Monday, October 13, 2008

Vegan eating

I just read a news report that a certain brand of flour has just been recalled for having excessive amounts of nutrients. Apparently far too much of something was added. I'm increasingly uncomfortable with eating pre-prepared foods, I just can't see how factory-type handling of grains, fruits, veggies, etc, can be any better than the factory-type handling of animals is.  So, now I am trying to eat mostly things that haven't been tampered with. Not easy, especially living as I do, in the land of ice and snow! 

Luckily we have a great farmer's market which I believe will be open until the end of this month. six months of the year isn't bad! It'll be interesting to track my efforts over the winter. 

What I made today: 

Green bean almondine (with balsamic vinegar, recipe from Vegetarian Times)

Roasted red pepper and tomato soup, also from Vegetarian Times, but minus the vegetable stock as I find there is a richer taste without watering it down at all, plus I like a chunkier soup.

And for desert... vegan pumpkin pie, recipe from Cooking Vegetarian! Very simple, elegant, yummy pie. One of my favourites, and just perfect for Canadian Thanksgiving. 

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Waist deep

Yesterday it was -5 celcius (-14 with the wind chill) and today it is -3 (-10 with the wind chill). This is cold. Very cold. And it has been very cold for a very long time. And look ... that long brownish thing by Nigel's boot is the top of a park bench... not the seat of a part bench, no, no, this is the top of the backrest on a park bench. Nigel and I did not realize the snow was that deep (the back of a park bench comes up to what -- my waist?) until we saw this. We stood awestruck for a minute. Because that is a whole heck of a lot of snow!

This was taken two weeks ago, and while the snow has begun to melt, it won't be melting very fast if the temperatures stay this cold! Montreal really does get the worst weather. Don't get me wrong. I love the city. It's just that I don't care for winter quite as much. At least not this much winter...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Rosita (jaeger)

I'm making up for lost time by updating links and making several posts all at once. I'm in good company because as I was deciding on which of my favourite knitting blogs to add, I discovered that another dormant blogger (Fake Sheep) resumed her posts this month as well, so there must be some kind of blog-inspiration in the air...

This, my third post of the day, is about my current knitting projects. Almost one year ago I started to knit Rosita, a jaeger pattern. (This image is from the book cover.) 

It was rough getting started. There was an error in the book and it took a little while before I realized it wasn't my m
istake. Of course I found the correction on another knitting blog once I did figure out it was the book and not me. (I love kntting blogs!). I can't recall which one I found it at now and I feel badly about that because really I should link to it here... ).

And if that wasn't enough to slow me down, almost as soon as I started knitting it, I developed a mysterious problem with my left shoulder and upper arm that quickly made it almost impossible for me to knit. I was determined though. I hadn't kit in something like 15 years, but a colleague re-introduced me to knitting and once I started again, I was at a loss to understand why I'd ever stopped in the first place (though I suspect going to university while raising three kids and working had something to do with it!). 

I had always knitted english style and I recalled now that part of the reason I'd stopped knitting before was because all that movement didn't go well with the tendonitis that hits me from time to time. I felt that knitting continental  might prove less stressful to my shoulder, but at that time I didn't want to relearn to knit so I just stopped. Now that that the knitting bug hit again, (and maybe I'm a little less lazy than I was then (!)), I've re-taught myself to knit. I do think continental is easier on my 
arm and shoulder and I've figure out how to pace myself. If Stephanie can do all the wonderful knitting she does in small blocks of 10 minutes of time in between all the other wonderful stuff she does, then surely I can get a few things knit that way as well! ( I know she said this, really, but now I can't find the right post but you can trust me on this!)

I actually finished the back of Rosita last winter, but because I knit it while learning continental, the tension was uneven, I couldn't knit much more than one row at a time, and I lost interest in finishing the project. 

But since then I've had enough practice with continental knitting that I'm comfortable with my tension and earlier this month I dug Rosita out of my projects basket, unravelled the back and reknit it. I'm almost finished the front too. Here's the back, unblocked ... 

While in Boston a few weeks back, I saw this same pattern (Ogee Lace) used in cardigan on sale in a fairly good quality women's clothing boutique, which is both cool (means it's in style) and disappointing (it won't be as original as I thought it was). 

I'm knitting it in scheepjeswol cotton 8, mayflower using size 3 mm steel needles. 

I'm also knitting two baby sweaters from Little sweet peas by Sirdar (for grandchild #4 due mid-July and grandchild #5 due end of September) a pair of cable socks, and I just bought the pattern and yarn for Potpourri from Rowan's new book, Summer Delights.

Vegan delights

Who says a vegan diet is boring and no fun? I just made one of my favourite treats: espresso with steamed vanilla soymilk and the highlight, Ultra-fudgey Brownies from Vegan Vittles


I'm in process of sewing a dress and matching short-sleeved jacket each for Maliyah and Aris. I haven't sewn anything in many years, so I wasn't sure how it was going to work out, and while I will admit I've had to rip out stitches a couple of times, it's going quite well and I'm actually enjoying it! I just realized that the jackets are supposed to be lined, which I didn't know when I bought the material. Luckily I got too much of the dress material, so I'll line the jackets with that. With any luck, they'll be reversable

Here's the material I'm using for Maliyah's dress and jacket. You might notice that I'm pretty far along on the dress: bodice is complete, along with back ties and shoulder straps and the skirt is sewn on. All that's left now are buttonholes, the bottom hem, and attaching shoulder straps to the back (and since the girls are on the opposite side of the continent, I have to guess at how long to make them, hope someone on the other end can fix them if I guess badly!).

And here is Aris': her jacket will be plain, no bottom border, but she'll have three ribbons (red, yellow, and black) running across the bottom of the dress.
I can't wait to see them on the girls...

An armful of grandchildren

Does it get any better than this?