Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ring in 2010!!!

Happy New Year from my party animals! 2009 ended with a fabulous, food filled party, featuring paella, sparkling wine (although we did determine that one person did bring actual champagne), Dungeness crab, roasted beef, lumpia, cheese fondue, homemade pasta, and homemade butter almond and pine nut ice cream.

Note that the KitchenAid pasta extruder is a wonderful, wonderful invention. And so is the KitchenAid ice cream maker. Expect some more blogging about it.

It was hard to believe that just a week before the year's end, the household was running in slow motion due to a chicken poxy adult (pssst, if you haven't had chicken pox yet, there is a vaccine now - spare yourself the itchies), holiday preparation, and a work schedule that was unsympathetic to the aforementioned issues. However, everyone here has nicely recovered thanks to a week off of work, a vacation to Pismo, and loads of reading and knitting.

Reading, how I have missed thee. My knitting obsession carved a huge chunk out of my reading habit, but I am starting to find a bit more balance to my hobbies. I was convinced that a Kindle would solve my reading dilemma by helping me ingest more books during the blobs of time in between other commitments, although I realize that this logic does not hold up under scrutiny because a regular, old fashioned book could do the same. Let's face it: I just wanted a gadget. The other day, I was really craving a fun, quick read during my vacation, and I wanted it NOW. I discovered that I don't need a stinking Kindle because the iPhone has a free Kindle app - I test drove this app by reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I was number 749 on my library's hold list, and although I'm patient, I'm not that patient. This book is total junk food for the brain with fun puzzles thrown in, and while there were some annoying features to this book (does the reader really care that one student is blond and that another had a slightly Tibetan look?), I was successfully sucked in and useless to the world for a day. It's amazing that I can read 528 pages comfortably on a small screen, but it didn't bother me at all. I'll have to try another ebook app, Stanza, soon. I've heard that Stanza comes with a free download of Alice in Wonderland, a book that I've been meaning to read again.

Much slow cooking has been going on in these parts, too. A house elf stayed with us for a week, and he was lamenting the dusty crockpot that he had every intention of reviving. So, he experimented on us and made an Indian butter chicken (chicken makhani) that was adapted for the slow cooker, and I had a revelation: the slow cooker recipes I've tried in the past were gross not because of the method, but because of he ingredients! There's no need to use your slow cooker for gelatinous Velveeta concoctions. You could have a delicious Indian chicken stew, like this lamb vindaloo! I'm currently simmering a pork vindaloo dish in the slow cooker - so far, it smells good. Here's my before picture:

Tonight, we'll get to eat the results and I can share an "after" picture.

The chicken poxy boy managed to make some very sweet gifts for our mothers during the 4 hours of lucidity had each day. He made two, identical pillows using silk we purchased during a trip to China. Red on one side,

and black on the other.

You can't see it in these pictures but he made the pillows easy to slip on and off by sewing a slit in the middle of the black panel. I'm constantly amazed that he can just whip up these things without a pattern. He's only had the sewing machine for a year, but he's a quick study. I heavily hinted that a skirt would be a lovely thing for him to whip up next. For me, of course.

There are some gift knitting items I'd love to share, but for now I have to wait until the giftees get back into town. Soon, hopefully, soon...


  1. No man-skirt for the boy? Glad he's feeling better. The pillow looks great.

    And your New Year's eve menu is drool-worthy!

  2. Can't wait to hear how the vindaloo came out. I might need your slow cooker recipes since I haven't graduated beyond stews.



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