Friday, September 27, 2013

Amherst - The Electric Street Knitting Room

Beautiful silk - perfect for a shawl

On our way to PEI we had to stop in at Deanne Fitzpatrick's rug hooking studio in Amherst, NS. I wanted to check out the new Knitting Room that she had established in the back studio. I had been hearing about it all summer and was anxious to see what she had done with it. I was not disappointed! It was a blaze of colour. The whole shop was overflowing with colour and creativity! Needless to say I made a few purchases of yarn and some wool fabric bundles.
If you are around the area this Saturday - check the shop out as it is the grand opening and there will be lots of fun things planned along with a discount on the yarn.. have a great day. 

Banana fiber yarn, fleece packages, some lumpy,bumpy black yarn for outlining and a wonderful tweedy looking yarn

some more yarn for rug hooking and a couple of colourful bundles for landscapes

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Summerside Farmer's Market

Went to Summerside Farmer's Market early this morning and I was hoping to see the rug show at Eptek. Found out the exhibition is only open on weekdays and Sunday.. so put off for another day. We did go to the Farmer's Market in the old Holman building. It was down some stairs on the bottom floor and the walls were old stone.. so interesting. The building was built 1857. It was a small venue but had everything you would need. It was doing a bustling business. At least it was not the craziness of the Charlottetown market, which we have sworn off of. 

These were my goodies from the market....
Bluebarb Pie and Grandma's ginger cookies from Shipwright's.
Fresh yellow beans
Blueberry lemon tarts and a mini carrot cake
Fresh smoke cured bacon - highly recommended by Chef Norm.

Then off we went back to Kensington to check out Al Picketts' Eureka Garlic... oh heavenly smell. Such a nice fellow and I'll be visiting again for my black garlic and other garlic buds. Did pick up some powdered garlic green scapes (again highly recommended by Chef Norm) and some garlic sand. The scapes are the top of the immature garlic which are dried and ground.. sweet and bitterness with this product. Here is a great link to find out more about black garlic and Eureka.

Have a great day... more pics of Summerside harbour.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Island Baking

 Have not found a bakery that does cinnamon rolls really well. So decided to make my own. It happens that Michael Smith who is a great Island chef was coming out with his new cookbook "Back to Basics" and I had to get my hands on it. A trip to Charlottetown to the Indigo there and lo and behold there it was but to my surprise this was the only book they had of his? So no cinnamon roll recipe. I had watched his cooking show the other day where he made some and it got me hankering for a pan of them. Off to his website where he has some of his popular recipes and there it was. Yay!

So gathered all my supplies with a trip to Paderno's for a lovely ceramic pan which matches the round one my Mom gave me last year for Christmas, so I was pleased with that purchase. Off to bulk barn for some King Arthur flour my go to staple nor did I expect any :( I always travel with my own Vietnamese cinnamon but forgot the vanilla.Then to find a rolling pin, of course not to be found and none in the cottage that I could remember. Got back and realized I forgot the yeast, so no baking that day.

So having held off for a day - we were going to the eastern portion of the Island to visit a couple of spots and I thought - Brenda Watts - wonderful woodworker..She is bound to have a rolling pin for me. Called her to find out she was shut down for the season but was happy to have me come to her shop - Islanders are like that. She had the perfect rolling pin. A french one with tapered ends handcrafted by her. Fell in love with the colour and was happy - the last french one which is what I wanted. You can see it in the picture above. So back we went and I went to work the next day on these rolls.

This is the first time I have made cinnamon rolls. I loved making them. They don't need a lot of ingredients and you have to raise them twice but oh my they are glorious. The cinnamon makes the difference and I am sure you could add pecans or raisins if you wanted but I like them just plain old jane. 

The next time I make them I won't ice them right away. I'll just keep the icing in the fridge and warm them up in the oven when I want one and ice at that time. We are only two so we have been having them for breakfast all week.

 Here is the link for the Michael Smith recipe.. worth a try...Cinnamon Roll Recipe.

Have a great day... Joni

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

First Fibre Stop Was...

Wool hand dyed by Lucy Richards and Heidi

Heidi Wulfraat of London-Wul was our first stop. She is located outside of Moncton, NB in Lakeburn. We went there last year for the first time and knew that this was a definite stop this year. Heidi was so helpful and friendly. Her website is She advised me on the spinning wheel I should be looking for (at a reasonable price). Her variety of wool is awesome along with her own hand dyed wools and fabrics. It is eye candy for fibre artists for sure. Dare I stop on my way home:)...

While there I met Lucy Richards of The Wooly Mason Jar. She has a wonderful method of gradation dyeing in mason jars. There were quite a few samples of her wool so I bought a couple - oranges and purples. I am going to be using them in my new design for the Creativity class I am taking at Deanne's in October.

Shibui yarn for Stephen West Mystery Shawl Kal

These were some Shibui yarns I picked up for the Stephen West Mystery Shawl KAL that is happening right now on Ravelry. If you are a knitter or crocheter this is the place to be. The challenge is that this is going to be a colourful shawl...out of my normal colouring box. I have no idea of the design so should be interesting.. anyway I love the colours so anything done with them I figure will be good...if not fantastic.. got some apple, honey and raspberry. How yummy is that?
Have a great day...Joni

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Culinary Studio in PEI

Annie's Culinary Studio in New London, PEI

This year I took two classes at Annie's. She bought this old church in New London two years ago and renovated the interior.It contains a professional kitchen with a long, large store counter that divides the space into two. The other part contains a long antique banquet table where we get to sample what we have cooked. There are antiques and memorabilia of the church spread around the walls along with some comfy chairs. It's a beautiful, relaxing place to learn some new cooking skills. Chef Norman is a fountain of knowledge and only too willing to share what he knows. I have had two wonderful lunches as a result of the classes and have enjoyed it so much. 

Last week I took a course on cooking with potatoes. So we made potato bannock (this is going to be my go to quick bread), potato latkes that were topped with Island smoked salmon, capers and a herbed sour cream, chocolate potato cake to die for and lastly potato gnocchi. I never knew it was so easy to make. 

I brought some of the gnocchi home and tonight I made a bechamel sauce with red onions, red peppers, yellow/green zucchini,some island summer savoury and garlic. It was fast - easy and delicious! Definitely will be making more gnocchi at home and freezing it in portions. So much tastier than the store bought kind!

My version of homemade potato gnocchi

Yesterday I took a course on soup making.. it was a potato bacon chowder with smoked island trout and the second one was a Middle Eastern soup called Harira - a traditional Ramadan Soup which was so exotic in flavours and so delicious. It had lentils, chickpeas, rice, tomato and onion with spices I would not normally put in soup - cinnamon, cumin, ginger and tumeric.
Along with that we had 15 minute bread which was a course I took last year and the only bread I make - so easy.

Taking a course at Annie's is always so exciting and can't wait to see what she has planned for next year!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

On The Island

Looking out from the deck to Cabot provincial Park over the dunes....

We have been on the island for a week now and will be celebrating Thanksgiving here. Then off to Amherst, Nova Scotia for the fiber festival.
I'll be posting some pics of my own fiber trail I have been taking...Meeting new friends and old...
I have been flitting between knitting, hooking, reading and baking. I brought lots of stuff to do. I even managed to bring my yarn winder for all those new skeins I happen to find. It's good I did because I signed up for Stephen West's Mystery Shawl KAL and bought some Shibui yarn to knit it. Some out of the box colours for me! These will be short posts and hope to get one done every day. Got a back log right now. Off to get my cinnamon rolls to rise and in the oven. I'll post a pic later if they look presentable. LOL..Meanwhile two sock projects on the go....Talk soon. Enjoy your day. Joni

Some lovely hand dyed wool with sparklies in it - perfect for Hermione pattern from Harry Potter inspired knitting....

A nice solid bright colour called Dutch which will define the stitching oin this sock pattern...