Tuesday’s Things

1.  Today is National Cat Day. Hey Knitters and Crocheters — Check out this cute picture I found on Instagram this morning!

Thimbleanna: National Cat Day

2. I’ve been trying for 35 years to make a decent apple pie. I did make a great one in Jr. High home-ec. It had a praline topping and it was heavenly. But, TheManoftheHouse doesn’t like nuts or caramel (I’m pretty sure that would have been a deal breaker if I’d known!) so I haven’t been able to use that recipe. Since then, I’ve tried every which way to Sunday to get the perfect apple pie. They’re usually too runny. I’ve tried flour, cornstarch, mixing apple types and using half for flavor and half for structure, cooking the filling first, using canned filling (until we ended up with a pie that tasted like cardboard) … you name it. It’s never been up to snuff.

Until this past weekend. TheManoftheHouse took one bite and said “You finally did it” with a big grin on his face. I attribute the success to two things: Braeburn apples and Pie Enhancer. And for the future, when I can’t remember what I did, here are the ingredients: 8 cups of peeled and sliced apples, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup pie enhancer, and 3/4 t. cinnamon. {Gasp} – I forgot the butter (and it was still good!) Next time I’ll add a few tablespoons of butter and maybe a teaspoon of vanilla — it can only be better, right?

Thimbleanna:Apple Pie

3. While I finish up the quilting on the Steampunk, I’m contemplating my next quilting move. With the holidays coming up, it has to be easy. I’m thinking I might throw together a quilt from this stack of fabrics I bought quite a few years ago.

Thimbleanna: Tumbler Pile

4. The 10-year sweater has reared her ugly head again. I’m going to beat her into submission this time. This is the beginning of the last button band. (Oh, the suffering — why oh why didn’t they just knit the button bands with the side pieces?) The goal is to have that sweater laid out and blocking by the end of the weekend. We’ll see.

Thimbleanna: Knitting

5.  TheFirstChild sent me a link to this fun article about the world’s friendliest countries to visit.  Congratulations Berglind — You and your fellow countrymen in Iceland came in at number 1!  And Ali — You and your fellow countrymen in New Zealand are right behind them at number 2.  I haven’t been to NZ yet, but I can definitely vouch for the friendliness of Iceland — what a great country to visit.   And probably no surprise (especially considering the recent National Park mess for tourists), practically everyone else ranked higher than us here in the US.  Very embarrassing!

Thimbleanna: Iceland

Ok kids, when next we speak, I’ll show you something Ugly. ‘Cause not all projects in blogland are beautiful.


33 Thoughts on “Tuesday’s Things


  2. so what is pie enhancer – hadn’t heard of that. I usually double the amount of flour it calls for and it isn’t too juicy then – I like juicy but i don’t like wet bottom crust which is what you have the next day when you want to eat the left overs!
    love that bundle of fabric.

  3. Yipee! I kept my fingers crossed and you didn’t disappoint. (Pleeeze let that hyperlink go to King Arthur!) Now my KA gift card from Vermonter friends is finally going to get used! They took me to Mecca this Summer when we visited. And KA is amazing to visit – the store, the bakery, the coffee, the people baking, the locale. Seriously, I was gobsmacked. Sensory overload. In the end, I bought yeast. (Maybe KA’s will like me.) I didn’t see the Pie Enhancer… next visit! And Vermont is gorgeous to visit, and very friendly. It can stand alone on that list. Can’t wait to see your “ugly…”

  4. Love the Cat Day photo! Going right now to post it to my daughters’ facebook pages. ;)

  5. My son and partner love apple pie! Yours may be a family favourite from now on. Love the fabrics for your next quilt, such gorgeous colors. I hope all goes well with the sweater and that we see something blocking on the weekend!

  6. Yeah, coz I’ll just throw together a quilt like, pshaw that ain’t nothing gurrrrrrl. (falls over bc of deep craft envy)

  7. Happy to be number two!

  8. Love the cat photo! That stash of fabrics reminds me I still have 2 charm packs of the same fabric series!

  9. Pie Enhancer… that’s a new one on me. What on earth is in it? I usually just make an apple crumble which is so much easier.

  10. Oh Anna, I hear you on the Apple Pie conundrum! I have the exact same problem too. I usually cook the filling first which works better for me, but this weekend I went with raw apples and as tasty as the pie was, it was swimming in apple juice (I omitted this minor detail when I mentioned my otherwise lovely bake on my blog). Is that deceitful – who knows??? I refuse to beat myself up about a soggy bottom!!! ;-)
    Good luck with the 10 year sweater – we are obviously kindred spirits because I too take an age to knit anything so I salute your 10 year determination to even finish it. I would have given up after five!

  11. You always inspire me to want to make, bake, knit or sew-or blog! ;) something! :) Love those fabrics and can’t wait to see the “simple” quilt you make. :) Ugly-I doubt you have anything like that at your crafty house! :) Thank you for your kind words of encouragement on the blog, as always! Hugs sent!

  12. i have pretty much given up on EVER making a decent ANYKINDA pie cuz i cannot make edible pie crust to save my Soul – so we settle for Marie Callender’s frozen crust and thank our lucky stars for not having to choke down any future attempts from me … i SAW King Arthur’s pie enhancer and WONDERED if it would actually work – i usually add a few tablespoons of tapioca, but then there are those little balls of flavorless goo…

  13. p.s. — LOVE the scary skeletons – WHAT have those thimbles been up to?!?

  14. I have been catching up on your posts this morning… and have been getting some pretty good laughs! You are so funny… but I feel bad for your sheep socks that went stray.
    I had no idea that it’s national cat day… where are my pictures???
    And, I am glad that you did all the work on the perfect apple pie… because I haven’t ever made one, but I will now… I guess I have been waiting for the perfected recipe! Thanks!!!
    Now, I need to see if there is a birdie left that is willing to fly into my basket!

  15. And the header… I forgot the header… that is so funny!

  16. We are a sad, sad bunch in USA. There should be a national campaign to boost our ranking. apple pie looks good. Sadly, as with bananas (NOT banana bread), I don’t like apple pie. :( It’s the whole cooked fruit angle. Just doesn’t appeal to me.

  17. brigita on October 30, 2013 at 11:57 am said:

    your pies are always beautiful. i want a pie lesson when you come to my house to solder christmas tags. my crusts are never as cute as yours. it’s national puppy day around here. this little dwarf is ruining my life. what was i thinking????? hit me up in december, i should be better trained at being a puppy wrangler by then. is that M.E. fabric? okay, off to save the world, have a great day!!!
    :waves madly

  18. brigita on October 30, 2013 at 11:57 am said:

    did you book a flight yet?
    oakland, you’re flying into oakland.

  19. Pie enhancer??? Well I never! You can get anything in the States, you know. Anything! Of course down here in New Zild we make up for our lack of pie enhancer with smiles :-).

    Ps no caramel or nuts?!!? *speechless*. Some things are just plain wrong.

  20. Ummmmm…apple pie. But what in the world is Pie Enhancer. I think maybe I need some. I am the designated pie maker for Thanksgiving and do about 10 to 12 every year. Will this make my job easier or just tastier?
    Can’t wait to see the steampunk quilt and the sweater….and the ugly thing. My interest is definitely piqued.

  21. ugly? you didn’t find the first quilt i made did you?! come on, I thought i burned that ugly thing years ago! ;p

  22. Please send me a pie (I’ll swap you a sheepie for it!) I’m sure I saw a recent survey that rated Scotland very highly as a tourist destination.

  23. Congrats on conquering the apple pie! (What on earth is pie enhancer??). Can’t wait to see your “throw together” quilt! Great fabrics. All the best for the knitting wrestle.

  24. Like some others above me, I’d like to know what “pie enhancer” is. As for apple pie – as long as it hasn’t got a soggy bottom, it’s all good! :o)

  25. How are you working your button bands? From the picture, I am guessing that you are knitting them separately and sewing them on? I am a total weenie when it comes to buttonbands—after many epic fails and enough tears of frustration coupled with defeat to float the Queen Mary, I knit almost all of mine by picking up three stitches for every four rows along the front edge and working them in garter stitch. I also use an I-cord bind off. Sew some interesting buttons on there, and you are golden.

  26. How is it that I (a pastry chef!!!) have never heard of pie enhancer? That’s something interesting that I need to look into!

    I checked on the friendliest countries, and it turns out that we in Canada sit at #12. Seems like a pretty darn good reason for you to come up for a visit. My door is always open! xo

  27. Your pie looks absolutely yummy!!

  28. congrats on the apple pie success! I use granny smith. I’ve never ever heard of pie enhancer, do you find it in the cosmetic isle? just kidding. Thanks for the link.
    good luck on the 10 year sweater – gorgeous color!!
    can’t wait to see those cute fabrics in action

  29. Looking forward to seeing the next quilt project. And if you need any advice… (I would be no help at all).

  30. Mary ann on October 31, 2013 at 8:15 pm said:

    Well it is the season for apple somethings isn’t it? I made a half sheet pan of apple slices on Sunday. I cheated on the crust starting with pre made ones and used a mix of granny smith and honey crisp apples. I added a T. of corn starch to sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Then you drizzle some icing on the top and what’s not to love. Not as lovely as the pie but DH didn’t complain!
    Still have to finish the quick quilt for my dgd Christmas gift. It can’t be a 10 yr project. I may actually did one of those out of the carefully labeled and boxed UFOs over the holiday shutdown. Happy Halloween Miss Anna!

  31. I bet if you broke the US down state by state some would rank much more highly. Ditto plenty of UK counties would rank lower. I know those things are only meant to be fun but their statistical limitations really bug me.

    However, you have now give me a reason to step up the nagging of my fella to follow through on the Iceland trip he promised me years ago … I need to find out for myself how friendly Icelanders are ;)

  32. Would you believe, I’m actually working with that same fabric line right now??? I pulled out an old jelly roll and have been working a mystery quilt with it. Such fabulous colors!!

  33. Thank you Anna, I’m truly proud to one of the Nicelanders! :)
    I just saw in news that Iceland is also (the 5th year in a row) the best country to live in if your are a woman! :)

    LOL, love the cat picture, this is a very brave lady sitting there!!

    I can’t believe your husband doesn’t like CARAMEL!! That would have been a deal braker for me too hihi

    I like the fabrics you are about to cut – and I CAN’T wait to see your 10 year sweater, gosh so exciting!!

    Oh, and one more thing, I can’t send you an email, I get it back with the message your mailbox is full :/

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