Friday, December 30, 2011

Dimsum Steamer Head

I think this is the best knickknack ever! The boy has returned from his business trip, and before he collapsed from exhaustion, he gave me this dimsum head magnet from Din Tai Fung in either Hong Kong or Taiwan. While this still doesn't make up for having to walk Mingus for 10 days, it's a start.

The New Year is creeping up, and since I detest all the listicles going around the web, I'll spare you any type of year end round up or any resolutions (which I never make since I believe in fixing things I want to change right away instead of once a year). However, I do want to finish my neverending afghan. And soon! I have 2 more balls of yarn left, and so far I've crocheted 101 stripes. The picture above is old. Now, when I hold up the afghan, it covers my head, so that makes it just over 5-feet high. Dreary and cold weather, old episodes of Being Human, some episodes of Ice Road Truckers, season 1 of Portlandia (which is so, so Berkeley), Manhattans and martinis, and horrible congestion that is keeping my energy level diminished has made for record breaking crochet marathons. 

Funny, but I don't have anything on the needles. Everything I'm working on requires a hook.

Happy New Year, blogosphere! See you on the other side.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Reds and Orange

The first red is from these felted tree ornaments I made using the Cocoknits tutorial. Since I was using some Styrofoam balls that I had earmarked for a different project, they were a little too big for felting (2.5-inches across). I made a huge mess in the kitchen between all the yarn bits, boiling water, and copious amounts of detergent. Out of the 4 I made, 3 were good enough to give away. The wool yarn scrap coating on the 4th ball just wasn't thick enough and it kept on breaking as it dried. Will I make these again? Perhaps, but if I do, I'm going to use 1-inch balls instead.

The second red is from these watermelon radishes. Although they were delightful raw (crisp, peppery, and slightly sweet), I still gave them a toss with some heat and a little pancetta fat. They were delicious, but then again, isn't everything more delicious with pork fat?

The orange is this hot off the press looped scarf. The stitch pattern was modified from a sweater I thought about crocheting until I realized it was just the stitch pattern I adored. The scarf is made from my stash yarn, Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. I have a few more hanks of the stuff, and since the one pictured is already looped around my friend's neck, I immediately casted on (chained on in crochet-speak?) for another.

I've been on my own for a little over a week, and the meals I've been putting together for myself have been strange and frugal. Besides pancetta, I haven't cooked any meat. Red quinoa, hummus, and pan roasted radishes was lunch. Dinner from a few nights ago included an avocado, one bunch of kale, and pasta with a slow cooked, fire roasted tomato sauce. It feels foreign to cook such small amounts, but I'm not a fan of eating the same thing over and over again.  Lest you think it's all been healthy, the holidays have also brought parties filled with butter and sugar laden goodies and booze. Hm, maybe that is why I am eating more simple fare when I cook for myself.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

International Cat Hat: North Pole

The Tilden Park Scarf is an easy ruffled and ruched infinity scarf that adds a feminine touch to any outfit.

Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas! Santa Cat gives presents to all the good kittens and puppies, although today he's more inclined to give lumps of coal to everyone. If you want to spread the cheer, knit one of these for the special cat or dog in your life.

Don't forget to check out my other patterns listed on the sidebar!

• 30 yards of Cascade Eco Wool (white)

 • 40 yards of Cascade 220 (red)
• 1 US size 7 16 inch circular needles OR needle size needed to achieve gauge.1 US size 7 circular needles, any length, OR needle size needed to achieve gauge
(US size 7 DPNs may also be used instead of 2 circular needles)

• Row counter
• Tapestry needle

Special Skills Needed
• Knitting in the round using two circular needles
• 4.5 stitches = 1 inch on US size 7 needles in stockinette stitch with Cascade 220

• 3.5 stitches = 1 inch on US size 7 needles in seed stitch with Cascade Eco

Finished Measurements
Finished hat circumference is 15 inches at the brim. Please note that my cat has an enormous head! 

[ ] repeat instructions between bracketsco cast on
k knit
k2tog knit two stitches together

pm place marker
sts stitch(es)

Loosely CO 56 sts on one circular needle (needle A) using the white yarn. Slip half of the stitches to the other circular needle (needle B). Join to knit in the round, placing a marker at that point so you know where the round begins. Since my cat has an enormous head, you can create a smaller hat by casting on less stitches in multiples of 7 (example: cast on 49 stitches or 42 stitches).

Round 1: [k1, p1] to end
Round 2: [p1, k1] to end
Repeat rounds 1 and 2 three more times for a total of 8 rounds.

Switch to the red yarn.
Rounds 1-5: knit all sts
Round 6: [k5, k2tog] to end. 48 sts
Rounds 7-11: knit all sts
Round 12: [k4, k2tog] to end. 40 sts
Rounds 13-17: knit all sts
Round 18: [k3, k2tog] to end. 32 sts
Rounds 19-23: knit all sts
Round 24: [k2, k2tog] to end. 24 sts
Rounds 25-29: knit all sts
Round 30: [k4, k2tog] to end. 20 sts
Rounds 31-35: knit all sts
Round 36: [k3, k2tog] to end. 16 sts
Round 37-41: knit all sts
Round 42: [k2, k2tog] to end. 12 sts
Rounds 43-44: knit all sts
Round 45: [k1, k2tog] to end. 8 sts
Rounds 46-47: knit all sts
Round 48: [k2tog] to end. 4 sts

Cut yarn, leaving a 6 inch tail.

Using the tapestry needle, thread the yarn tail through the 4 remaining sts. Pull closed. Weave in ends. Make a 2-inch pom pom using the white yarn and sew it to the top of the hat.

Here goes my usual plea: if you knit this, I'd love to hear from you and see your finished objects and your grumpy cat! Email pictures to wildtomatoknits (at) gmail (dot) com. I'll feature your finished cat hat on my blog.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fifty is a Spooner

The combination of soft bed and a cold house leads Fifty to ignore her survival instincts.

She's a heat seeking napper.

As cute as she is, I'd much rather her spoon with the dogs than, for example, my head. It's hard to sleep with claws so close to my face and an extra loud purring machine in my ear. The cuteness factor fades fast. My dogs, however, are equipped with fur to protect their sensitive skin and she normally doesn't purr when she sidles up next to them. I think even she knows that purring in their ear would be pushing it. The suppression of natural instincts is a precarious balancing act.

Any aspirations my crew may have about running for office will never be realized. I have too many incriminating boudoir pictures of them.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Mingus is blindingly white in  sunlight. If he sparkled, he'd be a vampire.
Although these two have lived as a family now for 6 years, I am still awed that they get along so well. Vespa came along first, and she was not happy when we "fostered" Mingus, a big brute of a malamute. Mingus was bossy, humpy, and generally out of control. We didn't even think we'd keep Mingus when we pulled him from the pound. We planned on teaching him some basic manners, and then help him find a home.Yet, he mellowed with training, age, and stability. Now, even though they can be anywhere in the house, Vespa and Mingus prefer to be together.

The cats are siblings and we adopted them together, so from day one they've been the best of friends, but I never had such high hopes for my dogs.

Vespa and I walked on the trails near our house today. The weather during the day has been sunny and warm instead of the usually gray and wet I expect in December, so we savored this walk.

I have a hard time believing that Vespa is 8- or 9-years-old. Sure, she has a gray muzzle now, but she still seems as inquisitive and playful as a puppy. Greaseball and Fifty are still her elders, but they seem like crotchety old cats. Vespa and Mingus seem like pups, but this probably shows that it's been a long time since I've been around a puppy myself. I do recall a fair amount of gnawing going on when we fostered puppies, and I do remember being really excited when it was their time to go away.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

No More Plastic Bags

Blue Avocado Produce Bag
Looking for a stocking stuffer for just about anyone? Reusable produce bags to the rescue! It always bothered me that trips to the produce stands always meant getting a plastic bag here and there. Sure, I have numerous grocery bags that I use to tote everything home, and things like clementines and onions can be bought sans bag, but what about the bulk arugula (for this fantastic green smoothie) or the Brussels sprouts?

Although I did a fair job bringing old plastic bags with me to the store to reuse and some bags got second life as a vessel for dog poop, my pile of spent plastic bags kept growing. Since this has been a change I've been meaning to make for some time, I finally stopped making excuses and bought a set of 8 reusable produce bags. Although I wanted to buy cotton bags, I thought it may be annoying for the cashiers to have to open up and peer into each and every bag, so I ended up with sheer nylon bags. True, they are another form of plastic, but hopefully I can keep using these for a long time.

TazzyTotes bag
My main concern about the reusable bags was weight. Would using them make me pay more for produce? To figure this out, I weighted my bags. The large TazzyTotes are 3/8 oz, the Blue Avocado are 5/8 oz, and plastic bags from Monterey Market are 1/4 oz. So, yes, they do weigh a little more. The Blue Avocado bags come in a set of 2, and the bag not pictured has a pouch sewn into it for easy storage - that bag is obviously way heavier than the others. My strategy is to put things that you buy per item, like mangoes and avocados, into the Blue Avocado bags and the other things into the TazzyTotes. I plan on buying another set of TazzyTotes (3 large bags and 1 small bag sells for $6.99) so I don't run out of bags. The Blue Avocado bags were $8.99 at Star Market.

If you buy a lot of bulk items, the TazzyTotes come with a plastic tab and a dry erase pen you can use to write down the bin numbers. Pretty neat! If I knew how to sew, or if the boy had more time to do my bidding, I'd make a set. But, I've been saying I'll make some for over a year, so clearly that was not going to happen anytime soon. I'd rather be knitting or crocheting! If you know of any reusable produce bags made in the Bay Area or even the USA, let me know! Both of the bags I talked about were manufactured in China, and I would have loved to buy locally.

Notice anything odd about the lemongrass? The ends are all torn up. After trying to catch the bugs doing it, I gave up and chalked it up to bad karma. However, a few nights ago, the boy said, "Mingus really loves that lemongrass!" and my head snapped up. "What did you say?" I asked. "Mingus really loves that lemongrass! He takes a nip at it almost every time we walk by that pot." Mystery solved. Mingus was the bug I couldn't catch in the act. What a weird dog. And what a weird boy for thinking it is fine for a dog to eat my lemongrass.

At least Mingus isn't eating my garlic shoots. These garlic shoots have the promise of being Korean extra spicy garlic that is perfect for kimchi. Ugh, this also reminds me that the seed potatoes I bought at the same time are still sitting on my counter. I don't know where I have space to plant them!

And another odd thing is this mask. Why are there feathers in its mouth? The boy swears that the cat toy just landed there during an especially vigorous round of "catch the fake bird" with Greaseball. I don't believe him, but in the meantime, we both think it's a dandy place to rest the cat toy when it's not in use.

Last weekend was beer bottling day. I watched my friend and the boy rack seven bottles of beer. It's an interesting process, although the boy is still complaining that it's a lot of work for just 7 large bottles of beer. He's already talking about his next 5-gallon batch, which would require two new stockpots and a whole lot of space that we just don't have. I think the 1-gallon batch is perfect, especially at this stage where he's learning the rhythm, but I think the compromise is that we'll borrow equipment from friends who have long ago abandoned beer making yet still have all the equipment in their basements if he really wants to make a huge batch. I may even help this time. I hesitated to help during this first round because he's a little anxious in the kitchen, and sometimes that anxiety manifests into petty arguments about the who left a dirty pair of socks under the coffee table that the dogs later ripped up and other stupid things. However, if he's working with a friend in the kitchen, he plays all nicey-nice. (Yup, I've learned a few tricks to keep the peace after 15 years of togetherness.) In two weeks, we should have glorious chestnut brown ale!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Roasting Coffee

Now that I have a video camera, I can record all manner of interesting things to share. I should probably qualify that the videos I take are interesting to me since I can't vouch for how many of you are interested in listening to coffee beans crack.

This is what it sounds like when my roasting coffee beans reach the 2nd crack. It's quite loud, even over the noise of the rotisserie motor. Saturday's roast was French roast beans from my steadfast source, Sweet Maria's.

I've been a home roaster for 9 years, mostly because I can get a good quality bean at less than 1/2 the price. Total time, from heating up the grill to removing the chaff is about an hour, but only about 10 minutes is active time.  Ever a fan of multitasking, I usually take this time in the backyard to rake up coastal redwood needles and pick up dog poo, two chores that are neverending.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Overheard at Ranch 99

After I put four packages of rice stick noodles into my hand cart, I heard someone say, "These noodles are for lazy people who don't want to soak their rice sticks!" Was that directed at me? Probably. There is something wonderful and magical about noodles that cook up in 10 seconds. The texture is chewier for these fresh noodles, better than the dried ones, but I didn't feel like telling that to the person who potentially just called me lazy. Let her eat mushy noodles!

Ranch 99 (or is it 99 Ranch) is a fun place to browse. I don't go often because the produce is wrapped up in Styrofoam trays and plastic wrap, the meat is of questionable origin, and the parking lot is a slow motion bumper car ride, but I am thankful that there is a Ranch 99 near me. The alternative would be to go to Little Saigon, Chinatown, Korea town, and whatever the Malaysian, Filipino, and Thai communities are called. I also don't go often because I easily can spend an hour there browsing and buying tons of stuff that I have to scramble to use up before it goes to the dumpster gods.

In addition to the lazy people noodles, I also found brown rice ovalettes! I have high hopes that the brown rice ovalettes will be chewier and nuttier than their white counterparts. For the uninitiated, ovalettes can be put into soups, or boiled and then stir-fried just like the wide rice noodles.

From the library, I checked out The Kimchi Chronicles cookbook, the companion cookbook to the television show. There's a wonderful recipe for an easy chicken stew that I've made twice now, and I plan on making the fried seafood pancakes tonight. The hardest part of the chicken stew is browning the chicken - and both times I managed to get some hot oil splattered in my eye. So, perhaps it isn't hard, but dangerous.

Much to the boy's dismay, there's another batch of kimchi in the refrigerator and some more fermenting in a crock - apparently the smell makes him sick, although he loves to eat it. Since the smell only really emanates from the refrigerator once it's opened, I consider it a good way for him to diet and drink less beer.

Since I can't figure where else to post it, I've been using my Twitter account to post inane food commentary. So, if you'd like to read or share inane food and occasionally knitting commentary with me and sometimes talk about cats and dogs (it's about as focused as this blog, which is to say "not focused" and full of my typical typos and grammatical errors), follow along at spindlesnspices.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving is for Spent Grain

I know that Thanksgiving is supposed to celebrate abundance, but I get a kick out of turning things that would otherwise go to waste into something that is fit for a feast! After making the beer, we had two trays of leftover spent grain. I decided that the best way to use the grain would be to dry it, grind it, and use it to add a kick to my baked goods.

The flour tastes sweet and has caramel notes, so to accentuate those features, I made a slow rise bread with blackberry honey and spent grain flour. Bread flour and yeast were thrown in to help it rise since I didn't want to end up with a brick.

For the muffins, I spied a fantastic recipe for Spent Grain Applesauce Muffins from Brooklyn Brew Shop.  For my version, I added 1/2 the sugar, opted to use the butter instead of oil (splurge! it's worth it!), used 1 cup of our spent grain flour, and used apple butter that we canned an embarrassingly long time ago. I had to cook the muffins an extra 10 minutes, for a total of 30 minutes, because my batter was so dense and moist. The resulting muffins are sinful. No one will know that it came about from pantry scraps.

My folks are cooking the Thanksgiving dinner, and although I do love to host my most favorite holiday of the year, they are both fantastic cooks, so I'm content to sit back and enjoy everyone's company. My mom will make her famous turkey jook,  potstickers, and sticky rice stuffing, and my dad will make a juicy turkey and the best gravy ever. What's special and unusual on your Thanskgiving table this year?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hope in a Jug

Nestled next to our external hard drive on the old, stainless steel laboratory table is the boy's first attempt at beer. A couple of friends joined him on Sunday afternoon to tend grains on the stove. In a month, we should have a lovely chestnut brown ale from an all-grain brewing kit we got from Brooklyn Brew Shop!

I have 2 baking pans full of spent grains drying in the oven, and those grains will be incorporated into breads, muffins, and perhaps some dog treats.  We only brewed a gallon of beer. If we had the spent grains from 5 gallons' worth of beer, we'd have to make friends with chicken ranchers and start another compost bin! Any spent grain recipes you can throw my way will be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

2nd Round of Baby Knits

My prolific friends and relatives are popping out babies left and right, so my knitting needles have been dedicated to baby clothes. Two more baby yoked cardigans found a home with wee ones.

In the span of a few months, I've made six of these. Six!

Since these all went to non-knitters, I made a point of sending the cardigans off with Knitterella gift tags so the recipients' know that how to take care of the garments and that these are handknits that required more effort than clicking on a gift registry and entering in my credit card number.

Out of the first four cardigans I sent off over two months ago, I heard back from three sets of parents and received some very nice thank you notes and emails! Although I know that giving a gift should have no strings, I really do become grumpy when I don't gets notes acknowledging that someone has received the gift, especially if I mailed it off. My assumption at that point is that the parents do not appreciate handknits, and future important events will mean a gift card instead of something heartfelt. I know that new parents have a lot going on, but it's not like my time is expendable - carving out the time to make gifts sometimes means doing nothing but gift knitting with my free time. Knitters, how do you decide who gets the handknits and who gets something less personal?

It's also time for my annual hat drive for an old friend's kids. He gets hats every year because he sends me adorable pictures of his kids in my handknits, and he lives in a cold, snowy place where ears and noses can fall off. This time, I knit them the Marsan Watchcap, scaled down for a baby and a little boy. Nothing like kid hats to use up partial balls of yarn! These were made using bits of my Debbie Bliss Casmerino Aran yarn scraps, making me want to knit another cardigan with the stuff.

Last weekend, we celebrated the passing of yet another year in Guerneville, a place close to home but just far enough to feel like a vacation. I planned out all the restaurants: River's End, Boon, and Applewood Inn. River's End had the lovely cocktail you see above, a seasonal drink made with hard apple cider and Maker's Mark (and now I want that cocktail glass and those salt and pepper grinders), Boon had a cherry habenero chutney that adorned a duck breast, and Applewood Inn introduced me to Bohemian Creamery and Mendocino uni. My favorite meal was at Applewood Inn, but I guess that's not surprising since we went all out and ordered the tasting menu (5 courses paired with 5 wines) and the place has one, well deserved Michelin star.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pancetta Success (aka, I'm alive!)

The scary Chinese curing salt with the label whose ingredients simply read "curing salts" did the trick. I unwrapped my pancetta today, a day early because I couldn't wait, and sliced into it. It was a rosy pink, and boy was I proud. Three of us tucked into bowls of creamy, fatty spaghetti carbonara with no thoughts of death or dying, although death by spaghetti carbonara would be a worthy way to go.

Tomorrow, I am going to use some more pancetta and saute it with shredded Brussels sprouts. I see more cured meat in my future.

Perhaps I'm tooting my horn too soon since it has only be a couple of hours since dinner...

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Meat Piñata

In three more days, my homemade pancetta will be ready for some carbonara action! This project was spurred by a tutorial from The Tipsy Baker and an old blog post by Michael Ruhlman. My meat piñata is hanging above the bedroom door not because I think that's particularly romantic, but that location happened to have a hook conveniently located on the rafter. Plus, that spot is cool, the temperature ranges between 55-65 deg F, and mostly dark.

Strangely, the dogs are not going crazy from the smell, not that this is a smelly process. No scary mold or rotting smells are emanating from this hunk of meat. Yet, I expected that their sensitive dog noses meant that I would find them sitting underneath the meat mistletoe 24/7, but they are uninterested in it. This worries me because I am already paranoid that I'll die from eating homemade cured meat. Maybe the dogs know something I don't?

The picture above represents two annoying things (Mondays put me in an annoyed mood, you see):

1. Fifty-Fifty on our dining room table. I have an afghan in progress, and it rests on the table when I'm not working on it. This system is flawed because now the cats, particularly this cat, thinks the table is now an acceptable resting spot. No bueno.

2. Vespa's obsession with Fifty.  You can see Vespa's signature pointy ears in the pic. Some days, they are squabbling siblings who go out of their way to annoy each other .And, although it looks like Fifty is the victim, she is far from innocent. Again, no bueno.

A third thing that annoys me is my weakness for all things gummy. I bought a box of fruit snacks, 75 packages of gummy fruits, and I've managed to eat about half of them in 3 days. I think this is why I feel cranky: sugar overload. Or at least I hope this is what it is, because if it's a character flaw that is much harder to correct. This is also why my way to not eat crap must be to never, ever have crap in the house. Chocolate? Meh. Cookies? Meh. Gummy anything? GIVE IT TO ME NOW!!!!! Please tell me I am not alone in my odd "food" obsession. Anyone?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Zucchini with Fancy Hats

After I baked these spherical zucchinis, I regretted not adding some jack-o-lantern style eyes and mouths. That would have made them the perfect Halloween dinner.

Since I was getting tired of eating rice stuffing, I made a red quinoa stuffing. I find quinoa by itself boring, but jazzing it up with chopped dates, tomatoes, zucchini pulp (leftover from scooping out my vessels), shallots, garlic, roasted almonds and cashews, and a heaping of cumin, cinnamon, coriander, and salt makes quinoa something that doesn't seem to belong in the health food section of the market. It also made these little zucchinis deceptively filling. I was barely able to finish 2.

Cooking the stuffing was a snap. Simply saute everything together with a little olive oil. Start with your shallots and a splash of olive oil. When the shallots are starting to turn brown, add the ground cumin, cinnamon, and coriander and a splash more oil for another minute or so. Add the chopped zucchini pulp and tomatoes, and let the mixture simmer until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Now, stir in the roasted nuts, chopped dates, and 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa. 

I really do need to buy a grapefruit spoon, though. Using a regular spoon to depulpify the zucchini was a pain in the rear. I broke through the shells a couple of times - I guess I don't know my own strength.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Operation Weaving the Spider's Web

Sometimes, knitting from a pattern is rather boring. One needs blue prints instead.


Operation Weaving the Spider's Web started as a sketch, but ended as a sweater. Sketch by Hyperdoodle, sweater by me. Yarn picked out by Hyperdoodle because picking colors has the side effect of making my eyes bleed, and he's a boy who knows his colors. Start talking about negative and positive values and the color wheel in front of me and my eyes start to cross. Not pretty.

The yarn is Cascade 220 and Cascade 220 Heathers. Amazingly, he was nonplussed at the idea of hand washing his own vest, so no superwash for us. I did send him off with a bottle of Soak, though, to be safe.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Last Tomatoes Standing

Since I've returned from Greece, I've made stuffed tomatoes at least once a week. The first batch had crunchy, undercooked rice. The second batch was delicious, but I spent at least an hour chopping all the ingredients and referring to a cookbook. The third batch turned out just right, and thanks to my food processor, it was simple to put together.

The rice stuffing I liked the best included shallots, dill, parsley, fennel, pine nuts and obscene amounts of olive oil. Thanks to all this Greek food experimentation, I had to buy my olive oil in bulk!

While the book called for expensive risotto rice, I substituted a Chinese short grain rice. The results were very risotto-like, so my next food experiment is to use this same rice for an actual risotto (it's much, much cheaper).

This short grain rice is the same one I use for my Thanksgiving turkey stuffing with Chinese sausage and shitake mushrooms.

Since I tend to be a bit particular about matching and orienting the tomato tops with the correct tomato bottoms, I found that cutting the tomato tops almost all the way off (making a hinge) saved me time. I'll have to get a grapefruit spoon to help me hollow out the tomatoes faster, too.

Now that I got the flow of the cooking method down, I want to experiment with different grain stuffings and different seasonal vegetables.

Monday, October 10, 2011

She is Siamese If You Please

I love it when people send me pictures of their cats rocking the International Cat Hats! Amy was very kind to let me post her picture of the dashing Trixie. LOVE!!!! Anyone else got any cat hat pictures they'd like to send me?

The lack of crafting and cooking content pictures can be blamed on my e-book reader, a Nook. I caved in and bought it before my vacation because I wanted to read Game of Thrones, Neverwhere, New Moon, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, but did not want to carry all of them since traveling light is the goal. An unexpected bonus of the Nook is that I can be reading total crap, like New Moon, and the person next to me never has to know. Since the book was downloaded from my library, I didn't even have to face a librarian to check it out. Checking out a hard copy of the Twilight would have been horrifying since the librarians know me (this is what prevents me from checking out a this book , although I see it on the shelf every time).

So, no pictures because my free time not spent crafting or cooking is spent reading. I can tell you that I made a kick ass yemista (rice stuffed tomatoes) after several barely edible attempts. I also made chickpea fritters that were delicious, but looked like something one of my dogs hacked up. Er, so maybe it's good that I don't have the shutterbug right now...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Traveling" is a nice way to say "pigging out"

Macarons the size of my fist! This is not a complaint.
I came. I saw. I conquered.

The boy and I are back after a glorious 3.5 weeks of eating, drinking, and more eating, and more drinking, and swimming, and sailing, and more swimming. The swimming and sailing occurred in Greece, where we sailed for 2 weeks in the Cyclades, and the eating and drinking happened in Greece and France.

More pictures will be forthcoming as soon as I have a chance to sort them, but for now, here's a taste:

Arc de Triomphe
The Agean Sea is a clear blue, not that dingy muddy color we get in the Bay

I wish my neighborhood was this charming.


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