Is Starshower the new Honey Cowl? Only time will tell (but it looks good).

Vast Tracts O’ Land!

oliversblanketlayout.jpg
Dear Ann,
Busybusybusy here at American Blanket Central. The square-shaped love is pouring in the door. Some of the square-shaped love is more traditionally square-shaped than others, but after some remedial blocking and laying on of hands, it’s all going to be SUPER FANTASTIC.
oliversquares112007.jpg
These squares (2 days worth pictured above) came from:
Dana, Cindy, Cathy, Flaky, Liz F, Kate, Ruanne, Rita, Debbie Amy, Deb V, Liz S, Kristy, Sally, Sarah Z, Maryanne, Becky, and Missy. (If I’m missing your blog link, email me and I’ll add it.) Thank you so much for knitting, all of yaz. I’ll try to live up to your dedication and speed when it comes to the sew-up phase.
oliversblanketlayout3.jpg
This should give you an idea of what I’m doing with my spare time: playing with layouts. See why I love the dirty drab colors? POP!
We Had a Great Time (and Were Thoroughly Searched Before Leaving)
prizepatrol.jpg
Yesterday, Other Ann and I journeyed to Secaucus to help Cara pack up the prizes for the Spin Out 2007 raffle. Last year, I couldn’t believe the quality and quantity of the loot Cara had collected, and this year it was even more gobsmacking. Ann and I packed over 40 prize boxes, each of which combined several beautiful yarns or fibers with tools, accessories or other useful stuff. Cara is repacking them right now. (It seems that Ann and I were cavalier in our tissue paper/prize pairings. We’re savages, really. You cannot take us anywhere.)
prizepatrol2.jpg
Cara likes to try to provoke me by saying that she can’t spare a square for a group blanket, only knits for her own sweet self, yadda yadda. (I guess she’s too busy RAISING 30 GRAND for Heifer International or something.) But sitting around her apartment, I got this strong feeling that I was in the presence of a lot of sock yarn. I wondered out loud if there might be any spare sock yarn, you know, that she didn’t love so much anymore, or leftovers or whatever. Let’s just say I came home with some really deluxe skeins from Cara’s stash. Cara, you spoiled brat, thank you. You WILL spare a square, even if I have to knit it for you myself.
whatabunchquilteddetail.jpg
In other news, I got my very first quilt back from the machine quilter today. Wow. What a difference a professional job can make. My homely little quilt looks so beautiful now, so “shut up–I am a real quilt.” I feel the tiniest twinge of regret that the project isn’t entirely my own work. But as you are fond of saying, it has a quality of doneness that is awesome. In 2006, I pieced it in a 24-hour fever (hotter than a pepper sprout), and dithered for more than a year about how to quilt it. Then I got a friendly referral to a top-notch machine-quilter, and in a matter of weeks it became an almost-finished quilt, with the straightest-trimmed edges you have ever seen. This long holiday weekend is going to be all about the binding. I am so psyched about those hours of hand-sewing it down to the back. I’m not kidding even a little bit about that.
Kay K’s Kitchenette
casserolecookbook.jpg
I will leave you with a Thanksgiving recipe. This is a child-pleasing side dish from the Heartland, where Combined Canned Goods Cuisine is as vibrant today as it was in 1956. My kids, who otherwise live on air and Gatorade, ask for seconds, as do their cousins and, truth be told, their uncles and aunts. I make no apologies for it. It’s delish.
Corn Souffle*
*Formerly known as Corn Casserole, renamed because my children, who did not come up the Hudson in a banana boat, will not eat anything called casserole.
2 cans cream-style corn (ew! stay with me)
1 package frozen corn kernels or fresh corn cut off the cob if you are some kind of freak
6 eggs, beaten lightly
1/2 cup milk
1 stick (1/4 lb) butter
approximately 2 cups of crushed cracker crumbs (I use saltines like my depression-era grandma did; Most Moisturized Mom goes for the finesse of Club Crackers)
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cracker crumbs, and butter the remaining crumbs, which you will use for the topping.
Mix all the other ingredients together with the 1/2 cup of reserved cracker crumbs until well combined, then pour into a buttered casserole dish. Top with all of the buttered crumbs, which will seem excessive. (Because it is).
Bake at 350 degrees until the souffle puffs up a bit and the crumbs are golden brown, which is usually about 30 minutes. (You want your frozen corn well-thawed and your eggs set.)
It’s delicious. You can thank me later.
Love,
Kay
P.S. By the way, you, me, and Merle were in the New York Times on Sunday. Yee haw! Oy vey!

55 Comments

55 Comments

  1. I’m loving the look of your American Blanket, thank-you so much everyone for joining in with this! The first English Blanket for Oliver is nearly ready!

  2. OMG!! Your corn souffle is my childhood’s Scalloped Corn. Some how, all vegetables were called scalloped if baked in the oven in a casserole dish (scalloped potatoes, scalloped beans, etc.) and all meats were called “loafs” – salmon loaf, meatloaf, ham loaf, etc. I leave tomorrow for North Dakota, and although scalloped corn isn’t on the traditional T-day menu, I can look forward to melted marshmellows on my baked yams and real meringue on my sour cream raisin pie. Maybe we could have the corn on Friday….

  3. Your recipe looks a lot like my Corn Casserole recipe (subtract one creamed corn, add a box of Jiffy and a chopped jalapeno and some cheese and sour cream) . . . okay, maybe it doesn’t look a lot alike. Nevermind.
    Also, I have squares! Will you tell me where to send them?

  4. This blanket is going to be gorgeous, and I will have an entire weekend of knitting ahead of me. Can you take squares if I mail them Monday morning?

  5. My squares are hitting the mailbox today. Great afghan assembly idea!

  6. If that is me Kristy, here is my link. http://www.okwhatnext.blogspot.com
    And I was serious about the wine – just let me know. :)

  7. You forgot to mention the cheese. G’s going to be pissed! ;-)
    I can’t thank you enough for helping me. Truly. Sock yarn was the least I could do – especially since I don’t have to knit it myself.
    LOVE!

  8. I am hyperventilating at your layout. And, truth be told, Kelly’s stripy squares. I even quite like that skein or red / white / pinky / bluey (?) handpaint yarn in the 3rd pic down, and you know how I feel about handpainted stuff. And I should be writing patterns, but I want to knit squares. It’s just not fair! B x x

  9. oh, and creamed corn is rilly, rilly, rilly exotic here – I want to make that souffle. Smart kids not eating casseroles, your two! B x x x

  10. I’m trying to finish up 3 more squares so I can send an even dozen!
    Your blankets look fabulous!!
    (hmm…that recipe looks suspiciously familiar…I had a friend who made a variation of it with hamburger and instead of crackers – biscuits made with more creamed corn perched on top!)
    (((hugs)))

  11. OK, confused!! Do you mix in the 1/2 c crumbs and top with the 1 1/2 buttered crumbs, or vice versa.
    Please don’t blame me, it’s been a REALLY long day!

  12. > fresh corn cut off the cob if you are some kind of freak
    Um, Kay? It’s November, you know, Thanksgiving? Fresh Corn on the Cob went away a couple months ago.
    BTW, for fussy kids, we have this GREAT rule: Polite Bite. One polite bite is required, only one no more, of each and every dish, each and every time it’s served. Don’t finish your serving if you don’t like it. But, it must be polite…no faces, groans or “Ick” comments (those aren’t polite. “Do it again, politely this time”). just, Thank you, bite, chew swallow, go on to the next thing.
    Oh, wait for seconds of anything UNTIL grownups are done with firsts, eating and chatting, then they can have more of whatever, no problem. If kids choose to nibble on “disliked” food while waiting, I simply don’t notice ;-) Works great, in the long run.
    The only food rules in my house are about manners. The kids see the benefit of that, and (mostly) cooperate.
    Warning….this method shows kids the value of trying new foods….and they end up liking them. Things like, oh, salmon, escargot, filet mignon, calimari…the more expensive, the more they want to try it…and like it!

  13. So, does this blanket need to be backed? I was wondering if it would be too light for, say, a baby blanket without being backed.

  14. Hi Cindy,
    Yes, you mix in the 1/2 cup and use the buttered cup & a half for the topping.
    Colleen, I just saw some sweet corn at the greenmarket. I don’t know if it’s hothouse corn or if such a thing even exists, but the greenmarket is strict about it being locally grown.
    Love from Super Chef

  15. hi there:)
    i have a question about the squares…what types of fiber is being used?
    is this all machine wash or hand wash or all mixed up??
    thanx
    peace&blessings
    mary~

  16. hi there:)
    i have a question about the squares…what types of fiber is being used?
    is this all machine wash or hand wash or all mixed up??
    thanx
    peace&blessings
    mary~

  17. I may not have enough experience knitting to offer advice, but I do have enough experience quilting.
    Instead of handsewing the binding down you can machine sew it onto the back side of the quilt, then flip it over and machine sew it to the top side. I like to do it so that my binding is a little bit longer on the right side of the quilt – this way when you machine stitch the top of the binding down, the resulting line of stitches on the back falls on the quilt backing (not on top of the binding).

  18. I just sent my squares off today. I am glad to see that they will have some stripe-y friends to play with!

  19. Gotta love that homecooking – my favorite cookbooks are the church and lodge fundraisers. Unfortunately my citified children turn their noses up at such delicacies. Just can’t believe I raised snobs! But they do like my knitting.

  20. The hand sewing of the binding doesn’t take all that long. I kinda like doing it myself, maybe because it signifies the absolute end of the project! :O) Your quilt is beautiful, and the blankets will be too. I like the recipe as well! We’ve had Thanksgiving already, here in Canuckland, but hubby and I both love casseroles, even if they are called casseroles! Gotta try this one. samm

  21. my murky squares are in the mail
    we used saltines then baked
    until crusty around the edges
    frozen cranberry ice in mothers
    punch cups and pies and cheese
    and other goodies and apples
    take out the nutcrakers
    happy thanks giveing day

  22. OMG! I make a very similar “corn pudding”, but I use a bit of flour and baking soda, lots of butter and some sweetening – brown or white sugar or, sometimes, maple syrup. My sons want me to bake it on a cookie sheet because they LOVE the crust! (Nope, tradition says it bakes in the enamel bowl with hearts on!) And you need the squares on or before November 30, yes? I’m nearly done with the 4th, and I won’t have dozens but I’m squeaking them out as “betweens”. (And I am loving doing them, I need some serious tranquilizers right now, and the Squares do the trick.)

  23. No need for any twinges of regret. Back in my quilting days I finally realized that I just…didn’t really like the quilting part. I liked the assembly part. And other people lovelovelove the quilting part and hate the assembly part, so why can’t we make each other happy? Never mind that my last completed quilt (a king-sized Hawaiian quilt for my sister’s wedding) was miles of tiny hand stitches (think Baltimore album quilt, but Hawaiian) — I was not going to do the quilting. Sent it off to a professional…and yes, she was thrilled to have it to work on. I was thrilled. And most important of all, my sister and her husband were thrilled. It’s still YOUR quilt!

  24. If you really really REALLY want a special treat, make the corn casserole as usual, but before baking, sprinkle on about three tablespoons of cinnamon sugar (heavy on the cinnamon). You won’t want it any other way after that.

  25. I just have to say…love the Johnny and June “Jackson” reference! Hotter than a pepper sprout! I’m a gardener and never even saw a pepper sprout, but it’s still a great line!

  26. i popped the wee squares in the mailbox this morn! the american blanket is becoming a painterly masterpiece!

  27. I am just finishing up a Sports Nutrition course, and the professor says a diet of Gatorade and air is JUST THE THING.
    Or could be I wasn’t paying attention that day…

  28. I can’t wait to see finished blankies. I took mine to the post office this morning. I could have knit more but was afraid of missing the deadline. If there becomes another deadline, let us know. Have sock yarn, will knit….squares.

  29. hi all again:)
    does anyone know what kind of fiber is being used on the squares???
    thanx again

  30. Lovely blankets! I have only three to send it, but don’t want to wait any longer. I will mail them out tomorrow. You can see the blog post here:
    http://knitonequilttoo.typepad.com/knit_one_quilt_too/2007/11/squares-for-oli.html
    I also love, love, love the quilt and want to see more of it. Is that the back?

  31. I love corn casserole! My mom has a similar version but we add a little chopped celery and shredded AMERICAN cheese. We can never find shredded american so I always end up ripping up kraft singles. But so worth the effort! And in Minnesota, it is called a hot dish (but we called it casserole anyway!).

  32. I love corn casserole! My mom has a similar version but we add a little chopped celery and shredded AMERICAN cheese. We can never find shredded american so I always end up ripping up kraft singles. But so worth the effort! And in Minnesota, it is called a hot dish (but we called it casserole anyway!).

  33. I love corn casserole! My mom has a similar version but we add a little chopped celery and shredded AMERICAN cheese. We can never find shredded american so I always end up ripping up kraft singles. But so worth the effort! And in Minnesota, it is called a hot dish (but we called it casserole anyway!).

  34. my husband loves a good creamed corn….and me, a finished quilt. I know exactly how you feel about it not being all you…but I’ve got a lot of all me quilts sitting unfinished in my sewing room. It’s good to get one you can cuddle under, even if it’s not ALL you! Have fun with the binding. I rather like doing that part, too!

  35. my husband loves a good creamed corn….and me, a finished quilt. I know exactly how you feel about it not being all you…but I’ve got a lot of all me quilts sitting unfinished in my sewing room. It’s good to get one you can cuddle under, even if it’s not ALL you! Have fun with the binding. I rather like doing that part, too!

  36. I am so going there on that casserole.
    It is clearly a casserole and anybody south of the Mason-Dixon line would boo me out of the house if I tried to sell the thing as a souffle.
    Saltines all the way!
    I got a batch of squares to send ya. Don’t finish that thing without ‘em!

  37. You have no idea how envious of you I am about your hours of hand sewing. surprisingly enough I’m not being sarcastic. I love doing hand sewing, I hit sewing zen about 20 min. into the task and I can go for hours, it’s wonderful.

  38. I have to say that I love casseroles, but do notice a lot of “souffles” that look quite like the casseroles of my youth here in NY. I think this recipe sounds great. We had squash pudding all summer with zucchini and yellow squash from dad’s garden.

  39. I’m sure that machine sewing the binding, as another commenter suggested, makes for a stronger binding, but it doesn’t make for wonderful hours of hand sewing which I, too, happen to love and look forward to!

  40. What love for Oliver and Emma!
    And I saw that in the sunday Times, or that is, my husband did. Don’t you know these people? he said. What are they doing in the Hamptons. Don’t they live in Tennessee or something?
    Knitting gets them around a bit, I said.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  41. Kay,
    I had corn souffle at a friend’s house ten Thanksgiving’s ago and have been searching for the recipe ever since! Thank you! I can’t wait to make it.

  42. Dude – Grip me some corny-goodness.
    ps: love the book! Thanks so much!!!!

  43. OMG — scalloped corn, a food of my Illinois childhood! I believe it’s about to become a food of my Iowa adulthood, too…

  44. The blanket is coming along gorgeous. I hope my squares get there soon. It’s such a dorky thrill to look for them to show up here!

  45. oh I love the blanket, it is beautiful. Though my eye keeps being drawn to the University of Tennessee orange and white section. I was a bit traumatized in my youth by the orange and whiteness of my native TN. If I block out the trauma though the blanket is amazing.

  46. oh I love the blanket, it is beautiful. Though my eye keeps being drawn to the University of Tennessee orange and white section. I was a bit traumatized in my youth by the orange and whiteness of my native TN. If I block out the trauma though the blanket is amazing.

  47. Dear Kay and Ann,
    While watching the lovely parade today with my family, I was wondering if you, Kay, were at the parade and if you brought your knitting. While thinking of you I thought of Ann and thought how much fun the whole Merle Hazard thing has been and what nice families you both have.
    So I take this day of Thanksgiving to thank you for your great book and sharing your daily lives with us. You have no idea how many smiles you bring to us and how sharing your recipe for corn Souffle (Casserole) and patterns for dish rags makes life seem just plain good.
    Happy Holiday Season to you and yours!
    Jane in NC

  48. You should have my squares by now. Mailed them early last week. You and Michaela have inspired me. I’m gathering all my fingering scraps to make my own bias square blanket. Check with me sometime next century. I should have it done by then and it will be gorgeous! Oh yeah! I gotta knit more socks, too!

  49. That gray and red stripey one is mine! I feel so famous! And I can’t wait to see the finished blanket in all its Gee’s-bendiness glory.
    Dana in WA

  50. I have quite a few squares I knitted for Olivers Blanket. I have some lovely Koigu left over and knitted through Thanksgiving. I just need a local address to overnite them to you I will loose time sending them across the Ponds. Thanks!

  51. I have quite a few squares I knitted for Olivers Blanket. I have some lovely Koigu left over and knitted through Thanksgiving. I just need a local address to overnite them to you I will loose time sending them across the Ponds. Thanks!

  52. I have quite a few squares I knitted for Olivers Blanket. I have some lovely Koigu left over and knitted through Thanksgiving. I just need a local address to overnite them to you I will loose time sending them across the Ponds. Thanks!

  53. K – the corn “souffle” was a big hit. I classed it up a tad by going all organic. It was so popular that it was requested for next year already!!!

  54. OMG…I want to thank you soooo much…the corn souffle is something I remember my mom making when we were kids. I didnt like it as a child but learned to love it as I got older. Mom passed away and no one ever knew the recipe…thank you soo much…I am making that for dinner tonight.

  55. i can’t tell you how SUCCESSFUL and WIN this recipe is!!! I have made it COUNTLESS times for potlucks and dinner parties and it is always a BIG HIT.
    and it’s even better when the people are knitters. they get a kick out of where i got the recipe. ;)
    xoxo elaine.