viernes, 23 de noviembre de 2007

Getting ready for Winter.

Hello again! This time I want to share with you a small project that took less than 3 hours to knit and helped me put my mind a bit away from the other knitting projects I am currently working on. I do not consider myself to be a fast knitter, but I am also not that slow. It depends on the project, still, this one was so much fun to knit!
It is from Vogue Knitting Holiday '06 issue and it has already setup my mind for the coming winter season. Gosh! I wish there would be snow in Mexico City.

On other more delectable things I finally learned why we name peanuts in a particular way in Mexico. We call them "cacahuates" and more than once people abroad would find it funny that they were called that way as, for example in italian they are called "arrichidi" and in french "arriquides". Spanish being also a latin language I never understood why we would call them with such a particular name, but now I know. It is because of the aztecs and this fact made me smile. The aztecs language, the "mexica", was very interesting. All words were composed of particular roots with a unique meaning. In the case of peanuts the aztecs would call them "tlalcacahuatl", tlalli meaning "earth" and cacahuatl meaning "cacao bean", resulting in "cacao bean from the earth". Nowadays we just call them cacahuates!

Rita, this one is for you,

Chocolate Glaze
(from Margaret Fulton´s "Encyclopedia of Food & Cookery")

Melt together 60 g/2 oz (4 tbsp) butter and 60 g/ 2 oz (1/3 cup) dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Gradually beat in 2 tbsp boiling water, 140 g/ 4 1/4 oz (1 cup) icing (confectioners) sugar, sifted, a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp vanilla essence (extract). Use as a glaze over chocolate cake.

martes, 13 de noviembre de 2007

Late Autumn.

Chocolate. One of Mexico's gifts to the world used during precolonial times as both currency (cacao beans) and as and exotic beverage enjoyed only by the aztec emperors. Today Mexico produces a very characteristic type of chocolate, the most famous coming from the state of Oaxaca. It is the result of mixing together cacao beans with almonds and cinnamon. This type of chocolate is used for hot chocolate drinks traditionally prepared with boiling water (not milk), and for different mexican recipes, like for example our famous "Mole Poblano" where chocolate is mixed with hot chiles to make an interesting sauce for meats and rice.
I have to recognize that although I love chocolate in Mexico, it is in Europe where I have tasted the most exquisite chocolate. Italy, Belgium, France, Switzerland....european chocolatiers transformed the mexican cacao beans in one of the most loved delicacies in the world. Who can escape a piece of chocolate cake? not me! I baked this cake for my mom's birthday and tried a new recipe for the glaze. A mix between dark chocolate, butter and flour that resulted in an easy to spread glaze that would keep its shape. Excellent! if anyone is interested feel free to ask me for the recipe.

Now writing about chocolate I decided to name one of my current knitting projects "Praline'". It is a V-neck dress pattern from Vogue Knitting Holiday '06 (pattern # 33), and I am almost done with the back!

Aside from chocolate I have also been enjoying the most wonderful autumn weather in Mexico. It has been a rediscovery as I have spent the two last autumns out of my homeland. We are now at 25oC and the sun shines everyday. Flowers are blooming in the garden like these ones called "Orejas de Elefante" (Elephant Ears) that remind me of the color of another of the knitting projects I am working on... is a pattern from Interweave Knits Spring '07 that is giving me the chance to knit my first sweater from the neck down. It is a cable down raglan by Stefanie Japel that I hope to finish before Christmas!
Last but not least here is a picture of the top I talked about previously. I have already added small sleeves and I wish to finish it anytime soon, as it should no longer be just decorating my room!