Monday, November 28, 2016

Crown decreases in progress on the stripey hat. DP needles employed.

The first of two BBC programmes about Fair Isle went out tonight – we’ll see it tomorrow. We regulate our television viewing with the Culture section of the Sunday Times. It listed something completely different for the relevant time – although we are supposed to be blessed with the Scottish edition. Poof. Fortunately, I outwitted them.

Many thanks for the help with the forthcoming baby shawl -- Vivienne, Carol, Robin, others. And I think you've cracked it. J&S Heritage lace weight 2 ply in a natural colour. Just-off-white will look too fancy-schmancy, and I want this to be a shawl for use. Both fawn and grey -- that's a really good idea -- are darker then I care for, viewed on a computer screen. At the moment, I think I'll go for fawn, as less sepulchral.

I trust we're all following Kate Davies' teasers for her new book. She's brilliant at teasers. I want a sheepskin from the Shetland Tannery for my knitting chair (yesterday). And I would have ordered yarn for the shawl from today's Uradale Farm near Scalloway, had they offered lace-weight. 

 I need your help on another matter, non-knit. My Christmas present to the Little Boys at Loch Fyne is a do-it-yourself -- Nestle's chocolate chip morsels for Toll House Cookies, and some Baker's Chocolate, for fudge. They do cookery at school, and their father is a brilliant cook so he can help. Neither of these ingredients is readily available in GB.

Toll House Cookies are easy -- the recipe is still on the package, as it was 70 years ago when I first made them. For fudge, I will have to enclose a recipe. I turned to The Joy of Cooking, virtually the only American cook book I have left, and was surprised to find it slightly strange. Grate the chocolate? I'm sure I've never done that. Looking at the recipe again, more calmly, it seems to be sound.  Mrs Rombauer is good on how to recognize the soft ball stage. Alexander's help will be welcome there. It's a valuable life skill, I feel, recognizing the soft ball stage.

But I would be glad to be pointed to a good basic fudge recipe -- no condensed milk, for heaven's sake, just real milk, sugar, chocolate, butter, vanilla. Just for comparison. And, should I really tell them to grate the chocolate?


  1. As for fudge - I used to make it from the Austrlian Countrywomen's cookery book when I was a teenager in need of a bit of nicey. If I remember aright, just sugar, butter, maybe milk, and cocoa powder - no chance of keeping chocolate in the pantry in outback Australia. I will look it up and send you an e-mail tomorrow morning. I recently fell over an America's Test Kitchen re-construction of the Toll House Cookie receipe and will try and find you a link to that. I know they were less than pleased with the original chocolate chips, and recommended something diferent.

  2. Anonymous11:03 PM

    Try the Hershey's website. They have several fudge recipes.

  3. The fudge recipe I use (and which invariably gets rave reviews) is from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, in his 'everyday' book. it seems to be possible to find this recipe online without too much difficulty.

    I am hoping the lack of comment about daily travails mean that things are going well with your husband and his care package at home.

  4. No to grating the chocolate. What about a soft yellow for the shawl. I too loved Kate Davies reference to the tannery. I wonder how much it would cost to ship a Shetland sheepskin to Seattle.

  5. Shetland Organics, which is a collective of Shetland crofters I believe have a beautiful lace weight wool

  6. Old Maiden Aunt dyes a Shetland 2 ply laceweight in beautiful colours - but maybe not sufficiently traditional?
    Bitterbug is a glorious green :)

  7. What a fun gift idea. I'll look at cookbooks. I have made the fudge in Fannie Farmer but not in many years.

  8. Anonymous12:55 PM

    I'm pretty sure this is the recipe I grew up with:

    No condensed milk, but does use evaporated milk. And doesn't require recognizing soft ball stage. While I agree that is a good skill to have, in my youth I preferred perfect fudge to skill acquisition. :)

    Beverly in NJ