Archive for January, 2008

Fly me to the moon

If there were any sane way I could get myself to the UK, I would. It’s very tricky when someone you love is so far away. There’s email, sure, and the post, but nothing would be better than a big hug and a chat over mugs of hot chocolate. It’s a virtual world nowadays, but sometimes the old fashioned facetime is the best. Unfortunately, the likelihood of my getting to the UK right now is approximately the same as my getting to the moon, hence the title.

Plus, did I mention it’s hellish cold here?


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Blues 1, Band 0

Finished the Wonderful Wallaby for Katie on the 22nd, she’s irritated that the sleeves are long, but I purposely made it huge so she could grow into it.  I used teal and purple Magic Garden Allsorts, a NZ Naturally yarn that’s superwash wool with a little synthetic “zotz” wound in for fun. I screwed with the hood to make it more fitted and kewpie-like, with hopefully a chance of snugging close to her head and warming her ears in these oh so warm Wisconsin winters for at least a couple of years.

Pictures to follow as soon as I can get a photo of her in it where she is not crying and begging me to take it off because the sleeves are too long. (nothing like being grateful for a cute warm sweater, eh?)

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Spring can really hang you up the most

Or the lack of spring. It is HELLISH cold in Wisconsin this weekend. Like, ninth circle of hell lake of ice cold. (I think that was the ninth circle. Something like that. I have not brushed up on my Dante but to put “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate” above the door.) Tonight, the windchill may be as warm as -25 degrees to -35 F (approximately -31 to -37 C). We went sledding this week, it was a balmy 20 degrees F. Current conditions make frostbite a huge danger. I feel for the spectators at the Green Bay Packer game tomorrow, the high for the day is 0F. Similar to the conditions for the Ice Bowl in 1967.

I have more to blog about but two small children requiring attention so hopefully I will get back to this soon. Brr.

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Cabeza De Carne

Well, we managed to not mangle the lovely beef tenderloin we bought on special. I am feeling more confident in our ability to make non-mundane dishes even with the two babes twined around our ankles. We made Roast beef tenderloin with mushroom ragout from Food Network’s website. I modified the recipe a bit because we have no fresh thyme, heavy cream, or white wine. The Marsala we have from a previous recipe was considered, but decided against and I am glad, it turned out quite well without. We also used the Digsmed roast platter for the first time, it’s a big milestone! I loved the lines and felt we could use it someday, and it has sat sadly neglected for ages. Considering how well things turned out, I think it will get plenty more use in the years ahead.

I think instead of focusing on the Jazz Titles, I may well take up a food challenge of my own. I am not sure if we will use Nigella’s book (I need to check it out first), but it’s a worthwhile goal and will help us cut down on the fast food we resort to when neither of us can decide what to make at home. Feel free to suggest cookbook titles.

Roast Tenderloin

Now that the roast has been eaten (delicious!) and the platter cleaned, it’s apparent that it’s not meant to take a roast straight from the oven, the finish where the roast was is fogged/cloudy and whitish. Poo. However, I am now a bit less concerned with scratching the surface as I carve the meat, so perhaps it’s for the best. The point of having a lovely carving platter is not to have a museum piece, which this pretty much was. It had most likely been a wedding gift for someone in the 1960s, when it was originally made, and sat in a closet forever, when it was sold (relatively cheaply) on Ebay. As William Morris said, “Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.” Words to live by. Plus, the knife and fork that go with the platter are WONDERFUL to cut with. Ergonomically lovely. Somebody knew what they were doing, way back when.

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Calling Miss Khadija

(title: song by Lee Morgan from Straight Ahead Jazz Fakebook – Gerard and Sarzin)

Okay, so it’s a bit of a stretch, this title, but it’s closer to Kalila than most names I could mention. I entered the 21st century today by speaking over Skype with my Mother-In-Arms Tosha (aka Kittenhead). There are a few bugs in the system, but overall, I think it’s neat to be able to talk intstead of inferring tone into text.

On another note (and one for which a Jazz Title continues to elude me – help!), I have started knitting the Wonderful Wallaby sweater for Katie. I am making it in Magic Garden Allsorts in two colors – teal and purple, and since it is a washable wool, I am hoping it won’t get totally destroyed on its first trip through the washer. Because, really, Katie’s things tend to get washed. A lot. Sometimes more than once a day. We won’t even go into the laundry with Emmie. I will include photos of the sweater on this site as it progresses, and once I get this thing all figured out, I hope to add photos of previously finished projects, just for the hell of it.

Time to go start another load of diapers in the wash. Someday, someday, at least one of our children will be potty trained. What heaven that will be! Some milestones have come almost too soon. That one really can’t come fast enough. Oh well.

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Speak Low

Kittenhead mentioned subtitled movies in a recent post, and that reminded me about the ad campaign on BBC America which insults the intelligence of the viewers, at least I feel that it does. The gist of the campaign is that “Americans cannot understand any accent coming from these islands, especially the bit with Wales on it, so turn on closed captioning so you know what the hell we are saying.” I will give you that a really thick Glaswegian or Brummie or Cardiff accent takes a little getting used to, but it sure as hell isn’t a different language! (Unless the person from Cardiff is speaking Welsh and then I am screwed. Entranced, but screwed in terms of understanding anything but the technological terms. It is amusing, listening to a stream of foreign words with english terms like “internet” and “mobile phone” tossed in.)

Anyway, BBC America can keep their damn subtitles. Grand Ole Opry, on the other hand, could definitely use some…

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Struttin’ for some Barbequeue

Inspired by a certain friend’s quest to make every recipe in a certain clevacious cook’s tome, I was inspired to purchase an entire beef tenderloin to prepare. Unfortunately, I have no idea what I really want to do with it, and it was pricey enough that I am scared I will “break” it. I did that to the baby back ribs I attempted two weeks ago – apparently, the sugary BBQ sauce will burn to carbon even at ridiculously low heat. Suggestions welcome. And yes, I know what the phrase “struttin’ for some BBQ” actually meant in the lingo of the Jazz age, and no, this is actually about a slab of meat from the grocery store. I think my “assignment to myself” a la Laputain will be to make the title of every post this year be a Jazz title, and one that has at least some iota of connection to the actual subject matter.

Secret confession: I absolutely love the alliteration (or is it onomatopoeia) of Squid Widget.


Actually, it’s neither. I hang my Sigma Tau Delta beribboned* head in shame. It’s Assonance. Which has a certain poetic justice to it.

*okay, I don’t actually wear the ribbons or pin anymore, that would be pedantic and pompous, and look foolish. Not that I haven’t done things that are all three many times in the past. And my current writing ability lacks a certain pedantic slant: as my English teacher mother felt compelled to point out, I used commas rather than semicolons in more than one place in my Christmas letter. I told her I didn’t particularly care, but really, (deep down), I do. Perhaps in my next life I will give more of a shit about grammar. I care too much as it is – every instance of its/it’s being misused is like a stab wound. And if it really were, I’d spout water like a sieve when I drank. I’ll stick to my little squeals of glee at finding a lagniappe in some bit of pop culture media, thank you very much. *

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