Monday, January 18, 2010

Herb-Infused Oil

My daughter and her new hubbie made up some varieties of herb-infused olive oil for me for Christmas, and they are so wonderful, I thought I'd share them, uh, bloggingly with you. They are great for a quick stir-fry or for seasoning soups or beans without the picking and peeling and chopping required for fresh herbs or even dried.

Here's what she says about how to make the infusions:

"So for the garlic oil: simmer some oil in a saucepan (a cup or however much you want). Toss in 5 or so peeled cloves of garlic. Simmer until the cloves start to float, then strain into a thing. For the rosemary, do the same with sprig of rosemary, only the rosemary won't float. So just like... time the garlic, and do it for the same amount of time."

Stupid easy, really. I keep some garlic and rosemary in their respective oils mostly for decoration and identification, but I'm sure it does strengthen the flavor over time."

UPDATE: If you leave a sprig of fresh rosemary in the oil for storage, as you use it and the level falls below the top of the sprig, it can become moldy. Maybe this could be avoided with a well-dried sprig--otherwise, just take it out or cut it to be well below the surface.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Yule Warmers

This is a wide-striped variation on the Witch Warmers pattern (knit version). It uses a variegated yarn for 2 stripes, coupled with a coordinating solid. The yarns are both Hobby Lobby's "I Love This Yarn" in sportweight: Dark Olive and Autumn Multi. *

Here's how to make them from the pattern:

1. Make a gauge swatch. This yarn knitted up smaller than the sportweight yarn used in the pattern. I had to make a size larger to get a size x-small. I decided not to use larger needles to get gauge, because the stitches would come out loose enough to not be so warm anymore.

2. Follow the notes for the short-version wristwarmers.

3. Knit the ruffle and the first 2 stripes of the pattern in Dark Olive, or your solid main color.

4. Alternate the remaining wrist stripes this way: 2 stripes all variegated, then 2 stripes all solid color, 2 more stripes variegated.

5. Skip to the top section and work all in solid color.

You can find more variations for Witch Warmers here:
Evening Length: I'd Open a Vein for You Armwarmers
Short Witch Warmers

* Photos feature my newly married daughter's beautiful harpist-hands.