Monday, November 16, 2009

Washed fleece & great food

Today was a combination of washing the Icelandic fleece and cooking. It was a good day!

On the cooking front, I made this beef stew, with just a couple changes. No parsnips (didn't have any), Campbell's French Onion soup instead of the chicken broth. I also ended up using two bottle of the Black Butte Porter. This is the second beef recipe recently that called for some form of chocolate. This one works too.

The boys both gobbled up the stew and the Beer Bread I made to go along with it. I like it better than the Alton Brown version I last tried. This one is also good, kind of moist like a zucchini bread and you definitely want to do the extra sugar that someone in the reviews mentions.

I'd gotten some pudding mixes with the last grocery shopping trip so thought I'd take one of the graham cracker crusts and do a coconut cream pie, substituted a cup of coconut milk for regular milk, toasted some coconut flakes. On the box there was an idea of putting melted chocolate on the bottom of the crust then some whip cream with the toasted flakes. I didn't have whip cream so just did the chocolate on the bottom and put the flakes on top of the pie. Brandon likes it, William doesn't. The chocolate is too bitter for him, it called for bittersweet.

I have all of the fleece washed and drying on racks in my craft area. At first I tried picking out all of the little seeds (white and larger and really seed like, unlike some of those 'black grass heads' that were really fleas), grass and pine needles that I could see in the fleece. Okay, as I was putting clumps into the mesh bags, I'd pick out what I could. I figure I'm going to be going through the cleaned fleece to either put through a drum carder or use hand cards, so just get it clean.

On a tray:

Trying to show the lock structure before washing, I did pick the grass out!

Four out of six of the drying trays:

I finished the shawl up tonight. Used up all but the last six inches during the cast off. Tomorrow I'll wash it and block it out. Right now it seems more like a shawlette, so we'll see if blocking helps it be a smidge bigger.

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