Sunday, August 16, 2015

Crockern Tor and Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe


Crockern Tor is the 3rd installment of Ysolda's 2015 shawl club and embodies exactly why I joined her club.  It's a rustic British wool blend in a neutral color that will go with anything. Further, true to classic British style it is wardrobe piece that is beautiful and timeless.  Knit in a heavy lace weight yarn it has wonderful loft that will make it a cozy piece to wear this winter whether riding to the hounds or sipping afternoon tea.  Only one of which I do with any regularity.  And it's not riding to the hounds. Although I do have a hound.  Of sorts.  


As a brief segue, looking at this picture of Simcha snuggled with yarn from this shawl it reminds me of one of the reasons that I knit as much as I do. It brings me comfort when my life is stressful and hectic.  In fact I can recall certain projects that have gotten me through particularly difficult times in my life. My Sursa shawl in particular helped me through one of those times when I had a neighbor who ran a jackhammer for years doing extensive landscaping without regard to the impact on the surrounding neighbors who listened daily to this jarring onslaught of sound.  Knitting has always enabled me to turn my thoughts away from what is troubling me and instead focus on the beautiful yarn, the tactile sensations and the pleasure of seeing a pattern unfold.  It is both an escape and calming.  I suppose I could have turned to yoga but then I wouldn't have had all these beautiful shawls to enjoy.  Whereas in actuality I enjoy both yoga and knitting and believe it is important for everyone to have ways to slow down and de-stress and hope that knitting is able to provide that for you as well.



Back to this beautiful shawl.  In Ysolda's own words the June 2015 installment of her shawl club (and her design inspiration) is described as follows:
A perfectly blended cloud from one of my favorite mills worked into a simple crescent with a scattering of random eyelets - breezy summer knitting whether you're shaking sand out of your project bag or sneaking in a few stitches at your desk.  Enjoy!


Particulars:  Crockern Tor design by Ysolda (2015 Shawl club); 1 skein John Arbon Textiles Crockern Lace (colorway: a perfectly blended cloud); 150gm lace weight; US 5 needles.  Modifications:  At the start of Section 4 skipped pattern rows 1-3.  I particularly love the unique bind off using a crocheted chain which gives this shawl the prefect finishing touch. Previous projects blogged from Ysolda's 2015 shawl are: Stac Stoaigh and Caer Idris  


Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe ~


Steve's absolutely favorite cookie bar none is oatmeal raisin.  However I found it hard to find the perfect recipe with just the right amount of crunch to fluffiness factor.  You see he wanted them just like his grandma made (the pinnacle of baking perfection an impression formed at the tender age of 5). So I persevered.  It is after all the only cookie Steve really likes. After trying many recipes that were close but still not right, I blended a few recipes together and added a twist of my own and achieved what he and I both agree is the best oatmeal cookie recipe ever.  Dare I hope maybe even as good as his grandma's?  He says even better.  Our home is never without them and I hope you will enjoy them as much as he does.

Ingredients:

1 C. shortening
1 1/4 C. + 2 Tbs. light brown sugar (or if it's easier for you to weigh 300 grams)
2 eggs
1 Tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C. whole milk
1 3/4 C. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt (scant)
1 tsp. nutmeg (scant)
1 tsp. cinnamon (scant)
3 C. whole Oats -  the "Quick" versus "old fashioned" works best
1 C. dark raisins

Steps:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  In an electric mixer combine: shortening, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Beat for several minutes until batter is ultra smooth.  I often leave the mixer running while I combine the dry ingredients.
3.  Remove bowl from mixer and by hand whisk in milk until just incorporated.
4.  Measure and combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon) in a bowl and combine using a fork.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients using a wooden spoon.
5.  Stir in oats (with wooden spoon) 1 cup at a time.  Lastly stir in raisins.
6.  Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.  Add 1 TBS heaping batter and flatten slightly with back of spoon.  Yields approximately 2.5 dozen cookies.
7.  Bake for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly browned.  Let sit on tray for half a minute then remove to a wire rack to cool.  Freezes well.


Until next time be well and love well and may your home always be filled with love, cookies, and yarn.