Saturday, October 31, 2009

Crafterday: Kool Aid

Happy Halloween! I don't have anything to post for the holiday, but I have been crafting, knitting away on a secret thank you gift. I can't show this gift, but something I'll be working on soon.
I've prepped some old white wool from my stash to dye with kool aid. Once I find some glass jars to put the dye in I'll do it. All I will need to do is:

-Get the yarn wet by submerging it in water and then wring it out a little.
-Dissolve the packets of kool aid in water mixed with a liberal dose of vinegar. The vinegar helps set the color.
-Apply kool aid mixture to yarn. Some people will put this all in one dish, I like to distribute the yarn between two jars so the yarn will fade from one color to another.
-Heat the yarn in kool aid mixture in the microwave until the yarn appears to have soaked up the color. I do this by pulling the yarn a little out of the mixture to see if the mixture still has the color. Reheat if necessary. Some people also use the oven or an old pot on a stove top to heat the yarn.
-When it appears done run cool water over the yarn. If the color looks like it is bleeding, heat the yarn with a mix of vinegar and water to set the color.

Hopefully I'll get to this soon and post a finished picture.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Food Friday: I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti

I recently picked up a copy of a new cooking memoir titled I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci. It is an engaging look at the ways that Melucci's romantic life has overlapped with her love of food and cooking. And it has recipes! I've even made a few and enjoyed the results. My favorite so far is the recipe for pastina. It is one of the simplest recipes, but most satisfying. I have had pastina in my cupboard for years, after putting it in a vegetable soup, and never knew how else to use it. I would have never thought of boiling it until it is cooked and the water is almost gone and then adding a beaten egg and some parmesan cheese to it. It's so simple and delicious and I may even make it for dinner and add some of the roasted eggplant and zucchini leftover from last night.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Weird Wednesday

I'm substituting weird for web this week, any librarians should take note of today's post.

About a month ago I went with some friends to Governor's Island, previously a military fort and recently abandoned army post. It now serves as a New York City park with beautiful views of the harbor and downtown.

We were riding bicycles around the island and then came across this:
An abandoned library previously for the island residents on the army base. How creepy and appropriate for Halloween!
I'd like to know a little bit more about this abandoned library, but internet searches are coming up with very little. Probably it is just an abandoned building like the rest of the buildings on Governor's Island, but it has so much potential for some spooky Halloween tale.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Music Monday:

Last Saturday night a friend was checking out Red Baraat, who was playing a Diwali party in my neighborhood. It was cold and dark, but I figured why not check it out. I'm not really sure how to describe this band, it certainly falls under the fusion label as it is a combination of Bhangra and funk, using brass instruments and the dhol, a traditional North Indian drum. It was a great evening of high energy music that had everyone trying to dance in the small, hot room.

I'll definitely try to see this band again.

And last night I found myself thinking about Andrew Bird, who I saw in Pittsburgh at the Carnegie Music Hall. I'd like to see him live again, because there is something that doesn't come across in the recordings. Though it could have also just been the way the sound reverberated through the hall, there was a wonderful echo and building up of this full, slightly spooky sound.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Crafterday: Cut short...

There's a little less crafting going on today. First because the football game between UConn and WVU was a real nail-biter at times. All together a great game that kept me from doing everything as I planned. But I really can't complain.

And tonight there will be CMJ madness. I keep assuming that bands I don't know are playing all the CMJ shows and that I can't get into any of them. But that is not the case, as favorite band played at the Living Room yesterday (though I just saw them last week) and tonight Elizabeth and the Catapult will be at City Winery and then Jeff Taylor is playing at the Rockwood Music Hall. So out into the rainy muck I go.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Food Friday: Bread

I'm eating some reheated pizza that I made last night to celebrate the coming of Friday. And later today I will be mixing up some no knead bread. This bread is so wonderfully easy, I'll mix it together tonight and then tomorrow afternoon I'll put it in a bread pan to rise for another two hours and then pop it in the oven. And then more of the best bread I've ever made.

I may also be making some more applesauce tonight - yum.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Music Monday: Punch Brothers and Carnegie Hall

Friday night I had the opportunity to see my favorite band, Punch Brothers, play Carnegie Hall. You know, the one in New York. I have been to both the Carnegie Music Hall and Carnegie Lecture Hall in Pittsburgh in the past year and this one in New York is much bigger, though the stage doesn't look that different. I've seen Punch Brothers several times in a variety of different places from the Allen Room at the Time Warner Center to the Bowery Ballroom over three years ago.
Yes I took a picture, don't tell, ok.

Though it was large and some of the intimacy was lost, it was a wonderful setting to hear this music. I still can not get over the acoustics, even though I was up in the balcony, several flights of stairs above the band, I could easily make out every note and though I had heard all of the songs played live or on a recording I noticed many nuances that were lost before. I think as a band they played up the incredible sound they had in this space and took more advantage of crescendo and decrescendo in their music. This probably was my favorite element of the concert hearing all the different aspects of their playing kept me riveted. The only thing I really missed was the song It'll Happen, which is a favorite of mine, evidenced by the number of time itunes says I've played it. Though I only noticed that I missed it when a friend mentioned how beautiful it is as an offset to the song Sometimes.

Set list:
Don't Need No
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
This is the Song/Good Luck
The Blind Leaving the Blind: 3rd mvt
Wayside (back in time)
Welcome Home
Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048, 3. Allegro
Punch Bowl
The Blind Leaving the Blind: 4th mvt
Martha My Dear
Lonesome River
Watch at Breakdown
Rye Whiskey
Packt Like Sardines in a Crushed Tin Can
The Eleventh Reel

I just have to note that I felt really weird seeing these guys play in such a big hall. One of my favorite things about this type of music is how accessible the musicians are and what a great community it fosters. I have a number of stories of the nice people I meet at these types of shows and knowing I'm at the right club because I see the musicians as I'm walking in. So it was strange walking in and seeing few familiar faces (though Tony Trischka was outside when I was waiting to meet my friends) and the boys being so far away. That and the after show with a list, that's just crazy.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Crafterday: Handspun beret

I know I'm missing the biggest northeast fiber event this weekend, but I'll cope somehow. For one I won't be spending a lot of money, which is a very good thing right now. I am still knitting and as evidence of this activity I present the beret pictured below.

It is the purl beret, knit with my own handspun on number 3 needles. I wish I could remember the exact fleece I used for the handspun. I think the bulk of it is merino fleece I got from spunky eclectic in the kites colorway.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

food friday: Gourmet

I realized calling this foodie Friday was a bit silly, mostly because I'm not so fond of the word foodie. Hate is too strong a word, but in reality it is not my favorite word to associate with myself.

Last week the food world receive the news that Gourmet magazine was ending, news that I am still heartbroken about. I obviously never thought I would see this day, as my subscription was renewed days before and I threw out a collection of magazines before moving because magazines are just too heavy and there will be future issues of Gourmet. I am always right about magazines being heavy, but I was not right about the fate of Gourmet. I haven't gotten the last November issue yet, hopefully after several months of moving around it will find the right address. Either way I can't imagine a holiday season without the December issue and the inevitable cookie recipes. Now, many people have said the downfall of Gourmet is because of our access to recipes on TV and the internet. But Gourmet was much more than that, it was writing about the world of food and our interactions with it. It was travel and culture through food traditions and it was an endlessly inspiring magazine.

I realized that it is the magazine I had subscribed to the longest and I have a spotty memory of being a poor student in New York and buying the November 2002 issue just because it made me feel less homesick.

The other ironic twist to this news is that Ruth Reichl, Gourmet's Editor in Chief, is doing publicity for a new Gourmet cookbook and show on PBS. She was on Fresh Air on Wednesday taking about her new book, fall foods and the close of Gourmet magazine.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Web Wednesday: You Lie!

I am well aware that it has been over a month since Joe Wilson first came to our attention by calling Obama a liar during his health care speech. Still I can't get over Rachel Maddow's impersonation of him every time she mentions him. Apparently I am not the only one who feels this way, as some lovely person has made a mash-up of Ms. Maddow's Joe Wilson yell. Just wait until the forty second mark, that's about when the fun begins.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Blog inspiration

Taking a cue from somcak I'm going to try out making a blogging schedule. I'm not sure if I'll stick to it, but I'll give it a shot. I'll be posting each week as follows:

Music Monday - posting about music, which will probably be about a show I saw or a band I really like. There are so many I doubt I'll run out ideas for this anytime soon.

Web Wednesday - Really, what starts with W? Web, which will give me a reason to post about any of the random stuff I find on the web.

Foodie Friday - I've been cooking a lot, which you can probably tell from the last couple posts, so Fridays I'll be posting about cooking or something related to food.

Crafterday Saturday - Saturday is often the best day to get some crafting done, so why not post about crafty things on that day.

And in my best Scarlett O'Hara fashion I'll be starting this tomorrow, er actually Wednesday.

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Eggplant fries

Until very recently I thought I didn't like eggplant, but then again I never had it growing up and I tried roasting it a few years ago and it turned out awful. But now I think eggplant is becoming one of my favorite vegetables. Since I discovered this wonderful stew, which I add rice to, which makes it more like a main dish and less soupy.
So Yummy!
Last night I tried an idea I got last weekend for eggplant fries. I adapted this recipe, substituting the breadcrumb mixture for a mix of flour and cajun seasoning. They turned out wonderful, hence I have no leftovers. Next time I probably won't use parchment paper though, since it turned black on the edges and I was afraid it was going to catch fire in such a hot oven. I also had two cookies sheets, one I took out sooner than the other, so the first was soft and the second was crunchy. For fries I will probably opt to leave them in longer so they are nice and crunchy in the future. I'm also thinking of using a similar recipe to make eggplant for eggplant parmesan, roasting them for about 10 minutes so it will stay soft and not crunchy like the fries.

I still have some apples leftover, which I will probably use for this apple cake and a fry up with sausage and onions. I will probably buy some more soon just to make more apple butter.

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Apple Goodness

I came back from Ithaca with a peck of apples and the other night I cooked about half of them. I made two things, a lovely spiced apple cake from my edition of Joy of Cooking
and some apple butter using a recipe I found online.
The apple butter doesn't have the same texture as the stuff you get from a jar, it's more like a spiced applesauce. I suppose I could have cooked it down more, but after about two to three hours at a slow simmer I declared it to be done. And actually I was terrified of burning it so I'm just really happy it turned out.

So what do I do with the rest of the apples? Maybe the apple pizza I mentioned before. I don't know how many more sweet apple desserts I can handle right now so I'm looking for some savory recipes. I'm tempted to slice some of then thinly and saute them with onions and chicken or a light flavored sausage.

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