One of the benefits of working in higher education are the days when you, like your students, have a snow day. Yet, since we’re nestled among the Ozark hills in Oklahoma, snow days are a bit of a wild card. Some winters we’ve been pummeled with snow and ice, others have found us staring at that which is barren and stark. So far, this winter has been the latter of the two, and I had been longing for a bit of snow to transform the landscape and give me time to stay home to knit, fix good food, and cozy up by the fire. With the most recent winter weather systems, my wish came true – two snow days over the past two weeks!
The view of our back porch and yard
We often marvel at how many of our neighbors leave their garage doors open, practically year-round. Last week’s snow didn’t seem to deter two of them.
After my grandma passed away I inherited her sewing machine and have had great hopes of developing my seamstress capabilities. I sadly discovered many of the needed functions of this older machine no longer worked, so I made an unexpected purchase of a new Singer Classic Heavy Duty machine just after the new year. My immediate inspiration was the Sock Sack, a little bag with a divider to separate two balls of sock yarn, which had been mentioned by several knitters on Ravelry. I, too, was inspired to buy the pattern and thought it would be a breeze. Well…as a novice beginner I now realize this project was probably too industrious, but I had the gumption to persevere and so I did!
Bird’s eye view looking into the sock sack with the zippered divider separating two cakes of yarn as I work on Spectra. I think my favorite parts are the little snaps that guide each ball of yarn, preventing them from getting tangled up.
Along the way I ripped out many stitches, rewound many bobbins, re-threaded many needles (accidentally broke a needle, too), pondered over the directions with The Optometrist a great deal, and rejoiced when my (non-abstract) brain would finally visualize the desired result. In addition to this process teaching me patience with myself as I learned a new skill, it also provided me with a crash-course on learning my new machine, and the end reward of successfully finishing a project I will actually use.
The pattern comes in three sizes (this is the medium size) so the next time I find myself near a fabric store, I’ll pick up another yard of material to make the smaller size, and see if the second one will be easier and more polished than the first!
Our snow days also provided me with some leisurely time to fix a hot, hearty meal, with enough leftovers to enjoy later. All of these were new recipes we tried and enjoyed!
Chili Pasta Bake (originally found via Pinterest) and Roasted brussel sprouts from Midwest Living. I had to do a bit of finagling to cook both at the same time, since the recipes called for differing oven temperatures. I covered the chili bake with aluminum foil when it was almost through baking and put the brussel sprouts in a little earlier than called for. After the pasta came out, the sprouts still weren’t cooked, so I put them under the broiler to cook under direct heat for a few more minutes. That did the trick!
Homemade version of chicken tostadas
Boil thawed chicken tenders in hot water (around 4 cups) approximately 10 minutes. I added a teaspoon or so of chicken bullion granules to flavor the water a bit more. After cooked, remove chicken from liquid. In a bowl shred with two forks and season with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Stir to mix well.
Warm corn tostadas according to package directions.
Layer: (heated) refried beans, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded chicken, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and drizzle with Cholula. The half avocado can be eaten by itself as a side, or pieces can be added on top (I did a little bit of both).
Looking ahead this week, there’s snow in the forecast for Wednesday…maybe I’ll get another snow day?