January 30, 2011 § 2 Comments
I don’t know why I don’t post as many pictures of the church next to my house anymore. I used to be such a whore for it and the pictures are always quite stunning. Especially this morning, when it started getting light, and I saw the beautiful misty crispness of the day.
I don’t know why I’m awake – I’ve been up since 6 for no reason at all. All the more stunning since by all rights I should be hung over like crazy. My new favorite cocktail is Agent Jack: 1.5cl cointreau, 2 cl lemon juice, 5 cl whiskey, 18 cl cola. We call it Captain Jack around here.
News on the knitting front: zero. I’ve been wrestling with the Spanish armada but haven’t gotten anywhere due to the abysmal charts; I’ve done a couple of rows on the second sleeve for Thermal but haven’t gotten anywhere due to my pronounced disinterest.
But I’ve been reading.
It gives me such joy these days. To sit down with a good book is such a simple, overwhelming pleasure, tactile as well as intellectual. Sometimes, I feel like the internet removes us from our senses too much. It’s all the same smooth, sterile, ultimately uninteresting keys. No touch, no smell, no taste. Not that I’m not grateful for the internet, but it’s like apples and oranges.
I’ve been buying books like a madwoman. Dover Thrift Editions and used books on Amazon make it hard not to. Some are totally in my comfort zone – the Lucifer Box series by Mark Gatiss, several Oscar Wilde books are among them, one of them no other than De Profundis, which is beautiful in its bitterness. With some, I’ve surprised myself, like ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’, or Stephen Hawking’s ‘A briefer history of time’, which is turning out to be the most enjoyable and funny read as well as an educational one. I feel like there’s a whole world just opening up to me. Like the last two years were in this tiny bubble, and suddenly I’m bursting free and expanding.
I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed books.
The Hawking, by the way, is a byproduct of my recent obsession with Benedict Cumberbatch. He played Stephen Hawking in the heart-wrenching BBC movie ‘Hawking’, and there was so much joy in this movie. So much excitement at the wonder of the universe. So much life and joy in such overwhelming sadness. And it makes me feel so humble and small: Stephen Hawking knows where the universe comes from. Last week, I didn’t even know where Stephen Hawking is from.
Funny how you get the most fantastic impulses from the weirdest places. But then, I tackled Goethe’s ‘Faust’ (one of the key dramas in German literature) because the drummer of my favorite band at the time did a stripped-down-to-the-basics audio adaption of it. Another unexpected result of the Cumberbatchitis is that I found a fantastic recipe for Indian/ Parsi scrambled eggs.
So here I am. Reading the possibly longest letter in modern history and eating fantastic eggs. And later going over to Annelie’s to spin.
Have I mentioned how much I love my life?
December 3, 2010 § 3 Comments
I know that many, like me, are constantly searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I myself have at least six vastly different recipes in my recipe folder, including Triple Threat Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies, one proclaiming to be the Softest CCC ever… but I think I’ve finally found… The Recipe. The One.
It’s The Brown Eyed Baker’s Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. Oh my.
These are the chocolate chip cookies I’ve been dreaming of all my life – thick, chewy in the middle, crisp on the outside, too large to dunk into milk unless you break them in two… simply divine.
And now, excuse me. I’m gonna go shackle myself to the bed so I don’t eat them all at once.
November 29, 2010 § 4 Comments
Playing with my Macbook, I discovered that uploading my photos from my camera and uploading them to Flickrs was easier than ever, so here’s a long-overdue picture post!
I shall start with today, proceed reverse-chronologically, and illustrate (quite literally) some random items along the way. Yay!
Anyway, this weekend is Thanksgiving weekend as well as the first Advent Sunday, so I decided to throw a Thanksgiving dinner. I might have overdone it slightly…
… keep in mind that this is for four people! Although somehow, miraculously, we have a surprisingly low amount of leftovers. What was on the menu? Rosemary goose (mostly following these instructions), Burgundy Mushrooms, Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Casserole, Buttermilk Biscuits, Cornbread Stuffing, Creamed Corn, Pumpkin Pie, Hard Sauce, and I think that was it. It was beyond awesome, and totally worth the spending two days in the kitchen.
After dinner, we took a walk along the canal to aid digestion. It’s been cold here the last couple of days, and it’s even snowed – it feels kind of early for snow, but then again, I keep forgetting it’s almost December. Oh, wait, I don’t forget that: I purposefully push it out of my mind. Oh god.
Incidentally, this was the first time I wore my Vespergyle mitts outside! The right mitten hasn’t been steamed yet and it shows a little if you know what you’re looking for, but I’m absolutely enamored with these mittens: big enough to fit my hands, comfy, Argyle… lovely, just lovely.
Anyway, the pumpkin pie with hard sauce was kind of the highlight of my evening. Lovely stuff. I really like this photo for some reason.
In other, less gluttony-induced news, I’ve been spinning! That’s 50g of New Zealand Lamb, dyed by Sandy at Alles Handgemacht, bought at the Bunter November event at the Strickcafé. I bought a bunch of stuff, including two skeins of BFL yarn and some red laceweight, but the thing I love most is this gorgeous 150g skein of merino from Handgefaerbt.com:
I kid you not, it’s the most beautiful yarn I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how it’ll look knit up, but it’s rich, and subtle, and earthy, and vivid, and soft, and brilliant, and just so, so gorgeous! In every stage of winding, too, which is something I see rarely:
It’s one of these yarns I’m not sure I’ll ever knit up, because it’s so hard to live up to something that gorgeous.
So, yeah. In other words: nothing new in my corner of the Land of Knitting. I’m trudging along on my Christmas project and getting my instant gratification through cooking and baking. (Two days of cooking are instant gratification?! Somebody help me!)
October 6, 2010 § 6 Comments
There’s kind of been a lot going on, yet at the same time, things have somehow stayed the same. But then, that shouldn’t come as such a surprise to me, since the French have been saying that for ages. (Does that mean I’ll listen to the French more? Possibly not. Except when it comes to cooking. I made Boeuf Bourguignon the other day and it was the best thing I’ve ever tasted.)
Anyway. So, I’ve spending some money on yarn. Ahem. In which case ‘some money’ amounts to leaving €170 at various yarny institutions in the past two weeks or so, which is a ridiculous amount even for me. But wait! Eighty of those bucks weren’t even spent for me. €36 went into a Girl Friday cardi for my sister (who randomly professed to wanting one for Christmas), then Saskia ordered Zitron yarn via me for about €30, and then there were those three balls of sock yarn for a Christmas Stocking my mom wants. And with some odds and ends, you know how it is when I’m at Zitron and fall into a yarn coma, I spent 120 bucks there, of which I got 45 back, which isn’t all that bad, considering I had to move yarn from my stash to my wardrobe because it wouldn’t fit.
And I vowed not to buy any more yarn until all that I had bought was knit up. And I did start a scarf with the stitch pattern from Knitty’s Brambles Beret to go with that hat, even though I haven’t cast on the hat yet, but hey.
And I totally forgot that I was scheduled to go to the modell-hobby-spiel trade fair for all things hobby-ish and creative on the 3rd, and oh dear.
I bought several sets of buttons for the placket of my Thermal, most of them green, in various opacities and sizes just to be sure – at 40 cents a pop, I just couldn’t resist.
And I was going to be good, I’d fortified myself against the presence of the Strickcafé which I knew would be there, carrying the most fabulous yarns… and indeed I resisted.
And then I rounded a corner and found myself in a maze of shelves full of Lopi. And I don’t know if you knew this, but it’s funny, they don’t have a single colorway that’s not entirely gorgeous.
I must have stumbled and hit my head, because somehow I bought a sweater’s worth of Létt-Lopi in a gorgeous oatmeal color – Saskia bought it in a shade lighter, and I’m already refiguring the Watson charts to fit the 14sts/4in – and two balls of colored Létt-Lopi, and because all was lost anyway, I bought this gorgeous, truly gorgeous baby alpaca/silk/merino blend lace yarn that has 400m/50g and is the softest thing I’ve ever touched, over at the WollLust stall, and then I fainted.
They had really good prices though!
And then we went home, heated and spiced some wine in a copper kettle, drenched a sugar cone in rum and set that shit on fire.
‘When shall we three meet again’-quoting entirely optional.
September 14, 2010 § 3 Comments
Sometimes, just sometimes, I kind of realize that it would be much more beneficial to my weight if my preferred method of procrastination wasn’t baking.
Batch of a new recipe for Quiche Lorraine Scones, huge (as per usual) batch of Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies, the best damn cookies ever. The only thing more chocolatey are the Quintuple Chocolate Brownies.
Days to paper deadline: Six.
This is gonna end in tears and/or a baking orgy of post-Denny Izzie proportions.
September 7, 2010 § 2 Comments
I’ve considered a dozen different captions with witty references to Supernatural, or a certain series of high school/college movies, or Don McLean, but really…
… whatever I say, it can’t even come close to this freaking amazing, perfect, brilliant apple pie I made today.
August 19, 2010 § 5 Comments
One of the things that continues to fascinate me about the internet is the fact that it renders me absolutely incapable of starting a thing and staying focused on working for more than an hour.
We didn’t have internet for two and a half days – the horror! The first day was because of a general system failure in the area, and while we were trying to fix our router, a switch must have flipped the wrong way… and it’s a kind of unobtrusive one, so it didn’t occur to any of us to try that one, of all things, until this afternoon. I repeat: the horror!
On the upside, my god did we get things done. I spent all of Tuesday researching for my paper, putting in a surprising number of hours of focused, efficient studying, all the while rocking the hobo look:
The hat, by the way, is my newest FO: Scotty’s Hat (the four-panel version), from last year’s Star Trek movie. It knit up so fast I didn’t even take work-in-progress photos – two evenings watching Castle, and it was done, which is quite astonishing considering how big it is, but rather less astonishing considering it’s all garter stitch.
It’s warm and huge and comfy, and I took it with me when Saskia and I drove the 150 km down to Morgenröthe-Rautenkranz to visit their Space Museum’s Star Trek exhibit. It was kinda cool cause they had awesome stuff there – original costumes, communicators, tricorders, phasers, ears – but it was ridiculously small. Basically, we drove two hours to spend 16 minutes in the museum (granted, we kinda ran through the rest cause neither of us is that interested in actual, real space travel). But then again, we drove through the gorgeous landscapes that is the Erzgebirge, had a truly amazing dinner at a little bistro we discovered when we decided to screw the sat-nav and follow the roadsigns. And to top it all off, we zoomed down the highway with open windows, into the sunset. Because summer – or at least Indian summer – is back with mild weather, blue skies and fresh-smelling air, and the dreary rain seems to have been put on hold.
Still, I’m starting to get an itch in my fingers to knit warm stuff for the upcoming cold season. Hence the hat. I started another hat (Selbu Modern this time) today, and when I’ve had time to get into combination colorwork again, I’ll see how I’ll wrangle that Dalek vest I have hanging around.
Plus approaching autumn means it’s pumpkin season, which also means I’ve already made, uh… pie.
I, uh, yeah. I realize there’s kind of no excuse for this one.
Doesn’t mean I won’t make it again. Because puns in pie-shape? Yeah.