Saturday, June 25, 2011

Camp Loopy in June- Can you hear the Whippoorwill?

My cookbooks are getting a rest this month. They're still piled all around me as I sit on the couch or sleep in my bed and I still glance through them when I need one of those 45-second vacations. But they are not my focus this month.

I decided to take a little break from everything else going on in my life and go camping. For a whole month! But this is the kind of camping where you never leave the house for the itchy woods, and where you can stay fairly cool under the AC instead of battling 100+ degrees outside in the shade. 

My couch has become my campsite -- my cabin, so to speak. I've got the makings for those great and wonderful by-the-campfire S'Mores and they're on the menu tonight!  I am really camping, y'all! 

I joined The Loopy Ewe's "Camp Loopy" for the summer and our first project is to knit a shawl, a shawlette, or a scarf -- in a month's time! There will be other projects in July and in August but it will be one big miracle if I get this shawl finished before the as-yet-unnamed July camp project.  I thought if I joined the June shawl camp project, maybe I would have the pressure/motivation to get it finished by then, but one thing I've learned is that I am definitely a slow knitter. 

We were given several options and patterns were suggested. After looking at all of them several times, searching out the easiest and fastest one, I decided I would knit Whippoorwill designed by Carina Spencer and available for purchase at 

I bought the Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga yarn (handpainted sock yarn) at The Loopy Ewe, of course, and am really loving the way it is knitting up. My colors are Northern Green Frog (brownish-green) and Beyers Jewel Scarab (lime green).  Don't you love the color names! It is really pretty, so far, and I'm keeping fingers crossed that I'm going to like the contrast color (Northern Green Frog) when I get to those rows. 

Well, I'd better get back to some knitting  I've only got 182 stitches on the needles right now and am working my way up to having a total length of around 400 or so.  This will definitely take a while so I need to get going on it. 

The photo above was made last week when I first got started so it's a little bigger now.  More photos soon.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Redneck Gourmet

It seems odd to use "Gourmet" (Gor-may) and "Redneck" in the same title to describe a good cookbook, but it really is the name of my newest cookbook from "L.A.", and that would be "Lower Alabama" -- not Los Angeles.

What started out as a joke recipe for John Paul Richardson turned into a cookbook of almost 500 recipes, some of which are real recipes and others that are not-so-serious (I hope!).  For instance, there is a recipe for Roasted Camel (recipe # 135) and another for Roasted 'Possum (recipe #123).  Some of the more serious recipes are for Mississippi Mud Cake; Rum Cake; and Granny Richardson's Peanut Brittle which I will make very soon!

Richardson got pretty creative with some of the recipes, renaming a pork and mushroom dish as "Psychedelic Pig".  I know that recipe will have some of the hippie types searching out THAT one.

This cookbook had my full attention right from the get-go!  How could it not with a 4-page introduction.  I started reading aloud to my hubby and we were both in giggles and tears within a minute. It is so different from all the other cookbooks in my collection, but this one is a one-of-a-kind that should be in every cookbook collector's library.

Two things that set it apart:  the paragraphs in the 4-page introduction are not separated by a space as they usually are in other cookbooks.  I felt compelled to continue reading to see what else was different.  I then noticed there is no index of recipes though there is a table of contents broken into sections that are familiar, such as "Barbeque", "Meats, Meat Dishes, and Chili" and "Beer, Wine, and Shine", just to name three of the 15 sections.

Most intriguing of all is that each recipe has a number in the title such as 208 Seafood Gumbo; 209 Alabama Gumbo; 210 Chicken Gumbo; 211 Mumbo Gumbo (no meat); 212 Cajun Gumbo, etc.  If you find a recipe you want to try or go back to later, you'll have to write down the number somewhere or page through until you find it again! I've never noticed this indexing method in any other cookbook.

As you can see in the photo, this cookbook has a coil binding so will easily lay flat while cooking from it.

If you're wondering if there is a recipe for snake, you are right -- there is!  But I won't be trying that one, or the one for Chitlins and Hog Maws, or Mexican Swamp Rabbit.  There are plenty of good-sounding recipes to try though and I will try them.

If you would like to order one for the Redneck Gourmet in your life, (this would make an excellent Father's Day gift) just go to for the ordering info.