Chocolate and Popcorn

The Sunday papers came with some great classical recipes.  For the true Chocoholic, the New York Times magazine had a retrospective article on low flour chocolate cakes, focusing on an Evelyn Sharpe recipe from 1969.  I’m DEFINITELY going to try that recipe this week.  Chocolate decadence indeed:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/magazine/27Food-t-001.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=chocolate%20cake&st=cse

This is not the picture from the article, but the look is close.

The Sunday Boston Globe Magazine had an article focusing on dressing up freshly popped popcorn.  In addition to some really good recipes (the parmesan-black pepper version is a keeper, but do use the butter and not the olive oil), there are also directions for popping the corn in the microwave with your own paper bag.  Lots of good ideas here for good snacking.
http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/articles/2011/02/27/cheese_herbs_and_even_hot_peppers_dress_up_plain_popcorn/

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Winter Concerts warm the spirits

Here’s the small ensemble I play with (the Cape Cod Conservatory String Ensemble) playing at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod on January 30th.  We had a large crowd (168 attendees) and had great fun playing various classical and modern selections.  Our conductor, Bo Ericsson, is the cello principal of the Cape Symphony Orchestra.  We now are practicing new pieces for a concert in May.
That’s me on the left, playing second cello.
Another rewarding activity was the visit of the Cape Community Orchestra to the Sandwich School System last Wednesday.  About half of the orchestra was able to participate in this “Introduction to the Orchestra” for three Sandwich, MA elementary schools (kindergarden through 4th grade).  We played a concert at each school during the day, playing to a total of 1100 VERY enthusiastic students.  They seemed to love everything we played, but especially those pieces that featured the percussion section!
Thanks to my friend Marilyn for the photo of us getting ready to play at the last concert of the day.  It was wonderful to see all those children enjoying classical music.

Second Sweater Finished

Here’s the completed yoke patterned sweater that I pictured the beginnings of in a previous post.  The darker blue is a corriedale handspun yarn and the light blue is merino handspun.  Both are very fine wool, so the sweater feels soft and cuddly on.  The pattern is from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s book “Knitting Around” (Schoolhouse Press) using her percentage system.  I was delighted at the results from combining these two yarns: I didn’t have enough of either for a sweater (I ran out of the darker blue completely, having just enough to do a border for the hat.), but the combination together was enough for a sweater.  I will have to learn to buy 1 1/2 pounds of carded wool for a sweater instead of just a pound!

The matching hat is knitted from the same wool yarn; it was made using a pattern I picked up at the Woods Hole Knitting group a week ago.  It’s called a “Scrunchie Hat”; it’s easy to knit in the round and it is quite attractive on the head.  I’m always delighted to find good hat patterns.

Winter Knitting

It’s amazing the encouragement you get when you get together with other knitters.  Several neighbors have formed a monthly group, and I’ve joined a biweekly group at a local library.  Everyone’s enthusiasm for knitting and warm words about projects in progress are a wonderful anecdote to the cold ice and snow outside.  Here’s an update on one of my projects, a sweater knit from dark purple and grey handspun for my husband.  It fits perfectly and looks great!