Sunday, August 28, 2005

Don't Disturb, I'm Busy Quilting

OK, so I have to deliver the finished quilt TOMORROW for the Marin Quilt and Needle Arts Show. The good news is that in my absence on the blog I have managed to finish the quilt, however I still have to attach the hanging sleeve and baste on my entry number. It shouldn't take that long, but all of this work on the quilt has prevented me from making a major contribution to this blog.

I have a whole heap of stuff to share with you. I've been on a yarn rampage since I have a bunch of christmas presents to make and fall is coming soon and I have a new scarf project that I've been dying to start. I've already taken the photos I just need to get them on here...

Oh and secret pal ends this week and I have to send out my last package. I also have a special package for Cecile, my sp4 pal, which I am also trying to finish up.

pictures soon,

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Usually I start off the post with a snappy title, but today I can't figure out a title for the life of me. I clear my head and it remains entirely blank. Usually something speaks to me in the silence, but nothing. Maybe it's because this has been a crazy week. Maybe its because I'm still getting a cold, or perhaps more likely we have lost our way in the land of blog.

Remember the early days of the blog where I would post anything I wanted, personal, political, magical? Nowadays I feel guilty if my post deviates too far from what's considered crafty. For instance I would like to post some food-related content, but some of my knitting friends think that should be relegated to a separate blog, but can't cooking be considered a craft too? I'm not just whipping up a box of macaroni and cheese, when I cook, I really take everything I've learned and put it into food. I make my own creations, mostly good comfort food.

I know food as comfort is a taboo subject these days since we're not supposed to be filling the void in our lives with food, but cooking solidly good food with fresh ingrediants is as nourishing to make as it is to eat. Thus cooking to me has become a craft as much as quilting and knitting. So much so that after a cooking dinner, I rarely have the energy to work on my more "crafty" projects. Cooking is a creative endeavor that requires an emotional investment to be sucessful. Simply knowing a few techniques and a key flavors allows you to express yourself.

As you may remember I had a cold this week, which I managed to pass onto Mr. Grenadine. Mr. Grenadine hates being sick and I felt bad that he got it from me so I made him one of my chicken soups. There once was a time when I used to HATE chicken soup. In fact I still kinda do. I never order it in restaurants, I hate the canned stuff at home. Its all too salty and the chicen too stringy. I used to wonder why people liked to eat the stuff when they were sick.

But then I witnessed the joy that is roasting chicken thighs. A friend made the most delicious bbq chicken and I realized that the moistest and tastiest part of the chicken isn't in the breast, it's in the thigh. Don't get me wrong, breast is great for curries, pastas and salads, and it's a low fat protein source, but what it lacks in fat, it lacks in flavor and texture, which you need when making soup. Chicken thigh not only has enough fat and flavor, a package of 6 thighs are pretty cheap while boneless, skinless breast is as expensive as some beefsteaks. The other great thing about chicken thighs is that you can roast them in their own skins with a little salt, pepper and thyme and you don't have to add any additional fat.

funny how i'm writing about food, whilst watching Iron Chef...

Anyhoo, here is my chicken soup recipe, which I make with love to heal my husband when he has a cold.

Angela’s Chicken Soup

3 carrots
4 stalks of celery
2 small onions
2 large potatoes
1 bag frozen corn
6 chicken thighs
2 liters chicken broth
2 tbls butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne
Dash of dried or fresh Thyme
Dash of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400.
Put chicken thighs in oven proof baking dish, skin side up.
Flavor chicken with Salt and Pepper and thyme, no need for oil, the chicken skin provides enough fat.
Roast chicken for 45 minutes or until skin is crispy and meat is tender.

While chicken is roasting, chop all vegetables except for the corn.
Melt butter in dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in carrots, celery, and onions. Saute until onions are translucent. Add chicken broth and potatoes. Season soup with cayenne, thyme and nutmeg to taste. Let simmer over medium low heat until the chicken has cooked. Add corn.

When chicken is fully cook, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for five minutes. Cut the chicken using a fork and knife, adding it with the skin to the soup. Let simmer another 10 minutes. Serve with a fresh, crusty French bread.



Saturday, August 13, 2005

Excuse me while I kiss the sky

Damn. I've been sick for more than four days. I caught a cold out of nowhere. It started Tuesday with a major headache and a bothersome sore back. The next morning I couldn't finish a sentence without sneezing and I went home from work at 11:30am. The fact that I went home is proof that this was a whammy of a cold b/c I'm usually a toughie when it comes to colds. I pop a couple of dayquils and my life continues as normal, but with a funny buzz. But this cold knocked me squarely off my ass. I didn't go to work for the rest of the week.

I haven't left the house since Wednesday. I've barely been able to get off the couch. Thank god for netflix. Fortunately now I'm feeling a bit better, but my voice sounds like I've been smoking for fifty years and I'm still tired.

On a lighter note, I did receive a package from my secret pal. She sent me some handmade notecards, nifty paper and two skeins of variegated Cascade 220. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. I'm going to make a scarf out of it from Scarf Style. Wouldn't that be noice...

Anyway I'm too tired to think of anything else to write.

La Grenadine

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Life Status


You would think that I had almost forgotten my new year's resolutions.

I have learned some new french phrases:
n'importe quoi (doesn't matter, not matter what)
quoi de neuf (what's new?)
ca fait mal (that hurts)
apportez moi quelquechose (bring me something)

I have been crafting up a storm

It's looking like Luke and I will be able to spend next New Year's Eve in Australia, thereby fulfilling my lifelong dream of celebrating NYE in a foreign country.

I've hung out with my mom a bit more.

I've improved in my job.
Just remember to continually think positively....

Fast Times

No one ever told me how fast time would fly the older you get. I can't believe it's already August. The Mr. and I have been married for almost a year. Shock....

This summer has been more busy that I had anticipated. I didn't realize I had so many friends. I don't have time to call anybody forget about seeing anyone. Part of the problem is that its been so busy at work. There have been so many changes and it's just worn me out adjusting to everything, plus I worked part of the weekend and went out.. so not so much time for crafting, which sucks b/c I absolutely need to get this quilt done.

I guess I'm just surprised. I've made a bunch of new friends and some old ones have come out of the woodwork. Am I just antisocial? Am I using crafts to be antisocial? Its true the quilt is requiring quite a bit of my time, maybe I'll be more sociable after the quilt is finished.

Has anyone else's relationships suffered because of crafting? I've found that it's brought people together more than kept them apart. Its not the crafting, its the working... I'm still a college student at heart, wishing I could laze around between classes.

Aren't we all?


Sunday, August 07, 2005

Pottery Farm

Yes Friends...

It's that time of year again. Twice a year, I have to work the San Francisco International Gift Fair. This is heaps of fun because it's basically a big party where I see a lot of people I know and work with. We talk, we eat, we gossip and we sell product. It's a place where everybody's happy and enthusiastic. However, I worked fewer hours this season because of craziness in the office and because exerting all the energy at the show has the tendency of making me cranky during the week.

However the highlight of the day was visiting with Alex and Andrew of Alex Marshall Studios. You'll recall she does this amazing tableware. I'm a big fan and I love to support a local artist. She just re moved her operations to the central valley of all things, but seems to be flourishing. Anyhoo, I couldn't help but splurge and order a few more of her bowls and mugs. AND she has come out with this gorgeous ceramic cylinder that's just perfect for holding knitting needles. I'm going to have to make a button because I want Alex's pieces to be a permanent fixture on my blog.

This was a fantastic weekend, however I didn't spend any time working on the quilt. I'm beginning to wonder if I'll make it to the show...