Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ellie: First Camping Trip of the Season + a Knitting Pattern for a Hat + Warm Beet, Peppers, Kale & Pistachio Salad Recipe

Spring break is here and our plans have shifted. Grandpa Don has been moved to rehab. and will be there for at least a week. Larr and Ethan spent a day driving in the mountains. I've already reorganized the cabinet in my craftroom and have plans to sew.

Ellie, Kohlton and Mayo are camping. They had planned to go camping in Moab, or perhaps in a campground higher in the mountains, but it is still rather cold which means they would need a lot of bedding to keep warm. Their plans shifted, too, to camping at one of the local reservoirs where we could drive in, get them set up and camp. They just want to do something fun: ride their bikes, hang out together and have a bit of independence.

It is the first camping trip that Ellie has planned by herself and it is rather exciting to see. We discussed menus and I helped do the prep work for the meals, but the rest is Ellie. They are having:
* Breakfast Burritos (bacon, potatoes, eggs, cheese, tortillas)
* Pancakes with Bacon cooked in the middle
* Ham and Swiss Sandwiches
* Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwiches
* Chili Cheese Dogs
* Spaghetti and Garlic Bread
* Frito Pie (Frito chips with chili and cheese)
* Roasted Apples with a Cinnamon Sugar & Butter filling
* S'Mores (of course)
* Russian Tea (Tang orange drink mix, instant tea, lemonade, cinnamon & allspice (or cloves))
* Hot Chocolate
(I am sure that I have forgotten some things on their menu.)

Remmie wanted to go camping with them, but it would not work out. He would be a wild and crazy dog, a large, furry dog in the tent and he would limit what they could do. I think he would run and explore if someone did not have hold of him every minute. He returned home with me instead, disappointed, I think.
Anticipating the cold rides the kids were likely to go on, I made them new beanies to fit under their helmets.

1 skein Cascade 220 Superwash Wool, worsted weight
16" Circular Needles, 3 US
16" Circular Needles, 1 or 2 US*
1 Set 1 or 2 US Double Pointed Needles*
Yarn Needle
Stitch Markers

Cast on 104 stitches onto the #3 circular needles. Knit one row to establish the stitches.
Place a stitch marker to indicate the beginning of the row. Join the row to make a circle on row 2, (k2,p2)repeat to create a ribbed band. Continue this until the ribbed band is as wide as you would like it. (Mine are usually 1.5" - 2".)
Switch over to just knitting. Making the hat nearly as long as you would like it to be. (Ellie's hat = _________, Kohlton's hat = __________, made for going under a bike helmet and not including any length to allow for turning up the cuff. If you want that feature, make the hat longer.)
About .5" from where you will begin to decrease the hat, consider switching to the smaller needles. This makes the top of the hat so that it is knit in a tighter fashion. ** If you do not have the smaller set of needles, continue to knit with the size 3 needles.
To begin the decrease, knit a row, placing a marker after every 8th stitch until the end of the round. Continue knitting, reducing each round when you come to a stitch marker by knitting 2 stitches in one. Continue this until it is too tight to continue with the circular needles. At that point, switch over to the double pointed needles and continue reducing the number of knitted stitches. do this until there are 6 stitches left on the needles. Cut the yarn off about 6" from that point. Thread the yarn through the yarn needle. Run the yarn through each of the loops on the knitting needles, removing the needles. Pull the yarn tight. This should close the small hole at the top of the hat. Using the yarn on the needle, place the yarn on the inside of the hat. Turn the hat inside out and go through some of the knitted loops, putting it tight and then looping over it again before going onto another loop. I continue doing this in a circle at the top of the hat to tighten and re-enforce the stitches so that there are no holes at the top of the hat where I joined the stitches together. This makes the very top of the hat a bit thicker.


I made a nice, arm salad for Larr:

Warm Beet, Peppers, Kale & Pistachio Salad

2 large or 6 small Peppers, I opted for 2 small reds, 2 small oranges and 2 small yellows, chopped into bite size pieces
1/2 Red Onion, chopped into bit size pieces
Olive Oil
Pickled Beets, chopped into bit size pieces
6-10 cups Kale, chopped into bit size pieces (I actually used a Kale Super Salad from the store. It included shredded carrots.)
Balsamic Vinegar Reduction or Glaze

In a skillet, saute the pepper and onion in olive oil until they are tender. Add in the beets, as well as the pistachios and saute until they are heated through, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the kale and heat until it just begins to wilt.

Place in a large bowl and drizzle with enough balsamic vinegar reduction/glaze to coat lightly. Serve warm.

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