Something New: A Recipe!

Hi folks! :D

I am so sorry for the long absence (again), but sometimes … I have to be quiet. I want to read and to knit and to write and I don’t need to talk to anyone for some time. I wanted to blog, but the words wouldn’t come somehow.

So – yes, there will be knitting content again. Sure. ;) And soon! I have a ton of stuff to be photographed, but since Philipp came back from Australia two weeks ago, we didn’t manage to take decent photos – it didn’t help that I caught a cold last week which developed into a bronchitis over the weekend. (I’m feeling better now, and I’m really relieved about it).

So, until we get to take photos: I’d like to share a recipe with you. Philipp loves to cook and he’s really good at it, too! We eat simple, healthy meals here, him and me. And one of them is so good that I hereby present:

Philipp’s Fish and Vegetable Dish! (serves 2)

Since I am European, I use grams and litres for weight measurement. If you happen to live in a place where you measure differently, go here. I use this side for “translation” frequently when I’m knitting.

You will need:

  • 500g potatoes (ideally, these are already cooked, you can do that in the morning or afternoon)
    01 Fisch mit Ofengemuese
  • 200-250g fillets of fish (on that day, we had plaice)
    04 Fisch mit Ofengemuese
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 champignons
    06 Fisch mit Ofengemuese
  • 4 little tomatoes and 1 pepper for the salad
    07 Fisch mit Ofengemuese
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
  • a little bit of butter (for the casserole dish. Oh yeah, you’ll need that, too)

What to do:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to approx. 180°C (remember that every oven works differently so you might need a slightly lower or higher temperature … blahblah).
  2. Get out a casserole dish and coat it with a bit of butter.
  3. Take the potatoes and cut them into slices. Put them into the casserole dish and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a bit of olive oil.
    02 Fisch mit Ofengemuese
  4. Wash and peel the carrots, then cut them into little quaters and put them over the potatoes as a “second level”.
    03 Fisch mit Ofengemuese
  5. Now, for the fish! We have deep frozen fish and we used four little fillets of them. Give them a short wash and dry them. Put the fish on the bed of potatoes and carrots.
    05 Fisch mit Ofengemuese
  6. Prepare the mushrooms. They’ll be the top layer, over the fish.
    08 Fisch mit Ofengemuese
  7. Put the casserole dish into the oven. With our oven, we had to be patient for 15-20 minutes.
  8. In the meantime, get someone to make a tomato and pepper salad (with some salt and pepper) and set the table.
    09 Fisch mit Ofengemuese
  9. Tuck in!
    10 Fisch mit Ofengemuese

If you’re not a potatoe fan, you can exchange the potatoes for rice. You can put all kinds of vegetables in there. Zucchini. Eggplant. Sweet potato. Peas. Sweetcorn. Peppers. Go crazy and empty you freezer! You can put a bit of cheese over that as well.

This may not be haute cuisine, but it is damn tasty. And healthy, too. :D

 

Tell me if you tried (and liked) it! I’ll try to be here more often again and I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!
Lots of love,
Julia :D


By the way …  I’d like to broaden the content of this blog a little bit. Not that much – but I’d like to be able to talk about books I read and love and (maybe) a bit of writing or journaling and share a couple of recipes. Of course, knitting will be the main subject of this blog, but there is so much more I want to tell you and I’d like to share and I always restrict myself.

So, what do you think about that? I know that recipes are quite common on knitting blogs, books not so much … Would you interest dwindle? Do you come here, perhaps, because I write about knitting 95% of the time? Or would you like that and find it interesting? Comments and thoughts are very much appreciated, as always. :D

 

A Sneak Peak …

… from the blocking board …

Sacred Landscape 05

I still have to weave in some ends, but then it is done and can be photographed! :D

And just in case anyone remembers this:

Fairy Shawl 01

This beauty made it to the blocking board as well … Finally. ;) Also, an UFO has landed … Pictures will follow later.

 

Love ya, folks! I’ll talk to you soon this week!

Julia :D

It’s A Kind of Madness …

It’s A Kind of Madness …. It’s A Kind of Madness … It’s A Kind of Madness …

Lacey Lamb

What do you do when you have lost your knitting mojo and are super-frustrated, because the lace-shawl you wanted to knit for yourself doesn’t work out no matter what and the sock you wanted to knit your beloved man looks like you’re dating the devil, because it’s fit for a hoof?

YES.

You sign up for a test knit.

For a lace shawl.

With lace in every row.

Sacred Landscape 02

Now, if you knit lace in every row, there is one rule that has to be obeyed. Just one, but it is important. Listen up, everybody! I’m gonna tell you about the rule.

Do not anger The Chart.

You anger The Chart if you talk loudly about how easy the pattern repeats are, how easy it is to read your knitting and if you pay too much attention to any episode of “A Game of Thrones” or a Let’s Play. Books are completely out of the question – you do not read while you’re knitting The Chart.

If you anger The Chart, you will have to tink back several rows and get completely lost as you stumble over several yarn overs and mess up right- and left-leaning decreases, because you lose the ability to differenciate between a “k2tog” and a “sl1,k1,pull slipped st over knit st” which changes every row, because you knit lace in every row.

And yes, you have to tink. Frogging is no option, because there is lace in every row.

To spice things up a bit, the shawl consists of a border (which is knit first) from which approximately 300 sts are picked up (I don’t know how many exactly, I’m not there yet). These 300+ sts form the body of the shawl, which is then shaped with short rows and embellished with a beautiful picture of a tree(!) in front of a moon in the middle.

The designer (who is Finnish) even wove a story into the construction of the shawl: As you knit the border, you travel through the many fjords of Finland, with the Northern Lights dancing above your head. In the middle of the body, you can see the full moon – and in the middle of the moon, a tiny oak, a glandular (or dwarf) birch.

Since Finland has many, many fjords, you must travel far.

Each pattern repeat has 20 rows. And you have to knit 30 of them.

Repeats, that is.

And yes, that is 600 rows of knitting the same pattern again and again but with the omnipresent awareness that you must not anger The Chart, because there is (all together now!) lace in every row.

Sacred Landscape 01

I am a bit further than when I took this picture. By now, I have finished 23 pattern repeats and got close to the 24th. Only 140 more rows to go until I get to pick up stitches.
Have a wonderful weekend, folks!

Love,
Julia :D

 

P.S.: If you didn’t catch the title: It’s Queen! Only different.

P.P.S.: I love the shawl. And the yarn. The combination is great. Promise.

On Terry and Me

Disclaimer: No knitting content this time. But this is important to me.

On Thursday night, I cried.

I had just opened the homepage of our local newspaper to get one last look at what was new before I went to bed, when I saw a picture of Terry Pratchett on the first page. “Discworld-Author Terry Pratchett Dead”.

I stared and thought: ›Oh no.‹ And when I read the twitter messages, the tears started to flow.

I didn’t know about Terry Pratchett and his books until 2000 – “The Fifth Elephant” had just been published, I think. I was writing for our school magazine then and one of my “colleagues” managed to contact Terry Pratchett via E-mail. I read the interview with interest and decided that I’d give Pratchett a try. I went to the local library and checked out Witches Abroad.

The First and Last Book read

My first and last-read book by Terry

Now, I’d love to say something along the lines of: “From this moment, I was hooked and bought every single one of his books and that was the beginning of a wonderful friendship” – but I want to be honest here. The problem with Pratchett’s books (the only problem, that is) is this: You have to read them in English. Most of the jokes are funny because they are puns. Or homophones. Since these cannot be translated into German*, the books made me smile – yes – but I was wondering what made them so outstanding. Remember: I was 14, and I had been learning English for three years only so far, and reading English books in the original was still way too hard.

I loved the characters, though. Nanny Ogg quickly became one of my favourites and as I read Reaper Man, Death became another one. Equal Rites, Small Gods, Mort and Guards! Guards!, followed, then came The Hogfather. Until now, my favourite books are about the witches, the Feegles, Death and the Night Watch.

I cannot remember my first English Discworld novel. But I remember my reaction very well: While the German translations had made me smile and sometimes grin, the originals now managed to have me in stitches. There have been so many articles now on what is so brilliant about Terry Pratchett’s books (of course, the Discworld novels are only part of his whole work), and many have voiced it much better than I could do that – so I can only tell you what makes them outstanding for me.

They are wise. They are funny. They are benign, and yet there is an irony in them whose sharpness is equal to Dickens’. They are clever and witty, and most of all: They are true. What you learn about character, about motives, the ways of the world, about people while having a good laugh is amazing.
They are also very well written and feature characters who are real – you love them and they annoy you and they become real friends and companions. When you read the dialogues, you hear the conversation and if you are a bit unlucky, you can also smell the Ankh.

I put a love letter between the pages of Reaper Man when I was 16 years old and lend the book to my boyfriend at that time. The Wintersmith kept me company in 2008 when I went to Cornwall for six weeks, and the book immediately started a conversation with the girls sitting next to me before I had read ten pages. I remember sitting on a lawn on campus during summer time, talking with a friend about literature and being told: “Man, you have to read Carpe Juggulum! That’s one of the best Discworld novels ever!”. I finished I Shall Wear Midnight late at night and was moved to tears by the Author’s Afterword and I was howling with laughter over some passages in Night Watch. Two years ago, while I was on holiday with Philipp, I took Unseen Academicals with me and was crying with laughter about the poem “Oi! To his Deaf Mistress”.

I own DVDs of the broadcasts of Soul Music and Wyrd Sisters and was over the moon with joy when I could get my hands on the movies Hogfather, Going Postal and The Colour of Magic. While watching The Colour of Magic, I knit my very first pair of socks.

Last summer, while I was taking part in the summer tournament of “Nerd Wars”, my team “1 More Page” was discussing Pratchett and his books during one round, because it had been announced that he had to cancel his appareance at Dragon Con due to his health issues. I made Socks for Nanny Ogg afterwards.

Sunny Feet 04

On Friday, the day after I had heard the news, I took out Reaper Man and started to read it to Philipp. And while I was reading and he was laughing and I was remembering how it was when I read the book for the very first time, there was a melancholy in the words that hadn’t been there before.

There are so many places on discworld I haven’t visited, so many characters I have yet to meet. It pains me that now I have all the time in the world to check them out, because there won’t be any more books to come. It seems so unfair that such a wise, talented man had to be plagued by that damn illness and had to go on so early while so many villains remain. That’s not how it is in the stories.

My only consolation is the thought that he probably did still know where he was going. Because, as he had put it in I Shall Wear Midnight:

“It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.”

Goodbye, Sir Terry. I’ll miss you.

My Discworldnovel collection

*I remember one incident in which there had to be a lengthy footnote by the translator why the dialogue: “What is your name?” – “Quoth”, said the raven. – “Quoth the raven?” was funny (with longish explanations about this being an allusion to Poe’s poem “Nevermore”) … Which left me like: “Oh, now I get it. Haha.”

Short notice

Hi folks!

I am sorry that I am a little quiet at the moment …

Somehow, knitting doesn’t go well for me right now. I wanted to knit the Bonsai shawl for me, but somehow I messed up the stitch count in one of the first rows were beads are involved which I wanted to substitute with nupps … And now I don’t have the nerve to sort that out.

Then I started a little striped hat to use up leftovers but didn’t want to knit that (luckily I noticed that before I was several cms in …) …

Plus now, there is a secret item I am knitting (and that I am most likely NOT finish in time). Since I have been so busy with university work lately, there wasn’t much free time …

Don’t worry about me, I’ll be posting soon again. I’m using up leftovers now with a Minimaniac Scarf and try to remember which row I have to purl and which to knit …

I guess I have lost my knitting mojo a bit at the moment.

Sorry that there are no pictures, but maybe I can write soon again! If not, see ya’ll next week and have a great time until then!

 

Lots of love,
Julia :D