apple crisp.

I love apple crisp season. You know what else I love? The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. If you’re a regular reader here at Chez Rooster, you already know that Deb and Smitten Kitchen are my go-to cooking resource on the interwebs. This cookbook is amazing, and totally worth the wait. I want to make (and eat) it all. The crisp part of the apple crisp I made (twice) comes from Deb’s apricot crisp recipe, and it is the best crisp topping I’ve ever prepared. I expect that lots of recipes from this book will find their way into my kitchen rotation. I’ll keep you posted as I cook from it.

And Snowbird is moving right along — I finished the second sleeve yesterday, and began working on the body. I’ve never knit a sweater that instructs you to knit the sleeves first, but it feels great to know that once the body is done, I’ll be pretty close to done knitting this sweater! I plan to alternate knitting with transcribing research photos this afternoon. (And tea-drinking.)

And then there’s this guy. I have no idea what he is doing with his tail in this picture, which is why I took it. This is how he was sitting on the couch when we came in from our walk. Now he’s snoring loudly, and I imagine he’ll be out cold for much of the middle of the day. Here’s to a cozy and productive weekend!

popcorn.

More deliciousness from Super Natural Every Day: popcorn! And not just any popcorn. This is popcorn made with butter, dijon mustard, and thyme, and it was the perfect incentive for diving into my grading. Grade a paper, eat a handful of popcorn, grade a paper, handful of popcorn, paper, popcorn…you get the idea.

I snapped this picture of Boh earlier– he decided to hang out in his box for much of the afternoon. I think he must have known (because of the barometric pressure, maybe?) that thunderstorms were in the forecast for today, so he was preparing to hide. The storm never came, though, and now soft and steady rainfall is predicted through the night and well into tomorrow. Poor Boh. I hope he didn’t worry too much.

In knitting news, I’m almost to the very last stripe of my shawl. Stay tuned!

mail day.

You know what else (besides turning in exam #2) made Thursday a great day? It was a great mail day. Which reminds me of the excitement surrounding the mail — sent ahead, general delivery, to post offices in small towns we’d be riding through every ten days or so — on a cross-country bike trip I participated in nine (whoa!) years ago. The joke was that “mail” day was actually “male” day, a celebration of all things male. There was a long (tongue-in-cheek) list of the kinds of things that were acceptable on male days (I’m pretty sure trampolines were on the list). I hadn’t thought about that in years, but typing out “mail day” brought it back and made me laugh, almost a decade later.

Anyway, I had ordered — and then forgotten about — Heidi Swanson’s latest cookbook, Super Natural Every Day. I intend to cook out of this ALL SUMMER, and I have big dreams of modeling my lake house kitchen on much of what Heidi describes about her pantry, kitchen tools, and emphasis on a range of grains and better-for-me flours. I know I’m only moving across town, but I am trying to use up extras hiding in my kitchen cabinets before the end of May. This book is beautiful and incredibly practical. I want to eat everything in it.

This guy got his own “male” day of sorts yesterday. Instead of working last night, I cleaned out a kitchen cupboard, and found a bone I’d been saving (and then totally forgot about) for Boh. He watched it intently (pictured here), tossed it around a bit, and then ran away from it/came back to it several times before settling down to eat it. Male day, indeed.

I really need to get back into reading (and grading) mode this week in order to feel ready for my third exam, which starts a week from Monday. Here’s hoping for a productive day!

plenty.

(Nope, not talking about the applesauce! I’m only halfway through the bushel.)

I walked into the university bookstore on my way to lecture yesterday to grab a few more brightly colored pens, in anticipation of the scribbling I’ll be doing as I revise my own work this weekend and the pile of papers my students will be turning in on Monday. On my way in, Plenty, by Diana Henry, caught my eye. I picked it up, and after flipping through it, I walked all the way around the table it was on in order to find the other copies. When I wasn’t able to locate them, I decided that I just couldn’t bear to put this copy down, and so it came home with me.

I don’t think I’ve ever taken pictures of the inside of a cookbook before, but this book is gorgeous. Thick paper, saturated colors, beautifully-staged photography, mouth-watering recipes — all aimed at the “home cook.” (That’s me!) This cookbook contains a nice range of meat and veggie options, with lots of discussion about leftovers. This is a cookbook about eating and living well while being conscious of the politics of growing, preparing, and eating food. I’m a mostly-vegetarian cook because I can’t always source (or afford) the kind of meat I am comfortable eating — meat from animals raised kindly and locally, on farms that care about long term ecological health. Diana Henry provides advice for a cook with my politics, and offers an impressive number of recipes for “less popular” cuts of meat — the kind that maybe someone like me can afford from a local farmer. She thinks about refrigerator continuity — a weekend roast that serves as the base for several other possibilities later in the week.

Can you tell I’m excited about this book?

I am also incredibly excited about this blanket — so much so that I’d like to submit it instead of the paper I’m revising to my department for consideration. (Too bad that’s not really an option.) I’m working on the last section of the blanket before the border, and I cannot wait to curl up with this on the couch. Hopefully I’ll have some FOs around here soon, in both written and knitted form…