Saturday, March 31, 2007
It has long been my dream to have a vegetable garden, though, as I learned when I became a homeowner, a key component of that dream was having the garden *without doing the gardening.* And lo! Through sheer accumulated force of willing, my dream has come to pass: vegetables entirely planted and tended by my amiable spouse. Picutured at left: white turnips (in a whole other category from regular turnips; i.e., actually good). At right: brussels sprouts, turnips, carrots, strawberries. Not pictured: a fig tree, a persimmon tree, blueberry and blackberry bushes, pots of herbs. On the roof: lettuce, tomatoes, a potted Meyer lemon tree, and a potted blood orange tree. Pictures of the last two to follow soon.
Friday, March 30, 2007
1 cup sugar [I use three-quarters]
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 oz. melted butter [I substitute—sing it with me if you know the words—coconut oil]
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sliced almonds.
Preheat the oven to 325 and lightly grease an 8x8 or 9 inch round pan. Beat the eggs, sugar, and salt until pale, thick, and shiny; beat in the butter and almond extract, then fold in the flour 1/2 cup at a time. Pour into the pan and sprinkle with the almonds. Bake for 35 minutes, and cool before cutting into squares.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Nigel Slater's Brownies: "As dense and fudgy as Glastonbury Festival mud."
golden caster sugar [I used plain old white]—300g
chcolate (70% cocoa solids)—250g
eggs—3 large, plus one yolk
baking powder—1/2 teaspoon
Preheat oven to 355; line a square pan (23cm) with parchment.
Cream the butter and sugar. Melt 200g of the chocolate in a double boiler; roughly chop the remaining 50g. Let the melted chocolate cool while you beat the eggs into the butter and sugar. Stir in the melted chocolate and chocolate pieces; fold in the sifted flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Pour into the pan and smooth; bake for 35 minutes. A tester will come out of the center wet but not sticky with raw batter.
Place the pan on a cooling rack and surround it with barbed wire and alarms to fend off marauding children, spouses, etc., and serve at least a day later.
PS—What's that you say? You're bummed out by all the metric units? Get over it! If you bake at all you should be baking by weight rather than volume anyway. Invest the $30 in a nice digital kitchen scale; you'll thank me later.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Knitting nerds: Addi natura bamboo 24" circulars #5, cotton chenille yarn (hell on the hands), pattern ("Monica") on knitty.com. The most pleasing part of the construction is a three-needle joining of the ruffle to the body; clever and very pretty up close.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Disaster, unmitigated. These look horrible, have a horrible texture, and taste, if not horrible, not great either. Frankly, I don't often have cooking disasters, and I can't remember ever having one centered on cookies, but this, friends, is a wash. I'm throwing them out and starting over. I won't even tell you where I got the recipe.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Sooo...What have we here? Five inches or so of plain stockinette, 50 stitches across. The yarn is a cotton-candy pink cotton chenille; not something I ever would have picked, but in this case the intended recipient of the garment did the picking. The thing you can't see in the photo is how often this poor ball of chenille has already been knit up and ripped out. I couldn't get anything right; the choice of pattern, the stitch, the guage—it's a wonder the yarn has any fuzz left on it. But I *think* I am well and truly on my way this time.
We've been growing lettuce on our roof for a few months, but it has just started to really take off. Tonight was our first harvest, and it was delicious. Also delicious: risotto made from the left over pig liquid, along with left over rapini and a bit of the actual pig. In general I much prefer left over anything to food on its first appearance as dinner, and, in my humble o, there is pretty much no finer system of left over processing than risotto.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Originally uploaded by tinyloop.
The color is wonky in the photo, as always, but you get the idea. I made these without a pattern, to see how my sock architecture absorption was going, and everything worked out fine. For the knitting nerds: I used 64g of Opal sock yarn in the Hundertwasser colorway, on two circular #1 Addi Turbos.
Alexandra Ballet Top
Originally uploaded by tinyloop.
Done. Please ignore the clashing dress and pretend that the cable work is more visible than it in fact is in the photo. In the end, all of the ripping out was worth it; this was a quick knit, and it's good to have it right. I am much encouraged! The sweater fits, I didn't injure myself in the making, and am left hungry for more. Good thing; I have at least two more projects I'm dying to start. All the pleasure of knitting came back to me, along with a new interest in knitting construction generally. Also, I am no longer in denial about guage: it is the key to all knitting happiness, I now realize. Also, ten years ago, when I last knit, the internet was not what it is today, which is an unbelievable knitting resource. Really, the accessability to a worldwide communtiy of knitters, many of whom are making the same garment at the same time, is invaluable.
For any knitting geeks in the audience: I made this with 24" circ. Bryspun #11; 5 skeins of Noro Iro made *exactly* one sweater and one swatch; the pattern is the Alexandra Ballet Top from Stefanie Japel's Fitted Knits, and I found a bunch of errata in the pattern.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Monday, March 5, 2007
Oy. Let's just say that even I can't be enthusiastic about "Mounting Desire," a total muddle of a (maybe?) satire on our cultural obsession with sex, featuring a parody (I think?) of a virginal male romance novelist and his quest for true love. This novel doesn't know which end is up. There are few pangs as sharp as the thwarted urge to be thoroughly entertained by a book.
But "How to Cook a Tart" is still great.
Here's the thing. When you're through apprectiating Abner Elbaz, and thinking to yourself, "it's going to take a lot to get me to care about Chloe," it's time to head to John Galliano and have the time of your freaking life. Yes John—I am ready to wear that.
Friday, March 2, 2007
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Or "frogging," as the knitting blogs seem to call it, was the order of the day for me yesterday. Having blasted through two fifths of the Koigu sweater I talked about in an earlier post I found that the pattern I was using had a major error in the cabling instructions—and, as a result, I had major problems in my sweater's cables. At first, naturally, I decided just to keep on knitting and live with the errors. Then...I don't know. It just ate at me. The yarn is expensive, and since I'm knitting on huge needles it's a pretty fast knit, and I thought, well, what the heck. It's only knitting. So I unravelled the whole thing and started over. It actually felt pretty liberating, and took some of the mystery out of knitting. At its core a sweater is only a more or less intricatley looped long, continuous coil of yarn: having coiled it up once, I can do it again. The sweater is only a physical trace of a mental impulse. I do not serve the sweater! My life is not measured by the speed of its completion! Problem solved.
Also, it's not in fact a Koigu sweater, it's a Noro sweater. I confused my yarn names. You can see a little swatch of it above.