Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ten on Tuesday - Quite a mouthful

Today's Ten on Tuesday is quite a mouthful, both literally and figuratively (also creative and interesting!) - 10 Foods You Eat Regularly Now That Were Exotic (or unheard of) When You Were a Kid. None of the foods I eat now are particularly exotic, but I was a kid in the late fifties through the seventies, so remember that jello salads were exotic, and spaghetti with Ragu was an ethnic dish!

1. Yogurt
I had never even heard of yogurt before I was in college, and then it was the fruit-on-the bottom Dannon. I made my own with a yogurt maker in the seventies, but since it stopped working, I just use the crockpot-wrapped-in-a-towel method.

2. Whole wheat bread
We only ate white Sunbeam bread (Batter Whipped?!) when I was a kid, but during that broadening of my horizons that was college, I discovered whole wheat bread. Now almost all of the bread we eat (except for homemade cinnamon rolls!) has some whole wheat flour in it.
 3. Muesli
I had never heard of this until some European friends shared theirs with us 30 years ago. It used to be impossible to find, but Amazon and health food stores make it easy now.

4. Chard
I honestly hadn't eaten this before my husband started planting it in our garden about five years ago. It's not one of my favorites, but I'm experimenting with new and better ways to prepare it, so I like it a little more every year.

5. Fresh tomatoes
I grew up in a non-gardening family, and we ate supermarket tomatoes, even in the summer. Once I tasted fresh tomatoes from my father-in-law's garden, there was no going back to the sad supermarket imitation of a tomato.

6. Turnips
My husband loves these, so we eat them often since we've been growing them in the garden. Crapshoot (our version of clapshot) is my favorite way to fix them.

7. Brussels sprouts
These were definitely not in my mother's rotation of frozen vegetables when I was a kid, but I have my husband to thank for these also. I probably like the way they grow and their cute miniature cabbage appearance a bit more than the taste, but growing them yourself does make them taste better.

8. Marinated anything
While marinating isn't terribly exotic, my mother didn't marinate anything. I found the world's best beef/game marinade about 15 years ago, tinkered with it over time, and now use it weekly, especially in the summer. I'm still looking for the world's best chicken marinade, so I'd love your suggestions!

9. Game meats
I'm lucky enough to have a family with two hunters, so we eat a lot of game meat. The taste was an acquired one for me, but I'll always choose venison or elk over beef now. Venison is a staple in our house; we've also enjoyed elk, squirrel, rabbit, and bear.

10. Pad Thai
I'm thankful that my older son helped me branch out and eat a tiny bit more adventurously. We searched for Pad Thai during our road trip across the country to move him to Colorado, and had fun trying all the Thai restaurants in Fort Collins. My area back in NJ is woefully deficient in decent Thai food, so I may try making my own Pad Thai as soon as I can find rice noodles, fish and oyster sauces, and tamarind concentrate!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Yarn Along - the Tortoise Edition

Print Reading: Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant. I haven't had much time for print reading so I'm still reading the same book I started last week. It's also possible that I'm going slowly because I really love the serendipitous matching of my book and knitting bag!

Audiobook: One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson. I'm also still listening to Bill Bryson. We had a day of storms yesterday with lots of rain and wind, so that means lots of leaves are down to begin the raking season. I listen to audiobooks while doing yard work, so I may be making some progress on this one while raking this week.

Knitting: Hitchhiking Who Knows Where and My Heart Belongs to Blue. Hitchhiking is my travel project so it has only grown by five teeth or so. I'm just past the halfway point on My Heart but because it's lace and needs to be blocked to show the heart border to full effect, it looks less than beautiful at the moment. I'm knitting it with DIC Smooshy with Cashmere, so what it lacks in beauty now is more than made up for by my decadent enjoyment of this yarn.

What are you reading and knitting this week? Join in this week's Yarn Along, with Ginny at Small Things.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Yarn Along

Print Reading: Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant. I've just started this, and while it's a little quirky so far, it's interesting quirky as opposed to weird quirky. I had some trouble finding a copy, but that just made me want to read it even more. It was a happy coincidence that my knitting bag matches my book!

Audiobook: One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson. I don't have a lot of interest in the 1920s, but I am very interested in reading anything written by Bill Bryson, especially when he narrates it himself. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to 17 glorious hours of Bill Bryson reading to me!

Knitting: My Heart Belongs to Blue and Hitchhiking Who Knows Where. I'm going to hear Temple Grandin speak tonight and needed a take-along project that doesn't require counting so I decided to start my third Hitchhiker with a couple of yarns I found in my stash.

What are you reading and knitting this week? Join in this week's Yarn Along, with Ginny at Small Things.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

When I first read this week's Ten on Tuesday topic, 10 Chores You Hate Most, I thought I'd easily be able to name 20 or more. I was really quite surprised that I could only come up with a few, so I'm calling my list The 5 Chores You Hate Most.

1. Dusting
I don't mind vacuuming; I love laundry, and sometimes I even enjoy washing windows, but I hate to dust. I think that's because I don't enjoy moving everything to dust surfaces, dusting the stuff, and putting it all back. Too much work!

2. Mending
As a mother of two boys, it seems like I was always mending something while they were growing up - torn knees in jeans, replacing buttons on shirts, fixing zippers on coats, or repairing backpacks worn thin by dragging them on the ground. This doesn't happen nearly as often now, but I still have to mend knit items. While cleaning Younger Son's room the other day, I found this hat I had knit for him last year, and almost cried when I saw the holes in it. I've Googled and watched plenty of reknitting videos on Youtube; now I'm just gathering my strength and patience while the hat rests in the freezer, just in case it was moths and not the carelessness of a 20-year old!

3. Taxes
I do our taxes, and while they're not especially difficult, I resent every single minute I have to work on them to get a refund of our own money, or worse yet, to find out we owe money. 1040, W-2, W-4, 1099, Form 8283, 5498-SA,  - I hate them all!

4. Painting
I don't like scraping, sanding, priming, masking, and trying to paint straight lines around woodwork. About the only thing I do enjoy painting is nice, big, flat surfaces where I can't make too much of a mess.

5. Polishing Silver
Polishing silver may seem like a bit of an anachronism, but I do have some family silver pieces that I love. I enjoy the gleam of these pieces when they're polished, but my enjoyment of the polishing process wears thin before all the silverware, serving pieces, and the whole tea set is shining.

Maybe I should put on Downton Abbey, get polishing, and quit whining!

So what chores do you hate most? I'd be happy to do some of your most-hated chores if you want to do some of mine!