Chicken Liver Parfait

The first time I saw Chicken Liver Parfait on a menu in a restaurant was about five years ago, and I could not believe my eyes. For the record, that was at Union Dining (sadly now closed), and I still rate it as my favourite Chicken Liver Parfait.

Growing up in a Slovenian family, chicken liver paté was a staple sandwich filling in my home (and school, I don’t know how I never got food poisoning from it). Whilst I would gag at the thought of eating Chicken Livers in their actual meat form, paté on the other hand is delicious…

At home, my mum called it ‘Spa–tet–o’, but I can’t find the correct Slovenian spelling for this, so you’ll have to trust me on that one.

In my search for the correct spelling, I found that according to google, Chicken liverwurst  is a good source of Protein, Riboflavin and Iron, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B12 and Selenium. And the bad: This food is high in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. BOO!

So why am I telling you about this?

Because in the space of a couple of weeks (and quite randomly), I have eaten Chicken (or in the case of Kyneton, Duck) Liver Parfait at no less than 4 restaurants… It was on the menu, and I ordered it… how could I resist?

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Collins Quarter, Melbourne

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Our local pub had it as a special…

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In Kyneton… Duck Liver Parfait, so good…

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Saint Urban, Richmond

I’m really glad my husband will not eat paté, he despises ‘offal’ of any kind. I never have to share my ‘starter’ with him, and that’s how I like it.

My preferred condiments with the parfait are of the fruity, sweet variety. Each rendition of my favourite dish was wonderful, I scoffed them all… apart from the work lunch, I had to be a bit more contained in my enthusiasm.

 

 

Belated Christmas

The trouble with going away to New York for Christmas, is the catch-up required once back home. I’ve never shopped for Christmas in January, and I can honestly say it’s much harder than shopping pre-Christmas, it is hell! For the most part, the things that are left in stores are the things no one wanted to buy in December. If I ever go away at Christmas time again (never again), I’ll start shopping in May.

So my year hasn’t officially begun yet, because I’m not done with Christmas yet. But I’m getting there…

After shopping for the kids, I was a little stumped for what to get my mum this year (last year). I then remembered some yarn in my stash that would be the perfect colour for her, and maybe not so much for me. And rather than just giving her the yarn, I decided that an IOU sweater was in order.

So I wrapped the yarn as a gift and as I gave it to her, I explained that she wouldn’t be taking her gift home today. My mum looked confused at first, and then really happy when I told her I would make her a cardigan.

Now my mum is not normally gracious about receiving gifts, she would prefer we didn’t spend any money on her. A handmade gift on the other hand, is a completely different story.

I know she really liked the idea of this gift because she reminded me to take her measurements, whilst I was distracted by the festivities that were going on. I also received several text messages from her about it after she got home.

This is what she looked like after receiving a hand-spun, hand-knit shawl made by me several years ago:

I hope the cardigan lives up to her expectations.

 

 

So liberating

The knitting of the body of my Ursula cardigan was finally complete last week.IMG_7262IMG_7263It then took days and days of reinforcing the steek stitches in order to prepare for cutting my knitting.IMG_7264Reinforcing the front and the armholes using crochet stitchesIMG_7267Then it was finally time to cut. I was slow and careful, only cutting one or two strands at a time. It was thrilling and satisfying. IMG_7268IMG_7271It was rather fun. So far it seems nothing is falling apart.

I’ll be in sleeve island if anyone is looking for me, I hope it’s a short stay.

My 2016 Knitting Review

It’s a whole new year! I do love to start things a fresh, so many possibilities. But before I can do that, as always I like to take stock of the past knitting/crochet year.

Overall I’m pretty happy with the things I made last year. And for once I finished the year with a clean slate!

I completed 25 projects in 2016, 24 if you don’t count the blanket square I made for Kate’s Farewell blanket.

Socks featured heavily last year (but I’m going to have to pull my socks up (!) if I want to participate in Voolenvine’s box’o sox KAL in 2017).

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The projects:
6 pairs of socks
2 adult garments (both for me, me, me)
4 baby things
7 accessories (hats, mitts, scarf)
3 shawls
A set of crochet coasters
1 cowl
1 blanket square

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-8-48-42-amThere are still some proper FO photos to come. Whose idea was it to finish an 8ply cardigan in Summer anyway?screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-8-58-53-pmIt’s been a bit of a multi-craftual year, or at least it’s ended that way, because I’ve started sewing…

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I’m looking forward to getting much better at this new craft. My husband enjoys watching me squirm at learning new things, a little too much.

Oh and I hope for loads more knitting in 2017.

 

 

 

Majacraft Fusion drum carder Unboxing!

My ‘special’ birthday present has arrived! It is in indeed a Majacraft Fusion Engine drum carder!

Here is the unboxing 🙂

Wow it is impressive! It’s big and it’s beautifully made.

I had a dry run and made a batt right after the unboxing…

Big hugs to my husband for a great birthday gift, I don’t know why I waited so long to get a drum carder. This is going to be fun!

Thanks to Chantelle from Fiberific for her excellent and friendly customer service.

 

January FO Parade

I have finished things! DSC_8057I have finished knitting my Use It Or Lose It Dragonflies sweater by Joji Locatelli.

It was pretty smooth sailing apart from the beginning where I had to concentrate on the short row shaping and the lace at the neckline at the same time. The yarn (Shiloh dk with silk) was a pleasure to knit with. The combination of the lace, the yarn and the knit picks harmony circular needle, made for a thoroughly enjoyable knit.

I also completed my Stitches West 2015 Mystery knit-along Moon Shadows Shawl by Romi Hill! I’m pretty pleased that I got it finished before this years show in February, not that I’m going again this year…

Interestingly, I also found this enjoyable knit after a long hiatus.

DSC_8035DSC_8029DSC_8050The ends have been sewn in, I just need to block it. I hope it grows a bit as I like to wear shawls either as scarves or wraps, not semi-circles…

I love the colours, it’s a lovely souvenir from the most exciting yarn show ever!

The 2 FO’s have used 1,474 metres of yarn, which have come straight of ‘stash’.

Alas, sadly last week I made a discovery…

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This beautiful skein of yarn is in fact, yarn I salvaged from a cardigan I knit, but I didn’t love. Mostly, I normally give away projects that I fall out of love with. But the Zara Plus was/is great yarn. So quite some time ago I painstakingly ripped it out, skeined it up, washed it, and then I popped it back in the stash. Last week I realised I hadn’t added it back into my stash totals… all 800 metres of it…

I’m trying to see the irony in this and I hope there aren’t too many other ‘surprises’ in my stash.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday WIPs – Two more sleeps!

My Grace cardigan is finished, hurrah!DSC_6597

The design is by Jane Richmond and the yarn is Lisa Souza’s Organic Merino. It was a real pleasure to knit to the pattern and the wool, oh my, the wool was so nice to work with.

DSC_6608I have the perfect souvenir from Stitches West, my new favourite cardigan.

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Gosh my hair looks short!

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This by default, is now my ‘Bendigo’ cardigan… squee, just 2 more sleeps!

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As a late addition, I thought I might also need a new cowl to go with my new cardigan.

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It’s a(nother) Honey Cowl, in my hand spun. Coincidently it is also organic merino, but the fibre is from Southern Cross Fibre. There were 5 different colours and I tried to blend them through, somewhat. Here’s hoping it’s finished in time for Friday.

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Meanwhile I’ve also begun ‘the’ baby blanket. I’m so excited by how this is turning out already, have I finally found the perfect baby blanket pattern?

Wednesday WIPs – Pre-Sheep Show, Bendigo

With a title like that, I guess you’re assuming I’m ‘stashing-down’ and bracing myself for the biggest show of the year. Well, you’d be half wrong.

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The Australian Sheep and Wool Show, held in Bendigo each year is just two weeks away. And yet on Friday night I found myself on a train to Bendigo to rendezvous with my lovely husband for a weekend away. The concept of going to Bendigo without a Sheep Show was a little foreign to me, but I went with it.
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This helped sweeten the deal…
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Then finding a breakfast place that had granny square blankets for the diners outside, totally charmed me. Needless to say it was too cold for any diners to take up this offer, granny square or not.IMG_0729 But I still thought it was great.IMG_0730

And I figured a trip to this place, two weeks before all the ‘crazy’ knitters descended, could work in my favour.IMG_0733

And it did. My rainbow projects can now come to fruition. I can ‘shop the stash’ whenever the mood takes me to knit a rainbow dress or cardigan for niece M … plus another half dozen baby blankets, some mitts for a colleague, stuff for me, but I digress.

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Don’t these balls look small?! Until you put them into a bag… then some crazy optical illusion thing happens…IMG_0741Whilst spending a few quality hours with Damian in a wine bar and knitting by the fire, I returned from the bathroom only to find a knitter chatting to my husband. What a lovely occurrence! She pulled out her latest knitting project and we both sang the praises of self-patterning knitting yarn. She may have also left with the name of my yarn supplier to get some for herself…

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And did I mention it was freezing in Bendigo?
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Now  that I’ve done some scouting of Bendigo, I feel super prepared for anything! Pack ALL the woollens.

Happy New Year – Yarn count

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Happy New Year!

Today, I thought that in lieu of making any New Years resolutions, I would reveal my Ravelry yarn stash total in metres.

Many of you may recall I did this back in August of 2013. So I bet you’re all interested in what’s happened since then? I know I was mildly interested! I’ve done a little bit of de-stashing since then, plus some knitting and crocheting of course. But… I have continued to make thoughtful and considered yarn purchases, there is no denying it.

…Well of course I’ve gained milage! At first look I thought I hadn’t done too badly, an extra 1,100 metres…

…but no, I’ve gained about 11 sweaters of yarn: 11,000 metres to bring my old total from 237,565 metres

to my new total of

248,623 metres

an increase of 4.7% for those so inclined.

How do I feel about this? Absolutely fine! I love my stash. I could make some ridiculous goal of decreasing my stash by next New Year, but as far as I’m concerned, if I love everything in my stash and it’s protected from baddies and I have the room to put it; what is there to be unhappy about?

In preparation for Stitches West which is about 7 weeks away (eep!) I’ve downloaded Hannah Fettig’s app called ‘StashBot‘. I’m so excited by this. I know that I’ll be overcome by stash fumes in the market hall at Stitches West and this app is really going to help me buy more yarn!

Now all I need is somewhere to put all the new yarn…