Ambidextrouse Crochet

What does Ambidextrouse crochet mean?  The technique of using both right hand and left hand in making crocheted work.  Right handed crocheters hold the hook on the right hand and make the crochet stitches from right to left; at the end of a row, the work is turned and the crocheter makes the next row from right to left again.  Crochet stitches have a right side and a wrong side.  The right side or visually smooth side of a crochet stitch is the one made facing the crocheter and the wrong side or bumpy side of crochet stitch is the one facing away from the crocheter.   By using right hand only to manage the crochet hook, the crochet rows are made up of alternating right side and wrong side of stitches.

The result of the crocheted work done by left handed crocheters is the same as that of the right handed crocheter.   Left handed crocheters hold the hook with the left hand and make crochet stitches from left to right.   But what if one desires crocheted work where the stitches are all facing in the same direction so that the work has a definite right side and wrong side?  This is where the advantage of being an ambidextrouse crocheter comes in.

To be an ambidextrouse crocheter is to be able to crochet using left hand and right hand technique.  This means that if one is a naturally right handed individual, he/she will have to learn to crochet left handed and vice versa for naturally left handed person.

I am in my 2nd month on teaching my left hand how to crochet.  My right hand is functioning at an expert level while my left hand is functioning on beginning level.  What motivated me to learn to crochet left-handed is the desire to teach my left-handed crochet students easily and more efficiently.  By becoming a beginner on left-handed crochet technique,  I can empathize more on their difficulty in learning a new craft.  It takes time and patience, to train the muscles of one’s hands and fingers to work together.  I am learning that my left hand cannot really duplicate or mirror everything that my right hand does, for example, my right hand holds the crochet hook “pencil grip” style while my left hand holds the crochet hook “claw”/”cup hold” style.  To try to teach my left hand to  hold the crochet hook like my right hand does is next to impossible.  To do so is very uncomfortable and creates muscle strain on my wrist.  So in Crochet there is no right way or wrong way to hold the crochet hook.  Hold it in a way that works for each individual crocheter without creating discomfort on fingers or wrists.


Pan De Sal And Memories Of The Philippines


Pan De Sal is part of traditional Filipino Breakfast.  It is usually eaten in the early part of the morning with coffee or very dark hot chocolate drink.  Most Filipinos dunk their Pan de sal bread  in coffee or hot chocolate drink before biting a mouthful.  I still catch myself doing either.   Pan de sal may be consumed for breakfast with coffee alone or other breakfast food such as fried rice, scrambled eggs, fried vinegar cured baby milkfish and fresh fruits.

It is best to eat Pan de sal bread in very early morning around 4 am. to 5 am. because it is still fresh and warm and just taken out of the oven of local bakers.  I used to get up very early in the morning to buy this bread from the little kid peddling this bread at dawn to town folks.  In my mind, I can still hear the little boy crying in a loud tenor voice,  T- – -I- – -N- – -A- – -P- – -A- – -Y!!!  Tinapay is a Tagalog or Pilipino word for bread.

I am sad to learn that this type of peddling is no longer practiced in the Philippines.  I’m not sure if it is now considered an illegal activity.  I have learned from friends when I visited the Philippines that even side walk peddlers have to apply for business license, no matter how small the quantity of the goods being sold.  I should not be surprised as it is a fact of life that nothing stays the same.

Every time I eat Pan de sal I’ll always remember  that sweet yeasty aroma and that little boy who peddled this bread at wee hour of the morning  who did other household chores, I presume, before going to school.

I found this simple Pan De Sal recipe on this site.  What I like about this recipe is that it does not call for milk or eggs.  Please click here

Borscht Soup — A beautiful, healthy and tasty dish!

cooking the onions, potatoes and beets together (stir fry on medium heat and 1 tbsp oil)

Love at first taste!  I feel in love with this soup during my first encounter with it!  A friend and I decided to have some soup for launch at our local  little dining place called  The Soup Kitchen.  here’s the link for their website.  We both ordered this soup and while we were enjoying and savoring the flavor, which is a bit sweet, a bit tangy and just a little bit salty, we were trying to figure out the ingredients that made up the soup.  We both guessed that there must be beets and tomatoes.  We were right, because I found this wonderful recipe on Pinterest and here is the link for the recipe:  Please click here 

What is good about the above link for the recipe is that it showed photos on how she cut up the vegetables, especially the beets.  I have never prepared beets before for cooking so it was good that she showed how to cut it up for the soup.

Below is my method on how I cooked the soup.  I’ve read online that the beets take a while to cook anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes of course it will depend also on how thick or thin the beets are cut up.  I prepared (cut up) all the vegetables required in the recipe.  Then I sauteed the onion in 1 tbsp oil in medium heat (range setting at 5).  When the onion is blanched,  I add the following vegetables in the sequence given below, (the one that will take longer to cook, I add first and then the one that will cook fast, I added last):  1) Potatoes, mix and stir infrequently for about 9 mins.  2) Beets,   mix and stir about 7.5 mins.  If the kettle is too dry, add 1 and half cup water, (I add water this time   because beets have high sugar content and the water will prevent sugar from burning if the kettle is dry.)   3) Red Cabbage; mix and stir about 4 mins. 4) Green Cabbage and fresh tomatoes, carrots (if carrots are thinly sliced add it here but if they are cut up as big as the potatoes then add them with the Red Cabbage.  Stir once then, 5) add salt to taste, pepper, rest of herbs and spices. I like to add basil and bay leaf because it helps with the unsavory smell of cabbage.  Add tomato paste also at this time and also the lemon juice.  Mix and stir intermittently and Add more water if you like more liquid in your soup.  Cook until all the vegetables are tender.  Serve warm.


Note:  The color of this soup that I made is darker than the soup on the given link because I added the Red Cabbage, which made my soup dark red but I still love it!   Also the color will depend on how much beets are added to the soup.