Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bone Jelly

This is my second time making beef stock/broth from bones, and I love the result.  As one friend remarked: "Beef broth?  Ew, so salty!"  But it isn't, I replied . . .
When I started it the first time, I was amazed at how sweet it smelled.  A more charnel house smell seemed a reasonable expectation, but even before I added the cloves the pot had a wonderful aroma that did little to remind me of meat.  Still not sure what the cloves do, they aren't prominent in the flavor.  There isn't any call for salt until the final stages, and I often salt in the bowl as my primary salt addition.

One thrill was the fantastic fat cap that the broth produced:

That fat is hard, sharply separate, and easy to remove.  I think the suggestion to chill it in a bowl helped a bit.  The lack of a lid, and the 2 days it was in there may have contributed to the pottery-like solidity.  I've never had this kind of result when making chicken broth, that's for sure.
The first batch I was able to form a second insubstantial layer when I chilled it a second time, but the bowl method seems to be more effective and I don't see a second installment forming in the refrigerator.
Beans are soaking and I'll add celery, carrots, onion, and potatoes.  This bone hunt only yielded marrow bones  and no shank bones, so I didn't have those nice meaty bits to add back in the soup.
I was very entertained by the beef jello that I made last time, I can't wait to use my second batch in soup again!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What Women Want

So I had a really hot fantasy going all day today. I'm off sick and too tired to even feel like knitting (which means death is at hand) and I kept daydreaming about some hot man inviting me over -- because he has a big pot of luxuriously gelatinous turkey stock ready for vegetables, and would I like to come over and have some? I eventually caved and went to Whole Foods for some chicken soup, where I was not propositioned by anyone with a simmering . . . soup-pot. Drat. At least it was a small break from my pity party at home. I don't think my glands have ever been this swollen. My neck is so sore I feel like I was strangled last night .

Thank Bob I had a new DVD from the library: Monarch of the Glen; which I really enjoyed, even in my foggy state.

I finally finished a quite-challenging pair of socks. These are intarsia in the round, which I hope to not do again for a long while. I think this was my first intarsia project, and i'm quite pleased with my results, but two-at-a-time method leads to four x two ends at a time, which made me a little batty. The sad part is, I'm so much more tickled with the striped heels than those difficult squares, which were a Bitch to do. Surprisingly, even with big breaks, they only took me 2 months.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I really shouldn't

So, I've got this color problem going on, and I blame my mother. Buried in the cedar chest where I could never touch it again was a vest and legwarmers that my mother made. I remember them as made for me, but I don't remember wearing them -- and my sister was firstborn, so they might have been hers. The vest was a hot acidy coral color. A fiery pink (like the kind that the ill-advised put on red haired children) mixed with coral. Being a pale person, this is a color I should probably shy from, but it sucks me toward it always. The brightness! It burns with that light that hot pink impatiens have. If I stare at the flower shining in the heat I see the hotness of the color so far until it starts to recede into cold darkness. It's the jewel-tone with the heart of goth.
Tallying up the items I have collected in the last year that share this hue: my toenails are coral and needed touching up (for a week). Well, the carpet is now one of the group because I knocked the bottle over. It's an old shabby carpet that should have been replaced 8 years ago, so I'm not worried, but it didn't need to match anything. I did get it to "hardly visible from across the room" which also helped with my "too much polish remover" problem.
I have of course bought yarn in this color, but I have fallen off and started buying clothes in this color. It has a pleasantly twisted relationship with grays.
Time for yoga. I got up at 5:45 on a Saturday. Sick, no?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Swine Flu Is In Your Street, It's at Your Door

Doesn't the heavy-handed reportage on (possibly) Deadly Viruses that (could) kill everyone! sometimes make you wish that there was more to it? I sometimes find myself rooting for the virus. Didn't the constant mention of how many hadn't died sound a little disappointed to you? Like a dare? I'm not wishing any deaths, mind you. But if you hear talk for weeks about how the prize fighter is really good, but probably won't win and he's really evil . . . you might want him to go all the way and be a Contender!
After hearing NPR's story on handwashing this morning I was trying to sing my ABCs at the sink and was shocked to find that I was shockingly rusty at it. I fell apart after Q. Now, I really do know my alphabet. However, the melody is only a crutch to memory if you have used both together in the past decade, which I have not. Scrambling on that shiny slope which is not knowing the alphabet :) I backpedalled. Wondering how far I could make it in French, I ran through the 26 letters in style -- and speedily. I've done the French version more recently, and we used a totally different chanted cadence that was still the bones of the process for my brain. Hallelujah!

Having recently kicked a virus/immune problem to the floor, I have decided to keep flooding myself with echinachea, B vitamins, and C. Why quit now? If the swine flu gets to Pittsburgh, I'll be ready. Bring it!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

An Eye for an Eye

The damn universe has been flattening out my hubris again. After weeks of searching for the fourth button for my orange sweater I found it in, yes, the same (and only!) button tin that I had searched through nearly every day. It is a 5" wide tin; it is but shallowly filled. How did I finger through it at least a dozen times and not see it? Rrrrr. I was so angry that the buttons waited a week for attachment. Take that!

On the same day, Reader, both Kauni mittens disappeared. I have searched every pocket, every bag and baglet that i have ever dragged to work, every laundry basket and bin -- no sign of them. I have been extra paranoid about MittenAwayImmediately! when riding the bus, so I hope dolefully that they are in the house somewhere. But it seems certain that the day i find them I will lose something else.

In further proof that some sort of balancing act is out of control, I brought home that gem of out-of-print The Principles of Knitting by June Hiatt. I couldn't believe that the library lets them circulate. So far, the hype is deserved: the style is just chatty enough but still gang-busters informing. I wouldn't pay $200, but if they reprinted? definately $80 or so.

While enjoying this amazing addition to my library queque I leaned on my glasses -- "why is my pillow making a snapping noise? oh." This is my first broken frame since . . . 1997? when I took a left turn a little fast coming out of campus (it was sunny, you would have too) and the glasses slowly and smoothly slid across the dash, and zip! out the window onto a quite busy road. I pulled over immediately and got to watch them get shot around by the car tires. Good times.

I do maintain that despite my cluttered living habits i have a good track record with eyeglasses; and this incident with beloved and long-lived Diane Capt 44D02 happened two days before my eye appointment to fill two new frames. I think they hid under the pillow on Purpose, damn it!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

She's lookin good, Verne

I hope a lot of other people get crippled when starting a blog post. I don't know why I think that I'll remember a clever post-title 8 hours later, but I keep believing it. Also, all the funny drains right out of me when I park here at the PC. That's why titles from The Far Side are just right. If I could choose God, he would be Gary Larson. Of course the world would be just as irony-infested as usual, only with more cows.

My knitting loops apace, but the blog falters before the mating ritual that is my stash and the Rav circling and hooting at each other. It's so hard to keep my lips on the air valve, blowing until I have a blowup cow girlfriend.

In good, non-self-flagellating news, I have organized my stash and there are decorative baskets involved -- and lots of (Ziploc we pray thee) moth-proof freezer bags.

Swatch for Norah G's Serpentine Coat has been alarming:

1. how does she expect abstract-shaped color patterns to go smoothly, knitted flat?

2. either the book's yarn is a very different dyelot or the photographer was a slick SOB because my brown mix Odyssey is loads darker and I haven't seen golden tones yet. which led to

3. blue doesn't rise above background -- cause purling back in crazyville is so worth it when invisible!

Swatching with my new Patou singles is charming. I tried the Twist Little Bird pattern:

Add Image

Add ImageIt looks a little Christmassy. I can't quite walk past the cuteness. One problem is that the cream is the main quantity, so it will end up being background even though I don't fancy a lighter sweater. I don't have enough colors for a more traditional fair isle deal. Ack. So far the cream is a tad thicker than the others, too.
I've had a bitter feud/phobia with provisional cast on for years. Always ended up looking like I'd swirled the needles in a pot of spaghetti, so I had recourse to the crochet method a few times. A few weeks ago I watched the Zimmermann/Swanson Workshop DVD (seeing the technique live for the first time) and it looked a bit more reasonable. Then when reorg'ing the crafts closet I found a doomed old project and turning it about, what did i spy but a rather neat looking prov.cast on! What? I know no one else did it and it looked shockingly good. So this week when casting on the bird hat/swatch I fearlessly whipped up my nemesis and started up! Sooo not visible in bad photo.
At the top, birthday flowers from my bar. Awesome.
If only I still liked to drink :(

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Viva November!

Wow, October was no party. I had strep for 3 weeks -- after which I accomplished my first perfectly executed cycle of antibiotics ever, so determined to not be sick AnyMore was I. Then, the very last day as a gleeful kick in the pants (after 3 days of "defrosting" during which I never thought to cock my ear for a running motor noise) I found out Halloween morning that my refrigerator had quit. Of course by then it had not been cooling for several days and I had a mess of dairy products as usual. It took 7 garbage bags and I didn't recycle most of the food jars. It was depressing enough to throw it all out. I didn't have the necessary to clean out everything as well.

A few days ago I got the new frig and it has a normal freezer instead of a shoebox and finally I can have half-gallons of Breyers like everyone else! And without the 2inch layer of ice. I do miss my egg holes terribly though, it was so nice to see the friendly eggs all in a row.

I am still hard at work on Christmas gift for the few, the chosen. I have one man's hat done and the red lace scarf is going well, though a bit slow. I finally got past the part of the doubled yarn that I had to rewind: changed my mind about pattern.

I have six straight days with no work! Lots of knitting!