gardening, meat and bluegrass


So being the horrible graduate student that I am, I left work early yesterday. A couple friends and I attended a herb gardening in containers class that answered quite a few questions for me. On the way home though, we had a hankering for meat. So we stopped by Roro's (formerly Rowdy Cowgirl) to try their pulled pork and brisket sandwich. We also had the Seattle succotash, some potato fries, BBQ beans and cornbread. While everything was good (especially drenched in the six different sauces at the table) the only thing I'd write home about was the succotash. Strange how the yummiest was the one thing that was healthy...

After a brief stop at home, a bunch of us celebrated a birthday at Tractor. Of course, the appropriate music to listen to after pulled pork and all was bluegrass. The Hackensaw Boys opened for Trampled by Turtles. It was a blast... even with only one tallboy of PBR.

before i forget


Wouldn't some of Santiago Ramon y Cajal's drawings be great on a wallpaper?


Using the AT recipe. When Fred Meyer doesn't sell enough milk, it just sits there and sits there and then gets a lovely sale tag. So I bought a quart of milk on super-sale and took this recipe for a spin! Out came the pot to heat the milk while I squeezed the lemon. And after all was said and curdled, I came out with the expected 3/4 cup of lemony ricotta... a little too lemony for my taste. So the next time, I think I'll go with the 101cookbooks recipe for ricotta. Maybe tomorrow I'll try to make ricotta gnocchi with it.

(That's toasted soy nuts in the background. Bought a jug at Costco and is super-yummy on salads or just to eat by itself)

new way to recycle stuffed toys


In front of a vendor's stall at the Fremont Sunday Market :)

i won?!?

Really? I won?!? Thanks to Holly for collecting and sorting and hosting and sending and everything else she did for such a cool give-away! When my googlereader hit the new decor8 posting, the first thing I noticed was that my screen name was somehow in the middle of the post... then I noticed the title... and then I choked on a little cottage cheese and spat some all over my computer monitor (Note to self: must find internet article on cleaning lcd screens).

So now I am eagerly awaiting a package of goodies and noticing how many people are clicking to this blog. Hello everybody! A special hello to the contributors. Maybe I got something beefy?

knitting eunny


I used to always read Eunny Jang's knitblog. That is, until she stopped writing in it (probably because she became the head cheese at Interweave Knits). Thankfully, her blog is still up and contains a couple of the coolest knitting patterns. I've been meaning to make her endpaper mitts since I saw them years ago now. And I'm finally doing it! I've started with knitpicks palette yarn in cream and teal and some size 1 and 2 dpns. Unfortunately, I've already messed up one little area:

basil pesto: take one!


Finally busted out the food processor to make some pesto! Pretty yummy with all that parmesan, pine nuts and basil but I kinda wish I had a mezzaluna so that I could be like an italian grandmother. For future reference, I would put a lot less olive oil into the pesto. Instead, I would put it on top of the pesto to prevent browning in the fridge. I guess browning is one of those things you gotta look out for in fresh pesto.

Speaking of freshness, I bet you wonder about the basil plants from whence the basil came from. I pinched off the tops of a lot of the plants (I have ten or so at the moment) and collected around two cups of basil leaves. After collecting the leaves, some of the plants looked like bald little buggers. Look at what the oldest basil plant looks like now:
PS See the jar of alfalfa sprouts sunning beside the cut basil plant?

but where would i put it?

pug a(le)rt


Pug art by dumpr. I think he's a work of art, though he had another seizure last night. MG and I are taking him to the vet for bloodwork tomorrow. Since this is only the second time this year that he's had an episode, we're not all that worried. He just gets so confused and upset when it happens, we'd like to know if there's any reasonable thing to prevent it. Thankfully, after the seizure passes, he's pretty much back to normal (i.e. insane or asleep). The episodes only happen in the middle of the night and last about ten minutes. If'n anybody knows anything about dog issues, lemme know.

wordled dirt

Have you seen wordle? It's spiffilicious! It's an online java app that takes words (you can type them in or input a webpage) and plunks them onto a background. Larger fonts correspond to words used more often. The image above is with words from this blog!

alfalfa sprouts from seeds

Idea was from AT. I found that PCC sells alfalfa seeds in bulk. A couple tablespoons of seeds cost less than a dollar. When all is said and done, I think this will yield around six cups of sprouts. We ended up eating them in a sandwich with pesto and left-over brie. It was surprisingly yummy-licious.

the skip and the storm


Sometime in the middle of her Summer '08 Seattle vacation, Jukki was sitting still. It gave me the opportunity to plant a knitted flower on her head. I don't remember where it started, but Jukki illustrations usually include flower-headedness. The flower is from a Nikki Epstein book. Jukki's flower was attached to a wire and wrapped with flower tape (both courtesy of Linh). Brett was spared a flower to his head, though. It was very nice to see them both and very kind of them to visit.

We ended up eating and doing a lot of fun things this last week. And though Brett came for a good amount of time, he missed most of the home-"cooking." I made a batch of no knead bread (this time with bread flour, but forgot to proof) the night that Jukki came. We also sprouted some alfalfa and harvested some basil for a pesto. Be happy you missed that, Brett. The sprouts had a distinct smell by the time they were grown.

Juk also bought herself an i-phone! She stood in line (where, in true Seattle fashion, she got to know the people around her but will never see them again) for three hours at University Village. So, of course, I had to knit her a little cozy for it. That's an owl in cables on it.

were you having a productive day?


If you were, click here to stop it.

seattle free classes and school


seattle tilth
seattle free school
spl free opera previews

Seattle has a lot to offer. I'm wanting to go to a bunch of these classes starting with the tilth container herb gardening class. :) There are a bunch of festivals and block parties happening over the summer, too. This last weekend, we went to the slightly disappointing International District Festival. I should have known better since the ID is puny and does not contain much good food. Though the one booth with decent food at the fair was the Filipino booth. So we got ourselves some halo-halo (which literally means mix-mix). It's a Filipino dessert of crushed ice, various beans and jellies, a bit of ice cream, ube paste, flan and evaporated milk.


The forest that inspired My Neighbor Totoro is right on the edge of Tokyo. With the expansion of the city, the forest is constantly in danger of being demolished. To save it, a collective of artists and animators are raising money by auctioning Totoro-inspired pieces. The auction will be held in Emeryville, at Pixar Studios. Man, I wished I could go and have a wad of cash to spend on some of these beautiful pieces. Even if you don't like anime, go check out the gallery of WONDERFUL illustrations and sculptures up for auction. Though etsy and the internet is full of great artists that sell their wares, some of the artists auctioning pieces are really genius and professional. I'm blown away by the sheer imagination of the artists' interpretations.

basil - wk 4


I'm thinking in another week or two, I'll be able to make a nice big batch of pesto! This particular plant is my favorite. We'll call him Guiseppe since he's Genovese. Guiseppe was sown at the same time as his siblings but he's leaps and bounds bigger than his siblings. He's actually made up of four plants, one of which will soon be - in Sicilian terms - sleeping with the fishies. There's not enough room in the pot for four plants. Three's pushing it. I'd love to have bigger pots so that the basil can really spread their roots, but I don't want to spend any more. G's lovely blue pot was found on the street with a "free" sign on it.

Two of G's siblings have found new homes. I brought one over to Berit's place on Saturday. We'll call that one Umberto. I'm sure Umberto will grow to be a big bushy basil! The second basil plant I'll call Cristo since I strapped him to a fence in the alley behind my building. Since he's at the top of a fence, Cristo gets oodles more sunlight than all the other plants. I consider it a small scientific experiment to see how much the sun will help basil growth.

Things I've learned about basil farming this week: though lots of nitrogen can make big beautiful leaves, it can compromise the basil flavor. So G and his siblings are going to get balanced fertilizer from now on. Root damage from transplanting can really stunt the growth of the plant but not really kill it.

man, why did i skip portland?


In my great northward migration, why didn't I live in Portland for even one summer? I would have loved to go to a block party like this. Next year, small daytrip!



I can't find this print except for one store on Telegraph Ave in Berkeley: Ansel Adams' West from the Big C. That barely-seen building on the upper right of the picture (above the grassy area) is where I worked for most of my undergrad. If the picture were to be extended ever so slightly to the right, that grassy area would be where my apartment would (will) be. I miss that area.

I don't want anyone to think I'm not happy in Seattle, though. In fact I have lots of fun in my neighborhood here. I don't even have to leave my building to have fun. Our neighbors (beside and below) are great and MG and I just randomly go over to their places all the time. In fact, one of the reasons we got a pug was because our neighbor's pug was so cute. Though Lucas the pug's lethargy turned out to be a misrepresentation... here's a magnificently magnificent picture I took of Lucas a couple of days ago. Worthy of the Getty Images (which is recruiting, btw).

basil - wk3


So the basil has been planted in eight separate planters. I will probably start giving some of them away as hostess gifts :) I can't believe that they're actually thriving under the supervision of my black thumb. Though it might be because I am so obsessed about how they're growing that I stare at them for half an hour each day. They can feel my brain waves willing them into growing faster.

Notes: It's genovese basil. I pinched off the apical growth on most of the plants after the second true-leaves. From accidentally breaking off a branch on the big basil plant (furthest in the picture) I've learned that pinching the stem off exactly at the leaf node (thus not leaving a branch above that leaf) keeps new growth from happening at that point.




Originally uploaded by jerygan
A while back, I knit this for Jackie. It's a wood spirit (kodama) from the movie Princess Mononoke. When I finished it, I brought it in to work to show a fellow crafter. I left it on my desk for a bit and got some puzzled looks from my coworkers. Not one had seen any Hayao Miyazaki movie. So when I got home that day, I went to my pathetic DVD collection to find my copy of Mononoke but when I opened it, there wasn't a DVD inside the case. I lost it somewhere between Seattle and San Francisco. So if you are driving somewhere in Oregon and find some ragged old DVD on the side of the highway, let me know. I have some Europeans to educate on non-pornographic (did I mention all my coworkers are male) japanese animation.

The next iteration of the little guy will include a rattle inside. I want to make one sitting indian-style and a taller, skinnier one.

don't downshift to 1st


So this Christmas, my family, bf, and I will be taking a cruise down the Danube (River, in Germany). After the cruise, we plan to spend a couple of days in and around Munich. Since there will be six of us, we decided that it might be good to rent a car to be able to see the areas outside of Munich, too. But, being the cheapskates that we are (the whole family), Terence (brother) decided to reserve a car with a manual transmission. So while this saves hundreds of dollars, the problem becomes who's going to drive it... since none of us know how to drive stick.

Thus, within the next six months, I need to learn and become comfortable enough to drive stick in a foreign country. I started last night in my friend's Nissan Maxima (Max). While faring better than I expected, I haven't quite made it to the point where I can reliably get the car going from a complete stop without lurching or stalling. At least I can handle shifting and braking. We'll see how the next six months go :)

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