Monday, October 25, 2010

Woe is Me.

I spent a bit of time with a surgeon today.  

What I thought was lingering tendinitis turns out to be an ulnar variance resulting in a tear of the triangular fibrocartilage.  As comforting as that may sound, fibrocartilage does not have anything to do with fiber.  At least not in the positive sense.  It will, however, keep me from playing with fiber.  For a while.

Today they filled my joint full of a steroid to get rid of the inflammation.  This hurts like a futhermucker, which give me something to look forward to in 2 weeks when I go for another round.  (Have I ever mentioned that I don't like needles and that I am a big baby and that I hate needles?)  In 4 weeks I will go in and if it's clear, they will set me for surgery to repair the tear and to shorten the ulna by 4 mm.  Hopefully I will have it before the end of the year, because the New Year brings with it New Deductible, New Insurance, and a New HSA account which will have Zero dollars in it.  Oh, woe is me.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Planning Ahead

We have spent a wee bit of time  and more than a wee bit of money at a wonderful orchard near Shell Cottage.  Our first visit we picked apples for 15 minutes and were surprised to find that we had accumulated over 40 pounds of apples!  What further surprised us was how fast they disappeared, what with apple sauce, apple cake, and just plain eatin'!

I discovered a new apple on that trip, the Melrose.  As big as my head (and I have a BIG head) and a wonderful balance between sweet and tart, I found them addictive.

We had to go back in very short order.  And those apples went away pretty quickly.

That's when I realized, Hey!  I have a yard!  I can grow apples myself!  So I started researching and studying and trying to make decisions.  Yesterday I went back to the orchard -- the very last day of the season -- and asked a question about planting, and my friend the AppleMan asked me how much I was paying per tree.  I told him and he said that he could tack on my trees to his order and get them for me for one-third the cost!

So come spring we will be planting three trees - Melrose, HoneyCrisp, and Smokehouse apples!  And in 4 or 5 years we will be harvesting 12 bushels of apples a season!  (A bushel weighs approximately 42 pounds!)  We should be able to provide all of our friends and family with apples!  And apple cake.  And apple sauce.  And apple butter.  And mincemeat.  And...and...and!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm Loopy!

OK.  I'm not one to gush about Local Yarn ShopsI've had some bad experiences.  Especially with LYS owners.   I've always liked Loopy Yarns because their people were friendly, helpful, and they listen to what I want...and then get it!  (Really!  I said I preferred solid sock yarn, 4 weeks later there were 6 colors of solids.  I like the Cascade Alpaca Lace, but I've bought all I like of the colors they have...yup!  4 weeks later there are 12 new colors!  And they have all my favorite needles!)  But I have a new reason to like them.  And I thought I'd mention it.

I've been working a bunch of hours, and I was getting off work after an 11.5 hour day.  The point protector for the circulars I'm using for the Eiffel Tower shawl keep coming off, and I had noticed that they had come off and I had dropped a few stitches.  (Luckily, only a few and I was able to correct it in no time flat.)

I rang up Loopy to see if it happened to be the night they stay open late.  Vicki, the owner, answered the phone and said that they had closed an hour earlier, but if I hurried, she would wait for me to get there!  And she did!  She stayed late, for me.  And my whopping sixty-six cent sale.  Can you believe that?

You know, I could use a few balls of Alpaca Lace....


I just took a huge spanikopita out of the oven -- we are having our chavurah (group of friends) of people mostly from our old synagogue over for an informal Kabbalat (Welcoming) Shabbat service followed by a potluck.  We will have about 25 people -- lots of singing, laughing, eating, etc.

Anyway, I've made this spanikopita a lot, but this time is a little different.  Why?  Because I made the feta cheese myself.  From goat's milk.  From a goat I know.  And love.  And milked.

I've been making my own chevre and other soft cheeses, but this was the first "hard" cheese I have made.  Flavor-wise it is a great success, but I was disappointed in the texture.  When it went into the brine it was firm, but after 21 days it was really, really soft.  Almost marshmallow fluff.  So I rinsed it off and the most fluffy part rinsed off and what remained was perfect for the spanikopita.  Good and salty and goaty!  I can't wait!

Monday, October 18, 2010

100 Chinese Foods to Eat Before You Die

100 Chinese Foods to Try Before You Die

If you want to play along, copy & paste this list to your site. Put in bold the items you’ve already eaten and cross off the ones you would never try. Let me know your score by leaving a comment!

1. Almond milk
2. Ants Climbing a Tree (poetic, not literal, name)
3. Asian pear
4. Baby bok choy
5. Baijiu (chinese white liquor)
6. Beef brisket
7. Beggar’s Chicken
8. Bingtang hulu
9. Bitter melon - (hated it!)
10. Bubble tea
11. Buddha’s Delight
12. Cantonese roast duck
13. Century egg, or thousand-year egg
14. Cha siu (cantonese roast pork)
15. Char kway teow
16. Chicken feet
17. Chinese sausage
18. Chow mein
19. Chrysanthemum tea
20. Claypot rice
21. Congee
22. Conpoy (dried scallops)
23. Crab rangoon
24. Dan Dan noodles
25. Dragonfruit
26. Dragon’s Beard candy
27. Dried cuttlefish
28. Drunken chicken
29. Dry-fried green beans
30. Egg drop soup
31. Egg rolls
32. Egg tart
33. Fresh bamboo shoots
34. Fortune cookies
35. Fried milk
36. Fried rice
37. Gai lan (Chinese broccoli)
38. General Tso’s Chicken
39. Gobi Manchurian
40. Goji berries (Chinese wolfberries)
41. Grass jelly
42. Hainan chicken rice
43. Hand-pulled noodles
44. Har gau
45. Haw flakes
46. Hibiscus tea
47. Hong Kong-style Milk Tea
48. Hot and sour soup
49. Hot Coca-Cola with Ginger
50. Hot Pot
51. Iron Goddess tea (Tieguanyin)
52. Jellyfish
53. Kosher Chinese food
54. Kung Pao Chicken
55. Lamb skewers (yangrou chua’r)
56. Lion’s Head meatballs
57. Lomo Saltado
58. Longan fruit
59. Lychee
60. Macaroni in soup with Spam
61. Malatang
62. Mantou, especially if fried and dipped in sweetened condensed milk
63. Mapo Tofu
64. Mock meat
65. Mooncake (bonus points for the snow-skin variety)
66. Nor mai gai (chicken and sticky rice in lotus leaf)
67. Pan-fried jiaozi
68. Peking duck
69. Pineapple bun
70. Prawn crackers
71. Pu’er tea
72. Rambutan
73. Red bean in dessert form
74. Red bayberry
75. Red cooked pork
76. Roast pigeon
77. Rose tea
78. Roujiamo
79. Scallion pancake
80. Shaved ice dessert
81. Sesame chicken
82. Sichuan pepper in any dish
83. Sichuan preserved vegetable (zhacai)
84. Silken tofu
85. Soy milk, freshly made
86. Steamed egg custard
87. Stinky tofu
88. Sugar cane juice
89. Sweet and sour pork, chicken, or shrimp
90. Taro
91. Tea eggs (actually made these myself!)
92. Tea-smoked duck
93. Turnip cake (law bok gau)
94. Twice-cooked pork
95. Water chestnut cake (mati gau)
96. Wonton noodle soup
97. Wood ear
98. Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings)
99. Yuanyang (half coffee, half tea, Hong Kong style
100. Yunnan goat cheese