Dec. 1st, 2012

piranha: red origami crane (Default)
while the paramour was in vegas for a conference, i could commandeer the kitchen without interfering with the important task of food preparation. so i decided i'd do some dyeing of fibre and wool yarn.

i used jacquard acid dyes in 601 sun yellow, 620 hot fuschia, and 624 turquoise, which i had picked out a few years ago as the brightest primaries i could see from the colour swatches. i never dyed with them then because some other monomaniacal interest distracted me.

so this was a test run. i dyed 10g of handspun yarn (60% romney/40% merino) each, trying to get a regular gradation from pale pastel to fully saturated colour. i also had some bits of fleece which i found in a bag tossed away at value village; discarded probably because it had lots of vegetable matter. don't know what breed it is -- a longwool breed for sure, maybe border leicester. i'd love to have a whole fleece of this. the few staples i can pull out easily are beautiful; up to 19 cm (7.5") long, and lovely after washing. i tossed those into whatever dyebath was left when the yarn didn't exhaust it, mixing the colours.

washed wool staples
wool staples, washed

more pictures after the cut )
the gradation was kinda regular in some cases, not so much in others -- i used the same amounts for each sequence (1ml, 5ml, 10ml, 20ml) but that doesn't quite work; i need to do 0.5ml for a really pale, barely there colour, and 2.5 for an intermediate step. also, it seems to me that the yellow didn't stay well in solution (it might just be too old), and i didn't stir it enough in between). but this is a good start on getting a base line. i'm never going to actually dye quantities with these primaries, but only with mixed colours, and tone those down. i do think i picked the right hues as primaries -- the fuchsia is not what jacquard marks as a primary, but it is considerably brighter than their pick, and i want maximum brightness here.

next time i'll mix all the secondaries (re-doing the green as well, since it wasn't properly mixed this time).
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i had bought some quinces on the last day of the cedar farmer's market (end of october), and they've been perfuming the kitchen wonderfully, but were starting to go. so i cooked up some puree to make my yoghurt more palatable.

if you've never had quince, you might want to try it some time. most varieties are inedible raw; hard and so tart your saliva will leave the building and not return until later that day. but just simmered for a while they soften and mellow nicely, with a very unique flavour that reminds of apple with undertones of pineapple and rose.

600 g quince
165 ml water
100 g sugar
1 T rosewater
1/4 t (heaped) black cardamom -- the spicing is very dependent on personal taste; i love both rose water and cardamom to bits while other people might want to have a lot less of either (or both, for that matter). you can use a bit of ginger instead. i've always wanted to try rose hips, the fleshy bits, but i tend to forget to pick them in time.

scrub fuzz off quinces if they have any. cut them in quarters lengthwise, core them. don't peel, unless your food processor is weak, or you're extremely sensitive to possibly tiny bits of peel surviving the slaughter. if you do peel them, simmer the peel alongside the quarters and fish them out before pureeing.

dump them in the water (immediately after cutting; they discolour much faster than apples).
simmer on low heat for about 20 min. they soften and turn rosy. don't try to cook them until they fall apart; that would take a long time, and it's not necessary

let them cool a bit. fish out the peels if you peeled them.

put quinces and what water is left in food processor. add the other ingredients and process the hell out of it.

eat with something that's otherwise bland. i guess you could also boil the puree down, add some more sugar, and make a paste or fruit leather. the longer you cook them, the more red they turn.

is very yummy, and quite different from other fruity things that are common in our temperate climate.

i can't believe i didn't take any pictures of the quinces, *sigh*. ok, they weren't a lot to look at, but still.


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

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