Crock Pot Chicken

Some days I know I won’t have time to cook when I get home. That’s when I break out the crock pot. I figure that anything I can braise I can throw in the crock pot and, bonus, it’s done by the time I get home. Today I decided to use: chicken from the freezer, vegetable stock I made last fall and the last of the dates hiding in the back of my refrigerator to make a middle eastern spiced chicken. 

Ingredients 

  • Chicken– I used a package of 3 small thighs
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbl cumin 
  • 1 tbl coriander 
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbl cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Enough stock to fill the crock pot

Put everything in crock pot and turn on high. Turn down to low after about 30 minutes. Leave on low all day. 


I check before I leave for work to make sure the crock pot doesn’t need to be topped off with more stock. 

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Bacon, Cabbage, Apple Stir Fry

Comfort food. Salty. Sweet. Fatty. Comfort food. 

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 Apple, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 c. Chopped cabbage
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Fresh cracked black pepper

Heat a medium frying pan on medium heat. Cook bacon crisp. Remove from pan. Don’t drain bacon grease. Add the onion to the pan and cook until onion starts to caramelize. Then add the apple and let cook until it starts to brown. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add cabbage and stir to combine. Squeeze lemon juice from half a lemon into the pan. Stir and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes– until the cabbage is wilted. 


This dish is easy, fast, salty and sweet. 

37

A handful of silver hairs has shown up like long overdue party guests. The crows feet radiating from the corners of my eyes. The inch long scar on my left hand. The criss cross of lattice shaped creases working their way from finger tips to wrists. The well worn balls of my feet. My stretch marks. Faint but there. Striations creasing the no mans land below my belly button. The vertical scrapes below my hip bones. The way the skin of my belly hangs when I bend over. Stretched like an overworked rubber band while I carried my son. 

This body has worked. And it shows. 

Oriel Lace Blouse

It was lacy. It had pearl buttons. I had favorited several different versions in Ravelry. It was the perfect project for spring and fall. And I already owned the pattern. The yarn (Cascade Venezia Sport) was a bit of a shot in the dark since I had never seen it in person but it looked pretty online. And the pattern is written by one of my favorite designers– Shirley Paden. Once I had ordered a sweater’s worth of yarn, I was committed. 


I modified the pattern to work the body and sleeves in the round. The body up to the armholes, and the sleeves up to the shoulder shaping. Since this sweater is worked in an all over lace pattern, shaping is a bit of a challenge. I left off the selvedge stitches and worked the increases and decreases into the lace pattern as I could. It’s always a bit tricky though. 

Working the pattern in the round sped up the knitting and decreased by 2/3 the amount of sewing up. This was a pretty fast knit and I enjoyed it throughout the knitting and finishing. 

The edging and buttonholes in the neck placket is crochet. It’s been so long since I picked up a crochet hook that I had to watch YouTube videos to remember how to single crochet, but once I found a good video it all came back to me. The sweater is pretty and feminine. I especially like the bell shaped sleeves. 


Details

Pattern: Oriel Lace Blouse, Interweave Knits, Summer 2007

Yarn: Cascade Venezia (I used just under 4 skeins)

Needles: sizes 3, 5, 6 and 7

Mods: working the sweater as much in the round as possible. 

Women

Feminism is the radical belief that women are people too. 

This is my great grandmother:


The baby she is holding is me. I am 2 months old in this picture. 

My Granny Walker was the second or third youngest of thirteen children. She married at 18. When she was 19 (in 1930) she had her first child– my Grandma Frances. Over the next few years she had two more children during the depths of the Great Depression. My great grandparents were poor. My great grandfather was a farmer, in Oklahoma. He was illiterate but good with sums. Reading wasn’t important but not being cheated in business was. My granny was an amazing seamstress. She had a treadle machine and could fashion a pattern from newspaper by looking at a picture of a garment. 

My Granny was an energetic and loving woman who did her best to care for her family during desperate times. When she couldn’t buy fabric, she made clothes for her children from flour sacks. When her family was on the edge of starvation she picked cotton by hand. When my mother needed it, Granny took her in. 

My Granny did what was necessary to take care of her family and I have to do the same. As a single mom to an elementary aged boy I still have to make breakfast, pack a lunch, and get him to school. As a professional with obligations to my clients I need to go to work. But I will do what I can today. I will not spend money. I will wear red. 

I will make my own choices. Shape my own life. Take care of my responsibilities. I will live this day, as I do every day, in the belief that I am a person.