Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall Domesticity

I've been all over a new blog I stumbled upon recently: wise craft I can't tell you how much I love this blog. I found it when I was looking for quilting ideas and have been spending almost all of my free time reading it. In addition to being well-written and thoughtful, the blog is full of gorgeous pictures and craft ideas. I've been adding links from her posts to my tumblr account so I'll remember later.

Anyway, so I have been feeling inspired to sew and make things again. Part of it is the changing weather I think. Ever since the ORS deadline I've just been settling in and feeling domestic. I started piecing together patches for a summer quilt I am making. I'll take a picture soon, but I'm envisioning a simple blue and white quilt. I've decided to hand quilt it because I think it'll be a fun thing to have in my lap all winter long while I watch movies and such. I always like the tactile experience of working on something with my hands, whether it be knitting or hand-sewing. Speaking of hand-sewing, last night I started making a new set of cloth napkins for myself. I had some pretty green quilting cotton I bought from Joann's ages ago so I sewed one up and did a little embroidery on it.

It was so fun that I made another one this morning while waiting for my upside-down plum cake to bake. (Why was I not at work you ask?? Ek bleh.) The colors are kind of washed out looking, it's actually a brighter green than it looks like. Everyone knows I'm awful at taking pictures and my old camera doesn't help things much. But I love these guys and I can't wait to use them.

I'm planning to make a couple more so I have a set of four. I wish I could say they were all the same size but I'm not terribly consistent about folding under the edges the same amount. Oh well. Still pretty! For the next two, I am thinking of embroidering a snail or butterfly.


I totally forgot I took these pictures until just now. Around May or June, Ferret went off to visit Mouse and I babysat for him. Every day before I left for work I hid the babies under the blanket because Ferret was anxious that Tony would eat them while I was gone. It was rather nice having them around and one day I took a bunch of these pictures. Happy memories...

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Basils and Other Updates

It's been a long time since I had a gardening post but that is not for lack of gardening. I just haven't been good about taking pictures and without a picture I feel disinclined to post. But I am trying not to let that stop me. This summer I planted some basil from seed and there were three plants that survived into the summer. I pulled one of the plants about a month ago and today I harvested the other two. I had a giant pile of basil leaves I tried to take a picture of, but alas! no batteries in my camera. I did try though.

This summer I also planted some thyme and chamomile from seed but the chamomile seedlings were murdered by some kind of larvae that have taken root in my seed starting mix. One thyme seedling made it and is happily proliferating in my Italian Roast coffee can.

And that is that!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Smoked Salmon Linguine with Broccoli

This is a dinner I've been fixing fairly often recently because it is so simple and also hits all the right number of notes for me.


While cooking linguine in a pot of water, casually slice some smoked salmon into bite sized pieces. I buy the small pack of TJ brand salmon, which is 3 ounces. I find that 1 oz is good for a single serving. Cut a head of broccoli into florets and set aside as many as you like. Cut a lemon in half. When the linguine is done, pull out of the water with tongs and drop the broccoli florets into the same water. Drop a pat of butter into the linguine and stir about until melted. Add a generous handful or two of grated or shaved parmiggiano reggiano cheese (accept no substitutions) and squeeze some lemon juice in. When the broccoli is done, add to pasta and toss altogether. Lay the salmon pieces on top and eat quickly before the salmon cooks through.

And perhaps for after dinner, enjoy a mug of green tea with a small slice of kasutera cake.

(Note: once I tried to tart up this dish by adding pesto. There are few instances in which the addition of pesto ruins things, but this is one of them. Keep this dish clean and simple. A twist of pepper and a small pinch of salt may be added if necessary.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Visiting the Bunnies (Part II)

To continue the saga:

Monday: before i go into monday, i must rave about the upside down plum cake bunny fashioned on sunday. omg. soooo incredible. she used her CSA plums and even with an accidental 2x amount of butter in the caramel it was one of the yummiest things i've ever had. bon bon! for monday breakfast then, i had the remains of this cake with a cup of coffee and it was another happy morning. while bunny was busy painting the kitchen wall a pretty blue (and while my mom was watching her and making exasperated noises about how much of a bother it all was), i was crouched in the garden planting seeds in egg cartons. assuming they all come up, the bunnies will have chives, chamomile, sage and thyme in addition to the many herbs they are currently growing and seldom eating. for lunch, mommy, bunny and i sped to mitsuwa to purchase sushi making ingredients and other edibles. by the time we raced home and marshalled a lunch together, mr bunny was pale with hunger and barely hanging on. i'm happy to report he revived after some sushi (eel avocado, salmon avocado, yellowtail), miso soup and edamame. all was well. omg, i almost forgot to mention: for lunch my mom contributed some raw sliced onions topped with a dash of soy sauce and some bonito flakes. after politely sampling a nibble i scooted what was left to the far side of my plate. i don't care how good it is supposed to be for me, i'm not eating plain raw onions outside of a sandwich or salad.

i'm not entirely sure what else i did this day...i think i wrote an abstract for my paper and read the $64 tomato. good book but it took me a while to get into it. i think the man is insane, he might have asperger's. if i wasn't reading the $64 tomato, i was probably reading wicked. the first half of the book was excellent and then it kind of fell to pieces. i can't say i was too sympathetic to the adult witch and wasn't too torn up when she dissolved (literally! hee hee). i was also disappointed that we lost track of most of the other characters (so important to the first half of the book!) so completely. ah well. that said, the musical seems really good and i'd be happy to see it sometime.

for dinner, mr bunny's parents kindly took us to ashoka, an indian restaurant beloved by the family. mr bunny's brother and his girlfriend were there as well. bunny and i ordered the lamb vindaloo (yum yum yum), saag paneer (not as good as minar p, but still tasty) and the chicken korma (my mom dislikes spicy foods now for some reason). before this food came out however, i was busy stuffing myself with samosas and bits of bread dipped in chutney. i was seated next to mr bunny's mother - she is a woman who takes nice to new levels, i only hope she didn't come away from dinner thinking i have terrible table manners. what can i say, i have a weakness for indian food and it requires that i have five things in my mouth at all times, for balance.

(to be continued)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Visiting the Bunnies (Part I)

My lack of picture-posting is becoming outrageously bad, but for once this isn't my fault. I brought my camera to California with the best of intentions; however, the first time I whipped it out (admittedly, it was about midway through the trip that I even remembered I had a camera), I discovered the images were streaked and blurred. What is one to do? In my case, I ate my eggs and corn tortillas and black beans pretty contentedly. To sum up the trip:

Friday: finished watching season 2.5 of battlestar galactica and started packing at 3am. did not sleep at all and left for airport at 6am. arrived in california around 10am PST and was picked up by the bunnies. was immediately whisked to eat fish tacos (mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm) and then took a marathon nap (5 hours). after waking up and shuffling around a bit, went to eat delicious kimchi tofu casserole at korean place and then had some frozen yogurt. a wonderful start to the vacation.

Saturday: as will be my habit throughout this trip, i woke up at 9:30am and wandered downstairs to have a quiet breakfast. breakfast consisted of a cup of irish breakfast tea, an egg scrambled with the last bit of goat cheese and a small CSA apple. eating outside in the garden, i was completely blissful. for lunch, bunny and i roasted some CSA vegetables (blue potatoes, yellow summer squash and carrots) and felt virtuous. that over with, for dinner we dashed off to some mexican place and i had some mighty delicious enchiladas with mole sauce. after dinner, we met up with mr bunny's brother for gelato but i was too full to even contemplate dessert.

Note: i don't know if it was friday or saturday that we stopped by barnes and noble, but that was a trip that changed my life. after the purchase of settlers of catan i was pretty much enslaved by the bunnies every evening until my departure. also bunny bought the first sookie stackhouse book there and we are both addicted to the series now.

Sunday: the athletic bunnies dashed off to their sports of choice (yoga or soccer) and i was left alone to do as i please. at some point my mom called and informed me they were merely half an hour away. with that i threw myself into action and started fixing paninis with pesto, tomato and mozarella. since mr bunny is no fan of the tomato, i sauteed some peppers and onions for his. dinner was a simple affair of bbq chicken and 5 for $1 corn. my mom was scornful of the corn at first but after her first bite, she quietly ate two. if it was up to her, we would have piled into the car immediately after dinner to buy more.

(to be continued)