8 hours. 12 people working in shifts. 97 pies.

Definitely not the record, not even close but it was a great weekend and we raised over $900 for our P-Patch garden. The awesome thing is that the workload and stress that normally comes along with this event wasn’t as bad as usual. I have not developed my usual aversion to all things pie that typically surfaces after the pie fundraiser. That isn’t to say I had an easy weekend but all in all I’m tired yet not exhausted. In previous years I’ve oftentimes been hellishly sick the days afterwards due to the stress. Not this year!

Oh and in case you were wondering…Total flour used: over 60lbs. Total Crisco used: 24+lbs. The stack of empty Crisco containers on my kitchen counter was mildly nauseating to look at.

I had 2 cases of apples leftover after the pie baking was completed so I donated one to the local food bank and took the 2nd one home (I’m smart enough to know I don’t need 2 cases of apples at home). I see a batch of my caramel apple butter in the future plus who knows what other yummy things you can do with granny smiths. My new canning cookbook has a recipe for apple pie filling that you can but I’m not sure if I like the idea. I don’t know if I need apple pie filling so readily available in a jar when I have a handy new tool at my disposal.

Picked it up for $15 and it’s going to come in VERY handy when I make apple butter. I don’t mind peeling and cutting apples, heck I’m pretty damn fast with a peeler due to my time at the bakery but this gadget is just a lot of fun.

In other news…there has been knitting!

The 1st pair of Christmas presents is done! (The Rose’s Wristwarmers are mine so those don’t count as Christmas knitting). The pattern is the Princess Mitts from The Knitters Book of Yarn (pattern free on Ravelry). Didn’t make any intentional mods on this although when I cast off for the second pair I noticed the last cable on the first pair was going in the wrong direction. I won’t tell the recipient if you won’t.

The pattern was really easy to figure out once I paid attention to what I was doing and while I wasn’t keen on how the thumb gussets were made they ultimately were easy. Glove 1 actually has a better looking thumb than glove 2. About the only frustrating part of the project was that I couldn’t get a pair out of one skein. I used a measly 5 grams from the second skein in order to finish the pair. Frustrating but not the end of the world.

I also decided to unpack my wheel this week. It had sat in the corner since my class with Carol Rhoades a couple weeks ago and before that it had seen little to no spinning since late Sept. Almost a month without spinning. How did that happen?

Nicki was thrilled beyond belief when I opened up the bag. He LOVES the lendrum bag. I forgot to get pictures but first he darted inside and reveled in the darkness. Eventually he got bored sitting inside so he reverted back to his usual MO…sleeping on it. I’m not sure what about the bag makes him love it so much but I’ve given up trying to keep him off of it. He even ignored Ginger when she stopped by on Monday and decided to lounge on the bag instead.

See….spinning. This is the beginning of the 8oz of superwash merino from Crown Mountain Farms (colorway “wish you were here”). I’m hoping to spin it up and give it to my mom before she leaves on Nov 18th. Depending on how many bobbins I fill I might go for a heavier 3ply since I know she hates knitting on tiny needles.

I’m also trying something new with the way I handle the roving. Well ok not really new…more like lazy. I have buried my spinning basket under a pile of other stuff so instead of dumping the roving on the (dirty) carpet where it can become a makeshift cat bed I’m attempting to ward off the chill in my apartment by having the roving draped across my lap. I’m well aware the amount of time to vacuum the carpet is minuscule but I’m oddly entertained by the current process. When I’m done spinning for the night I just twist it back into a rough skein and it stays nice and tidy.

I’m also trying to work my way through my mini stash of kitchen cotton. I only have 5 balls of it so panic has started to set in that I will run out. Keep in mind I rarely knit with this stuff but the dishcloths that Ginger gifted to me when I moved into my apt in January are showing signs of being well used. They are perfectly usable yet I find myself wanting to stockpile more for when the original ones have to finally retire. Since the kitchen cotton selection in our local craft stores is somewhat limited I keep finding myself on the Peaches and Cream website. They have colors I’ve never seen before! I’ve resorted to begging my friends to stop me from buying any and thankfully I think my Mom might be done raiding my stash (I used to have over twice as much until she went ‘shopping’ in my stash). I’ve told myself I can’t buy anymore kitchen cotton until I use up everything I currently have.

I’m definitely looking forward to regrouping a bit this winter, it’s been an oddly hectic and stressful year (the past few weeks have been a doozy) but I’m hoping the new few months will be easier. The pie fundraiser did something kind of interesting to my emotional wellbeing. Rather than wiping out any desire to cook like it usually does I find myself poking through recipes online and in cookbooks for something fun and new to make. Earlier this week it was donut muffins that I brought into work for the guinea pigs (oops sorry…my department) to try out. Powdered sugar coated cinnamon muffins that are inspired by those powdered cake donuts. I wish I could take credit for the idea but I pinched the recipe off a blog I’ve just started reading again (orangette). Then there is the urge to make apple butter, even more bread and of course sticky toffee pudding.

For those of you who are local…you know where to find me πŸ™‚

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