Tuesday, July 31, 2007

How I Grilled a Pizza.

I wish you could have been here Sunday night. I decided to try grilling pizza. I've been thinking about it for a while, but honestly, I was a little daunted by the idea of throwing uncooked dough onto the grill. I was scared the dang thing would ooze through the grate and onto the coals. So I finally got up my nerve and whipped up some whole wheat crust using a combination of several recipes. I added more olive oil to the dough, because somewhere I read that an oil rich dough does better on the coals.

Well, it seemed obvious to me that grilled veggies were the appropriate toppings, so I sliced up an eggplant and sweated it with salt for 1/2 hour, halved a red pepper and a Vidalia onion. I also had some portabello mushrooms.. I diced up some Roma tomatoes and garlic and let those sit at room temperature for about an hour. I infused about 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil with chopped garlic, dried oregano, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. All the veggies except the tomatoes went on the grill. #2 had to get in on the action:

Here's a closeup of the veggies:

It's important when grilling pizza to have everything ready on hand. After I grilled the veggies I cut them up and put them into small bowls. I had 4 pizza doughs separated by plastic wrap. There's the olive oil on the right and fresh grated mozzarella on the left. A word of advice, don't let your cheese and dough get too warm. They become hard to handle. The first dough, the coolest, held its shape the best. The other 3 got progressively more difficult to pick up and stretched out a little. The cheese, well, it was clumping together and hard to sprinkle over the pizza.

You get the grill pretty hot and spread the olive oil on one side of the dough, put that side of the dough onto the grill and watch it bubble up. This takes about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the dough. Isn't that gorgeous? I was so excited when the dough puffed up instead of oozing down.

Then you flip the dough, spread that side with oil and put on your toppings. I started with the cheese then the tomatoes, then a little of everything else. I think the main thing is not to put on too much stuff. The pizzas weren't too difficult to get off the grill because I kept them pretty small. I had a couple of small pizza pans that I turned upside down and slid the pizzas onto them as they were done. This was hands down the BEST pizza I've ever eaten. Here's the finished product.

And that is how I grilled a pizza.

PS: I AM knitting, but the pizza pictures were more interesting than my knitted stuff. I'll get back on topic soon, I promise.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New Vintage Baby Jacket and More

I finished the second Vintage Baby Jacket (well except for the buttons. Seems like I have an aversion to buttons lately). Here's the final product:

I used Blue Sky Alpaca in sportsweight and Addi Turbos #4 circulars. I changed the pattern to accomodate the yarn and made some other changes. First I wanted to reduce the number of seams, so I knitted in the 1/2 round up to the sleeve openings, then I just added a ball of yarn at the beginning of each section, 1 for the back and one for the other front, so I was working with 3 balls of yarn at once. I like this technique and will probably adapt it to other cardigans.

I also felt like the original pattern had too much skirt, so I narrowed the circumference at the bottom, but maintained the original at the chest. I think if I made it again, I would keep the dimensions I have now, but would change the lacework. It seems a little heavy in this particular yarn. But that's my critical eye, and I think this will make a good baby present for a little girl who is making her appearance some time this fall.

It's been mighty quiet around here. I took the boys up to Grama & Papa's house last Saturday. I stopped by the LYS there, the one that's supposed to be going out of business. DH isn't convinced. He thinks they're trying to move stock, but I really don't care because I got 4 hanks of buffalo fingering at 40% off:

The boys were with me at the store, and to keep them happy I bought them some yarn and some needles. They picked this Lornas Laces specially dyed for the shop. I'm not a fan of the colorway, but the boys like it. The yarn and the needles were 40% off, too, or I wouldn't have bought them. The knitting in this picture is mostly mine, but the boys did some of it. Even my 7 year old nefew, who got up on my lap and asked me to teach him how to knit. In 2 minutes he had the hang of it, and knitted about 3 rows:

Finally, I promised myself I was going to use up my stash. Here is a sock I've been working on. The yarn is some Lornas Laces Shepherd Sock I've had since last summer. I'm about done with this one and will finish it up and start the other one soon. It's just plain stockinette, but the color is so pretty, I think it will be fine.

Happy Dog Days!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Vintage Baby Jacket

I'm just shy of having this thing finished. I have had all the pieces finished for several weeks, but felt discouraged by the discrepancy in the dye lots. I finally set out to block them for piecing together, with the idea that once I had it sewn up I could decide whether or not to over-dye it if the difference was too noticeable. Here are the sleeves and fronts blocking:

Here are the pieces just set together, no sewing.

Here is the jacket sewn up, no buttons, and with a few loose ends in need of weaving in. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. The difference between the sleeves and body isn't too noticeable, don't you think? I don't think I'm going to mess with it. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn, and I forget what size needles I used. I think they were US #3's, probably my Addi Turbos. I look back at previous posts and figure that out later. The color in the picture below is more true than the ones above. Can I just say how much I love the Cherry Hill Tree yarn? It's so soft and slightly fuzzy once it's been blocked. I'll use it again for baby clothes.

The garden is growing. Here are some zinnias:

My lemon basil is out of control. I can't keep the buds pinched back, so the bees are in heaven!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

New Socks

Lately I've been on a mission to use up my stash. I periodically remind myself I HAD to have that yarn or this, and it's been sitting in my basket for months, or even years. So, it's time my yarn gets the attention it deserves. The first yarn wasn't an impulse buy at all. No I started with some very special sock yarn, Regia Silk Sock. It's smooth, soft and easy to work with. The fabric it yields is wonderful, but what makes these particular skeins special to me is how I got them.

Last summer I was sick from Grave's Disease, and a good friend who lives far away sent me this yarn out of the blue. She said in a note to make myself a pair of socks. I had been knitting socks for everyone else all summer, you see. So after knitting a bunch of socks for Christmas gifts, I was too burned out to think of knitting socks for myself. But that was a year ago, and I'm ready to roll again:

My first pair of socks for myself. I used a vintage cable pattern, but left the cables out, to create a rib stitch that is P1K1P1, K3. I thought anything more complex than a rib would compete with the stripes, but I can see how a ripple or chevron would look nice. The stripes met up pretty well, but that was unplanned. The needles are some plain aluminum #2 dpns (4).

While the stripe matching was unintentional in the previous pair, I decided to make it happen in this pair of baby socks. Remember when I was talking about making baby gifts in advance? It occurred to me that all the small leftover balls of sock yarn from last summer would yield some quick knit baby socks. Since I just finished with the Regia, I used it for the first pair of baby socks. This is some basic baby sock pattern I found on line, nothing fancy. The pattern had a few dents and dings that I fixed to make it fit my style of sock knitting. So here's the matching stripes Regia Silk baby socks:

I've started another pair of baby socks, and have the vintage baby jacket blocking. I seem to be over my knitting blahs and I'll try to post more regularly again. I hope everyone is doing great and summer is treating you right.