14 March 2011

Seeing Green

It's one of my favorite weeks. It's the week of St. Patrick's Day and I get to break out some of my most loved foods. Plus I got the Feb/Mar issue of Fine Cooking the other day and after drooling a little bit I picked out a couple of things to add to the menu this week.

Monday: Stout & Cheese Meatloaf
Tuesday: no one will be home
Wednesday: Corned Beef with all the fixin's
Thursday: Quinoa Salad
Friday: Potato Leek soup
Saturday: Moroccan Lentil Soup
Sunday: Leftovers

We'll see if Friday's meal plan actually happens. We now have a funeral to attend that morning so I might not get a chance to get everything put together. Something will happen, I'm just not guaranteeing that it will be what I said will happen! So with that I leave you with some lovely pictures of the meat loaf that was dinner tonight before I cooked it and after it came out of the oven. Enjoy!

pre-cooking meatloaf

post-cooking meatloaf

10 March 2011

Knitting is a quiet but powerful thing

I was reminded of this today on the bus ride home. When I first got on the gentleman sitting behind me struck up a conversation about my knitting and when I was making etc.. After a couple of other comments he reassured me that he wasn't staring at me, simply glancing over from time to time to make comments. After about 5 minutes of this pretense he finally admitted that ok, now he was watching what I was doing. And for the next 20 minutes of my ride we sat in relative silence, me knitting - him watching. As he was getting off the bus, he thanked me for letting him watch and share the experience. Next was the woman who moved up to the seat behind me and talked about how she had made afghans and such in the past but was a bit baffled by what I was doing with so many needles (I was working on kilt hose knit in the round on 5 DPNs). We had a bit of conversation which reminded her of a girl she had know in grade school in the 50's who had moved to the school from Germany and was teased because everything she wore was hand-knit by the girls mother, right down to her underwear!

And these little conversations reminded me that knitting might be a quiet and generally solitary practice for me, but is still a powerful thing. Not only does it connect me to the men and women who have come before me and passed the craft along, but it connects me to complete strangers in my everyday life. As a generally introverted person this is huge for me. Many times there are situations where I would never say a word or interact with others around me for any number of reasons, but with my knitting out, I do. It starts conversations and is something I can talk about with practically anyone.

Knitting is a powerful thing.

09 March 2011

Portents of Spring

This week so far has included some of my favorite portents of spring. First was weather warm enough to start tapping the maple trees for sap. Last year Donald and I tapped our trees for the first time and even when imperfect the joy of having home-made waffles with syrup that you boiled down yourself is so special. Second was Fat Tuesday and the beginning of Lent. Though neither of us were raised Catholic both sides of my family have strong Catholic roots and so over the years it just kind of slipped into my personal traditions of observing the period of Lent as a time for reflection and restraint. This year once again I have given up frivolous spending. It means no eating out for the entire 40 days of lent and no big indulgences. The basics of food and bills and such will still get paid for but the rest is set aside in savings. The nice thing is that my new years resolution fits nicely with the "fiscal fast" concept. This week's menu is:

Monday: Roast Salmon with Green Salad and Carrot-Fennel Rice
Tuesday: Spanish Mushrooms with Rice and Lentils
Wednesday: Pot Pies
Thursday: Roast Chicken with Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes
Friday: Chili
Saturday: Ash will fend for herself
Sunday: Leftovers