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I know it’s been ages since my last update. It’s not that crafting isn’t happening here – I made and sewed a lining into Anne’s bag and am working on a blanket project* – but that I’ve been otherwise very distracted.

The source of the distraction is my social life. There have been picnics, dinner parties, housewarming parties, birthday parties, goodbye parties and even a night out on the lake on a sailboat. Lovely. I’ve spent a lot of time in the kitchen as a result and even remembered to take pictures of some of my creations.

It all started about 3 weeks ago when my next door neighbor brought back a massive bunch of dill from her CSA collection point for me. Apparently other people were unpacking their boxes and leaving the dill behind!

The first things I made with the dill were refrigerator pickles, which sat curing in their brine and spices for a week before I was supposed to sample them. All week these pretty jars tested my patience as they sat there at the back of the fridge, begging to be eaten.

The wait was worth it, however – these were delicious.

The weather also cooled just enough for me to feel like using the oven wouldn’t induce heatstroke, so I made a loaf of dill-onion bread for a picnic.

The bread went over so well (the recipe is in Joy of Cooking, if you’re curious) that I made it again for a housewarming party two nights later, along with a loaf of whole wheat.

Ah yes, I also baked a carrot cake for the picnic, based off of this recipe but replacing the oil with applesauce. Definitely will make this again. The only photo comes from late into the picnic. I’m posting it so you can admire my marvelous picnicking sheets.

Daniel and Ivy had an American themed party celebrating Ivy’s newly granted citizenship. I made this potato salad, chocolate chip cookies, a jar of pickles and, on a last minute impulse, some strawberry jello. American enough, you think?

Also, Jan and Sara had another color party, this time with a green theme. I brought the last jar of pickles, a tabbouleh salad based off of this recipe (following the comments, not the original recipe), and mojito (lime and mint) cupcakes.

The cupcakes turned out surprisingly well for a recipe of which I was very skeptical. The lime and mint flavor come from steeping mint leaves in warm milk, draining them off, and then curdling the milk with lime juice. A really unappetizing beginning for something that ended up being pretty tasty.

Phew. And I wonder why I’m having trouble finding the energy to think of something to make for dinner…

*more on this soon. I’m excited by and a bit scared of this one.