Friday, August 26, 2011

Beans and Summer Squash and Ai

CanningPickles

I had one of those crazy days yesterday. The kind where I’m trying to find something and it takes 4 different stores to locate it. This time it was canning lids. Not in my local grocery store (it’s tiny), not in the “general store” (it’s horrible), not in the Shoppers Drug Mart (why do they sell groceries now?)…finally in the Safeway. I hunted the isles and finally found what I was looking for, all dusty and hiding on a low shelf. What I didn’t find anywhere was fenugreek. So I made my bean pickles without it. There was mustard seed, coriander, cardamom, peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon stick involved though. Yum.

I also had about 5 pounds of zucchini and pattypan squashes so I made my favourite relish. This includes onions and red peppers as well as turmeric, mustard seed, celery seed and ginger. Also yum. Does anyone know what made my beans float? I’ve never made sweet bean pickles before and was kind of making it up as I went. I think I could have packed the jars more tightly. But it seemed that the juice came out of the beans so they wrinkled up leaving more liquid and less vegetable. I think this one needs more experimentation. And also fenugreek.

Let’s move on to the promised Japanese indigo photos, shall we?

JapaneseIndigoPlants

I think it’s a quite attractive plant and the leaves smell a little spicy when they’re cooking. Now if only it will bloom before frost. Please-please-please?

Bad blogger forgot to photograph my friend Jo’s items but here’s all the things that I dyed in Monday’s vat:

JapaneseIndigoBlues

All washed and dried and pressed. That would be a scrunch-dyed t-shirt of mine on the bottom, a tie-dyed t-shirt for my grandson on top (there’s 2 circles on the back), the 2 skeins of bamboo rayon that were formerly dyed in the murky woad vat a couple of weeks ago (now much prettier, no?) and a set of 8 heavy cotton napkins that went in at the end. Jo got a very dark blue on her handwoven scarf but most of the items came out this soft lighter blue which I love. A lot seems to depend on the fibre type and order of dipping in the vat. First in gets darkest. Second dip evens out the colour. Third dip only gets minimally darker. Wool and silk dye darkest and the cellulose fibres somewhat lighter. From a large pot full of leaves we dyed nearly 2 lbs of fibre in total. I think that’s pretty satisfactory for a small garden patch of plants.

Meanwhile I’ve been plugging away on the Speedy Gonzales Shawlette using my slightly revised version of the Holden Shawlette using the Wollmeise yarn in the Gonzales colourway.

SpeedyGonzalesShawlette_prog

I’m quite a bit farther along now – into the second repeat of the feather and fan edging. I think I’ll have enough yarn to knit an extra repeat and make it slightly larger than the one I made for T-Man’s auntie. I love this pattern. Simple to knit but very attractive results and it plays nicely with variegated yarns. What more could one ask?

4 comments:

Aleira said...

Obviously your local store doesn't have a decent East Indian spice aisle....

beentsy said...

Ohhhh, relish with the patty pans! You are so cunning!

I'm afraid to go and harvest the beans tomorrow. After this week's rain there will be at least 10 or 15 pounds. LOL

You speedy Gonzales is looking lovely! I got my Pitahaya last night. So in love. :)

Louisa said...

Ah! They joys of the gardener. It's either nothing or TOO MUCH! Ooh. Pitahaya! Whatcha gonna make with it?

And probably I just missed the fenugreek in the Safeway. I was getting pretty desperate for canning lids by that point!

Sharon in Surrey said...

Fenugreek's in the Health Food stores these days as well as the Ethnic Food stores. I don't bother with canning these days with only myself to care for. I might do another box of field tomatoes this year but that's about it. Next year if I get my ass in gear, I'll make some cherry raisins!!