Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Darn That Groundhog

We are currently on Winter Storm Warning, and it is snowing sideways outside our window. What was that about an early spring, stupid groundhog???

Anyway...Thank you for all your suggestions, String Bean! I know there's a vendor at our farmer's market with sheep's milk cheese (though it's a bit of a dangerous stall since he also has yarn...)!

Thank you, everyone, for your comments on the bear suit! Changes I would make now that I have a baby:
1. Add feet. (Ooh, how cute would little bear feet with claws be)
2. And maybe attached mittens that could flip open.
3. Two words: Crotch snaps. Baby clothes that don't have these mystify me.

Knitting: Here is my sock progress on Hedera:

I can hear you all now: "Surely you've finished sock #1, and this is #2?" I have just finished the twisted rib cuff and barely started the lace. Part of this is some indecision. I keep wondering if this yarn would rather be a scarf, or a baby sweater. But I want something for me, and I wouldn't wear these colors except on my feet, and they're cheery and fun, and they're mine! Mine, I tell you!
Partly it's because of this:

That fun little accessory is the result of deQuervain's Tenosynovitis. Most commonly seen in piano players, bricklayers, and...women with new babies. It's apparently overuse of the tendon from hauling the baby around! I ignored the increasingly painful twinge in my wrist for weeks before I went to the doctor. I finally went when I was unable to use scissors in the normal way because my range of motion was so limited. It doesn't hurt to knit with the brace off, but it's really awkward with the brace on, which makes me think I shouldn't be doing it. I'll ask when I start PT.

Reading: I finished A Charmed Death by Madelyn Alt, and it was resoundingly...okay. It was a fine, fairly well-written mystery, nothing special. I also read High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. If you've seen the John Cusack film, you've basically read the book, although it was fun to see how the movie moved the story from London to Chicago. It was quite enjoyable, and I'm reading his About A Boy now. Lilah and I are around page 500 of the fifth Harry Potter, well on track to finish before the 7th book comes out.

Writing: Finished current revisions, though I still hate my opening. Eventually, something will come to me. Now working on chapter 9. I also mapped out some things I need to work in, because I've decided the exact motive/method of the killer(s). I had known whodunit, but I figured out exactly why, how, and if anyone else was involved, which I think is fun. I also need to figure out a map of my town it's set in because I think I've contradicted myself somewhere.

Cooking: I made Gallo Pinto, a Costa Rican breakfast dish. We had this every morning while on our honeymoon there, and it's delightful. We found a vague recipe and this is my adaptation:

Gallo Pinto (Allison version)

1 pound dried black beans (You can substitute canned black beans, rinsed well in a colander and drained.  You need 5 cups, which is about 3 small cans.  Just skip steps 1 and 2.)
4 TBL olive oil, divided
2 small onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 cups white rice (I like Basmati a lot, but any white rice will do)
1/2 cup Salsa Lizano, or to taste (if you can't find this, there's really no substitute, but you can order it online right herewith free shipping)

1.  Place the beans in a large pot and pick out any twigs or broken beans.  Cover with cold water two inches above the surface of the beans.  Soak overnight.
2.  The next day, drain the beans in a colander and rinse well. Return to pot and cover with cold water two inches above the surface of the beans.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, but not mushy.  This usually takes 45 minutes to an hour - check every 5-10 minutes after about 40 minutes of cooking.  Drain and rinse.  Set aside.
3.  Heat 2 TBL oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add half the onion and half the garlic.  Saute about 2 minutes, until onion is translucent.  Add rice, saute 1 minute.  Cover with 3 cups water, add 1 tsp salt (optional), and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.  Fluff gently.
4.  Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 TBL oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan.  Add remaining onion and garlic; saute until onion is translucent.  Add beans, tomatoes, and cilantro.  Heat through.
5.  Combine rice and beans.  Stir in Salsa Lizano.  Serve with sour cream and corn tortillas.  Alternatively, scramble or fry eggs and serve alongside.

Serves a whole bunch as a side dish, or 8 as a main dish.

I'm trying a new hummus recipe, so I will post about that later (I'm in the middle of the process right now). I have high hopes for a good result, since the recipe is a HUGE pain. I made baba ghanosh already. For those of you who were wondering what would happen if you put an eggplant under the broiler and skipped the step where you prick it with a fork, here's your answer:

As my husband said, "Whoa, it shot its guts out!" True, true.


Knittypants said...

It's good to hear from you. Sorry about your wrist, that doesn't look like fun.

all your cooking looks so yummy, I haven't had any time to cook since Simon was born, although Kaelen has been baking lots of cookies lately :-)

Marie said...

Hee! The eggplant photo is the most hilarious picture ever! I think I giggled to myself over it for a solid five minutes (yes, I am so mature...).
So sorry to hear about your wrist! Repetitive stress injuries are the worst! Hope the PT tell you that you can still knit without damage. :) The Hedera yarn is so bright and pretty! Maybe if it doesn't want to be socks, you can convince it to be a little scarflet?
About my bread pudding, you may actually need to leave it in the over for longer then the 60 minutes I wrote in the recipe, depending on how you like the texture of your bread pudding. I ended up deciding it was too wet (after eating a slice :P ) and popped it back in for another 40 minutes. The texture was much better after that. I think adding another egg yolk to the ingredients can also do the job to cut down on the baking time.
(Oo, epic length comment...sorry!)

KnitPastis said...

I can imagine how wonderful your house smells while cooking that meal you had on your honeymoon. Yummmm!
So sorry to hear about your wrist, as I know how badly you must want to do so many things. Good for you though knitting yourself something.

That's a great picture of an exploding eggplant!

Anonymous said...

Haha, I think you guys are getting the end of the weather we had last week. No worries, it's in the 50s here now, so you should be good in a few days :)

Rachel said...

Eesh, sorry to hear about the arm pain. How long will you have to wear the brace?

I thought that High Fidelity the movie was one of the best adaptations of a book ever, aside from moving it from London to Chicago. But I just though the screenwriter(s) did a fantastic job of capturing the style and tone of the novel. I loved both.

Rain said...

Oh dear. I hoe you're not in too much pain with your wrist and that it heals quickly.