lagniappe :: (Creole) an unexpected gift

Sweet Sarah knocked my socks off with this unexpected and thoroughly yummy gift – Malabrigo!!! 2 skeins, in Marron Oscuro. I don’t yet know what I’ll make with it, but that has been part of the fun – thinking through all the possibilities. I have never received non-planned-for yarn before (i.e., every other yarn gift to this point has been something My Old Man got me for a pattern I already had in mind, and I directed him to the exact yarn, exact color, exact number of skeins, exact shop)**, so this is quite a treat!

I was utterly disappointed with an early Christmas present from a family member who clearly knows me not (hint: when in doubt, see Sarah’s gift, above). I wasted no time in returning the gift (yes, I’m one of those people) and getting something I really wanted instead. A Bea Ellis Hat Kit (traditional). Ordered on Friday, it arrived on Monday. I couldn’t be happier. This will be my first fair isle project.

Though my knitting lately has been mostly unappreciated , fraught with mistakes , or completely behind deadline, I have done one little Christmas project that I am super-proud of – and that has been truly appreciated. The uber-precious soft trees from little birds handmade. I just love them, and – unbelievably – so do my boys (especially Little Buddha, who sometimes takes two or three to bed with him). The three solid color ones are done in felt and the other three were made with cotton fat quarters. I see more of these in my future, though perhaps not this year.

The final bit of lagniappe this week was cooking-related. We had some good friends over for dinner on Monday, something we almost never do anymore (i.e., since the boys were born). I somehow managed to pull the whole thing off, including a rather gourmet meal, but the real coup was the salad, which I came up with myself (and, though I love to cook and bake, I am not known for experimentation in the kitchen; just as I like a pattern for knitting and sewing, I like a recipe for cooking and baking).

Anyway, I was thoroughly pleased with myself for this little number, which was a big hit. In addition to being light and tasty, it had a very Christmas-y look to it. And since I’ve received so much lagniappe this week, I’m passing some lagniappe on to you.

earthchick’s Christmas Candy Salad*
3 T blood orange vinegar (I use Cuisine Perel)
2 t honey
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
– mix the vinegar and honey, whisk in the olive oil, add salt and pepper

7 oz. mesclun mix (with plenty of red greens)
1/2 cup-ish of blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup-ish of walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup-ish pomegranate seeds**
optional: 1 bosc pear, peeled and sliced (I didn’t have a pear, but as I ate the salad, I thought it would’ve been a great addition)
– put all ingredients in a large bowl, add dressing, and toss.

*I call this “Candy” Salad because my sons believe that pomegranate seeds are candy. They are soooo good just for snacking, that I sort of feel like they’re candy, too!
** to get the seeds, submerge a pomegranate in a large bowl of water. While the pomegranate is under the water, use a sharp knife to cut the fruit into 6 or 8 pieces. Use a spoon (I still keep the fruit underwater for this) to dig out the seeds. Remove whatever pulp and fruit you can with your hands, then pour the rest of the bowl through a strainer. You may need to pick some more pulp off the seeds.

The salad make a lovely Christmas presentation, with its red, green, and white colors, and is super-simple to make. Happy lagniappe to you! (if you make it, I’d love to know what you think of it, esp. if you make any changes or additions that you find tasty)

*Gah! I totally forgot about the AWESOME yarn gift My Old Man’s Son C gave me for Christmas when he visited earlier this month. I had been waiting to post about it till I got a good pic – it’s a sweet Shetland yarn, undyed, in yummy natural colors, from a farm in England near where C lives. Pics to come….

7 thoughts on “Lagniappe!

  1. Sounds fun! Glad you got a gift you enjoy:)My kids LOVE the trees we made. I have a rule that they live on the mantle, so they play with them there!Yummy salad.

  2. Aww, I love the trees. And he takes them to bed? How cute!! The salad looks good too–similar to one that we often have but without pomegranates and with raspberry dressing instead. I’ll have to try your version!

  3. Oooh, I love the Mmmmmmmmm. What a gorgeous colorway!

    The trees are cute!! And, the salad sounds so yummy! I actually have most of the ingredients on hand — I’ll have to try it soon.

  4. Merry Christmas, Earthchick! May your 2007 knitting be appreciated, without mistakes, and always right on time!

    The Malabrigo is, as Malabrigo always is, yummy. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the knitting as much as the contemplation of what to knit!

  5. Hi Earthchick! Thanks so much for your lovely comment on my blog.

    I’m drooling over your new Malabrigo, the color is beyond gorgeous! I’ll have to check back here often to see what you’ll decide to knit up with it. 😀

    Best wishes for all things wonderful in the New Year!

  6. Mmmm! I just finished that Bea Ellis hat!! One thing to note – it says knit in pattern to 8″ then start decreases. Unless your noggin is huge, I wouldn’t go to 8″. I stopped at 7″ and it’s still a little long. Just something to be aware of. I love the colors you chose!

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