Sunday, March 27, 2011


It's been a difficult week, in that the way the local political decisions, national political decisions, and global events have taken place, leave me with little hope for the human race.  I used to say in the past in times of extreme displeasure with election results, that I'd like to move to another country, but where am I going to go now, Mars?  And I'm tired.  I'm tired of this one step forward, thirty five steps back stuff.  You get tired of fighting and tired of arguing.  And I'm concerned, because in the past I've been angry and energized, but now I'm just disheartened and without a lot of hope.  Maybe I'm having my second midlife crisis (my first was at 25). So that's all I'm really going to say here.  Because sometimes to survive, you just need to focus on the things that actually make you happy for a little while, so you can take a deep breath. 

So, on to the normal stuff.  I made my monthly writing goal of 8,000 words for March with a new grand total of 81,715 words and 271 pages.  As I am aiming for 100,000 words or so, I'm on the home stretch.  We had a meeting of the Misplaced Modifiers and they had good comments, and we had a lovely time with Sally's kiddo, who is growing leaps and bounds.  What I think I'm going to try to do, is just press forward, get a completed first draft and then go back and refine.  I'd like to have the draft to submit to publishers (which I plan to do just for fun, I don't really expect to get published) complete by the end of the year, but no later than my 40th birthday.

In spinning news, I finished the Optim and I manged to do a 2 ply.  I plyed the two bobbins I had until the one with less on it ran out, and then I did a center pull ball off the second bobbin, and then used a scale to divide the remaining center pull ball into two, which I plyed against each other.  Normally I would use a center pull ball and ply the end against the center, but these singles were too fine and there was just no way without ending up with a tangled freaking mess.

I began spinning 4 oz of  Cormo & Silk Roving (75%/25%) from Foxfire Fiber & Designs at Springdelle Farm.  The interesting thing about it is that the silk and cormo (cormo is a cross breed of sheep, for those of you who are not among the fiber-y), isn't well blended, so I think when I dye it, even if I dye it one color I'm going to get a really interesting effect. I'm  not going crazy fine this time, because I think I wouldn't get the effect I'm looking for.  I'm trying for about a sport weight.

After much swatching, gnashing of teeth, and swearing, I think I have a sleeve in progress on the Kyoto Jacket.  I have no freaking idea if I have enough yarn.  I think that when I complete the first sleeve, I'll have a better idea about how it's going to go.  Donna D still has some she's willing to trade if I need it, and the good thing is that the way the sweater is constructed I don't think dyelot issues are going to matter that much.  Entrelac though, what was I thinking?  Although it is worsted weight, so not completely masochistic.

For the last two weeks, in addition to my normal milk free state, I have also been egg and almond free so that I can do a challenge.  I'm trying to decide what do to first, egg by itself, or egg baked in stuff, so I can see the reaction.  If I can tolerate egg baked in stuff I will be a happy woman.  But in furtherance of dealing with the last two weeks, and the next four as I complete the challenges, and to deal with the possibility that I may need to be dairy, egg, and almond free from now on, I did a little bit of shopping at Amazon, and ended up buying six new cookbooks.  So on to the cookbook reviews.

First I got: The Food Allergy Mama's Baking Book: Great Dairy-, Egg-, and Nut-Free Treats for the Whole Family (9781572841024): Kelly Rudnicki: Books This book I felt was worth what I paid for it.  There are muffins, quick breads, pancakes, waffles, biscuits, scones, breads, bagels, cookies and bars, frostings, sheet cakes, brownies, cupcakes, coffee cake, pies, cobblers, chocolate shakes, carmel corn and candies.  I think it's a well rounded book, and the pictures are great, which I always appreciate in a cook book.  I have not tested any recipes yet, but they look easy to follow and there's some great allergy information in the beginning of the book.
Then I got: What's to Eat? The Milk-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free Food Allergy Cookbook (9780970278500): Linda Marienhoff Coss: Books and
These books range from soups, salads, entrees, side dishes to breakfast items, snacks and desserts and it looks like there are some good things in it, but the real drawback for me is no pictures.  I know it's shallow but I like my eye candy.  Most of the recipes were fairly standard American fare, but I guess it's good to have a book of standards. 
Then I got some vegan cookbooks from the same author.  Vegan works well for me because I know there will be no milk and eggs in the recipe, and then I can just watch out for the other things I'm allergic to and add meat if I want.  Each of these books doesn't have the pictures I prefer, but the recipes in each book sound wonderful, and most don't use anything other than standard ingredients (i.e. not a lot of replacement fake foods).  I was very happy with all three books.
What I liked about this book is that most of the ingredients are available at a regular grocery store, but the recipes are inventive, cross cultural, and sound really, really yummy.
This book has recipes from the Caribbean, Central and South America, Thailand, Indonesia, Hawaii, Australia, Africa, and India. The recipes are fabulous, but there are quite a few that involve coconut, which is one of my allergies and which I was aware might be an issue, as Thailand does use quite a bit of coconut in its cuisine. I can't wait to try some of the recipes, reading it makes my mouth water.
Italian food is something that I miss very much, so I thought this would be a good book to check out.  There are some lovely pasta and risottos, salads and soups, and the desserts look amazing.  Again, very happy and can't wait to cook some of the recipes.
I bought this book at the beginning of the milk free adventure. Last week I tried making the milk free version of alfredo.  Which was god awful.  But I think that's specific to me.  I really, really, really do not like soy milk.  At all.  And the sauce was primarily soy milk.  I had hoped that the other ingredients would cover it up enough. But no, not at all.  I took two bites and dumped it down the disposal.  The good part was that I had to make "fake" Parmesan to make the recipe, and that's pretty good.  It's much better than the commercial fake vegan Parmesan that I had bought.
I also tried the instant cheez-it recipe which is supposed to be like an instant mac and cheese sauce.  It worked out okay, but I needed to add a bit more salt and some lemon juice, but it was much better than the dairy free mac and cheese I had bought in the natural food section at Hannaford.  I think I could have used a bit more nutritional yeast in the mix a well and it would have been closer.
Today I'm headed to knitting guild and tonight, Shawn and I are going to dinner with Chris and Kristie.  Apparently they found a restaurant that makes fried seafood without any dairy or egg in the batter.  I could cry with happiness.  Seriously.  I'm thinking I'm skipping lunch so I can stuff my face.  It's been months and months without fried seafood.
Well, this is a long post for me, so see you next week at this same channel.  

1 comment:

  1. Most vegan cookbooks do not seem to have many photos -- I think they don't expect to sell many and try to produce them relatively cheaply. That's my theory, at least.