The thing about comfort food is that it often tastes great but looks brown and smooshy. Thus, even though I have been cooking, I haven't been photographing much and therefore haven't been blogging it. Still, I wanted to preserve this beef stew for posterity, because it managed to be pretty much everything I wanted in a beef stew.
Every New Year's Eve we head out into Boston for the First Night festivities. In years past we've headed to the Hynes Convention Center, which has crafts and puppet shows and performers geared towards kids. It does get uncomfortably crowded later on in the day, and this year there weren't any performers we really wanted to see (in the past they've had some awesome kids' music - Dan Zanes, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mr. Ray, Ben Rudnick, etc.), so we gave it a miss and just took in the ice sculptures and the parade.
If memory serves, New Year's ends up being either unbelievably cold or warm enough to reduce the aforementioned sculptures to puddles. This year was the exception; it was just around 32-ish, so the ice didn't melt, but neither did we freeze. Still, it wouldn't have done to go out without a hat on, and in the week previous I had made this one in anticipation. Unfortunately, I chose the yarn based on what looked good at the store and it totally didn't match the scarf that I made earlier in the year, nor any of the other scarves that I own. Thus, the night before New Year's Eve, I picked up some leftover yarn and came up with this:
I love this scarf because it matches the hat, and my coat (which is black, with pink lining), and because I made it entirely out of leftover yarn so it didn't technically cost me anything except time, and not too much of that, either. I also love it because I knit it without any pattern, just my own common sense and experience (what little I have), and it came out nice enough to wear on a regular basis.
I used to do graphic design stuff as a, you know, career, back when I had one of those. These days I still sometimes get a hankering to mess around with photoshop, and when I do, I usually scratch that itch by making icons for my (and other people's) livejournal. Since I was playing around with organizing and uploading some new ones, I thought I'd share.
...Christmas cookies. But hey, they're really just sugar cookies, why save them for the holidays? Cut them out in hearts and give them to an early Valentine.
This is my favorite cookie cutter cookie recipe ever. The dough has sour cream, and a bit of nutmeg, so the cookies aren't boring, and it rolls and cuts out easier than pie. Trust me. The icing is just confectioner's sugar and milk, with a little vanilla, separated and dyed whatever colors suit your fancy. (Other people use water or lemon juice, in which case I'd omit the vanilla.) Mix it up thick enough to spread easily (not too drippy) and let your inner Picasso (or Pollock, in my case) out to play.
1. Bubblegum by Annemarie 2. Darker Blues by Tom Rothrock 3. Racing Time by Bronx Cheerleader 4. Us Ones In Between by Sunset Rubdown 5. Again & Again by The Bird and The Bee 6. I’m No Lover by Antarctica Takes It! 7. Put a Penny in the Slot by Fionn Regan 8. Crazy by Gnarls Barkley 9. I Wish That I Could See You Soon by Herman Dune 10. Bloody Great Big Fucking Party by Hookers Green No. 1 11. LDN by Lily Allen 12. Pour Me Another by Ola Podrida 13. Young Folks by Peter, Bjorn & John (w/ Victoria Bergsman) 14. Winter Sun by Rah Rah 15. Rivers by Sleeping States 16. Two Birds by Charalambides 17. All This Time by Klanguage 18. My HoneySugarBabyLady by Je t’aime mon amour 19. All My Heroes are Weirdos by !!! 20. Former Jezebel by Parts for All Makes 21. Operation by Charlotte Gainsbourg
This Christmas I gave almost everyone something hand made. My dad, my husband's dad, my brother, and my brother-in-law all got wool scarves and hats, which took me about four weeks to make. I tried to choose colors and styles that would go with pretty much anything, and I'm really happy with how they came out.
The scarves are in seed stitch (or moss stitch, depending on who you talk to). All together they come to about 13 square feet of fabric. Yeah, scarves may be easy, but they do take a while. Seed (or moss) stitch is a good choice for scarves because it stays flat, and it looks a lot harder to do than it actually is.
The hat pattern is from Hip Knit Hats by Cathy Carron, a book with lots of great-looking hats and many typos, so if you do pick it up, read carefully. I've now knit several of the hats in this book and they all look great, but two of the patterns were more or less wrong and I had to work them out based on the photos.
I also made three necklaces and an eyeglasses holder thing, but I forgot to take photos of two, and the photos I did take of the other two were rushed and didn't come out so well, so, you'll just have to take my word that I made them and that they were very nice.
This holiday season was very generous with the music (well, very generous in general, too), to my surprise and delight. Guess whose pile's the biggest?
Hooray, it's mine! I even have a mysterious cd import on backorder coming any day now.
The pile on the right is the kids'. They got (from top to bottom) Meltdown! by Justin Roberts, Folk Playground (a Putumayo collection), and We are... The Laurie Berkner Band. They also got the Johnny Cash Children's Album (not pictured) as a pre-holiday present. Lucky kids.
My husband's stack, in the middle, has The Complete Verve/Remixed Deluxe Box, John Zorn's Astronome, and Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards by Tom Waits. The kids and I picked out the first two, and Jere's dad got the last; only fitting, since we got him the same cd as one of his presents.
And the big hoard on the left is mine, all mine. I got: Destroyer's Rubies by Destroyer The Air Force by Xiu Xiu Let's Submerge: The Anthology by X-Ray Spex Night of the Ankou by The North Sea and Rameses III The Man Who Sold the World by David Bowie Ys by Joanna Newsom Black Cadillac by Rosanne Cash The Runaway Found by The Veils boys and girls in america by The Hold Steady, and an anthology of noise & electronic music/fourth a-chronology 1937 - 2005
My, don't my loved ones have fabulous taste. I've only had time to give a good (but by no means thorough) listen to Rosanne Cash, The Hold Steady, The Veils and Tom Waits, and I love them all to pieces. I can't wait to wrap my ears around the rest of 'em.