My current work in progress:

1. Strandwanderer, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Wollmeise Merino "Pure" in the "Zenzi" colorway on a 3.25 mm (U.S. size 3) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Can You Stand Another Recipe?

This afternoon I’ve assembled a venison stew for our New Year’s Eve celebration. The ingredients:

2 lbs venison cut in chunks
4 slices of bacon cut in squares
4 medium potatoes cut in squares
6 medium carrots sliced
2 medium onions chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup flour
2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup catsup
1/4 cup A-1 steak sauce
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup burgundy wine
1/2 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced.

I used to work with someone who went hunting regularly, so got venison from him, but this time I ordered venison stew meat online, from Broken Arrow Ranch.

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Start by cooking the bacon in a skillet.

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When the bacon is crisp, remove it from the skillet with a slotted spoon and brown the venison cubes in the bacon fat.

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When the venison is browned all over, remove it to an oven-proof casserole dish that has a cover. I use a Le Creuset dutch oven. Spread it out in the bottom of the casserole and add the fried bacon on top of it.

Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and garlic powder over the meat, and then sprinkle the flour over that.

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Saute the carrots and onions in the same pan that you browned the venison in. It you need to, add a bit more oil, and saute until the vegetables are softened slightly.

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Spread the sauteed veggies over the flour in the casserole, and place the potato chunks on top of that.

In a bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the beef stock, mustard, catsup, and A-1 sauce.

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Carefully pour this over all in the casserole, and pour the burgundy wine over that. (I actually used Pinot Noir, left over from my Boeuf Bourgignon from last week.)

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Put the cover on the casserole and bake in a 325 degree oven for 3 hours. Half an hour before it is done, take the casserole out and add the mushrooms.

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Return it to the oven for another half hour.

This is a very yummy stew — I’ve made it in the past and it is always delicious. Here’s hoping tonight’s is no exception!

Lucy sez:

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“Wake me when dinner’s ready.”

Happy New Year, everyone! See you in 2009!

The State of Things

Thank you so much for your response to yesterday’s post about the HELPSudan project.

Today? Not too much going on.

I had a hard time getting Little Loopy out of bed.

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Rather, getting him off the bed.

Then he pestered Lucy for a while.

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And I caught him wrassling with Teddy.

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Lucy sez:

“Little Loopy can stay as long as he doesn’t get in my way too much.”

lucy123008 240x160 The State of Things

HELPSudan

Sudan is an extremely war-torn country, and that for a long time. The current genocide in Darfur, before that the Second Sudanese Civil War, in which over 2 million people were killed have made it difficult for the Sudanese people to go on living normally, like sending their children to school.

HELPSudan was formed by the Lost Boys of Sudan to establish learning facilities, recruit teachers and provide school supplies as well as provide health resources and clean water especially in Southern Sudan. HELPSudan is raising funds for the purpose of starting more schools in Southern Sudan; ”providing pencils and notebooks for hands that might have taken up arms, and an education for minds that once only understood war.”

The Ravelry Darfur group, (http://www.ravelry.com/groups/darfur–end-the-genoicide) thought the knitting and crocheting community could help raising funds, and at the same time making something useful for the Sudanese children.

The object to be made is a pencil case, because they’re easy, quick, inexpensive and light, and because they can be both sold to benefit HELPSudan financially as well as given to the Sudanese school children along with pens and notebooks.

I was contacted by the Ravelry group to see if I would design a pencil case, which I’ve done. Mine is of course created like a toe-up sock. It’s knit in the round and has a diamond texture pattern along it, and is finished with eyelets around the top. You thread a cord through the eyelets and close it that way.

Some other generous designers have made patterns for the project, too, and are publishing them in their own blogs and Ravelry. The current link list of available patterns will be kept and updated at www.worsted-knitt.net.

Once the knitting gets going, there’ll be a voting on the most beautiful pencil case on Flickr with lovely prizes!

The challenge is here: HELPSudan’s next Annual Fund Raiser is just few weeks away. They say some pencil cases would be a great addition to their Silent Auction of arts and crafts… however, HELPSudan have said that they will have need for pencil cases after the event, too, so this KAL/CAL will be active for at least until the end of March. Updates will be published at www.worsted-knitt.net as well as Ravelry Darfur group (http://www.ravelry.com/groups/darfur–end-the-genoicide).

The finished pencil cases can be sent directly to HELPSudan at

HELPSudan
5255 N. Ashland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
USA

My pattern is here (in pdf format). No photo, but it’s a pretty easy and quick knit. If you are interested in altering it to knit for this project, please feel free to do so, or you may knit it as is.

lucy122908 240x160 HELPSudan

The Holiday Antidote

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A nice big fruit salad. Ahhhh! A welcome change from cookies and candy.

And here, for no reason whatsoever, a photo I took a few days ago in the late afternoon.

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Like I said, no reason, except I like the light.

I’m still working on un-bloggable things, but hopefully that will change in a few days. Meanwhile Lucy is still on her holiday schedule.

lucy122808 240x160 The Holiday Antidote

If she were awake, she’d join me in hoping you all had a great holiday!

Lucy Sez

lucy122408 240x233 Lucy Sez

“Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I’m on the lookout for Santa!”