March is National Craft Month.
While I have over the years tried to justify my crafty ways to my husband, he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get it the way I don’t get golf. Really…spending all day in the hot sun chasing a little white ball around the grass? Long before children, when he couldn’t find someone to golf with, I would occasionally venture out with him. I drove the golf cart, which seems like the only really neat part of it all. Apparently I talk too much and don’t see anything wrong with driving on the greens, which I learned is frowned upon. I was also responsible for the scorecard, until he began making up his own score. So I simply started writing down what I thought his score should be before we moved onto the next hole. With my verbal chiding, random scoring system, and reckless driving, my chauffeur duties didn’t last long.
In the spirit of National Craft Month, a few of us decided to take on a challenge and learn how to knit socks. After two classes, we are half way though the project, which up until this point has already involved a great deal of trial and error, some late nights, a few swear words, and arthritic fingers. At this point in the project, I consider myself lucky, not talented.
One of our sock sisters has freaky fast fingers. Her family will all be getting socks for Christmas. Realizing my limitations, I will be lucky to complete one pair of socks this year.
I believe there is much to be said for creating rather than consuming. I think an article another fellow sock sister shared explains it best. Entitled, “This is your brain on knitting,” the article describes the benefits of creating, whether through music, the arts, cooking, or crafting. When we create, we live more fully. For our family, biscotti is one that we enjoy creating, both food and memories.
Our sock sister who forwarded the article is also the creative visionary behind these Blueberry Lavender Biscotti, an amazing flavor combination that not only smell good coming out of the oven, but taste delicious too!
Blueberry Lavender Biscotti
YIELD: approximately two dozen
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoon dried lavender
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
¾ cup dried blueberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
2. In a large flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lavender.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon zest.
4. With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.
5. Add the blueberries. Knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.
6. Separate the dough in half. Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.
7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split. Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
8. Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board. Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
What to do with the ends #71: Wrap your yarn around the ends for your next knitting project.