Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Fill in the blanks

Today's the day to get those submissions in for the spring/summer knitzine.
I'm starting to feel like a bit of a broken record, but I'm not sure you realize how grave the situation is.

Here are the patterns we've got so far:
* Rock Star Wrist Cuffs by me, jae
* Little green bag by Crystal
* Beach Tote by mk
* Thigh-High Socks by Laura
* Artarn Socks by Megan
* The Carrie Scarf (it's light-weight and lacey) by Julie
* Asymmetric vest by Jen
* Brendan's Sweater (a zip-up cardi) by Ryan

and leaves us with four, count 'em FOUR, pattern spots to fill.

You know I'm lookin' at you....
Monday, February 27, 2006


Yep, tomorrow's the day the submissions are due for the spring/summer issue of Take Back the Knit. Bring on those flirty, warm-weather patterns!

If I don't get the submissions I need, I have to go around to all the knitters I know who might be able to revive some old camisole pattern they have and beg, abosolutely BEG, them to let me use it and it can be so humiliating.

Really in large part this zine is what the contributors make it, so please please please, don't assume someone else, someone hipper, or more talented will submit.

I want you! Hop to it!
Friday, February 24, 2006

Baked goods improve low moods

I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that eating baked goods when you're feeling low, stressed or upset often makes you feel a bit better. But ain't it nice to know that science has got yer back? Turns out, carbohydrates trigger the release of the hormone serotonin, which produces a calming effect. So go ahead and have a slice of cake.

Appleyest Spice Cake

appleyest spice cake

1 2/3 cups spelt flour (if you use wheat flour instead - not that I recommend it - but the amount would be more like 1 1/2 cups)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup organic (non-dairy) milk
1/4 cup oil (non-hydrogenated coconut oil or a light-tasting olive oil prefered, or organic canola oil)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1/3 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup dry sweetener (Sucanat or rapadura is recomended, but you can also use organic sugar/ evaporated cane juice, or at worst, lightly packed brown sugar)*
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
a good pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp. non-hydrogenated margarine or organic butter

Preheat oven to 375oF. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt.
dry ingredients

Add the applesauce, syrup, milk, oil, and stir just until all of the flour is absorbed.
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Mix in the walnuts.
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In a cereal-sized bowl, combine all dry "sprinklings" ingredients and then cut in the marg.
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Lightly oiled a 9-inch cake pan, lay down as many apple slices down as you can in one layer. (Chop up any remaining apple and mix it quickly into the batter.) Pour in the batter, and smooth it out gently over the layer of apple.
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Sprinkle the spice mixture on top and bake for about 35 minutes. Check with a skewer for doneness. (The slice of cake in the photo looks flat because I accidentally pulled it out of the oven and dug right in before it was completely cooked. Hopefully yours won't look like that.)

* If you're interested in more information about sugar and sweeteners, check out this article.
Thursday, February 23, 2006

Damn, what happened to February?

Kat kindly pointed out to me today that February 28 - the day that submissions are due for Take Back the Knit - is not two days short of two weeks away, but two days short of one week away.

Where is my head?
And where did this month go? I know February's a couple days shorter than the rest of the months but still...

Please consider this a personal invite to submit to the knitzine.
If you don't submit, who will?
Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Count Down - you've got two weeks!

Two weeks, ladies and gents! Two weeks to get your submissions in for the best-ever, Spring/Summer edition of Take Back the Knit! You may be consumed with an olympic project, but once that's done don't let this deadline pass you by.

To review, here's what I want:
* Super sassy summery patterns - tube tops, halter tops, skirts, shrugs, boleros, wraps, and accessories
* Writtings on knitting/crafting/domesticity and feminism, product reviews, a feture on your stitch n' bitch group or LYS, or anything else you can think of that has yet to be covered in past issues of TBtK
* Oh, and are you a zine reader who's interested in writing zine reviews (not necessarily ones with knitting content) for TBtK?

I'm off to review the submissions I've got already - there's some weeding out of wintery submissions that's gotta be done.

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Monday, February 20, 2006


Thank you all muchly for your lovely and encouraging comments regarding yesterday's post. Not that I was ever threatening to quit, but I do feel more motivated now to continue posting with the sense of what I've got to say being warmly received.

Speaking of warm, let's put the kettle on and make tea. I just threw some broken licorice sticks, cinnamon sticks and a heaping spoon of St. Joan's wort into a pot with some just-boiled water, but why not try the following recipe sometime soon?

Kashmiri Tea (like Chai)

My mum's partener passed this recipe on to me. It's adapted from this relatively ancient cookbook called Indian Vegetarian Cookery by Jack Santa Maria, and you can also find it in Vegan Freegan (which, as I'm sure you know, can be easily ordered by going here). The mug in the photo is one that I made, not that you can see it very well, but it's one of my favourites.

2 1/2 cups filtered or spring water
1 tbsp. green tea
1 tsp. darjeeling or orange pekoe tea
6 almonds, chopped
1 tsp. pine nuts, chopped
6 green cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick, broken up
2 cloves
a pinch of saffron (optional)
2 1/2 cups organic 'milk' (I'd recommend soymilk for creaminess)
also optional: sweetener (honey, maple syrup or stevia) to taste

Put the water, teas, nuts, and spices in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, stir in milk and cover, stewing gently for 15-30 minutes. Strain and serve hot, adding sweetener to taste.


Now I know that the list of links in the sidebar here is a little excessive, which means even if it's something you look at from time to time you may not notice new additions as they pop up. So I thought I'd take a moment to welcome the following ladies to my list of blogs worth taking a peek at:
* a crafty vegan
* dirty sugar cookies
* michelle knits
* 28 cooks

as well as these additions to the "environmental" section:
* Living Tree Paper Company
* Voice Yourself - it's Woody Harrelson, actor turned activist!

If I had a TV, I'd be off to watch Grey's Anatomy now (it's on Sundae nights, right?). Instead, I'm going to keep on studying for this cellular biology test I've got tommorow morning. Ugh.
Saturday, February 18, 2006

Why blog?

I'll tell ya, for the past two weeks, every time I try to write a blog post, I give up halfway through. Chalk it up to a shitty experience with a commenter. Yeah, right here on Domestic Affair - I was heckled. Not once, but twice. I was surprised - not that I expected you all to be the most mild-mannered bunch, in fact I hope there's a fair number of rabble rousers within my readership, folks that can get fired up when a situation calls for it - but in this case, what could have been posed as question to me (which I gladly would have answered had the person left an e-mail address), was plunked out as an angry and accusatory I'm-right-you're-wrong, shame-on-you-for-not-following-my-code-of-ethics-when-it-comes-to-the-sharing-of-information (the topic of the comment) - anonymously.

Which brings me to the question - why blog?
I'll admit, I sorta blog for myself - because I enjoy writing and coming up with relatively susynct ways of articulating things that've been swirling around in my head - but I mostly blog (and write zines for that matter) to get information I think is useful out into the world. I like to provide resources for folks about food or health or knitting, or whatever I'm excited about at that moment, and in exchange I hope that people are engaged (if only for a moment), and for comments from readers who've found the information (be it recipes that I've spent hours in my kitchen developing, or recipes/patterns from other creative minds who I want to turn people on to, or resources for further research, or simply stories that draw a common bond between us) useful. Don't get me wrong, I'm not on some trip, holding the belief that my weblogging once or twice a week has some profound effect on the universe, but I think we're all here in an effort to create community - and that's important.

And I thought about not mentioning it, the negative comment, but maybe you were wondering what'd happened to Foodie Fridays yesterday and the week before. I thought I wouldn't mention it because I didn't want to put any more energy into a negative-feeling situation, but I've only read about such occurences on blogs once or twice before, and I think it's a good idea to say Hey, Being Nasty Ain't Cool - especially amongst a bunch of feminist knitters. (Unless it's that kind of nasty, which is a different story altogether.)

So, you've got a little over two weeks left to send in your submissions for the spring-summer issue of Take Back the Knit. It may be diffucult, in this part of the world at least where it's still quite frosty out, to consider the ultimate halter or tube top design right now, but try. I'll be reminding you again shortly.
Sunday, February 05, 2006

The best laid plans...

What ever happened to the third issue of Take Back the Knit?
Last September I ceraintly was eager to get it out, but then school has just slammed me.
So let's blame school, blame my obsession with food which has pulled me away from my knitting, blame the lack of finances or whatever, but a winter issue of Take Back the Knit this year just hasn't happened.
It was close to completion, but not close enough.
And it'd feel silly to put out a winter knitting zine now, so far into the season, especially when Interweave's about to put their Spring issue out.

And so I've decided to pull up my socks and take a new approach. I've just concluded this morning that the best plan is to let go of previous intentions and move as much as of the content as possible over to a Spring/Summer issue.

Submissions received for the Winter issue that would still be appropriate for a Spring/Summer issue will be printed. Pieces that're undeniably wintery will just be held next fall. (The idea is editting will be revisited in the summer for the Fall issue.)

With all this shifting, spaces have opened up and I'm hoping you'll take this opportunity to send something my way.
There are 4-6 pattern spots left (so far we've got a vest, wrist cuffs, fingerless gloves, a skinny scarf, thigh-high socks, ankle socks, a seed-stitch bag, and a zippered cardigan). I'd love to add some shrugs, boleros, wraps, tanks/tees as well as a tube top, a shawl, a skirt and a baby/kid item.
The number of articles and tutorials I can take is flexible, so make me an offer. I'd like to have some content that addresses the links between knitting and feminism, so if that's a topic you can get fired up about, super.

The desired tone as always is a little more indie-hipster-artsy-punkrock than your conventional knitting mags (and you needn't be too worried about my definition of those terms, you see how that manifests itself for you). That's what makes this publication a unique and important contribution to our present day knit culture. And as always, the submission guidelines can be found here.

If you know anyone else who might be interested in submitting, I'd be ever so greatful if you passed on the word.

The deadline is February 28 2006. I'm going to be strict with this because it's these extended deadlines that really kill the momentum. So plan ahead.

I hope you haven't all written this project off as flaky because of the lull - your contributions are the only way I can continue to put out a zine that's at all worthwhile.
Friday, February 03, 2006

Why use one lentil when you can use three?

Rumour has it my friend and fellow cooking enthusiast Elise is coming to town today from Montreal. In honour of her visit I thought I'd post this recipe that she passed on to me. It can also be found in Ripe #4 (my most recent cookzine).

Three Lentil Soup

Hi Jae,
As promised, here is the triple lentil soup recipe I got from The Angelica Home Kitchen by Leslie MacEachern, which is a really great vegan cookbook.
Enjoy! Elise

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Sorry, about the photo - it's hard to make lentil soup look attractive. I suppose I coulda garnished it with the scallions though.

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium-large onion, diced
a pinch sea salt
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed or grated
1/2 cup diced celery (with leaves)*
1 cup diced carrots
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. fresh minced herbs (sage, thyme, or rosemary; 1 tsp. dried can be substituted)
1/3 c. each: green lentils, red lentils, French (puy) lentils
1 (3-inch) piece dried kombu**
6 cups water or vegetable stock
freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon, strained
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
finely sliced scallion for garnish

* The first time I made this, I didn't have any fresh celery, so instead I used crumbled celery leaves I had slow-dried in the oven during the summer when I'd gotten a big whack of organic celery. I liked that version even better than the fresh-celery version, which I have tried since.

** I couldn't find kombu in pieces, so I just add a tbsp. or so of the powder. (Kombu can be found in health food stores and asian markets. It's good to cook with legumes as it makes them more digestible and adds nutrients.)

Warm olive oil over medium heat in heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add onions and pinch of salt, cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, celery, carrots, bay leaf, herbs and saute 5 minutes. Sort through lentils and rinse briefly in a strainer under cold running water.
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Add lentils, kombu, and water or stock to soup pot and bring to boil. Lower heat, cover, simmer for 40-50 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove and discard kombu and bay leaf. Stir in lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 3 minutes. Serve garnished with scallion.

"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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