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Archive for February 16th, 2007

Something Like a Day Off

Friday, February 16th, 2007

A Breath of Fresh Air

I had a day off today. The schools are off for 4 days because of Presidents’ Day. No elementary kids Friday, no adult computer students this coming Monday. No Florida vation this weekend as planned, but as I mentioned before we have a Ladysmith Black Mambazo concert Sunday.

(Brian plays with Scarlet Runner Stringband at a Contra Dance on Saturday. I am not sure what I will do Saturday, I have too many choices and my favorite thing to do is stay home on Saturday nights when Brian’s out. I love long quiet times at home, especially when it is dark outside.)

Friday was pretty darned good! I had been so tired the night before that I fell asleep on the couch before 11pm. I woke up around 1:30am and went upstairs and slept till I think 10 or so. I needed the sleep and had no reason to cut it short.

A Slow Morning/Good Breakfast

I woke up as slowly as I could, with some good black tea (packaged in an orange box with Arabic writing on it, something very special in my book after my trip to Egypt and the tea there). I then made my wonderful, fabulous, as-perfect-as-possible Teff muffins for breakfast.

I made 6 muffins, gave one to Brian and proceeded to eat the five that were left. For someone like me who is actually losing weight slowly because of food restrictions, if I can eat that much breakfast it is a good thing to proceed. (Odd for someone who once had an overeating problem but then we are so clearly not in charge of our destiny I should not be surprised.)

The Business of the Day

I made a plan to work in my jammies as long as possible today. I did some email work, some publicity for Altu’s restaurant, and a little knitting while I was trying to become truly awake. I had some packages to get into the mail so when my friend April called, inviting me across the street to her house for tea, I asked if she might come here instead and chat while I packaged. She was without her toddler for part of a day so came right over (me still in my jammies with a sweater on top). It was great.

While April and I chatted, Brian made dinner in the crockpot (he even went out to get ingredients, what a guy)… turkey and parsnips and carrots and bok choy. I really like this combination, and I like it even better when I do not have to do the preparation.

After April left I took a long hot bath and then ran my errands. I had to pick up some more yarn for testing my Chippy Sock pattern one last time (people keep asking when it will come out… as soon as I am confident all the numbers are right… it will be in eight sizes so I need to really doublecheck the numbers). I am going to try the Rowan DK Rae got in… not my colors but colors that go well with one another… it feels good so I’m trying it.

I also had to go to the health food store (finally I feel well enough to stand in line and wait at the checkout, after a month of feeling weak in the knees). I got the three things I’d planned to get, plus some really healthy and wonderful organic kohlrabi. I could not resist. And I ran into some friends. I always see someone I know there. I never see anyone I know when I go to “Texas Roadhouse” but always at the health food store. I’m not quite an “earth muffin” but I guess creative folks hang out there for some reason.

Finally, I went to the Post Office. Diana had sent me two projects she finished knitting for me. Oh, Joy! The Watercolor Bag in Autunno yarn promises to be incredible (it’s like a sunset in SouthWestern colors… turquoise and gray and gold). I still need to felt it, but it holds much promise and the sample felted swatch is wonderful so I’m hopeful.

The package also held a Kristi Comfort Wrap for Little Red Schoolhouse in charcoal Lamb’s Pride. It is spectacular with its knit-alongs in blues and greens. I so want to keep this one, it goes with my Harris Tweed man’s coat but I need to let it sell patterns for me for a while first.

After Errands

Home again, we ate lovely food thanks to my beloved. I knit a little more. Then Brian set up the computer to do some recording. I did another set of vocal takes for “Button Up Your Overcoat” and a harmony vocal on one of Brian’s pieces.

I never enjoy recording but I am getting better at it, which means it does not take as long as it once did to get a set of good takes. It would help if I picked easy-to-sing pieces, but it seems I keep picking vocally challienging songs. That’s easier to pull off if you are singing your little heart out on a live stage… but on a CD you just can hear every small waver.

Brian humors me until I feel I have recorded enough times that I have a good take or two or three. He’s a genius at fixing problems (cutting and pasting phrases when needed) and I really appreciate that. He is so easy to get along with… I sometimes wonder how I got to live with this man. I am sure I don’t deserve that luck, though I try.

Winding Down

So now here I sit… the socks I thought I’d finish by noon are still sitting with about six rounds left until completion. And instead I’m knitting on a legwarmer that finally is allowing me to knit consistently at the gauge I need. The legwarmers I ripped out maybe four times when I was sick, because I could not knit to gauge no matter how I tried.

And I’m eating what was supposed to be brownies. Teff brownies. One of my allergy cookbooks says that Teff makes good brownies but does not supply a recipe. I tried to adapt another egg/milk-free brownie recipe I’ve used before, but it emphatically had problems. The texture is too much like sawdust to be enjoyable, though cocoa and brown sugar make it edible in small doses.

Maybe I will dig out those socks one more time. Six more rows!

I Found a Recipe

Friday, February 16th, 2007

It is really cold here. We are eating a lot of root vegetables and cabbage-family foods right now. They are satisfying in this sort of weather, for some reason.

Some of you have read me talk about my love for the vegetable called kohlrabi. It tastes like a very mild cabbage, with a texture like a crisp apple. It’s actually a stem that is enlarged to the point of looking like a bulb or a root. My mother once had a summer in the garden which resulted in a bumper crop of these. I like them peeled and sliced in stir fry, I like them as a fresh salad in summer, or as something like “carrot sticks” as a quick snack. I put chunks in soup sometimes, too (which does not require peeling).

What is nice is that now I can find them most of the year at the large local Meijer grocery  chain. Also quite often I find slightly-smaller organic ones (just as tasty) at the health food store.

Today when searching for information on rutabagas, I found myself reading a recipe for Spicy Kohlrabi (which contains some spices used in Indian cooking). It sounds good to me on this chilly day. I expect that if you leave out a few of the spices because you do not have them in the house, it still will taste good. Disclaimer: I have not tried this recipe, it just sounds good.