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September 27, 2009

A peaceful lunch

So there I was on a park bench on a warm autumn Friday, my turkey sandwich in one hand and the last few pages of my book in the other, contemplating how lovely it was to be able to take an hour away from work to do such things.

Ambient noise from the playground a block away began to distract me. Like a thundercloud gathering force, the thumps of several pint-sized feet galloping on the pavement drew ever closer. I looked up from a crucial scene in my book to see a gaggle of schoolchildren brandishing handmade pinwheels racing past me.

"Pinwheels for peeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaccccceeeeeeee!" they yelled as they whooshed by, seemingly about to run into oncoming traffic before making a sharp right and continuing down the other side of the block.

After the first lap some tired and others nursed broken pinwheel backbones. They clustered around my bench, where their teacher had taken up residence for the purpose of pinwheel first aid.

While waiting for some attention, or perhaps while catching his breath before another lap, a boy threatened to cut off his classmate's arm with his pinwheel. "We want peace, not cutting off arms," she admonished witheringly.

Another girl repeatedly declared, "PEACE! OUT! YO!" while violently thrusting her pinwheel in the air to punctuate each syllable.

At some unknown signal the children abandoned their activities to race back to the end of the block where they had first made their presence known, chanting, "Pinwheels for peace! Pinwheels for peace, not war!"


September 21, 2009

Scenes of Domestication

 border=This photo is entitled, "Still Life with Lamp and Half-Eaten Challah"

This weekend I decided to tackle something I've been meaning to incorporating into my skillz set for many moons: the art of breadmaking. Since it's Rosh Hashana I was feeling extra Jewful, and thus challah seemed the best choice. I busted out my Hadassah Jewish Holiday Cookbook and settled upon a recipe perfected by Peggy Samet Fine from the Hadassah chapter in Houston. Sometimes titchy things like "yield" slip by me in my excitement to go gung-ho on a recipe, and thus I missed the fact that I would be purchasing ingredients for four whole loaves.

It's a good thing the manf was out of the house when I started my yeasty journey, for all manner of unladylike utterances escaped my lips as I proceeded to get flour EVERYWHERE. My jeans and sweatshirt were coated with sticky dough. I will probably get un-inscribed in the Book of Life for the curses that flew when the 15 cups of flour weren't incorporating into the eggs, oil, vanilla, yeast, warm water and sugar (holy Moses there is so much sugar in challah) as they should.

But, when all was said and done, I ended up with two beautiful and delicious loaves of holiday spirit, as well as a huge mound of dough in my freezer awaiting my next surge of carb cravings.

 border=This photo is entitled, "Come visit me, Amanda"

My daddy dearest came to town yesterday, and brought with him my most beloved flamenco ladybug apron, a gift from a star-crossed roommate of yore. A theme party with this apron as its central element is in the works.

 border=This photo is entitled, "Who Says a Pattern on a Pattern is Too Busy?"

Last Sunday marked the start of months of football widowhood for yours truly. Instead of moping around the apartment to try to distract myself from the grunts and dull thuds emanating from el boob tube, I signed up for a fair isle knitting class at Yarnia. I learned to knit when I was a senior in high school, and my knitting sensei stayed put in my hometown whilst I ventured off to my institution of higher learning three hours away. I am thus a largely self-taught knitter, and though I'm really, really good at knitting straight things like scarves and blankets nowadays, I hadn't tried anything new since a half-assed attempt at a sock last spring. Twas time.

Fair isle is tricky because you have to knit with two or more colors simultaneously, a feat that often lends itself to the most horrendous yarn snarlys when done improperly. But my new sensei at Yarnia showed me the light and I am now well on my way to making a lovely patterned baby hat. Next up: toe-up socks, gloves and intarsia.

September 7, 2009

To whet your appetite

My dear fellow pirate Anna and honorary pirate Steph have sadly left after a whirlwind weekend of wizardry and wallumping in Portypants. We had a magnificent time gallavanting hither and thither, and Anna has plans to document it all for your hungry eyeballs with a culinary photographic tour quite soon. The above picture is regrettably all I have to contribute to such an endeavor, for the majority my pictures from the weekend seem to be of other people's kitties.

But please allow me to entice you with but a small sampling of the dishes and drinks we stuffed down our gullets:

tempura chevre and date balls with honey and sage | yam fries with lemon cayenne aioli | fleur du sel caramel macarons | jammers | pinot noir | pinot gris | lemon raw milk chevre | maple-glazed doughnuts with bacon on top | cream top biscuits with strawberry jam | white sangria | marscapone, grilled bananas and nutella on cinnamon swirl bread | nectarine and raspberry salad with raspberry compote | rosemary hot chocolate | pumpkin ale

OK fine you can see the kitties too.