Sunday, December 23, 2007

While all the baking stuff is out...

...I might as well make orange spice breakfast rolls!

Didn't I say this would happen??!!?

These babies were made from scratch; yeast and butter and bread flour and milk. I even zested the oranges and hand-squeezed them for the juice. From start to finish, the whole process took about four hours (but not constant work; I'd put them to rise and go read bloglines). I figure I'll put these in the freezer, then pull them out while the in-laws are here warm 'em up and put icing on them (cream cheese icing, of course) and we'll have a yummy breakfast and I can pretend I'm a genius.

I need to get a grip.

For those of you who don't like to bake (or even those who do), I've got a quick, easy, sort-of-cheap, NO CALORIE way to enjoy the yumminess of holiday baking:

This is known as wet potpourri. I take a pan of water and put it over the burner of my stove where the heat exhaust is. If it's a small pan, that alone is enough to keep the water steaming (if the oven's on, of course, duh). If it's a larger pan, like this one today, I turn the burner on VERY low, as low as it will go. Then I just chuck stuff in. Some orange peels, once I'm done zesting and juicing, the nub of a nutmeg after I've grated off all I can. Many stores run HUGE sales on whole spices after the holidays; I generally pick up a few bottles of this and that, then break them out the next year at this time and chuck those in the water, too. This particular pot has orange peels and the orange goo left over after juicing, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and a few shakes of nutmeg, allspice, and mace. I top off the water when it runs low. Makes the house smell DEEEElish. No baking skills needed. Anyone can boil water. (Yes, Amy Lane, even you.)

In knitting knews (yes, there is some) I realized that the neckline had me stalled on the Russian Prime, so I put it all on a holder string and am going to cut the first armhole steek and pick up the sleeve stitches tonight after the Goober goes to bed. (I was gonna do that this afternoon, but I was too busy rolling up orange spice rolls like a lunatic.) I may yet get this thing done for the Florida trip, but if I do, it'll be finished IN Florida. So I doubt it. Fuck it. I'm having fun, damn it.

While I was at the fabric store last week picking up gifts for my sister-in-law (thank you to the sewing fanatics out there who gave me hints), I picked up one of those sweater buzzers. You know, like an electric razor, that takes the pills off sweaters?

That's it, laying on the chainmail cardigan. The cardi had been looking pretty bedraggled these last few years, due mostly to pilling but also to being worn to death (plus Sekhmet napping on it). It's been living in my yarn closet because I didn't have the heart to throw it away, but I didn't know what else to do with it. In "The Book of Yarn", Clara Parkes says to cut off pills, and I figured, what the hell, it's not like I'll wear the cardi again as-is, so I gave the pill razor thingie a try. One swipe across the jacket, and I looked at the Husbeast and said "I'll be damned. It works!" With the removal of the pills, it's like the colors are brightening and coming back into focus. (Really they were just fuzzy; I understand that.) So I may get another ten years' wear out of the ol' cardi now! (The only drawback to the sweater razor that I've found is it SUCKS batteries. I get maybe fifteen minutes' use out of two AA Duracells. I've switched to rechargeables, but holy crap.)

Otherwise, all is quiet and calm. Except when it's not.


catnurse said...

My sweater shaver is the same way, but that doesn't stop me from using it. I use it almost every morning.

Anonymous said...

dude! You can send those buns up here. I'm hungry.

I knit a hat today! Yay me!


Roxie said...

You ARE a genius!! And the inlaws will think you walk on water. Nothing like home-baked yeast goods to melt even the hardest hearts. The chainmail sweater is beautimous! Did you strand the grey? and is the color sequence in the yarn itself, or did you work with a gazillion balls of color in stripes?

Alwen said...

Heh. Maybe anyone can boil water . . . but some of us have more trouble than others remembering to stop boiling the water. [Says Can't-Boil-Water Woman, otherwise known as "Oops, that was the bottom of my tea kettle, melted on the electric burner there."]

historicstitcher said...

Not everyone can boil water, you know! I'll never forget my stepmother burning the pot she was boiling water in to make boiled eggs. Without even adding the eggs yet! Scorched the pan...