January 3, 2012

On the Needles, On the Stove

We were spoiled the last few months here in Pennsylvania with milder-than-usual temperatures, but with a winter wind blowing outside the last two days, it was a perfect time to throw on a pot of beans, catch up with Breaking Bad on Netflix (surprisingly, I'm intrigued by such a dark series) and pull out the knitting.
My kind sister-in-law gifted me with an interchangeable needle set for Christmas this year, something that's been on my list for a while.  I'm sure when it showed up at their door, she and my brother were like "what the heck?".  Chris says the box looks like some sort of biblical book on cassette tape set.
Anyway, I just finished a hat for myself last night and it was perfect timing for that frozen walk to school with S this morning.
It looks great with my scarf, and is made from Lion Brand yarn I found at the craft store.  I'm now working on yet another hat (total hats knit thus far this season=7) for Soren, per his request.

On the stove, I finally got around to learning how to cook beans from scratch.
It's pretty incredible that as a fairly accomplished home cook, I rarely soak and cook beans and mostly rely on canned ones.  However, that has changed my friends!  It's super-simple and the beans taste soooo much better.
With all the concern about BPA in canned goods, it's about time that I started soaking my own.  And it is well worth it.  The downside is that I have to do some planning and start them overnight. It's hard because I'm such a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-chair kind of cook, so rather than deciding to make black bean soup at a moment's notice, I have to prepare the night before.

I ended up making Harirra, a Moroccan bean soup with a few varieties of beans (in my case, turtle beans, red beans, red lentils, cranberry beans and really pretty red and white anasazi beans).
It's often used during Ramadan to bread the daily fasts in the evening, but I make it often during winter. I've shared the recipe in a previous post HERE if you'd like to make it yourself.

Paired with a loaf of homemade oatmeal bread, it's delicious on a cold winter day.  So what's on your stove?  Or on your needles, if you're so inclined to be a knitter?

4 comments:

  1. Wow, that bean soup looks great! I love bean soup!..especially with chunks of ham in it. I never learned to knit...but I do have a needle in my hand today..an embroidery needle! I'm working on my Sasquatch project that I never finished from last year. Also on my stove is vegetable soup with alphabet pasta and majorly good chunks of locally smoked ham...oh man..it is good! I am so enjoying the snow..as you know I am in PA as well..on the southwestern part...we are enjoying lots of snow squalls today. It is so beautiful!

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  2. Beautiful pictures. I love the texture and colors of the beans. Yum! Isn't planning meals in advance tricky?! I cook beans in my crock pot, too. They become more simple and mindless the more often I cook them, so I guess I should keep practicing. ;) I made homemade noodles for easy chicken noodle soup today--easy cuz I used canned chicken and baby carrots!

    Darling hat. I love the color gradations and the airy texture. It's nice to see something so pretty made from an affordable yarn. I have recently succumbed to many luxury yarn temptations. :)

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  3. I want to start doing the same w/the beans...all that BPA stuff... *sigh* it's just everywhere.

    On my stove is... nothing! LOL! But in my stove are lots of desserts and casseroles ;)

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  4. It's funny you should mention beans because a farmer friend of ours gave us two big bags full of raw beans that we recently tried making. They turned out good, but we needed to cook them a little longer.

    Live and learn, huh? :)

    I've been meaning to get back to my knitting, too. It's all the way downstairs unfortunately where I haven't been able to get to it for a while >.<

    Sooner or later, it'll happen!

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