Appears to be edible
Sunday November 17th 2019, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Food,Recipes

SWEET CHERRY PIE FROM FROZEN CHERRIES. (Announcing it with bells and whistles so I can find it later.)

One quart glass Corning measuring cup filled to the top with frozen sweet cherries–so, between five and a quarter and five and a half cups’ worth. Thawed in microwave.

Meantime, 3/4 c. sugar, the juice of one large juicy Meyer lemon plus its yellow (only the yellow) zest (the whites are bitter), was supposed to be 2 tbl of the juice but I threw the whole thing in and it was probably a fair bit more than called for so I upped the cornstarch from 3 tbl to an extra half teaspoon. Add 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 tsp almond extract. The random internet recipe didn’t have almond extract in it, and man, how do you live with yourself if you don’t put almond with cherry? Right?

It said to let all that sit absorbing for a few minutes, and I was doing that, not liking the lumps in the cornstarch nor the fact that baked, previously-frozen sweet cherries don’t have a super-lovable texture–and nuts to that, I just threw the whole filling thing in the blender.

That time, when I dipped a spoon in to taste, I felt like, I got it!

Poured it in the crust in the new pie pan and it’s in the oven.

Update: it’s not burned, that’s just the camera.

I whipped some cream to cover any faults and make it look pretty in layers and took it to the potluck, where people swooned over it: “You MADE this?!”

Hah. And I’d been worrying about experimenting on my friends. This is definitely how I’m making from-frozen sweet cherry pie from here on out.

This is your better-than-random Internet recipe for the day.



Following the pie piper
Saturday November 16th 2019, 11:29 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends

(Okay, I supposedly added the photo but it’s not showing up on my view of the post.)

I read recently that stoneware pie pans do by far the best job of making the crusts turn out crisp.

There was an art fair in San Mateo this weekend and my potter friends Mel and Kris were going to be there, and when I asked a few weeks ago if they ever make pie plates, Mel decided to throw some clay on his wheel for me and, literally, give it a whirl.

It’s gorgeous. They and their sons do such nice work. It’s 9″ on the inside bottom, 10″ at the top. I’m already regretting that I only bought one: there were two, with Mel saying he always makes more than what people request because there’s always going to be someone else who wants one.

There is a potluck tomorrow night.

Now I just have to decide what type of pie to make, and I am very open to any suggestions and favorites.



History happened today
Friday November 15th 2019, 11:10 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

Did anybody else watch the Yovanovitch hearing? I was riveted.

I grew up around diplomats’ kids and watching her I felt a sense of recognition: that unflappable calm, that ignoring demands that she answer in a way that might be construed as political and thus at fault, that power in simply laying out the truth. Under fire, as the President interrupted the proceedings with tweeted derision.

I found myself remembering my then-nine-year-old neighbor Sandy next door talking about the time, while they were living overseas on a State Department assignment, that armed rebels had come to their door and her mother had told them to go away from her home and her kids and that she expected them to leave–and they did!

We need her mom to go talk to this administration.



Sweater weather
Thursday November 14th 2019, 11:01 pm
Filed under: Garden,Life

We’re two months into the supposed rainy season, still watering the trees, hoping that we get lots of rain later to make up for what we’re having to draw out.

But at least today it was finally chilly and cloudy and it looked like a storm coming in. There’s none in the forecast, but having the sky finally not look like bright cloudless July helped restore faith that I just need to wait awhile. That and having to put on two layers of sweaters–which felt great. Thrift-store cashmere, I’ve missed you.

Pro tip: people who send theirs to the dry cleaners wreck the softness and then wonder what they paid all that money for and often enough end up ditching them. One good tepid-temperature soak in a no-dye no-scents liquid laundry detergent and gentle hand washing, a spinning out in the washer with the water turned off to avoid felting, laying the item out to dry, and there you go: the softness is back.

I give the sweater a good shake before putting it over the wide shower rod; if there was any shrinking, which happens lengthwise the most when it does, that’s enough to put it right.



Must be going around
Wednesday November 13th 2019, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Life,Lupus

I emailed the leader of the lupus group and said I wasn’t really sick but I was fighting the edge of a cold so I wasn’t going to be there this afternoon.

Turns out I wasn’t the only one. About an hour later she replied-all that she’d never done this before, but she was canceling the meeting, and hopefully next month we’d all be better.

All the more afghan knitting time for now.



Tuesday
Tuesday November 12th 2019, 11:04 pm
Filed under: Garden,Life

Got coughed on on Saturday.

Woke up today feeling possibly a little feverish and took it easy, grateful for my flu shot.

I found a perfect, luscious little strawberry hiding away under a November leaf and proclaimed it my antidote. Yum.



Veterans Day
Monday November 11th 2019, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Family,History,Life

All day long I’ve been remembering that Veterans’ Day when I was on my way to Cottage Knits, my route taking me past Golden Gate National Cemetery.

As I waited at the light at the corner that edges two sides of it, there was an elderly man near the end of the row. He was stooped, his head was bowed, his white hair blowing in the wind and chill, his face the picture of grief. I wanted to leap over the fence and hold him up. To somehow ease his unspeakable pain.

This page says more than I ever could.

Love you, Dad. Miss you, Dad. Thank you for offering your life for our ideals and for our whole world’s sake.



Rallying around
Sunday November 10th 2019, 8:13 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

I’d seen the note sent out on their behalf a few days ago asking people to pray for her.

Her mother-in-law is in town now to help with their two little boys, and the one time I saw her really smile this morning was when I asked if she was the grandma. She was!

When I saw him gathering up the kids afterwards I said to the husband, half apologetically, “One more person coming to ask…”

He was happy to explain. His wife had had a doctor appointment, and the obstetrician had said, You’re way too big to be three months along. So they’d ordered tests.

She had a tumor the size of a watermelon on an ovary. (Where? How? She’s tiny!)

That’s when the first note went out because in their shock those young parents needed every bit of support they could get, with someone else appointed to do the talking and fielding any responses so they didn’t have to quite yet.

He sent out his own note this afternoon.

The surgery was successful. The tumor was benign (they will biopsy it again to be absolutely absolutely sure.) The baby is doing fine in there. His wife is recuperating and on bed rest for the moment, but would welcome texts.

That I can do.



Screen play
Saturday November 09th 2019, 11:01 pm
Filed under: Life

So there I was, having been given my own small screen to watch while the bigger one went on so that I could read the closed captions. Hey, and it had someone signing, too! I studied sign in high school with a semester in college but that was a long time ago.

Wait. This isn’t…

So now I’m wondering if American Sign Language and the Samoan (maybe Tongan?) version as presented in the US are the same?



Home, home on the range
Friday November 08th 2019, 11:18 pm
Filed under: Knit

The eagle is begun and done and now for the mountains.

This time, I wanted the mountain range to be a better match to the view where they live, so I spent a lot of time looking at photos, both online and some I took in September–and I actually did a pretty good job knitting that skyline the first time, especially on the left.

The new ones have begun.



This old house
Thursday November 07th 2019, 7:47 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift,Life
  1. The new keyboard came.
  2. The old keyboard decided to work again, with just a few keys needing to be typed a little more forcefully.
  3. The one total holdout is the arrow for moving the cursor to the right.
  4. My keyboard refuses to be a Republican. It won’t even curse.
  5. While, on the afghan, I hope to officially hit the halfway mark tonight. I want this one longer than the original so I’m putting in an extra few inches before starting the eagle.
  6. I ended the feather-and-fan part with a purl row this time to emphasize the break between the waves and the hillside rising above the bay.
  7. This is a better combination of needle size and yarn for making that moose.
  8. It finally occurred to me for the first time today that knitted moose are typically found in…Christmas sweaters.
  9. Tough.
  10. I pulled out the finished original afghan and was relieved at how the eagle and snow and mountains rescued it from any singleseasonativity.
  11. Thanks to, he said, the street tree the city planted three feet from the outtake out front, Bernie the plumber came today (this happens about once a year) and it is amazing to be able to run a full load of laundry and not have the sewer back up. Yay Bernie!
  12. And, 12, I have discovered a bug in the update here. If you see numbers 1-12 before each of these, tell me, because on the preview page I don’t but they should be there. And it keeps deleting my title. Let’s see what hitting publish does to it.


N pe can’t type that title either
Wednesday November 06th 2019, 9:41 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

I set d wn a cup next t the computer and missed. Which means it instantly went lying across the keyboard my clothes the rug my she’s.

Sometimes bviusly n t always but sometimes autocorrect gets it right–never thought I’d be glad r autocorrect.

The new keyboard is supposed t come tmrrw.

While I was expressing frustration with the keys that won’t type Richard said just copy and paste the letters in.

Hey. Slow but it works. The man is a genius.



Red-y for anything
Tuesday November 05th 2019, 10:16 pm
Filed under: Family

We interrupt this blog for a photo of a certain adorable two month old.

(Nope re the dress, store-bought, sorry. Remember Think Music from the Music Man? This is Think Knitted.)

I find myself as I write this in sudden need of knitting a Lily of the Nile dress and am wondering why I didn’t think of it before. Just let me finish this afghan first.



He did what I wanted
Monday November 04th 2019, 10:57 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift,Life

He’s bald and he’d recently had the flu and it’s been as low as 29F at night and he was freezing.

Last week I gave him all five hats and he immediately offered his friend next to him his choice of one. As I had hoped.

Yesterday he confessed that he was down to one, because various friends had liked this one or that one so much so of course they had to have something made with love like that. His eyes pleaded with me to understand, but believe me, I did. I told him, That’s what they’re for!

Not to mention, it’s not like I’m running out of yarn.

I could just picture randomly running into some stranger, recognizing what’s on their head, and going, Oh! You’re I.’s friend! Cool!

(And the potential, ??? Who are you???)



Parfianka pomegranate, year three
Sunday November 03rd 2019, 10:16 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Garden

So how do you know when a pomegranate is ripe, I wondered?

I went looking for the answer several times over the last month or so, each time hoping to find someone who’d grown that particular type. And found this:

You can’t really tell by the color.

You can’t tell by the stem end.

If you get it wrong and let it stay on the tree too long, it loses some of its flavor. Wait. This was definitely news to me, because I planted my tree after tasting pomegranates from Jean’s that had been left in place till they’d begun to split open. I had never tasted anything like that in my life, and given her age I knew I might not again unless I grew my own. So I did, and wondered if I should leave them till they split open, too.

But they looked so good…

There were two fruits that had made it past the one inch stage (and our not watering while we were gone for three weeks in September when Lily was born.)

Heft it, was the advice I found: it should bulge and it should be heavy.

Define heavy?

It should be large.

It was. How large?

Tap on it and listen.

Oh great, good luck with that one.

Don’t pick it: clip it.

Okay, that I know how to do.

Michelle was going to be dropping by for dinner and I thought, one to try now, one to leave for later in our experiment. We’ll compare and know better what to do next year when there will be many more of them.

The verdict is, it was probably harvested just a little early, but the seeds came away easily (almost all of them anyway) and it was as good as anything from a grocery store.

But the thing that struck me was all those little bite marks and a long clawing on one side. So many times over the months it hung there that something stealthily approached, tasted that gorgeous red exterior, and then went, This is supposed to be food?? and let it be, leaving a mosaic pattern behind. At least once something larger tried hard to pull it away but it held on to where it needed to be to grow.

They never got past the tough exterior.

They never found the sweetness inside.

But we believed, and we did.