Tuesday, August 29, 2006

beginnings, middles, and ends

except, let's do it backwards...

The lace socks are now complete. I have a crush on them.

Close up shots were taken when I finished sock #1, and can be seen here.

Yarn: Black Bunny Fibers super-wash wool in the "TeeHee" colorway (custom dyed by Carol herself to match my prosthetic leg--thank you!!)
Needles: US #1, Lantern Moon ebony dpn's (4)
Pattern: Fancy Silk Sock, from Knitting Vintage Socks
1) I only did 5 repeats (instead of the suggested 6) on the leg; I don't like mid-calf length socks...it's either knee socks, or they should just clear my hi-tops.
2) The original Weldon's sketch shows a welt of 2-rounds of purl between the cuff and the leg. The pattern was rewritten calling for 2-rounds of knit instead. I chose to keep the purl ridge, but prefered the way it looked with only 1-round.
3) On the toe decreases, I used a SSK to replace the Sl1-K1-Psso. Had I thought about it earlier on sock #1, I would have done that with the gusset decrease, too.

Here's my lunch. Fresh organic black mission figs served with sliced baguette, goat cheese, basil, and a balsamic reduction.

Shoulda whipped out a glass o'wine, but I didn't think it wise to be sauced for the after school pick-up.

Late Summer/Fall is one of my absolute favorite fruit seasons. Every year I can hardly wait to get my hands on the figs, mandarins, persimmons, pomegranates, and the like.

It seems somewhat odd to me that here I am, a trained professional chef, yet I don't ever write about food. Well, that's because there is nothing to write about. I have not cooked the way I like to in a very long time. When I was a chef, I did most of my fun food play while I was at a work. When I stopped cooking professionally, I forgot to shift it back to the homefront. Sharing most meals with a 9-year old who wants nothing to do with a balsamic reduction might have something to do with it, too. Not having the cash-flow to throw little dinner parties doesn't help much either.

I am making some changes in my life in order to correct that. One of them is by making lunch for myself with the ingredients I love that I know MyFk will boycott...like I did today. My other plan is to introduce the new Tuesday night ritual called, "You'll Eat It Whether You Like It or Not Night." Tonight, my little Tight Lipped Monkey ate cauliflower, and he actually didn't think it was all that bad (butter fixes everything). I'm also going to look around and see if I can find a gaggle of foodies that is interested in regular pot-luck gatherings.

My morning began with the accidental (and untimely) death of my beloved French Press ( glass and grounds everywhere)....

...followed by the 6am rigging of a blender and a chinois* to serve as makeshift brewing device.

It worked, but I think it goes without saying: what a sucky way to start the day. Glad there were good things that followed.


Coming soon on the knitting front....I'm swatching for the next round of socks, and I'm doing the Bunny Hop. More soon ;-)

*Funny thing about the Wikipedia entry for chinois: there is a detailed explanation about how a chinois is not to be conused with a china cap. And the photo of the chinois they provide...IS a china cap. Duh. Here's a real chinois. When I was in culinary school, I was told that there was a famous Saucier (a expert cook that pretty much only makes stocks and sauces), and he slept with his chinois. That's how wonderful they are.


jodi said...

You should edit the wikipedia entry and add a new picture. That's what wikipedia's there for.

It's definitely important to prepare nice meals for yourself when you're alone. I've been bad lately for not wanting to bother making good food at all, since I'm eating all of my meals alone. Years ago I had a policy of trying to make every meal wonderful even if I was the only one eating it: if I throw a handful of slivered almonds into the curried beans when I make it for guests, I shouldn't skimp and leave them out because it's just for me this time. I don't know what happened to that now, though.

JohnK said...

We had planned to have figs and a balsamic reduction last night, but in the current chaos we weren't paying attention and ended up with a toasted balsamic candy, figs are good plain too.

Anonymous said...


I have lived here 11 years and have never once seen fresh organic figs in any local market until just this last week. I have eaten so many, box after box (at $3.98 each, four to five figs per) of Calimyrnas and Brown Turkishes, that I think I might actually be a little fig-sick. Still, I can't stop. They are stupendous. They are tender Valentine pink inside. Biting in and slurping at them all compulsively feels obscene. I refuse to stop until they are all gone.

You can keep the balsamic vinegar to yourself, though. I am really, really over balsamic vinegar. I loved it about 15 years ago. Then everyone started putting it on everything, indiscriminately, usually the cheap burny stuff, usually in suffocating bath form. I don't think I ever want to taste balsamic vinegar ever again, or at least not for another 15 years.

There are other vinegars. And there is lovely, lovely wine. And there is fruit juice. I'm really grooving on fruit juice these days as a salad dressing base, lightly, lightly seasoned -- and used.

I'm having a really hard time doing anything with fresh fruit this year though. It's so perfect the way it is. I usually bake like crazy in the summer, throw fruit in everything. But this year, with the short, cool, rainy summer and the paucity of decent fresh organic produce here, and with whatever I can get being so viciously expensive (e.g., I paid $8/lb. for organic cherries from Washington in June, $6 a pint for organic, locally grown blueberries in July), I am loath to do anything to spoil the perfection of whatever I can obtain. Hell, it's all I can do even to share with my sweetie!

It's really the only thing I miss desperately about Northern California, besides the redwoods: fresh, organic produce, direct from the farm and affordably priced or straight out of the dirt in the back yard, six to eight months every year.

(sigh) Wallow in it for me.

Anonymous said...

I've never lived in a place where I could get fresh figs easily before but I keep seeing them in the grocery store. I have no idea how to tell if they're ripe or not, or what to do with them once I get them so I always walk away from them at the store. All of my knowledge of figs is about when they're dried or newtoned, and I do love them then.

Gray said...

Your socks look great and your lunch looks truly lovely. I'm glad I have an unusually good lunch today (left over mussel stew and fresh bread (from my treasured South End Formaggio, for anyone from the Boston area). If I had something crummy I would truly be upset with that hopelessly delicious photo.

It's just impossible to get good fresh figs here, though they have shown up with the street vendors a couple of times.

Mandarins and pomegranates are no problem here. But persimmons are another matter. When I lived in North carolina I grew to love the wonderful small native persimmons, which I prefer to the monster Godzilla persimmon types from Japan. The ones that are still hanging on the tree in January are a true gift. I wish I could get those up here in the Frozen North.


Anonymous said...

Oh, and I forgot to say so because of fig-sickness or something, but yeah, nice socks. Very very pretty.

Mouse said...

I love your new socks! I really love your choice of footwear as well.. they are very cool! I have a real obsession with Converse Chuck Taylors.. at one point when I was younger I had 8 pair in different colors. Unfortunately when I had Munchkin my feet widened and those were all lost to a small footed friend.

Kerry said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the press BUT lunch looks delicious and the socks are gorgeous!