Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday's Tin of the Week

We got this very nice little tin in our Christmas package from Christina this past year.  The Shaker loves to sail but has been difficult since moving abroad.  He does hope that after all the travel and eating/drinking our way through Europe that he can return to the US and sail once again in the San Francisco Bay. 

Christina said that I could use it for my knitting notions but I think that The Shaker is going to take off with this tin and use it for himself.

Thanks Christina for thinking of The Shaker!
The Martini Knitter

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday's Tin of the Week

This tin definitely needs an explanation.  The Shaker’s family has small rustic cabin in the Big Horn mountain range of Wyoming; about a 45-minute drive from Sheridan, Wyoming.  His family gathers every summer to stay here and fish and to commune with nature. 

However, I am not a fisherman at all.  I just don’t get it. I have tried.  Really I have. But it’s completely frustrating to me to throw a line in and just wait.  I am not a patient person.  I can be – if I have my knitting needles with me.  Well, when I realized that his family was very nature like, I thought there is no way that they are going to take me, this San-Franciscan-city-girl into their lives until I realized Mrs. Secret Service was just like me!  Her husband, The Shaker’s cousin, works for the US Secret Service – sorry to say I have no clue what he does and I think I would like to keep it that way.  Anyway, she is just as craftsy as me and probably more so! 

She sent this tin to me at the end of last year but I wanted to wait until 2014 and to start this year off with Tin of the Week with moose kisses … Though, I think I’ll just stick with my martini …

Thanks Mrs. Secret Service!
The Martini Knitter 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Yarn! Throwing a Party! Without Me!

I have to say that I was quite productive over the Christmas holidays.  We stayed here and had a fantastic visit with Gin.  We hung out here in Basel, went to Bern to renew our US passports, and even went to Zurich for a little culture (I saw my first Jackson Pollock!). 

I finished Gin’s Harry Potter sweater and she loved it. She even liked that I made the letter M more "superhero" like than "Harry Potter" like.  I made slippers for The Shaker, which turned into making another pair to take with us to friends’ homes when we visit.  Gin liked The Shaker’s so much that she asked me to make her a pair to have in the dorms.  I call them Hey, I’ve Got My New Shoes On because Gin turned me on to this song by New Shoes by Paolo Nutini.  How can you not be happy with new shoes???

The Shaker's slippers for our home
His other ones are solid blue
Gin's slippers

But the gift that she didn’t ask for was a rug for her dorm room.  It’s small.  The rug is only about 25 inches wide.  Actually, the rug idea came from The Shaker.  I saw this yarn and it screamed to me: Take me home! So I did.  What it omitted to tell me is that it looked better wrapped up in a ball than knitted up.  It had no intention to ever be knitted up.  All along it planned on staying in its skein wrapper never to be knitted. I tried knitting it.  But nothing ever looked good!  I must have wasted 6 to 8 hours trying to coax this yarn into something!  So I was complaining about it to The Shaker and I said I was angry that I bought this yarn at 8.90 CHF a skein and that it suckered me into buying 3 of them and for what? For nothing but to taunt me every time I looked at it!  So The Shaker said, “Hey could you crochet Gin a rug to put next her bed?  She doesn’t have carpeting in her dorm room.” So ha! Take that you gremlin-like yarn!  

Look at it! Why wouldn't you think it would knit
up beautifully?

But actually this yarn was not really gremlin-like at all.  I know why it wanted to stay in its ball form not to be knitted because it had friends.  Yes, it hung out in my cotton skein basket with all of my other skeins waiting to be used.  It must have been throwing parties at night or something because once I bought (yes, bought!) 3 more skeins of cream color cotton yarn and knitted the two of them together it was instant harmony.  I could see the variegated colors of the original (gremlin) skein and a hint of the cream skein.

The Martini Knitter

Friday, January 3, 2014

What I Did During The Holidays

I am not sure if I get what the whole “bacon craze” is about because in this household we always have bacon.  It is not a fad or a trend in our home.  We simply love bacon and no one better than Gin herself.  If something is lacking in a recipe we are known for saying, “You know, bacon would be perfect in this.”

A few weeks ago, during my mad rush of Christmas knitting and getting ready for Gin’s arrival home, Weekend Warrior Guy emailed me this link to how to make bacon infused whiskey. It intrigued Weekend Warrior Guy, his wife Canadian Yoga Girl, The Shaker and myself.  We had some brief iMessage-ing going back and forth about what whiskey/bourbon would you use?  Someone suggested a less expensive one because what if it didn’t turn out?  And, seriously, why ruin a really good 15 to 18 year old whiskey?  So Weekend Warrior Guy decided to go with a classic standard, Jim Beam. 

Weekend Warrior Guy and Canadian Yoga Girl’s first step was to choose the bacon. 

Then fry the bacon and the bacon fat drippings to the bourbon.  In which The Shaker suggested adding a few crispy bits of bacon to the mixture as well.  We think that addition of bacon bits added to the steeping process made a huge difference in the end. 

The steeping process is rather disgusting.  Look at the glass container right behind Weekend Warrior Guy's hand …

Here's the filtering process

The finished product and thankfully, it's clear looking

Now for the drinks.  We did try the drink that was suggested in the original The Globe and Mail video about adding a chili to the bourbon to give it a little kick/spice. Weekend Warrior Guy made one drink with that, and we found it “interesting and yet different.”  In the end, we opted for this drink.  After all, Weekend Warrior Guy and Canadian Yoga Girl are Canadian and they always have Canadian maple syrup in stock at their home.   

Weekend Warrior Guy with our shaker making the bacon infused old fashion and performing what is known as "da face."

This is the only picture that we have of Canadian Yoga Girl with us.  Vermouth took the pic. Having Canadian Yoga Girl's eyes shut just adds to the magic of how wonderful bacon infused bourbon really is!

Gin, the true bacon lover, said the old fashion was fantastic

I'm looking forward to making another batch of bacon infused bourbon with Weekend Warrior Guy and Canadian Yoga Girl soon ... very soon ...

The Martini Knitter