Soft Pretzels and Cup o’ Noodles Soup

First off, my cold is getting better.  I’m starting to feel like me again, and I’m catching up, my house isn’t so cluttered and dirty, and the sun is shining.  So, all is well again in the world.

I had what I call a puttery day.  I caught up on housework, went through some paperwork, filled another book order, and sat down to weave off the second scarf from the workshop last week.  This one wove like butter, I still had shredding problems because the reed was the wrong size for the warp yarn I was given, but I dealt with that.  Loosely spun novelty scarvesknitting yarns need to be in an 8 dent reed or less, not a 12.  Sadly I was told to bring a 12, so the yarns were shredding like crazy.  C’est la vie…

The scarves turned out so pretty.  Largely that was because Barbara Herbster, the instructor has such a great feel for color.  That alone made the workshop worth it.  So now I have two lovely scarves, I will donate one to my church service auction on Friday, a fun fundraiser, following the spaghetti dinner.  And I’m already poking around in my stash looking for what I have so I can put on another warp and not have two naked looms.

I spent the afternoon in this building.highschoolathletics This is the snack bar for the Boonton High School Athletic Fields.  Last year this time, the new athletic fields were being completed, and since they are the most ‘state of the art’ fields in the County, the County Track finals are being held at our High School fields today and tomorrow.  So they needed volunteers for the snack bar, and my daughter called and asked if I would put in a few hours.  It is actually an easy job.  I haven’t worked this concession stand before, so I stood and watched for awhile, and soon found a need. I took charge of putting salt on the frozen “soft” pretzels and getting them heated in the oven.  I found I could fit 16-18  in the oven at once, and it was clearly one of the most popular things on the menu.

Actually, “soft” pretzels are one of those comfort foods from childhood.  Sidebar:  I grew up in a southern NJ suburb of Philadelphia.  If you ever lived or traveled regularly to Philadelphia, you know that soft pretzels there are definitely not like the soft pretzels from NY.  They come in strips, the long narrow soft pretzels are torn off the strip, and covered in copious amounts of yellow mustard.  My fondest food memory as a child along with Philly Cheese Steaks and Hoagies…  My dad use to treat us to soft pretzels when we went to the Audubon Shopping Center, outside the E.J. Korvettes, there was a pretzel stand, and a strip of three soft pretzels was 25 cents.  Since there were three of us, we all got one, covered of course in yellow mustard.

OK, so I stood in the snack bar today, salting and baking  a few dozen NY style soft pretzels.  And while they were baking, I was filling containers of Cup o’ Noodles Soup with water and production line heating them in the two microwaves, so they’d be ready when someone asked for a cup of soup.  Oddly enough, that was a popular item as well.  And even odder was the fact that very few candy bars were being sold.  We basically sold out of soup by the end of the track meet.  Could it be that kids are starting to eat healthier?  Probably skewing the statistics, these were all placematsathletes.  I get to go back tomorrow, and since I am more flexible with my work schedule, I will go in earlier to get the hot dogs cooking, the meatballs heating, the coffee brewing, and the soft pretzels baking.

I sat down tonight, and wove another placemat for the guild placemat exchange.  The cloth beam is filling up.  I will say that I’m really enjoying weaving these mats, I rarely ever weave anything for the home, so this is a real treat.

Score:  Mom 6, Brianna4

OH, I almost forgot, apparently the Boonton Bombers Track Team is currently in first place!  Yeah Bombers!

More Loom Adventures

Well, my boxes have arrived safely in California, and I shipped my Big Sister piece to Kansas City.  I always feel when my work is out traveling, that it is sort of like sending your children out into the world, they get to go places and see things without you.  I have two pieces in Mississippi, one on the way to Missouri, and some inkle looms and lots of samples sitting in someone’s house in Southern California.  Little bits of my self scattered like dandelion seeds…

Speaking of Inkle Looms…

inkle_warpI kept one of my baby Inklettes (by Ashford) behind, (which you can get from any dealer who sells Ashford Looms), because the warp on it was used up, and I needed to re-warp for the conference.  I decided to kill two birds with one stone, (actually that is a terrible analogy, why would I want to kill any birds?) and put on the warp to make key fobs for my guild.

Sidebar: It is very common for a guild to get together and make small tokens of their talent, advertising the guild, for the “goody” bags you receive at the conferences.  My guild chose this year, to send off to the MAFA conference (which I won’t be attending because I’ll be at the conference in Durango) small pieces woven on an inkle loom and made into keyrings.  I volunteered to make 7, which is how many including fringe, you can make on one fully loaded baby Inklette.  I adore this loom.  It’s profile is so small it can fit in the bottom of that same conference tote, or even on the little fold down table on the plane.  (I haven’t actually tried this, since I am too overloaded with computer and projector and all my clothes for a week, when I travel to teach, but my weaving buddy Sally, who travels all the time for work, usually has a bag full of little bands whenever she returns from a trip).  I had given a workshop to my guild, Frances Irwin Handweavers, in inkle loom weaving, and everyone had such a blast, they are all now prolific ‘Inklers’, and always have a new pattern or some interesting pick-up design to share at every show and tell.

inkle_loomSo here I am all warped up.  I had some diversions today, like my Thursday Philosophy Club lunch, there were six of us in attendance, and lots of catching up to do.  I also ran around buying more stuff for props, and of course a trip to my favorite shipper to package my piece for Kansas City.

Tonight I had a real treat.  In preparation for the HS Musical, which is the first weekend in March, while I’m in California of course, the Boonton High School drama club held an open mike talent night.  OMG!  Who knew a bunch of high school kids could have so much talent, so much poise on the stage, and so much presence?  I’m trying to remember back when I was in HS, the most talented kids in the school couldn’t compare to what I saw tonight on the stage.  Even the teachers performed, there were dance numbers, a martial arts presetation, rap, rock, soul, Broadway tunes, and because the school is so culturally diverse, there were some beautiful songs in other languages, duets, and even a classically trained pianist.  I was blown away.  For a small town HS, this was one class A production.

If you want to learn about inkle weaving, it is a simple loom to learn to use, without much fuss.  I sell a monograph on Inkle Weaving, but if you want a little free tutorial, go to Weavezine, the fall 2008 issue, and read the article my daughter wrote on weaving shoelaces on the inkle loom.