Archive for December, 2012

Early in the morning of the longest night of the year

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Quel suprise, the world isn’t over. Not yet. I apologize if the lack of typing here led you to believe otherwise. The rain is steadily driving against our windows. Wind is moaning. The heat appear to be out in our building. A pair of dogs are softly snoring, lying in parallel between my legs. And I’ve been up since 4:30am.

We didn’t do anything intentionally special for winter solstice, however we did spend the evening together with visiting friends from Seattle. Dinner out on the edge of San Francisco at Outerlands outside with warm conversation. A fitting way to mark my last day of work for the year.

I’m ready for a return to the light. To see the sun disappear a little bit later at the end of the day. To sprout new growth and transform into a better me. To thaw.

That’s great, it starts with an earthquake

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Headed to bed early so I’m well rested for the Mayan apocalypse tomorrow. Or is it at midnight in an hour? I’m not sure which time zone they intended over 5,000 years ago.

No time for words. I’ll write more after the prophesy comes true. Or not.

Have a nice end of the world. (I feel fine.)

All’s quiet on this front

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

No picture, no words. No complaints, no triumphs. No progress, no finish line. Not alone, nor super social. Just a regular night.

Ends were woven in on lopapeysa #2, with five motif bands and armpit grafting remaining. Text messages were exchanged after a couple weeks of missing a friend’s call. A simple dinner, unremarkable television programs and snoring dogs on the couch.

I will say I’m behind in my holiday duties. Things that should have been shipped last weekend haven’t even been wrapped or packed. The truffle bounty has not been divvied up into office and friend gifts. We have no tree.

Only a few days to get cracking on it. This time next week it’ll all be done. One of these years I’ll get it right.

Sandwich reeducation project

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

I’m biased. I don’t love sandwiches. I’d rather have a burrito. There, I said it.

To be more accurate, I have been quoted as saying, “I hate sandwiches.” Odd, for such a bread lover, no? (And a lover a sandwich lover.)

Actually, I don’t hate them; I just have high standards. I want to like them. Heck, I want to be thrilled by them. But more often then not, they disappoint. I do not share the joy that many proclaim when faced with a tray of cold cuts. By no means are they a destination food for me.

Maybe it’s because I’m mildly vegetarian, or vege-aquarian. As one who shuns meat, I resent the lackluster cheese-only options from delis or catering’s limp roasted eggplant/zucchini/pepper. Sprouts do not have to be doomed to a dull existence. And, if they aren’t in season, don’t bother talking to me about tomatoes. Mayo may make it better, but I crave considered, interesting flavors. Give me contrast or give me death. My bread is better with some good butter or a single cheese.

In my defense, I concede there are a couple of sandwich-esque places that I have enjoyed. Tops being Bar Tartine, progeny of my bread bakery deity, Chad Robertson, but with a Hungarian flare. In the food truck world, if I’m forced to, I’ll take a Wingless (shiittake mushroom, avocado wasabi Asian slaw and a fried egg) or a Kraken (lemon pepper & garlic fried soft shell crab, sriracha, ginger, Asian slaw, hold the bacon, sure, I’d love a fried egg) from Adam’s Grub Truck. Both of these bread slingers pack a whole lot of flavor into every mouthful of their saucy creations. No boring bites allowed.

In light of this, a co-worker took it upon herself to make me a sandwich today. She’s a sandwich devotee. They bring her life such joy. In fact, her New Year’s Day sandwich dictates how her entire year will go. She’s kept this tradition going since middle school. Such a true believer, so I decided to give it a go. I brought in bread and she did the rest.

It was a simple affair. Hummus, carrot ribbons and a cute cuke. Basic deli cheese, but two kinds. A solid Dijon mustard. It wasn’t bad. (I admit I was tickled by the non-traditional carrot presentation.) Taking time away from my desk and chatting with her and a friend made it taste even better. I wasn’t disappointed.

Am I sold? Not yet, but I will accept a monthly sandwiching if she’s up for it. Why not have our own year-long tradition? I’ll play around with different bread options and we can go from there. It’s a welcome break from my daily lentils (but that’s another post).

Worth a thousand words?

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Everyone seems to be up in arms over the new Instagram terms of service. I am as well.

It’s disappointing to see how being purchased by Facebook has made them turn away from their users and towards the gods of profit and advertising. We have until January 16 to take amazing pictures before the changes go into effect. After that date, they can use your new photos for any old purpose they’d like and not tell you. Heck, they can make money off pictures of my dogs and loaves of bread and I’d never know. Not cool.

I’m bummed, as Instagram has become my go-to social media distraction. I enjoy digesting friends lives and sharing snippets of my own with a quick phone picture. Square images are a fine way to frame memories. I’ve shot more because I enjoy the quick hit of clicking and tapping to like friends photos.

I’ve posted many an Instagram photo here, although I guess it’s never replaced the tried and true Flickr account that’s doubled as my storage and posting tool. However, I never immersed myself into Flickr’s community. Instagram feels more pedestrian or common than Flickr. A bit more connected and less technically formal.

I wonder how Flickr will benefit from this corporate misstep? Their new app certainly has generated a bit of buzz and a flurry of new contacts. I guess there’s only one way to find out.

Feel free to find me on Flickr and I’ll see of I can take my picture making a bit more seriously.

A sweet Sunday

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Here’s what six hours of chocolate looks like.

It’s than time of year again, where I test my own sweet tooth’s endurance with a Marathon chocolate making session with Felice and Suzanne. Have been the Xmas recipient of these handmade goodies, I was thrilled to be asked to be a part of it four years ago. Every year, we get together to temper, ganâche, mold and dip. I guess it’s a holiday tradition.

If you run into me between now and 2013, chances are I’ll have a few truffles to spare. Having spent this much time with tens of ponds of chocolate, I don’t really feel the need or desire to hoarde them all to myself.

After a day like today, I can barely touch the stuff.

Four to six weeks

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

It’s high time I post about knitting, eh? Here’s my third lopapeysa. Number two is striped with many different colors of wool, therefore has a lot of ends awaiting their weaving in.

Thus guy (Sátt from Lopi 29) was started on November 2nd. It would have been done within the month of November, had I not left the sleeves in San Francisco when we drove up to Eugene for thanksgiving weekend. Late nights at work also ate into knitting time, so there were days at a time without touching it. Luckily, it was a simple stockinette sprint and mighty mindless.

It’s not me modeling the sweater. It’s Chris. I made the sweater for him, starting the day we landed back from Iceland. I figure I’m safe from any boyfriend curse as we are technically married and have survived a decade and change. Part of me secretly hoped it would be too small for him so I could keep it for myself. I trust that it will suit him just fine, and if I need to borrow it, I’m sure he’d oblige.

Before I begin another one, I’d really like to get lopapeysa #2 all sewn up. It’s been months and I have yet to reap the fruits of that labor. The inside looks like a fringed Cher costume, with the mane of loose ends from all the colors.

Furthermore, it’d be more prudent to swatch for a new design idea, rather than knit someone else’s work. There have been so many brewing that need to get out of my head and onto some needles. I have a vested interest in creating original work once again.

Hey, sailors. Take warning.

Friday, December 14th, 2012

The days have been starting out really prettily lately. Technically, don’t they all?

A day alive is a good one.

Happy Holidays (professionally speaking)

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Just a little something from my day job to you…


Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Nothing significant to say, other than today’s date felt significant enough to merit a mention. I wish I made more time to write here, alas I haven’t. Tomorrow’s another day.