Pie, Goin’ In!

Thinking out loud…Score!  Rhubarb Pie!

During this time of sheltering in place, some things become very important.  Rhubarb Pie is one of these for me.  It is a nod to Spring, and awakens one’s tastebuds with a particular tartness and sweetness.  It is the promise of seasons changing, marking time with hope.

Donned with my handy dandy face mask, I was a happy camper when I scored rhubarb at our local veg mart.  Thank you thank you to the folks that grow and harvest and stock and sell.  Thank you.

Rhubarb Pie…it was good.  Really really good.

Keep well and in good spirits!  We are workin’ on it here too.  Cheers!

Then The Socks…

Thinking out loud…

I did not make those socks.  They fit.  And so far, none of my knitted socks have actually fit me.  Originally, I just wanted to figure out how it was done–to  follow directions of a somewhat inexplicable nature, and end up with a sock.  It didn’t matter so much to me that they were too big and floppy .

It bugged me a bit that they didn’t come out the same size (I seem to have difficulty getting two of anything to come out the same size).  But after a couple of pairs that could not be comfortably worn inside shoes, I decided I did not DO socks.

Lately, during one of those strange mid-night circular thinking episodes–you know, where you keep turning over a problem for which you never arrive at an answer–I distracted myself with thinking of socks.  The sudden urge to make well fitting socks seemed vitally important.

In the light of day, I remembered the frustration of poor fit.  I remembered my hands gripping the needles so tightly that my thumbs ached, and I remembered the pair that would not stretch onto my feet.  But the urge to knit a sock that fit, to master the darn thing was strong.  My answer to the unanswerable was to study up on socks.

Studying turns sock making into sock architecture.  It involves diagrams, and math, and measurements, and the relationships of those maths and measurements to the moon and the stars.  There is a thing called negative ease.  I’d never thought of that.  I overwhelmed myself with information and decisions and figuring, and what if I’m doing it wrong? and on and on.  It was like squeezing my brain to understand it all.

I just want to make a sock–well, two socks, and hopefully of similar size.  I know myself–I just have to jump in and DO it.  I just have to start.

I can start at the toe and work up.

I can start at the top and work down.

I can work two at a time, step by step, to help me remember what I did when and where.  I can knit a sock.

But, it turns out this isn’t really about socks.  It is about tackling something I can actually do something about.  It’s about taking my overwhelmed and chaotic thoughts and making sense out of them.  It is about trying to understand and master a technique, a problem, a skill.  It is about finding answers.

And then the urgency of this sock making impulse becomes clear to me.  Coping, it is how I am coping with all that I cannot control.  It is how I keep my balance in an unbalanced time.

First the pizza, then the socks….

One step at a time.


First the Pizza, then the socks

Thinking out loud…

Pizza.  Pizza is an elemental thing.   There is no real substitute.  It must be pizza, well made, well baked pizza.  In our neck of the woods, we have a beloved pizza place, Maltby Pizza and Pasta.  It was the last restaurant we visited before the shelter in place directives went into effect—that was about 2 months ago (it seems much longer).  We have missed their pizza in a big way.  A BIG way.

And so begins the story of our quest for pizza, home made pizza.  A further preface, we have a pizza stone in our oven—over the years it has been well used, resulting in pretty good pizza, but lately the pizza stone has been idle because Maltby Pizza became our favorite.

I have yearned for that pizza–out of reach for the time being.   Then I found 4 packets of old yeast in my spice drawer….note the expiration date–2018.

So, I decided to give it a test and see if it was still active.  I didn’t hold out much hope–2 years past expiration is significant.  In fact, I did two separate tests using two of the four packets…

It’s ALIVE!!  So I got my mise en place!!  I am no slouch at mise en place!

Our hopes were riding high as they came out of the oven.

I know, it looks fab!  But…the crust was disappointing, really.  Just too bready!  It did not have that pizza crust tang.   Bummed me out!

Then, a few days later, Jim took up the gauntlet! I asked him to photo document his experiment…  Then I stayed out of the kitchen.

While doing some research on line for pizza dough recipes, he found a recipe that proves overnight in the fridge, and since this yeast was a little sluggish, that seemed like a good idea.  And a longer proving results in more flavor–yes it does!

Somewhere along the line toppings occurred….

Believe me, we were eagerly awaiting our first taste.  It smelled sooo good!

This is the only only picture I got of Jim’s pizza before we devoured it.  Jim managed to save one slice for his lunch the next day.  I did not.  This pizza was so satisfying!  The crust was perfectly crisp and chewy, with really well developed yeasty flavor.  It was the real deal.  Jim’s pizza has now achieved mythic standing.  He IS the pizza man!

We have one packet of yeast left.

Plus!  We just found out our pizza place is on DoorDash for delivery!!

Oh yeah, I didn’t forget about the socks, but let’s take this time out to commemorate pizza.  First the pizza, then the socks…




Energy Check…Weird

Thinking out loud…

I don’t know about you, but my energy and attention have been all over the place.  Things come and go in quick bursts of enthusiasm.  I have two pair of socks in progress, one scarf, one sweater, and a list of over 100 in my Ravelry queue (read as “to do” list for those who are not familiar with Ravelry).  I plan meals with enthusiasm and fierce dedication to use everything up without wasting a single thing.  I am good at this…trust me.  I have a scrap quilt in progress on my design wall, and yarn stacks all over my work table for future color exploration.  Waste not want not.

Reading has been all over the map too, though mysteries set in particular locations seem to be winning at the moment.   Current favorite series is set in Shetland (by Marsali Taylor) and about sailing stuff.  I don’t sail…  Waiting in the wings is a stack of more substantial reads,  but I can’t get my mind to settle down to them just now.

In a way, I have made peace with this rapid energy shift.  I am letting it be that way, not fighting with it, just indulging my curiosity.  And that feels good.  I started off today to write a blog post about pizza, then that led to socks—don’t ask…I don’t know the train of thought answer to that one either.  Though I do have a lot to say about pizza.  And socks.

Instead you get my thoughts on energy, that strange powerhouse within.  I am giving mine free range at the moment, and I find it is a good thing.