Sunday, 11 February 2007

Mmmmm! Delicious

Last weekend the lovely Pictish from the Crafty Threads and Yarns Forum posted this recipe for a vegetarian casserole using a slow cooker: Chickpea and Parsnip Casserole in Red Wine. Now I don't know about you, but I do not have many vegetarian recipes for my slow cooker; I have plenty of meat-based ones, but as Mr Knitbert is vegetarian I don't often use them. This one sounded so tasty I decided to have a go at it myself this weekend, and as it has come out well I wanted to share it. And if anyone reading has a favourite vegetarian slow cooker recipe that they would like to share, I'd love to hear it. If I try it I'll publish some photos of the results, along with Mr Knitbert's Verdict, in a future post.

Pictish's recipe is more of a concept than an exact specification, so I have freely adapted it while (I hope) remaining true to the original idea. Here are all the ingredients assembled ready to start:

I had some butternut squash and celeriac left over from another recipe, so I added those, and I also replaced some of the parsnips with sweet potato. At Mr Knitbert's request I increased the amount of chickpeas, too.
I made a tomato, onion and garlic sauce using a tin of tomatoes instead of tomato puree, to which I added the chickpeas, vegetable stock and red wine:

There is a lot of chopping to do with most vegetarian recipes, so Mr Knitbert is fully trained:

Here are all the chopped vegetables in the slow cooker:

The sauce ready to be added:

And, six hours later, it was ready to eat - I added a swirl of creme fraiche as suggested by Pictish, which was yummy.

Mr Knitbert's Verdict: **** Very tasty. His recommendation - serve with mash to soak up the sauce.

While the slow cooker was doing its job, I had time to carry on knitting the sleeves of my Ivy. I have two more increases to do, then knit straight to the armholes and then shape the sleeve cap.

As you can see, I am knitting them both at the same time, which is exactly what my mother always used to do with her sleeves, but which I have never tried before. I think it is turning out quicker to knit the two together than it would have been to knit them one after the other, and there is the added advantage of having the same tension and the same row count on both sleeves. Plus, once I'm done, I'm done. No second sleeve syndrome, yay!

Following this reasoning, I am starting to think that it might be quicker and more satisfying to knit two socks on two circs. While I can manage one sock on two circs, I have never worked out how to do two. Yesterday I discovered Eric and Cat's great video podcast Let's Knit2gether. In her first episode she demonstrates how you would organise yourself to cast on and knit two socks on two circs and - well - it's easy! She also explains how to do two socks on one circ using Magic Loop.

I've got to finish my Hedera in the old, slow, one-at-a-time way, and then I'm going to do my next socks as a pair on two circs. Has anyone else tried this? How did you find it, is it really faster?

Sock a month - bah! Hundreds of socks a month more like!


Queen Frogger said...

That recipe looks great, I love vegetarian food. Ivy will be soon finished, can't wait to see it on!

Cindy G said...

Ivy is going to be beautiful! I've always knit two socks at a time, but by switching back and forth between 2 sets of dpns. I don't think it speeds things up, but does have the advantages you mention for sleeves.

Christina said...

yummy - that looks nice. And the ivy sleeves are looking gorgeous, can't wait to see that one soon.

Lindsey said...

The recipe looks fab, I will have to try it out, too--always looking for a hearty, simple meal for winter!

And your Ivy is really coming along. I've just started the back of mine, but have taken note of your sleeve technique and plan to try it that way, too!