The Hot Handle

A blog interspersed with occasional gluten free recipes.

Please note: If you have a family member who requires a gluten free diet, be sure to use a cast iron skillet that has never previously touched gluten....and if it has, scrub it all down completely and re-season, to be on the safe side.

Looking for information on Celiac Disease? There are many good sites, but here is one to get started with:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Knitting & Risk

This fall I obtained the measurements of my daughter's Miniature Schnauzer, with the intention of making a sweater for him.  Thinking it should be done prior to Thanksgiving, I got it started in late October. 

As I progressed, however, doubts continually surfaced.  Will the neckline fit over his head?  Is this *really* where his forelegs go?  Will it be long enough?  Gosh, this looks strange!!

I did not have the luxury of holding it up to the dog to check.

The Halloween snowstorm gave me some unexpected time to knit.  I had it finished by the time my son-in-law stopped by to help us with some storm clean-up.

"Do you think it will fit him?" I asked.  Hard to tell.  A dog sweater looks nothing like a people sweater!

A few days later, they were visiting for some birthday celebrations.  It wasn't the dog's birthday, but he got the sweater as a gift, anyway.

Lo and behold, it FIT!  Not only that, he didn't mind wearing it!

From this story, I have been thinking about the need to take a risk once in a while.  It doesn't have to be a risk to the degree of jumping out of an airplane, but it's good to try something new... 

because feeling proud of a new accomplishment is a good thing.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Ten offbeat things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving, in no particular order:

-Getting the daily paper and listening to hubby gripe about the articles.

-Hearing a loved one giggle at the daily comic strips.

-Wood chippers....

-Listening to "Guy Noir - Private Eye" on A Prairie Home Companion.

-Sons who play guitar.

-Daughters who like cowls knitted by their mum.

-A cup of green tea, along with peanut butter on toast, for a quiet lunch.

-Having paper and pens always on hand to jot down ideas.

-Having a job that I enjoy 98% of the time.  (approximately)

-My blog!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Four Trailer-Loads

Saturday mornings are delightful.  It's the only day of the week that I can actually get up when I please, which is never very late by any standard (but for a person that gets up at 4:30 4x/week to exercise, even 6 am feels luxurious). 

Yesterday's plan was to work with hubby carting four trailer-loads of branches and cut-up trees to a temporary bulky waste site that the town set up for storm cleanup.  I lay in bed wondering what flavorful nugget I would find in the day.  Yard work is not my "thing." 

The weather was crisp, with a slight breeze.  At first, the tips of my fingers became numb (in spite of the work gloves).  Okay, pay attention to good things instead, I reminded myself.

Under the pine trees, as we piled branches and cut up wood with a sometimes-functioning chain saw, the aroma was lovely. 

It is kind of nice to work together with hubby.  He is really pretty easy to get along with.  I just did what I could, and felt good about being there to help.

By our late lunchtime, I was starving.  Food tastes better when you are starving.

I spent the afternoon doing some cooking and housework.  By 8:30 pm we were both in bed, exhausted from the day's work.  However, physical exhaustion is a lot more pleasant than emotional exhaustion. 

Aromas.  Teamwork.  Food on an empty stomach.  Sleep for a tired body.

Not a bad day!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Challenging Week

On Saturday evening, we came home just as the uncharacteristically early Fall snowstorm was rolling into our town.  We heard the cracking and crashing of tree limbs all night.  12 to 24 inches of wet, sticky snow fell on our trees still loaded with leaves.  The next morning we woke to this:

Trees were down everywhere, making travel impossible.  Power was out in at least 99% of the town.  Gas stations could not pump.  Thankfully, the sun came out and the days were good for fixing things.  The nights, however, were chilly.

It took an more than an entire week to get power back to most of the town.

People were very frustrated.

Eventually, power was restored.  People were able to go back to their homes if they had abandoned them in frustration (as many did). 

The cleanup will continue for many months to come.  In the process, however, we will realize that however challenging the times may be, they will pass. 

And that's a good thing.