Thursday, December 31, 2015

Eating Breakfast Out

I know that this blog has never really settled down to being one thing or another.

Do I review recipes here? Yes.

Do I post about knitting? Most definitely.

Do I share bits from my life? On occasion.

Do I review local restaurants? Well... let's just say that I aspire to be a reviewer, but lack the credentials and the photography skills.

Today, we went to IKEA for brunch. The Swedish-American breakfast is a great deal at $2.99 and includes scrambled eggs, hash browns, 2 sausages, and 2 Swedish pancakes (which are thin and chewy and delicious with lingonberry jam.) DH said the coffee was OK. My older son got the Swedish waffles and said they were better than American ones. The croissant was delicious.

Yesterday we hit Denny's for brunch after a leaking toilet rendered our kitchen unusable for a few hours. I had the chicken fried steak skillet which was deliciously greasy and salty and exactly what I needed to alleviate the stress. The rest of my family was baffled by my sudden return to my Midwestern roots, but they each tried a piece of my steak and admitted that it was yummy. DH got the veggie omelet platter and said it was perfectly fine. Younger son got the Lumberjack Slam, which consisted of ham, eggs, bacon, sausages, hash browns, and two large pancakes. The pancakes were a lovely surprise; the rest of the meal was good. Older son got a hamburger and fries and fussed about the bun being greasy. (You can't win 'em all.)

The day before yesterday, I met some old friends at a local diner. We'd just gotten a couple inches of snow under an inch of ice, so we walk/slithered instead of risking the roads. I got a scrambled egg, bacon, hash browns (do you see a theme here?) and the daily special, which was a giant blueberry muffin sliced in half and griddled in butter. It was nutso good. My friends got nearly the same, except that T. got a corn muffin and R. opted for whole wheat toast with marmalade.

Tomorrow I aim to eat breakfast at home.

Friday, December 25, 2015

A Very Happy Birthday to Sir Isaac Newton

So we went to see the in-laws for Christmas. (Yes, we do celebrate.)

My FIL is a superior cook but has an odd aversion to vegetables, so I volunteered to make a side dish of green beans and a salad.

Here's the menu, in full:
1) caramelized liver mousse with toasted hazelnuts and macerated cherries
2) avocado-blood orange salad (not the one I made)
3) pheasant salmis and my green beans
4) cheese course, featuring Cabot clothbound cheddar, Truffle Tremor, Moses Sleeper, and Gorgonzola Dolce
5) my salad, which was an ingredient-limited riff on a roasted cranberry and delicata squash salad with candied pecans and mixed lettuce.
6) fruit course
7) Bakewell Tart with coffee

We also went through a few bottles of wine but I forgot to write down names!

Earlier in the day - before opening presents - we'd had tea and sticky buns.

And a lovely time was had by all. I hope your 25th was equally peaceful, festive, and delicious.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

I saw this and I wanted it

Let us go then, me and you,
When the awards are nearly due,
Like shoggoths dissected upon a table;
Let us go, through eldritch winding blogs,
Muttering and wordy slogs,
Of those upset in one-line tweets
And those who pound the well-worn beats:
“PC censorship!”–a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question….
Oh, do not ask, “What the hell is that?” 
You behold the bust of Lovecraft.
In the room the fans go fore and aft,
Talking of H. Phillip Lovecraft.
- by RedWombat in a comment on File770

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Still here, but writing about saying goodbye

Just a quick post to say that I'm still here, still knitting, still baking... just swamped with work and all that.

Last year was a turning point for me. It was a great year: I had just won the highest honor I could win professionally (at least at the local level) and was coasting on the heady high of the knowledge that PEOPLE THOUGHT I WAS GOOD. I taught a lot of students I knew very well (and liked and respected) and taught a class schedule that was close to ideal for me.

And yet... it was also a very tough year for me. The downside to getting to know your students is that they inevitably leave you behind. And I've always felt that you need to celebrate with them and then let them go. Some of them will circle back and become friends or "Facebook friends" or occasional correspondents. Many of them won't, and that has to be OK.

Letting go of the class of 2015 was harder than I'd expected.

There have been other years that were tough on me: 2012 was a rough one (a trio of dearly loved four-year advisees graduated). 2004 was also tough (a pair of brilliant proteges leaving for the Midwest, not to be seen in person again). But when I did the "hug and cry" line after Baccalaureate, last spring, I realized that I knew all but a dozen of the seniors by name, and had taught well over half of them. Three of them, I had taught three times each. I knew their favorite foods. I knew who had broken their hearts. I knew who was likely to drop minus signs and who was likely to put the wrong units on an answer.

Letting go of these seniors has been like clearing out a huge space in my heart and in my head. I'm happy for them. Nearly all of them are thriving in college or in their jobs. They've made new friends, fallen in love, found new passions. But it's a little bittersweet for me, and something inspired me to write about that tonight.

Friday, June 19, 2015


I'm now mildly obsessed with the review website Smart Bitches Trashy Books.

First example: "First Watch is a short story set post WWI about a Swiss Legionnaire named Edouard who is cursed into serving as the sexual slave of a tentacle monster aboard a submarine. I sort of wish that was the weirdest sentence I’ve ever typed for Smart Bitches, but it’s not." (actual review is here)

Second example: "Basically the only female character I identified with was Blue the velociraptor because 1. She got shit done and 2. She wanted to bone Chris Pratt and don’t tell me she didn’t.(actual review is here

Third example: "By choosing not to include a rape scene in Fury Road, Miller demonstrates how powerful a story can be when you trust the actors, the storytelling, and the audience, and when you keep the focus not on the actual moment of sexual assault but on the culture that permits it and on impact it has on survivors." (actual review is here)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Yellow modified NHM #2

Because there's nothing like an undecipherable title, am I right?

Made for my younger son's teacher.
Finished back in March, but of course I forgot to blog about it.
Knit from Cascade 220 Superwash, on #3 needles (wooden, 16" circs, two of them)
The pattern is a slightly modified version of NHM #2, to make it small enough to fit a woman's medium hand.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Back in the saddle

Well, between the technology issues and the general pressure of January, my month-to-blog fell apart almost immediately. I just realized that the first of March offers me an excellent chance to try again, so here I am...

It's snowing. On top of the several feet of snow we've already had, it makes for a pretty landscape, but treacherous driving conditions. There's ice under a lot of the recent snow accumulation.

Today, I went to CostCo and Chipotle with some friends. It was low key and fun and I now begin to understand my students' obsession with Chipotle.

It occurs to me that I should give pseudonyms to the people in my daily life (a la Robin McKinley).

Monday, January 5, 2015

Day 5: whoops

Well, I'm off to an absolutely rocking start of a year of blogging - namely, I missed yesterday because my laptop's hard drive bit the dust.

I have a full list of "intentions" scheduled to write about tomorrow (it's part of the Ten on Tuesday series), but I wanted to discuss one of them a bit more here. That would be my decision to move to the metric system. Right now I'm focusing on using Celsius in place of Fahrenheit. The conversion formula isn't tough; it's

C = 5(F-32)/9

but keeping it straight in my head has been amusing my friends and students no end.

BTW tomorrow is forecast to be -19C. Ouch!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Day 3: Broadchurch

I'm still feeling really sick but I'm done with the whining. Instead, today I binge-watched the entire first season of Broadchurch. It was really well-acted and well-told. And it was completely NOT in my usual sweet spot for TV; which is to say that while I like police procedurals and I adore yummy British accents, I steer clear of anything in which a tween boy gets hurt or killed. It usually just hits too close to home.

I'm not sure why this was different.

But anyway, it's totally worth watching and at only about 6 hours total AND available on Netflix, it's an easy fix for a weekend or even just one long day of honking one's nose and coughing while laid up on the sofa.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Day 2: sick and uninspired

Well, this is just a great way to start of my month-of-blogging... sinus infection, sore throat, and no plan for the blog!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome to January!

I'm welcoming in the new year with a stuffy head and post-nasal drip, so this isn't the glorious first day of blogging that I was aiming for.

However, I want to say that I read 114 books, tried 124 new recipes, and watched 24 movies in 2014. This is 2 shy of my goal in movies, and rather a massive over-achievement in everything else. I just beat my goal in new authors: goal was 26, I read 30.

I haven't yet decided upon my new resolutions. Clearly the recipe one is ridiculous: I reached 52 sometime in late April. The new author goal seems like the best bet, as it pushed me to read a bunch of things I otherwise might have skipped.