Sunday, February 28, 2010

Some things never change

I went through a phase when I was a kid where every night before I went to sleep, I would get ready in case my bed turned into a spaceship. So I would carefully arrange the following items under the covers before I climbed in: a hairbrush, a couple of stuffed animals, several pairs of underwear and a pile of books. I knew I probably wouldn't end up needing it all; it just comforted me to know that should I be unmoored, I'd at least have clean undies and something to read.

So it just seems natural to me to bring three books and a blogging-enabled phone to bed for what will likely be less than an hour of reading. It's all there if I need it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

In which I catch up a bit, with fewer photos than would have been ideal

Recent kitchen successes:
  • Lamb and prune meatballs with Moroccan tomato sauce from Pink of Perfection. I loved everything about this dish. It's both familiar and exotic, takes a lot less time start to finish than you might think, and perfumes your kitchen in spectacular fashion. Other than leaving out the cilantro, I made it exactly as written. I don't love couscous, so ate it over orzo and wished I'd made twice as much sauce.
  • Caramelized tofu from 101 Cookbooks. I've probably made close to a dozen batches since she posted the recipe. The version I've settled on varies slightly from Heidi's; I start by sauteing garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil, add some sliced tofu (for a single serving, I use about a third of a package of extra-firm tofu, sliced pretty thin) and brown it on both sides. Then I throw three spoonfuls of dark brown sugar into the pan, let it melt, stir it around to coat the tofu, and scoop the solids (tofu and garlic) into a bowl, leaving as much sauce in the pan as I can. Then I throw several tongs-ful of chopped greens into the pan, stir to coat and cook them for a few minutes, then eat with the tofu on top.
I've started keeping a big container of cleaned, chopped leafy greens in the fridge for quick meals — at the moment, there are brussels sprouts, baby bok choy and spinach in there. It just takes a few minutes to saute some, drizzle a little soy sauce and spicy sesame oil over and throw an egg on top. I've never really liked lettuce salads, especially as a meal, but darker, cooked greens are one of my favorite things.

Recent crafty endeavors:
  • I finally picked up the second glove of the pair I started back in November(?). I don't like knitting gloves, with their stupid, fiddly little fingers — TEN OF THEM! — but I do want to wear them, so I've been forcing myself to work on it for at least 15 minutes each morning. I should be able to finish this weekend, since I just have half a pinkie and a thumb left to go.
  • I bought a set of the cryptozoology connect-the-dot embroidery sets from Leethal a month or two ago, and have been having fun playing around with them. I'm doing all of the outlines first, then will go back and figure out how I want to embellish them, which will likely involve learning new stitches, since I really only know the basics. This turned out to be Cthulhu:
  • I finally got around to buying cosmicpluto's Just Enough Ruffles scarf pattern when Ravelry was in the throes of Haiti-relief donation and am kicking myself for having taken so long. It's a great pattern, firmly in the "modern wearables" camp, and quick and fun to knit to boot. I made this one out of some handspun, hand-dyed Romney yarn that I spun and dyed when I was unemployed a few years ago and just got around to plying a month or so ago. I started it for myself, but as I worked on it, I realized it would look better on my friend Zoe and, as it turned out, I was right.
  • I knit this Pimlico Shrug (link to Dr. Steph's blog, with photos of it both flat and on a body with front and back views) at least a year ago, but never wore it because I did such a bad job of sewing the sleeves in; the seam was much too tight and cut into my forearms. So I finally got around to removing the sleeves, unraveling them, picking up stitches around the armholes and knitting the sleeves down to the cuffs. Completely flexible join, infinitely more wearable (except that the construction means it won't fit under a coat and, since it's made from my handspun wool/mohair, it's too warm a garment to wear for most non-coat weather. Still, it is READY for cool spring days).

In which I talk briefly about clothes

I adore these outfits from the Leanne Marshall runway show. The fanciful skirt/no-nonsense top combination is one that I really love, but am always a little afraid of cocking up when attempting a real-world execution.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Walking through Brooklyn on a snowy evening

I had to go to work yesterday, despite Having Weather, but it did afford me the chance to take some pictures on my way home.

Faceless Snowman of Nihilism and Despair, Gowanus:

We're-Zoned-For-the-Good-Schools Snowman, Park Slope brownstone
Anti-gravity at work:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010