Graduating 2011

With the last pair of Christmas ‘foot oven’ socks on the needles, it’s finally feeling like the holidays are coming to a close.  Fayvor and I spent Christmas and New Years in New England this year surrounded by lots of Loves including two adorable nephews under age 3.  I am sipping at strawberry white tea that Sarah has been kind enough to share (it’s her favorite) and perusing Holiday memories in the form of photos while relishing the last rays of filtered morning sun warming me on the now sun dappled table.

This year has been a graduation year of sorts — into ‘responsible’ adulthood (wedding, wife-dom/homemaking) & progressing into adult knits (and writing easy patterns). Each of the Love women received a pair of Baby Alpaca Socks from me this year. Most with striped body and solid tipped toes.  I’ve got one left to send and the other mentioned earlier to finish by tonight to gift to Echo.  I was a bit nervous giving the girls these gifts.  Risky that half the women have fiber allergies, mainly wool; Each has their own discerning taste.  No small investment both in care (hand wash; flat dry), time to make and cost (at $40-50 a pair).  Crossing fingers for happy warm feet this coming year.

On a totally different note, am still  loving making dinners for our ‘family’ here.  I’ve been so incredibly spoiled to be able to leisurely make dinner most nights. All three (two housemates and a Fayvor) are wonderful eaters too–forgiving of occasional food blunders and willing to explore random bounces in my culinary learning trajectory.

My most recent favorite is Sardines on Toast.  Quick to make and fun too. (the fun part– watching Fayvor clean the sardines)

Sardines on Toast w/ Wild Rice

I saw something similar to this at a restaurant once. It’s stuck in my mind ever since. This is my interpretation

(serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 4 Sardine filets. (cleaned. skin on. tail off)
  • unsalted butter (or your choice of oil)
  • bread that you have on hand (I made rolls, split and toasted them)
  • guacamole (no set recipe. threw one together)
  • pickled red onion (recipe below)
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • your choice veg. (I diced up kale and chard stems I had around the house)
  1. Make your pickled onions ~6 hours before dinner or more.
  2. Have your sardines at room temperature.
  3. Cut your choice veg into a small dice. Saute in your choice oil & seasoning until 3/4ths done. Add in your Rice and water. Bring to a boil and then cover, lower the temperature to a simmer. ~30 minutes or so.
  4. 10 minutes before your rice is done.Pat dry your sardines. lightly salt them. Sear in pan skin side down in choice oil. Flip to cook the other side. Have your bread toasting between the flips. Butter them while still warm.
  5. Assemble your Sardine Toasts: your toast on the bottom buttered, then a dallop of the guacamole, then the sardine filet and lastly, the pickled red onion.

Pickled Red Onion

Ingredients:

  • half of a large red onion
  • 1/8th of a cup of dried currents (look like raisins)
  • 3/4ths cup of white balsamic vinegar
  1. In a small pot simmer on low your currents with the white balsamic vinegar lid on until still watery but slightly thick and at your desired taste strength. let that cool to room temp and strain.
  2. Slice the red onion thinly and marinate in the now current flavored white balsamic vinegar for ~6 hours at room temp. Shake occasionally to distribute maceration.

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