Hi, folks. Sorry to disappear this week! I’m TAing summer school for high schoolers for the next three weeks, and my schedule has gotten kind of crazy! Hoping to be back into a rhythm very soon. In the meantime, here’s a whole bunch of pictures of Boh and his best friend Coltrane, who spent five days of his summer vacation here with us this week!
But first, a winner! I used a random number generator, and it picked April! She’ll receive a copy of Killing the Darlings, the latest album by Pearl and the Beard. Congratulations, and thanks, all, for commenting. [If you have thoughts about whether you’d be interested in seeing opportunities like this here from time to time, do send me an email.]
Remember how I received a gift that keeps on giving (sourdough starter) for my birthday? Well, dear friend Ethel Louise came over last week to teach me how to make baguettes from my starter. The night before, she provided instructions for mixing the leaven and the poolish, and then I prepared the dough and gave it a few turns before she arrived. We shaped the dough, took Boh for a walk, carefully molded it into baguette loaves in a special way to maintain tension in the dough, heated the oven (and her baking stone and special beat-up cast iron pan for the bottom of the oven), and then, just before the loaves went in, she threw a handful of ice into the cast iron pan to make lots of steam. She is a rockstar. (Also, did you see that my new oven has an oven light? Fancy.)
I mean, these are awesome in normal vision, but don’t they look even more delectable in hipstamatic? (Yes. The answer is yes.)
Ethel is headed overseas for research for a few weeks, and is leaving me the baking stone, the cast iron pan, and her copy of the Tartine cookbook. We’ll see if I can recreate this magic while she’s away…
You know how I post pictures of me wearing my handknits (often when I have no knitting progress to share) and call the series “knits in action”? Well, I took one look at this photo of my first batch of Deb’s ricotta, smeared on toast and drizzled with honey, and all I could think was, RICOTTA IN ACTION! We’ll see if this becomes a companion series to my photographs of handknits.
Remember, you have until the end of today (Wednesday) to comment on Friday’s post for a chance to win Killing the Darlings by Pearl and the Beard!
Q. For quantity. As in, how many retro table and chair sets can I fit on my porch? Also, aQua. (4 chairs and a table for 20 bucks, thanks to Craig and his marvelous list.)
R. Ricotta. Rich, homemade ricotta from Deb over at smitten kitchen, to be precise. This is Really good. Like, change-your-plans-for-the-day good. Whole milk, some heavy cream, lemon juice, and salt. The only reason I can come up with for not making this as soon as possible is that you need to go get a meat or candy thermometer. You should maybe go do that now.
S. Salad. And not just any salad; Summer Salad. Here at Casa Rooster, a Summer Salad is a salad that is eaten out of a larger-than-normal bowl.
S also stands for Stripes. I’ve been making progress at a leisurely pace on my handspun stripey shawl, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Boh seems to like it too.
Happy Monday, folks. Hope your week is off to an excellent start.
Yep, that’s a three-person sweater. And here it is on three people:
Yesterday I got an email asking if I’d be interested in sharing a bit about Pearl and the Beard on my blog. I get emails asking me to do this from time to time, and I usually ignore them. But I just had to learn more about this sweater, and I’m so glad I took the time to check out their music! It turns out that this band has exactly the kind of sound that is perfect for a summer Friday — I could describe them (and if I did, I’d say something like americana meets indie rock, or bowerbirds meets The Head and the Heart), but really, you should just give them a listen:
And here’s a YouTube video that gives you a sense for how the cello, guitar, and percussion interact with three absolutely lovely voices:
More perusing of the band’s site revealed that not only do I like their sound; I like their politics. If you want to hear more, guess what! I’ve got a copy of Killing the Darlings, their latest album, to giveaway here!
Just leave a comment on this post — tell me what you’re listening to, what you’re up to this weekend, or what you think of this incredible sweater — for a chance to win! I’ll use one of those random number generators to pick a winner next week, so comment by…Wednesday? Yes, Wednesday, June 22.
And if you’re still thinking about the awesomeness of a three-person sweater, here’s one more video, featuring Jocelyn of Pearl and the Beard:
188 yards of 2-ply that plumped up into a worsted-weight yarn. This yarn is deeper and darker (think true blue) than it looks here on the porch! A quick, satisfying spin — and oh my, do I love those bits of mustard yellow. It really feels like I’ve been making up for lost time at the wheel! Maybe the next thing I spin will involve thinner singles, or more than 2 plies.
And here’s a beautiful loaf of bread that I did NOT make. Instead, I picked it up with my farm share on Tuesday. One of my ABD presents to myself was the new bread share at my CSA. Locally grown and milled grain, locally baked. (And incredibly delicious.) It doesn’t get much better.
Except that it does! Carpooling to the farm means great conversation and company in the rows of flowers and veggies. We picked our first quarts of sugar snap peas yesterday. (E’s comment? “This tastes like summer.” So true.)
Also, how happy does this guy look? Very happy, maybe because he doesn’t have to get back to work? (Or happy because of the nice walk we took this morning?)
Now that I have a coffee table to work at, there’s no excuse. Time to start mapping out the dissertation. How about a look at some of the other rooms in the house?
You’re looking at the dining room, more bookshelves in my office, and my grandmother’s hutch (which I’m using as a dresser in my bedroom). I still have a list of little things to do — hide those cords, get an everyday tablecloth, decide on the layout of the guest room, etc., but on the whole, Boh and I are feeling pretty settled here. Back to it!
(Also, a hint as to my new toy: an iPhone. Thank you, Apple recycling program, for the gift card you sent me when I mailed you my old, unhappy MacBook. Public Service Announcement: You get more in trade-in value if you keep all of the pieces — power cords, OS software disks, etc.)
Also, everything might look cooler with Hipstamatic — even a table full of bachelor button bouquets. Happy weekend, all!
Quick post today, because my parents will be here in an hour to keep working! (Today is their last full day here, and we still have so many things on the list: swap out more storm windows for screens, clear off a few inches of compressed leaves from what I think is a stone patio out the back door, hang prints, decide about curtains/curtain rods, wash the outsides of the windows…) I’m excited to show you all of our progress very soon.
These pictures are of my finished skein and change of some SCF organic merino in cosmopolitan. I split the fiber lengthwise and was aiming for long repeats, and while there is more barberpoling than I was aiming for, I’m happy with the result. This is 230 yards (205 + mini-skein of 25) of squishy light worsted weight wonderfulness. I’m so excited to check out all the patterns you suggested for my Rhinebeck-cauldron. Any thoughts on this? It is super soft organic merino, so I’m thinking hat, cowl, or super simple fingerless mitts.
Time to pour the coffee and gear up for another day of home improvements!
This is the second half of my Rhinebeck/Cauldron experiment, 188 yards of squishy 2-ply (in 150 and 38 yard skeins). My initial plan was to make this into another eternity scarf, and while I’m not sure if I’m going to to follow that pattern exactly, I think this yarn still wants to become a big squishy ’round the neck sort of thing. I’ve got 400 or so yards total to work with, which gives me lots of options. What would you make with this? (Boh clearly has no opinion, as evidenced by these photos.)
Did you see the curry recipe Andrea posted last week? I made it on Sunday night, using tofu that I browned in butter instead of the seitan meatballs. Mine is a very different color (due, I think, to my use of a can of coconut milk instead of coconut flakes rehydrated in water), but I’m guessing it was the same level of deliciousness. Oh my. So good, so easy, so going into my kitchen recipe binder.
They are hard to see, but I’m pretty sure that this is a mother Merganser and a whole slew of ducklings. A few are riding on her back, and the commotion you see here is all the rest hurrying to keep up!
And here is Boh, happily lounging on the dock next to the picnic table. It is supposed to be HOT today, so I’m guessing we’ll find ourselves out by the lake this afternoon, though not until after we do a lot of work around the house. My parents brought a truck full of furniture yesterday — things from their basement and from my grandmother’s house (she just moved into a smaller apartment in an assisted living facility), and they’ll be here for a few days to work and play. We have plans to plant some containers full of herbs, replace the shower head, decide about a dehumidifier for the basement…things like that. I’ll have lots more lake house pictures soon!