Thursday, January 7, 2016

National Tempura Day and Baa-Ble Hat

National Tempura Day

Who doesn't love the Japanese dish, tempura?  Tempura is typically vegetables and seafood coated in a light batter and deep-fried, served with various dipping sauces.  If someone in your party doesn't like sushi, there's usually a tempura dish on the Japanese menu that will satisfy them  Parents also find this to be a way to get picky kids to eat almost any vegetable.

Growing up, we learned to eat all kinds of food and have fun in the kitchen cooking different cuisines.  I remember helping make tempura on a variety of occasions.

Since it's a dish best eaten right out of the fryer rather than as leftovers, I haven't made tempura in quite a while.  Tonight, I think I'll bring out the Fry Daddy and have some tempura shrimp and vegetables -- small batch style.

Battered green beans have jumped out of Japanese restaurants and onto the appetizer menu of gastropubs in the past few years.   Tempura batter has also become a part of the State Fair food culture, used to batter a variety of crazy foods to sell to fairgoers.  This phenomenon helps provide the notion that almost anything can be improved by battering and frying.  When fried properly, the items should not be very greasy, but it's still a good idea to enjoy in moderation.  

Baa-Ble Hat

On Facebook, I'm a part of a huge knitting group that shares completed project pictures and discusses various knitting topics.  The past few months, I've seen the same sheep hat pop up over and over.  It ass very cute, but I didn't really investigate.

After seeing one of my friends make a Star Wars hat for the new year, I decided that I needed a new hat too and looked into the sheep hat.

The pattern is a free download and was created by Donna Smith to celebrate Shetland Wood week.  No wonder so many sheep hats were popping up!  On Ravelry, there are thousands of completed Baa-Ble Hats.

The pattern is very well-written and was a fairly quick knit since the colorwork only used two colors at a time.  When reading comments from fellow knitters, I noticed that many stated that their hats turned out too large.  Mine was a perfect fit, so I think that the issue was loose knitters, rather than a pattern error.

I'm not a fan of pom pons, so I left that off of my finished hat.  

Now I want to make a hello kitty hat similar to the Baa-Ble hat, then I really need to stop with the winter knitting.  It's so easy to procrastinate through random projects -- feels productive, but it's not a need-to-do activity!

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