Wednesday, October 13, 2010

All sorts of WIPW

Lots of things in the works, both fiber and foodie related this week.  

We are still working towards getting the freezer and pantry filled with homemade foods.  The dehydrator and sauce pots have been busy.  

Somewhere I had read that pumpkin (canned) may be in short supply this year.  I have wanted to try making fresh pumpkin "goop" but have been a big chicken.  What is really the worst that could happen? compost pile would have yucky, icky pumpkin bits added to it.  

Start with a purty lil pie punkin

Cut 'er open.  Use a serrated knife and make your life easier.  Oh, and do not say "uh oh that hurt" or your hubby will come see what you did to yourself this time.

Scoop out the guts being sure to get all the stringy bits.

Cut halves into pieces that will fit in a microwave safe bowl.  Pour in a couple inches of water and cover.  Ignore the spots on the microwave tray...I live with piggies that don't know where the dishcloth is. Normally, I would have used plastic wrap to cover, but as noted above, I live with piggies that also like to put the empty plastic roll box back in the drawer and not write it on the list, so an inverted pie plate works also.

Complain loudly about how slimy/gross the stringy seedy stuff is and your hero will come clean them for you.

After 15 to 20 minutes the pumpkin flesh will be soft and tender.  Let it cool a bit, then scoop into a bowl.

Cooked pumpkin

Puree with blender, mixer, food processor, or whatever floats your boat until it is smooth.  One pie pumpkin will provide enough goop for one pie.   I froze ours (then vacuum sealed it) and will use it for either pie, pumpkin bread or pumpkin cake.   The seeds got spread out on waxed paper (should have been paper towel but same problem as noted with plastic wrap) and are air drying.  We plan on seasoning and roasting them tonight.  (Crazy thing is I HATE pumpkin pie!!!)

Mama Z's Spaghetti Sauce


I grew up in Northwest Arkansas...right next to an Italian community (Tontitown).  At an early age, got spoiled to the yumminess of homemade pasta, sauce, and rolls.  My favorite places to eat were Venetian Inn (rolls to die for that I have the recipe for), Mary Maestri's (now closed :( ), and Mama Z's (sauce that will renew your spirit and is shown above cooking on my stove...mmmmm, snagged that recipe too!)  It was time to restock the freezer with sauce.  I make fresh pasta as I need it.

This is and isn't a WIP.  Yes it is off needles, but there is something wrong with it.

It is supposed to have FIVE petals not four.  That is what I get for knitting while exhausted.  Toying with the idea of frogging it.

And another off the needles project that is currently a return WIP.  This is a felted jacket made with Cascade 220 tweedy yarn ( Starlet #003).  My knitting buddies and I all made one earlier this year.  I have felted this sucker about four times and the jacket length is fine, but the width (even after whacking 2 inches off each side and sewing it back up) is still about 1/2 again as big as I need...and the sleeves are long enough for a monkey.

I like  this jacket, really, but frankly, am soooo over it in its current state.  Sooooo, it is going under the knife, so to speak.  Plan on cutting the ruffle entirely off, deconstructing the whole thing and altering it to actually fit me, shorten the sleeve (also removing the ruffle) and then adding blanket stitch to all the edges in a contrasting chartreuse greeny yarn.  If THAT does not work, then my scissors will fly and I will have pretty tweedy orange coasters!

As out, so Amos and Norman must "help"

Shhh, this is a surprise for my BIL.

Manly cowl done with Mini Mochi held double.  On the last few rows.

He is getting his very own cowl, because I made the "Burberry Inspired Cowl" above for myself, then made a pretty soft/smoky blue one for my sister.  BIL broke his ankle and got housebound.  He was cold inside and kept stealing my sister's cowl and making comments about how nice, soft, and cozy it was, but a little girly.  I like him...I love him...he is a great BIL, so he gets a manly surprise.

Any suggestions on other ways to salvage the jacket would be welcome.  It physically hurts to think about completely destroying it.  Tried giving it away yesterday, but no such luck.

Pop on by Tami's to check out other WIP. 

Also, don't forget to leave a comment on Monday's post for a chance at a bracelet.


  1. Last year was supposed to be the can pumpkin crisis. I don't remember it, I had 5 big cans of pumpkin in the cupboard. I know there was plenty of pumpkin beer as I had begged DSO for some. He wouldn't get it as he didn't want to waste if I and he didn't like it.

    He promised me some this year, and I promised to drink the whole 6-pack even if it's the nastiest beer ever. Not all at once, though.

    You have some cats, so worst thing, you could always turn the sweater into a wonderful cat bed. Just saying.

  2. ROFL, I had to come back and say we were reading and commenting on each others post at the exact same time. Too funny. :)

  3. Why dont you cut what you dont need off the sleeves (and maybe a little bit more to make them 3/4, also that ruffle if you want) and use it as a waist tie? That way you won't need to alter the width any more, and it can be a wrap-around-comfy-lounging-smoking jacket!

  4. For the past 4+ years, my husband and I have been making pumpkin pie from scratch. Instead of cutting them in to smaller pieces, once we scrap them out, we turn them upside down in glass pans, putting them in the oven. Once they are soft, the skin peels right off, leaving you with the pumpkin goop. You will never be able to go back to canned now that you made fresh. :)

  5. Boy, that food looks delicious! Shame about the jacket not fitting, I too would do some tailoring to make it your size, the yarn and work is too good to waste.

    Love the mowl and your kitties!

  6. Denise...I noticed the same thing! Hadn't thought of a kitty thing with the jacket. Probably get used more than coasters.

    Laura Jane...that is an option also. Will try a version of that to start with.

    Tami...How long did they take in the oven? I was afraid that we would get spoiled to fresh, oh well!

    Spundun...I know, I can't stop thinking about the hours and hours it took to knit the gigantic thing before even the hours and hours of felting and messing with.

  7. I quite like the flower with 4 petals, it's very pretty!

    Great tutorial for fresh pumpkin pie filling. I've been wanting to make pumpkin pie for years, I'm going to have to make it this year after seeing this!

  8. I don't care much for pumpkin pie, but pumpkin bread -- that's worth making the effort to scoop out the pumpkins!

  9. What a good idea to preserve your own pumpkin. If you do make pie, I will be curious to see how it comes out with the homemade puree. Don't rip out the washcloth, I think it is very pretty even with four petals!

  10. Every couple of years, we go to a farm and get some pumpkins. I cut them up and roast them in the oven until they're soft. Then, I stir and stir and stir them down in a strainer until I have mostly solids. Then, I bag and freeze. Real pumpkin for breads and pies and whatever all year long!!

    As for the sweater, I'm not an expert knitter, but I would steek (cut) the fabric down to size and run the seams through a sewing machine with some complementary fabric to hold the stitches together (bind the seams).



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