Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fire & Ice

I finally finished the sweater I designed for my TKGA submission! The one thing I'll tell ya' about knitting an Aran sweater from the neck down: the sweater just seem to grow organically from the needle with each pattern working itself out just perfectly.
My mum will be getting the sweater after the committee reviews it. In my written pattern for it, I named it "Fire and Ice" and the following is the description as I've written:
I designed this sweater for my mother, who usually wears cool colors (especially blues) to temper her complexion (she is a red-head). The name of the sweater came from the idea that you can mix fire (my mom along with the 'burning love' pattern on the sleeves) with ice (the color of the yarn used).
The traditionally masculine style of this sweater has been tweaked to give it a feminine look, and the Aran patterns were chosen and designed to reflect my mother's story. The central lattice pattern shows the importance of community, and mom's willingness to separate her large property into plots for her neighbors and friends to plant gardens and to grow food (organically, of course). The three cables on each side of the lattice, along with the plait, represent her three sons. The diamond pattern represents the things she values: moss for earth, bobbles for life, and basket-weave for honest intentions. The honeycomb pattern is for hard work and its sweet rewards. And 'burning love' to represent mom's passionate nature.

Yesterday I went to the farmer's market to pick up some 'staples'. Farmer Michael of Trillium Haven Farm pulled out this cart of curly green masses and my heart just literally jumped up to my throat! Could it be? No, it can't be! Is it? GASP!

IT IS GARLIC SCAPES!!!!!!!! It took all the self control I had not to jump into Farmer Michael's arms to plant him a big, wet and sloppy one (that, and his wife wouldn't approve). I haven't had garlic scapes in two years, and this was a real treat for me

In case you don't know what garlic scapes are, they are the flowering tops of hard-neck garlic. In order to encourage bulb development, you just lop off these tops around May and June. In most places the tops would be thrown into the compost, but it is a delicacy in the Pacific Northwest (trust me, I've seen housewives tussle for these things at the grocery stores in Seattle).

So, I rushed my scapes home and decided that I would put them in an omellette with some mushrooms and cheese. Nothing too complicated to drown out the scapes' flavor. But first I would need to gently cook those scapes down a bit in oil and better (and save the scape flavored oil for cooking the omellette). As I was chopping these spiral-shaped vegetables, they would flip up and brush a nipple ~ gee, who would have thought a veggie could be so sensuous before you eat it!

And the omellette was spectacular! The muchrooms, the blue cheese, and the scape which tasted a bit like asparagus with mild garlic undertones. So if you haven't tried Garlic Scapes, do give it go. It just may become your favorite Spring treat along with the asparagus and ruebarb.