Let’s talk about a success and a not-such-a-success.
As I’ve discussed before, my best friend C. loves cute owl stuff. So when I come across something she’d like and is pretty easy to do, sure, I do it.
This Crochet Owl Hat pattern from Repeat Crafter Me was well written and simple to follow. It’s nice that there are so many permutations depending on what size you want to make. The pattern only takes a few colors and I managed to work it up in a night and did the finishing eyeballs the next day. A newborn hat would probably only take an hour or two, and I’m a relatively slow crocheter.
Per my usual aversion to anything with buttons, I substituted a small circle of crochet done with black yarn and a much smaller hook for the eyeballs.
It turned out very well and the hat fit C. perfectly. She’s got a small head, so I stuck with the teen/adult pattern and it worked fine. I have a bigger head (and hair) and the teen size fit me also, so perhaps the large adult size is only for…well…large adults! We met for a walk on an extremely cold and blustery day and she didn’t have any head covering, so it was perfect timing! The ear flaps come in very handy, as it turns out. The only thing I would change is that I’d probably have done the accent color in a funkier one – the pink or purple as seen in the exemplar photo in the pattern – rather than the more natural brown I chose. I think it would have looked nicer. I also didn’t particularly like the ears, but those were optional extras anyway. And heck…I’m not wearing it! As long as she liked it, that’s what matters.
On to the less than successful recipe. I tried this Cauliflower Risotto a while back and won’t make it again. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either.
Now, I’m a sucker for a good risotto. I love making it. Something about the process, the frequent stirring and checking, the magic of releasing starches that turns a bunch of dried husks of rice into a creamy dish with the simple addition of broth…oh, it’s lovely. As are the final additions you can add to make the dish your own; you can keep it simple and just add some butter and cheese, or go deluxe with a variety of veg or meat. Darn it…now I want some!
This particular cauliflower risotto (and I suspect califlower risotto in general and not the fault of this recipe) is none of those things. It’s undeniably flavorful in terms of the tomato, spinach and capers. The beans add an undeniable richness and meat to the dish that would be sorely missed otherwise. For someone who is looking to lower their carb intake and up their veg and fiber intake, this is probably a dish with some promise. But as I’ve said before, I’d rather eat a small amount of deliciousness than a great deal of meh. And to me, in comparison to the real thing, this was meh. Not particularly creamy, rather crumbly, and tasting strongly of cauliflower despite how much it was cooked, this is no substitute for the real thing. This recipe says you can “feed your kids cauliflower without them ever knowing it.” Sorry parents…if you have Italian kids who have had the real thing, this’ll end up on the walls pretty quickly. My sister and bestie liked it, but perhaps they’re overly kind. It’s not worth the time and effort to make again.