Monday, April 13, 2009

Not so much with the knitting content...

Well, it's been crazy in Anna-land the last week. Assignments struck, rendering me insanely busy up until Thursday, and then comatose for a few days afterwards. So not that much knitting has taken place. I know - tsk, tsk...

However, I did bake hot cross buns! On Good Friday specifically, because even though I'm not a particularly religious person, the cultural history student in me loves the idea of this kind of tradition - making something on a particular day of the year. It's like Nigella Lawson points out in Feast - there are so few examples of this kind of thing (i.e. truly seasonal/occasional cooking) left, and I think that that's a shame. I find it more than a little weird and off-putting that you can buy hot cross buns in the shops for months before and after Easter, so I suppose that this is my small way of rebelling against that kind of thing, especially since I'm making them myself and all.

(on a less pretentious note, I worked in a bakery for years and am now officially sick of bought hot cross buns...)


There's the dough, looking all... erm... doughy!



Cute little buns, pre-crossing, on the tray. I hadn't realised how experienced I'd gotten with handling dough (what with having spent the better part of the last five years working in either a bakery or a pizza shop) until I started kneading and shaping these little guys - it just came back all of a sudden, and I could do it on auto pilot!



Piping the crosses on is definitely my favourite part. Even though I always make a chronic mess of the kitchen/my clothing in the process...



This isn't a great photo - for some reason I neglected to take a decent picture of the finished product (I was probably in too much of a hurry to insert them into my mouth - I'd polished three of them off within ten minutes of them coming out of the oven), but they definitely came out well. I was particularly pleased with the texture - much lighter and fluffier than any homemade bread I'd made before. I used proper bread flour this time, which probably explains it.

So there you have it: hot cross buns from start to finish. Nom nom nom... I think everyone should make their own actually - it's fun, easy, and really not as time consuming as you'd think, since you can do other things with yourself while the dough is proving/rising.


In knitting news, I acquired more yarn on Thursday. Or rather, my yarn from the States got here on Thursday. Tsk - I am definitely not allowed to buy more until I've used up some of what I have... Ah well, at least I never feel too much guilt over the yarn habit - I rarely eat/go anywhere expensive with friends, the clothes I own that aren't home-made usually come from either the op-shop or Target, and even my books mostly come from the library, so yarn is basically my only extravagance. Well, yarn and tea, but it takes so long to go through tea that it hardly feels like it counts...

I've started knitting not one but two new things: a Snow White in dark green, and a Kaleidoscope in, um, green (yes yes, I have a problem, I know - but it is a totally different shade!).

I've been wanting to make the former for a very long time, but never quite got around to it. And even though I bought the pattern a few months back, it's taken me a while to get around to finding some suitable yarn. And then for a while I was scared of the required cast-on. I am not well versed in cast-ons, not by any stretch of the imagination. And this pattern called for a long-tailed-tubular cast-on. Gulp.

It took me all afternoon (and several cramps in my fingers) to get it right, but get it right I did. I'm rather proud actually - definitely glad I persevered. And it counts towards my LSG Mistress of Knitting challenge (where learning new things and challenging yourself is kind of, um, the whole point of the exercise) for April, so there was some added incentive there too.

As for the Kaleidoscope cardigan... What can I say, other than that I think I've officially become one of those masochists who makes garments in fingering weight yarn... Let's see just how much of my sanity it consumes before it's finished. On the up-side, I finally got my mitts on some 'Happy Forest' Dream in Colour Smooshy (a shade that I'd been trying to get a hold of for a while) with which to make said sanity-devouring piece of knitwear. It's a very beautiful mid-green - a little lighter than I was hoping, given some of the pictures I'd seen online, but I'm still happy with it. Dad said that he thinks that it's ugly, but he isn't the one who has to knit a whole bloody cardigan out of it, so somehow I just don't think that his evaluation is the one that matters here...

2 comments:

Abby said...

Nice buns!

I like traditional type foods too - makes them seem more special if they're only made/eaten on.. uhm.. special days.

FrankandMary said...

The buns around here have those little plastic bits in them like crafting debris from a second grade art class. Knitting & baking, I have envious curiosity of those two, but it dampens quickly. I don't stick with either enough to do them well. ~Mary