Mim's Knitting Frenzy

Follow the dark and skeery path into the dank recesses of Miriam's mind. There you will find many a knitting needle and the occasional ominous crochet hook. Sinister looking book presses and towering stacks of paper. Where various handcrafts lurk waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting...

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Friday, December 23, 2005

Lavendar has many uses.

I'd never used Lavendar for baking before, but LORD ALMIGHTY! Soooooo goood.....
Inspired by 6.5 stitches

I searched and found a recipe for Lavendar Mint Shortbread. People, RUN, DO NOT WALK to make this recipe! It's sooo good. Melt-in-your-mouth good. Melt-in-your-mouth and leave-you-licking-your-lips-for-the-tiny-crumbs good. The recipe follows with my notations:

1 1/2 Cups (3/4 lb) butter, at room temperature (NO SUBSTITUTES!)
2/3 Cup sugar
2 Tablespoons very finely chopped lavender florets (fresh or dried)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 1/3 Cups flour
1/2 Cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Cover bottoms of two baking sheets with parchment or brown paper (I used a cut up brown paper bag). In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, lavendar, and mint with an electric mixer. Mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. (I used my kitchenaid stand mixer, and it never really got "light and fluffy", but it was sure blended well. Turned out fine though.) Add flour, cornstarch, and salt and beat until incorporated. Divide dough in half. Flatten into squares and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm.

On a floured board, roll or pat out each square to a thickness of 1/2 inch (mine were a little less so I could get more of them). Cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares or rounds (I used a 2" scalloped edge biscuit cutter). Transfer to baking sheets, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart. Prick each cookie several times with a fork. Bake 20-25 min. until pale golden (do not brown). cool slightly, then transfer to a rack. Sprinkle with lavender powdered sugar (recipe available in the original link). I used lemon granular sugar** instead because I had it on hand.

**Lemon sugar is good on cookies to give them a bit of citrusy zest, and also in hot and iced tea. To make lemon sugar, peel some lemons with a vegetable peeler, then dry the peels in an oven on the lowest setting until they're dry. Then pack them in layers with granulated white sugar into sterile canning jars. Layer about an inch of sugar, and then a sprinkling of peel, then a layer of sugar, etc... until the jars are full, then seal the jar and leave in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. The flavor in the peel will infuse into the sugar.

The last Christmas present is an FO now too. These socks are for Luke who likes to wear mismatching socks. He wears one gray and one black sock everyday. So instead of making him a pair of socks that he would not wear because they matched, I just made him a mismatched pair.
Pattern: My own. K3P2 ribbing for the cuff, doubled cast on using one strand of each color and alternating colors for the reinforced heel and the wedge toe.
Yarn: Fortissima Socka with Polypropylene. One 50g skein each of gray and black.
Needles: Size U.S. 2 for the cuff and U.S. 1.5 dpns for the foot.
Gauge: On the foot 9 spi and 11 rpi. And his feet are size 10.5. Bah to people with big feet!
Verdict: They're crazy, but I think he'll like them. I especially like the effect of using one strand of a different color for the doubled cast on. I think I may do this in the future just for the fun of it. The yarn seems like it will be really good for long wear.

And I got kind of bored with taking normal sedate pictures of my FO, so I made sock puppets. And then they started getting frisky.

The gray one tried to eat my face. The black one is looking on in horror. Trust me, it was scary!