Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mystery Cowl ~ And Homemade Apple Sauce Recipe

I recently joined a mystery knit-along hosted by Craftsy.  And although there wasn't much mystery or too much camaraderie in this knit-along I am really pleased that I joined and love my Acacia Cowl!  

I say there wasn't much mystery because the entire pattern was disclosed on the first day and there wasn't much camaraderie because I completed the project in a single day.  To be fair this was a foregone conclusion given the bulky weight yarn.  And yet.  I had expected some mystery.  Call me naive. Incidentally because this is a bulky weight yarn and knits up super fast it is the perfect holiday speed project!  But, since I was looking for some mystery in my life that's not necessarily what I was looking for.  So undaunted I've joined a new mystery knit-along entitled Divergence starting January 1, 2014.  In preparation I have purchased the book entitled Divergent (I have no idea if this is the inspiration or not but it is a similar sounding name and sounds interesting and I wanted something fun to read anyway) and based on this mystery project description I am optimistic this time there will be moar mystery.

When I first completed this cowl I loved the dramatic impact but wasn't sure how much I would wear it.  But what I have found is this is an extremely practical wardrobe piece and I wear it almost everyday when I go hiking.  I love how it fits perfectly with my down vest and keeps my neck area warm.  It's also pretty versatile since I opted to make it longer and didn't add buttons.  This way I can simply wrap it around my neck and fasten with a shawl pin or a safety pin.  It really has become a favorite accessory for cold weather hikes along with a hat.  I also like the fact that I can wear it more dressy with a shawl pin closure draped loosely over an evening coat for an added pop of color and warmth.  

Particulars:  Craftsy Mystery Kint-Along November 2013; Acacia Cowl; US 13 needles; 1 skein SweetGerogia Yarns Superwash Chunky (colorway Terra Firma).  My modifications were:  1) I used a chain selvedge stitch for edging (slip first stitch of every row purlwise with yarn in front); 2) I added an extra repeat of pattern; and I decided not to add buttons as I will wear it with a shawl pin closure or a safety pin.  I made these modifications because I have found that wearing a cowl that fits like a smoke stack around my neck is not my best look.  

Homemade Apple Sauce ~

A new favorite autumn treat of mine is apple sauce.  Before last year I was never too crazy about apple sauce but last year around this time I purchased some at our local farmer's market and I realized how amazing homemade apple sauce tastes.  I absolutely love it and I eat by the spoonful.  One of the ways I like it is spread over toast in the morning similar to apple butter and I must credit this ingenious idea to Steve. He's forever coming up with creative food ideas and when I'm eating something he'll say to me "do you know how that would be really wonderful?" And I'll say "no" "how?"  And true to form I would never have thought of putting apple sauce on toast but for Steve's suggestion and it's really a terrific way to enjoy it.

Apple Sauce Recipe ~


4 medium tart apples (granny smith are best but I also like honey crisp)
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar (scant)
1 1/2 tablespoon organic dark brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon (scant)
fresh pomegranate seeds


1.  Peel, core and dice apples and squeeze orange juice.  Set apples aside.
2.  Heat orange juice in a medium sauce pan and add sugars and cinnamon.  Once incorporated add apples - stir - cover - and simmer stirring occasionally for approximately 30 minutes.  Apples should be soft at this point.
3.  Remove from heat and either using an immersion mixer or a kitchen aid mixer (paddle attachment) and pulse until apple is partly pureed but still leaving some chucks of apple.  Since I like mine chunky I hardly mix it at all.
4.  Allow mixture to cool to room temperature and then add fresh pomegranate seeds to taste and then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Apple sauce is also wonderfully with latkes for those who celebrate Chanukah.  If I'm going to use it on toast I leave out the pomegranate seeds.

Until next time be well and love well and take time to play this holiday season and maybe add a little mystery to your life. Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving from Steve, Simcha and myself.