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Archive for November 6th, 2009

Susan B. Anderson in Lansing Tonight!

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Knit Designer/Author Susan B. Anderson has written several wonderful books I just love. I have no kids to really knit for, but I buy her books anyway, just to “vote for” the delightful work she has done.

First she wrote Itty-Bitty Hats, which are just as fun as toppers can get. Then she outdid herself with Itty-Bitty Nursery. I particularly fell in love with the mobile for over an infant’s crib. I even bought an automated plastic mobile and tossed the stuffed animals it came with, hoping that someday a friend would have a child for whom I could knit that project.

ittybittyelephantAnd just this week, the book Itty-Bitty Toys has been released. It is wonderful. These projects are great for kids, but I would not be embarrassed to knit one just for myself, because they are so fun.

I’m a bit in love with her projects that can be turned inside out. There is an egg, which turns into a bird in a nest, which turns into a full bird. There is a whole chapter on these transformative stuffed toys, and they are most fun.

You can listen to the Never Not Knitting podcast which interviews Susan about this book. The podcast is here.  You do not need an iPod to listen.

Friend Rae of Rae’s Yarn Boutique has already knit an Itty-Bitty Elephant from the new book. The photo here is Rae’s version. Adorable, yes? She has already started a giraffe, as well.

Tonight at 7pm at Eastwood Town Center in Lansing, at the incomparable Schuler Bookstore, Susan will be giving a talk and bringing a trunk show of her projects from the new book. She will be doing a booksigning for those who purchase the book there tonight.

Please consider being there. The book and its projects are sure to delight!

Roasted Root Vegetables

Friday, November 6th, 2009

My late friend Betsy taught me about root vegetables and how full of minerals they were. As a vegetarian, she found them an important part of her overall food plan.

She had a cookbook full of eastern-european recipes, many of which included parsnips, rutabagas, turnips and the like. I was fascinated.

Now I’m hooked. My favorite root (except perhaps the onion which is in another category) is sweet potato. I also adore parsnips, and I like rutabaga when cut in very small pieces (a la steak fries) and roasted in a hot oven for a very long time.


The other day we made a batch of veggies which I purchased at the Allen Street market and the East Lansing Food Co-Op. I’m still learning which varieties need to be cut larger or smaller, but these turned out quite well. The batch I’m speaking of is in the photo above. We had sweet potatoes, yellow carrots, parsnips, blue potatoes, fingerling white potatoes and onion.

The general formula is this:

Roasted Root Veggies (A formula, not a recipe.)

Preheat Oven to 400F.

Peel veggies if you wish (we peel carrots and parsnips but not potatoes). Cut into chunks that are appropriate. Sweet potatoes need to be biggest, carrots in the middle, rutabaga very thin. If you use fingerling potatoes they may not need cutting at all.

I always include at least a half of an onion, it makes everything else taste great. Sometimes they almost melt but they flavor everything.

After chopping, drizzle olive oil on a jelly roll sheet cake pan. Put veggies on the pan and drizzle more oil on it, as well as salt and fresh rosemary if you have any. Toss until all the veggies are coated with oil. Parsnips need oil or they dry out in the oven, so pay special attention to those if you have any.

Place sheet with veggies in the oven, making sure the veggies are spread evenly throughout the pan. Every 15 minutes, take them out and toss them more.

Somewhere between 45 and 90 minutes, they will probably be done. Use a fork to test for a softer center. Carrots and parsnips usually do not get all the way to soft, and they still taste good.

Remove from oven. Cool a little, and eat still warm. YUM.