Day off pumpernickel raisin bread

Pumpernickel bread
Freshly-baked pumpernickel raisin bread

Today is Labor Day in the United States and Canada, so I had a bonus day tacked on to my weekend. With the weather getting a bit cooler (which here in Pennsylvania means “only” 80 degrees Fahrenheit), what better time is there to try a new (to me) bread recipe? A friend recently mentioned this bread to me, and since then, I’ve been wanting to try it. It was a wise choice – this bread is hearty and complex, perfect for toast with cottage cheese. Recipe is from

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Mysteries and knitting along

It’s been a hot minute, I know. I’ve been knitting and sewing along, but have neglected this corner of the internet. Jumping back in, though, I’ve started the Snow and Ashes Mystery Knit-Along (Ravelry link). Clue 1 dropped this Sunday, and I’ve already finished it. (And I only had to start it three separate times! /facepalm) I wish I could say that this would be indicative of how my progress with this project will go, but I don’t really hold out hope for that. But for now, success!

Snow and Ashes MKAL, Clue 1

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, and all that

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Robert Herrick, 1591-1674

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

While I disagree that virgins have anything they need to rush into (nobody’s prime is based on their appearance or their sexual value, and it’s not as if sex is the pinnacle of human experience,) I do feel like the overall feeling of the poem is relevant right now. One thing that quarantine has driven home to me in a way that I didn’t expect is my experience of the changing of the seasons. Being limited to my home and its surroundings, I’ve paid attention to how subtly the outdoors changes day by day more than I ever have before.

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Autumn is icumen in

I know that’s not how the song (poem?) goes, but for me, the gradual creeping-in of autumn is as eagerly anticipated as the advent of spring is for most. My basil has gone to flower, the leaves getting less lush and more spindly in the heat; everything outside is done to the accompaniment of the buzz of cicadas. Everything is starting to look less fresh and lush and more weary and uncomfortably hot. Much like I feel. Summer’s last hurrah.

Today is cooler; it’s one of those delightful, grey, drizzly reprieves in August where the outside temperature only gets up to about 72F/22C. Not cool by any means, but so much more tolerable than the usual 95F/35C of August in Pennsylvania. We’ve got all of the downstairs air conditioners off and fresh air wafting through the house. And all of this makes me feel inside like it’s time to make things.

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Summer 2020, checking in

A photo of a butterfly taken on a rare temperate summer day.

I make no secret that summer is my least favorite season. Doubly so right now, when the central air in our home is broken, the air conditioning in my ancient minivan is broken and I’m quarantining at home thanks to COVID-19. My world has rather suddenly contracted into a 10′ x 14′ room: my home office. Fortunately (?), I’m an introvert, so I’m not quite as completely mad as I might be otherwise, but I do miss the world, if not the people in it.

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Lammas blessings!

Image from

Lammas blessings to those who are celebrating (and Imbolc blessings to my lovelies in the southern hemisphere!) Also often called Lughnasadh, Lammas is a holiday for harvest and bread-making; of appreciating the bounty before us. I’ve already got a sponge rising for some brioche loaves, because why not?

Here is a link for some history on the holiday if you are interested, including some Old English poetry because who doesn’t love that? 

A Bowl Story

When I moved out of my parents’ house, my mother gave me a set of Pyrex nesting mixing bowls that she had, and that I used frequently for cooking. I love these bowls. They’re a hideous 1970s avocado green and they’re one of my favorite things ever.

Photo not mine, but that’s what they look like. No idea why they’re called ‘Cinderella’ bowls, but they are.
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Back to basics

Lately, I’ve had something of an obsession with hand sewing.  After all of these years of sewing via machine, and then via serger, and overcast machine… I’ve gone back to basic hand stitches.  Inspired by Bernadette Banner on YouTube, I’ve bought some fine linen fabric and some linen and silk threads, and I’ve been starting small: handkerchiefs.


My mitered corners need work, but I’m pleased with my progress thus far.