Nov 10, 2011

Unintended consequences

I started knitting about 4 years ago. I've knit hats, fingerless mitts, washcloths, socks, and even blankets. But so far my favorite thing to knit is sweaters. I've lost track of how many I've knit for myself, but it seems ever season I have a new favorite.

This sweater was destined to be an all-time favorite. I love the pattern - shawl collar to keep my neck warm, just enough cable knitting to be an interesting knit AND interesting to look at. The yarn - Madelinetosh Tosh Merino in the Thunderstorm colorway - is gorgeous. Don't you think the pattern and yarn were meant to be together?

There was just one problem. I began knitting this sweater in February, about 6 weeks before I went Primal. Back when I weighed 175 or 180 pounds. I'm down at 150 now. And I knew the sweater was maybe a little too big, but I was wearing it anyway. I blamed the ill fit of the collar and the way it slipped off my shoulders on a too-tight collar bind-off.

That is, until I got back these photos from the amazing photographer Amy Wilbanks. She took them for me during a family photo shoot, specifically so I could have decent photos for my Ravelry project page.  Looking at the photos, I was nothing but dismayed and disappointed. The photos themselves are beautiful, but the sweater? Oh, goodness. So much too big. It's heartbreaking.

It seems there is no choice but to rip this sweater back to the beginning and start over in a smaller size. If it was a less loved pattern, or a less expensive yarn, I might just give it to a friend who's the right size. But I am in love with both pattern and yarn, so a re-knit it will be.

I think I just might wait a while, though. Not too long. Just until I've reached my desired body composition. Just in time for next winter, I hope.

Nov 5, 2011

Adventures in Paleo Baking

Today is my daughter's first birthday. It's hard to believe it was a year ago that I was having such mixed emotions - dread of the surgery (placenta previa forced us to have a c-section) and anticipation at meeting my daughter.

Today, though, my mixed emotions are for much lesser reasons. I have never been much of a baker - I mean, I can handle some chocolate chip cookies or a pumpkin pie. But Paleo baking - that is, grain-free, low-sugar baking - is a different kettle of fish. I've only attempted a couple of recipes. But I knew I wanted a special cake for this special day (even if Paige doesn't eat much of it).

I turned to Bill and Haley at The Food Lover's Primal Palate. Well, to their blog, at least. I've had success with a few of their recipes, so looked for something appropriate. I knew I'd found it when I saw their German Chocolate Torte. German chocolate is the favorite cake of both my husband and I; in fact, we had a traditional German chocolate cake at our wedding instead of a big white confection. The Paleo version isn't quite the same, but it features the same flavors.

 Baking the cake itself went well. My 4-year-old son helped me by cracking eggs and mixing together the dry ingredients. The cake looked great once it had cooled and been plated.  It looked pretty good at the ganache stage as well, even though I used 3/4 cup of chopped pecans rather than the cup called for in the recipe. Oh, how I wish I'd taken a photo of this stage.
 Something went dreadfully wrong with the whipped topping, though. I suspect I whipped the cream too long, which will teach me to multi-task by doing dishes instead of keeping an eye on the task at hand. It ended up with the consistency of whipped butter. I might have run to the store for another cup of whipping cream, but it still tasted good. And she's only a year old - she won't know the difference.

I toasted the coconut...just because I wanted to. No real reason.

I also piped the top with the left-over ganache. Obviously, I shouldn't give up my day job ;-)

The birthday girl is taking a nap, but I'm hopeful she will enjoy her mom's attempt at the perfect first birthday cake.

Nov 2, 2011


I think November 2nd might be a bit early for freezing temperatures and scraping ice off the windshield. Nevertheless, here we are.

Nov 1, 2011


I gave in to temptation last night and ate some of my son's Halloween candy. Yummy yummy candy that reminded me of so many things!
Many of the memories were good ones - of Halloween's from my childhood, of how for three years running I dressed as a hobo, wearing my dad's shirt and using charcoal to give myself a beard, of the freedom of going out with my sister and a pillowcase and roaming the neighborhood after dark. Reminders of a pretty darn good childhood.

Unfortunately, it also reminded me of adulthood and of some of the benefits I've been getting from this Paleo way of eating. It brought back the upset tummies, and the hyper-awareness of my intestines, and the knowledge of where the nearest bathroom is and how long it will take to get there.

It reminded me that I ALWAYS used to feel this way - gassy and bloated and on the verge of diarrhea. Brain fog and shaking hands. It brought back in a very real way my sweet tooth, to the point where I found myself seeking out sugar at the end of every meal.

I'm not going to regret sharing Halloween treats with my son. It is a memory to treasure, him holding out a Snickers and asking if I wanted it. How could I say no?

But it was a great reminder that I enjoy this way of eating, that I need it for my health and my daily well being.