Tuesday, September 30, 2008

For the knitters that read my blog...

My sister is now making stitch markers and offering them for sale at her etsy store... She takes custom orders too, if you'd like particular beads/stones/colors/charms to be used for a set, or you need larger or smaller rings to fit your needles. For those she currently has posted, it's $8 for 6 markers, $15 for 12. They are crystal and sterling silver and the rings are 10mm.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Steve's Q&A...

These are videos of Steve Carlson's Q&A... For those who don't know, Steve is a friend of Jensen. He's a singer/songwriter and we Supernatural fans just seem to adore him. And I think he might have done some music for the show at some point??? I dunno... But that's not really important. What's important is that he's awesome and he comes to cons to play for us. (There are no spoilers here. Just good times... ;D)



Edit: This second video will remain private until I hear from Steve that it is all right to make it public. If he tells me that he doesn't want it shown, it will be removed altogether. I'm really sorry, y'all. I know you're anxious to see it, but I was told (rather rudely, I must say) by another con-goer via several comments on the YouTube page that Steve specifically asked us not to put video of this particular song up on the internet for public viewing. I didn't hear him say that. Neither did my friends who were watching the performance with me, and another friend who has the entire Q&A on video (but doesn't wish to post her videos on the internet, sorry) says that at no point does he say that or anything that might be construed as that, but until I get confirmation from Steve himself, I can't allow anyone else to see it. I want to abide by whatever Steve's wishes are because I'm utterly horrified that I missed something, somewhere and that I posted something he asked us not to post.

Edit, the second (03/10): The video will not be shared. It contains things that Steve doesn't want public. I'll be recutting the video as soon as possible without those parts and reposting it at that time. Thank you for your understanding and I'm sorry for any inconvenience.



Chad's Q&A...

(Unfortunuately, Ilana, there are spoilers for the season 2 finale in Chad's videos, but you're almost there, right? You can watch them once you're done with season 2 without any worries of being spoiled. There might also be some little things here and there for seasons 3 and 4, but they're so vague [and coming from the audience] you probably won't understand them.)

I was shocked that so many people didn't stay for Chad's Q&A. He had maybe about half the number of people in the audience that Jared had had, and later Steve had maybe half the number of Chad.













Back from EyeCon...

I can't begin to say how amazing it was! I'm still enraptured...

I was able to give Jared the hats I made for him and Jensen during the autograph session, but he wasn't able to open them. Poor dear was late for his plane. So, from what I understand, the con is shipping his large number of presents back to Vancouver for him (at least, they had better because that was the understanding I had), and so he and Jensen should get the hats shortly.

My video of Jared's Q&A (there are some spoilers for recent season 4 episodes):















More video to come - of Chad's and Steve's Q&As - as soon as it's ready to be uploaded to YouTube.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

OMG!

I've been looking at the etsy listings of handpainted rovings, and I want to spin something so bad - OMG! Why do I have no roving that's ready to spin?!?! ... Oh, yeah, because none of the LYS's around here will carry spinning supplies and I haven't had the cash and wherewithal to order some from Spinners Ridge or ebay! *sighs* Okay... back to getting ready for EyeCon. I really don't have time for spinning today anyway.

Presents for Jared and Jensen all packed up and ready to go. I hope I'm able to give them to Jared tomorrow! *crosses fingers* Pictures/video to come, with luck.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Since Autumn is coming...

And coming fast... I need to get out in the garden this week and get things ready for the Fall planting asap. I've already started, but it needs to be finished.

I've found the seeds though, so that's good. I've got all the greens, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts we need. I'm going to need to get some peas, maybe, and sweet onion sets if I can find them... They're hard to find around here for some reason. Garlic and shallots too, also if I can find them.

I'm sure there are some other things that we need that I'm forgetting, but it's all on my other computer and my monitor is still dead (can't remember if I had said, it was killed by lightning during a storm - the computer and all the other equipment were unaffected though. If I had to loose something, I'm glad it was the monitor).

I'm working on Urchin. It's almost done. Just need to seam it up and weave in the ends. I think I might dye it with indigo. I've never done bamboo with indigo. Will be interesting. But then again, I might leave it undyed because it does look good as is. But white shows dirt so easily, so I'll probably dye it after all... I definitely need a pin or brooch or something for it though. It's like that...

I need to start taking stock for presents for the holidays. I've got a lot of stuff saved up. And I've got cotton yarn from those KnitPicks samplers still. Lots of easy, quick, little presents to make from that stuff. Really, awesome investment. I know Stacey has said she wants a felted bag. Check. I want to make some more felted bags. They're so easy and quick too. Three days and it's completely finished, felted and dried. Awesome!

For myself this fall, I want to make a Tied Danish Shawl. I found a group on Ravelry where they do KALs of shawls that are inspired by the races of Tolkien's books. The tied Danish Shawls make me think of the hobbits. Seriously, the shawls are simple, very practical and made to be worn while working, but at the same time, the stripes and bright colors make them cheerful as well, and they just make me think of Hobbiton and hobbit children running through green fields. I think I want to use the pretty green skein of wool that Ilana sent me for part of it. I need to see what else in my handspun stash will go with it.

I also want to spin some new stuff and dye it with the onion skins and marigolds I've been saving up. If I do, I might use that for the shawl too. In any case, I'm really excited about the project.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Supernatural 4.01

I will not spoil because I know Ilana is going to read this but is not watching season four yet due to lack of a nearby WB affiliate, but I must say this much:

*FLAIL* THAT WAS THE MOST AMAZING HOUR OF TELEVISION I THINK I'VE EVER SEEN! OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!! *passes out from t'awesome pie of it all*

Okay... That is all...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Well, crap... and yet, yay!

We'll start with the crap: We had a storm at my house a few hours ago. Really terrible thunderstorm... the windows would shake from the thunder and it sounded like it was right on top of us. So, naturally, I shut my computer off and took a nap. What else is there to do when it rains like that? Well, the power went out for a few minutes, and even though I have a surge protector on my computer, the power surge we got just before seems to have fried the monitor. The monitor is completely dead. So no monitor on my computer just now. Am having to use the laptop. Can't watch all the Doctor Who I got earlier this week either. :-( Very sad about that as I've been drowning in the Doctor for the last three days. Got up to the third episode of the second season.

Also, it is now only by the grace of my parents' most supreme generosity that I'm going to get to go to EyeCon on Sunday (not this Sunday - the 28th) to see Jared's Q&A and so I can give him the hats I made for him and Jensen, and get a new monitor so my computer will be usable once again. We very unfortunately don't have any old monitors lying around. We used to, but the last of the old monitors was given to Good Will about 6 months ago. Ah well, lord knows they put it to better use.

But YAY, it looks like I will be able to go to see Jared at EyeCon. Some of my friends from school will be coming too, with luck.

Also, on the job front, looks like I have all my i's dotted and t's crossed and I'm just waiting for USF to send me my transcripts to send in with my application. Once that's done and the application is sent, the rest will hopefully go smoothly and by October I will finally be working. In the meantime, I'm thinking of volunteering for Obama's campaign...

But the best YAY! today has of course been getting the package that Ilana sent me! YAY!!! She sent blueberry jelly (YUM!!), two yummy soaps that smell good enough to eat, and earrings that her mom made. The earrings are very pretty. Little freshwater potato pearls that are "peas" inside silver pea-pods! So cute!!! :D

Also, according to the news, Obama is gaining in the polls in West Virginia (and in Florida too). Still not winning (yet), but not slipping. YAY! Looks like your volunteering is helping, Ilana! :D

Monday, September 15, 2008

Well, I'm on Ravelry now...

YAY!

Same username... It's an awesome place! So much to see and do! O.O

It seems to be having a bit of a glitch tonight. Nothing can be added to my queue of things to knit in the future and I can't modify WIPs.

Also, I'm wondering how to delete projects from the project list because I can't seem to figure that out just now, but it will wait until tomorrow, when the site is hopefully working once more...

Friday, September 12, 2008

I need to get this off my chest...

Seriously, not a day has gone by since Sarah Palin was announced as McCain's VP that I haven't heard something completely outrageous about her, her past as a public servant, or the policies she supports. That more people aren't screaming out their concerns over her has me baffled.

She has wanted to ban books from libraries. She has fired people for personal reasons and her administration in Alaska refuses to answer the subpoenas summoning witnesses to the Alaska legislature for questioning about how she has abused her executive power. She has taken more money per capita for her state for pork barrel projects from the Federal government than any other state, and hired lobbyists in Washington to get Alaska even more pork barrel money, while saying she doesn't support pork barrel politics. And her husband was a member of the Alaska Independence Party from 1995 until 2002, which supports and has supported Alaska succeeding from the US and whose motto is "Alaska First!" According to the head of the AIP, both Sarah and Todd Palin attended their convention in 1994...

She doesn't care about the environment or global warming. She doesn't want polar bears to be protected under the Endangered Species Act and encourages the shooting of wolves of any age, from the ground or from helicopters (in a practice that is incredibly barbaric, fyi, since entire packs are often killed by running them to exhaustion and then wiping them out with guns). She hates wolves so much that she wanted to pay hunters $150 for each wolf leg they brought in, something that the Alaska courts ruled illegal, and she took $400,000 in state funds to fight a ballot initiative to limit the aerial hunting of wolves. Because of Sarah Palin, for the first time since 1958, it is legal to shoot and kill bears and their cubs in the state of Alaska. Why, you might ask? So that more sport hunters will be able to not only kill these predators, but also to increase the number of moose and caribou in the state so that it will be easier for sport hunters to find and kill those animals as well... you know, on the weekends or on vacation when they aren't being doctors and lawyers and politicians in Anchorage and Juneau and Wasilla... Now, I have no problem with hunting, but I have a big problem if you're not going to eat what you kill and you're just doing it to put a head on your wall and brag to your friends about how many you've gotten this season. I have an even bigger problem with hunting if you kill predators to increase the number of pray animals just to have even more things to shoot easier with your big, high-powered, couldn't-get-away-if-they-wanted-to hunting rifles. Barbarians! And it's arrogantly reckless of Sarah Palin to encourage it, against the recommendations of hundreds of scientists, never mind to actually want these policies.

Ahem... To continue... She's anti-choice. She's a creationist and believes creationism should be taught in public schools as a legitimate scientific theory. She doesn't believe in family planning or medically accurate sex education. She believes that homosexuals can become heterosexual if they just pray hard enough. And she believes that fighting the Iraq war is, and I quote, "a task from God" to the American people... She also didn't know what Bush's foreign policy on fighting terrorism was until it was explained to her on camera during her first interview since becoming the Republican VP candidate yesterday. She said that she believes American military forces should be able to enter any foreign country, without the permission of that sovereign nation's leadership, to go after whoever or whatever we want to, despite the violation to international laws, etc. etc. etc. that such action would pose. And she isn't sure what a Vice President does from day-to-day exactly but she hopes there's a lot to do because she likes to keep busy. o.O Bzuh? I'm sure there was more, but this is all I can remember off the top of my head.

And today is no different, the outrage continues:

Despite denials by the McCain campaign, there is documentary evidence that Palin knew about (or at the very least had the legal responsibility to know) and did nothing to stop the police department of Wasilla charging rape victims $500 - $1200 for post-rape exams in 1998-1999, until the legislature of Alaska, outraged by the practice, outlawed it statewide... I don't know how any woman, regardless of religious background, could allow such a thing to happen when she had all the power necessary to prevent it. You can read more about it, with links to evidence, here.

Seriously, I'm afraid of what I'll hear about her tomorrow...

A most interesting e-mail...

I don't know the true identity of the source of this e-mail I got from scooter58 on Hey!Neilsen. Deepak Chopra? *shrugs* Your guess is as good as mine. However, it is full of interesting observations I think are worthy of consideration...

Addendum: Indeed, it is Deepak Chopra. Source here, thanks once again to scooter...

Obama and The Palin Effect

From: Deepak Chopra Posted: Friday, September 5th, 2008

Sometimes politics has the uncanny effect of mirroring the national psyche even when nobody intended to do that. This is perfectly illustrated by the rousing effect that Gov. Sarah Palin had on the Republican convention in Minneapolis this week. On the surface, she outdoes former Vice President Dan Quayle as an unlikely choice, given her negligent parochial expertise in the complex affairs of governing. Her state of Alaska has less than 700,000 residents, which reduces the job of governor to the scale of running one-tenth of New York City. By comparison, Rudy Giuliani is a towering international figure. Palin's pluck has been admired, and her forthrightness, but her real appeal goes deeper.

She is the reverse of Barack Obama, in essence his shadow, deriding his idealism and exhorting people to obey their worst impulses. In psychological terms the shadow is that part of the psyche that hides out of sight, countering our aspirations, virtue, and vision with qualities we are ashamed to face: anger, fear, revenge, violence, selfishness, and suspicion of "the other." For millions of Americans, Obama triggers those feelings, but they don't want to express them. He is calling for us to reach for our higher selves, and frankly, that stirs up hidden reactions of an unsavory kind. (Just to be perfectly clear, I am not making a verbal play out of the fact that Sen. Obama is black. The shadow is a metaphor widely in use before his arrival on the scene.)

I recognize that psychological analysis of politics is usually not welcome by the public, but I believe such a perspective can be helpful here to understand Palin's message. In her acceptance speech Gov. Palin sent a rousing call to those who want to celebrate their resistance to change and a higher vision.

Look at what she stands for:

  • Small town values -- a denial of America's global role, a return to petty, small-minded parochialism.

  • Ignorance of world affairs -- a repudiation of the need to repair America's image abroad.

  • Family values -- a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice. Such strangers, being outside the family, don't need to be heeded.

  • Rigid stands on guns and abortion -- a scornful repudiation that these issues can be negotiated with those who disagree.

  • Patriotism -- the usual fallback in a failed war.

  • "Reform" -- an italicized term, since in addition to cleaning out corruption and excessive spending, one also throws out anyone who doesn't fit your ideology.



Palin reinforces the overall message of the reactionary right, which has been in play since 1980, that social justice is liberal-radical, that minorities and immigrants, being different from "us" pure American types, can be ignored, that progressivism takes too much effort and globalism is a foreign threat. The radical right marches under the banners of "I'm all right, Jack," and "Why change? Everything's OK as it is." The irony, of course, is that Gov. Palin is a woman and a reactionary at the same time. She can add mom to apple pie on her resume, while blithely reversing forty years of feminist progress. The irony is superficial; there are millions of women who stand on the side of conservatism, however obviously they are voting against their own good. The Republicans have won multiple national elections by raising shadow issues based on fear, rejection, hostility to change, and narrow-mindedness.

Obama's call for higher ideals in politics can't be seen in a vacuum. The shadow is real; it was bound to respond. Not just conservatives possess a shadow -- we all do. So what comes next is a contest between the two forces of progress and inertia. Will the shadow win again, or has its furtive appeal become exhausted? No one can predict. The best thing about Gov. Palin is that she brought this conflict to light, which makes the upcoming debate honest. It would be a shame to elect another Reagan, whose smiling persona was a stalking horse for the reactionary forces that have brought us to the demoralized state we are in. We deserve to see what we are getting, without disguise.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Supernatural next week...

Next week, Supernatural season 4 will start! OMG! O.O I can't wait! Too exciting!!!

Two clips (yes, they're spoilers & yes, they are different from what was shown at ComicCon):





*hyperventilates* OMG! One! Week!

Political Funnies...

A video...



And a satirical article...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Knitty, New Day!

I slept most of today because my brother was freaking the hell out over the end of the world due to the particle accelerator outside Geneva and that made me freak out too and stay up to watch the sunrise. I hate it when this happens. My sleeping was already messed up, but now it's just really messed up. I think I'm going to try to see if I can take a nap sometime tonight, get up early in the AM and stay up all tomorrow like normal people do, and then I'll sleep normally tomorrow night. I really need a job so I can't do stuff like this anymore... Working on that. I went to see Prof. M yesterday to visit and to ask if she'd be a reference for me, which she was more than happy to do. Now, I just need to get a copy of my transcript, and get ahold of my next door neighbor, who's a neurosurgeon and so very diffiuclt lately to catch at home, to be my other reference, and I can send in the job application. Mission tonight, write an e-mail to my neighbor and order a transcript online if possible.

Anyway, a new Knitty was published today.

There are pretty patterns...

I especially like Versatility... It's like Wisp and Convertible, both of which I also like. Never made Convertible, but I did make Wisp... I just need buttons for it and to block it again because I screwed it up the first time.

Camden is interesting... I like the long fingerless mitts being able to be attached to the short-sleeved sweater. Makes it very versatile. And using KnitPicks yarn makes it much cheaper to make than most of the sweater patterns at Knitty...

Kinetic is fascinating!

Slither? I wants it, precious, yeas... I'm probably more likely to make these than something like Camden because it takes less time (I would hope)... Although I probably won't end up making either simply because I'm lucky if I ever finish anything for myself. LOL! Like many knitters, I make things for other people with much higher frequency than I make things for myself.

Hug is whimsical and delightful, if slightly disturbing... And Tatiana is also whimsical and made of love, but impractical for me since I'd never get any use out of them

Waves of Grain is so beautiful! I love it! I also love Abby. So pretty (and handspun)! I'd love to make either of these for my sister Lara. I think they would suit her so well! I think she'd also love Maple, and it's so on my list for the next time I just have to felt something and am brave enough to try colorwork again...

Garden Gate is gorgeous! But I'm no where near brave enough to attempt them. Baroque, though, looks exciting, and I am seriously tempted to try making those.

I definitely think I can find some handspun in my stash to make Oncleows with! Too cute!! And perhaps I'll be more likely to wear shorter skirts and capris more often to show them off.

OpArt! Is so on my list of things to make for my niece! I know Tim Burton will eventually come into her life, and this is wonderfully Tim Burton-esque without being so scary. LOL!

And cool features...

I think I need this from Knitty's list of Cool Stuff: Bramble. My friend Laura would freak out if she got one of these for her birthday! :D And OMG - look at these cute things at this person's Etsy!

Awesome 1840's knitted nightcap, translated pattern. YAY! :D

And silk reeling... tempting, very interesting, but I think I've got enough fiber related hobbies at the moment.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Straight-NoTalk Express...

LOL! I like this new name for it.

A report from a fellow blogger about meeting McCain and Palin. 'Tis interesting...

Here's the funny thing - all this horrifying stuff I've been finding out about the opposition lately, I haven't even been looking for it. It's all fallen into my lap while I'm looking for poll results, checking my e-mail or Daily Show episodes I've missed. Think what I could find if I actually actively searched?!

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Daily Show's coverage of the RNC...

Everyone, go watch this. No, really, right now. Take twenty minutes and watch this...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Knitting and a dilemma...

First, the dilemma...

I want to make myself one of these sweaters: Hey Teach.

I'm using Peaches n' Cream though instead of the much more expensive cotton/acrylic blend that the pattern calls for because I'm cheap and I prefer to not use acrylic ever and I have a ton of it all in the same color and dye lot, so yeah, seems like a plan. I learned long ago the importance of making gauge swatches and washing and at least finger blocking them to determine gauge. Problem: I can't seem to get gauge. I've got one stitch short of the gauge on size 6 needles, and half a stitch too much on size 7 needles. So should I just do it on size 7 needles, and go with it? Better to be slightly too big, than slightly too small? What's the usual protocol when one has this problem?

On to the success story... I finished the fingerless mitts that I've been trying to make for my friend Zinzi for more than a year. After the disasters with the gauge (hence why I now obsessively make swatches), the endless distractions of other pressing projects, and then the final coup de grĂ¢ce when my cats destroyed the yarn, I thought I'd never get them done. But I decided earlier this week to take another crack at it, using a different pattern and yarn I spun myself. Success!!







I had to alter the pattern, and only do 40 stitches instead of the prescribed 52, but since I only needed 38 for the cables, it still worked. I also made them shorter so that they could be more practical.

Friday, September 05, 2008

New things I've made recently...

Still knitting and sewing up a storm since I left for Virginia in the middle of July, but I've been remiss in posting pictures, even though I've been taking them. So... here's pretty much everything that I've finished in the last two and a half months...

A cup cosy for like Starbuck's cups and the like... though I try not to patronize Starbucks... (YAY! My first successful fair isle!)

cup cosy

The other side of the same cosy...

cup cosy

More felted bags... I've made probably 8 of these now and I want to make more... They work up so fast and look so good and are such a perfect size for so much! Guh! I love 'em!

felted bags

6 cotton canvas place mats, bound with bias tape that I made (first time I've ever made my own bias tape - *g*)...

Cotton canvas placemats

A hat I made for my friend Chelsea's birthday...

Hat for Chelsea

A hat I made for my friend Mia's birthday...

Hat for Mia

A headband that I gave to my friend Stacey as an early birthday present...

cabled headband

A keyhole scarf...

keyhole scarf

6 pairs of baby booties made out of Bernat's Organic Cotton yarn...

baby booties

The scarf, headband, hats and cosy were all made with KnitPicks.com yarn and patterns that I got in their summer cotton sampler kits. I altered the pattern for Mia's hat because I didn't like the zig-zag pattern, so I made it into diamonds by shifting things about a bit.

I'm not sharing pics of my dishcloths because they're all the same and so simple and I've made at least 6 this month... I've also made another watch cap like the one I made for Jensen and Jared a while back (but have not yet sent to them), but this one is a Christmas present for Jason, Susan's husband... He needs it on those cold mornings when he's out in the woods.

I've also got about 6 works in progress right now (2 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of fingerless mitts, a lacy headband, and a little impractical bag that I might rip out because it seems rather useless though pretty).

I must share this...





YES! On all issues! YES!

Must pimp...

I just got a package from my sister, Lara, containing all the things my mom and I ordered from her last week. It is all SO BEAUTIFUL! OMG! I'm like falling over with the pretty. *happy squeal*

So, seriously, if you like jewelry and pretty things (or you know someone who does), or you need one of those aromatherapy eye pillows to help with headaches, cramps, nausea or insomnia (they can be heated in the microwave, chilled in the freezer or used at room temperature), she's your gal! Check out her stuff at her etsy store, Eternal Autumn. She also takes custom orders of all sorts - whatever you want. Just message her through her etsy store. She's always happy to consult.

Here are the pieces I got if you're curious... Apples in Autumn, Persephone's Pomegranate, Fallen But Not Forgotten, and an aromatherapy pillow. My mom got two pieces (which I WANTED!): Art Nouveau Innocence and Ice Siren of the Arctic Seas.

Jumpin' on this bandwagon...

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
(My addition) 4) italicize what you'd really like to try.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison (Oh, god, yes, more of that, please??? I've been having dreams about salami made out of it... seriously...)
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare (I don't do raw meat... I just don't...)
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding (I'm not exactly sure what it is, but I imagine that it's rather nasty...)
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich (One of my favorite things to eat for lunch to this day.)
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (Yum, blackberry wine...)
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes (I don't like tomatoes, but if I did, these would be the thing...)
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters - Seriously, EW!
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas OMG, NEVER AGAIN! BLEGH!!
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (I'm ashamed to say... long ago...)
56. Spaetzle (Nom, nom, nom)
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (all of the above)
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho (I hated it, but I tried it... would probably like the medieval version which had a zucchini base rather than tomato)
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict (SO YUM!!)
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse (Seriously, I think I'd rather commit cannibalism than eat horse.)
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Vanilla Fig Preserves...

Made Vanilla Fig Preserves on Sunday with my friend Mia. We made 3 batches, using 6 pounds of figs, which turned out to be 15 half-pints (the webpage with the recipe says that the recipe makes 5 1/2 pints, but it must be a typo that should be "half-pints"). It's not nearly as much as it sounds...

In the first two batches, we didn't use vanilla, the vanilla is only in the last batch, which was by far the best, according to our taste tests. I recommend cutting the sugar the recipe calls for in half - so 1 3/4 cups instead of 3 1/2 cups of sugar. It really doesn't need that much sugar for sweetness or to gel.

I have pictures...

This is Mia stirring the pot...


The figs are beginning to cook and release juice...


Processing the jars in a water bath...


Finished jars of Vanilla Fig Preserves...


Altogether from throwing the ingredients in the pot til the finished jars come out of the water bath, each batch takes about an hour if you have everything set up and ready to go and you don't have to wait for the water bath to heat when the preserves are done.