Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Mamadal and a Funny Story

Sometimes you think you hear something entirely different from what was actually said. Like song lyrics. 
You grow up thinking that Elton John really had a thing for Tony Danza when he sang "hold me close now Tony Danzaaaaaa", only to find out, while you're belting that out in front of your teenage friends that you're in fact, quite very, very wrong. Enter embarrassment.

For the record, this wasn't me, but Phoebe from Friends.

I did however, recently have my very own Phoebe moment...with this recipe.
See how I've spelled the title of this post? "Mamadal".  Sounds exotic, n'est pas? This could cozy right up with the word falafel and you'd be none the wiser.

Mamadal is something sacred to our family. My aunts and uncles, my siblings, my cousins. 

It's one of those nostalgic things my great grandma used to make, and she got the recipe when she befriended a woman in New Mexico, the owner of the hotel she was staying at. 

These hotel owners were an older couple who were very friendly and somewhat eccentric. I'm told that she walked around with her very fancy parrot on her shoulder most of the time.
They hit it off with my Great Grandparents, and apparently swapped some recipes, and Momo (as we call her) came home with some pretty authentic new Mexican recipes. 

Naturally, I grew up thinking that this mamadal business was something either Mexican or new Mexican, and that other people might have their own versions.
I'd never googled it or anything, in fact, I'd sort of forgotten about it.

Until last week.

Mom was over, and she looked at some canned goods on my counter that I hadn't put away yet from our last grocery run and said "oooh, looks like you have all the fixings for some Mamadal!"

I had forgotten completely about it and said "how do you make it again?"
Mom said it had been a while, and she could look it up when she got home.
"that's ok", I replied, "i'm sure I can google it."

Mom looked at me a little funny, confused, and said "what exactly are you going to google?"

"mamadal!" I said.

She laughed, and laughed some more. Now *I* was confused. 

"you're not going to find it by searching for that", she said.

"why not?"

"Mamadal was just what WE called it. We have no idea what it's really called."

me: "wait...what?"

The couple who owned the hotel, the husband always called the wife "Mama Doll". 

"Say WHAT?" 

Mom continued to explain that when Popo and Momo came back from new mexico, if Popo wanted this dish, he'd say "heya, can you make some of that 'Mama DOLL' ?"

Good gravy, I'd been tricked! We'd all been tricked!! For years! Or, maybe it's just me. Maybe the rest of the family completely knows. I suppose I should ask.

To be fair, i'd never seen the recipe card, so I hadn't paid attention to the spelling. It really did just sound like "mamadal". 

Regardless of the silliness behind this "dish", I'm going to give you the recipe, because it's amazing. And not healthy at all. This recipe will not fit into any diet plan, ever. I promise you. This is right up there with super bowl food.


Mama Doll

2 medium bags of plain Frito corn chips (i'm going to say medium because that's what we have here. Our frito bags are different sizes here in Canada than those in the USA, so for simplicity sake, i'm going to add that you'll probably need about 8 cups of crushed frito corn chips, if that helps any.)

2 small cans of green chilli peppers (hot or mild, your call. JalapeƱos would also work.)

2 cups of cooked shredded chicken

2 cans of cream of chicken soup

2 cans of creamed corn

1 can of plain, cooked corn

1 cup chicken broth, or milk

2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.


Preheat oven to 400

crush up one entire bag of fritos. Not super small, you still want some chunks. Pour these out into a 9x13 pan, evenly.

In a sauce pan, combine the cream of chicken, creamed corn, corn, green chillis  and broth, and heat to a soup temperature.
Remove from heat and pour half of this mixture onto the corn chips.

Add all the cooked shredded chicken on top of this.

Now add another layer, that second bag or remaining 4 cups of crushed fritos.

Pour the rest of the soup mixture on top of that.

Top with shredded cheddar cheese, cover with foil, and put it in the oven for 20 min. Then take off the foil and cook for an additional 10.

Give the doctor a call and schedule a check up in the near future. 


Variatiions: this is pretty simple food. I'd like to try it completely from scratch (maybe not the corn chips, but eliminate the cans of cream of chicken and try it with a roux. )

I also imagine that this would be really good with franks hot sauce!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Yarn Along {Christmas Pressure Is On!}

Back in late spring when I started working on Christmas gifts, I have to admit that despite recognizing that the decision was quite practical, I did feel a tiny bit silly. Christmas was a long way off and my tomatoes were hardly anything more than stubby plants with a few blossoms.
But I did take a look a the list of people I was planning on knitting for, and the list of things that would also be coming at me this autumn (errr, you know, a new baby and all, and I did account for some potential toddler regression out of Lotte, thankfully, because we've had some..) 

I thought it would be wise to get a head start. 

I'm glad I did, because we're down to the wire here and i'm still plugging away. And at a slower pace, and with less sleep, might I add.I'm getting closer and closer to being finished though and I think i'm actually going to make it. 

This week's two biggies: one more hat (yep, still working on those), a pair of mittens, and just finished, a sweet little toy octopus for a friend's baby. 

The mittens i'm striping with a hand dyed yarn (the yarn is a little intense on it's own, but looks much more muted and well-behaved, adult like when striped with the grey.)

The octopus I made for a friend's baby. It was a fiddley little thing to make, but I rather enjoyed watching it unfold and come together. Those tentacles are kind of addictive to knit, so boingy and all. 
I had to wait to piece her together until my safety eyes (and felici sock yarn!!!) arrived from knit picks. 

I think she looks mighty suspicious, don't you think? It's those beady eyes. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Yarn Along {christmas hats}

Sometime mid-summer, I decided that every kid i'm knitting a gift for this Christmas is getting a hat. I'm not entirely sure why, it just seemed practical and seemed like something I could without having to be too careful about measurements. Hats can fit in a multitude of ways and still look right, so it seemed like a no brainer.

...But now....I'm tired of hats. 

Well, at least kids' basic, stockinette hats. But the problem is, I hit the half way point and can't give some of my nieces and nephews a plain stockinette beanie and others something more fun and more detailed.

This is where my non-family-but-may-as-well-be-family "nieces" and "nephews" come into play.
A few days ago it just dawned on me that they won't be opening their gifts in front of my other nieces and nephews. I can let go. Use different yarn. Play with the patterns. Not stab myself with my knitting needles. 
You get the idea.

I haven't been knitting at my usual pace lately-knitting with a baby in my arms takes a bit longer depending on what position we're in, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I remember with my first three how fast this all passes, and before you know it, you're begging them to slow down and come sit on your lap. I'll take all I can while I can!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Yarn Along {Welcome Baby Abilene}

I've been gone a little while because our tiny bundle has finally arrived! 
Abilene Cecilia Belle (We're calling her Billie for short) arrived at 1:34 pm on November 1st. 
She's been, by far, our best "sleeper" ever, and is looking a lot like her big brother Zeke and her big sister Lotte.(who is smitten, but a touch jealous of all the attention. We're fully confident that she'll recover sooner or later.)

I finally have someone to wear all those ridiculously small garments that I've been working on.
Sweater: Wheatfield
Longies: Pantaloons

Booties: Baby Feets
Hat: From Where You Were Plucked (pictured at bottom)

I have been plugging away at a few gifts since she's been born, but I can't mention them because, well, they're gifts! Knitting time has slowed considerably since my arms are occupied most of the day (I do knit some with her in my arms), but i'm soaking up every moment of this that I can because I know it's only a matter of months before she'll be wanting out of my arms and down on the floor with her siblings.

 This goes by too fast, nothing is going to keep me from enjoying it while I can. Even knitting. ;)

Binding off,


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Yarn Along {these boots were made for walkin'...}


I've been quickly knitting up some last minute things for the baby to distract myself from discomfort and to keep from going stir crazy.
I realized that I hadn't made any booties yet. We have lots of tiny shoes from previous babies but it dawned on me that this baby should maybe have shoes of her very own.

They're quite itty bitty, i wouldn't be terribly surprised if they only fit for a couple of weeks. But, i'm certain that they'll make an adorable Christmas ornament once she outgrows them.

Today's post is rather short and uneventful...im blogging from my phone because my computer desk chair just isnt looking very comfortable right now. I'm really hoping that by next week's yarn along i'll have a tiny model for all this wool!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Yarn Along {A Sleep Sack and Cowl}

Still counting down for baby, but in the meantime knitting away a few last minute baby projects that I didn't think i'd have time for.
I've made little sleep sacks for other babies, but my own have never had one. I also wanted to make one that would be useful for something else once the baby has grown out of it, (a keepsake of sorts) so I made it in a way that it could be used for a decorative throw pillow someday down the road. (I'll have to stitch up the other end of course, but that should be easy.)

The bottom flap is seamed at the sides so it's not actually a flap, but a pocket top that flips. And my son made the little wooden buttons for me. I thought it was a nice touch that this baby would get buttons made by her sweet and very loving older brother. 

I'm also knitting a cowl for our knitting group's knit along. We decided to go with the honey cowl because it's still a fun knit for those with more knitting experience, but easy enough that beginners can make it as well.

It's perfect timing, because I wanted to make a few Christmas presents anyway, so I dyed yarn with a couple of recipients in mind, and tried to go with more of an adult "frozen" theme. The trickiest part was trying to get both skeins to match. (I did dye them together, but sometimes one will absorb more dye than the next etc.)
I think they'll be fine though. I thought I could possibly get away with one skein for the cowl, but i'm nearing the end of the first and will definitely need to break into the second. 
Oh, and totally unintentionally, I found a project bag that matches the yarn; a cosmetic bag that was on clearance at target for 7 bucks! It's like it was meant to be.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Yarn Along {From Where You Were Plucked}

I have this really silly notion, and I'm not sure where exactly it stems from, that I'm not ready to have a baby until I have a hat with a knot in the top.
It's like this nesting-for-a-newborn thing that just *has to happen*.

I woke up last week in a cold sweat realizing that I didn't have one for this baby. Well, I have the ones used for the previous three babies, but it wouldn't be right to allow this baby's first hat to be one of her older siblings first hats. Another notion that I have no grounds for, but there it is.

My previous three babies had regular store bought jersey hats with a knot in the top, which suited the job perfectly. Lotte's actually had two little knots, one at the top of each corner, that almost looked like little ears, or the Great Gazoo. Adorable. 

I just love that these little hats look like the baby has been freshly picked, no, CHOSEN, off of a magical baby tree somewhere. That little knot just screams "I'm a brand spankin' new little person!" 

I might have issues.
I looked around on Ravelry and there were a few knotty hats on there but nothing like what I really had in mind.
Note: Typically, around this time before baby, I get somewhat irrational with the DIY. I don't just break down and clean all the windows, but I come up with work for myself that is seemingly useless. "Yes, Corrie, Write a knitting pattern, when there are already so many available... How about a hat that will fit for only a few weeks? Then you will feel as though you are ready to have a baby."

So without any more explaining (because let's face it, I might just be a bit crazy) here's the pattern. (oh, and an FYI-I tried it on my friend's full term, two week old newborn. Fits perfectly.)


{From where you were Plucked}

Materials: Sock or light fingering yarn scraps(two colours if you want to do the colour work portion-I'll explain how the hat is made first and include the colour work details at the bottom of the pattern, so you can choose to skip them if you would rather.)
2.5 mm double pointed or 16" circular needle

4 stitch markers
tapestry needle
With main Colour, using long tail cast-on, cast on 108 stitches. Place a stitch marker to keep track of your beginning of round.

Without twisting your cast on, join for working int the round and work in K2P2 Ribbing for 10 rounds or approx 3/4 inches

Switch to st st and knit until piece measures 4 inches from cast on edge.
Decrease Set up row: k27, place marker. Repeat two more times, and then knit the remaining 27 to your beginning of round marker. You should now have 4 markers with 27 stitches between each one.

Row 1: *k1, k2tog, knit to last three stitches before next marker, ssk, k1, slip marker*. Repeat to end of round

Row 2: Knit

Repeat these two rows 5 times, for a total of 10 rows. (68 stitches remaining)
Then work Row 1 only, 6 times more, (20 stitches remaining.)

Remove markers as you come to them, and knit until this top tube of 20 stitches until it measures 5 inches long. It may be easier to switch to double pointed needles for this portion.

Once you reach a 5 inch point,  k2 together all the way around. Break yarn and draw through remaining 10 stitches, secure and pull remaining thread inside the hat.
Tie a knot in the top and you're finished :)

After you do the 2x2 ribbing and several rows of stockinette stitch, without breaking your primary yarn colour, pick up and switch to a contrasting colour. (pictured, white.)

Row 1: Knit one row in contrasting colour. (i did a jogless stripe method-helpful youtube tutorial for that
here.) Do not break yarn between these four rows. 
Row 2: knit one with primary colour yarn, knit one with contrasting yarn, all the way around. (so mine was blue, white, blue white, blue white etc.)

Row 3: same as row two, but with contrasting colour first. (white, blue, white blue etc).

Row 4: same as row 1.

when these four rows are completed, then break yarn contrasting yarn (white), work more stockinette in the primary colour and if you wish, throw in another section of colourwork. My colour work sections are about 3/4 inch apart.