St. H's bible accompanied my seasonal breakfast this morning (small cheese omlette, eng. muffin, bowl of blackberries lightly sugared, coffee). Why? Well in part because I restarted my cultures Friday night and in part because I got some white whole wheat flour and wondered what I should know about it. The only thing I know for sure at the moment about it is that you can't just add it to pizza dough and get the same results. Good results? Yes - nice bready pizza crust. Delicious but not crispy and crusty.
The cultures? Perking right along after one feeding. Isn't it good to know that such wonderful stuff as yeasties are all around us, ready to do their thing to help nourish us with good bread?
Meanwhile, Fortune, maker of 32 inch rolling pins, tried out her wondrous new tool and reports that making fresh egg noodles:
anyway, pasta is one of those things that books make seem terribly complicated and difficult to create. actually, it's even easier than ciabatta. Marcella herself somehow devotes about 12 pages to the process, making it seem rather like rocket science or nanotechnology or something. It's nonsense. making the darn pin is waaay harder.
My mom talks of her mother making egg noodles on the kitchen table but I wasn't fortunate enough to have had any of those. (When you're mothering and feeding a family of 11, I'm sure the arrival of packaged noodles and convenience foods seemed heaven sent!) But my Mom's description of the process mirror's Fortune's experience - well of flour, eggs, mix with hands, eventually roll out and slice.
That awareness of what food is is, I believe, the missing key to getting folks to eat better. (That and reading the ingredient list for stuff you're buying!)
Can you tell my camera is back? And that the heat has broken a bit?
Here's the view as it was hanging in my sewing room.
7/29/2006 06:06:00 PM
The two kinds of people who exist in this world [at any one time] are the decent and the indecent. Color, religion and nationality are irrelevant. Kindness, decency and behavior are what matters most. Our collective challenge, it seems, is to create a city and community where decent people of all races, ethnicities and religions can look into the faces of other decent people and see only one thing -- God's image smiling back -- Rabbi Micah Greenstein
Last night I watched the new Bill Moyers series. This one had Martin Amis and Margaret Atwood as guests. I was interested in hearing Margaret Atwood talking about faith and myths and she did not disappoint. Martin Amis succeeded in driving home to me just how confusing living in the world is today, but did present an interesting take on how today's terrorism fits into history and current events, and how people are drawn into it. I was still left confused and bewildered by a world that can hold such a thing. You can go and listen for yourself.
7/29/2006 03:24:00 PM
Joy to the person who can pick these in one foray to the backyard! Woe to those who don't get to grab a handful now and again.
Berries and lilies both enjoy a bit of shade.
Even when it's hot, there's always time for a good wrassle. Archie and 'Rasmus.
I've spent some time the last few nights learning about WordPress, a different way to do blogs and pages. Last night I was aglow with geekiness for awhile, importing, styling, using mySQL to categorize some links and setting up a stat service on my server hosted wordpress page. Go here to see where that's at.
On the gardening side of things, I measured 2 inches of rain in two and a half hours one day this weekend and well, that basically flattened out my little lettuce patch. Last night I stopped at a local garden center and they luckily still had some seeds and better yet, they were on sale. I got enough to replant now and replant even later. Came home, hoed up the broken down little plants and reseeded, all the while muttering about whatever it is that keeps chowing down on the beans. I soothed myself with some big ol' blackberries.
I did a little more piecing on my new project - going pretty well. I just need some blocks of time with reasonable temperatures and not being so tired at night. Funny how that works.
I sewed the first horizontal seam of my new quilt. Went pretty quickly and looked pretty accurate - all good.
Then I looked at the time and thought, ok, I could sew one more seam before calling it a night. I sewed the next seam. Remember - this is my life, an inch and a half at a time. My modus is to snip about a foot of seamline (the little connecting threads between the two rows), match and pin the intersections, sew, unpinning as I go. Repeat.
I stop to admire the three rows sewn together with the two rows. Whoopsie - there's an unsewn seam in there between two pairs of rows sewn together. Ummmmm... OK, I can fix that easily. Not really a problem needing fixing, but my little "error" got me four seams sewn together because I just had to sew that one seam that was flapping in the breeze. So far so good and it's looking pretty darn good to me. I love when the squares become squares again.
Is quilting weather-related? You bet! When it's too hot, and you don't have AC, well go figure - ironing isn't really all that appealing. And since my current project needed ironing before proceeding let's just say I was on hold.
But today started grey - couple sprinkles of rain. Then BANG - two inches of rain in about two and a half hours! Literally! It just hosed down as they say. And while it was doing that, the temperature came down too. Went below 70 for the first time in I don't know how long! Felt GREAT.
Needless to say, as soon as dinner was done, I took a nice fresh HOT up of coffee upstairs, turned on the new little fan and the iron and started in on all those little seams.
Always a big step when things become nice and flat.
This is pretty darn funny, especially if you're a fan of the new Apple ads but swallow first. And while I'm at it, the "mac" guy has a new movie out...
Oh, and I decided I'd investigate WordPress a bit, just to know what's out there. My "instant" WordPress blog is here. One of a nice assortment of provided templates for use on their hosting service. Very nice user interface. Easy set up.
The longest part of it for me so far was tweaking my blogroll import. But bottom line, it would have taken me much longer manually moving all the links at left!
Rumor has it that you can import blogger, but there is lots of encouragement about backing up all the blogger stuff first. Another time!
Feel like a grown up, having grown up thoughts: go listen to TED Blog: Sir Ken Robinson on TEDTalks Want more? Check out the links on the right side of the page. Also available in audio or video via iTunes. Go forth and think real thoughts. Go out and do something in the world that matters.
It's a tough day to wear a fur coat. A bunch of wee beasties sprawled in various locations, looking for a breeze.
Myself, I tried to pace myself over the weekend, doing some outdoor things before it got too hot, or at the end of the day, taking frequent breaks, drinking lots of cooling fluids etc. Bottom line, except for the clean kitchen floor, it doesn't look like I did much of anything at all.
I'm itching to get back to work on my new quilt but the prospect of ironing all those little seams so I can sew the rows together isn't all that appealing. Go figure.
I think this might be a good time to make some postcards or shovel out some more in there.
Long, hot, busy week! Lots of wildlife, some sneaking in to nip the tops of my bean plants. Bad wildlife! On the other hand, I did see a mother grouse (I am 95% sure) and some youngsters. That was pretty cool. I have reason to think that there are red foxes nearby. Tonight I saw one of these which are pretty darn cool. As I watched the moth enjoying the pink phlox, I noticed first the fireflies (aka lightning bugs) and then, bats!
It's been a good week for living in the country, mainly because of the abundance of red and black raspberries. Most years I'm very lucky to get a very few small black raspberries. This year they are quite large and juicy. Maybe they are so abundant that the birds can't eat them all or maybe they're less eatable because the canes are more slender and less like perches. Whatever the reason, I'm enjoying each and every one.
While the news in the back garden is not so good for the beans and squash, there are tomatoes starting to set and the lettuce is particularly yummy. So I'll deal with it. The squash are growing along uneaten up in the front gardens. I had treated myself to a delphinium. Never had one bloom or come up again. This one is quite beautiful - pale blue and white and fluffy with petals. Note to self - if it returns next year, it needs early staking to handle the weight of the flowers.
I'm holding the local deer responsible for reaching into the fenced garden and pruning the beans. Maybe I can train my neighbor's chickens to run them off?
Well, part of it went to attending the funeral of my kindergarten teacher and parents' neighbor, Mary Collins. The service was homey and friendly, just at her parish church and then on to the cemetery. Her nieces and nephew, surrounded by their children, spoke words during the liturgy. The niece I knew most growing up got up to speak more of a eulogy at the end. First off, somewhere along the line, she started looking like my memory of her aunt when her aunt was younger. That was a bit of a shock. The stories she told of growing up with her family and aunt were wonderful and rang so true. A real tribute.
I had been thinking about Mary (or Miss Collins as she told us to call her when at school) and there were a lot of nice memories there - growing marigolds in little paper cups at school, helping her put together new cardboard building blocks, going out to lunch with her.
She took my brother and I out for lunch for our birthdays. How special to go out with a non-family grown up. We'd go to places like The Boulevard or, later, l'Ecole for lunch or early dinner. Then to a shop for a quick treat and perhaps something for the non-birthday kid at home.
A little cleaning and straightening - some inside (living room) and some outside (front and side garden).
I had my first lettuce out of the garden.
Straightened up some paperwork and got ready for round two of name-changing stuff.
Found some red and some black raspberries along the edges of the yard- enough to pick a half-bowlful tonight!
Still sewing on the new quilt - about 1/3 of the second half is done. You do the math.
Tonight I made pizza and ciabatta. I figured, what the heck, the oven is going to be hot anyway!
Someone (I don't remember and frankly it doesn't matter because it's been asked at least twice in the last month) said this on QuiltArt:
So has anyone done anything interesting lately with fabric, dyes, and/or thread?
To which I replied to the list:
I mean, really, either the answer is "Yes" or you are doing something else, right?
In actuality, I've been sewing together the short rows of my work in progress and I'm just about at the halfway point. That would make it about 1/4 sewn together, for those keeping score mathmatically. I really like the colors. Years ago I would never imagined making quilts where blues were the zinger color. But colors are just colors and if you're working with warm browns and yellow greens and a lot of yellows and oranges, well - blue is the balance.
And I can hear some of you thinking to yourself - warm browns - has she completely flipped out. Someone stopped me, years ago, when I used "warm blue" in a sentence about a then current quilt. Um, he asked, how the heck can you be meaning a warm blue? Isn't blue by nature of being blue a COOL color?" Au contraire grasshoppers! Blue can certainly be warmer OR cooler, depending on how much red is in it.
In the spectrum that is my stash there is a lot of variation in each bin - greens dark and black, greens yellow and brown, greens touched with that weird turquoise-y cast. Yellows with grey, yellows with orange, yellows that flirt with green, but in a shadowy kind of way.
Well, you look at color your way and I'll sit back and enjoy that bit of cobalt among all those nice earthy colors. Pretty soon it will be your turn to say that it looks nice as rectangles.
wheeeee! Back from Vermont, where I was honored to be a part of the "History Makers" exhibit, curated by Pam Druhan. This was an exhibit of quilts going back to 1985 and having a nice selection of quilts that had been best of show or which had received special awards of one kind or another. Anyway, there I was with the "big boys" like Sandra Donabed et al. Whoa.
Last night I was quite happy to sit and stand in one place and to rearrange my mis-placed squares.
Tonight's another story though -- I have so far sewn six eight columns of squares together. Photos to come.
PS - eight columns is one quarter of the way. Fun!
I've updated the new project page with photos from tonight. It's also linked to the right.