Wee Mittens and a Seasonal Post Concerning Seasonal Topics

Finally, a Finished Object!

apartment christmas 2007 008-1

HA! I bet you were fooled into thinking that these were tree-stump sized mittens. But alas, they are mere mini mittens. Mere in size only mind you, mega in personality. Katy knitted a pair of these for her Secret Santa giftee at the Spiders' holiday party (a smashing event - thanks to hosts Jess Yarnmonster and Veronique!), and they inspired me with their cuteitude and their brevity.

Here they are serving their true purpose:

apartment christmas 2007 012-1

Believe me, I did consider trying to get one of the cats to model these for you - well, Moses I guess since Catty is one paw short! But in the interest of not being mauled, the wee stump from our Christmas tree graciously modeled instead.

There are a number of patterns for wee mitts out there, but I used this one. Thanks, Andrea! I'll be making a few of these as knitted flourishes for an otherwise knitted-gift-free holiday season.

Apparently this is now a seasonal blog. I guess only posting on or around major holidays is better than not posting at all. Partly it's so danged difficult to take decent photos in our new apartment, so there are fewer pretty pictures of hydrangeas to fill dead air. Partly I am working a ton and struggling against personality atrophy. It sounds extreme, but this is what I have come to think happens to some people who work in jobs like mine - long hours, relatively solitary, little of what we think of as traditional creativity. With what little free time I have had, social interaction has come before knitting. Except, of course, with the Spiders, who allow for both!

This was the first weekend for a long time that was work-free for me. We socialized a bit here and there, but the arrival of a sleety Nor'easter kept us indoors today. Thankfully we got our little tree before the sleet sleeted yesterday, and have just about finished decorating.

a terrible photo of our christmas tree

The weather also gave us an excuse to do some much needed drilling and mounting around the apartment, e.g.,

apartment christmas 2007 001

O Ikea Grundtal, we would be lost without you!

Also we baked a bunch of these fabulous Chewy Molasses-Spice Cookies to bring to a party (throw in some ginger, too!) and I made some pan-roasted brussels sprouts for lunch as part of my Mission to Start Liking Brussels Sprouts.

apartment christmas 2007 007

This has been much more successful than the Mission to Start Liking Beets and the now-defunct Mission to Start Liking Dill. Brussels sprouts are actually pretty good if they are small and cooked correctly, but when overcooked they can go HORRIBLY HORRIBLY WRONG. Sorry Mom.

And now, to close, let's all take a moment to give thanks for clementines*:

apartment christmas 2007 002

BONUS: For clementine lovers: How to make a clementine candle (via Apartment Therapy)

* and let's me take a moment to thank Ms. Virginia a/k/a Auntie Craptina for the extra lovely bowl! I'd show you the amazing inside, but as it is in use. . . thanks AC!

Posted by jess at December 16, 2007 4:00 PM | TrackBack

nice work with the grundtal!

Posted by: RFN at December 16, 2007 5:26 PM

Yep, same pattern I used--but I forgot to take a picture, doh! Growing up, I too thought sprouts had to taste like wads of wet toilet paper. Au contraire! Love them caramelized like that...

Posted by: Katy at December 16, 2007 5:36 PM

Those tiny mittens are just too cute! Can you be smitten with a mitten? ;)

Posted by: Judith at December 16, 2007 6:11 PM

I was never much of a fan of my mum's brussels sprouts either. Here's a hint - shred them and stir fry them on their own or with other veggies. I suppose you could cook them any way you would cook cabbage. Shredded you can totally forget that they are brussels sprouts!

Beets are beetroot right? As opposed to silverbeet. Beetroot is so yummy I can't understand why anyone doesn't like it! Again, shredded in a salad is good, but sliced and served in malt vinegar is the traditional summer bbq food I grew up with in NZ. And don't get me started on beetroot soup....

Posted by: Sarah at December 16, 2007 7:16 PM

One of my favorite ways to cook brussel sprouts is to cut off the ends and peel the leaves off. Then you can do anything you want with them and they're much more palatable--sort of like a wilted green instead of a pungent little cabbage head. I like to give them a quick stir fry in olive oil before adding to cooked pasta. One of my favorite combos is oriechette (ear shaped pasta) salmon, some kind of stinky cheese, and brussel sprout leaves! It's a little more work but totally worth it. (ps. I got this idea from the Chez Panisse vegetables cookbook--it's nice because the pasta has the same shape as the brussel sprout leaves--and somehow, it helps!


Posted by: anita at December 16, 2007 10:15 PM

Your tree is so cute and those little mitts are the perfect ornament! Good luck on your mission- I've never liked Brussels Sprouts. Let me know if you come across a recipe that tips the scales for you!

Posted by: Lisa at December 16, 2007 10:44 PM

That's funny, Katy's mitts inspired me too - adorable aren't they? I'm surprised to hear that brussels can ever taste good, but I'm gonna take your word for it ;)

Posted by: schrodinger at December 16, 2007 11:44 PM

Oh man, I love roasted brussels sprouts, and we were such good beet customers this year at the Farmer's Market that the beet man delivers us his remaining beets at home! I love the taste of molasses cookies, but unfortunately the smell reminds me of all the milk-and-molasses enemas (yeah, that's right) I had to give at my first job out of nursing school. You had to heat them up in the microwave...

Posted by: kelly at December 17, 2007 8:55 AM

Mmm...clementines! I could eat 'em by the fistful!!

Posted by: jenna at December 17, 2007 9:21 AM

After reading your post I went ahead and whipped up a batch of those Molasses cookies last night. Man were they good! I had to bring them in to work today because I knew if I left them at home I would eat every last one of them by tomorrow. Thanks for linking to the recipe!

Posted by: Heather at December 17, 2007 2:14 PM

Your missions crack me up, and I admire your efforts! If you find success with the Mission to Start Liking Beets, clue me in will ya- I can't handle those. Pretty color, but no thanks. I do love Brussels Sprouts, though, if they are cooked right. Oh, and I love those mini mitts- too cute!

Posted by: Nonnahs at December 17, 2007 8:34 PM

If you're looking to make yourself fall in love with Brussels sprouts, I'd suggest making this:

It's so ridiculously delicious that I actually have cravings for Brussels sprouts now.

Posted by: Diane at December 17, 2007 10:52 PM

Oh, I was just looking for a chewy molasses cookie recipe! And those clementine candles are cool :)

Posted by: Veronique at December 18, 2007 1:34 PM

those little mittens are so cute! i personally LOVE brussel sprouts. KP cooks them up in veggie stock and then adds them to pasta in a oil and garlic with veggies type pasta. delicious!

Posted by: gleek at December 18, 2007 7:21 PM

Brussels sproutrs are amazing if you crisply cool up some bacon, remove it from the pan, add sliced shallots and saute in the bacon fat and then add the Brussels sprouts and maybe a bit of pepper to taste. Add the bacon back (of course) and serve. Yummy bac...I mean Brussels sprouts!

Posted by: maxine at December 19, 2007 6:40 PM

Clementines are my most favorite food EVER! Happy Holidays!

Posted by: yaiAnn at December 19, 2007 6:53 PM

Oh, Jess. I have been so terribly out of touch, but reading your post here made me go all nostalgic for my blogreads. So much fun tucked into one post. Dang. Thank you. And yay for liking the brussel sprouts. I still haven't succeeded at liking them, but yay for you. And those mittens. Oh, they make me all melty.

Posted by: Giao at December 19, 2007 8:36 PM

Thanks for the shout out mama, really glad you likey the bowl :) The mittens are cute, will you try one a mini sweater?

Posted by: craptina at December 20, 2007 4:22 PM

Try brussel sprouts tossed in the pan with bacon bits and almond slivers YUM! Love those gloves

Posted by: Sara at December 21, 2007 3:56 AM

I'm also on the Brussel Sprout Mission...I made Giada Di Laurentiis's recipe for Thanksgiving and even my veggie-hating dad ate strange that those tiny little cabbages can be so flavorful...ummm yeah.

PS love the clementine candle too!

Happy Holidays :)

Posted by: julsey at December 22, 2007 11:31 AM

Your mini mittens look so cute on your tree. I didn't have a Christmas tree this year so it's fun to live vicariously through other people. Also, I've never seen brussels spouts look so good before. Mmmmmm.

Posted by: andrea at December 27, 2007 10:46 AM

Love the little mittens. Reminds me of a former co-worker's tradition, where they would look for elves clothing outside - or would they leave it for the elves?

Anyway, the kids would do this in conjunction with Santa's i guess you could leave a pair for the "helper elf".

Posted by: Diane at December 28, 2007 10:26 AM

Love the mittens... not sold on the brussels sprouts.

Posted by: Littleears at January 15, 2008 2:51 AM

Two things:


Posted by: Lynn in Tucson at January 22, 2008 6:48 PM

the tiny mittens are so cool on the tree. thats such a great ornament.

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