Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Because I was procrastinating and avoiding a different holiday (in the magazine world, right now, there are easter eggs to be dyed and bunny burritos to be developed) I made a new holiday garland. My friend Emily has the tutorial here that got me started, but if you have a good sewing machine, boy is this an easy project. Many of you knew me back when I did not have a good sewing machine--back when every sewing project ended in cursing and tears and the drinking of wine from the bottle and the sewing of my hand to the snake costume and the subsequent trip to the ER and/or the Betty Ford Clinic. But now I have a good machine. Which I got because I went on Craigslist and posted a wanted ad for "An Excellent, Heavy, Old (but not antique) Sewing Machine," and then named a few brands, countries of origin, models, and years. And I was rewarded with a beautiful Bernina from the 80s that does a few things and does them well. I really recommend asking for what you want, in the most literal way.
This banner is just letters cut from brown grocery-bag paper that I'd painted gold with acrylic paint. Also some stars and circles cut from various scraps of vellum and shiny paper. It is hung in the doorway of our living room--with the added advantage that if you're inside the living room, it spells "yoj + trofmoc," because I'm meticulous like that.
Comfort and joy to you. xo
Monday, November 28, 2011
|This is an unretouched photo, seriously. Is that not gorgeous?|
Shred the cabbage fine. I use this Japanese mandoline.
Now put the shredded cabbage in a deep bowl and bring the remaining ingredients just to a boil in a small pot, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Pour the hot brine over the cabbage. Put a small plate on top of the cabbage, and then something heavy on top it, such as a tea kettle or a large can. Leave it for 3 or 4 hours, at which point the cabbage will be smaller and the volume of liquid in the bowl much greater. Wring out the cabbage by the handful (discard the leftover brine), and store it in the fridge in a covered container.
|The battle-scarred exterior of the storage cabbage belies its beautiful insides.|
|As far as I'm concerned, that's right up there with the greater wonders of the world.|
|Did you want to see who was back there? That's Socky. He was visiting for the afternoon.|
|You could do this with a knife, but it will take much longer and be less fun and less thrillingly treacherous.|
|I love, love, love this very sharp slicer. It's light and easy to use, and the color is fantastic.|
|Moldy ginger that I did not even bother to peel. Nice.|
|Ready to be brined and weighted.|
|The longer you leave it, the picklier it will be--though I never get into the multi-day fermenting kind of situation with this, though you probably could.|
|Tell me that's not gorgeous.|
|Breakfast this morning. Corn tortilla with melted dill havarti, scrambled farm egg, and pink slaw. My parsley's motto seems to be "keep on truckin.'" I can't believe it's still thriving out there, in the untended wilds of our yard.|
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Oh, I just could not pull off a pie, and I'm so grateful to Tea for Two for posting her recipe here! Thank you for having my back. Luckily, my mom is in the house, and so the pecan pies will now be made effortlessly, and with her customary grace and amazingness. (Thanks, Mum.)
|Yes, it looks a little like a fraction--but only because I'm bad at rubber stamping.|
|If I had put gorgeous berry-colored paper behind my tree, I would not have made myself saw around the poster board with a bread knife. Alas. That's the color of one wall of my dining/craft room. Nice, right?|
I know this is not a tutorial in the strict sense, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments. Questions such as "How does this look with a menorah burning nearby" (nice) or "What does the word advent even mean?" (I don't know).
Happy Thanksgiving, friends. I am now, and always, grateful for your company.
Friday, November 18, 2011
|Car Heart. I really came out to this one recent frosty morning. Lucky girl, right?|
First off, if you wanted to give homemade vanilla for the holidays, and I really recommend this, now is the time to start making it. For bottles, do a search for "flint glass bottles" on ebay--unless you have a nice collection of small recycled bottles at your disposal. Likewise, search "vanilla beans" on ebay to buy them in bulk. And do this right now, so you can get a move on, okay? It needs to steep for a month or so. Also, I should warn you, now that it's been 3 years since I've been making it, that every time somebody runs out of vanilla, they will bring you their empty bottle with the pleasant-faced expectation that you will refill it. It is, more or less, like giving a magazine subscription, and you'd better be willing to stay on top of it. Forever.
Relatedly, I often make a little boozey something at the holidays that needs to sit around for a while before it gets really good. Limoncello, for example, is very beautiful and elegant (I use vodka instead of Everclear, just by the by). But this year I am making this warm, fragrant, utterly delicious Honey Citrus Liqueur:
That's all you need to deal with for now, although if you wanted to get a jump on ordering games for your kids, these are my posts on the subject from years past: last year's big-kid games; last-year's little-kid games. And this stray one. There is not a dud in the bunch. Oh, and this holiday book round-up, which I still stand by as well. I'll be posting a few new thoughts in the coming weeks too.
And, finally: Thanksgiving? Are you in? I mean, really. What choice do you have. Here are a few recipes from years past that might come in handy:
Sparkling Cranberry Centerpiece
Wonderful Cranberry Sauce
Beautiful Cranberry Upside Down Cake
Fantastic Crudite Platter with the World's Best Dip
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
I am really going to try to keep track of all my traditional dishes this year--stuffing, mashed potatoes, and the Bird Himself--so that I can offer some basics next year. But it's hard to remember, what with my dad's forceful taking over of the mashing of the potatoes, and the turkey's uncertain doneness, and the holiday caving in on itself in a puddle of food and drink, as I know you know. I might try to post pecan pie on Monday. Which would give me an excuse to make it over the weekend!
Speaking of: have a great one. xo
Monday, November 14, 2011
|There's a penny here for scale--but you can't even see it! Okay, there's not. But this was a big-ass cabbage.|
|"I do like cabbage. Or something. Maybe I just like to stick my paw on the oily pan and then walk around the kitchen."|
|This would be a lovely Thanksgiving side dish. In fact, if you're planning to come to my house for that holiday, this might not be the last you see of it.|
Monday, November 07, 2011
|We are as delicious as we look, we promise! We are not secretly made of oat-scented cardboard like those other scones that broke your heart!|
|Really? Just leave that one little peasley old tablespoon of butter behind? Yup. Though I'm tempted just to toss it in.|
|The pebbly mixture. I don't do this in a food processor because I don't want to grind the oats up.|
|The dough is pretty wet, which is fine--you're not actually interacting with it for very long.|
|Just a quick pat and cut.|
|And they're ready to bake. This is Craney's "You didn't know about scones and how they're my favorite?" face.|
|Baked. I love their rustic look.|
|The grabbing of the scones.|
|Ben played with the honey the whole time the scones were baking.|
|And then put plenty on his plate.|
|Along with plenty of other stuff too. I love this picture, where the scone is dwarfed by honey and jam.|
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
|Maple, October 30, 2011|
|I might write a collection of love poems called "Wood Stove."|
|Birdy, by the woodstove, looking at a picture of the woodstove. Do you know this book? The Midnight Farm. Don't spend $89 on it, but do consider buying it used for 1 cent if you still have small children. It is one of the most relaxing and beautiful kids' books I know.|