Tuesday, October 20, 2009

eyes on the prize

I've dropped out of this space lately- real life is taking all my concentration.

Well, you know, real life with regular breaks for escapist reading. At least I have my priorities. Thanks, Tim, for recommending new Sci-fi. Or should I say Syfy?

We had an awesome time camping with friends last weekend, and I will talk more about that soon. In addition, as you might have guessed, the cold weather has brought on a yarn explosion at our house, and right now my lap is full of this incredible cranberry silk/merino blend that I just cannot stop picking up and squishing. I'll eventually take some pictures of the instant gratification knits I'm working on.

All that will be in the future though, because right this minute I'm trying to power through my final portfolio for grad school. I am so so so close to done and I can't pick my head up from the work (distressingly often - busy work), or even really say anything about the experience, until I'm DONE. Which will be soon, please God.

After this Friday, I can get back to enjoying wonderful fall because seriously Austinites, have you looked outside? Isn't it incredible?! I know our fall might not measure up to Smokey Mountain fall, or Vancouver fall, or whatever, but it is absolutely wonderful, nonetheless. The girls and I took a blanket to Ramsey park this morning and stayed waaaaaay past the usual everyone-is-melting-down-Jane's-arm-is-stuck-in-the-swing-get-to-the-car-before-someone-calls-cps point. So like an hour and a half. Still, though. It's really nice outside.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Having never actually been a subscriber, and also having never to my knowledge faithfully followed a Gourmet recipe ONCE all the way through (there's always just one change you have to make, without that stash of agave nectar in the pantry, or Brazilian Cachaca, or, you know, octopus meat...) it seems silly to be so sad about Gourmet Magazine closing down.

I am not the target audience, but I still love Gourmet. I love the idea that people, not just chefs, actually cook like this (minus the octopus). Gourmet was taking insanely beautiful and inspiring COLOR pictures of food when the rest of the culinary landscape looked more or less like this -

Only in black and white...which actually might do that particular example (pulled from this Flickr pool) some favors.

Gourmet started in 1941, that's twenty years before The French Chef went on the air. Now, when food porn and celebrity chefs are so 2005, and everyone is taking insanely beautiful pictures of their lovingly prepared, locally sourced dinners, it's easy to forget we're standing on the shoulders of giants. FOOD GIANTS!!!


ANYWAY, I have always bought the October and November issues, and I'm bummed that this year I'll just be buying the October issue. I'm sad to see Gourmet go.

So, in honor of the closing of Gourmet Magazine, here is the most insane recipe (sans octopus) that was immediately apparent on their site:

Why yes, Rachel. That IS a frozen peanut butter pie with candied bacon!
Recipe here. And if that's not to your taste, at least take a minute to scroll through the fall favorites, and mourn the passing of this awesome source of unrealistic but still wonderful inspiration.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


What to do on a rainy Saturday morning with two grumpy kids and no money? Last weekend we drove out to Callahan's. They get their chick shipment on Thursdays, apparently, so they still had quite a bunch of adorable babies cheeping away in the back room.

As much as I would love to take home a few ducklings, or some guinuea fowl, or even a couple of buff orpingtons, we had to resist the temptation. Eventually we wandered out of the back room and looked around.

Wren was pretty interested in the horse section- rows and rows of saddles and bridles and little velcro braces and blankets. Jane was interested in the deadly pesticides at ground level area, the sharp objects for hurting babies area, and the "this is where we balance various mallets and hammers precariously on their heads, for easier child crushing" area. I love Callahan's partly because it is so far removed from the concerns of the rest of my world.

Speaking of the rest of the world though, when we wandered over the western wear section, we saw a couple of guys with ACL artist wrist bands. Chase and I are kind of thinking about talking to them, but we don't recognize them, other than just by general uniform- "first pair of skinny jeans Callahan's has ever seen on a dude not in the rodeo." Then later we see them at the register, and they're all buying washboards.

I actually ended up in the canning section, and was seduced by adorable packaging-

I'm not sure how many of those gadgets I'll actually need. We were going to the farmer's market for our apples afterwards, but then skipped because of the rain. Maybe next weekend. To tell the truth I'm pretty intimidated by the whole apple butter making process, and do not mind procrastinating a bit longer. If anyone else has ever done this, please advise me?

Monday, October 5, 2009

blah blah blah

It's been cloudy and rainy here which I love, but is also not so great for taking pictures. Wren is sick, with a terrifying cough. It's the kind of thing where you know that -all- kids have a cough like this, and you coughed like this when you were a kid, and you don't need to bundle her up and take her to the hospital as long as she's taking breaks from hacking to torment her sister and digs holes in the yard. But also there's the part of you that thinks of every movie where the adorable moppet coughs once like that and then the next scene is the Victorian family standing around a grave. THANKS MOVIES.

Whatever Wren has is definitely not swine flu, which sets her apart from the 30% of her school out with that right now. Nonetheless, we still don't want to be the people on the playground with the hacking cough and the runny nose, since Austin is a bit swine flu crazy right now. We're sort of confined to the house. Thank goodness for the Chinese appetite for American childrens' television programming.

That's the Marsan watch cap- from this great pattern, of course knit in Chase's trademark "most boring gray yarn at the store".

And it's sitting next to a pop up pancake, with carmelized apples on the bottom, from everyday food, which was REALLY GOOD. That's one wonderful thing to counterbalance some of the stuck at home craziness- fall baking. So far in the last week I've made an apple pear crumble, this fantastic plum cake, an enormous plate of gingerbread, and these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Apparently I'm attempting to build up an additional layer of insulation to get me through that ice cold central Texas 30 days or so of coolish weather.