Monday, December 12, 2011

Canning Applesauce

Finished rose applesauce, awaiting entrance into my belly.

I’ve already professed my love for applesauce and let it be known how easy it is to make.  For happiness, everyone should try to make applesauce at least once.  If it’s for your happiness, why not do it?

Prepping the Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples.  It's best to core and quarter your apples.  Don't be lazy like me.
Something that I admire in others is the ability to eat seasonally.  I have not mastered this and one of the best ways to be able to eat seasonally, or at least not go to the grocery store as often, is to can.  I love applesauce so much that it is a main priority to save when apples are in season.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Felted Slippers

My favorite part of felting was shaving the slippers.  This picture was taken before they were shorn.

For about a year now Andy has been complaining that his feet are cold and pointedly showing me the layers of socks he applies to his feet.  Since it’s getting to be winter, and even in Tennessee it gets a bit chilly, Andy has been back at it and not so discretely letting me know that it was time that I got started on making his slippers.  He threatened to buy slippers if I didn’t get going, so a couple months back I bought yarn and a pattern.  I’m not sure why Andy felt confident in my ability to make him a pair of slippers, especially after seeing these.  It may have been my insistence that he not buy slippers, after all, why should I have a skill (I use that word loosely) if we’re not going to use it?
The dog is everywhere.

I’ve knit lovely things before, hats and socks, but those horrible slippers just threw off my confidence.  My biggest problem is not knowing what yarn to use, what size yarn and needle.  The solution to this was to go to the yarn store with a pattern that specified yarn weight and needle size and stick to the plan, I would not improvise.  No winging it!  I asked the lady who runs the yarn store where “worsted weight” wool was located and when I made my selection and got up to the register she said, “Oh, looks like you decided on the chunky weight instead.”  Chunky weight?!  I had no idea there was even a category called chunky!  The worsted weight yarns looked pretty chunky to me and I liked this so-called “chunky” color better.  Ugh.

That’s when my plan went out the door and the owner introduced me to a pattern for felted clogs (this pattern was written by someone whose first language is English), showed me correctly weighted wool that was on sale and helped me pick out the correct needles.  She ensured me that this was a simple pattern and that felting was easy (you’ve done it accidentally to a sweater before, right? ...of course).  I left the store with a brand new plan and a daunting skill ahead of me, felting.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Flock of Cupcakes

I received a request from my brother for cupcakes when he came down to visit.  He specified these cupcakes, which are indeed the most adorable and edible thing I’ve seen in a long time.  I actually just like to look at the picture to swoon about how adorable those little sheep are.  Adorable and perfect.

In reality I think my brother was joking about actually wanting the cupcakes, but he knows that I think sheep are wonderful and sent me the picture as a way to combine my love of food and my love of sheep.  He may have been joking but I interpreted it as a challenge.

And I am crazy.  I have no cake decorating experience and I had no idea how to even start on these amazing creations.  Unfortunately, Mrs. Stewart just supplies pictures of the cupcakes and no direction on how to make them.  The only advice given is that the “wool” is made of mini-marshmallows.  As my mom would say, “No shit Sherlock.”
If you look closely, you can tell the wool of these "sheep" is made of mini-marshmallows.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

An Ode to my Great Grandma and Applesauce

As a kid whenever my family visited my great grandma Murphy's house in Indiana she always made a feast.  It didn't matter when we visited, there would always be a spread on the table and everyone remotely related to us gathered around.  One dish that she would make that I adored can't really be thought of as a "dish".  It was homemade applesauce.  It was incredible.

I remember eating it hot.  It was sweet and chunky and I never had anything like it before.  Sometimes I wish really hard that I could remember those days better, visiting with my great grandma in her kitchen.  But I was young and more concerned with playing hide-and-seek with my cousins and exploring the edges of her yard that opened up to a field.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Start of Fall and Pumpkin Muffins

First Puffins of the season.
Fall hasn’t officially started yet, and it  only recently got under 90 degrees for a high.  But it’s September and that’s essentially when fall starts in my mind.  When I was a kid my favorite season was summer. With the tomatoes, my birthday and swinging in the hammock, summer was the best.  As much as I loved summer I was ready for fall because that meant school started!  Yes, I know I was (am) a huge dork because I looked forward to the new school year.  Hear me out though, fall meant new sweaters and shoes!  I got to color coordinate new notebooks and folders according to subject!  What could be better than that?
I could use a bigger knife.
Pumpkins.  I don’t have school to look forward to now, so my fall enjoyment has been transferred to pumpkins.  And I have to admit, pumpkins are better than new shoes, matching notebooks and folders, and dare I say it... Trapper-keepers.  I love pumpkin in everything.  Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, toasted pumpkin seeds, heck, even pumpkin wedding cake.  Most of all I love the blending of muffins and pumpkin, fondly known as Puffins.

Andy and I are trying out Car Free Sundays, and last Sunday we moseyed over to the Nashville Farmer’s Market for lunch with a friend and to pick up some probably-not-locally-grown produce. There we saw a bounty of pumpkins; giant ones, jack-o-lanerns and pie pumpkins for a steal.  Since we were travelling by bicycle a small pie pumpkin was more a more realistic option to bring home.  My first pumpkin of the season!  Oh life is good.

I like to roast pumpkins.  The flavor isn’t much better than canned, it’s definitely not easier, and it takes longer.  But when you buy canned you don’t get pumpkin seeds!  Yes, you can also buy toasted pumpkin seeds, but they’re not nearly as exciting as toasting your own and adding exciting and fun flavors yourself.  Plus, this blog is called Antique Modernism, so there needs to be some antique methods used.  Roasting pumpkins is easy if you have the right equipment and pumpkin.  Roasting pumpkins is a pain the behind if you have a $12 blender and you cut your pumpkin into tiny pieces.  Also, be sure to get pie pumpkins and not just any old jack-o-lantern, pie pumpkins are meatier and meant for food.  Jack-o-lanterns are grown for size and ease of carving and are watery/flavorless.  
The pie pumpkin is small and my chunks look like happy pumpkin smiles!
First things first, roasting pumpkin.  Wash the pumpkin and then take your biggest knife and split the pumpkin in half.  Some people leave it there and roast the pumpkin halves (and I might try that next time), I cut my pumpkin into eighths to make it easier to scrape out the flesh later.  Place your pumpkin bits on a baking sheet (face down or not) and roast for about an hour in a 350 degree oven.  Adding just enough water to fill the bottom of the pan about a quarter inch will help soften your pumpkin and cause it to not stick.
Pumpkin smile done and happy to be delightfully roasted.
I believe the black tips came from the little fireball (see below).
I heard somewhere (that should be a giveaway statement for a bad idea) that you can flavor that water with a little whiskey for some nummy puree.  Since I like my whiskey, I saved that for drinking and used the ¼ bottle of Southern Comfort I received from my Grandpa.  Since it seemed like there was enough liquid with just the SoCo I didn’t add any water.  A little while after popping the pumpkin pieces into the oven I heard a whoosh and saw a little fireball in oven.  It might be better to add some water to your flavoring alcohol when roasting pumpkins.  Your pumpkin is done the flesh can be pierced easily with a knife.  Then scrape out the flesh and puree it in a blender or food processor.
Before puree.
If you have a crappy blender that you bought for cheap, buy canned pumpkin.

Once you have delicious pumpkin puree you can start your fall off to a great start by making Puffins (not the bird or the cereal, but a delightful baked good).

Fresh puffins cooling off before being devoured.

Pumpkin Muffins
Adapted from 500 Best Muffin Recipes, Esther Brody

2 cups whole wheat flour (you can use 1 cup all-purpose and 1 cup wheat if you don’t have vital gluten)
2 tsp vital gluten
½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
¼ cup chopped candied ginger (if you have some leftover from making Sticky Toffee Pudding)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1 egg
½ to ¾ cup milk (you might need to add more milk after mixing, depending on how much liquid is in your puree)
1 cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup oil
½ tsp vani

How To
  • In a large bowl combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Make a well in the center.
  • In a smaller bowl whisk up the egg, then add milk, pumpkin, oil and vanilla.  Add to dry ingredients and carefully stir until just moist.
  • Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin (greased or lined), this should only make 12 so you can just fill all cups equally (unless you’re not into equality).  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning the pan ½ way through.

Enjoy your muffins right away or wrap them in plastic wrap and tinfoil and freeze for delayed gratification!  Next recipe: how to toast pumpkin seeds.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Apron is Done!

Remember my troubles getting the sewing machine to work?  I would like to take full credit for getting the machine functioning again and for ensuring it’s continued smooth operation.  However, my dear husband (AKA official taste tester and machine fixer) took the time to untangle my tangle of thread and chaos and set the machine straight.  As I went to work on the apron this past weekend Andy told me seriously, in a calm voice, “If anything goes wrong, come and get me right away.  Don’t try to fix anything yourself”  This was very reassuring and I attacked the apron with renewed confidence.

Winding the bobbin, before it all went to hell.

Laying out the pattern pieces for cutting.
Accurate cutting is key to getting  your bias tape to fit correctly.
Thankfully a lot of sewing on the machine wasn’t required and I spent much time hand sewing bows.  I really don’t enjoy bows.  It’s kind of a girly-girl thing and I’m not into that much (as I write about sewing an apron!).  These bows are lovely though, truly lovely.  If you’re ever sewing a project that calls for bows, don’t skimp!  They cover up mistakes and ugly spots!  Granted, if I were to actually use bows to cover up all of my mistakes then the entire edge would be a series of bows, perhaps some curly ribbons too.

Bows are your friend.

Monday, September 5, 2011

D-I-Y Lotion

Lavender Cream
If your husband says, “Let’s make lotion!” you stop what you’re doing and make lotion.  I’d been putting off making stuff from the Grow your own Drugs book because there’s a lot of ingredients to buy.  We had gotten some basic ingredients, beeswax, almond oil and essential oils.  But there were some ingredients we were missing.  Along with containers too, I didn’t know what to do about containers, so much money to spend!

So Andy’s spur of the moment excitement (“Let’s have fun!”) got me excited and I forgot about my worries.  Plus he found a recipe that only called for what we had on hand, which made the process quick and easy.

Actually, to be more specific the making of the lotion was quick and easy, the clean up was a little tougher.  Beeswax is a bit tricky to clean up, wiping everything down with paper towels worked to get the beeswax off of everything.  Here’s how the creation process goes.
Beeswax melting in almond oil.
First melt beeswax in sweet almond oil in a double boiler.  You want to make sure your oil is warm to the touch, but not too hot you can’t touch it.  At the same time warm water to the same temperature.  Once the beeswax is melted pour the warm water into a blender and turned it on.  Then we poured in the oil/beeswax combination to make an emulsion (you know, like making mayonnaise).  To this we added 5 drops of lavender essential oil, gave it a little more whirring, scraped the sides, another blitz (as the British would say, since it’s been that kind of week), and we’re done!
Emulsifying the oil and water.
Bam, making it was easy!  Next step it so simply scrape out all of your delicious smelling lotion and put it into adorable (and clean) jars.  There you have it!  Home made lotion!  Leave the cleaning to someone else!  The lotions from Grow your own Drugs call for using emulsifying wax, which I believe would cut out the need for a blender, which would mean lots less cleaning.
With half a recipe we made 2 small jars of lotion.

If you look at the ingredients in any natural lotion you should see these same basics, plus a little more.  One of the exciting realizations I’ve had after reading my natural care books is recognizing ingredients in products and understanding what they do.  I’m not entirely sure how the costs compare to buying ready-made lotion, but it certainly gives you control over what kind of scents you want and, obviously, how environmentally friendly your lotion is.  I’m really excited to use this wonderful lotion.  It’s already spread all over my arms and legs just from cleaning up.  My elbows are already softer.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Back in Action!

Patience is key when making toffee sauce.
Hey there folks!  Sorry it’s been awhile.  There are no excuses for abandoning my legions of fans (hello again mom!) for roughly a month.  One thing I blame it on is my evil, evil sewing machine.  “Sewing machine?” you say, “It is simply an inanimate object created to ease the lives of humans, a sewing machine cannot be evil.”  And there, dear reader, is where you’re wrong.  My sewing machine has conspired against me and my effort to create my first paid-for apron.  Which is the reason I haven’t been posting.  This apron was supposed to be done the first week of August and then I could post about it and then move on to other projects.  Alas, no amount of hitting or yelling could move the machine to work like it knows it should.  I’ll post something once I get this *$@#ing machine to work.  Without Andy’s cool head and mechanical knowledge sewing just doesn’t happen.  So once the machine realizes it can sew just fine (and perhaps, I learn to put a bobbin in correctly) apron #2 post isn’t going to happen.  I’ve learned to accept that.

But we still have to eat.  And that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing for the past month.  Working and eating, some sleeping.  But not taking pictures and blogging.  Until today!

The makings of toffee sauce, without the brown sugar...
Sticky toffee pudding.  What more can be said?  Possibly... what is it?  I’d never heard of this dish until a seminal episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares where the sticky toffee pudding was the best dish in the whole restaurant, despite the head chef’s chagrin.  As I’ve mentioned before, I love toffee. So this dish intrigued me, despite never having made a British “pudding” (or an American pudding without use of a packet for that matter).  It’s like a cake, or a quick bread with dates and a toffee sauce.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Eleven Jars of Tomatoes and One Delicious Dinner

It’s prime tomato season now and that means we need to save the flavor of the season. Andy purchased so many tomatoes last year from one farmer at the Murfreesboro Farmers Market that he remembered Andy. This year Andy got a good deal on tomatoes and was even able to gather some “ugly” ones for free. Since he planned on making sauce the beauty of the tomatoes didn’t matter. They may not have been pretty but the scent of the tomatoes was heavenly, like the smell of summer sunshine captured for one sweet, brief moment.

Summer used to be one of my favorite holidays. Minnesota had such fleeting good weather that you had to be out in it all the time to try and soak it all in before it disappeared. My most favorite thing about summer was (and is) the tomatoes. My parents had a vegetable garden where they grew green beans, peppers, chives, pumpkins and most importantly- tomatoes. I’d like to say that I helped with the vegetable garden; but honestly I mostly supervised via the hammock down the hill. There was only one thing that concerned me in the vegetable garden: tomatoes. The point in summer when red globes of tomatoes adorned the tall vining plants was like Christmas in July. I relished the hunt, peering through the branches for that special red ball at just the right time. At some point during summer days you could find me sitting somewhere with a salt shaker in one hand, a tomato in the other and juice running down my face.

Now summers are a bit less dreamy, mostly due to this oppressive southern heat and the lack of summer vacation. To preserve this tomato harvest for the non-summer times Andy took the sauce making duties upon himself. My role was to help fill jars and then make dinner. The process for making tomato sauce is fairly straightforward. You first chop up the tomatoes and cut out the stem end. Andy cooked them for a little bit to soften them up for the food mill. The food mill is a great investment for making tomato sauce (and applesauce too!), it takes the skins and the stem bits and (as Andy says) “poops” them out one end and keeps the juicy pulpy goodness pure. Then the tomato juice is put back into the stock pot to boil for a good long while to reduce and concentrate the flavors.

This looks like a bit of a process but it's not that complicated. The slightly cooked tomatoes are in the big stock pot. They're ladled into the top of the food mill attached to the mixer. The mill "juices" the tomatoes and squirts all the seeds and skins out front. The pulp and juice comes out the middle where you can see the bowl catching it.

Once you feel good about where your sauce it at (and you’ve prepared your jars) it’s time to fill jars and process. Prior to filling, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each jar. Then leave ½ inch head space, add your lid and screw band to finger tip tight and then process for 30 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes in the water and then pull the jars out and wait for the delightful “pop!” sound of the seals being formed.

In our canner there was only enough room for 10 jars of sauce at a time, so we made one extra jar to use within the week and I cooked dinner with the sauce leftover from that. It smelled so good and was probably one of the freshest sauces I’ve ever had. I love making pasta sauce because you can readily improvise and use what you have on hand. There’s something satisfying with using up ingredients in the fridge.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Birthday Cake! (and cookies)

Yesterday was my birthday! I love birthdays. I’m incredibly bad at remembering other’s birthdays and getting gifts to them on time, so I feel kind of selfish in that respect. But when it comes to celebrating the fact that someone is here for another year, birthdays are great. As I’ve gotten older I realize I don’t need a big party or mounds of gifts. But I do need cake. Preferably chocolate.

Not too long ago I finished the previously mentioned book A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. The final chapter was about her wedding cake, dubbed the “Winning Hearts and Mind” cake. I’ve been trying to find appropriate times to make this cake and nothing was working out right. Finally I gave in and just had to make it for my birthday. It seemed a bit odd to make a cake for myself, but I like the logic of it. After all, it’s my birthday and no one else should feel pressured to make or buy me a cake to celebrate. I should be feeding others so they have a reason to be happy that I’m around. So I made the winning hearts and minds cake for Andy and I, and delightful Toffee Chocolate Snicker doodles for work buddies.

The nice thing about birthdays is that they help you reminisce about birthdays past. A great birthday isn’t about the gifts, it’s more about the friends and family around you. And, if we’re going to be honest, it’s also about the cake. As a kid I had a birthday that was flower themed and a lot of fun to put together with my mom. It came complete with a cake that looked like a garden, with Oreo crumble dirt and gummy worms peaking out of the soil. There was the memorable birthday I had in Cuernavaca, Mexico where I actually received two cakes, one of which was involved in a food fight (that I later helped clean up). Then there was the year when my mom took a business trip to Florida and invited me along because I had nothing better to do and it was my birthday. We upgraded to first class for the occasion and went out to dinner with her coworkers. One got a little too tipsy and explained to me the wonders of asparagus pee, a delight I had yet to enjoy. After dinner we ate cake from Publix, which I thought sounded like a wonderful, for-the-people kind of grocery, and this birthday with strangers was a delightful one.

There were some, shall we say, not so great birthdays too. Such as the one in Indiana where my brother got a pair of Rollerblades for my birthday, thereby stealing my “this day is all about me” thunder. And by the time my brother’s birthday rolled around my family conveniently forgot that we now gave siblings gifts on birthdays too. Once I had to run the mile during weight training class. There was the year I had to go to band practice after getting a tamagotchi and had to keep feeding the damn thing when I should have been crashing cymbals. One year I had to clean the bathrooms of our house, which was probably more my fault for putting it off than my mother being mean. The worst of all birthdays was the year my Grandma Summerville died. We were leaving for Indiana shortly after the celebration to visit her in the hospital. Opening gifts that year didn’t have much joy and she passed away a couple days after my birthday.

Despite what it may seem, that’s what I like about birthdays. They help me to remember the good and bad, and the not actually-bad-but-rather-kind-of-funny-now-that-I-think-about-it times. It gets me to thinking about other people’s birthdays and the things I’ve done for them, the people I spent time with, and how the years keep rolling by, no matter what you do. I love birthdays and celebrating life.

Did I mention cake? I’m sorry to entice you with pictures and then blather on and on about memories. You’re probably interested in some cake. Andy graciously offered to make me Special K bars I declined. Mostly because I need actual cake on my birthday, but actually more because I’ve been dying to make the Winning Hearts and Minds cake. It only has FIVE ingredients! Five! That’s so easy. Andy doesn’t like cake much and requests brownies frequently for his birthday celebrations. When I answered his question as to what was in this cake he responded with, “So it’s like a brownie cake?” Yes. And he loved it. He said he wanted it for his birthday. And I’m more than happy to oblige. It has a delightfully crunchy crust and a soft, ooey center.
The only advice I have to give is to get high quality ingredients. This cake would cost you around $30 if you were to purchase a similar one from a particular Scandinavian bakery that I used to work at (in 2007 dollars). The one I made cost me roughly $10. Next time I would up the ante with a little Olive and Sinclair chocolate and hope to score some free range eggs from Andy’s coworker. Here’s the recipe that you can also find on Orangette.

7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 ¾ sticks (7 oz) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unbleached, all purpose flour
5 large eggs

(Whipped cream for serving)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and butter an 8 inch round cake pan (I used a 9 inch one and it turned out just fine). Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper (craft time!) and grease the paper.

Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave or a double boiler. When the mixture is smooth stir in the sugar and then set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Then add the eggs one by one (be sure not to lose count!), stirring well after each addition. Add the flour and stir well. The batter should be dark and silky.

Pour the batter into your pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until the top is lightly crackled, the edges are puffed and the center of the cake looks set. It’s best to set the timer early and check on the cake every couple of minutes by jiggling the pan. It’s done when the center only jiggles slightly, if at all.

Cook the cake for about 15 minutes in the pan. Turn it out of the pan and flip it back onto a plate (or better yet, a cake stand!). Be careful with this, as I turned my cake out onto the edge of my dish and broke the edge. Cool completely before serving with a dollop of whipped cream (best if you whip it yourself).

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Preserving Summer

It’s high black berry season here in Tennessee and that means our second annual trip to Beechgrove, TN for some wild black berry picking. If you recall from last year I ran into some trouble with chiggers and was embarrassed to wear shorts for roughly a month. After much anecdotal research Andy and I learned that the best way to avoid chiggers while berry picking is to either wear kerosene soak rags around your ankles or use bug spray. Despite my grandpa’s logic we settled on the latter and geared up for berry picking.

These wild blackberries grow at the farm of one of Andy’s coworkers, he just lets people show up at his house whenever and pick to their hearts delight. Another lesson we learned from last year is to go early, because the heat will knock you out quicker than the chiggers or flying beetles. So we roused ourselves early this morning, doused ourselves in bug spray, tucked our pants into our socks and we were on our way. Before the heat got to us we managed to pick enough berries for one batch of preserves (which is like jam, but without mushing the fruit).

Our blackberry hosts last year let me know that a good way to clean the berries was to soak them in water. All the leaves and unwanted stuff will float to the top (last year this included an inch worm) and can be simply swept off the top.

Making preserves is quite easy. All you need is half the amount of sugar as fruit. For us that was 8 cups black berries and 4 cups sugar. Stir it all together and let it macerate for about 10 minutes. This lets the juice from the fruit seep out and it becomes the cooking liquid. While that’s going on you prepare the canner and jars, we had about 5 half pint jars. Once the maceration has happened stir the fruit up and boil hard for about 10 to 15 minutes until you reach gel stage. Then take your preserves off the heat, skim off the foam and pack into hot jars. Process for 15 minutes, let rest for 5 and you’ve got a delicious treat!

Andy is currently making biscuits for us to try out our newest batch of canning delights and I can’t wait to taste it in action. So far neither Andy or I show evidence of chigger bites (knock on wood). I hope that means when we go white water rafting later this summer I won’t have to explain away the rash on my legs like I had to last summer. I’ve learned that it’s not a good way to make a first impression by first saying, “Don’t worry, it’s not contagious.”

Saturday, July 9, 2011

These are Ugly Slippers

I’m not being too critical when I say that these are ugly slippers. My husband disagrees with me, he thinks they’re “awesome.” But he’s being nice, and I’m not being hard on myself. They’re pretty ugly. I might even say damn ugly slippers. First off, they don’t match. One has a sort of square toe, the other a rounded toe. Gracefully the strap made it to roughly the same place on my foot, despite my best efforts to move it closer to my ankle on the second slipper (the one on the right). If I fold one in half it doesn’t even match itself.

Second, the construction is really shoddy. Truthfully, I did make these myself. This isn’t the half-hearted creation of a 6th grade art project, despite what it may seem. I think it comes down to making sure my yarn is in the right spot when I change sides. And also maybe not be so stubborn when it comes to looking up YouTube videos on how to complete a stitch. It’d be great to have someone by constantly as I knit to ask them questions. I’ve knitted with friends before and they’ve been helpful, but I feel like a pest asking questions all the time.

Cotton says, "These slippers are ugly, but I'm cute."

You might think that if I thought these were so ugly that I should just remake them. I did. More than once. After awhile I just got tired of working on them. And I lost one of my pages of instruction and kind of made up how to finish the slipper (hence one round toe). The instructions (in rather poor English, which could have been a problem) tell me that I could finish my slippers by “making crochet” around the edges. That would cover up some of my mistakes and make the slippers look actually cute. However, I don’t know how to make crochet and if I learned on these slippers they would probably turn out worse.

At least I’ve made cute things before and I can take solace in this picture. Maybe the socks I’ll make for Andy will turn out more like my last knitting project.