Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hey, Punkin'

Today is a ride on the crazy train: dropped off the car for fixing, stopped at the craft store to buy supplies to make a replacement kitty cat tail for tonight's tricks or treats, groceries, errands followed by more errands. Now, I'm trying to come to a stop so I can concentrate my attention on my exam prep for a couple of hours (good luck, Ani). Tonight, muffulettas and candy with friends.

Happy Halloween! Enjoy creeping about with the little ghosties...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mornings smell damp and evenings smell of woodsmoke; it must be fall.

Fall is good (but ridiculously busy).

--My post-concussive syndrome is officially gone (except for the blasted ear ringing and my poor memory)

--Dear dog, Kiko, is doing well. She has more energy than she's had in months (and is back to jumping up on the couch...yay!).

--We carved pumpkins last night (photos soon?)

--I finished Ishbel. Now with even more errors than ever! (photos soon)

--Trick or treating downtown tonight, followed by dinner with friends

--Much studying needs to get done this weekend for an exam on Tuesday. Biological, psychological, social theories of gendering, anyone? Woo.

--Love The Moth podcast. If you get a chance, listen to Simon Doonan's "Fear of Squat". If you lived through the 80's, it's hi-larious.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Flurry

It's a flurry over here. Not snow, but of activity.

--The group project for school was not as bad I thought but there was still some funkiness that I had to deal with at the end

--Spent part of the evening at work, vacuuming gray water from drains that the computer room? Who's bright idea was it to put drains by electrical equipment?

--Reading for school, avoiding reading for school

--Needing to make my plan for the next semester or two as it's almost time to make my new schedule

--Wishin' I was knittin'. I had to pull about 5 rows out of my Ishbel (ouch!) but I knew the 4 spots where I had dragged the yarn over into the next repeat, then thinking I had too many stitches I'd "fix it" by K2 together and then "fix" the next repeat by making 1...well, it was going to bother me in the finished product.

--Loving the fall weather, but not getting any time to get out and enjoy it

--Eyeing the basket of apples in the kitchen and thinking that it needs to turn itself into pie. If it could do that by the time I got home from work today, that'd be great.

Anyone know what those flowers are in my photo? They were at the arboretum (but unmarked). I'd love to have some for my yard.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fantine &c.

Here she be! Fantine. I sewed a button on it (a big, black, sparkly button) but it just didn't seem quite big enough for all that chunky yarn. I'm going to hunt for some olde timey sweater clips. I love this pattern, so easy and quick. I'd like to make a longer sleeve, longer body version sometime soon.

&c. ...

I am wondering if our dog has cancer or is just merely old, finicky and rickety.

I have a group project due on Tuesday that we have not even started.

I am wearing argyle knee socks with my skirt today.

I'm slightly stuck on my knitting.

The air is cool and fresh.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We take a lot of photos of pumpkins 'round these parts.

Yesterday, we had my dream fall weather: gentle rain all day, the smell of forest in the cool air, the trees glowing like jewels in the gray.

This morning, I'm going to knit, have coffee, and wish I had the day off.

Tonight, it's pancakes for dinner.

How is it looking for you today?

Friday, October 09, 2009

An Epitaph and a Recipe

Gourmet magazine is going out of business. It's been news for a few days and I've been letting it sink in. I've been reading Gourmet my whole life. My earliest Gourmet memory occurs when I was in 4th grade. I was sick at home and I had a report due for class. I picked up an issue of Gourmet and poured over an article about traveling the English countryside, eating amazing delights. I wrote my report based on that reading. It was a seriously wonky report and it got a raised eyebrow from the teacher, but it started my love affair for this magazine. When I was a cooking professional, it was required reading. Now that I'm home cook, looking for quick but delicious recipes, Gourmet is still my companion. Over the past few years, they successfully transformed themselves from a more fussy (but beloved) read to a more user friendly (and still loved) magazine. My Grandmother and Mom read Gourmet back in the early days. My Mom, as a lovely sixteen year old, made the most amazing cream puffs she ever had after she came home from school, courtesy of Gourmet. Damn it! Don't go!


Well, I will post the curried pumpkin soup recipe that I spoke of the other day. I have to admit, it's not a Gourmet recipe; it is something I got in my email ages ago from my other object of cooking worship, Ms. Lynn Rosetto Kasper. She got it from Good Food for Good Times: Simple recipes for Sensational Celebrations by Jamie Gwen and Lana Sills. I have done a few minor, minor modifications (adding more pumpkin and curry)...

2 cans pureed pumpkin (14.5 cans, or one large can if you can find one). Not the pumpkin pie filling, but pumpkin puree. You will be using about 3 cups (a can and a half)

1 T olive oil

2 T butter

2 small pears, peeled, cored and diced

1 yellow onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 T curry powder (I often go up to 2 T, since I love the curry)

1/2 cup apple juice

6 cups of veggie/chicky broth (if you buy the 28 oz cartons, just use one carton and 2 cups of water)

1/3 c whipping cream or plain yogurt (depending if you are feeling virtuous or not)

salt and pepper.

Saute the onions in the olive oil and butter until transparent (over medium heat, about 10 minutes) in a big stock/soup pot. Add pears, garlic and curry powder and cook two minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Add the juice, picking up any little yummy brown bits that may have shown up in your pot. Add the 3 cups of pumpkin (a can and a half). Reserve the rest to make some pumpkin muffins. Add the broth as well. Reduce heat and simmer until the pears are soft (about a 1/2 hour). Puree soup in batches in a processor or blender, or with an immersion blender. Be careful when blending hot liquids! You can tuck it in the fridge at this point and finish it off with the cream or yogurt before reheating and serving. When reheating, do not boil. It also is quite tasty cold. Garnish with some green onion tops, sour cream or plain yogurt.

Off to the pumpkin patch this weekend! Enjoy your weekend, friends...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

What's Hot & What's Not

I'm playing along with Loobylu today...


--Starting a fire in the pellet stove the past two nights. It wasn't really necessary, but it was pleasant nevertheless

--Rereading Betsy-Tacy for the first time since I was a child. These were among my first favorite books as a small one. I always longed for Tacy's ringlets. And I still love the little Lois Lenski illustrations.

--Curried pumpkin soup!

--Planning the annual trip to the pumpkin patch

--Wearing stripes almost daily


--The garage. I need to purge it desperately but there's just no time. Soon the clutter will start creeping its way up the stairs and into the living room ala the Blob.

--Group project at school that requires us to meet outside of class. Don't they know I work full time and have a family as well as doctors, vets, and errands to deal with?

--Photography. Can't take a photo to save my life as of late.

--Sleep. Last night was better but the full moon has tossed and turned me and given me the strangest dreams (ten gallon bowl of clams anyone?).

Monday, October 05, 2009

Blue (knitting) Monday

Ishbel. How I love knitting you. Only about 10 more rows to go but considering it takes anywhere from 20 minutes (for the purl row) to 40 minutes (for the pattern row), it'll be a while. (The photo is terrible. I couldn't get a nice steady photo yesterday. Too much coffee, too little sleep).

Hoot! Fifteen minutes of knitting fun, one hour of making french knots that fall apart. The smallest buttons I had for eyes looked nutty, so I had to improvise with a skill that I lack.

The long awaited(?) February Lady. I finished this in June, I think. Now that the weather is finally acting like autumn (well, winter yesterday), I've worn it 4 times and I love it. The fit is slightly wonky due to my 'creative tailoring' but I think I'll get a lot of wear out of this. And no, I'm not pregnant although that tunic top sure is making me look like it is so. Perhaps I'm getting ready for hibernation?