Monday, February 28, 2005

Get in on the action! (zine submissions)

With the deadline just a mere month away, I figure now's a good time to talk in detail about this next issue of my knit zine that I warmly welcome you all to contribute to. But I'm a knitter, not a writer, you may be saying to yourself. Pah! I say. Don't worry about it. If it's related to knitting and someone else might wanna know about it, we'll figure it out.

Need topic ideas? Here's my wish list:
* a knitting q&a - you can come up with the questions yourself, or ask your friends
* comics and illustrations
* product reviews - yarns, needles (doesn't someone wanna gush about Lantern Moon?), books, magazines and other zines...
* an interview with a knitter (includes your grandma or best friend, a yarn shop owner or employee, a sheep or alpaca farmer, someone famous who knits, etc.)
* how to's - tips, step-by-step explanation of a technique (intarsia, felting, finishing)...
* other small crafty projects, maybe related to spinning, dying, sewing, crocheting, quilting, silkscreening, etc.
* stories about your family's knitting herstory or how you learned to knit
* articles about knitting and feminism, knitting and gender, the d.i.y. movement, knitting in public, veganism and knitting, organic yarns/environmental aspects of knitting, how knitting builds community, your stitch n' bitch group or LYS, seeking out yarn shops while on vacation...
* I would be thrilled if someone creative approached me to discuss and hopefully design cover art.
* and of course, patterns (in various levels of difficulty)! summer projects that come to mind include tube tops and tank tops; a bicycle seat cover (Brenna?!); bags; skirts; a sunglasses case; shawls, caplets and wraps for cool evenings; accessories, accessories, accessories...

The Knitty Gritty:
The best way to get a feel for what I'm looking for (and what's already been done) is to get yer hot li'l hands on a copy of Take Back the Knit #1. I am particularly drawn to things with a d.i.y./feminist/punk-rock/hipster/granola-feel, though it's not a must that your submissions emit any one of these vibes. (And when I say "punk-rock," I'm not talkin' literally, necessarily.) I'm not so big on submissions with a Chicken Soupy feel, if you catch my meaning.

This is the spring/summer edition. Submissions should be seasonally appropriate or non-season specific. (You can still send in fall/wintery submissions whenever you like, I'll just keep 'em on file.)

Submissions are best sent as MS Word attachments. I am not very tech-savvy, so it's easy to confuse me with anything else.

In the past with zine submissions I've suggested a 1200 word maximum. I'm not super concerned with the word count, just as long as the piece doesn't ramble on and on.

It's fine to submit previously published work - that includes blog exerpts. A blog post could make a perfectly appropriate piece.

Pieces with accompanying art (line drawings, photos) are preferred, though not required. Patterns, however, do require photos. In regards to sending photos, please scale them down so that they don't take up my entire Inbox.

If your submission is primarily text this doesn't really affect you, but page sizes are 4 1/4" x7" (half of a legal-sized sheet of paper). One piece should typically occupy 1 to 4 pages.

This time the number of patterns in the publication is limited to 12 (or 16) as each one will have a little colour (!! this is new for me!!) photo on the front- or back-inside cover.

It's fine to mention small businesses owned by kind people who treat their staff and/or animals with care and respect. If you are interested in advertising space in the zine, please contact me.

A biography of no more than 60 words needs to accompany your submission. It should be written in the third person, eg:
"To date, jae has 11 zines under belt. She aspires to be as fast a knitter as Laura someday, though she's not holding her breath. jae can be reached through her weblog, Domestic Affair ("

I strongly encourage getting someone to read your piece over before your send it off (for clarity, spelling, grammar, etc.).

If your piece is printed in the zine, you receive a free copy of the publication.

I welcome questions and topic proposals before pieces are sent in, but within reason. Is this okay? Is this okay? Is this okay? will not fly for me. I'm pretty busy and try to spend as little unnecessary time on the computer as possible, so please read the guidelines carefully (they're not that tricky) and try to figure things out yerself.

I hope I haven't overwhelmed you with all this information....

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE MONDAY MARCH 28 2005, and submissions received on or before that date are given priority. The zine'll hopefully be in print by late-April/early-May.

Great! Now bring it on!
(And, fellow knit-bloggers, it'd be great if you wanted to mention this call for submissions on your site too. Thank you kindly!)
Sunday, February 27, 2005

For those who don't knit

I probably shoulda mentioned this earlier, but I'm facilitating a learn-to-knit workshop at the Toronto Women's Bookstore every Monday night in March, and I believe there are a few spaces left.

Knitters, tell all your loved ones who you wish would take up the craft that now's their chance! (provided that they live in or near Toronto.) Some of the simple projects to choose from include toques, scarves, ponchos and baby blankets. We'll be working out of Take Back the Knit a bit, with some other pattern options on the side. Considering the course is ten hours in length, it's a pretty great deal. What better way to spend your Monday evenings than with a bunch of other folks in a lovely feminist bookstore learning what many of us who already knit see as one of our most satisfying skills?
Saturday, February 26, 2005

One day delay

Damn! It just occurred to me that yesterday was Friday, and the second Friday in a row that I didn't post a recipe like I was supposed to. Chalk it up to a temperature of almost 100oF, and having to run around town anyway because my phone died and it's the only phone I've got. (Rogers is an aweful corporation in my humble opinion.)

Okay, let's see now... what recipe should I post?... Of course, something warm and nourishing:

Miso Soup

Miso, a paste made from fermented soybeans and often a grain like barley or rice as well, has wonderful healing properties, so this soup is a great alternative to chicken soup when you or someone else is ill. Careful though, miso loses it's healing properties when heated at too high a temperature, so add it last and don't let it boil! (and certainly don't put it in the microwave.) Shiitake mushrooms are an important part of this soup too as they're great for strengthening and detoxifying.

1 large onion, chopped
1-2 tbsp. oil
4 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1 inch fresh ginger root, grated
2 medium carrots, (peeled if not organic and) sliced in rounds on a bias
1/2 - 1 lb. firm tofu, cut in 1/2" cubes (optional)
6-8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced (cremini or white mushrooms are an okay substitute)
1-2 cups chopped kale or bok choy, or halved snow peas
1 6-inch piece wakame or other dried seaweed
5-6 cups water or vegetable broth
2 tbsp. tamari or shoyu (or more to taste)
a few dashes of cayennne, to taste
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)
3 tbsp. miso (or more to taste)

1. In a large soup pot, saute onion in oil over medium-high heat. Once translucent (about 8 minutes), add garlic, ginger and carrots and cook for another 6 minutes.
2. Add tofu and shiitakes, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid sticking.
3. Toss in kale, boy choy or snow peas and wakame. Pour in water, tamari and cayenne. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Throw in the scallions.
4. Scoop a bit of the liquid out into a mug and mix it with the miso. Turn the heat off under the soup and pour in the miso. Remove wakame before serving. Serve hot.

Enjoy and be well!
Thursday, February 24, 2005

Dasa jae 'carf

The funniest part of my day was finishing off that eyelash scarf for my favourite two year old. As I was knitting the last few rows she was making enthusiastic (not to mention repetitive) comments like: "Habbit peas?" ("Have it please?"), "Dis a mie" ("This is mine"), and "Dasa jae 'carf" ("That's a jae scarf," meanning "jae made that scarf"). The novelty of the challenging-at-times-to-understand three word sentance has yet to wear off. Once I'd cast off, we walked down the street to the library for a little light reading and then stopped in at Karma where she happily showed off her new garment to Michael.

(She's not actually upset in this picture, she was just very interested in how the camera worked.)

As this entertaining two year-old has another cold, I now also have another cold. Went down to my ceramics class and promptly left as I knew I just needed my bed and a pot of tea.

Winter and sickness? Boo. Bring on spring.

Satisfying exhale

Oh yes, I'm home from Chicago. The exhausting weekend ended with me and Emmett tossing back a few gin & tonics each in the airport bar before boarding the delayed plane, having the plane circle Pearson Airport in Toronto for about an hour because of the snow storm, not being able to catch a taxi once we landed, having to rent a car and not getting home till 3 am... but I can now exhale.

There were parts of the experience that I certainly did not enjoy - sumpin' to do with 16 hours on my feet on Friday - and it was disappointing not to get to see much of the city (and find the yarn stores!), but I was pretty proud of the work I did. Some of my masterpieces looked sumpin' like this:

Thursday we had to do some food shopping at Whole Foods that resulted in a bill of $783.49. Saturday night we went downtown to the John Hancock Building post-work and had drinks in the cocktail lounge on the 96th floor. Those were the fun parts. Talking of bosses who drive me crazy, swollen feet from standing for so long, and hotel rooms with only fluorescent lights would sound like nothing but whinning.

Tonight was Wednesday and therefore SnB. Figured it was as good a time as any to address my feelings of knitting inadequacy and start Rogue.

The yarn I'm using is the real deal in that cable knit kinda way - cream coloured wool (1000g between the two balls you see here) that my dad picked up for me in Scotland last summer. I knit up a swatch and agonized with Laura and Joyce over whether to knit the small or medium size. I've tried on a small that was good but fitted. I decided to go for medium as I'll likely wanna wear sumpin' under it at times. Do you think I made the right choice?
Thursday, February 17, 2005

Knitting? What knitting?

I'm embarassed to have a weblog that was inspired by my love for knitting when I don't even want to write about knitting. I continue to be unenthused about the projects I have on needles, but more pressing at the moment is my disappointment in myself for not knitting things that are more challenging and therefore impressive.

I was so discouraged by my first real sweater, since it made me look a little like the Michelin man, that I am inclided to stick primarily to less size-sensitive projects like toques and scarves.

Tonight at SnB I finished off my first Hurry Up Spring Armwarmer (which was kinda shoddy looking for some reason), and cast on the second, but I just couldn't find the energy to progress any further. In a momentary burst of optimism I bought a copy of the Rogue pattern, and headed home.

Gotta pack for Chicago. The limo arrives at 6:30 tomorrow morning. Do you suppose I can throw my Britton DPNs in my carry-on? I think I'll try.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Dear Diva

Dear Diva International,
I have just returned from my local food co-op where I finally picked up one of your reusable menstrual cups. I had a Keeper when I was in high school but it disappeared after only a few months (I think someone in my house thought it was a tub stopper and chucked it) and I never bothered to replace it as I'd discovered sea sponges and was happy using them as blood-catchers for quite some time. When I heard that the Diva cup existed, that it was like the Keeper only made out of silicone - which is boilable - in lieu of rubber, I made a mental note to get my hands on one someday. Looks like today was the day.
I eagerly opened the package upon my arrival home and pulled out the "usage guide" to make sure that the idea I had in my head of what to do was correct. And that's when I noticed something that really struck me as being problematic - it was the language that was used in the directions. Here, I'll quote a bit:
"Hold the folded sides [of the cup] firmly between your thumb and forefinger. The single curved edge should be facing away from your palm... With the vaginal muscles relaxed, gently separate the labia with your free hand."

Do you see what I see? Acceptable-to-talk-about-at-the-dinner-table body parts follow the word your, while "private parts" and the like get a clinical-sounding the. Sadly, the sound of this is not particularly unfamiliar to me, but I was surprised to see it in your pamphlet. In my humble opinion, this language serves to maintain a distancing between womyn and the parts of their bodies that we as a culture aren't particularly comfortable with. This seems to negate one of the benefits of a product that requires womyn to get pretty friendly with their cooches indeed.
I checked out the French side of the directions, and noticed an inconsistent "le" and "vos" preceding les partis du corps. (I am no expert in French translation, so there's nothing much to say here.)
Please don't take my criticism the wrong way. As a founding member of the (no-longer existent) PussyWillow Feminist Health Collective, I am thrilled to introduce other femstruating folks to alternatives to carcinogenic, environmentally insensitive, nasty-corporation-produced tampons and pads. I'm supportive of womyn getting more in touch (literally and figuratively) with the rhythms of their bodies, I just think it'd be great if you examine the language you use and the potential profundity of its meaning.

jae steele
Monday, February 14, 2005

Like any day

The first thing I ate this morning was chocolate cake. Followed by a mango. But let's not talk of Valentines Day, as there's nuthin to say really.

Early Thursday morning I leave for Chicago. It's my cooking-work. Four 12-14 hour days of preparing and serving the dishes we've been perfecting over the past few months to a panel of folks who evaluate them for a new restaurant down there. Sundae evening we get back on the plane and fly home. This ain't no vacation.

I have been sensitive over the past few days to the small loop of places I frequent in Toronto and the fact that I need to break this somewhat-boring cycle that is a result of my lack of time to do much else. I go to classes, work, appointments, SnB (though hardly ever these days!), shows, and then home again. Everything is downtown or a little north or west of downtown. Even a trip to the Beaches to visit my parents would be a bit of a thrill right now.

Natalie'd rented Garden State and I borrowed it from her last night. It had some funny cutenesses and some little details that I certainly enjoyed, but the end came across like a just-blown balloon that's been released to whiz around the room with an extended fart sound. It was that bad. Okay fine, it's good to see boys being ultra-emotional sometimes as it fucks with our feelings around masculinity a bit, but still I was left with an unpleasant taste of bubble gum in my mouth.
Sunday, February 13, 2005

Low energy evening

The Constantines show last night was great. I think I preferred it to the show they'd played at the same venue back in November, though I doubt anything will ever be able to compare to the show they played back in October at the Montreal Pop Explosion. It was in a pretty intimate venue and I had just come back from sitting a silent ten-day meditation intensive, so I was very fresh for the experience.

I think this is the first time that I've been to a Cons show and not knit. Last summer it was my mohair cellphone cozy, in the fall it was a stripped scarf for Olivia... I'm not really excited about anything I have on needles right now. The right needles to start my romantic afghan are on order, I'm knitting a purple eyelash yarn scarf for a favourite just-turned-two year-old that's boring and slightly annoying in that way that novelty yarns often are, and everything else is just plain uninspiring. I think the real problem is that I love knitting toques too much and I feel lost when I don't have one on the go. All I want to do tonight is lie in bed and emit the lowest frequency of energy that I can. I'd watch a movie if I had one that interested me. Instead I've been Googling every silly little thing I can think of. I want Kim to come home from busing at Terroni with freegan treats - like broken pieces of flourless chocolate cake, soon-to-be-stale biscotti and melted tiramisu.
Friday, February 11, 2005

A few days away.

In the few days that I haven't posted, something has felt a little off. I'd even come here to Domestic Affair as if I could expect a new post to magically to appear!

On Wednesday I put together the last of the Take Back the Knit winter issue.

The life as a zinestress can hardly be glamourous when the folks at the printers say, "Oh we don't collate stuff like this," as they hand you a pile that's 250 copies of the cover, 250 copies of the page that is 1 & 2/55 & 56, and so on... It feels good to know that it'll be a while before I have to walk around the kitchen counters in circles again.

As it is Friday, and as Valentine's Day is but a few days away, I offer you a coupl'a chocolate recipes:

Chocolate Pudding Cake

This is a slight adaptation on the recipe in How It All Vegan!. It's like a chocolately science experiment - you could impress the pants off any chocolate-lover with this! Read the directions carefully and use a generously sized pan (about 2 quarts is my guess) so it doesn't bubble over. It should be served warm.

1 cup light spelt or all-purpose wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar (organic evaporated cane juice pref.)*
1/4 cup cocoa powder (Dutch-process pref.)**
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup canola or sunflower oil
1/2 cup (non-dairy) milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

the sauce:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 350oF. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
2. Add in the oil, milk and vanilla and mix just until all the flour has been absorbed. Spread in a lightly oiled casserole dish or loaf pan. Set aside.
3. For the sauce, combine sugar and cocoa, and sprinkle evenly on top of the cake mixture.
4. Carefully pour the boiling water over top - don't just pour in one spot, pour it all around (I think that's how you get the pudding and cake swirls upon completion). DO NOT MIX THIS!! It will do its own thing in the oven.
5. Bake for about 45 minutes. Testing with a skewer for doneness should work if your certain you're poking into a cakey bit and not a pudding bit. To serve, scoop out portions and serve with (non-dairy) ice cream if available.

* I recommend Cocoa Camino's Fair Trade Organic Sugar over the generic white stuff. It's better in so many ways.
** Dutch-processed cocoa is more refined to improve its texture and flavour. As it's darker it's richer-looking, but it's also richer-tasting with it's higher fat content and lower level of acidity.

Chocolate-dipped Strawberries

I am aware of the environmental impacts of using fruit that's out of season and has to travel a long way, but maybe it's okay of a special occassion? Splurge on organic strawberries and spend less time worrying about pesticides and more time enjoying the sensually delicious experience!

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
about a dozen large strawberries, rinced and dried completely

Melt chocolate in a double boiler with simmering water being sure that the pan with the chocolate in it is not touching the water below. Remove from heat just as it's completely melted, and stir until smooth. Dip dry strawberries in the chocolate and place on a parchement paper-lined baking sheet to harden. You can refrigerate strawberries to hasten hardening.

Happy Romancing! (Of course, romancing yerself oughta be just as thrilling as romancing others...)

PS. After my last post, someone commented about wanting recipes for vegan lube and knitted restraints - anyone got any good ideas? Really, I wanna know too.
Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Tag! I'm it.

Yesterday was quite the musical day, as I biked down to Soundscapes to pick up tickets for the Cons show on Friday night and then Crystal tagged me for this q&a that's been making the round of blogs. (Who comes up with these things anyway?!) I'm a little worried about who to pass it off to, but I'm also pleased in all honesty to talk about music - I do it anyway. Let the name-dropping begin!

1. Total amount of music files on your computer:
None. Computery and internety stuff for the most part is so confusing to me that I haven't taken more than two seconds to consider figuring out music files. (And I'm also detered by the experience with Kazaa that completely fucked-up my co-op's computer in Peterborough.) The only time music is emitted from my computer is when I log on to a website that plays it automatically (the Urinetown site almost gave me a heart attack once!), or if I'm watching a DVD.

2. The last CD you bought was:
Oh, think think think... I usually buy CDs at shows so that should help me remember... Was it Gentleman Reg's latest? No, it musta been Lal's warm belly high power, though a large percentage of CDs I've purchased in the past year have been from Three Gut Records. (As my friend Andrea says, "Support Canadian culture and we'll all have stronger bones and teeth.")

3. What is the song that you last listened to before reading this:
Oh, embarrassing!!! "Be with You" from Beyonce's Dangerously in Love. (What does she mean when she says naughty girl...?)

4. What are your five favorite songs and why do they mean so much to you:
Of all time? There's no way I can come up with that on the spot. How 'bout these days? That'd be:

"Scoundrel Babes" from Shine a Light by the Constantines. It's great for rockin' out.
"For the Widows in Paradise; For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti" from Michigan by Sufjan Stevens. Oh, I just told you why last week (see here).
Neighborhood #1, #2, #3 or Haiti from Funeral by the Arcade Fire. They are so fuckin' fun and smart.
"White Cloud" from Corners by Lal. The beats and melody are great (I am so bad at describing music).
"kid don't go big song" from Clear as day, the darkest tools by the Sea Snakes. It's got a super-sounding chorus.

5. What 3 people will you pass this baton on to and why?
Paul at Big Cedar Co-op because he just started the blog there, and I wanna know what he's listening to;
Allison from Domestically Challenged because our blogs are so similarly named, and...
Birdsong, who just wrote me about receiving the knit zine yesterday.

Gawd, that took so long to write with all those links! Are any of you listening to any of these bands? They're certainly worth checkin' out - especially if you're in Toronto, as this is such a super city for music. You may have to put down the needles for a night, though I'm not the only one who's been seen knitting at rock shows recently (Sophie?!!).
Monday, February 07, 2005

Mmmmmonday! (read: chocolate)

Don't worry, I'm not going back on Foodie Fridays, but I think we should talk recipes again today. If you've checked out the side bar you've seen that one of the zines I'm currently working on is called Choclick. Yup, the odd-sounding title does cue the correct word in yer head - it's all about chocolate. I've got about 17 recipes thus far, but I want more, and I want little stories, tips and reviews about chocolate, too.

I'll make you a deal: if you send me some chocolate-related writings this week (recipes don't have to be vegan, though it's preferred), I'll send you a sneak preview, meanning a recipe, that'll be in said upcoming zine. It'd be great to have the zine done for Valentine's Day, which is why I'm pushing for submissions this week. Here, I'll get you started with the simplest of treats - it'll bring out the kid in ya:

Peanut Butter Doo-Dads

1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 cup cereal (some kind of puffed grain or "o" cereal - I like Nature's Path Kamut Puffs)

1. Put peanut butter in a frying pan over medium heat and stir for a minute until very soft.
2. Turn off the heat and dump in the chocolate chips. Stir until they are soft and a little melted.
3. Dump in the cereal and mix until it's all coated and gooey.
4. Scoop out by spoonfuls onto a plate, or line a baking pan with confectioner's paper and press the mixture in.
5. Allow to cool in the fridge for 1 hour or the freezer for 15 minutes. If you used the baking pan, cut the dessert into squares. Enjoy!

-adapted from Honest Pretzels by Mollie Katzen
Saturday, February 05, 2005


Just finished off the Ericat hat.

(How can she see with all that hair in her face? you may be wondering.) Kim caught me in a rare moment - I am seemingly enjoying myself, though that could hardly be the case because I super-dislike finishing (this applies to knitting, zines, whatever). I am an instant-gratification kinda grrl and I always get on edge when a project is coming to an end. Why can't I get this done faster?!?

Kim cooked up some rapini with garlic and shoyu, and James did impressions of this "kitty-cow" he'd met once, while I enjoyed the cozyness of my new head warmer.

This is a funny picture as it lends itself to a couple mentionings:
1. Rapini is somewhat difficult to chew.
2. The bowl I'm holding is one I made myself.
3. I hold chopsticks incorrectly. (Hey, it works for me.)
4. The fruit basket in the background (that looks like it's perched on my head) is loaded down with onions, apples, squash, potatoes, ginger root, corn chips, etc. and had fallen on me about 20 minutes before. Someone's gotta fix that thing - it's hazardous!
5. This camera does not do justice to the beautiful colours in this yarn (Manos #114).
6. I'm not sure I finished the hat off correctly. Erica says to sew it right-side-out, but it looked funny to me so I undid it and re-did it inside-out. Then I couldn't really get it to gather the way her's always do. Still, Kim kept saying, "Oh my god, it's so cute."

I'll be wearing it to the Brampton Indie Arts Festival tonight. The Phonemes and Sook Yin Lee are playing.
Friday, February 04, 2005

Foodie Fridays

I noticed that the two times I've posted recipes thus far have been on Friday, so I think I'll make it three for three. In fact, let's make every Friday recipe posting day, 'kay?

What'll be this week? How 'bout this? (it's delicious):

Aaron's Barbecued Tofu with peppers, mushrooms and onions

1 cake firm tofu, rinsed, patted dry with a clean tea towel and cut into bite-sized cubes (about 2 cm)
1 green pepper, cored and cut even bite-sized pieces
8 (or so) cremini or white mushrooms, rinsed and quartered
2 small or 1 medium onion, halved and then quartered
1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp. oil

the sauce:
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. natural peanut or almond butter
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. blackstap molasses
2 garlic cloves, pressed
a few dashes of hot sauce or cayenne
generous seasonings of freshly ground pepper

1. Place the tofu and the vegetables in a shallow baking dish, ample enough for everything to rest in one layer.
2. Combine the tamari and oil and pour over the vegetables. With a rubber spatula, toss gently to coat. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours.
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3. Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce. Let sit 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
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4. Preheat the oven to 450oF. Slide the tofu and vegetables in to bake for 15 minutes, tossing once with a spatula.
6. Remove the baking dish from the oven. Spoon on the sauce and gently toss to coat evenly. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let sit 10 minutes and then serve (perhaps with quinoa or rice and salad). Serves 3.

On a totally differnt note, I am embarrassed to say that the toque is not yet done.

I have spent the day as horizontal as possible with some wicked flu (- here's hopin' it's the 24-hour kind). This is the first time in a number of hours that my eyes have been open for more than 3 minutes.
Thursday, February 03, 2005

Pretty routine Wednesday

Got up and rushed off to spend the day with little people. I was five minutes late. I am always five minutes late. Spent part of the afternoon collating this recent printing of zines while wearing a 3 1/2-month old on my front. She was surprisingly silent and alert as we walked around and around the room with piles of paper on the counters and I was careful not give either of us a papercut. Fried up some marinated tempeh and shiitake mushrooms, steamed some black kale and mixed up a dressing to go with it (1/4 cup tahini, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp. shoyu or tamari, 1 tbsp. maple syrup, a few shakes of cayenne and a bit of grated ginger root). The oven's busted so baking wasn't an option.

Stitch n' Bitch was nothing out of the ordinary - pleasantly entertaining. I am always impressed with myself for getting outta the house on a Wednesday night.
The Ericat Hat's coming along (I make no apologies for my slow knitting)...

(I am so enjoying these colours!)
The subway ride home featured this rather muscular man wearing a real mangey-looking Santa hat doing push-ups on the floor, making odd noises and then standing up and projecting this monologue to the entire car of the train. I wondered what was going on for him that he felt comfortable impossing into the other riders' space (I'm not just talking physical space here) in such a blatant way.

Oh, so the ever-charming-engaging-and-entertaining Arcade Fire were on Conan O'Brien last night.

I was about to say "my friends the Arcade Fire" but that would be an embarassing lie. I could safely say "My friend Richard's in the Arcade Fire" (he's far left in the photo), but the rest of them I only know to say "Hi, how are you?".... And now that I've flustered myself with that explanation I'll say what I originally meant to and that was that I wanted to watch it, but alas (and thankfully most days) I don't have a TV. I considered walking up to Bloor St. in my pyjamas and big winter boots and going to one of those all-nite bars where those old European men sit 'round the clock and asking them to turn the channel on their omnipresent TV to NBC, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it at 1 am. Lucky for me, Kim had called her dad and asked him to tape it for me and he did. Watched it this evening (Conan O'Brien strikes me as a bit of a wanker) and was reminded of their cuteness (Richard and Will often wear motorbike helmets and hit eachother on the head with drum sticks), and detected some nervousness, which surprised me a bit as they are such rock stars now. (Not that I'm not entirely sympathetic to stage fright - I've had a wicked case of it ever since I became a Music Theatre major in high school and am always impressed when anyone can get up infront of anyone and do anything).
Wednesday, February 02, 2005

A li'l a this, an' a li'l a that

I worked on that ribbed oatmeal lopi toque in French class this morning. Afterwards I made my way over to Karma, and got comfortable sitting on the produce table to finish off the last few rounds of the damned thing while Michael bagged salad mix and we chatted. When the hat was ready to come off the DPNs I used a twist-tie as a darning needle to thred through the live stitches. What else can you use when you're finsihing off a knitting project while hanging out at your food co-op? Admittedly, I was impressed with my own level of resourcefulness.
I have no toque picture for you at this point, because it went straight onto Michael's head. I was pleased as it's the first toque I've ever liked the look of on him, so I wasn't about to take it home again to wash it in Eucalan and have it (the toque) pose for posterity.

All this meant that it was time to start the Ericat Hat - so here's the beginnings of that:

In other news, it turns out that Sufjan, who I wrote about yesterday, is a knitter. Aren't you more inspired to find out about him?! After reading this, I promptly wrote to him to ask if he'd consider writing for the next issue of the knit zine.
Also, you can rest assured that Take Back the Knit orders are being filled slowly but surely - a whole whack of 'em went in the post on Monday. Zine submissions for the Bookmobile project were supposed to be in the mail today, but hopefully I won't be ignored completely if it gets postdated tomorrow. Vegan Freegan and the first two issues of Beating Around the Bush toured with them a few years ago, so I'm hoping for similar acceptance luck in 2005.

Sophie's comment this morning, and my inability to reply to it considering her e-mail address wasn't in the body of the comment, was the kick in the ass I needed to switch up the way folks can comment around here (Sophie, write me again if you're reaing this!). I think it's better now, and I hope you all think so too. You know, when I was just a blog-reader and not a blog-writer I didn't really get commenting. Now that I have a blog to call my own I feel compelled to encourage you all to simply say hello even so I know I'm not just talking to myself. Please. And thank you.
Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Put it on repeat.

Michael burnt me a few CDs a coupl'a months ago. "Have you listened to that Sufjan Stevens one?" he'd inquire on numerous occasions. "Which?" I'd respond. "You know, it's called Greetings from Michigan?" he'd remind me. "Oh yeah, it's okay," I'd reply, having not really listened to it at all.
But I called Michael from work today. "It happened," I said. "What?" he asked. "I've just listened to Sufjan Stevens. I love it."
I predict that Michigan will be to me this year what Jim Guthrie's Now More than Ever was for me last year. The beautiful all-purpose album. Listenable when you're all emotional, when you wanna sing along, or you just want background music... and it won't be offensive or jarring to young children.
After speaking to Michael, I called up Jamie who I'm seeing for lunch on Thursday. "Let's play a game," I said. "Okay," he sounded hesitant. "I want to introduce people to new music and I wanna know who other people are listening to. How 'bout we both burn eachother CDs to exchange on Thursday?" He agreed.
Too bad we're in that weird part of the year where all my favourite musicians seem to be hibernating or off in warmer climates.
(And for the record, I don't consider myself an unethical burner of CDs. I often burn CDs to check 'em out and then buy them directly from the artist when they pass through town.)

In knitting news, I am hastily trying to finish a ribbed oatmeal-coloured lopi toque that was a bit of a mess from the start as I used freshly-frogged and therefore kinky yarn. Then I can plug my Denise 8s onto that Denise cord and be on my Denise way with my Ericat Hat.

"Domestic affair... do you think it's a funny title?" I asked a friend.
"Funny ha-ha?" she responded, "well, no not really."
"But 'domestic affair', it's like what's going on in the nation, but it's also me, being drawn to all these domestic tasks - knitting, cooking, caring for small children..." I tried to explain.
"I like that it has the word affair in it," she concluded.

jae's first book!

Get It Ripe cover Have you seen my award-winning whole foods cookbook Get It Ripe: a fresh take on vegan living (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008)? Keep your eyes peeled for it!
To join the Facebook group for the book, go here.


about the blog:

about the cookbooks:

While I love hearing from you, and read each and every one of your e-mails, please understand that I just cannot respond to all of them due to the rate at which they're coming in these days!

If you have a question, I might have already answered it here.

in the press

live in person!

come see me:
* Vida Vegan Con in Portland, OR, August 26-28, 2011.

...but better yet, check the calendar for details!



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