Sunday, November 29, 2009

My little chefs

So for dinner we are having turkey noodle soup with home made noodles of course. My kids really like to help me cook and I got a few photos of them doing so. The turkey is in the pot boiling with the veggie scraps for flavor. I will strain it and return the broth to the pot along w/the meat I pick from the bone. I have a basic egg noodle recipe that I make. I do not have a past a maker so they are done by hand. Robert cut the noodles with sewing thread. Michael handed the noodles to Anja who hung them to dry. You can find the recipe in my very 1st blog post Drying home made noodles along with how I created my "drying station"

Friday, November 27, 2009

Invisible join - crochet

Often times I just slip stitch but there are times when I want the edge to look seamless and slip stitch join just doesn't get that. I have come up with this method. This is demonstrated on my craft exchange item (but it's to close to tell what I'm making so HA!). You can click on any image for a larger view.

1st a reminder that I am left handed.

When you finish your last stitch do not do a slip stitch join. Break/cut your yarn and pull the end through your last stitch leaving it unattached to the beginning.

Thread the yarn onto a darning needle. You can use a hook also. Now stitch through the same place where you would do a slip stitch join as shown.
Now bring the yarn down through where your yarn came from on the last stitch through as shown here.
When you pull this tight to match the tension in the project the stitch is now "lost" on the top edge. Looks exactly like the rest of the stitches.

Note: This does add 1 stitch to the edging. If you do not want the added stitch you can pull the yarn to close the gap.
Now I like to run my needle back under the side side of the beginning chain up. This creates the bottom hump that you get when you do a normal chain.
Weave your end n as you would normally do per your preferred method.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

smoking a turkey

So, I don't know if anyone is interested but I'm smoking my turkey today for our potluck at work and decided to blog about it.

And 1st off. The recipe! This is an incredible recipe! This is how it is written in my book. I do not use the mop or wrap it in cheese cloth. Moping is not practical in my style of smoker as to much heat is lost when opening the lid.

Worth-the-Wait Turkey

Recipe By :Cheryl and Bill Jamison
Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Chicken & Poultry Smoking & Grilling

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------

Injection Liquid
1/2 cup garlic flavored oil
4 ounces beer
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 whole turkey -- 10-11 pound

Turkey Paste
4 cloves garlic -- peeled
1 tablespoon black peppercorn -- coarsely ground
1 tablespoon coarse salt -- kosher or sea salt
1 pinch cayenne
1 tablespoon garlic flavored oil

Turkey Mop (optional)
2 cups stock -- turkey or chicken
8 ounces beer
1/2 cup vegetable oil

1. The night before you plan to BBQ, combine the injection liquid
ingredients in a small bowl. With a kitchen syringe, inject the mixture
deep into the turkey in a half-dozen places, moving the needle around in
each spot to shoot the liquid in several directions. Inject the greatest
amount into the breast.

2. With a motor and pestle or in a mini-food processor, combine the paste
ingredients, mashing the garlic with the pepper, salt, and cayenne. Add
the oil to form a thick paste. Massage the turkey with the paste inside
and out, working it as far as possible under the skin without tearing the
skin. Place the turkey in a plastic bag and refrigerate it over night.

3. Before you begin to BBQ, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and
let it sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.

4. Prepare the smoker for BBQ, bringing the temperature to 200-220

5. Cut a 4-foot to 5-foot length of cheesecloth and dampen it thoroughly
with water. Wrap the bird in the cheesecloth and tie the ends.

6. Transfer the turkey to the smoker, breast side down (you should be able
to feel through the cheesecloth), and cook for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours per
pound, until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees. Wet the
cheesecloth down with more water every 30 minutes in a wood burning pit or
as appropriate for your style of smoker.

7. After about 6 hours, remove the cheesecloth, snipping it with scissors
if necessary, and discard it. When the cheesecloth is removed, baste the
turkey for the remainder of it's cooking time, if possible, in your smoker
(basting is not really necessary in a vertical, bullet, smoker). If you
plan to baste, combine the mop ingredients with 1 cup water in a saucepan
and warm the mixture over low heat, Mop every 30 minutes in a wood burning
pit or as appropriate for your style of smoker.

8. When the turkey is done, remove it from the smoker and allow it to sit
for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with Carole classic BBQ sauce or
Strutting sauce if you wish.

"The name says it all!"
"Smoke & Spice... cooking with smoke, the REAL way to BARBECUE"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 1172 Calories; 65g Fat (52.1%
calories from fat); 131g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 436mg
Cholesterol; 1125mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 18 Lean Meat; 0
Vegetable; 2 1/2 Fat.

You can click on any image for a larger photo.

These are the ingredients. I have Molson because that is what we drink. The white bowl is my mortar and pestle, you can use a processor instead but I like the hands on approach. I use kosher salt.

ingredients for the paste
And after it's been all mashed up and the marinade is ready to inject.

In step 2 it says to massage it under the skin this means UNDER THE SKIN! This is the BEST way to rub flavoring on your poultry as it really flavors the meat and is taped by the skin. you can work it quite far and even into the drum sticks if you are careful. This step may seem gross but it's well worth it!

I normallly use the charcoal on the right but they ony had the brand on the left. Aparently real brikets
I soak my wood chips and then place them in a foil packet as you see here to put on the coals. I have a generous hand full of wood in this packet. Then poke holes in the packet. Doing it this way concentrates the smoke and creates more smoke. The plain dry chips would go to waste if not soaked and put in a packet. You can buy reusable chip boxes but this is what I got for now. i change out packets about 1x an hour. Wood is an ingredient. And like any ingredient you can use to much.
And it's ready to smoke. The charcoal is ready. the water pan is full and the cover is about to go on. The metal cord you see is a digital thermometer. I can leave the probe in the bird in the grill and run the cord to the reader outside. This allows me to monitor the internal temp of the bird w/o having to open the lid to loose valuable heat, which greatly prolongs cooking time and it already takes a long time to cook! notice the bird is breast down? This holds the juices inside against the thickest part of the meat creating a very juicy white meat but this also make the bird look lopsided when done. But it's about the taste not the appearance!
And were smokin'!
the white thing on the ground is my thermometer reader. The pan underneath is to catch ashes. the charcoal pan originally was a bowl but I had Patrick drill some holes in the bottom so I can get the ashes out as smoking takes so long the pan can easily fill up making it difficult to keep the new coals going as you add them. The thermometer sticking out the lid is a instant read meat thermometer. I prop it in the lid to monitor the internal temp of the smoker. the thermometer that came with it only reads in ranges and this give me an accurate temp. You can also prop one in a vent hole if your smoker/grill has one. Ideal grill temp is about 200.

And a photo of the bird finished is to come. A finished smoked bird will look very dark from the smoke, almost burned. This bird is for a potluck at work so what I will be doing is cooking it nearly done and then finishing it in an electric roaster. I don't want to over cook it!

*I don't have a photo. I was only able to partially smoke the turkey and had to finish it in a roaster because I had to take my daughter to the med center and the smoker got to cool and I was not able to finish it in the smoker. IT was still good but the smoke just didn't get to penetrate it like I would have liked and the white meat got a little dry because it was roasted. Non the less, it was nearly picked clean!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Just a neat photo

Thought this would be kinda a neat photo. The seeds have sence been baked.. and are gone! MMMMM I do love pumpkin seeds!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

simple knit beanie

Simple Knit Beanie

This is a very easy to knit hat. This is a small hat for my older son Robert (who is at school so it's modeled by his brother Michael). this is knit from the bottom up.
For this hat I cast on60 stitches and it is knit in the round on 2 sets of size 8 circular needles. Using worsted weight yarn.

After casting on and joining to knit in the round I work about 1 inch of 1x1 ribbing. The body is a simple k9, p1 repeat till the body of the hat is long enough.

The crown:
Row 1: on each panel purl the purls and ssk the 1st 2 stitches of the knit sections.

Row 2: On each panel purl the purls and k2tog the last 2 stitches of the knit sections.

Continue these 2 rows till the crown is down to just 1, and 1p per section and (12 stitches for a 6 section hat) and cut the yarn, run thorough renaming live stitches to remove them from the needles and cinch the opening closed, secure and weave in ends.

This is an easy hat to make for the whole family. For an adult cast on extra stitches in multiples of 10 to fit a larger circumference. When deciding weather it's long enough, allow a bit of extra length to allow for a bit of pulling in that happens as you finish the crown. I have made this hat pattern for my Father and my 20 year old nephew asked for one of these hats.

This pattern is available as a PDF file

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fall colors of Michigan

Thought I would share what fall looks like in our corner of the world. These were actually taken by my uncle while everyone was in town for my Grandma's 90th b-day. They are different photos from around the small town she lives in. And also along the river walk. A lot of cities here are converting old rail ways into community walking/biking trails and also the old bridges along those rails. As a kid we used to walk the tracks but now they are nice and paved and just a really tranquil place to relax and take in some nature! These were taken in about the center of Michigan's lower peninsula (or the mitten as we refer to it due to the shape of our state).

click on any image for a larger view.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 09

So these are my halloween 2009 photos! I didn't get to put as much into it as I normally do. My pumpkin didn't turn out quite as good as I had hoped. it's suposed to be Jack from "nightmare before christmas" and the other ones are the kids pumpkins. Michaels's is crying (anja did that one) and Robert's has the goofy mouth.

I somewhat decked out the porch for the cause. now to get all that cotton down! I'm going to see if I can get a better photo of my pumpkin tonight. last night was really windy and my candles kept blowing out.

The Piglet costume is one I made my self w/o a pattern several years ago for Anja.