This year, 2012 is brought to me by the Letter F.
F is for Focus (as in, I really need some).
And I intend to Focus on three basics:
1) Food (growing it, preserving it, cooking it and eating it)
2) Fitness (that’s both the physical and mental health (yay Retirement!); the workouts and rest)
3) Fun (as in: if it isn’t fun, why am I doing it?)
Fun is for friends, family, and furballs; knitting, photography, travel, writing, and work (the stuff you do for money).
For you I wish you the same – good food and friends and family to share it with; good health to enjoy the good food; a walk – be it in the woods or on a city sidewalk; clear air and some sunshine; something to look forward to, something to learn, something to read, something to make, and something to surprise you.
May the new year be good to you.
p.s. Begin the year as you intend to continue: I just finished a hat. Hopefully that portends a company-wide re-organization with elimination of the UFO Department.
1. With any luck, these are pickles.
I don’t really like pickles but I know someone who does. I grow cucumbers for him anyway; I like to play in the kitchen.
2. Some alien body snatcher picked these up at the farmer’s market this morning (because I’m sure I didn’t do it.)
I don’t usually like these (he does!) but I am convinced that sauted in butter and salt, just about anything is edible. These were neither yummy nor bad. I think they needed bacon.
(Also, there was/is a pork roast, but no pix. I think this makes Dude a very lucky man: cucumbers, pickles, brussels sprouts and pork roast. Or well sated.)
3. The flowers are fabulous this year.
4. Fuzzless White Dog had a great day:
(You know, for a brief moment: I panicked! Wait! What day is it??)
1. In case you didn’t believe me:
Stonesoup has the directions.
2. Daily Dog
3. Seen on the Daily Walk
We imagine the conversation went something like this:
Person 1: “Awww this Dang! thing don’t work anymore.”
Person 2: ”Well put it outside by the curb and maybe someone will take it.”
4. Another Dog (because I’m behind) (but now I am caught up)
P.s. We just went for our evening walk (which is really really short these days). At one point, she was wagging her tail – not the little low-energy tail flips or the pompom wave (her tail is curled on top of her back – a king tail – a normal wag is to shake the pom pom.) but a full fledged outstretched tail wag from side to side.
All that activity knocked her off balance and she fell down.
This really bad picture
was really yummy raspberry granita. (Who knew taking pix of ice cream was so hard? Not only are you in a rush to eat it, but it reflects the light and melts while you’re “working”.)
We ran out of cream, otherwise we would have tried ice cream with swirls of fruit. (haarrummmph … all this ice cream producing uses more cream than I’m used to keeping in the house.)
And this is the best picture of Aurora today:
Ned gave her the pizza box. No, that is not a typo. The box was on the counter. Ned investigated. Ned decided he didn’t want it. Aurora was on the floor below him, gently panting to indicate that she’d like the box, if you know, he was done with it. Ned pushed it off the counter for Aurora. (It was a regular conversation between the two – fascinating and a bad thing to let happen. (Bad Human!) There’s no telling what Ned will do for her. The pizza box was relatively safe given that it was empty, but Aurora is still a diabetic and shouldn’t have too much of anything else they find. And we know she isn’t discriminating in her tastes.)
And this is Dude’s sleeve and a quarter:
It’s the Cobblestone Pullover by Jared Flood. In moments of recent stress, I couldn’t pay attention to the sleeve increasesd – so I off-loaded the stitches and started the body. He tried it on tonight. (What nonsense is this: I am trying to fit a sweater to a shrinking man – he’s dieting. (And I’m helping with all the ice cream experiments.))
Anyway, given his reduction in size, all pressure on me to fit properly is off – aside from looking really short (the man is still tall!), I think it will fit nicely. And I can always block on the long side.
Yarn is Cascade Eco Wool, purchased for this purpose at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in May 2008. (It was marinating …) I casted on for the sleeves sometime in 2011.
Or at least my taste buds are:
Although I try to eat only locally grown produce, and I diligently shop the farmer’s market (in season: ours shuts down from Dec through April), I was amused to come home and find Spring! had lept into my shopping cart and snuck past me at the cash register and arrived on the kitchen counter.
I’m also tired of my winter clothing – for the same reason as the food (lack of variety). I just hope I don’t find a new wardrobe in a box at the door.
Yarn would be o.k.
Now, I’m waiting for a sale.
Which usually happens after the Great Pumpkin Pie Eating Festival Thanksgiving.
But given that the stocks were so low as to be non-existent, it hasn’t happened yet.
Today, I looked at Amazon (excellent price but not quite as low as I’d like … but then, shipping is free …)
And then I scrolled down:
It’s the oddest thing. We were talking about this at work (while planning a holiday party) and I was appalled.
And strangely fascinated.
And I went back to my desk and googled it. (That’s the history of PB & whatever, right there.)
Apparently, this variant is a North Carolina (Ashville, says my source) thing.
Slather mayo one side of the bread, pb on the other, sandwich half a banana and some crushed up tater chips in between the two slices.
(Dude says to leave the chips whole – more crunch.)
(Elvis says to use bacon.)
(Also, a note on technique: hold off on the mayo while you assemble the filling. Squish the thing together and mayo just the top. Transfer and flip into the hot pan (below). The mayo the now-naked top while it’s toasting in the pan. Less messy this way.)
Then fry it – in butter and honey.
(No kidding.) As if a mayo and pb combination weren’t weird/bad enough, fry it in butter and honey?
My brain said there was too much going on here …
But I dutifully melted some butter and honey in a frying pan, let it bubble and get gooey, loaded up some sandwhiches and …
From a strictly technical point of view: The stuff didn’t just absorb into the bread. The bread didn’t cook so fast the pb never had time to melt. It was like – perfectly crisp crunchy hot-melted peanut buttery goodness.
Flip it over and fry the other side.
Artfully (yeah, right) drizzle remaining sauce over sandwiches.
Serve with a side of pickles. (For something green, to balance the high fat/salt/sweet content.)
I was astounded. (Granted – your normal pb and banana sandwich is simple enough – but when you want to call it dinner special; this is the way to go.)
Given my predisposition to attend to all video entertainment (not!), this was easy (not!).
I have never seen It’s a Wonderful Life (but I just added it to our Netflix queue.)
Since I was at a loss for other entries, I googled “holiday television”.
And I’d never even heard of The Dog Who Saved Christmas. Or it’s sequel. (It’s kind of like Home Alone With Yellow Lab and I added it to our Netflix queue. The dog got me.)
At that rate, I’d still be watching holiday flix around Valentine’s Day, 2012. Let’s look at knitting:
I’ve had a request for Holiday Knitting. (It is black. I lightened it, so that you may have some idea of its shape.) I’d like to make some crack about “against my better judgement, I agreed to knit on deadline, 18 days before the event.” But I seriously think it is doable and I’m not worried.
This is yesterday’s scarf. (Embiggen if you want to see the texture shot I was going for. Sort of. Not a pretty picture, not styled; but I think it documents the item.)
And finally, another addition to the category of “Things I’d never heard of:”
(Subcategory: “so I ran right home and made it for dinner”.)
I’m not sure why I thought that was a good idea. But it was.