Monday, January 31, 2005

Sumpin' new

After cooking-work this aft' (How many different ways can you make vegan lemon pudding with silken tofu? Seemingly quite a few.), I made my way to my very favouritest 2 year-old's birthday party. I arrived as the kids were making mini pizzas. It was a great party, but as usual I fell into my nervousness about not knowing what to do with myself in a social situation and tried to help or tidy or hold a baby as much as I could.

As things wound down I headed off to Linda's house (Wasn't today such a nice day for walking?) so she could teach me a new knitting stitch. She learned it someone in her host family in Nepal. I am no expert but it seemed kinda fisherman's ribbish. Lemme know if you can make sense of it according to this description:
Cast on a number of stitches that is a multiple of three. With your yarn in front, slip one stitch as if to purl. With your yarn still in the front, knit two together. Repeat until the end of the row.

Is there a name for this pattern? A more susynct way of describing it? It'd be great to know. Linda and I are both curious. Whatever it is, my project is a lopi scarf on 6.5 mms (CO 30).

P.S. I found my Denise 8s that I'd been desperately holding my breath for so I could get started on the Erica Hat. They were in this random bag at my mum's house. Whew.
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Friday, January 28, 2005

Julie's the sweetest!


I just arrived home. Saw the familiar pile of zine orders that whichever one of my housemates who sorted today's mail had so kindly placed outside my bedroom door, and something else... a package. My first thought was I said well-concealed cash, but this is a little much.... But then I opened it to find that Julie, some obviously lovely knitter from Westford whom I've never met before, had sent me a circular knitting needle roll she made herself! Oh my goodness! What a thrilling random act of kindness! On a day where I'd been feeling pretty miserable I now feel so... so warm and lovely and grateful and and ... Gawd, I gotta practice putting random lovelinesses out into the world more often myself. It's just so great. Thank you muchly, Julie!

And if Julie were here I'd serve her up a big piece of cake. Since that ain't possible, I'll post the recipe for y'all (lemme know if you try it - I'd like to know what you think):

Chocolate Chai Cake

The first time I made this cake I just used a very strongly steeped chai in lieu of milk. Now with the addition of ground spices, there's no need to brew any tea.

1 1/2 cups light spelt or unbleached wheat flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 - 1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom* (or ground cloves)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup canola or sunflower oil
1 cup (non-dairy) milk or water
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375oF. In a bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, spices, sweetener, baking soda, and salt.
2. Pour in the oil, milk and vanilla extract. Mix with a fork just until all the flour has been absorbed. Once smooth, add the vinegar and stir quickly - you'll see pale swirls as it reacts with the baking soda. Stir just until the vinegar is evenly distributed throughout the batter. This would be a good time to add the chocolate chips if you like.
3. Pour into a lightly oiled and floured 9-inch cake pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a knife to see if done. Serve warm, or let it cool and then ice or glaze it, or simply dust with confectioners sugar.

Chai Icing

2 cups icing sugar (often you can find organic powdered sugar in health food stores)
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup non-dairy non-hydrogenated margarine (or organic butter)
2 tbsp. (non-dairy) organic milk
up to 1 tsp. cinnamon
up to 1 tsp. ground cardamom*
a pinch or 2 sea salt if marg/butter is unsalted

In a medium bowl or food processor, combine the icing sugar, cornstarch, marg and milk. Mix until smooth, then add in the spices (and salt if needed) to taste. Adjust measurements slightly if needed for a smooth, spreadable texture.

Spread a thin thin layer of icing over the cake, and then refrigerate for 10 minutes (this is called a crumb coat). Pull the cake out and coat with rest of icing, starting from the centre and working you way out to the sides. Garnish with a combination of chopped and whole raw almonds if desired.

* Because I only had cardamom pods, I tossed 'em in the coffee grinder and whirled 'em around for a while. They weren't the fine powder I was hoping for, so I passed it through a mesh strainer. (In an attempt to be really detailed, there was only a fine cardamom powder in the lid of the grinder, so I used that in the icing, where the texture felt more important.)

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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Well fed

My one sleep-in morning of the week and I woke at 6am. I'm fuuuullll! my belly continued to complain. That's what you get for having a potluck with your five food-enthusiast housemates and their food-ethusiast friends. So much eating for so many hours. Everything I'd read in Eating Mindfully (this great book I picked up recently) thus far lept out the window. And there's still tonnes of food left.

(In our house, it's important to leave notes on the fridge regarding its contents.)

So the knit zine orders started rolling in on Monday, and they've been coming in greater numbers everyday since.

The US cash'll come in handy when I go to Chicago next week (not that I'm as thrilled as I might be by a trip where I wasn't working like crazy for four days and then immediately returning home). Also Monday my mum brought over this really beautiful old trunk that used to be David's (her partner) father's - perfect for aiding in the yarn stash storage dilema.

I think I'm a full-on ADD case when it comes to knitting projects - this morning I had this idea for this stripped lopi scarf in fisherman's rib for a cerain someone...

...but that'd mean abandoning other projects - my mum's Christmas scarf, the romantic afghan, the new fancy scarf, my brother's toque... to name but a few.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

J'apprends

I think I already mentioned that I'm taking a French class Tuesday mornings. I was surprised when I took the placement test that they'd put me in an advanced class - impressed with myself, but surprised. Maybe my French skills were more dormant than non-existant, and that's what'd been detected. When I went to do my homework for today's class I had quite the panic, as I really couldn't decode what I was supposed to. Great, I thought to myself. I got all puffed up about being some fancy Frenchie and have set myself up for disappointment because I'm gonna have to be bumped down to the intermediate level. And, I was supposed to come prepared to speak for five minutes on a topic of my choice. Five minutes?! I can't even string together two sentences in a satisfying way! I met with the teacher before class and she acknowledged that the homework was hard and said that she didn't think I'd be challenged enough at a lower level. Whew. Class began and I spoke about "La Cuisine Vegetalienne" (vegan cuisine). It was okay, but I had to do a lot of "Comment dit-on _____________(insert English word here) en Francais?"

On the walk home I stopped at Queen Video to pick up a French movie to keep up the momentum. I got Etre et Avoir and Linda came over tonight to watch it.

How incredibly precious! It was almost too sweet/poetic/lovely/real to sit still and watch. Maybe it's because I'm so enchanted with children and I have fantasies at times about teaching kindergarten and living in the French countryside. If you think you can accept the non-speedy pace, I highly recommend it. You can put on the English subtitles.
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Monday, January 24, 2005

Fancy ironing

At my dad's last night I got out the iron to flatten the first bit of this new Fancy Scarf I'm making. My dad happens to be a master-blaster ironer. I am not. I thought I'd pull out one of my freshly-washed work shirts and ask him for some tips. "Maybe I should write a zine about ironing," he suggested. "No no," I said. "I'll put out a domesticity zine, and you can have an ironing column." I watched him press the shirtsleeves with ease and toyed with the idea of making it one of my year's goals to get comfortable with ironing.
When I dropped out of school for a while in eleventh grade, my mum made me iron her pillowcases (as well as read books that she'd quiz me on) as punishment. Pillowcases, however unnecessary they are to iron, are a walk in the park compared to a fitted dress shirt with darts. It surprises me that it is commonly understood in the professional and "well-dressed" worlds that clothes should be ironed. It's not like it's a one off; it seems that it has to be done each time the garment is worn. This baffles me! I think we should all just shake hands and agree to put our time into something more rewarding.

About the Fancy Scarf - The pattern's in Take Back the Knit, and I get a nice number of compliments wearing it everyday, but I think I've just improved it. Here's me sporting the original:

I'm realizing though that it knits better on 5 1/2 mm needles in lieu of 6s. Also, I've added the teensiest bit of a seed stitch edge so that it'll stay flatter (that makes the cast on 42 instead of 40 for any of you that may be following along). If you'd like, I'll post a detailed colour pic of the scarf sometime soon (in the zine it's black and white and greys and doesn't really do it justice.) What I've got so far of the new one is this (it seems the pic's a li'l dark, hey?):
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Everywhere, nowhere

I've half figured out the mystery of the missing Denise 8s. I last used them to make my lime green Hallowig back on October 31. I called Michelle, who I was staying with in Sackville NB around Halloween, and she said she hadn't seen them but she'd keep her eye out. (Michelle is also a posessor of Denise. What if she has two pairs but she doesn't notice? It's like the time that my mum saw her cat in the living room and then saw it again in the kitchen and had to double back to discover that one of the "cats" was actually a racoon that'd broken into our house...! Anyway...)


I went over to my dad's for dinner this evening. Within five minutes of my arrival my brother (recent birthday boy) had found my recently completed blue afghan-turned-scarf and wrapped it around his head in an awkward sort of way. It was the perfect photo op, but alas I had no batteries left in my camera since I took all these food photos at work today. All I have to show you is this:

My first sorta-pro cake. (We decided a photo should be taken before it was transfered to the fancy platter just incase it didn't make it.) I've made tonnes of cakes before, but not with this kinda stress. You get paid to make cakes? you ask. How fun! It sounds far more thrilling than it actually is. Working with dairy and eggs that aren't organic? (Guilt, guilt!) Having the cream curdle as I start making the ganache? (Sorry cows I whisper as I pour it down the drain...) Lack of patience as the domed top gets sawed off the cake? Getting the filling to the right temperature/consistency for spreading? Imperfections as the icing is spread? Eating so many chocolate "drips" on an otherwise empty stomach that I actually consider quitting chocolate? Shaving impossibly small pieces of white chocolate with a cheese slicer... Whine, complain, whine, complain - in truth I admit that it ain't really all that bad.

I'm home now and uncomfortable because one, it's cold in my room and two, because Kim and I are fighting so we're not hanging out in the kitchen anymore, which is what we often do together on Sundae evenings (or any other evening of the week for that matter). I feel like... gawd, I am so not getting into this here. Needless to say, I'm moving back to Peterborough in April. More on that later.
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Sunday, January 23, 2005

Disorganized

My inability to locate Denise last night forced me to do a little stash tidying. I pulled everything from my bedside corner stash up onto my bed and started putting things in bags.

There was a Mission Falls cotton bag, a Lamb's Pride Worsted bag and another one for Bulky, a Manos bag, a couple bags for this ropey wool called Kross that I bought a mass of at Romni's summer sale last July (and was immediately confused about what to do with it), a mohair bag, a i-doubt-i'll-ever-use-this-yarn bag, an unfinished-projects bag with other individualized bags inside - to name a few. Large cones and skeins of slub were also part of the mix. I found Denise, but to my horror, my US 8s were nowhere to be found. Where could they be? My treat for the night was supposed to be the Ericat Hat, but I needed the 8s! I frantically scanned my brain for any of the dozen or so projects I have on the go and the needles they'd be on. Nothing came to mind. I found myself wishing for a second Denise.

No one should be multitasking that much.
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Friday, January 21, 2005

Does this make me a bachelor, or a spinster?

It's Friday night, and controller.controller has sumpin' going on tonight, but all I wanna do is stay home, knit, and maybe watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban or read a book. I've arrived home and eatten a dinner of soy cheese, last-night's popcorn and a mango (that doesn't say much for someone who's writing a cookbook, hey?). And some tea. Does this sound like bachelor behavior to you? Spinsteresque? Or just unabashedly ridiculous as I'm willing to admit to it?

I spent the day with a lovely almost-two-year-old and her three-month-old sister, but I hesitate to write about them until I check with their moms. I baked Apricot Lemon Cornmeal Biscotti. I raced down to Lettuce Knit just before close with a zine delivery and picked up some Manos yarn to make myself an Ericat Hat (from Take Back the Knit).


So if you've read the sidebar, you know that Take Back the Knit is not my first zine. I have four vegan cookzines under my belt, an introduction to herbal healing and others that are mostly out of print. If you're outside Toronto and were gonna order a copy of the knit zine anyway, you may wanna add one of these to your request. Presumptuous sounding, maybe, but some of you asked...

Ripe #2 (blue cover) was my Winter Solstice gift to people in 2003 and it contains 40 winter recipes (aka comfort food) - all vegan, though not righteously so. Ripe #3 (I'm harvesting snowpeas at my friend's organic farm on the cover) was published last August and it's 80 pages of recipes (including Ginger Sesame Pasta Salad, Cannelini Kale Soup, Indian spice mixes, Rhubarb Crumble and Zen Brownies) and food-related writings. Seed came out in the summer of 2003 (though the cover's changed since then). It's a way-expanded version of the handout that accompanies my Introduction to Herbal Healing workshop (based on a brief herbal apprenticeship I did out in Nova Scotia and my self-education since then) and includes recipes for lip balms, creams, salves, and a section on d.i.y. gynecology. They are $3, $4 and $2 respectively. They're all quarter-sized (if you don't know zine-speak, that's 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"). Tack on $1 for postage per zine just to be safe, and if the mailing amount is less than anticipated I'll send you a credit. (By the by, for those of us here in Canada with our silly dollar coins, they typically travel well when taped to a piece of cardboard, or in their own mini envelope - marsupial styles.) If you're unfamiliar with the way zines get ordered around here, see Wednesday's post (and for those who asked, mail can be addressed to Kitchen Sink Distro or C-Cup Productions or just me, jae).
Here, I'll include this recipe to get you started (this is from Ripe #3):

Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut Milk

6 cups sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1-2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 medium onion, chopped small
1 1/2 -inch piece ginger root, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup coconut milk (not light coconut milk)
a coupl'a shakes cayenne (about 1/8 tsp.)

a few springs of fresh cilantro, garnish
water as needed

Set a large pot of water on to boil. Once boiled add potatoes. Once soft, remove from heat and drain off the water (don't discard that water though, you'll need it soon enough!).
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Toss in the coriander, cumin and cinnamon and stir around for about 15 seconds before adding the onions. Saute for about 5 minutes before adding the ginger and garlic. Continue to heat until onions are translucent and soft (about 10 minutes in all).
Scrape it all into the pot of cooked potatoes and add the salt, coconut milk and cayenne. At this point I would start pureeing with a hand blender, but if all you've got is a regular blender then you'll have to portion it out and give it a whirl. Add reserved potato water (about a 1/2 cup at a time) to reach desired consistency.


And finally, Michael and I saw the Sea Snakes with the Wooden Stars down at The Horseshoe last night. It was a nice show (I have got to get me some good earplugs!), though the bar was bloody freezing!

(See how sweet-looking these sea snakes are.)
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Thursday, January 20, 2005

After last night, it's a house-bound morning

Once I'd made a good dent in all the interneting that needed to happen in the wake of the Yarn Harlot zine review, I dusted on some eyeshadow and rushed out the door to go see Lal at The Drake Underground.

(Here's two of Lal's members at Grapefruit Moon.)

Kim bailed on me at the last minute so I was on my own. I ran to the bus stop. I stood and waited. I thought about my bike, and how I never have to do any waiting when I'm travelling by bike. I also thought about frostbitten hands and cold headaches and wet splatters up the back of my nice coat - these thoughts kept me from turning back around and unlocking my bike from the porch. I continued to wait. I considered trying to hitch down Ossington Ave to Queen Street, but people don't hitch in the city. I considered putting on my toque and messing up my new hair. The bus came. The hair was saved.
The show was really great - a different crowd from the folks at the indie shows I normally go to, but there were a number of people I knew. It felt good to dance. It was good to be at a show where the performers explain their songs a bit and don't shy away from politics. Lal's big on environmental responsibility and activism an' shit. Sweet.

I made the mistake of turning on my computer again when I got home and didn't get to sleep until after 4am. Needless to say the phone call (that wasn't even for me!) at 9 was not appreciated. Don't they know I'm fighting a cold? (But will that keep me from going out again tonight? Not a chance.)

Okay, so the knit zine ordering seems to be going along swimmingly and I thank you all for your enthusiastic interest. Lemme know if you're also excited about veg cooking or herbal healing and I can give a bit of a run down on my other zines - it'd save on postage to order more zines at once. (Gawd, aren't I the shameless plugger of my own work this morning?) Commenters to the blog please note that I am not snubbing you - if you don't put your e-mail addy right in with your comment, chances are I don't know how to get back to you. (I'll fix this as soon as I can.)

There will be no knitting today as I have got to make some sense of my disasterous room. (Do other people's bedrooms get ridiculously messy post-highschool age? I feel extremely un-adult.)

There is no way I'm going to this pilates class at noon on only 4 1/2 hours sleep.
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Wheeeee! (it's time to talk about the zine)

I'm excited!

(As you might notice, I am also congested.)

I couldn't stay for long, but I had to stop at Stitch n' Bitch on my way home from my haircut* this evening to get the okay on my afghan swatch (Turns out I have to at least bump my needles up to 12mm, according to Megan). I walked in the door and folks were all like "Did you see your mention on Yarn Harlot today?" and I was all like "No... really?! That's so exciting!!" and they're all like "Watch out, you're gonna have to make more copies. You do mail order, don't you?"

So of course I raced home to check it all out. (Gee, I wish I had a more impressive blog for y'all to see. And, I am in a bit of a panic because I don't know how to reply to comments yet and I don't want to be rude to anyone.) My e-mail inbox had 27 messages asking how to get a hold of the zine, so I figure it's time to lay out the deets:

It was around Christmas that I finally put out the first issue of my zine Take Back the Knit.

(Steph, I borrowed yer pic -- thanks.)
It'll come out twice a year for as long as I can sustain it. *Winter edition, summer edition* rep. This issue is 56 pages, and was brought to you with the help of seventeen lovely contributors. There are stories, tips, anecdotes and a dozen patterns. I'm pretty proud of it, and extremely grateful to all who helped.

If you live in Toronto, you should go to Lettuce Knit, the Toronto Women's Bookstore or Uprising Bookstore and pick one up. If not, you can send me $6 ($5 for the zine + $1 fer postage) in the form of well-concealed cash. If you live in Canada, send Canadian currency; if you live in the States, send USD (to accomodate for extra postage costs). It has just occurred to me that posting my home address on the internet is a little funny, so e-mail me and I'll pass it on to you. At least you now have all the other deets.

Oh, and if you too want to feel all popular and published, submissions for the spring/summer issue are due March 28th.


*P.S. Live in Toronto, or even near Toronto? Less than excited about your conventional hairdresser? You want Nico to cut yer hair. Sometimes I even want to stop people on the street who have less-than-wonderful hair and say, out of the kindness of my heart of course, "I know a really good hairdresser if you want his number."
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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Exceeding 8 glasses

I've been working on not getting sick since I made out with someone getting over a cold back around Christmas, but it finally snuck up on me last night. You know, that feeling at the back of your throat that has you reaching for the bottles of echinacea and vitamin C as fast as you can.
It has been one of my goals recently to be well hydrated but today I took it a few steps further than the suggested eight glasses of water. Today was 2 pints of cinnamon and slippery elm tea, a 500mL Nalgene, a bottle of Happy Planet clean green, 1.5L of chlorophyll water, and I've just boiled up a pot of gingerroot to which I've added lemon and maple syrup. Do a li'l math and you'll come up with 15 "glasses" altogether. Whew! I am so liquided, it's like when I was little and I'd drink a lot of water and do this shimmy-shake dance and you could hear the water slooshing around inside my belly. I'm determined to flush this cold outta my system before it gets too established. Especially seeing as I'm planning to see Lal tomorrow night and Sea Snakes with Wooden Stars on Thursday.

Gawd, so as I was searching the Nalgene website to link just now, I came across a site saying that they make or used to make animal testing devices. Oh my, there are so many boycotts to keep track of. Find out about this one here.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Romantic afghan - the knitty gritty

Despite it's immediately apparent luxury, Le Bouffant was a little hard to purchase at $48 a skein. You get a pound, but Denny says I'm gonna need 3 (or 4 maybe?) of them. That feels like a lot of money, even for an heirloom. Good thing there's no dyelot, so I can buy them one at a time.
Megan suggested I adapt my fancy scarf pattern to afghan size. Good idea. Just add a seed stitch border. 12 or 15 mm needles, she said. But Denise only goes up to 10!! I don't know if I could do this project without Denise. She's my number 1, my go-to girl. So I knit up a swatch on my biggest Denise needles and hoped for the best:


Wednesday I'll take it to S n' B and see if folks think it's too tight. I don't think it is. Well, not really - it'll be good practice in keeping my knitting loose.


PS. I figured it out - those who aren't a part of the Blogger club can now commment on posts "anonymously". Thanks Laura.
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Monday, January 17, 2005

Confronting the Stash

James and Chris got out their tools tonight and drilled a hole in my floor so that an internet cable could be threded up from the basement computer and into my room (and I could quit setting up my laptop in the kitchen where the nearest cable used to be). I got all giggly and jumpy around them and their drills and their shoptalk that I totally don't get because I want to make use of my gender assignment attributes and act all helpless when there's a job that I don't really want to do. Anyway, the best place for this hole appeared to be in the corner of the room near my bed - just where my primary yarn stash is. (I could take this opportunity to mention the part of my wall that juts out from where there used to be an extremely long closet and where the head of my bed is now, but I'll save it for a blog entry when I want to discuss d.i.y. home decor.)
Temporarily relocating my stash got me thinking. Once upon a time my mum gave me a wicker laundry basket she didn't use for me to store my knitting in. That was at a time when all I knit with was lopi and it worked out pretty good. But now that I've branched out from bulky, scratchy wools and acquired enough yarn to knit possibly a dozen sweaters (these sweaters might be of varying sizes mind you), I have got to refine my system. I'm not sure I've ever been in on a stash-organizing discussion, so I'm not sure if there are guidelines to be followed. Michael (who's the produce manager at Karma) sometimes gets these organic pears in wooden crates and I could ask him to hold on to some of the crates next time they come it, but then what? Do I organize by colour? brand? thickness? fibre? Do I store everything in ziplock bags to protect against moths like some people I know? Suggestions on this would be most welcome.
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Saturday, January 15, 2005

Knitting an heirloom

I sat a ten-day Vipassana Meditation intensive back in September and it got me wanting a nice blanket to keep me cozy while I sat. I'd brought this quilt with me, but it was queen-sized and kinda cut into other people's space in the meditation hall. At first I thought I'd learn to quilt and sew myself a blanket, but that could take forever. When it rolled around to Boxing Day Sale at Romni time, I went down to the basement and bought a 5 1/2 lb cone of blue lopi and some Fleece Artist slub. I sought out a chevron afghan pattern I thought I could adapt and lugged the yarn to a Stitch n' Bitch for help getting started.
And there was Denny. I was hemming and hawing about the project and she lay into me (in a good way) on the significance of knitting an afghan. "It's an heirloom," she explained. "It'll be with you forever. You'll make love on it, have babies on it. This blanket will keep your children warm."
What a romantic vision! I was totally into it. And it didn't take me long to realize that the scratchy blue lopi paired with autumn-coloured slub were not the right materials for the project. (They would become a wavy scarf knit length-wise.) I then laid my eyes on the romantic yarn for the romantic project - this luxurious white wool rather appropriately called Le Bouffant. How soft! How nice-smelling! How perfect.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The more I learn, the more I wanna know.

So Laura (thank you thank you!) came by this evening to set me up with a blog skin and familiarize me a little more with html (- she says she doesn't know much - pah!). Now I want to make my own skin/template and fancify things. One step at a time. The plan was that we'd travel to S n'B afterwards but then Kim said that the hair bleaching with Natalie'd be happening around 8, and I lost my motivation to brave the cold and rain for such a short period of time. You're bleaching your hair? No-no, I have this vision of having vibrant red strips in the bottom half of my hair. Kim (who went to school for hair styling - though I'm sure she wishes she'd never told me about it) tried to do it before, but my hair's just too dark to get vibrant anything. Bleach then red dye, that oughta do it. Just in time for this tsunami relief/DJs who care thing on Thursday night.

We had this marathon house meeting (3 1/2 hours!) on Monday night - gave me a chance to finish the blue chevron afghan-turned-scarf.

Now I just gotta sew in the ends and block it out.

Pre-house meeting, I started a 6-week teacher's assistant gig for a vegetarian cuisine class at George Brown College. It was okay. This first class got me kinda excited about biscotti. Truth be told, the best part of being the assistant teacher is getting to say "I'm the teacher's assistant for a cooking class at George Brown." It bums me out that I'm not getting paid for it. I've gotta get over that.

Oh, and my brother James turned 14 today. Gonna go call him. I'm lucky if I get more than 2-word sentances out of him in our conversations, but he's a good kid.
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Sunday, January 09, 2005

Ladies 'round the kitchen table

I'm sitting here with Sarah, my housemate Natalie and our friend Julie. We're drinkin' red wine and the lovely Miss Sarah is workin' her artistic stylings for me... let's just say it's something that I'll soon be physically wedded to (I'm talkin' fer the rest of my life here).

Today was a cooking-work day. I was low energy and wanting to be elsewhere. We worked on recipes for southern black-eyed peas, seitan, chocolate cake... We head down to Chicago in less than a month to present the menu that we've been working on to this vegetarian restaurant owner. It's high pressure as there's lots to be done still, but I'm just the assistant, so I'm doing my best to avoid taking on any of the stress. It's nice to be home now. Perhaps I'll watch the final episodes of Sex and the City that I rented from Queen Video yesterday. I'd really like to finish this blue chevron scarf.
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Saturday, January 08, 2005

Saturday Snow Morning

Looks like I won't be riding my bike around town today. It's always bit of a disappointment trying to accept that my mountain bike tires in the snow would be too hazardous (or at least messy, cold and wet) to risk it. The snow makes me want to crawl back into bed under my plush duvet, but I'm gonna fight those urges and make my way over to Alliance Francaise for a fluency evaluation placement test. And check out the Y. Or should I say brave the Y (it's a weekend afterall).
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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Could I get used to this?

Laura agreed to meet up with me before Stitch n' Bitch this evening to answer some blog creation questions. I sat almost mesmerized as her nimble touch-typing fingers danced their way around the keyboard, navigating our way around the web. I was impressed. I think I have a barely-conscious interest in maintaining my computer helplessness. Understanding computer functions would be giving up a bit of we-don't-need-no-electricity-long-live-the-postage-stamp purity that I strive to emit. That being said helplessness is only cute for so long, so I tried to pay attention and learn how to put in links with html code. And it seems that I've done it (see sidebar, right). Are images next?

What was today? Working on the fourth issue of my cookzine, Ripe; baking Cheendana's Spelt-Tahini-Maple thumprint cookies (see recipe below); going with my housemate Kim to join the Y (isn't that what everyone does for New Year's at least once?); and spending hours with a roomful of ladies and a cascade of conversation at the weekly Wednesday night S n' B at Lettuce Knit. I'm doing all this name dropping so I can practice putting in links. Now I gotta motor off to bed and make up for the fact that I woke at 6am.

Spelt Tahini Maple Cookies (vegan, wheat-free, and super balance of nourishing and delicious)

1 cup tahini (or other seed or nut butter)
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 cups spelt flour (other flours make cookies that are too crumbly)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla extract
a pinch of salt


filling: 1 cup pitted dates + 2/3 cup water
(Filling can be substituted with jam if you are in a rush or if you're opposed to dates)

1. Preheat oven to 350oF.
2. Allow dates to simmer with water in a small pan/pot until they're softened and can be mashed with a fork into a paste.
3. In a medium/large bowl, mix up all other ingredients, roll into walnut-sized balls and place on an unoiled cookie sheet.
4. Make a dent in each ball with your thumb and fill that space with date mush.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Makes about 30 cookies.

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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

... And so it begins

Who'da thought that the grrl who is reluctant to even believe the internet exists would be starting up a weblog? After browsing through blogs by a number of fine knitting ladies over the past wee while it occured to me though that starting one myself would be the perfect instant-gratification solution to wanting to put out a zine every two seconds. Zine (pronounced zeen), you ask? In short, zines are to blogs what hand-written letters are to e-mail.

I'm excited for this to be a space where I can write about knitting and cooking, co-op life and environmental responsibility, good books, indie rockers and small children I adore.

Now if I only I could figure out how to plug in some pictures...
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"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.

hello?

about the blog:
domesticaffairATgmail.com

about the cookbooks:
getitripeATgmail.com

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!

Photobucket

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    foodie fridays (posts with recipes)

    the tuesday review

    tutorials

    * Fasting and Cleansing
    * Spring Cleansing
    * Warming Up to Better Digestion
    * Kick a Cold
    * Wholesome Holiday Feasts
    * Realistic Resolutions: Developing a Wellness Plan You Can Actually Stick To
    * Grains / Wheat Alternatives
    * Vermicomposting
    * A Foodie's Guide to Scotland

    free knitting patterns

    Unbiased Scarf
    Cozy Cabled Toque

    recent posts

    Thursday Love List: Spread the love
    Monday starts a month of more deliberate health-se...
    Pretty "down there"
    Foodie Fridays makes a comeback with the best gran...
    Lucky Sunday, week 1 in review
    New Year's Special, part 2: Here we go, 2012!
    New Year's Special, part 1: Thanks for 2011
    Give a gift, get a GIFT FROM ME!
    Thursday Love List: Watch it
    Wednesday Q&A: Freezing Up

    archives

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    links

    plant-based: veg blogs
    bittersweet blog
    cake maker to the stars
    the conscious kitchen
    a crafty vegan
    the discerning brute
    eat me, delicious
    everyday dish
    fake sheep
    get sconed!
    have cake, will travel!
    just the food
    kamutflake girl
    lunch box bunch
    101 cookbooks
    post punk kitchen
    swell vegan
    28 cooks
    the urban housewife
    vegan knitting (and then some...)
    vegan blog tracker
    vegan lunch box
    vegan yum yum
    veg cooking blog
    we like it raw
    what the hell does a vegan eat anyway?
    world vegetarian
    yellow rose recipes
    your vegan mom

    in the loop: take back the knit contributors' blogs...
    cosmicpluto knits!
    everyone is doomed
    femiknits
    is it a sweater yet?
    jodi's weblog
    knit freak
    knit wit
    mason-dixon knitting
    mk carroll
    pens and needles
    stoneview
    sweet little domestic life
    titanium rose
    tricky tricot
    a view from sierra county
    yarn harlot

    other blogs...
    bienvenue a mon monde
    brainy lady
    dirty sugar cookies
    domestically challenged
    fig and plum
    french word-a-day
    glampyre
    knit and tonic
    lovely purls
    marmalade
    men knit.net
    michelle knits
    montreal knits
    neoknits
    passioknit
    sock crazy
    super eggplant
    ten thousand stories
    yarn-a-go-go
    you grow girl

    veg-specific resources... (see also FOOD below)
    Happy Cow (veg restaurant guide, etc.)
    In a Vegetarian Kitchen
    superVegan (NYC)
    Toronto Vegetarian Association
    Taste Better
    VegDining
    Vegetarians in Paradise
    The Vegetarian Resource Group
    VegNews
    VegSource
    VegWeb

    food related...
    The Biodynamic Agricultural Association
    Canadian Organic Growers
    Caroline Dupont
    The Center for Food Safety
    Cornucopia Institute
    David Wolfe (raw foods)
    Euphoric Organics
    Family Farm Defenders
    farmers' markets in Toronto
    Farmers' Markets Ontario
    Food First
    Food Routes
    FoodShare
    Forever Healthy
    The Garden Diet
    The Global Gourmet
    Go Dairy Free
    Greenpeace Shopper's Guide: How to Avoid Genetically Engineered Food
    Grub
    International Federation of Agriculture Movements
    Karma Food Co-op (Toronto)
    Living Nutrition
    Local Harvest
    The Meatrix
    Mighty Foods
    Mollie Katzen
    Ontario Natural Food Co-op
    Organic Consumers Association
    Organic Volunteers
    Park Slope Food Co-op (Brooklyn, NY)
    Raw Family
    Raw School
    Real (Raw) Milk
    Rebecca Wood
    Santropol Roulant (Montreal)
    Shazzie (raw foods, UK)
    Slow Food
    D. Smith & Son Two Century Farm (amazing u-pick soft fruit near Grimsby ON!)
    Store Wars
    Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
    Toronto Food Policy Council
    TransFair Canada
    True Food Network
    World's Healthiest Foods
    World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF Canada)

    environmental
    Co-op La Maison Verte (Montreal)
    The Earth Council
    Global Resource Action Center for the Environment
    Greenpeace Canada
    Greenpeace International
    International Dark Sky Association
    Living Tree Paper Company
    The Rooftop Gardens Project (Montreal)
    Santropol Roulant (Montreal)
    Sierra Club of Canada
    Small Planet Fund
    Soil Association (UK)
    Spacing: covering toronto's urban landscape
    Toronto Environmental Alliance
    Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative
    Voice Yourself

    'alternative' health
    Alive Magazine
    Association of Ontario Midwives
    Association of Perinatal Naturopathic Doctors
    Canadian Association of Naturopahic Doctors
    Canadian College of Naturopahic Medicine
    Canadian School of Natural Nutrition
    Corpus Diem naturopathic clinic (Montreal)
    DONA International (doula association)
    Clinique Elementerre (Montreal)
    Engender Health: Improving Women's Health Worldwide
    Fertility Awareness Method
    Harmony Health Centre (Montreal)
    Hassle Free Clinic (Toronto)
    Head & Hands youth clinic (Montreal)
    The Healthy Breast Program
    Holistic Online
    International Institute of Concern for Public Health
    Kokoro Do Jo Zen Shiatsu Therapy and Acupuncture (Toronto)
    Living with Our Fertility
    Dr. Mercola
    National Network on Environments and Women's Health
    Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors
    Scarleteen (Sexual Health for Teens)
    360 Health Care (Toronto)
    Whole Health MD
    Women's Healthy Environments Network

    knitting & craft related...
    church of craft
    craftster.org
    crochet my crotch
    get crafty
    knitknit
    knitty
    microRevolt
    oh my stars
    revolutionary knitting circle
    readymade
    spun
    super naturale
    stitch'n'bitch groups

    zines/indie media...
    Microcosm Publishing
    projet Mobilivre/Bookmobile project
    Rabble: news for the rest of us

    inspiring ladies...
    Action Grrrlz
    Ayun Halliday
    Bitch Magazine
    Blood Sisters
    Code Pink
    Evalyn Parry
    GirlSpoken
    Guerrilla Girls
    Hip Mama
    Inga Muscio
    Kristin Sjaarda
    Margaret Cho
    Michelle Tea
    Sarah Merry
    Shameless Magazine
    You Grow Girl: Gardening for the People

    other...
    Fellowship for Intentional Communities
    Free Will Astrology
    Ontario Women's Directorate
    Oxfam Canada
    Public Dreams Society(Vancouver)
    Puppetmongers
    The Ruckus Society
    Urban Harvest
    Vipassana Meditation