What in the world was I thinking??

So last night I was crocheting along with high ambitions for a shrug for my daughter. I was really enjoying the artsiness of this novelty yarn:

mystery yarn 1

And then about half way through the skein, it all suddenly turned into this:

weird yarn 3.jpg

 

What? What? It turned from a nice ball of novelty yarn into a matted, knotted, maddening clump of string and lint. Maybe I should have pulled the yarn from the center instead of unrolling it from the outside of the ball. It quickly disintegrated into 15 minutes of untangling, 1 minute of crocheting, then more untangling. Yikes!

weird scarf (1).jpg

So…now I have finished my scarf!  And I have a clump of string and lint available for anyone that wants it…

What to do with this weird yarn…

I picked up a couple of skeins of mystery yarn at Big Lots a couple of years ago. It’s Gala yarn, which seems to be a hodgepodge of (maybe) big name brand yarn that is slightly irregular, or discontinued..or something like that. Sometimes Gala yarn is weird and sometimes it is gross and sometimes it is nice. I’ll classify this as weird.  🙂

mystery yarn 1

It’s a light yellowish color (or maybe a very pale lime green) and it looks like cotton crochet thread with caterpillar-like clumps of sparkly fluff. Does that sound weird? It might be a little weird. The thready part does not feel like cotton. It feels like acrylic to me. The fluffy parts feel like polyester, and I suppose the sparkly bits are nylon.

I’ve played with it a bit and decided to crochet a big double crochet rectangle.  Very complex, I know! And then I’ll turn the rectangle into a shrug or something. My daughter is into shrugs right now because her school does not allow tank tops. With a shrug, she can wear her tank top but have herself technically covered. It’s a bit of a dance because we live in North Carolina and it gets hot long before the schools are allowed to turn on the air conditioning. So she needs to stay cool, but covered.

mystery yarn 2

I’ll keep working on this as a just-before-bed project. So far, I’m having trouble deciding if this is fun and artsy, or if it looks like a cat mauled it and then rolled it in lint. Maybe a little of both.

Vegetarian Reuben Sandwiches: dressing “recipe”

We eat so many reuben sandwiches around here, it’s not even funny.

sandwiches in the pan.jpg

I grew up in New Ulm, Minnesota, a small town with a strong Bohemian/German sort of heritage. Church dinners were awesome – pork roast, sauerkraut, massive lead balls/potato dumplings, schmierkuchen. Yum, yum, yum! Fast forward a few years: kraut is my comfort food.

So when I make a reuben sandwich, it’s all about the kraut. For me, the meat and cheese on a reuben sandwich is only there to keep the bread from getting soggy. I don’t eat meat these days, so I substitute a slice or two of homemade mustard seitan. I’ll post that later.

My sandwich must have something creamy though, because I like creamy things, and creamy things act as a barrier to the bread so it doesn’t get too soggy.

reuben dressing 1

My favorite sandwich dressing

Lots of people use thousand island salad dressing in a reuben. I like that, but sometimes I think it’s too spicy or something and it takes away from the main focus of the sandwich, which is the sauerkraut. This is the dressing I like to use. You can call it a recipe if you like, but it’s not much of a recipe.

Ingredients:

3-4 T roasted pepper spread

1 cup light mayo

Mix them together.

See? Not much of a recipe. So I’ll show you the pepper spread I use.

pepper spread 1

I buy this stuff at Big Lots and it runs about $3 a jar.

pepper spread 2
ingredients: peppers, eggplant, onions, tomato paste, sunflower oil, salt, garlic, parsley, acetic acid, natural capsicum flavoring or flavouring or whatever

It says to eat it within three days of opening, but it usually takes us a couple of weeks and we haven’t gotten food poisoning or anything like that. If I were a better person, I would freeze little portions in an ice cube tray, but I’m pretty lazy.

My daughter is vegan, so she does not eat regular mayo. She doesn’t eat vegan mayo either because she doesn’t like it. I made sandwiches for her one time using silken tofu and a little olive oil instead of mayo, but she wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole. She really doesn’t like most vegetables, or anything that reminds her of meat, or anything “weird.” What can I say? She has lots of smoothies! OK, I’m all off topic here.

Next time I make the seitan, I’ll take some photos and give you the recipe.