Friday, November 28, 2008

Haven't posted in ages, but had to braindump this.

Thanksgiving (yesterday) I'm knitting away on a present for the sea-slug-aka-E.D.-the-nephew. Friend comes over, looks at what I'm doing, I tell him it's a geeky knit **** **** for my baby nephew. "Well, that's not quite accurate," he says. "It really should be more drapey fabric. Couldn't you just go buy one?"

Craft:zine recently had an article[1] warning all of us crafters about people like these. You knit them a hat for a present. They look at you oddly and sort of say thank you, but look disappointed. "Oh," you say. "I knit them a hat. They must not like hats. I will knit them gloves - they will love gloves!" and you knit them gloves. They look at you oddly and sort of say thank you, but look disappointed. Rinse-repeat ad nauseum.

...there are two kinds of people in the world: the knit-worthy and the hopelessly knit-immune...The knit-immune are exactly who we want especially to knit things for. Knitters feel sadness for these folk, and in our hearts we're all on a conversion mission: we don't want everyone to knit, but we do want them all to respect it.[1]

You can remove "knit" and put in baked goods. Hand-sewn blankets. Homemade soap, cards, papercraft, toys - you name it. I want these people to understand it's not the same. I'm not making this gift to save some money. I've actually spent less money on a t-shirt for the baby. The time and energy spent making something special and unique is the important part. Instead of a piece of fabric made and sewn by some unknown hand possibly in another country I've spent hours looping yarn over needles, each time thinking about how cute he'll look in his final gift. Some people will never get that, and for them - well, there's Target.

[1] Pearl-McPhee, Stephanie. "To Knit or Not." Craft 9 (2008): 62.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Long Time No Post (and a list of foodlings)

I found somewhere the Omnivore's Hundred and the Vegetarian's Hundred. The dealie-o: Read the list, bold what you've eaten, cross out what you'd never eat. Easy, right?

I've eaten/cooked a LOT more of the vegetarian hundred than the omnivore's. That could be because the foods are safer (less random animal parts). It could also be that I rarely eat meat anymore...

I've for fun also starred the things I've prepared or made myself.

The Vegetarian Hundred (eaten 72, cooked/prepared myself 45)

*1. Real macaroni and cheese, made from scratch and baked
2. Tabouleh
*3. Freshly baked bread, straight from the oven (preferably with homemade strawberry jam)
4. Fresh figs
5. Fresh pomegranate
*6. Indian dal of any sort
7. Imam bayildi (never heard of it)
8. Pressed spiced Chinese tofu
9. Freshly made hummus
10. Tahini
11. Kimchi
12. Miso
13. Falafel
14. Potato and pea filled samosas
15. Homemade yogurt
16. Muhammara
17. Brie en croute
18. Spanikopita
*19. Fresh, vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes
*20. Insalata caprese
*21. Stir-fried greens (gai lan, bok choi, pea shoots, kale, chard or collards)
*22. Freshly made salsa
23. Freshly made guacamole
*24. Creme brulee
*25. Fava beans
26. Chinese cold sesame peanut noodles
27. Fattoush
*28. New potatoes
29. Coleslaw (ugh)
*30. Ratatouille
31. Baba ganoush
*32. Winter squash
*33. Roasted beets
*34. Baked sweet potatoes
35. Plantains
*36. Chocolate truffles
*37. Garlic mashed potatoes
38. Fresh water chestnuts
*39. Steel cut oats
*40. Quinoa
41. Grilled portabello mushrooms
*42. Chipotle en adobo
43. Stone ground whole grain cornmeal
44. Freshly made corn or wheat tortillas
*45. Frittata
*46. Basil pesto
*47. Roasted garlic
48. Raita of any type
49. Mango lassi (thx Karo!)
*50. Jasmine rice (white or brown)
*51. Thai vegetarian coconut milk curry
*52. Pumpkin in any form other than pie
53. Fresh apple pear or plum gallette
54. Quince in any form
*55. Escarole, endive or arugula
*56. Sprouts other than mung bean
57. Naturally brewed soy sauce
58. Dried shiitake mushrooms
*59. Unusually colored vegetables (purple cauliflower, blue potatoes, chocolate bell peppers…)
*60. Fresh peach ice cream
61. Chevre
62. Medjool dates
63. Kheer
*64. Flourless chocolate cake
65. Grilled corn on the cob
*66. Black bean (or any other bean) vegetarian chili
67. Tempeh
*68. Seitan or wheat gluten (and will never eat again)
69. Gorgonzola or any other blue veined cheese (cooked in things...)
*70. Sweet potato fries (but the ones I've made are NOWHERE as good as restaurants')
*71. Homemade au gratin potatoes
72. Cream of asparagus soup
73. Artichoke-Parmesan dip
74. Mushroom risotto (friend of Jared's family made it - real italian style - SO GOOD)
75. Fermented black beans
*76. Garlic scapes
*77. Fresh new baby peas
78. Kalamata olives
79. Preserved lemons
*80. Fried green tomatoes
*81. Chinese scallion pancakes
82. Cheese souffle
83. Fried apples
*84. Homemade frijoles refritos
85. Pasta fagiole
86. Macadamia nuts in any form
87. Paw paw in any form
*88. Grilled cheese sandwich of any kind
89. Paneer cheese
*90. Ma Po Tofu (vegetarian style–no pork!) (though I love both ways...)
*91. Fresh pasta in any form
92. Grilled leeks, scallions or ramps
93. Green papaya salad
*94. Baked grain and vegetable stuffed tomatoes
95. Pickled ginger
96. Methi greens
97. Aloo paratha
98. Kedgeree (the original Indian version without the smoked fish, not the British version with fish)
*99. Okra
*100. Roasted brussels sprouts

The Omnivore's Hundred
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
*3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (or was it gator? Don't remember...)
6. Black pudding
*7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
*13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras (no way. too cruel.)
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese (uh, I'm good, kthxby)
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut (::shudder::)
35. Root beer float (::shudder^2:: - i hate root beer)
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
*38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (::SWOON:)
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (uh, no. I hate fast food burgers.)
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine (IN Quebec even!)
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads (if we're talking about Bread? Yup! If we're talking about meat? no way.)
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian (smells so.. wrong.. but i might try it.)
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis (no thanks)
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta (made it last night!)
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Monday, July 7, 2008

I feel horrid for not posting

I did both the April and May Daring Bakers' challenges, and then got swept up in life. Augh! So here's a very quick "My Life So Far" update:

* Jared travels a lot
* We found a new apartment for next year (huzzah) - it's Denille's old one
* I have no time
* We spent a week in Maine and DID NOTHING (and it was good)

Now to figure out how to blog more.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Going Green

I started writing this as a response to Karo's posting (, but it got big enough to warrant its own posting. Karo posted several things she's been working on/trying to do to go more green. Here's our baby steps towards doing the same.
  • Keep the heat turned low during the winter. Wear sweaters and use blankies. Put insulating curtains on windows and walls that suck. This made some nights absolutely freezing, I'll admit, but it saved us some money and helped out the environment. (The money I will fully admit was the driving force.)
  • Use Tupperwares instead of plastic bags. We still use plastic bags a lot, I'll admit, but for a sandwich there's perfectly good gladwares. There's also neat sandwich wraps, or wax paper, or many other more recyclable options. I'm looking into either making or buying cloth bags to store greens and such in.
  • Bring Your Own Bag to the grocery store! I have a great little rayon shopping bag that folds up wicked tiny and has a clip. It's permanently attached to my keyring, so I rarely forget it at home. We do occasionally get plastic bags and use them for holding kitty litter. I also have crocheted a kitty bed and a shopping bag out of plastic bags - the bag is outstanding.
  • Grow your own stuff! A plant inside looks nice and cleans out some air. (If you want a spider plant let me know. Mine is breeding. >_<) But you can grow your own bok choy or lettuce in a shallow tub with minimal sun and effort. There's nothing as satisfying as picking the first of your garden's greens for a stir fry.
  • If you don't have a huge tract of land, a Farmers' Market is def a great way to go. If you can find one, join a CSA. We're part of the Waltham Community Farm CSA, which provides fresh vegetables and fruits for the entire summer. It forces us to do meal planning. For example, the first few weeks we'll get nothing but greens, so I know we'll have lots of salads and stir fries. (OMG - it starts in LESS THAN A MONTH!) Also, if you can find one locally (Karo - contact Hampshire College if you can), support a local farm for your meats, or go vegetarian/vegan. I'm not either, but we tend to not eat a lot of meats or dairy (meat is expensive, and dairy makes me ill.)
  • I'm looking at the 100 mile diet. I don't think I could do it, but I can try to buy locally as much as possible. I'd rather buy a conventionally and locally grown tomato than an organic one from Mexico.
  • I'm looking for a dishwasher safe, bisphenol and PBA free water bottle. I do buy many bottles of water, but tend to reuse them several times for drinking, then for watering baby plants, and then off to the recycling bin.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008

April 08

yes they are done, no i haven't posted yet - and are we posting on our blogs or on the forum or both? I DON'T KNOW. ^__^

Remind me next time I'm spending one weekend with fam and two weekends traveling I should not try to make the daring bakers' monthly challenge.