Cold Snap, Warm Cinnamon Apples, and the Jane Doe Cowl (scroll down!)

Winter has more than arrived in the mid-Atlantic. The cold blasted in this week, the first week to dig out one's loved and worn mittens, hats, scarves, pantas, cowls, glittens and all the other winter whatnots of which only knitters seem to know the proper names. (v. "neck thingies," "head thingies," "hand thingies"). I had few obligations this frigid weekend - at least no unpleasant ones - other than vague plans to hang out with friends and have dinner with Chris' dad. Brunch out in the neighborhood turned into me making waffles and duck bacon (for a friend who doesn't eat pork - a convenient excuse to try something awesome!) and not really getting out of my PJs. Plans to knit at Brooklyn General became, hey, why don't you come over for waffles and we'll hang out in our PJs all afternoon.

waffles with cinnamon apples

[note our favorite mug in the background, it's from danmade, purchased at this year's renegade craft fair!]

We had a bunch of Honeycrisp apples on the counter, and as it is really past Honeycrisp season, they'd been kind of watery and bland. On to Pink Lady season! I do love me some designer apples. Anyway, in the name of not wasting food, I suspected that like overripe bananas their disappointing qualities would fade when cooked, so they ended up as a topping for the waffles, and they did cook right down and recover their intensity.

cinnamon apples

Stovetop Cinnamon Apples
Makes about 6 servings

5 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced about 1/4" thick
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 -1/2 cup sugar (depending on how much of a sweet tooth you have)
a squeeze of lemon
a dash of nutmeg

1. Toss all ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Cook in a medium saucepan over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until apples are tender and a nice syrup has formed.

Next time I'm going to try this with a teaspoon or two of fresh ginger juice to add a little bite. If you want to try it that way, peel and grate a section of ginger into a cheesecloth or tea strainer over a bowl, and press out the juice, then add to apple mixture after cooking.

(the waffles are Mark Bittman's Rich Buttermilk Waffles from How to Cook Everything, and the whipped cream is whipped cream!)

After brunch, we pretty much sat on the couch drinking coffee, knitting, and reading the Times. I made a lot of progress on my as-yet-unnamed cowl. The first sleeve is complete, and I'm on to the second. The goal is to complete this before Christmas.

unnamed cowl

It is already apparent that I am going to love this sweater. One hopes that is the case with something self-designed. But the blessing and the curse of this sweater is the Morehouse 3-Strand Merino. Like any super-soft unplied merino, it's going to pill and the fabric will weaken, and it may not hold up well for more than a couple of years. However, I do plan to share the pattern (with the caveat that I have not written many patterns, and have never written one for a sized garment), so will probably knit this again. When that happens, I will be using something hearty and durable like Cascade 220.

At least I know this sweater will come pre-cat-haired.

sweater, interrupted

Catty is profoundly unhelpful. There isn't even any alpaca in this yarn!

Posted by jess at November 23, 2008 11:30 AM | TrackBack

sounds like the perfect way to spend a frigid weekend. so weird, it is in the 60s here and we are rejoicing the cool down. i decided to knit only sleeveless items from now on because the global heating seems to be dictating zero wool wear round these parts. but we are off to the possibly snowing sierras for the holiday so maybe i can pull of some mitten/sweater wearing this week. here's hoping.

and cannot wait to see the finished cowl. it already looks loevely.

Posted by: mamie at November 23, 2008 3:06 PM

I love that expression "pre-cat-haired", it made me laugh so much ! All my knits comme in that form too…

Posted by: Satsuki at November 23, 2008 3:31 PM

I did the same thing today -- baked some pears rather than throwing them out.

Posted by: Kathy at November 23, 2008 3:34 PM

It looks beautiful. I can't wait to see it finished. I too dug through all my knitted winter items and rejoiced in unearthing them again. This blasted cold has to make some NYer's happy, right?
I am winging a cowl-necked sweater of my own, and trying to decide how long to make the neck before bind-off. Any suggestions? I love the Morehouse Merino. I might have to pick some for a new winter sweater ;)

Posted by: Meghan at November 23, 2008 4:39 PM

the sweater looks as though it will be lovely -- beautiful soft merino, no matter how fleetingly enjoyed, is always well worth it. also, that pan holding the apples is fantastic. is it old?

Posted by: chelsea Slaven at November 23, 2008 6:21 PM

well, i'm now a duck bacon convert. (and i should check if my sweater is pre-cat haired, since that might cause me sneezing fits.)

Posted by: carrie m at November 23, 2008 6:52 PM

Well anything electric blue has to be fabulous. You can always enlist a few test knitters to help you out if you decide to "go public" as it were.

Onto the more important topic of waffles. I must beg you to try the yeasted waffles recipe from Cooks Illustrated! It's amazing. You have to make the batter the night before, but other than that they're sublime. (If you don't have access to the recipe let me know...)

Posted by: sil at November 23, 2008 6:54 PM

Mmm- duck bacon sounds awesome! Where would someone buy such a thing? I have to try it ASAP.

Beautiful sweater color- looking forward to seeing it all finished.

Posted by: Kym at November 23, 2008 7:31 PM

ooooh, i cannot wait to see your sweater!

Posted by: gleek at November 23, 2008 8:26 PM

I was so glad that it finally became cold enough to wear all my hand knits!
Oh, your cowl is going to be lovely :)

Posted by: at November 24, 2008 9:03 AM

duck bacon sound intressting- been already pining over your waffle photo over at flickr...mhhhh
your sweater look really great- amazing colour
and it goes well with the cat ;)

Posted by: asiye Ivedi at November 24, 2008 12:25 PM

Wow! Nice color...and already 'Kitty approved'!
I love your pix of my two favorite things...
knitting and FOOD!
I really like your site!

Posted by: Elisa at November 24, 2008 1:15 PM

I'm loving the look of the Jane Doe sweater.... I can't wait to see the finished garment. That yarn is a perfect blue; very chic.
Oh, & YUM. I now want a waffle maker even more than ever before. Who knew this was possible?!

Posted by: jane at November 24, 2008 2:23 PM

That color is to DIE for! Just beautiful. Can't wait to see it done!

Posted by: Preita at November 24, 2008 5:48 PM

The yarn looks so soft. It will absolutely become a lovely sweater!

Posted by: Bodil at November 26, 2008 2:56 AM

The yarn looks so soft. It will absolutely become a lovely sweater!

Posted by: Bodil at November 26, 2008 2:57 AM

Have you seen the new cat over at Some one from Catty's family!

Posted by: kitkatknit at November 27, 2008 11:31 PM

At least the cat hair becomes fully incorporated into the hand knit sweater, allowing for it to become "additional fiber content" rather than "filthy". On another note, the fact that bacon comes from ducks now is thrilling.

Posted by: James at November 28, 2008 12:57 PM

At least the cat hair becomes fully incorporated into the hand knit sweater, allowing for it to become "additional fiber content" rather than "filthy". On another note, the fact that bacon comes from ducks now is thrilling.

Posted by: James at November 28, 2008 12:58 PM

I am said friend who does not eat pork, and I have been reporting on the virtues of duck bacon to anyone who will listen since JK made this meal for me. Another day of waffles and PJs is in order - perhaps to celebrate the new year in style!

Posted by: Benita at December 30, 2008 4:45 PM
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