Sunday, January 27, 2013

And the winner is…

I’d somehow anticipated posting more in between the initial giveaway post and announcing the winner, but that didn’t happen… I’m happy to announce that Tanya, my awesome friend, will be the happy recipient of the hooded scarf. I’ll be dropping it in the mail to her this week. Even better, the charity she chose, The Moveable Feast, will be receiving a lovely donation that will help them continue to provide meals to people who are sick and need their support. Thanks Tanya!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A giveaway… of knitwear…

With the particularly terrible turn in the weather this morning, I was forced to consider my options for cold weather gear. I dug through the giant tub of things in my closet, searching for the one item I actually wanted. I’ve been wondering for a while about the best way to cull the herd, if you will, and move along some handknits to make room for the new. Looking at them again this morning, I realized that it had grown fairly urgent. Pre-dating my concern that my collection of hats and scarves and mittens (and gloves and cowls and leg warmers) had reached a critical mass was a blog posting by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee in which she raised some money for a charity by posting knitted items and having folks bid. They let her know how much they'd give to a charity in exchange for the knitted item. I’d like to do the same, giving back by giving hand-knitted goods.

I present to you the hooded scarf. It was a great idea, and I loved it for a few weeks after I made it, but I’ve found that I much prefer the hat and cowl that I made out of the same yarn (they all match my mittens). It's an alpaca and wool blend, and a very dark teal color.

If you, or someone you know, would like to sport this for the rest of our terrifying winter, and beyond, please fill out the form below in the next few days. If you submit the winning bid, I’ll let you know. At that point you can send me the receipt from the charity you've donated to, and I'll get the scarf to you.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Amazing voicemails…

For the past several years, every time I’ve listened to my voicemail I’ve also resaved several messages that I just couldn’t bear to delete. Several of them feature one of my best friends singing customized songs for and about me. Many of them feature my hilarious mother. And none of them should ever disappear. When I got a new phone in the fall, I was initially worried that I would lose my precious voicemails. Once I realized that they were tied to my phone number, and not my phone, however, I could rest assured that they were safe. At least for now. I would occasionally worry that I’d push the wrong button and then hang up, losing my message forever, and wonder why there wasn’t a way to transfer these gems to a more permanent home. Apparently Google Voice offers better ways to manage your voicemails, but regular old cell service does not offer a particularly smooth or easy way to transfer voicemails to mp3 files or some format that another program can read. I finally found this page, which explains how to record your voicemails with reasonably high quality into mp3 or other audio format files, and did it this morning.

For your listening pleasure, I present this little treasure, recorded immediately following my mom's dissertation defense in 2010...

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Chocolates, again!

Now that all of them have been shipped out, I wanted to share another fun holiday recipe. Last year, motivated by something I’d heard on The Splendid Table, I decided to make chocolate bark for some friends and family. This year I did it again. The recipe is included in last year’s post, and on the Splendid Table website. Last year’s flavors: Mexican hot chocolate, candy cane, fleur de sel, and gingerbread. This year I repeated the candy cane, gingerbread, and fleur de sel, but added cinnamon and ginger brown sugar flavors. They were all pretty delicious.


The chocolate comes in giant bricks...

Then it is transformed into giant sheets!

 I stored each of the different kinds in a bag in the refrigerator.

And then I packaged them in little baggies in little boxes. 

 Martha Stewart, you have my number...

Friday, January 04, 2013

The knitting of 2012

2.16 miles of yarn =

3 cowls

3 pair of mittens

2 hats

2 scarves

1 afghan

2 pair of baby booties

2 baby sweaters

2 hot water bottle covers

2 candle sweaters

2 bangles

1 pair of fingerless gloves

The 2.16 miles of yarn is equivalent to 137,100 inches. Employing a now tried and true calculation, that’s about as many stitches, which would take approximately 685,500 seconds of knitting, or just over 190 hours of knitting this year. As with last year, most of my knitting was concentrated during breaks, during points of heightened travel (read: interviews), and around the holidays. Goals for next year include not trying to knit so many gifts that it becomes a chore and taking advantage of idle minutes with small projects!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

And the CSA makes one more appearance, from the freezer…

So when I posted previously that the summer CSA was finally complete, I’d forgotten about one small remaining item. The corn. Toward the end of the summer I was getting lots of corn on the cob, and just couldn’t keep up with eating all of it. So I would boil it, cut it off the cob, and throw it in the freezer. When I finally took stock of what was in there, I realized that I had about 12 cups of frozen corn languishing in there, taking up valuable real estate as my winter-time, frozen CSA was about to begin. Someone brilliant (Lynn, for the record), sent me this recipe, and it was a wild, wild success. I doubled the recipe, in order to use a full 10 cups of frozen corn, leaving only a little bit still in my freezer. The soup was delicious, and the salsa/garnish was not only fantastic on the soup, but was also great with tortilla chips once I realized that I had more than I really needed for the soup. All of it was made with frozen corn, and was just summery enough to make me almost forget that it's really gross outside, and warm enough to keep me cozy when I had to brave the weather. Enjoy!

The giant vat of soup. I recommend an immersion blender!

The garnish. I think the only modification I made was adding avocado to taste (meaning as much as possible) rather than limiting myself to the recommended amount in the recipe.