Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Although I didn't bring my camera to Chez Spinnity for the spin-in on Saturday, J (theknitistKnit Flix) had hers and captured some pics for posterity. There's even a picture of my first singles! Nathania brought the super-portable Louet Victoria wheel, which I'm now lusting after. The day was full of goodness: spinning, friends, food. I made sheep cookies using my grandmother's sugar cookie recipe and some royal icing.

(click all pictures to get larger ones)

It was my first time icing cookies and I don't think I'll icing cookies very often. Too much work! But the cookies seemed to be a hit with my friends. I created a menagerie with the rest of the dough. I used some Williams-Sonoma cookie cutters that are lovely but good grief, most of the animals had skinny legs and/or tails and it was a challenge to cut them out. Maybe these cutters will work better with a flatter, more dense cookie dough. My grandma's recipe results in dough that is quite soft, but the cookies are slightly cake-like and I love them. Here's some of the menagerie pre-icing:

Here are the decorated hippos I made just for my husband. I thought they were a bit drab all in gray and needed some multi-colored sprinkles.

While I was off spinning, my husband planted a vegetable garden. There's quite a bit planted in the beds: lettuce, hot peppers, sweet peppers, cucumbers, basil, tomatoes, corn, onions, yellow squash, zucchini, pumpkins, cantaloupe, eggplant, and beans. Whew! I've probably forgotten one or two (peas, a potato plant, more tomatoes, and an artichoke are growing on the other side of the yard). For some things we only planted one plant and for others there are six transplants. I don't expect everything to do well and I've recorded what's planted where in a Gardener's Journal so I can note what works and what doesn't. We've grown vegetables before, mostly from seed, but work on the interior of the house took us out of the garden. Hopefully it will be a good growing year and we won't have the heat waves we had last year. Behind the vegetable beds in the picture are some of our fruit trees. I'm calling this our mini-orchard, although we have many more fruit trees throughout the yard. In this patch, there are two small apple trees, a Meyer lemon tree and two peach trees. There are also blackberry canes that you can just barely see off to the left and my husband planted some new raspberry canes but they're little and you can't see them.

In the rest of the yard we have: plum, almond, apricot, pear, fig, blueberry, orange, tangerine, lime, grapes, cherry, and strawberries. The plum, apricot, peach, and pear trees provide enough for canning, the orange and lemon provide us with juice and the rest provide just enough for a tasty treat. We don't have a large lot. It's only a 6000 sq ft lot and the house takes up about 1/4 of that. I can only imagine what we'd do with a larger yard!

There's still more work to do on the vegetable bed side of the yard. We are going to put gravel between the beds, stone pathways, some decorative plantings, and an arbor to hide the view of our backyard neighbor's house (if only it could sound-proof it too!)

Here's a view of the rest of the back yard. Note the hippo in the pond.

And last, but not least, a (not so great) picture of the completed Simplicity 3893 top. The review, and maybe a better picture, will have to wait for another day.


  1. Your garden looks fabulous Lori. Really makes me want to create a vegetable garden.

    I also want to hear details about the top - Id like a top like that and have not had much success in the shops.

  2. Hi Lori,

    Thanks for the mention! I didn't have your blog URL when I published the post last night, but I've added the link this morning. I really enjoyed the sheep cookies--you're grandmother's recipe is a winner. But hey, how can a cookie that has sour cream in it not be wonderful?

    Nice seeing you again,

    P.S. Jeni's theknitist. I'm just a knitter. ;-)

  3. The cookies look great! I love the fun animal shapes.

    Your husband is hard working! The yard looks awesome. You won't need to buy veggies the whole summer.

  4. Mmm, cookies! Thanks for bringing them, we couldn't stop eating cookies the next day. I hope to cadge that recipe off ya, they were soooo good. And your garden looks fabulous. Thanks for the photos!