March 23, 2004

Weekend Knitting.

Car knitting early Saturday afternoon.

This weekend we drove outside Lyon to visit an aunt and uncle*, and I took the opportunity to do some car knitting. Fiber Trend's "Berry Cute Hat" [thanks, Patricia!], Cotton Fleece and Arabella Zodiac. By the time we got there, I was nearly finished with the green band and border. My husband, the kid and the uncle went for a walk while I "took tea" with the aunt (oh, how fancy!), so I was able to pull out my knitting and work on the berry portion. Voilà what I had as of yesterday morning:


Can I sing the praises of Cotton Fleece? Damn, that's a great yarn. Makes for fun and fast knitting. I think I'll knit a pumpkin hat, too.

*I love this aunt and uncle. They're Spanish-French, so it gives them a kick when I sprinkle my French with words in Spanish. Plus, the aunt knows how to make Spanish white wine cookies and orange cakes. Whenever she knows I'm coming to visit, she'll make some especially for me and I end up shoveling about 50 cookies into my mouth and polishing off half a cake myself. Gluttony at its finest!

And speaking of cookies but totally offing on a tangent, my son and I spent another weekend afternoon making chocolate chip cookies. The mixer we use is one that my mother-in-law sent us. It's a retro mixer! My husband used this same mixer when he was a kid to bake things because it's lightweight. [Awwwwwwwwwww.] The cookies were very good, but they didn't come out like American chocolate chip cookies, which is what I was aiming for. They came out more like tuiles, probably because of the ingredient substitutions.


And for the foodies out there, here are some gratuitous shots of my Captain Destructo making chocolate chip cookies, French-style.

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49 comments to this entry:

Awww, what a cute kid. BTW, that mixer looks familiar I think my mother used one just like that when I was a little girl (70’s – 80’s) (I’m going on 32) I look forward to the day that I can bake with my son. My DH favorite cookies are peanut butter cookies and I found a recipe for them on the next which he loves. I also make Chocolate Chip cookies but find the bought ones are better as they stay soft and moist. I’m afraid that recently a lot of the picture you put will not display on my screen…heramph! Oh I always knit in the car, it where I get most of my knitting done. DH drives and I sit in the back with DS…everyday as we go to day care and work and when we go home. You see we just have the one car.
Yummy hat & cookies !
Love the cookie shots! I was never able to replicate my Mom's thin and chewy CCCs. Mine were always cakey! I realized it was because I wasn't using her beat up and banged 1 cup measuring cup. It has so many dents in it I am sure it isn't measuring with a full cup! Now I fudge on my cups to make them chewier. Berry hat is my favorite!!!
ahhh... that hat is *berry* cute! (sorry, couldn't resist the goofy pun). And I know what you mean about the cookies; every time I head back to the states, I bring brown sugar back over with me, because they just don't seem to turn out at all otherwise. Of course, the fact that our real oven (supplied by the apartment) doesn't work isn't very inspiring either... you can only cook so many in the microwave oven at a time, which makes cookie baking an all-day event. It's probably for the best, though... keeps me from making them too often, and therefore keeps me from eating too many ;)
That adorable little hat looks as yummy as those cookies. Mmmmmmm . . . need . . . cookies . . . NOW!!!!
This is a timely post, m'dear. I'm invited to a baby shower for one of my dearest friends (39 yo, first baby) and I need to make something cute. I was thinking booties out of Koigu. But a Cotton Fleece hat would be nice too...its a May babe.
O Captain, My Captain! How adorable thou art! Kiddo steals the show again, which is pretty impressive, given that wonerful berry hat above. I noticed you had two circulars going on the top shot. Tres interessant. Isn't cotton fleece fabby? I have some leftover vintage 1996 in a yellow-orange called Goldenrod, which I plan to use to make crocheted Turkish slippers. The stuff is great - it goes on for miles!
merci Becky de ta visite sur mon blog! Je suis ravie que tu y viennes de temps en temps faire un tour! Mon chien que tu trouves si mignon est un bichon maltais de 9 mois... adorable à tous points de vues;o) Amitiés Valette
The Berry Cute Hat is so aptly named. Can't wait to see the finished product. I think I *need* that pattern and yarn *now*. Once again you're enabling me!
Mmmmm those cookies do look great. What a great looking son you have also. That berry hat is absolutely delicious.
Cotton Fleece is fantastic! I used it to make several Chickamis last summer and fell in love with it. I am glad you discovered it.
Adorable cookie monster shots! The hat is coming out great. It looks like a very similar pattern to my pumpkin king hat - though I didn't use fiber trends. Can't wait to see the finished object:) PS: come see my pretty necklaces, you'll like them I promise!
Very cute! Such a handsome little continental man - he's even wearing a turtleneck! I love guys in turtlenecks. Oh yeah - I've got the same little mixer! :o)
Such a sweet hat! I bet that's fun to knit as well. Spanish white wine cookies sound amazing! I don't blame you for stuffing the lot in your face!
I always encounter so many knots in my Cotton Fleece. Gracie, my 10 year old, had a Berry Cute Hat--loved it. Cookies look yummy. Your son is a doll. Some suggest chilling the dough before baking to give them a bigger rise.
Oh, such a cute hat, I should make hats for all the grandnieces (because I have so much extra time and no other projects, hahaha) - and your son baking! I just can never get over how cute that kid is. What a sweetie. Can I have him?
yummy post all around, what with the berry hat and cookies! If you manage to snag the recipe for white wine cookies, I'd love to see it!! I need to find a recipe for this!!! We had a mixer like that when I was a kid! Aw! I'm interested to know what ingredients you had to substitute for the cookies. I think it's so funny how basic food items you take for granted are so different in other countries!
is that the cotton fleece/karabella i sent you oh so long ago now? i just sent the rest of it to carrie for a summer top. i have so much yarn now, seems silly to keep stuff around i will never get to use. ;)
That hat is tooo cute! I am now on the hunt for that pattern and yarn. And there is nothing better than a mom and tot bond in the kitchen, no matter how the cookies turn out(especially in my case, seeing that my mini is the only fan of my baking, LOL). Your cookies, however look yummy!
I've been wanting to make the blackberry hat because we live in blackberry country. I must go find Cotton Fleeece in the right colors. A possible cause of the tuile-ness of the chocolate chip cookies is the higher butterfat content of French butter. You might try adding a little more flour. PS. J'aime beaucoup votre nouveau blog!
Very cute the little hat! Can't wait to see the pumpkin one! Hummmm! Chocolate chip cookies!!!! I never tried to make them in France, but when I have tried to export baking recipes the other way, it was often disapointing, until I realized that I should use "european butter" instead of the regular butter (consistency is different somehow) and change the type of flour (I used the regular "Gold Medal" first, and that just didn't work because the consistency was different too, more "sticky" I think, and I changed to another more fancier one that is sold at my favorite grocery store). Now, you can't tell the difference! Caroline
je crois que votre fils est le nouveau heartbreak kid. quel visage! et comme tricoteuse, vous etes inspirateuse! i think i made that word up, you like? it's franglaise for "one who inspires."
Very cute! the hate AND the guy! ;) I have always wanted to make one of those fruit caps - and look how much your little guy has grown even just since last fall - waaah - they grow up way too fast, don't they?!
yummy...i haven't baked cookies in ages...unless you can consider plopping sliced, pre-made cookie dough onto a baking sheet actual baking. great pictures of knitting and your little chef. i've also been enjoying your life in the frog inner expatriate has been thinking of learning french...
Your aunt and uncle sound wonderful!!! What yummy treats! As for the chocolate chip cookies, when I lived in Japan, my baked goods did not turn out like the US counterparts. I think it was due to the flour. Japanese flour is more finely processed or something. Surely there must be some tricks! Maybe you can ask Clotilde over at She is my food hero. Hmm, all my heros seem to live in France! (P.S. Once in a while I cannot view your photos. So sad)
Oh how cute is the boy with the cookies? If you can't find acceptable chips, one of my friends would hack up candy bars to make cookies. My fave were the Heath bars (I almost typed Health bars..hee). Berry hat is fabulous!
Awww! I'm glad to hear about like the Cotton Fleece. I've been eyeing that at the store recently. It's a lot of yardage for a good price. And sounds like it's enjoyable to use. A thumbs up from Fluffa and I'm all over it! Great hat, by the way. Those berry/fruit/flower hats are the cutest! Well, not cuter than your son making chocolate chip cookies, of course. :)
mmm heath bar cookies are sinfully good. What kinds of substitutions do you have to make? A kid growing up with no toll house goodness? Now that is just wrong. See, and this (and the fact I can't cook) is why I've never attempted the toll house cookie in the U.K. I know it will just turn out all funny.
Beautiful hat, and those cookies (biscuits to us Aussies) look deeeeeelicious. Feel free to express post some over my way ;-) (PS I'm having trouble with the pics, too. I can view them from the comments page, but not the home page)
Cute hat! The cookies look great - I think I may have to bake something tonite after seeing the fun you and your son had in the kitchen!
Oh, tres cher!! I'm so glad you like the pattern. That picture makes my mouth water for B.C. blackberry pie ..... yummmm! Your son is adorable - boys should learn to like cooking too, lol! My nephew loved to help out in the kitchen, too, and now at age 15, he makes his own supper sometimes, so this is a great start!
What a cute hat! Not to mention CD-- watch out, Jamie Oliver. ;) I have a cotton question for you. I remember reading that when you join a new ball of yarn, you knit one stitch with old and new yarn together and then weave in the ends, which is usually how I finish, too. I tried this recently with some cotton yarn and the resulting doubled stitch looked big and funky from the right side. Is there a Beckyish way around this? Inquiring minds want to know. :)
So much sweetness all in one post! Your little kitchen helper is just adorable (your son, not the mixer -- but hey, nice mixer, too). I love the berry hat. I'm working on a little eggplant cap for my friend's new baby girl right now. It was supposed to be a strawberry, but when I saw the gorgeous eggplant-colored yarn, I just had to do a little genetic modification.
LOVE the gratuitious shots of the step by step cookie baking. LOVE the berry hat. Quite adorable!
Yummm, berries and cookies! May I come over to your house? Was the butter at room temp.? When I started making chocolate chip cookies a few years ago, I found that the temp. of the butter made a huge difference in the way the cookie baked up. If the butter is cold, you'll get a crisp cookie, if the butter is soft and at room temp., you'll get a softer cookie. Substitutions in ingredients make a difference I only use the toll-house recipe. In the end, it doesn't matter, as my MIL says, "It cannot be bad, it can only be good!"
The hat is awesome! The kid is super cute. HBomb now wants to make cookies like Captain D. On a side note, I mix my cccookie dough by hand. I can tell a difference when I don't. Now where to find some cotton fleece...
How crazy fun is that hat??? Who's the lucky recipient?!? Mmmm... cookies! BTW, Your little boy is so adorable... :0)
Hey! Such a cute hat! This is great idea of a gift, and seams interesting to knit, too. And these cookies look yummy. I have good memories of baking as a kid, too. But with a father former "pâtissier" i learned to do "meringues"...these cookies look much better, for sure.
What a pretty slide show! The mixer surely doesn't look lightweight. It makes your kid look very strong. I can't believe how much he's growing... The cookies look like the ones my mother make. More like tuiles, like you say. What a great way to put it. Maybe they're canadian... Ha! Bisou.
Well, I can see that two others beat me to the "more flour" comment - I'm sure the buttery cookies were still tasty, though, so it's all good. Listen carefully: "must...make...Fixation....socks" Say that a few times and I'll see you in the sock dimension!
Thanks for the comment on my blog. Maybe it was your site I originally saw the "notwithoutmyhandbag" link on - it seemed really familiar when I stumbled across it the other day. That hat is so CUTE! I love it. I may have to make a few myself.
This post brought back very fond memories of my mother trying to make chocolate chip cookies during a summer in France about 30 years ago. She had the same result, and as a very accomplished cook it drove her crazy. After years of reflection on the cookie incident, in the end she decided it was the brown sugar (or red sugar, as I think it was known in France then). Of course, it did not stop us from eating the cookies.
Dittos to what everyone else said about a little extra flour and the precious hat. Have to comment on Valette's entry - just that she has The Most Gorgeous Name. :-) And a tip: If you pop a piece of bread into the cookie jar, your cookies will stay soft. I bet if you post the ingredients that you need and cannot find in Lyons that some will magically appear in your mailbox. ;-)
French speckled with Spanish...does that make "Franish" hah! Two years ago I took some extra curricular french lessons to brush up my rusty French. There was a girl in my class who could speak Spanish fluently. Every now and then she would slip in some words of Spanish when she was unsure how to say it in French...sometimes it was understandable but other times it was like, "What the heck?" :-) I have been following your blog for sometime now. I just want to say how inspirational your blog is and what an excellent job you've done here as well as Life at the Frog pond. I would like to start a blog like this one day, but first I also need to get a cool digital camera...sigh! I'll do it all one day...when I've finished college (hopefully this summer!! after which I hope to spend a year in Paris...more school...yes, I am the eternal student)
Your son is almost as cute as my son...imagine that! :)
Very cute hat - very cute Chef! Any kind of cookie is good with me, yum!! I understand how folks crave foodies from their past. My boss moved from Boston to Denver 4 years ago and he has been craving Ricotta Cannolis from Mikes Pastry in the North End of Boston. So what did Ms. Nikatay do - on my business trip - I carried a cooler with fresh cannolis yesterday on the plane from Boston to Denver for him. Let's just say it created quite a stir in the security officers at the airport. They could have cared less about my abundance of knitting needles - they all wanted a fresh cannoli - he, he!!
Thanks for the kind words and tips, everyone! For my cookies, I didn't really make any substitutions, per se. I just used French products, which is probably why it resulted in a French-tasting chocolate chip cookie [duh!]. The cookies were very good, they just didn't taste like the chocolate chip cookies I'm used to eating. And I'm quite sure that it's got something to do with the butter, flour, and brown sugar. They're just slightly different enough to result in a different cookie. Next time I'll use sweeter butter, add more flour, and chill the dough, just to see what happens :-) P.S. I once tried making gratin dauphinois in the States. I even got "European" unsalted butter and "European-style" cream. But, it just didn't taste the way it does when I make it here. It was good, but just not French. It tasted American, just like my French-tasting chocolate chip cookies. Hee! (It's always fun to try, though.)
Everything looks fabulous. I wish I could knit that quickly. I knit and knit and feel like I'm making no progress at all. My mother is a Spanish-English speaker. Conversations with her are so fun...she switches between the two languages in the same sentence! My poor husband has a tough time following her, since he doesn't speak Spanish. LOL!

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