made the “phone call” it went well.

I went to the library – found what we’re going to have for Valentine’s Day Dinner. The recipe I am using is the Pasta Timballo from “The Big Night In” written by Domenica Marchetti, I am buying that book. It’s amazing. ¬†I also found a new bread recipe to try from a Taste of¬†Home magazine, two more cookbooks that I really want, “The Best Freezer Cookbook” by Jan Main, and “Eat Cheap, but Eat Well” by Charles Mattocks.

I also went to the Dr. That also went well. I’m just going to have to take it easy with exercising for a while. It’s too quick to hurt my back, and too long to get better. That’s just how it is. He said once the muscle spasms stop, I should feel fine. Good to know ūüėČ


Plans for this week… February 8, 2010

Filed under: Random Ramblings — knottywitch @ 1:00 pm

This week, we have to buy¬†2 floor jacks/lifts to replace the support beams in the basement. When it flooded the guys tore down the wall that partitions the rooms down there because the paneling used was just so saturated with water it wasn’t worth risking leaving it there. We had the stuff to use that’s supposed to inhibit mold and such, but we were concerned about what would grow between the panels. That was wise, since the walls were evidently built around some garbage who ever did the job didn’t feel like discarding, scraps of wood, some copper pipes, an old metal lunch box, among a few other things. When they pulled the panels down, they noticed the support beams were deteriorated even more than we had suspected. So, that is a priority.

With Valentine’s Day being this Sunday – we have a special dinner to plan here. I can’t believe I haven’t decorated for it yet – I’m really off my game this year. There will be more on that¬† during the week. Yes, we’re sappy about it ūüėČ

Today, I have to go back to the Dr.’s to see the orthopedic specialist and learn the results of my X-rays. While I am going, I just feel the need to say for the record – I don’t wanna go. To make myself feel better about it, I’m leaving early to stop at the library for a while and see if I can get some new recipe ideas to add to our menu for the week. Particularly for¬†Sunday.

When I return home, my son and I will be sorting through his back pack and getting that organized. We still have much to do to fit everything from his room at his Dad’s into his room here. Of course, once the dust settles – half of it will be going back again. We’ve always each kept things for him at our own homes for visits. Right now, thier feelings are hurt, tensions are running a bit high, and I’m just trying to keep focused forward. I really have to call and speak to his Aunt, I don’t want to. Personally, I’ve got nothing to say. We don’t have to be friends (or even friendly) for her to be his Aunt though.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Damn, I hate having to be the level headed one, it’s really not my thing – really.


We’re having a spiral ham for dinner. Tomorrow¬† I will make the ham, broccoli, and cheese garbage bread. I’m trying to think of a way to make a heart shaped mold to bake them in. That¬†could be cute…it could also work for bread bowls – that is, if I can get it to work at all. More on that later.

Time for me to get off my duff here if I’m going to get anything done at all. I guess I’ll start with that phone call. Wish me luck.


Serious rant, peppered with sarcasam February 7, 2010

Filed under: Random Ramblings — knottywitch @ 2:59 pm
Tags: , , ,

My youngest son moved back home on a full-time basis just yesterday. It’s something he’s been talking about since we bought this house. At first, we lived close enough where he could stop by on his way to the bus each morning before school, and could walk to our house if he needed help with homework, or was just feeling bored & lonely. We lived close enough so that I could see his house from my porch. We did initially try to buy that house before moving here – but there were more liens than we wanted to contend with, and in the end the water main in the house burst – which we took as a sign that we might be taking on a bit more than we were¬†ready for. So, we moved here.

However, this house is within walking distance to and from his school. Plus it’s only 4 blocks away from my sister and nephews. On his weekends here, he’d walk home with them and all the kids would get to spend time together . Something that’s always been important to my sister and I, to have our kids growing up together.

We’ve been here almost 2 years, and he’s been wanting to move from his home with his Father and Aunt for at least that long. He moved there wanting to form a relationship, and spend time with his Father who always worked on the road. The agreement was his Father would have to find local work if he wanted our son to live with them. He did. Then he proceeded to not have any time for him any way. I foresaw as much, as that was an issue when we were together. I won’t bad mouth him here – he’s just one of those people who gets busy with everything and everyone and always thinks there’s more time later…

He’s been telling his Aunt (who is also his God-Mother) he wants to move home. She tells him he has to talk to his Father. His Dad isn’t around to be talked to, puts off talking, and life goes on. He reiterates his want¬†to move to his Aunt again, she tells him if he moves she’ll probably kick his Dad out of her house. He insists, explains he’s struggling with school because no one is home to help him when he needs it. He’s gaining more weight because he’s bored and not allowed to take part in sports, or even just hang out with his friends. Here, he goes to the Marine office to work out with his cousin and DD’s BF, plus they run together as well – as in hit the pavement running, not run the streets running. Of course, that’s not as often as he’d like while he’s living over there.

Still and all, with all the stuff he’s told me about, despite all that I may not agree with, nor approve of myself – it was his choice to move there. When he felt that pull, he came to me and talked to me. Our home has always been open to him here – but I was adamant that he make clear his choice to move home. I wasn’t going to call after each bout of hurt feelings, disagreements,or bunched up B.V.Ds demanding he be returned home to me. It was his decision to move out, it had to be his to come home.

Any way, his Dad dropped him off. We spoke briefly. I understand his hurt – even though not much is changing. We still all live in the same city, really our son is no less accessible to him now than when he lived there. I did tell his Dad that if his Aunt still wanted him to attend Church with her, that was fine by me. He is a Youth Group Leader there, and as her role as his God-Mother, I know that’s something she¬†has been dedicated¬†to sharing with him. I came back into the house, and reiterated the conversation to my son to which his response was.¬† “Yeah, I don’t see that happening any time soon. She said she doesn’t understand why I want to live here with a bunch of losers, and if I leave she’s through dealing with me and that I’m an ungrateful bastard.” Oh. Don’t I feel silly.

All that added to the side commentary during the phone call his Dad made to me informing me our son was packing to move back here I’m in a state of shock. I shouldn’t be, really. But, there it is.

I woke up at 5am this morning, sort of giggling to myself about the whole thing. Ironic really, she and I are sort of guilty of the same thing. Determined to think something dispite evidence to the contrary, or having any evidence at all. Here I sit, determined to think the best of her and them. Trying to be understanding to the situation from their point of view. And there she sits, determined to think so much of herself and so little of us here just because.

I’m here to tell you though, if her actions are¬†the sign of being “better than” – I’ll happily wallow here in loserville with my family. Blissfully married, enjoying my family and friends, and exploring the passions of our lives together, while we work towards making our little house a haven for us all.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Now I have to go bake cookies to welcome my boy back to the “Darkside” good and proper.


Waste not, want not

Garbage Bread

I made two huge loaves of Garbage Bread on Friday night. Buy huge – I mean the 4 loaf recipe I use to bake bread made the two loaves stuffed with yummy goodness. The best part (for me, and our budget) is that the yummy goodness consisted of leftover browned ground beef and diced onion that didn’t make it into the pot stickers earlier this week, along with the “lasts” of a few other ingredients from various meals. The last of a bag of broccoli, the mozzarella cheese from the baked ziti, and a bit more of the ricotta – that I purchased more of for other meals aside from the baked ziti such as this one.

¬†I like making garbage breads for a couple of reasons. For one, when I bake bread in the 4 loaf batches it just dosn’t stretch as far. Everyone loves fresh baked bread. The 4 loaf batch as garbage bread fed 5 grown men, and myself for a dinner, and was¬†lunch the next day for DH and me, as well as 2 teenaged boys and my brother. It’s also a great way to turn leftovers into a new meal. The next step I plan to make is to make them smaller. Oh so much smaller, so that I can freeze them for snacks and quick meals later down the line.
To top it off – I made yet another apple cake.
Apple Cake

Not that I bake multiple cakes per week as a normal thing, but the bag of apples I picked from the market were all bruised. Horribly. Sure, I could have taken them back – but it wasn’t worth the 2 mile walk there and then back again, especially¬†in the cold! Even with that particular markets “Double your money back” guarantee on produce – though I was seriously tempted. If I weren’t so uncomfortable with my back and such – I really might have done it, but alas – it wasn’t meant to be – this time. I’ll be more dilligent from here on out though. In the mean time, there’s one more cake to be baked from the batch of apples. Fortunately, with it being Super Bowl Sunday and all – I doubt there will be any left hanging around tempting me in the slightest.¬†


Moving on… February 3, 2010

Filed under: baking,cooking,Gardening,In the Kitchen,Random Ramblings — knottywitch @ 6:26 pm

I’ve got an apple cake in the oven. DD and I are making pot stickers this afternoon, and when we’re done if there’s any ground beef left to work with, I’m going to put together a garbage bread. Either way, I am baking bread today too.¬† Other than all that – we’re having a left over night for dinner. There’s left over tortelini soup, and baked ziti.

I am going back to the Dr’s office tomorrow. I am, really.

I’ve also joined a website that helps you track your calorie intake, exercise, and nutrition. I just joined yesterday. Typed in everything I ate and drank and received an A for my nutritional value for the day. Here’s the funny part – I didn’t change the way I eat. At all. I even had a dish of baked ziti for dinner. Go figure.

Like the title says though, moving on.

Moving on to looking forward to getting the garden started again. We’ve ordered a cherry tree and a nectarine tree so far. I really wanted to plant apple trees, though we’d only have the space for dwarf trees, and quite honestly – since we live in upstate NY – there’s not much of a point to it. Apples are usually are reasonably priced. At full maturity, dwarf trees only give a half bushel – so we’d end up having to buy more any way. The nectarine tree is going out front and the cherry tree will be planted in the built in box in a corner of the back yard. We’re also going to plant grapes and blueberries this year. Of course, it’s going to be years before we benefit much from all of this – but we’re not planning on going any where for a long while any way ūüėČ

Well, I’m off to the kitchen again. If I sit too long, I’ll be stuck. Which would sound funny – but after this past spell, it’s lost some of the humour I usually view it through.


Trouble getting it all into words… February 2, 2010

Filed under: Crochet,Random Ramblings — knottywitch @ 12:28 am

I did get the afghan finished. We love it. It’s nice and warm. The next day, I threw my back out. It’s been a long process getting back to normal.¬† To top it off, I’ve had a migraine for 2 weeks running. Well, it’s more like a constant headache that morphs into a migraine on occasion. Still, not the way I want to spend¬†my time. Today, I broke down and went to the Dr.’s office. Since we have no insurance, it was off to the free clinic for me. I’ll tell you¬†this it’s a good thing they’re staffed by volunteers because¬† no way would I ever pay to be treated the way I was. Which really shouldn’t have come as a surprise since it’s just the way I was treated the last time I was there – about a year ago. ¬†That time, to shut me up and show me what for they sent me to be tested for diabetes. I’m overweight, in pain, so I must be sitting on my arse eating bon-bon’s all day. Guess what, I’m not diabetic. Not even borderline.

I’m tired. Tired of being in pain all the time. Tired of not being able to do the things I love. Tired of feeling like it’s only making things worse every time I work towards making it better. I walked out of the Dr.’s office today. I came home and the head of the program, or what ever it could be classified as called me, I finally conceded and spoke with him. I’m going back on Thursday, and they’re setting me up for X-rays and an appointment with the orthopedic specialist. We’ll see how it goes. Like I told the gentleman on the phone, I could go to the emergency room to be “treated” – if by “treated” I was just ¬†looking for a perscription of pain meds, muscle relaxers, or something along those lines. That’s not what I’m looking for. I’m not looking to “feel” better – I want to be better.

I dunno. Going to get off this thing – it hurts. Damn, can’t even sit here on my arse. Imagine that <sigh>