Zen Knittin’ and Pancakes

18 11 2009

I should warn you ahead of time that I took no photographs of the pancakes.

I finally went to the giant fabric store here with a friend, and I bought no fabric. However, I did buy a TON of yarn that was on sale, as well as some embroidery supplies, because I couldn’t bring my sewing machine with me yet and thus needed crafty things to do that in no way require the machine. My friend has been nice enough to volunteer hers for use, which is awesome! but I want some projects for when I’m at home, too.

Exciting news from crafting-land, by the way – we’re starting an arting and crafting group which I believe will be every other Wednesday. I’ll post some photos of its inception this coming week!

Anyway, I got so excited to knit again that I immediately started knitting this blue scarf. Now, planning is not my strong suit, as evidenced by most things I show you, and I proceeded to cast on 28 stitches of bulky, 13-gauge yarn and happily knit away for about half an hour before I realized that what I was working on was never, ever going to be a scarf, unless that person was about 2 feet tall, 1 foot of that being neck. So, I dutifully took it out, and proceeded to cast on 20 stitches instead. I evidently do not learn quickly, because 20 stitches is still far too many. So now I have a whole skein of blue yarn knitted into a totally useless rectangle of… whatever. Maybe I’ll try to felt it or something.

But then! Today! I was watching a video to learn how to switch colors in a more appropriate manner (the way I was doing it was fairly ridiculous) because I am making a purple and cream striped scarf for myself, and I learned how to rib! On accident! And now I’m ribbin’ away! I am not very good at it, but I do love knitting.

I like the portable productivity of knitting; it’s something tangible I can produce that, in a moment that’s perhaps too short to get into a book I’m reading or to start a journal entry, keeps my hands busy and my mind clear. It’s much like my better Zen meditations, or like a good bike ride; the repetitive motion of my needles becomes like the breath (in Zazen or in yoga), and I’m watching it and am simply present. I am having a lot of good experiences with presence lately, and with trying to be more mindful of it.

And now, on to pancakes.

I’ve always wanted to have a pancake picnic, and so recently this plan was enacted late at night at Laurelhurst Park, the gorgeous park just down the street from my house. I had some beautiful red peppers in the fridge:

and I wanted to make something involving said peppers, so I caramelized some onions and red peppers and made a frittata to go with the blueberry pancakes. If this looks good to you, make it! You can use my previously posted recipe for a frittata and instead use 1 whole onion, caramelized, with diced red peppers thrown in until tender; add the whole mess along with about 1 c of very small sharp cheddar cheese cubes. Not shredded. Cubes. I’m serious.

Anyhow, the picnic was great, and the frittata and pancakes were still warm (I wrapped them in foil, in a stoneware baking dish, in a cooler with no ice in it) and the chai was hot! Success. Trust me: eating pancakes in the dark in a beautiful place when it’s 40F out is absolutely as awesome as it sounds. Just be sure you dress warmly!



9 11 2009

I have just completed the switch from living in Austin, Texas for my entire life to relocating to Portland, Oregon, and I am just thrilled! This explains my recent absence from blogging. I haven’t so much had time for blogging, but I’m back now, and I’ll share a few relevant photos for good measure.


First off, the drive from Austin to Portland was incredible. One of my best friends, Nic, accompanied me (because she is awesome) and we chose to take the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1) rather than the faster interstate, and man. I am not at all sorry. A few illustrative photos of the splendor of that drive:

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Gorgeous. Totally gorgeous. And now I’m in Portland and it’s been great so far! I have great roommates, I’m looking for a job, I’m making friends and spending time with old friends I’ve never had a chance to see this much of, and generally I’m happy. I’m about to get back on the makin-stuff wagon, though I’ve been doing a lot of cooking (and neglecting to photograph it). Last night, my friend Andrew and I made a delicious rosemary pasta dish with sauteed oyster mushrooms and kale, roasted delicata squash, and toasted pine nuts. It was great! I also tried this American Parmesan called Grana, I think, that’s from Wisconsin, and I have to say it was pretty tasty, especially for the price reduction. Very sharp and fruity.

Anyhow, we did visit VooDoo Donut while Nic was here, so you can look at some pictures of food other people made:

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1. Berry donut!

2. Mango Tango: mango filled with Tang on top. It rules.


AND, we carved pumpkins the day after Halloween, because we are fashionably late? Or something.

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For some reason that photo looks ridiculously blurry, but you get the idea. I hope you’ve enjoyed this incredibly disjointed blog post, and I’ll get back to recipes and crafting and actual topics soon!

New Crafts!

15 02 2009

So, a long absence! I got a regular ol’ 9-5 job instead of my previous rotating schedule, and consequently have somewhat less time for elaborate cooking-fests. Really, I think this may be an excuse and I may have to get off my rear and just get back on the horse, but…

Regardless, Sam and I went to Portland to visit our good friend Andrew:


and scope out the city:


While we were there, his lovely girlfriend PJ let me borrow her extra bike:


This was so nice of her! I loved riding this bike and meeting her, and all Sam and I can think about half the time even now is moving to Portland because it was so awesome, and we miss hanging out with Andrew, so all in all you can see this trip was pretty much a grand success.

So, as a thank-you to PJ for trusting me with her bike for a week, I sketched her main bicycle squeeze that she rides everywhere and embroidered her a patch/sampler of it:


I’m almost finished making another onesie, this time for one of the lawyers at my regular 9-5’er who just welcomed a new baby into the family! I’ll post photos of that one later.