Monday, October 31, 2005

Things to celebrate

First off, this is my hundreth post on the blog.
Youpee! (as my Romanian Anatomy & Physiology prof would say.)

Let's celebrate by you leaving a little comment. Tell me if you've been reading for a while, or if you just came across this weblog by accident today. Give me heck for being an inconsistent poster. Lemme know if you think I should keep going with this thing, because somedays I'm not sure. I promise I won't bite (unless you try to tell me how to eat... okay, sorry, just a joke!)

And second, I have a new zine out. Nope, apologies, it ain't the next Take Back the Knit (which is coming, don't worry), but it's something I'm really quite proud of:
Ripe #4
Ripe #4.
A cookzine with 40 recipes. And just like TBtK #2 it was offset-printed, with a colour cardstock cover (thanks in large part to a whole lot of effort from my dad).

It includes many of the super recipes you've seen on Foodie Fridays here at Domestic Affair, plus a number of others.

It's $5 (+ postage). So quick! Hop on over to the ordering page!
Speaking of which, I'm now accepting Euros.

And I also finally have back in stock this super zine by the amazing Ayun Halliday: East Village Inky.
Friday, October 28, 2005

So yer folks were right.

Maybe you come from one of those families where you were always told as a kid "Eat yer carrots! They're good for yer eyes!". I don't know if that's the kind of thing that my parents would have said, but I'm sure I heard it from other family members, or even my friends' parents. Anyhow, they were right. I can vouch for it, as someone who's in the thick of an anatomy & physiology class, that carrots have plenty of vitamin A which is an important part of your rods which give you nightvision!
This is a particularily good time of year to be eating carrots because you can still buy 'em locally grown. Ginger is nice and warming as we head into the colder weather. Oh and the sunflower seeds, along with making the soup a little creamy and giving it a nice flavour, add a little boost of protein.

Sunflower Ginger Carrot Soup

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2 lbs. carrots, scrubbed (and peeled if not organic)
4 cups water
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. oil
1 large or 2 medium onions
2 large or 3 medium cloves garlic
2-3 tbsp. grated ginger root
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. ground fennel seeds
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 cup ground toasted sunflower seeds*, plus some whole for garnish
3-4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup (optional)

* Raw organic sunflower seeds are pretty inexpensive (compared to, say, raw organic cashews, which you could use as a substitute is you were willing to spend the extra dough). Toast 'em yourself at home in a small skillet until fragrant and lightly brown on both sides. Grind with a (cleaned out) coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle.

1. Chop carrots into 1" chunks. Toss 'em in a soup pot, along with the water and half the salt. Cover, bring to a boil, and then turn down heat and allow to simmer until carrots are quite tender.

2. Meanwhile, warm oil over medium-high heat in a medium-sized skillet. Toss in spices and mix around for about 15 seconds before adding the onions. Saute onions for about 5 minutes before adding the garlic, ginger root and remaining salt. Saute for about 8-10 minutes more, until onions are very soft. Stir in ground sunflower seeds, lemon juice and maple syrup (if desired).

3. In an ideal kitchen you would have a handblender, because now would be a great time to use it. If not, a food processor or blender will do, just process in batches. Blend soup until relatively smooth (and there are no carrot chunks left). Non-handblender-users return the soup to the pot and warm for a few minutes more. Stir in a little more water (say 1/2 - 1 cup?) if you'd like a thinner consistency. Serve hot, with a sprinkling of sunflower seeds on top, and maybe some nice hearty toast on the side.

-adapted from one of my all-time favourites, Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen

I'm not entirely sure about the flavour of this recipe. Try it, and please lemme know what you think, along with any adjustments you made.

PS. You may be interested - I just added a good handful of links to the "food related" section in the sidebar.
Saturday, October 22, 2005

Warm and cozy

I finished the hot water bottle cozy.
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The deets:
Pattern: Hottie Cozy from Yarn-a-Gogo / the someday-soon-to-be-released Take Back the Knit #3
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay (100g, 138 yards), colourways #111 & #53
Needles: Denise size US8, and whatever crochet hook I had around
Timing: October 15-22 2005
-This was my first time cabling. Wheee! I used a DPN in lieu of a cable needle, except for one time when I was on the streetcar, realized I'd left my DPN at home and just let the stitches hang precariously in the back. Is that what the cabling without a needle technique is, or is there more to it? I was [pretty worried about dropping stitches.
-I did 5 rounds between the cabling rounds and I think the pattern calls for four.
-The pattern called for Lamb's Pride Worsted, but I was drawn to the Manos in my stash. I knew one skein wouldn't be enough, what with the shorter yardage, so I used a different colour (the end of a skein from a scarf I made for my mum) for the turtleneck. Then I miscalculated and ran out of the second colour half way through my bind off row, so I kept binding off with the first colour and then crocheted a border around the top and hoped that no one would notice.
-I started with size 7 needles, but it was too tight. I checked the revised version of the pattern and discovered that Rachael recommends large needles for those who aren't as, er, loose as she is.
- I really enjoyed this pattern. I plan to make more!
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Cable love

Saturday night (did I ever expect as a teenager that my Saturday evenings in my mid-twenties would be so... so domestically-oriented?) Jill came over for dinner, some catching up and, of course, some knitting.

In an effort to do a little stash-busting, I pulled some Manos out of that big chest of drawers. I was going to make Rachael's Hottie Cozy (which, by the by, will be featured in this upcoming issue of Take Back the Knit, if it ever comes out!).
Jill acted as my swift:
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And then she taught me to cable! Okay you, the experienced knitter, may be like Yeah, cables. So? But I never knew how! With verbal explanation it never really made sense to me, and I always felt that the rest of you had this little one-up on me. But now I know! (And I've been telling everyone about my new talent - mostly non-knitters though, so I don't get much of a reaction.)
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The cable gives me something to look forward to every round.
Hot water bottle cozies for everyone!
Saturday, October 15, 2005

Problem solved.

It seems that the reason there was such an incongruency between the Rowan Chunky Print and the Brown Sheep Burly Spun is that Rowan blows air into their yarn to get that kind of loft - more yardage per gram. Or at least that's what I understood from the guy down at Romni (where Chunky Print is $21.95/ball)

So if I didn't want a sweater that weighed a hundred pounds, and I didn't have the energy for much more substitution research, Rowan would have to be the way to go. Laura suggested eBay. I confessed that eBay scares me. She kindly said she was willing to brave eBay on my behalf. And thus began the virtual search that landed us/me in the end with the discontinued Rowan Polar instead, which was an easier-to-rationalize 65 USD for 10 balls. There was a bit of colour confusion (how accurate are those eBay photos?) but I ended up choosing Stormy, which I hope hope hope is a charcoal grey (can anyone confirm this for me?). Today I stopped by Romni to find their Polar was also on sale, but only marked down to $16.50, so I was pleased.

I love a good buy.

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Friday, October 14, 2005

Three with parsley

I've only recently made friends with parsley. I was watching the Halifax-based indie movie Parsley Days - Kate's herbalist friend tells her that parsley's "a phenomenon, herbally speaking" - and I knew I'd have to get over the somewhat bitter taste. Not only has this humble herb been recognized for centuries as a breath freshener, but it's also a digestive aid, and has three times the vitamin C of oranges and twice the amount of iron in spinach. It also stimulates the uterus and is known as a herbal emmenogue (and should therefore not to be used in large quantities during pregnancy). Buy organic and use it fresh, not dried. Feel healthier for it.

Fettucini No-fredo

You want pasta with a rich alfredo-like sauce but without the dairy? No problem! I'm glad to say I've figured it out.
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1/2 lb. package fettucini (or buckwheat/kamut/spelt soba noodles for the wheat-freebies)

3/4 cup pureed onion (about 1 small-medium onion)
3 cloves garlic. grated or pressed
1 tbsp. oil
1 1/2 cups soymilk (unsweetened pref.)
3/4 cup tahini
2 tsp. sea salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp. lemon juice

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Get started on sauce (see below), but add noodles and a few shakes of salt once water has come to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, then drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat, saute onion and garlic in oil for about 8 minutes, stirring often to prevent browning. Stir in soymilk, tahini, salt and pepper. Turn heat down a little cook for 5 minutes more. Add parsley and lemon juice and heat for just another minute.

Mix pasta into sauce just until everything is evenly distributed (I predict there'll be extra sauce). Serve hot, garnished with additional parsley. Serves 3 (or so).
If you have leftovers, drizzle on a little more soymilk when you're reheating.

Garlic bread

So simple, so tasty. Sometimes if I have a good loaf of bread around I'll prep it, wrap it in tin foil and freeze it. Then I'll pull it out and warm it up on a night when I'm making spaghetti or lasagna or sumpin'.

1 loaf fresh bread, sliced thick
about 4 large or 6 medium cloves garlic, crushed, grated or pureed
a few tbsp. margarine, or olive oil and sea salt to taste
sprinklings of minced fresh parsley or paprika (optional)

Combine garlic and margarine or oil - enough to coat each piece of bread. Sprinkle on paprika or parsley. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 375oF for 10 minutes or so - until it's heated all the way though (crispy crust and soft inside). Serve alongside an appropriate pasta dish.

White Bean Dip

This dip needs a better name. Got any ideas?

1 1/2 cups cooked or canned cannellini or navy beans
1 large or 2 medium cloves garlic
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. dried dill (optional)

Toss all ingredients into a food processor and give it a whirl. Stop, and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Give it another whirl until smooth - you could add a tablespoon or two of water if need be. Serve with raw veggies, crackers, or as a spread on rice cakes or in a sandwich.

I made this dip with the little one last week. (It's a good one to make with a culinarily-enthusiastic kid since it's mostly just dumping things in a food processor.) As we were standing at the kitchen counter together (she was on a stepstool) she explained to me very matter-of-factly: "I gonna peel dese garlic naked." I love the way 2 and three-quarter year-olds explain things.

These three recipes will all be printed in my soon-to-be-published cookzine
Ripe #4. It should be out by the end of the month!
Thursday, October 13, 2005

I've set my sights on some chunky wool

When I was in Italy I was seeing these big (yet feminine) cardigans that were fastened with a big pin. I wanted one.

And so, I was pleased to come across Jennifer Thurston's Blackberry on Knitty.

Okay, so I've never done cables or bobbles before, and I'm not a big fan of finishing, but it says in the intro "in a chunky yarn it knits up quickly"....
I like "quickly".
So yeah, about the yarn. You saw my stash the other day. You know I don't need any more yarn, but nothing that I have would fit for this project. Do I try and make something like Lamb's Pride Burly Spun work, or do I splurge on the Rowan Chunky Print?

And, the Chunky Print is 111 yds/100 g, but the Burly Spun is like 130 yds /226 g. They both knit on 9 mm/US13's, but they don't seem to match up in weight/yardage. Does this somehow make sense to any of you?
Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Stash sorting revisited (or, how to give your blog knitting content when your too busy moving to knit)

Pretty nice chest, hey?
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Feels like a bit of a luxury that I get to use for nuthin' but yarn storage. One, because it's a lovely piece of furniture and two, because I live in a place that can accomodate such a large chest. (To give you a clearer picture, it's 4 feet tall, 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep.)

Is it tacky to show it off before the tidying and organizing in done? I suppose not - I show you other WIPs...
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The bottom drawer is for bulky wools (Lamb's Pride, lopi), the middle is for cottons and fibre-blend yarns...

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The top drawer is worsted-weight wools and their friends (Manos, Lamb's Pride, Debbie Bliss superwash, Noro...)

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Now to find a way to attractively display the cones and needles and abandoned WIPs... suggestions?
Friday, October 07, 2005

The Morning Kamut

What's a grrl to do when she's not allowed to eat sugar, wheat, dairy, oats or soy for at least the next six weeks? What if she's not too into savoury foods at breakfast?

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1/3 cup whole grain kamut
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup pear juice
1 tbsp. flax seeds (ground seeds are even better)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
a pinch of sea salt
rice milk to taste (YU is the only Canadian and organic brand I know of without sugar)

If you think of it, put the kamut and the water in a small saucepan the night before - it'll cut down on the cooking time in the morning. In the morning, bring to a boil. Stir to ensure there's no sticking on the bottom of the pot. Add the juice, seeds, cinnamon and salt. Reduce heat to low (maybe medium-low depending on your stove) and cook covered for about 40 minutes - careful not to let the bottom burn - until kamut is al dente, but not crunchy. Scrape into a cereal bowl and pour as much milk over as desired. (I can't, but you could add raisins, molasses, barley malt, maple syrup or chopped fruit during the cooking or at the end.) Serves one.

If you're diet's a little less restricted, try this this cooked grain recipe that Mike sent me:

Mr. Breakfast

1/2 cup brown rice
1/4 cup quinoa or amaranth
1/4 cup wild rice
1 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup dried cranberries
a shake or two cinnamon (optional)

Cook the grains as you would, in about 2 cups of water. When the grains are done, stir in the honey, berries and cinnamon. This can be eaten hot or cold, so if you have to be in the mineshaft at 5:30 am, you can cook it the night before and bring it along.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Home, in more ways than one.

I've been home from Italy for a week now, and as I also moved house immediately, I'm still trying to get my bearings.

Highlights from the trip included:
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The wee one tasting her first roma tomato.

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A visit to a friend's cousin's medival castle. (For real! It's amazing to see how other people live in the world.)

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A solo trip to Florence, where I waited in line at the Uffizi for three hours with my foot in the strap of my pack as I'd heard there's lots of theft there. (If you ever have the chance to go, be smart and call a week ahead to reserve tickets.)

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A day trip to Cortona. (I never did find out why they have a big watermelon in the middle of the piazza.)

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I ate gelato almost everyday. (It was so fresh and delicious and beautifully presented that I was almost impossible to resist.)

And though I brought three projects, I hardly knit at all I'm sad to report.

So much for the tee shirt design contest, hey?
No one submitted anything - not one of you! I was surprised.
So I'll extend the deadline till October 28th, and I'll remind you often and perhaps something will come in.

Tomorrow I start school (waaah!).

And tomorrow night, my friend Pip is workin da mic with his hip hop stylings right here in Toronto - go if you can. Deets are here.

"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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