Wednesday, February 28, 2007

eggplant and potato stew

you like potato, I like potahto
you like tomato, I like tomahto
potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto
let's call the whole thing off

eggplant, aubergine
Either way, it's still stew season as far as I'm concerned.

The first time I made the Italian Vegetable and Potato Stew from Ashbury's Aubergines was last December and it was a horrible catastrophe. I tried to double some parts and triple others. My pot was overflowing. There was tomato splatter on the walls. I felt very Bridget Jones. Eggplants take a lot of patience! But apparently it's called stew for a reason, and eventually it became quite tasty, much to my relief as I had a bunch of hungry people to feed! I made it for the third time on Saturday and I think I've now got the hang of it!

1 large eggplant, peeled and cubed
2 tbs salt
4 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery ribs with leaves, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 medium boiling potatoes, chopped
1 x 28 oz can tomatoe puree
1 cup vegetable broth
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried basil

1. place eggplant in colander and toss with salt
2. let stand for at least 1 hour
3. rinse well, drain and pat dry

I forgot to peel the eggplant!!

4. heat 2 tbs oil
5. add eggplant, stir until lightly brown (~5 min)

6. transfer to plate and set aside
7. heat remaining 2 tbs oil
8. add onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic, stir until softened (~5 min)

9. add eggplant and potatoes

10. and tomatoe puree, vegetable broth, red pepper flakes, and basil

11. bring to simmer
12. reduce heat and cover, stir occassionally until potatoes tender (~1 hour)
13. eat!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

oh the weather outside is frightful

I realize it's February 25th and not December, but I didn't have a camera two months ago to take photos of all my christmas knitting!

For my mother I knit Branching Out from Knitty using Rowan Kidsilk Haze (70% super kid mohair, 30% silk, colour: 600 Dewberry). This was really frustrating to knit at first because I kept forgetting or adding yarn overs and ending up with the wrong number of stitches. I had to pay strict attention! I was a little worried at first because it was knitting up rather bunchy and ugly, but I took it in to a yarn store while I was in Vancouver and asked the lovely lady there for some advice about blocking. Following her suggestions I soaked the whole thing in a sinkful of lukewarm water with a drop of dishsoap, swished it around a very little bit. Then I filled the sink with fresh water and dunked it in there. I rolled up the scarf in a towel and stepped on it to get as much water out as possible. Then I pinned it out on an ironing board. It dried in no time and come out all flat and soft and lovely! My mother says, that despite all the holes, it is very warm. :)

I knit a scarf for my dad using Catalina (100% baby alpaca, colour: 206 Natural Jute). I love this yarn. It felt like butter. Really. The pattern came from One Skein and is a cross between the Double Cable Scarf and the Triple Cable Muffler in the Rib and Cable Quartet series. My yarn choice, although soft like butter, was a different thickness than suggested, hence my adaptation. I think I'd like to try another one in a heavier weight yarn.

Also from One Skein, I knit my sister's arm warmers using the Silk Sleeves pattern. She requested black and since I had a bunch of fine alpaca yarn (Mystic Alpaca, I don't believe this is 100% alpaca because the label says machine washable and to tumble dry. Could that be possible?) I used that.

My other sister got a Dayflower Lace Scarf in Misti Baby Alpaca (100% peruvian baby alpaca, colour: 7238 chartreuse melange). I don't know why I knit it so tightly, except that it was my first attempt at lace.

And lastly for my brother I knit this scarf following the mock-cable rib pattern from Warm Fuzzies in Stitch'n'Bitch Nation using Lang Silk Dream (50% merino, 50% silk, colour: 24 silver and 4 black). I kind of wanted to keep it for myself. I switched colours every two rows so that I would not have to cut the yarn. I hate weaving in ends! This scarf ended up needing four skeins. Sometimes knitting is expensive.

Maybe next year they will get matching mittens!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

take this job and shove it

there's a choir behind me
egging me on
placing their bets and
hoping I'll do no wrong

One of my old co-workers has decided to quit his new job and travel Europe. My boss is finding this incomprehensible. How can his star pupil want to throw his career away in this manner? It's inconceivable. Or isn't it? My boss's voice went up two octaves when I told him once that I was thinking of doing more or less the same thing. The quitting, not the Europe bit, though that would be nice, too!

Anyway, I was thinking of this again the other night. I went to a showroom party thing (?) for a company that makes bedding. All these beds draped with beautiful sheets and duvets and pillows. Who uses that many pillows anyway? And waiters walking around with trays of hor'deurves and booze. And a live band! Two bands! I even got a little loot bag when I left. Oh private sector, stop taunting me!

If I could do life all over again, would I be who I am? Would this job be my job? Probably. I am scared of taking chances with my career. I am a sucker. But I still wish I were doing something else.

I love textiles. I would love to make things all day. I would have liked to make bedding, maybe. I like blankets.

my beginner’s luck is wearing thin
I’ll need to rely on skill if I’m going to win

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

hello kitten

songs with handclaps are the cat's meow.

via PostSecret

How can it be so funny and so sad at the same time?
(I, er, didn't write that, by the way. I'm freaking fantastic!)

you have a blue iris with a hint of burnt sienna and it wrestles my hate to the ground

Saturday, February 10, 2007

chili corn and squash chowder

lunch was always leftovers
the art of cooking for two
is lost on me and you

Elizabeth gave me this recipe when I was visiting her in Vancouver. I think that she got it from the supermarket. It looks like one of those supermarket recipes. In fact, a little google searching and here it is from Save On Foods. I love bacon (!) and cilantro (!) and butternut squash (!) so I thought that I would try it:

1 tbs vegetable oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 anaheim pepper, seeded and minced
1 habanero pepper, seeded and minced

4 cups corn niblets
2 large carrots, cut into coins

2 cups chicken broth
4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

5 slices lean bacon, fried to crisp and chopped

1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped

1 cup light cream
6 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped

1. heat oil
2. add onion, garlic, jalapeño, anaheim and habanero peppers, stir 1 min

3. add corn, carrots, chicken broth, chili powder, pepper, stir
4. simmer 15 mintues (until carrots almost tender) with lid tilted

5. add bell peppers and bacon
6. simmer 3 minutes

7. add squash and cream
8. simmer 15 mintues (until squash tender)

9. add cilantro

10. eat!

I wish that I could somehow upload the lovely smell coming from my kitchen!