First Ferment

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After a preservation hiatus through the coldest months, it was time to get our ferment on for the first time this calendar year. My mother-in-law sends us a box of Meyer lemons from her tree every Winter, and with the deeply bitter cold we’ve been experiencing, and their 3000+ miles of travel, I was amazed they arrived so perfectly sound.

Meyers are a treat, all mellow sweetness coupled with a reduced acidic bite. They are my favorite for just about everything but lemonade (I like it puckery-tart!), but we chose to use 2/3 of the sunshiny bounty for Moroccan Preserved Lemons. I like to make at least one quart of preserved lemons each year, two if we’re blessed with another shipment. A little goes a long way towards making a simple meal pretty spectacular, so we often make one jar last through the year using it in stews, roast chicken and rice-based dishes.

The past few years, I’ve made it somewhat complicated, trying out different spice combinations and fermentation windows. While these versions have been lovely, I felt ready, this time around, to get back to the simplest recipe for fermenting just about anything: main ingredient + salt.

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I used this nourished kitchen recipe for my ratios, and now the golden darlings play out their alchemical miracle of salt into gold in the dark of a pantry cabinet. btw, I could fit 8 lemons in a quart jar, which left me four for this:

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…because we have duck eggs again. We used this recipe, which calls for blending up a whole lemon, rind and all, along with the juice. You’re welcome.

This evening I’ll be working on my shop move back over to Big Cartel. There will be an announcement and a promo coupon, so stay tuned for that in the next couple of days.

And don’t forget the Snowball event at Wildwood Farm was postponed to THIS Sunday, March 23rd (so, you know, ignore the date on the flyer). There’s still time to get registered and join us for an 80s extravaganza!

cyndi

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Yarn Along: 2 (and shop news! and a class! and another class!)

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I’m still working on a Christmas present, and I can see in the photo where I need to tighten up a join, but both of those things are okay. 12 stripes down, 7 to go, and the boy can probably wear it without dragging it on the ground in about…6 years. Even so, I’m determined to finish it this weekend just to have one more project down so I can start something else. Now that the sock yarn club is up and rolling and I’m saving at least one skein for myself every month, I think we can all safely guess I’ll be obsessed with knitting socks for the remainder of the year.

The January colorway, btw, is now available as dyed-to-order, and there are a few ready-to-ship on a delightful bamboo blend sock yarn (and handspun and fiber, as well) available in the shop.

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Clicking the pic will transport you to the listing.

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February’s colorway found its way into a sweet tutorial I wrote up for this week’s installment of Sparkle Craft on the Sparkle Stories blog, and will soon also be available as a regular dyed-to-order colorway. In the meantime, club members are enjoying it first, and a few extras found their way to Madison Wool.

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Speaking of Madison Wool, I’ll be the instructor/MC at this year’s Snowball…a spinning technique/80s dance party/costume shindig where we’ll spin up some neon shoelaces, cut up fabric scraps and spin them while watching Pretty in Pink, and corespin our way to a pair of mismatched fingerless gloves. You in? Call Dayna at MadWool for details and to sign up!

And since this post seems to be all business, I’m scouting out spots to teach on a whirlwind trip late Spring/early Summer…Austin, Denver, Bay Area, Portland…please be in touch if we can make it happen for my new one-day workshop, Spinning Your Story (details soon…keeping it mysterious for now). If you have an idea for a venue or just want to say, YES, I’d love to take your class, drop me a note!

I pretty much derailed my own Yarn Along post with news and such, but I think the book stack speaks for itself. A little Spring planning, a little for-pleasure, a little oooh-the-new-Granta-just-came-in-the-mail, and a little psychology about raising boys. Oh, and Jane Austen knitting patterns. A pretty accurate slice of mid-Winter life, right there, I guess…if you add a cup of chai and the fact that I have really no time to read any of this right now, but try to manage a couple pages here and there in odd moments of breathing space.

Happy Thursday!

xoxo