You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2008.

WordPress got cranky yesterday and, I think,  had to take a nap, so I couldn’t post the promised follow-up in a timely manner.  If you want to cut to the chase, the answer is tortillas.

Toast me!

The recipe called for Garam Masala, an Indian spice mix that is sold at most nicer stores, but I like to make my own, from a recipe in Moghul Microwave, a fine cookbook by Julie Sahni that should be reprinted, but is available used.  Most of the spices are toasted, then ground — then fresh grated nutmeg is added for a final note. It’s a pungent blend of cumin seed, coriander seed, cardamom pod, black peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaf.

More spices, I say

The lentil recipe also called for ground ginger, cayenne, and more cumin, and here they are along with the ground garam masala.  When I make this again, I think I’ll cut back on the cayenne, since there was a lot of black pepper in the garam masala, and it came out a bit spicy hot for a cosy bowl. But then I did find a green chili pepper hiding in the veggie bin that went in also.

Spicy black lentil bowl

It was really good! The lentils hold their shape, like green lentils do, so it’s not a thick soup.  I think adding some pink lentils, which break down very quickly, would make it into one of those stand-your-spoon up-in-it soups.

In fiber-related news, I’ve started a Damselfly Yarn  group on Ravelry, and I’d love to see you there! Wait time for joining Ravelry has dropped to just a couple of weeks, and it’s a great resource and network for knitters, crocheters and spinners.

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Black is the color of my lentils\' skin

I have some black lentils from the bulk bin at the grocery, and found this recipe that looked great on Words to Eat By, a food blog that is well worth delving into. 

So can I make dinner without having to go to the grocery? Let’s see . . . got onions, celery, carrots, broth left from simmering country-style ribs into shredable bits, spices aplenty . . . no sweet potato, which would make it very good, but I think it can be skipped without disaster.

Some small cucumbers that need to be eaten quickly as they are ageing a bit, some plain yoghurt . . okay, those’ll combine into a raita/tzatziki thing.  There are tortillas in the freezer, but also some couscous.  I’ll decide later on that.  Why yes, I can make dinner without going to the grocery! Stay tuned for the exciting follow-up tomorrow.

In other news, I snapped a picture of some freshly dyed yarn resting in a pot of its namesake which came out nicely

It isn\'t raining rain, you know, it\'s raining violets

Violets BFL superwash sock yarn, and it can be yours.

In honor of Earth Day, and because I hate to let a good marketing opportunity go by, I’ve posted a couple of Earth Day Specials at my Etsy shop.

A bundle of BFL roving, colorway Grass, for $12 instead of $15 until Wednesday,

Wooly goodness

and a skein of sock yarn with a story that began here, colorway Ivy, only for sale until I log back in on Wednesday, because it’s not on any of my usual base yarns, and if it doesn’t find a nice home quickly, I think I’ll make it into socks.

For love of Ivy

I’ve also some great new base yarns: BFL superwash, SeaCell/Merino superwash, and Merino laceweight.  If you haven’t looked lately, I’ve uploaded a lot of new items, and more to come this week and next.

And the offer regarding the free WrapSack (scroll to the end) is still on!

Last night

Downright mean, in fact.

My basket filled with snow

The snow came back thick and heavy last night, and this morning

Faceplant

there was a measured total of 4 inches on my front steps.

Hidden hyacinth

Not normal, I’m telling you.

Downtrodden daphne

It’s got to be hard on the plants that have starting acting like it’s really spring.

Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb

But mightn’t a cold snap sweeten up the rhubarb stalks?

Tonight we’re going to a fund raising dinner for the Friends of the University of Washington Libraries, an event I’m on the planning committee for. As a group, the committee has decided to dress in spring colors for the event.  I do have some nice spring colored sweaters, but I’m telling you , the open-toed sandals are staying home this year.

Snow day

People!  This is not normal April weather for the Puget Sound area.  Granted, we live in the convergence zone, but this is ridiculous.

Chilly cherry

April 18th.

Chilly rhodie

Fer real.  The previous latest snow that’s happened since we’ve been here was April 4, and this is much heavier.  In fact, today, we’ve had a little bit of everything — rain, hail, small snow, big fat fluffy snow, and even a tiny bit of sunshine.  Weird.

In other news, last night I made a really nice dish of fresh pasta, served with a fat roast chicken, salad, and a very tasty Italian Rose.

Warm pasta

Pardon the messy bowl, I took the picture after dinner. I made the pasta myself, and it was extraordinarily toothsome.  The recipe was from Alice Water’s remarkable cookbook The Art of Simple Food, a book I cannot recommend too highly. I gave it to ‘most everyone for Christmas last year and cook from it often. It is a distillation of her years of being a restauranteur in the French and also West Coast modes, and her passion for local, fresh food, all put together in a well written and usable text.

The pasta called for extra egg yolks, and perhaps that is the secret. Two cups of flour, 2 whole eggs and 2 additional egg yolks. Mix into a rough dough, adding a tiny bit of water if necessary, which I had to do. Wrap in plastic and let sit for an hour. This is one of those statements in life that when you hear, you must believe it. So I say again, if the instructions for any flour-containing recipe say, “Let sit for an hour, “believe it.

I’ve noticed a few other statements that work that way, too, by the way.  When a child says he has to throw up?  Believe it.  When a person you feel romantically towards says, “I’m no good for you,” believe it. The third one, when a waiter in an ethnic restaurant says “You no like”, I merely take with a grain of salt.  It’s usually just fine, but then I’m adventurous culinarily.

But back to the pasta.  After its hour-long nap, I rolled it thin and cut it into fettucine, then tossed with it flour, covered it with a cloth and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours until dinner.  Other recipes have called for drying the pasta on sticks, artfully arranged around the kitchen, but this was simpler and worked fine.  Boiled in ample salted water, tossed with some olive oil and Cibo’s Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, and it was a delectable treat. Try it!