Saturday, January 23, 2010

Off to Amagansett!

We're off to our annual trip out to the end of Long Island today. I am still battling tendinitis so I'm not sure how much knitting I'll get done. That is irksome, of course, but I will just have to soothe myself with two or three walks a day here:

And eat some delicious dinners here:

And practice my field goal kicking:

Have a happy week everybody and please think non-inflammatory thoughts about my ding-dang arm!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

As Homer Would Say: "D'Ough!"

Here's a few things happening around chez Momogus these days. First, in a totally nature-y badness thing, I spied a Sharp-Shinned Hawk in my backyard, eating a woodpecker. I don't like when the hawks use my bird feeders as a sort of delectable lunch buffet. When they get somebody it's usually a dove. Now I love a dove as much as the next person, and I hate the whole circle-of-life thing as much as the next person and wish they wouldn't get eaten at all, but there are A LOT of them in my yard. The woodpeckers, on the other hand, are rare and gorgeous and appear infrequently. So it seemed especially harsh when I saw this.

Hawk-y badness...

Now in a palate-cleansing moment of nature-y goodness, here is a ridiculous and totally typical picture of Nuts and Silly. Though he is not related to Silly in any way, Nuts firmly believes and has believed from the first moment he saw her that Silly is his mother. He outweighs her by a good 10 pounds, if not more, and he will wander around the house meowing until he sees her and then will flop down next to her so that she can lick his ears. Then he gets so happy and contented that he will inch closer and closer until she swats him and leaves. This happens continually, but she is patient and he is incorrigible so it never stops.


Now on to my main topic, which is bread and the making thereof. I'm experiencing my annual post-holiday-knitting-tendinitis so I can't knit right now and I am going crazy. I've been looking for stuff to do with my hands that wasn't knitting. As you may recall, baking a loaf of bread was one of my New Year's resolutions or 2010 goals. Imagine my surprise when I picked up my Marion Cunningham Fannie Farmer Baking Book and saw this:

If you can't read it, it says "8/30/92 Perfect! I am Frontier Woman!" Huh. Aside from the hubris in that note ("Frontier Woman" indeed, who lived in downtown Philadelphia, worked in a bank and threw darts in the corner bar 3 nights a week), I am struck by the fact that I accomplished this goal 18 years ago, but had no recollection of it at all. I'm going to declare that there is a sort of statute of limitations on baking goals, because I baked a loaf of bread from scratch yesterday and fully documented the process and was very full of myself (one might even call oneself "Frontier Woman"), so here goes:

Dough in its initial form.

Dough in its not-really-very-risen form, but this was 2 hours later and it was sitting in a bowl in a pan on the radiator, so I'm sure it was very close to 75 degrees and I didn't want to wait any longer.

Dough in its risen-punched-down-and-risen-again-and-split-in-two form ready to go into the oven.

I wasn't sure what to expect because the dough did not seem to have doubled in size when it rose, but what came out of the oven sure was beautiful and it tasted DELIGHTFUL! We had it with homemade chicken stew last night, and ate like a whole big Frontier Family.


I have a bread machine that can knock out a decent-tasting loaf of bread in an hour and I don't have to do anything after I push Start. Yesterday's process was definitely hands-on and time-consuming. Mixing the dough initially took maybe 15 minutes, then there was a 2-hour stretch for the first rise, then punching down and another 45 minutes for the 2nd rise and then finally a 30-minute baking time. So I started around 11:00 am and the bread was done baking at 4:30 (it would have been done earlier, admittedly, but I had to pick up Gus at school and I didn't want the oven on while I wasn't there.) The bread was really really good, though, and it did make 2 loaves, so I guess it was worth it. I don't know how anyone could do this every day though. But it's done. Now I have to start with my chicken goals.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Dark TIme is Drawing To A Close...

In the midst of all the unfortunate kerfluffle that ended the Eagles season, I suddenly thought, hey, I forgot about this guy!

Remember when the Phillies got the best pitcher in baseball? I will surely miss that magnificent Cliff Lee, but am thrilled with Halladay. I think there are about 35 days until pitchers and catchers report, and the Dark Time will be over. The Eagles cannot tide us over, and though I would dearly love to love the Sixers, that's not going to happen. So I will dream about the Phillies... Let us recite their names....Howard, Utley, Rollins, POLANCO!, Ruiz, Werth, Victorino, Ibanez, Halladay, Happ, Lidge, Madson, Blanton....ah.

Hot Stove Topic: does anyone have a theory about why the Phillies kicked Brett Myers to the curb? I thought it might be some sort of personality thing, but then Ed Wade picked him up for the Astros and he would know better than anyone if there was a problem. Myers would seem to have been a good fit into the back end of the rotation, but the Phillies made it clear he was persona non grata.

Begone, Dark Time!!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dearest Dad!

I could write pages and pages of glowing words about my dear dad, but it still wouldn't be enough. Suffice it to say that I am one of the three luckiest girls in the world, to be the daughter of this gentle, kind, loving man.
Happy Birthday, Dad!!


Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy New Year, Folks!

Obligatory best wishes for a wonderful 2010 to you all! I know a lot of folks who had a tough 2009, and a few who ended 2009 in a particularly sad way. For those, I especially hope that 2010 is a happier year. For me 2009 was a nice year. Why? Because nothing happened!! That, to me, is the secret to happiness and contentment - just have nothing happen! The normal sweet day-to-day routine was uneventful. If 2009 were a rollercoaster ride it would look like this -> ---------------------------------------- YEE HAW!

Anyway, enough of that. I have high hopes for 2010. Here are some of my New Year's Resolutions:

1. Learn how to cut up a whole chicken
2. Learn how to sharpen a knife to cut up said chicken
3. Learn how to roast a whole chicken (a different one from the one I just cut up)
4. Make a loaf of bread from scratch, with the whole yeast-rising, punching-down business

My dear frend Sabina bought me an awesomely awesome cookbook for Christmas, Mad Hungry, and I have been thrilled by it and inspired to cook well for my men. I never really learned how to cook, so this is a big thing for me.

For knitting I have some resolutions.

1. Finish (well, start and finish) the 2nd glove for this:

Annemor #10 Glove from the transcendent Selbuvotter, the yummiest book ever! I powered through this glove in March of 2008. 2008, folks. That was almost 2 years ago. Though I have no problem tossing unfinished projects that no longer interest me, this one does. I shall make that 2nd glove!!

2. Get on the stick and publish the Chestnut Hill Ganseys patterns for Momogus Knits. I have this done:

American Girl Doll version

And this:

Baby version

And this:

Child's version - done!

And I'm actually farther along in this, the Adult version, than the picture shows:

So what's the hold up, you may ask? I don't know!! I just could not get myself to finish these up. But that was so 2009, you know. Now it's 2010, and they're going to get done.

3. Add more Adult sweaters to the pattern line. The blahness of the sample knitting for these sweaters has held me off for years, but again now it's 2010, and they're going to get done!

That's a lot of resolutions. They're actually more of a to-do list, which is probably more likely to get done. I love me a to-do list!! Does anyone have resolutions or to-do's that they'd like to share? Share the love! Share the resolutions! Writing them down makes them more likely to happen, I find.

Hope your 2010 is exciting (if you want it to be) or wonderfully non-exciting!!