Wednesday, November 27, 2013

odessa for alice

I've wanted to write this post for weeks now, but I've struggled with what to say and how to say it. So, I'll just jump in. 

I made this hat for my grandma Alice. She just finished up chemo to treat ovarian cancer. She lost her hair because of the chemo, and when I saw her last month she kept saying how cold she was. So I figured the least I could do was to make her a hat, the warmest, softest hat I could manage, that would keep her toasty all winter long and remind her that she's got lots of people who care about her. 

I picked out the coziest yarn I had in my stash: half a skein of Juniper Moon's Herriot, which is a lush baby alpaca that knits up like a dream. I'd been saving it for something special, and this project seemed like exactly that. The half skein worried me at first, but the Odessa pattern worked well with the small amount of yarn (110 yards or so) that I had. 

My family had a brunch recently to celebrate the end of Grandma Alice's chemo. It was a big get-together with my aunts, uncles, and cousins and more food than we could ever eat. We laughed and talked and held babies. It felt really good to see my grandma in better spirits, smiling and even playing poker with the family. I'm hoping this hat will keep her spirits high throughout the winter.

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If you'd like to make a hat to help keep up the spirits of someone receiving chemo, check out the Halos of Hope Ravelry page


See more details of my Odessa here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


A few of you asked about the challah in the last post. This bread is my favorite because it's rich with eggs, honey, and butter. Plus, the recipe is simple to make at home. You just fling all the ingredients together in a bowl, let the dough rise, and then put it in the fridge to bake at your convenience.

When I make a batch of this dough, I usually bake two larger loaves throughout the week and then use the final third of the dough to make cinnamon rolls (I use the filling and icing from this recipe). Yeah, challah-baking weeks are pretty happy weeks around here. It's just the thing to keep us warm and fed on gray November days.

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Also in our kitchen:

We've been loving these pumpkin doughnut muffins (thanks to Liesl!).

I could eat vegetable enchiladas every day.

Homemade pizza has been in heavy rotation. We like Mark Bittman's crust and this tomato sauce.

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What's going on in your kitchen these days?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

there for the taking

I'm finding little things to appreciate lately, bits of joy there for the taking if only I choose to notice: treetops lighting up the sky, sunflower seeds to plant next year, warm challah with salt and butter, and a soft alpaca hat on the needles. 

Here's hoping you're finding your own bits of joy. I'd love to hear about what's making your moments brighter these days.


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