Last year, a suggestion led me to experiment a bit with KG's (that's Knitting Grandma, to long-time blog readers) fudge recipe. KG's chocolate-walnut fudge is a family favorite, and she makes pounds of it every year. What else, I wondered, could I do with that recipe?
I tried various things. Chili and cinnamon, peppermint, and almond varieties come to mind. Then someone suggested Nutella. You know Nutella, right? It's that chocolate and hazelnut spread that all the Europeans like way more than peanut butter. They even like Italian Nutella much better than the stuff you can buy in the US. [True story! Sven is 100-percent convinced that the Nutella you can buy in Italy is far superior to the stuff that graces the shelves of our Key Foods.]
Colleen's Nutella Fudge
1 3/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 stick butter or margarine
2/3 c.evaporated milk
1 Jar (7 1/2oz) Marshmallow Fluff
3/4 tsp. hazelnut extract (Last year I had trouble finding this. THIS year, I notice that my local market stocks it.)
1 12-oz. Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 c. chopped hazelnuts
1/2 c. hazelnut butter (Even as a NYer I had trouble finding hazelnut butter. I finally found it at Kalustyans, for those of you who are local. If you're not in the area you can order online from Kalustyans, the hazelnut butter is item 231H02
Grease a 9-inch square baking pan; set aside.
In large saucepan (2 quarts is a good size) combine the first 5 ingredients. Stir frequently (if not constantly) over low heat until blended. Increase heat to medium and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir the mixture slowly so that you don't mix in a lot of air and confuse yourself as to whether or not the bubbles are just air escaping or the mixture beginning to boil. Boil slowly for five minutes, stirring constantly.
After five mintues, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the hazelnut extract and the chocolate until chocolate is completely blended melted. Add the hazelnut butter and chopped nuts and blend those completely into the mixture. Turn into greased pan and cool. I usually slice my fudge before it's completely cooled off--it makes it easier that way.
Makes 2 1/2 pounds of fudge, and you the hit of the party!
I'm a little behind the eight ball when it comes to certain things. Like finding stuff on the internet. An alert reader kindly sent me a link to an old thread on Ravelry. The thread link is here, and if you have a Ravelry username you can read the thread in its entirety. If you don't have a Ravelry account, then I'll post some excerpts for you. I am not a member of the group where the discussion originated, and I have no opinions on its members or other discussions which have occurred within the group. To the credit of many participants in this particular thread, it was pointed out very early that the original poster was putting waaaaaaay too much significance on a pair of wool mittens. My comments are given in straight brackets [ ].
Having said that, without further ado:
Knitting In Preparation For The Mark of The Beast
Arielluria: I thought the subject line would get your attention ;o).......
I just saw this on the preview of IK Winter issue and it reminded me, I heard on a knitting podcast that people who take subways have been getting their hands embedded with an RFID chip so they don't have to show a pass!!! On IK Winter there was a pattern for these mittens:
[Insert photograph of my CharlieCard Mittens here.]
Honestly! It's sad but it's prophecy coming true. However, many will take the mark of the beast because they didn't know God's Word!
[I snipped out three quotations from Revelations.]
dlofink: We are so very close. Jesus is coming soon. I think we will see it in our lifetimes.
Arielluria: I do agree. At no time have so many previously thought impossible things existed. Oh sure, there were evil men people thought were the Anti-Christ, etc. but being able to see the 2 witnesses around the globe in real time, micro-chipping, etc. [What the heck does this mean?]
[I cut out a post here that I felt had nothing to do with the mittens, and broached a much larger subject that I don't want discussed here.]
Kate64: I don't know. I think connecting that knitting pattern to the mark of the beast is a bit of a stretch, personally. I wouldn't get an embedded chip in my hand, just because of the "ick" factor...
dlofink: I think the interesting part is the fact the technology now exists to "mark" someone in the hand or the forehead and not allow them to buy or sell without the mark. And the new pattern accomodates [sic] that technology very well. [Does it?]
Arielluria: Exactly.........the pattern IS for a chip as it is described in Revelation. [No it's not!] I don't mean the pattern is evil or anything like that [Now that's a relief] :o) just that it's sad there are actually people falling for it already........and those who take it, will have to die for their faith to be in Heaven. But if they do, they will have a special blessing, thrones around the throne of God. [Again, I gotta ask what this is all about.]
ladydove: When I saw the gloves I thought those flaps were for pockets to put subway tokens, not open to the hand? Guess I'll have to wait and see when the magazine comes out.
[I removed a post here about security in schools.]
mowygirl: I agree. If you look closely, it looks like a rectangular pocket for a subway card. My problem would be that I would probably lose that mitten. I hardly ride the metro anyways.
Arielluria: Yes, I just found out it was for a pocket. I guess those are the mittens which I heard about on a podcast, which WERE specifically for the implants.
MaidMirawyn: If you were chipped, you wouldn't need any special mitten...for instance, there's an RFID chip in Atlanta's public transportation card; most guys just tap their wallet at the gate, without taking the card out. A regular glove or mitten would be no impediment to the RFID reader.
[I love how there's already a verb for this. "Watch the arm! I got chipped last week."]
dlofink: My husband said the same thing. Irregardless, the chip is technology that could easily underlie bible prophecy. We are so close. [To what?] It will be interesting to find out the purpose of the hole in that mitten. [What hole?]
tabitha: If you look very carefully at the photo, it is actually a pocket on the front of the mitten not a hole in the mitten. I think Mowygirl noticed this first. I can think of a lot of handy uses for mittens with a pocket. [Yup. It's a mitten with a pocket.]
WovenSpun: It would be great if a key or something could fit into it so when the kids and I go for our walks this winter I don't have to take my whole key chain :)
dlofink: Oh you are right. I can see the pocket now.
[I clipped a few posts about preparations one should make for The Rapture.]
[Finally a voice of reason!]
yankeegirlsue: You're reading too much into the mitten. :-) It was designed with a pocket in it to hold a public transportation card so the user doesn't need to take off her/his mitten to take the card out of a purse or pocket to wave it near the reader. The mitten simply allows the user to wave his/her hand in front of the reader. I think it's a good idea. I'm going to make these for my sister who takes the train into Boston every day for work.
Please be careful about what you hear...sources are not always reliable.
txjewelrylady: I agree on your thought process, but those mittens are to hold the Metro Pass card in the pocket so it can get scanned, not an embedded chip in the skin. There have been several mentions of embedding chips in various body parts over the years... I cringe at the thought of it. So, I think these mittens are relatively safe, tho it may get more people used to the skin scanning idea. [Okay, I give up. The CharlieCard mittens are all a big Government Conspiracy. Who have ever thought that there could be a conspiracy therory surrounding a pair of mittens?]
Arielluria: I totally agree....I posted later that it was for card, and not, as I had heard on a podcast (about some other pattern) to access a chip in the skin. [Why would the chip work when it was imbedded under your skin, but somehow cease to function when it was covered by a mitten? And what is this blasted pattern that she keeps talking about?]
I believe in prophecy (past prophecy has always come true and we are living in a day where it is being unveiled to us)....so I don't have to read into anything. I know a day is coming very soon where people will have chips implanted and eventually without them those who do not worship the Anti-Christ will not be able to buy or sell: [What?!?!?]
[I cut out a passage from Revelations.]
The word "mark" is in Greek "charagma" which means a scratch or etching or engraving, as in a stamp (as a badge of servitude).
[I took out a post about a passage from John and another post that was a response directed solely at that passage.]
Arielluria: I completely agree, but He did give us signs, so though His arrival will be “like a thief in the night”, He gave us many unambiguous signs, all of which we are seeing now ;o)
God bless! See you UP there!
Genuine: Um…what about Christians who don’t believe in pre-Trib rapture, and also don’t think that a woodenly literal intrepretation [sic] of Revelations does credit to the author, the intent of the book, or the highly allegorical and metaphorical language used therein? Can we still knit demon mittens? Please?
As of yesterday afternoon, the thread ended there.
I thought a little bit about whether or not I wanted to blog about this, but it's too good to pass up. I sought the advice of a few friends, all of whom could not believe that I would hesitate for a moment to write something about this. As one of them said, "if they can declare that your mittens bear the mark of the devil in a public forum, you are well within your rights to blog about it." Another friend took the time to show us what she thought my mittens would look like as the Evil Incarnate (see above).
Okay, so here's my post. This is much better than the time that I pissed off half of the S-n-B Boston Yahoo! list by telling a beginning knitter that she should be able to figure out the pocket without a pattern. Sorry, I guess that I gave her too much credit!
Perhaps by blogging here I'll remind myself that there are, indeed, those who balance their religious beliefs with a good dose of reason and common sense.
The idea of attaching religious significance to my mittens is absurd. Completely, totally, and utterly absurd. And wrong. I won't even bother to get offended that someone implied that I'm propagating evil in this world by designing a mitten with a pocket. That's even more jaw-droppingly absurd. A mitten with a pocket. A. Mitten. With. A. Pocket. People, how many times do I need to say this? It's a mitten with a pocket. Period. End of story.
Whoops! The stitch pattern in Marie's sock is so much fun to knit, I neglected to obey the instruction to knit only stockinette on the bottom of the foot.
Good thing that I'm only a few rows in.
Okay, back to Christmas.
So, early on Christmas Day, I said goodbye to Kate & Company and made my way back to NYC. To JFK airport, to be specific. I gave myself four hours to drive down there, return the rental car, arrive at the Terminal, and check in for my flight two hours early (with about 45 minutes of wiggle room for something going amiss--gots to have me the wiggle room when arriving at the airport). Of course, because it was Christmas Day I arrived at the rental-car place in just under three hours. There was almost no traffic--even in the spots where there's always a delay, there were no delays.
Yep, I arrived at JFK almost four hours before my flight. What to do with those four hours? I discovered that there's a surprising amount of things to do at airport these days. I walked around a large terminal, and rode the moving walkways (love those!). I did a bit of tax-free shopping. I had my Christmas dinner (vegetarian shumai). I had a pedicure. (Seriously! I probably wouldn't do it again, but the novelty value of having this done at the airport--when all you have to do is sit around and wait anyway--was worth it.) I enjoyed a little QT with me. I knit a bit. Just a bit. As I wrote earlier, I started to feel a twinge in my wrist, so I didn't want to push it. I stared into space. I called people on my cellphone. ("It's me. I'm at the airport. Good. Fine. No traffic. Not crowded. On time so far. Getting a pedicure! Really, yeah!") All in all I must be getting older, because I easily found a myriad of ways to make four hours go by quickly.
The same with the flight. I don't fly to Europe all that often, maybe every couple of years. And it was three and a half years since my prior trip, so I don't even stick to that schedule so well. In past flights, I noticed a point when I realize that I'm stuck in that plane for the next several hours. It takes a while for me to mentally accept that I'm essentially rooted to that seat until we land. If I were five years old, I could get up and run around (and maybe someone would think it cute if I sneaked into Business Class). But I'm 32. If I ran around the plane someone would tackle me, tie me up, and a police officer would arrest me at the other end. Let's not even think about Business Class. So, I stayed in the seat.
This time, however, I didn't get that. By the time I settled in, read, knit (damn twinge), ate, watched a movie (Ratatouille), drank some OJ, dozed, watched TV (The Office), and thought about how annoying it was for the person in front of me to push his seatback into my face, it was almost time to land. Ha!
Then Heathrow keeps you busy. I had a two-hour layover, with a solid hour consumed just by getting myself from gate to gate. Then once I was where I needed to be I waited (and waited) for the flight gate to Düsseldorf flight to be announced. I was tired of everything at that point. Tired of flying, waiting, sitting, standing, walking, moving. In other words I needed to be stationary for a few hours, which I did as soon as I arrived in Cologne (think ZZZzzzzzz).
Here we are: day three of the month of birthdays (mine) and chocolate (um, Valentine's Day--and if you don't have a Valentine to buy you chocolate, then go and be your own).
It would seem that some people do not like February. I guess I understand. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, February is usually bleak and chilly. Definitely not weather at it's best. Perhaps Ms. Nicola can give us a different perspective from Down Under.
Still there are reasons to be cheerful, knitting-wise. Sockapaloooza will soon have us pulling out our DPNs (or magic loops,or two circulars) and the Knitting Olympics will be challenging us to knit our best.
I agree with Cassie:
I have so much to blog about today, but my bags are packed and there's no time to joke around.
First, the holiday update:
(and something else that must stay off blog for the near future)
The yarn: packed!
Chosen! It's Old Blue II. The more that I thought about it, the more that I knew that this weekend, with all its promised craziness, would not be suitable for learning new techniques, nor did I think a felting project was a good idea. I know that I will be listening to "Oooh, why is it so big? Oooh, it shrinks? Oooh, will it work?" over and over and OVER, until I want to use my knitting needles for other purposes.
Meanwhile, I recently won a contest over at The Project. It was very kind of Jackie to offer the prizes for simply suggesting that mistake rib is THE stitch pattern to use for a manly scarf. For very little effort on my part, here's what I received.
Steadfast Fibers fingering weight and some matching stitch markers. Look, one of the stitch markers has a special "mini marker"
Do you see it on the left? Would you believe that before now I had no stitch markers like this? I have no excuse.
As I was looking at the yarn, I realized that it matches my spring jacket perfectly:
I'm seeing a spring stole happening. Remember Cozy? It would be fabulous knit in fingering weight. Wouldn't a gray felted bucket hat be the perfect addition to this ensemble? Thanks a lot Jackie! The yarn and markers were a very nice package to receive in my mailbox, and I'm very excited that it already has a project connected to it.
Have a great weekend everyone! Merry Christmas if you're celebrating, and enjoy the peace and quiet if you are not. I'll see you all on Monday with a hat update!
Research update: lots of hosting companies were recommended to me. Within a couple of days I have narrowed down my hosting choices to two companies LivingDot.com and pair.com (based on such things as cost, bandwidth, disk space, and response to my inquiries.) Let me say that there seem to be many, many great companies out there. These two are by no means the best or the only ones. LivingDot.com and pair. com are both MT hosting partners, and will install and maintain Movable Type for me. This seemed like a nice way for me (someone with limited technical knowledge, and limited resources to dig myself out of a hole if I have problems) to start out on my own. All I need to do is to learn how to use the application :-).