First Year Family Garden

The Wordy BitIt's all wordy bit today. I know I haven't posted in a few weeks, and that was not intentional. I took a brief sabbatical from social media (and a lot of the internet, to be honest) over Mother's Day weekend. I needed the break from all the bonkers things I was seeing. I, instead, focused on my family, making phone calls, tending my garden, and taking in the quiet. 

If you follow me on social media, I've shared my garden before. Even before all the pandemic madness began, my husband and I wanted to try our hand at gardening. We have an amazing portion of our backyard that gets sun from the moment it rises until just before it sets. We figured we would plant there, and since we didn't know how things would go, we decided for a raised garden. We used cinder blocks as our base, and on top of that we placed grow bags and surrounded them with a cedar frame (to help them hold their shape). We started with four plots that were 4' by 2', as well as a po…

Maker Basics - Not so Basic Stitches

Materials:Yarn of choice
Hook size recommended by yarn choice The Wordy BitA couple weeks ago, I went over how to tie a slip knot, how to chain, and how to perform the single crochet. If you've got those down, and are ready for more complex stitches, then read on. 

Slip stitches (which I haven't covered because they're still difficult for me) and single crochet stitches are "short" stitches. It takes lots of rows to get length. More complicated stitches like half-double crochet, double crochet, and treble crochet, are taller. This means is takes less rows to get height, but it also means an airier fabric, as the gaps in the yarn will be larger. Look at it this way: it take roughly 2-3 rows of single crochet to get the same height as you would get from 1 row of double crochet. The row heights and fabric density plays a huge role in designer's reason for choosing different stitches. We'll get into that more once we've discussed how to perform some taller s…

Is it Junk? Chicken Nuggets

All You Need:3-4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
4 large eggs, beaten
2 cups breadcrumbs
2 cups all purpose flour
seasoning of choice (about 1/4 cup total)
baking sheets
some sort of storage container
freezer What You Do:Preheat oven to 350°. Cut chicken breasts into 1" pieces that are about 1/2" thick. Place cut chicken, flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs in separate bowls and line them up in that order. At the end of your little assembly line, place your baking sheets. (Note: if you have a nonstick baking sheet, great! If not, any baking pan lined with parchment paper will work.) 

Divide your seasoning (I use Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, but any spice mix or simple salt and pepper would work.) between the chicken, flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Mix the seasoning into each bowl completely. Here is a picture of my chicken, and then my assembly line.

Using the "wet hand, dry hand" method*, dredge the chicken in the flour. Then, dip the chicken into t…

Maker Basics - Basic Stitches, B*tches

Whatever size hook that is recommended by the yarn
Patience The Wordy BitOkay, so you've read over my broad-strokes on yarn. You went to the yarn store (online, hopefully) and found the yarn you want to create with. The label said you need a certain sized hook, so you got that, too....or you dove head first in and bought a bundle of hooks and notions. Either way, you've got yarn and hook in hand and you're ready to go! Right...?

Well, if you're not, then this post may not be as informative as you were expecting. Maybe check back next week when I'm doling out my secrets on the perfect chicken nugget. Still here? Grab that yarn and hook, honey, and let's learn some basic stitches!

The Slipknot

Great band, but we're not here for the music. The foundation of any crochet project starts with a basic slipknot. So, I've got this picture here, and I'm going to explain my process. It seems simple to me, and I hope that translates well to you.

Is it Junk? Jalapeno Poppers

All You Need:Jalapeno (I use 10 large ones at a time)
2 blocks of cream cheese, softened
3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese 
sheet pans
broiler What You Do:To Prep:

Split peppers and remove membrane and seeds (unless you want them super spicy!).

In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and shredded cheese. (I use my hands because it makes it go faster.)

Stuff peppers with cheese mixture and lay flat on a baking sheet. Freeze for at leas 4 hours or until solid. This way, you can store them in a bag or stack them in a container without them freezing into a solid lump.

To Cook: When ready to cook, remove the amount you want to make. Place them on a microwave safe dish and microwave at full power for 30 seconds. Set your oven broiler to 500°. Once the broiler is preheated, place peppers about 3 inches away from broiler (top rack) and watch. Depending on your oven and your peppers, this can take anywhere from 3-8 minutes. Remove peppers when they start to develop dark brown spots. 
The Wordy …

Maker Basics - The Old Yarn and Hook

Crochet hooks The Wordy BitA lot of people see the work I do (or the work other crafters do) and think: "Wow, I wanna do that!" and they have no idea where to start. Sound familiar? Yeah, it was like that for me, too, when I decided to re-learn how to crochet. My mom showed me how waaaaay back in the 1990s, and I half-assed it, to be honest. I got the itch again in 2015, but I was so overwhelmed with how much information was out there, all the different yarns available, and the multitude of hooks/sizes...that I didn't really dive in a start wading through until 2017. 

So, here I am hoping to be able to clear some of this up for those of you wanting to learn a new hobby. I'll give a quick run-down of my favorite uses of different fibers and a brief explanation of (what I think) are the most important hook sizes to have on hand. I'll even give you instructions on how to start a basic chain (which you'll need to know to start most patterns). Now, I r…

Is it Junk? Loaded Potato Skins

All You Need:12 Russet potatoes, washed
Sour Cream
1 lb Shredded Cheese  (I use a mixture of sharp cheddar and the Mexican blend)
Olive Oil
6 oz Bacon bits (homemade or store bought)
baking pan
aluminum foil
food service gloves (trust me)