You know what they say: when life gets busy, knit. Well, maybe that’s just what I say. I seem to be going through a phase of unusual busy-ness. Normally, I avoid making too many plans in advance and going out every night of the week. Life’s best moments tend to be the unexpected, seemingly trivial ones that sneak upon you unexpectedly. If you don’t give yourself any down time, you might miss them. That being said, sometimes too many fun going-out opportunities arise, and that’s when I turn to knitting to keep me grounded amidst it all. When I’m on-the-go, it’s hard to fit in a lot of sewing, whether by machine or hand, and knitting has the advantage of being easily portable—and less antisocial.
When my parents told me I could make a birthday purchase, I considered doing some clothing shopping but soon decided that what I really wanted was yarn. So I headed to my favorite yarn store of all time, Wild and Woolly, about 95% sure that I would walk away with more Cascade. To my surprise and delight, I fell in love with Beroco’s Virgin Wool. It’s soft, light, and lovely. I bought about a few skeins in different colors, and wound them up:
(Aren’t yarn winders beautiful?) And for the past couple of weeks, in all my in-between moments, I’ve been knitting a patchwork cardigan. So far, I’ve completed the back and the left front (not pictured).
I feel like my color and design choices really requires no explaining since they’re my quintessential aesthetic: bold hues, a somewhat random assortment of multi-colored squares, patchwork…no big surprises there. Intarsia work does require some patience, but thankfully this Virgin Wool is glorious, like knitting with butter—it just slides along the needles. I opted to use size 8s since I’m a tight knitter and larger needles keep the stitches looser and softer, giving this cardigan a lightness that will be perfect for cool Spring and Summer evenings. Next weekend I’m taking the bus to New York, and Easter weekend the family is driving to Princeton to visit my brother; long commutes are the best knitting time so this cardigan might not take me all that long to complete.
The other thing that keeps me grounded during busier times is the occasional wonderful evening at home. Yesterday afternoon I took my bike into the shop for a tune up so I didn’t have time to cook up anything too complicated, but I felt like having a bit of fun in the kitchen. Fortunately, I recently stumbled upon this recipe for egg muffins and decided to give it a go.
I am very fortunate to have a bountiful (and free!) supply of glorious fresh eggs from my mother’s chickens, so any dish involving eggs immediately catches my eye. These little muffins are brilliant because they’re incredibly simple, nutritious, and as I discovered last night, they’re delicious:
I beat together 5 small eggs, added some steamed and chopped broccoli, shredded gruyere cheese, sun dried tomatoes, and salt. No measuring required; I just eyeball the proportions that looked right—but a good rule of thumb that I learned from my mom is to add one pinch of salt per egg. I baked them in muffin tins at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. They turned out pretty small, so I ended up eating all four—guess I’ll just have to make more!
I also roasted up some Jerusalem artichokes as a side. These are one of my favorite vegetables (they’re actually a species of sunflower) so I was thrilled when Kyle and I stumbled upon them in the grocery store the other day–their season is definitely coming to an end. The good news is that Kyle doesn’t like them which means more for me. The bad news is, well, Jerusalem artichokes are known for their gas-inducing properties, so I try to keep my serving sizes small. I like to roast them for quite a while, anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour depending on the amount, so they are very soft on the inside but still crisp and slightly chewy on the outside.
After such a virtuous and nutritious dinner—basically, pure protein and vegetables—I decided to treat myself to a rather decadent dessert:
That’s the remaining bit of the birthday cake that my mom made for me this weekend: a chocolate cappuccino cheesecake. On the side: chocolate fudge brownie ice cream. What can I say? Sometimes a girl needs… chocolate. (Incidentally, it seems very appropriate that even since I’ve moved out of the house, my mother still manages to keep me well-fed from a distance.)
I’m also very pleased to report that I’ve had two nights in a row during which I got a glorious 8+ hours of sleep—it certainly helps that the beautiful Spring-like weather means afternoon runs in the sunshine and sleeping in. Thank goodness, because tonight Kyle and I are attending the opening of club Royale downtown, so some less-than-virtuous shenanigans may be in order.
A part of me wonders, why have a club opening on a Thursday night? The other more convincing part of me thinks: why not? Of course I can’t say no. As long as I get my share of egg muffin and knitting evenings, I can afford a few crazy nights here and there.