Monday, January 5, 2009

a lazy sunday: book review, recipe & photos

yesterday it was -40 and my partner was stuck at work, thanks to car trouble. so from the time we woke up until bedtime, the boys and i were on our own, housebound. plus the internet was down.
it was cold. hell-ass cold.

and, as we all know, the best thing to do when it's cold is make some delicious from-scratch chili that simmers its way to perfection over the course of the day. mine was made with garden black beans, farmers market veggies and lots of love.

we filled our day. there were stories read, naps taken, snacks munched, tickles,

songs hummed, (ani's present/infant, from her new album) (<-- track 3) blocks stacked, star wars watched ( the return of the jedi. yoda, jabba, darth vader and ewoks all in the same movie? plus a space battle? my kids think they've died and gone to heaven) and coffee sipped thoughtfully. i also made farmers market/ garden salsa. here's how.
  • in the summer i gathered cilantro, onions, garlic, lemon juice, salt and hot peppers and threw them all in the blender. when the mixture was liquefied and burned my sinuses if i inhaled too close to it, i divided it up into baggies and froze them.
  • i also processed a mountain of fresh corn and tomatoes and green peppers.
  • yesterday i thawed a baggie of the salsa base, plus tomatoes and corn and green peppers. if i could have left the house i would have gotten avocado.
  • i chopped the green peppers and tomatoes and mixed them into the base with the corn. then i pulled out the tortilla chips. i also mixed in some blue cheese, but many people would find that gross. many people are wrong.
i've been reading a cure for grief by nellie hermann. i'm not sure if i'll finish it. it's a good book - the author is clearly well educated and an adept writer. the pace is good, the prose is sparse and direct, the characters are relatable... but i feel like a peeping tom. the book is obvoiusly a thinly veiled autobiography. (the author's biography and the book match nearly perfectly.)

a cure for grief is 272 pages of pain. the protagonist lives through tradgedy after tradgedy, and every moment of her agony is expressed on the pages. it's not melodramatic or cheesy, at all. heartwrenching is more the word. and intensely personal. i feel guilty about reading something so private. hermann is a master of the english language andhas phenomenal skill as a writer, but this book is too visceral and too real to be read as entertainment.

of course, i can't read and drink coffee (and red wine mixed with cranberry juice) without knitting. my first project of 2009 was chosen to test my knitterly skills. i'm making hedera, from knitty. i'm over the moon that they're turning out. keeping track of a 4-row lace pattern when the little dudes are calling my attention away from the needles every few seconds is a real feat, i believe. on top of the complex stitch pattern, i though i'd try knitting these socks two at a time, toe-up. that's working out so far, too. and after so long using yarns i didn't like, dream in color's smooshy is pure bliss. the yarn is sproingy and soft and knits up quickly into a dense, smooth fabric with a subtle sheen. i'm not crazy about the colour, but the yarn itself is fantastic.
i haven't decided yet who i am making these for. on the one hand, i would love to show them off to everyone i see the way i've bragged on them here. then again, i don't have any nice shoes that would showcase them and so i'd have to pull off my boots or runners every time i wanted people to see them, and people might view me askance if i started pulling off my footwear on the bus and in the library and post office and grocery store. plus i'm not crazy about the colour. i don't have to decide just yet, i have a few more hours' work until i'm at the point where i decide what size they will be. you have until then to state your case in the comments.


  1. The knitting project looks great! Keep it for yourself if you like it, or gift it and make soembodies day! Your salsa and chili sound yummy too!

    I am hosting a childrens swap if you are interested :O)

  2. I love your blog. I also love your knitting. And you. I have cute shoes that would showcase your lovely socks, by the way.

  3. i'm glad you're loving working with the yarn, love. :) the socks look great, by the way.

  4. I'd gladly take those socks off your, feet. 6.5 US, 37 Euro.

  5. Alyson, go away. They are mine. Size 7.