Saturday, December 27, 2008

a little Bacardi.....

Christmas is over for another year.  The crowds at the store were maddening, even my stl was talking to himself.  Pretty funny.  

I cooked the holiday dinner.  We had leg of lamb (first time I have ever cooked one) with roasted root veggies and gravy, wheat rolls (cause you know we all need to eat better), swiss chard with onions and garlic, roasted apple and butternut squash soup, and collard greens (mom made that).  The soup was finished with Bacardi, the lamb was basted with bacardi mixed with herbs (dried bottled italian seasoning and Mrs Dash), the pan for the gravy was deglazed with more bacardi.  Why rum?  Well, I would have used wine or brandy, but I couldn't find any, and I thought "hey, alcohol is alcohol" and I wanted something sweetish and rum is made from sugar cane (yes, culinary school does make you open to trying anything once, even at Christmas dinner for the entire family).   It was fantastic!  I wasn't sure about tossing the sweet potatoes into the veggie mix, but it worked out well.  The caramelization on the bottom of the pan (I laid the lamb on top of a bed of onions which basically disintegrated into syrupy goo - yummmmmm) just bought out the real sweetness of the vegetable, and I like to think the bits of sweet potato that didn't make it out of the pan added something to the flavor of the gravy.  The seasoning mix created a kind of crust, which when eaten was very yummy.  Even my older brother who told my mother prior to dinner that he wasn't going to eat the lamb, had some, and then some more, and then a little more.  Everyone loved the rolls, even with the whole wheat flour added (it's the same recipe we have been using since I was a kid but I subbed half the white flour for whole wheat).  It's really odd to have to tell your mom "hey, that's not done put it back".  I mean, she is the one who taught me to make bread.  She took lots of credit by saying she taught me well.  And actually, she did!  Thanks mom!

We had a great time.  Lots of laughter and jokes and funny stories.  When mom called Imani Christmas Eve, she asked where they had been all day.  Imani told her she took the kids to the cemetery to visit dad's grave.  Mom was immediately guilt ridden, she hadn't gone.  I told her to get a grip, it's not like he would mind.  I don't really think of the spirits of loved ones hanging out at cemeteries.  There are much better places to hang.  She would be better off communing with him in the garden.  He  is more likely to be there.  Now of course this means I haven't been to the cemetery since the funeral.  And I intend to keep it that way.  If I feel the need to commune with dad, I'll grab my 35mm and some film and head out to take some pictures.  We always took pictures together.  

In a way he was there in the presence of my baby bro.  J spent the entire time taking pictures.  He said he is planning a photo collection about the family kitchen, showing the holiday rituals of food and cooking, or something like that.  Every time I turned around he was there taking pictures.  I would be interested to see how they turn out.  

I have to get pictures of the cph.  T has been wearing it all day, a sure sign that she does indeed love it.  I had her try it on a couple of times, telling her I needed to see it on someone with boobs to get the fit, and her mother couldn't do it because she had to give me advice.  Hah!  She fell for it.  When she opened the package (actually it tore when her brother handed it to her) and she saw the color (she didn't even remove all the paper) she jumped up and hugged me and gave me a big kiss.  I think that was the first clue that she liked it.  She told me (before she ran off to her sleepover/movie night) that it's her favorite sweater and I'll have to make her another one when she wears this one out :-)  I used a zipper as the closure and since I couldn't find a zipper of the length I wanted, I used the shorter one (which worked out fine) and put in a little heart shaped hook closure (two hearts that hook) just above the end of the zipper.  Putting in the zipper wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, even though I think I made the front overlap just a smidge too much, but ferocious blocking squished it temporarily.   I told her when it needed washing, give it to me and I would show her how to wash it.  My sister has my great aunt's singer sewing machine in the garage.  I am moving it into the basement.   This thing sews like a dream.  It has to be from the 60's or early 70's, knowing Aunt Kitty it's probably earlier.  It flips out of the cabinet top and it's pea green, with a very responsive thigh pedal (or whatever you call it) that folds down from the base of the cabinet, instead of a foot pedal!  It's awesome!  Using it to put in the zipper was a breeze.  I just finished the swatch for nephew's Biker Boy Sweater (from Son of Stitch n Bitch) and it actually calls for a zipper.

pics to follow!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I love it when blogger swallows my posts, even though I am saving them all the while.
Anyway. On the 3rd I went to the TransAfrica Gala. It was a lot of fun and I saw a lot of people I hadn't seen in years (like since I was in college and my sister was dragging me off to demonstrations every weekend). The food was excellent. The music was great. There was a mini-concert by Wynton Marsalis. Love him. He is phenomenal. The picture is fuzzy but here he is.
I also got to meet their board chairman.  He was incredibly nice.  And he is really tall.

And yes, that is me with Danny Glover :-)
Today I went to H-mart and bought a little bento box.  That is my new passion.  Bento.  Saving money by taking lunch, spending time creating something tasty and pretty to eat, focusing more on putting good food in my body.  Did I mention the saving money part?  This is my lunch for tomorrow (part of it).  This is the stuff that is going into my udon noodle soup.  Green onions, shrimp, egg, fried tofu, and mushrooms.  We had the same thing for dinner tonight.  Quite yummy.
I also went yarn shopping.  Two weeks in a row!!!  Last week I bought this.  Berroco Peruvia.  The picture doesn't do it justice.  The brown is like a really deep milk chocolate.  and the yarn is so soft and warm.  It's going to make great gloves!  Well, as warm as fingerless gloves can be.
Now the Berroco came from All About Yarn in Columbia.  The lovely, sexy red came from Coverhill in Catonsville.  I stopped in there today ('cause I was on my way home from the bank, how fortuitous is that!) and picked up this one for a pair of socks.  It's called Casbah, and I don't know if that's the color or the yarn 'cause there ain't no lot number or anything on the label, just the name and composition (81%merino/9%cashemere/10%nylon - 100%glorious).  This my not end up on big sister's feet.  This one may be all mine!  And it's machine washable to boot!  And 20% of my purchase dollars went to a local AIDS charity, talk about a win/win.  And of course I had to buy stitich markers, just because.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Today I found a new doctor. She's very direct and no nonsense.
I got a great text from a friend, actually I recieved messages from 3 friends. One is enjoying her new job. the second is moving back to dc. the third told me about the new knitty. Wow, that's a lot of socks. And it also told me I really do need to make fingerless mittens for my baby brother. Photographer in New York in winter. He needs fingerless gloves. Something thick and in a nice neutral color...... I am thinking gray.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Feeling a little blue today. I think my zest for life is at a low ebb. Could be that I am tired. I cooked for the family today. It was my sister & bro-in-law's 22nd anniversary. I made a wonderful dinner as a suprise. Remind me not to do that again. He bought home fried chicken (didn't remember it was their anniversary) which he quite promptly ate and was too full for dinner. She was 3 hours late getting home. It was a suprise, they didn't know, it's no one's fault, but I was peeved. I think I must need some time away from home, doing something rechargey. I need some cheering, I think I'll go watch some Wallace and Gromit.