Some Stones Unturned

Knitting, Biking and Some Sober Second Thoughts

Archive for the tag “food”

Loose Ends: Coastal Hoodie, Aidez and Food

A lot of short things.

I have finished the knitting on Coastal Hoodie.

Image

Before I did the button band.  Love the Borrjas (pinky-purple) colourway.

It is looking pretty sweet.  I ended up mixing yarns because I couldn’t find other available colours of Malabrigo Arroyo that I liked.  I went with Araucania Ranco and somehow it’s not machine-washable, which you would think would have been one of the things I checked when matching it up, but I guess I was so focused on finding a similar weight and that was challenging because the Malabrigo is labelled as sport but is closer to a fingering.  Checking the comments for Araucania, that’s also the case with that yarn.  Why didn’t I just check the fingering weight section for something appropriate and machine washable?  I can’t recall.  So anyway, I do think the Araucania looks a bit shabbier and it will prevent me from machine washing, but maybe after a hand wash and blocking it will look okay (the biggest issue is on the sleeves where I tried to duplicate stitch to hide the jogs but I’m not sure how successful I was.  Anyway, I think I left my main set of sewing needles at my parents’ and my wool needles are too big to fit through the holes of the buttons I picked while the eyes on my remaining few are too small to fit wool through, so that project is just awaiting my purchasing new sewing needles to finish and then I will show it off.

In the meantime, I have cast on for Aidez with some Knit Picks Cadena.

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In autumn, a young woman’s fancy turns to thoughts of deliciousness

Oh, hey there fall vegetables…Yeah, it’s been a while. Listen, I just wanted to say that…I’m really sorry and I love you. I mean, it’s always been you. You know that, right? That dalliance with summer produce was nothing but a fling. I know what it looked like, but you have to believe me. The plump tomatoes. The juicy strawberries. The sweet sweet peaches just off the tree. They tempted me and I was weak; I admit it. But I swear they meant nothing to me. Not like you do.

From the moment I saw that zucchini sitting in the produce aisle, I realized what a fool I’d been. No crunchy salad could give me what a fall vegetable stirfry offers, what I need. I knew then what a terrible mistake I had made.

And then there were those stuffed sweet potatoes, their pale orange skin calling to me, tempting me.

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So today I blew a fuse making salad

I don’t mean “blew a fuse” figuratively either, although I did get a bit panicked at one point.

I had set up my breadmaker in the morning and it was due to finish around lunch, but I got tired of waiting for it and decided to get started on the salad and just eat the bread afterward, whenever it finished. I put the turkey bacon in the microwave. I know this might seem strange to some of you since everyone else I know makes bacon in their frying pan, but my family has done it in the microwave for as long as I can remember. Except if it’s a holiday when we have a lot of people over for brunch, in which case we make it in the microwave and the frying pan for maximum speed.

So the bacon is going and the lettuce is washed and I am digging out the pepper as the salad spinner winds down when all of a sudden the noise from the microwave stops. Not stops like ding! it’s finished, but just ceases. Weird. The fridge isn’t making much noise either. Power outage? No, the clock on the stove is still on. I open the fridge door. No light. Quickly, I close the door. Well, colour me confuzzled. I even briefly wondered if the clock on the stove ran on a battery which makes no sense at all, doubly so since I have seen it stop working during a previous outage. Computer still works. Cordless phone still works. Toaster still works. Bedroom stuff still works. TV does not work. So three sets of outlets, spread across multiple rooms of my apartment have stopped working. And that’s when I remember.

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Florida Trip: Culture Shock and Ice Tea Plea

I’m planning to split my Florida posts in two to keep them from being long: one on food (this one) and one about things that happened that were not food-related. Priorities.

I’m not a big foodie, although I’m better than when I was younger about trying new things (went to Dim Sum yesterday and agreed to eat rice with fish in it. It was okay I guess. Still too fishy for my taste). I’ve travelled a bit, so I expect to eat weird things or else go searching for stuff to mimic what I’m used to, especially when trying to save money. But the weird thing about going to the States is how everything appears to be like home, but when you bite into it is almost always slightly different. Stealth new foods.

1. The Great Yogurt Experiment

I’ve found it difficult to take yogurt seriously ever since Sarah Haskins pointed out the craziness of the ads. I still eat it occasionally, but my Mom and sister are serious yogurt-eaters and have it every day for breakfast. And since my parents had arrived a couple of weeks earlier, my Mom had been searching for the best yogurt. According to her, they all tasted cornstarch-y or weird and according to my Dad, she had basically bought a new type of yogurt every time they went grocery shopping to try to find one she like. For fellow Canadian yogurt fans, she finally seemed pretty happy with Liberté Mediterranean, which apparently is very different from the Liberté Greek, which you should supposedly not get, because it is cornstarch-y. I thought Greece was in the Mediterranean, but my geography skills are pretty weak.

2. Raisin Bran

My breakfast is typically Raisin Bran and I thought it was less sweet, but my Dad thought it was sweeter, so we couldn’t put our finger on exactly what’s going on there, but it is definitely something sweetness-related and don’t think we won’t pin it down eventually America! (I actually usually buy the cheap-o Selection brand at home, so that might be why we find there’s a difference).

3. Things they sell at Walmart

  • Pez dispensers with 8 different Lord of the Rings characters for $10
  • M&Ms in a ridiculously huge array of sizes from a set of fun packs to basically a pillowcase
  • Dulce de Leche Cheerios. Whaaaa? I thought the whole point of Cheerios was that they’re NOT sugary, although I guess we do have Honey Nut flavour. Someone told me they are coming out with peanut butter Cheerios up here. Why? Why ruin the simplicity of the Cheerio? It is perfect as is.
  • Souvenir Naples shirt for $10. Not food, but they do sell them at Walmart. Ever since our Cessna pilot in Hawaii recommended stopping at Walmart to pick up souvenirs, my sister and I have checked it out and they often do have a few things in tourist-y areas.

4. Gelato

This wasn’t that different. A+ job on the lemon gelato Florida! If you’re not sure what flavour to get at a gelato place, check out the lemon and be surprised by the perfect sweet/tart balance. And it’s so light and refreshing when it’s hot out.

Lemon gelato

Gelato in Naples! What? Oh no no. Naples, Florida. Where did you think I meant?

5. Tea

The southern part of the States doesn’t really do hot tea. There are no teapots. Not in the rental place where my parents were house-sitting. Not at Walmart (or even Super-Walmart, according to my parents, which is just acres and acres of what you would think is everything you can imagine), not at Target and not at Publix. All kinds of other trivial things (fancy refills for an automatic handsoap dispenser, for example), but no teapot.

My Mom brought five kinds of tea with her when they drove down, which seemed like overkill when she told me, but now seems incredibly wise.

But all this has really buried the lede for what I wanted to say, what really must be said. Canada: We need to make unsweetened ice tea a thing. Florida does unsweetened ice tea, and at first it takes you by surprise, but once you get used to it and realize you can sweeten it yourself to whatever degree you like, it’s hard to come back to our restrictive system. If you believe in freedom, help me in my campaign to let me sweeten my own ice tea.

Bring it up at your local restaurants, put it on a t-shirt, write your MP. Okay, some of those actions may be a little extreme, but we neeeeed to make this happen. Last summer David’s Tea had a promotion where you buy their re-fillable mug and then all summer you got their iced Tea-of-the-Day for $1. It was fantastic, but it ended with the summer weather.

I also took to making my own ice tea, which I sweetened a little, but it still tasted like tea. Highly recommended: North African Mint, Luscious Watermelon (only available in summer :() and your standard Orange Pekoe from Tetley or whoevs also comes out pretty great.

If people really love the sweet drink most restaurants serve now, we could keep it but rename it. Unsweetened ice tea. Let’s make this happen yesterday. A message from the People for the Selling of Ice Tea that Tastes like Tea.

5 Suggestions for Roasted Broccoli

Roasted broccoli

Okay, so I lied about no more food pictures

I’m worried that I might have some sort of vitamin deficiency. I have had roasted broccoli 5 of the last 5 days (that is 2.5 full heads of broccoli). I actually stopped at the grocery store on the way home last night just to buy another head of broccoli I wanted it so bad.

Btw, if you have been steaming or boiling or microwaving your broccoli, you have been wasting your life, jsyk, fyi. Roast it. Roast it and don’t ever look back.

These are the days I’m glad I’m single because if I were sharing dinners with someone and had to try to convince them that we should have roasted broccoli every day, I feel like that might not go over so well. Actually, maybe that’s more explanation than fortunate coincidence?

Anyway, if you are new to the world of roast broccoli, I would like to share with you some of my accumulated knowledge (lucky you):

  1. Basically every ingredient in the above recipe is optional except the olive oil. Often I go with just olive oil and lemon juice or just oil and parmesan (and it is the store-bought powdery kind, but shhhh don’t tell). Actually maybe the olive oil is optional. I’ve never tried it without. I imagine it would be pretty hard to get off the pan.
  2. Parmesan, mozzarella or cheddar work for cheese options. Possibly others. I haven’t gotten too adventurous there yet. Ooooh, I am contemplating Monterey Jack and thinking yes. Perhaps time for another broccoli/cheese grocery store run.
  3. I have never tried the pine nuts in this, but I have occasionally smushed up some bran flakes in the last step as a substitute. It sounds weird, I know, but they don’t really taste like bran. They just add some extra crunch.
  4. If, as I hear occasionally happens, you find you want more than just broccoli for dinner, perhaps even another food group, there are the usual options of rice or pasta, but I’ve become fond of couscous. I was ignorant until a year or so ago when my sister opened my eyes. Here is how it works: you buy a box at the grocery store; bring the correct amount of water to a boil and dump the couscous in; take it off the burner and wait five minutes. Now you have couscous! So ridiculously simple.
  5. If you too are single, go ahead and roast the whole head of broccoli anyway (uh, that is to say, the sliced up florets from an entire head. Don’t just shove the thing in your oven whole). That plus a cup of couscous, cooked up, gives you dinner and 2-3 lunches for the week.

And that ends this week’s installment in my Broccoli Deliciousness Awareness campaign. Thanks for your time.

Crêpes: Great Food or the Greatest Food?

I swear I'm not going to be one of those people who takes picture of every meal, but just this once...

Pros

Even if all you have is an egg, milk and flour, no need to go to the grocery store.

One batch does savoury and sweet: main course and dessert.

Can make even spinach taste good.

Cons

The first one always comes out either burnt or undercooked.

So I’m torn.

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