Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Right Now - February 2017

I haven't written about current happenings since October so it's clearly long past time for a Right Now post. Also, I don't have anything else for today, and it is the last day of February, so this is what's going on ... Right Now.

Knitting - Still this Hitchhiker. I keep knitting and knitting, and it just doesn't seem to get much bigger. I know it must be growing, because I've started on a second skein, but that has caused some issues. The Hedgehog Fibres skeins are just slightly different, so I've been alternating them, which has caused me to start knitting from the wrong side more than once. I'm trying to be careful to have both skeins on the same side of the row when I put it down, but since I don't always remember to do that, I am at least getting faster at tinking long rows to correct my carelessness.

The warm weather and a burning desire to try my new Karbonz needles may have made me cast on this Creamsicle sock.

Looking For - A more varied menu for dinner. I cook almost every night, but it seems like I'm making the same boring things night after night. John isn't a picky eater, but he's also not a very adventurous one, so anything spicy is out. There is shepherd's pie, spinach and mushroom quiche, and ziti on the menu this week, but I'd love to hear any suggestions you might have. 

Looking Forward - To slightly warmer weather, as it seems that being able to grill solves a lot of my meal problems. Dinner during the spring and summer is usually something grilled, a good salad, and a vegetable.

Counting Down - To when I can start planting seeds for the garden. I alternate between lamenting that it's a whole month away and thinking it's only four short weeks until I start my tomatoes, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and watermelons.

Reading - The Keeper of Lost Things which I'm enjoying so far. I really looked forward to the publication of this book as I have a love of the "lost things" genre, if there is such a thing. (Goodreads lists plenty of "lost things" books, so there might be!) I read Lost Property last summer and felt a real connection. Maybe this is related to my traumatic loss of a special birthstone ring when I was six.

Watching - Happy Valley and Lark Rise to Candleford. I love Happy Valley (even if it's a terribly mis-named show) and Sarah Lancashire is excellent in it, but Lark Rise to Candleford provides some low-key entertainment when Happy Valley gets a bit too gritty. Sometimes it's nice to watch something where the biggest problems are who is going to pay for telegrams and whether a widower should buy lace gloves for his maid. 

Wondering - If I'm smart enough to watch Homeland. Mary praised the show when she talked about Sara's Hell Yeah Homeland tumblr and podcast, but also warned me that some story lines could be confusing. John is traveling for a week in March, so I think I'll get the DVDs from the library, give it a try, and consult Mary and Sara's blog if I'm not clever enough to follow what's going on. 

Grateful For - More daylight at the end of the day. John and I usually walk when he gets home from work, so I'm glad that it's not getting dark until almost 6 pm. Plus, we return to Daylight Savings Time in just a couple weeks, so I'll be even more grateful for more light later.

Resisting - Starburst Jelly Beans. This is an old photo, but I noticed these among the Easter candy that made an early appearance immediately after Valentine's Day, and of course I've been thinking about them since I first saw those bright red and yellow bags on the grocery store shelves. Maybe I need to officially forego them for Lent. 

Avoiding - This speech. It's after my self-imposed no-news curfew of 8:00 pm. Also, I just don't think I have the fortitude to watch or listen. 

What's going on in your world right now?


  1. I am going to join you in avoiding the speech. Fortunately, I'll still be in my art class when it starts, so I won't even be tempted to peek. When the seasons change (and especially from winter to spring, it seems), my menu-planning mojo flies right out the window (along with my knitting mojo). I'm not exactly sure why that is, but I think it has something to do with that deep call of going barefoot and throwing stuff on the grill. . .

  2. I'm skipping the speech too.

    Your Hitchhiker is pretty, even if it is giving you fits ...

  3. There will be no speech watching here either. The news coverage will be quite enough thankyouverymuch. That's a really pretty book cover. Also, Homeland is not that complicated. I mean, it can be, but if there's stuff you don't follow don't sweat it and just enjoy what you do follow.

  4. My "what is going on" is similar to yours: knitting a grandchild's colorful sweater, menus are simple lately like one pot ratatouille (end of winter blues), yes to warm weather, I am lucky with having a cold frame for my winter garden and can plant some lettuce now, reading - finished Moonglow by M. Chabon - just excellent, watching birds and avoiding the tv, yes to DST, resisting cookies which are my go-to-sweet, and see previous avoidance of tv news and especially "that" speech.

    1. I'm envious of your cold frame! I've thought about building one but have just never done it. It would be worth it for early lettuce and greens! I'll look for the Democrats' response to the speech tomorrow morning, but I simply can not listen to the crazy tonight.

  5. I always have trouble with what to cook as the seasons begin to change. Tonight is my night to cook at our Catholic Worker house for women and children; I expect between 6-14 people each week. During the winter I usually make chili, vegetable soup, or beef stew and in the summer I make big pasta salads, grilled chicken, or ham & cheese sliders. I just didn't know what to make tonight and finally decided on meatball sandwiches and a tossed salad...I hope they like it! I'll get home just in time for the speech tonight, but I will not watch it because I want to sleep tonight. I have been watching Happy Valley too, it's very well done with so many twists!

  6. Homeland - I highly recommend! It is a well written series and the acting is superb! I am torn about this speech tonight, do I want to watch Hair Hitler? No, but I would like to see if the Dems rise up during the speech (perhaps with accurate shouts of 'you lie')...I will be avoiding jelly beans as well and the cooking/knitting mojo has derailed here as well. Although - I did make an interesting pasta the other night - a simple Sunday Sauce with turkey meatballs on Banza pasta (which was unbelievably good!!) Also, when we are floundering for a meal we cheat and have an extra "happy hour" it is a nice weekday night treat! lol

  7. Greek meatballs with lemon dill rice (last night's dinner). Sounds more complicated than it is in reality. Doesn't take long to prepare, and so good! Lemon zest in the meatballs...fantastic!!! http://www.dinneratthezoo.com/one-pot-greek-meatballs-with-lemon-dill-rice/

    Can't decide whether to skip the speech. I may not be able to avoid the comic relief of the whole thing. And it is hard to look away from the train wreck sometimes :)

    1. Thank you! Meatballs are always a hit here, and that recipe sounds like a new and delicious take on them. I've already put them on my meal-planning list! I'll look for the Democrats' response to the speech tomorrow morning, but I simply can not listen to the crazy tonight.

  8. I am torn about the speech. I don't want to watch, but ... the news hasn't been doing a accurate job of reporting. I think they are seduced by all the things he says that are so inflammatory. He provides so many "squirrel" moments! And example is all the news about Trump's military spending plans. It is only 3% over Obama's proposed budget for 2018, and it is not nearly enough money to do what he says he wants to do. I really had to read a lot of articles to get to those facts. As Margene said in the comments here or on Carol's blog, we need to keep our eyes on that b*stard! And while I am certainly a liberal, I think it is a mistake to get all my news from liberal commentators. It is unfortunately the same as alt-right and conservatives only reading Breitbart and watching Fox News. I will definitely record it, then grit my teeth and watch it later if I can't stomach it tonight. It will be a good time to practice by deep breathing exercises.:p

  9. I give you a lot of credit for being a well-informed citizen. I had a professor in college that always told us we didn't really understand an issue until we could argue for the opposing side, and it sounds like you are putting that into practice. You do make a valid point, so I might have to reconsider my speech avoidance. Thanks!

  10. Your hitchhiker has so many beautiful colors of blue! Becky has a point, but I usually read his speeches rather than watch. News (even the NYT) seems to report only the spectacles that happen and not the true news. We grill year round. It saves us from menu planning. :)

  11. We eat the same thing over and over around here, too. and no grill, so it's really the same all year round! You are definitely smart enough for Homeland - no worries at all. And I think it will be a nice distraction from reality, while still feeling "real". It's also very friendly for knitting. (and I still haven't tried a Hitchhiker!) ... good luck resisting the jelly beans. I'm thinking you should just give in a one bag so you can put your resistance energy elsewhere :-)

  12. you asked: Pesto pasta -- 1/4 c. almonds, 1/4 c. olive oil, 1/3 c. parmesan cheese, big handful of spinach and some seasoning and whir it up in a food processor -- mix with 12 oz of cooked hot pasta of choice.

    I also made gnocchi and stir fried it with mushrooms in olive oil

    we tend to buy chicken sausages to serve with those meals.

  13. That book looks interesting...I've recommended it to both my libraries to add to their Overdrive collection. And your creamsicle sock looks luscious - lol. I always seem to go dry with recipes when the seasons change, but last night we just roasted/broiled asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and had that with some cherry tomatoes and a small baguette. Another dish I do love (and have not made recently) is Spicy Cuban Beef which is NOT spicy at all -- there is a bit of chili powder in it (and you can eliminate that or pare it back), but some cloves and green olives. It is delicious - let me know if you want the recipe.

  14. I discovered a new recipe on WW and cannot get enough of it... I haven't been making it everyday because I'd get sick of it, but I think about it EVERYDAY!! So good. It's Cuban-inspired, which I've always avoided thinking that it would be spicy but it is not -- such a wonderful FLAVOR, tho!

    1 small red onion, thinly sliced
    6 T. fresh lime juice (divided)
    2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped
    3/4 t. salt
    2 t. extra-virgin olive oil
    1-1/2 t. minced garlic
    1 t. dried oregano
    1 t. ground cumin
    1/4 t. black pepper
    1 lb. lean boneless pork chops {(4) 4-oz. portions}

    Combine onion, 3 T. lime juice, cilantro, and 1/4 t. salt; let stand until wilted, tossing occasionally, about 30 minutes.

    In a zip-lock bag or glass container with lid, combined remaining 3 T. lime juice, remaining 1/2 t. salt, oil, garlic, oregano, cumin, and pepper. Add pork, turn to coat, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours.

    Coat a grill rack or stove-top grill pan (I just used a frying pan!) with cooking spray; heat to medium-hot/medium-high. Remove pork from marinade; discard marinade. Grill pork, flipping once, until an instant-read thermometer registers 145F (about 8 minutes total).

    Transfer to serving plates; let pork sit for 3 minutes, then sprinkle with marinated onions (or serve them on the side -- some people like onion more than others).

    NOTE: Prep in the a.m. and let marinate in the fridge all day; with prep done, this will be ready for the table in about 10 minutes. I've served with green beans and/or Zatarain's Cuban-style black beans & rice.

    Bon appetit! :)


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