Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Back to the grind

What a glorious vacation from work. I could have used another week to fritter the time away, but that just goes to show what a lazy ass I am. I was even too lazy to take pictures and blog.

I did manage to complete one large project around the house - cleaning out the pantry. I shudder to think back on all the expired food and crap that I would never eat that I threw out. Filled the black trash can outside all the way up. Let me emphasize, this was EXPIRED food, so I couldn't donate it or anything like that. I even reorganized the pantry, so I can actually find stuff. I came across so many things that I forgot I had that it scared me! Now it is a manageable size, and I won't have to throw out so much when we are ready to move.

Cleaning out the pantry got me thinking about food and what kind of stuff I eat all the time. I hate the idea of diets, but I wonder if there aren't substitutions that I could make in my regular recipes? More whole grains instead of white flour? Honey instead of refined sugar? I think I will need to do some more research. We have been eating more salads recently, which is good. And I would love to kick the diet soda habit. I'm fairly certain that it's really not good for me to drink as much as I do. I just need to find more reasonable substitutes, like tea.

Oh, and New Year's was a blast. This year, I tried the grand experiment of making tamales. The recipe I used said that I would net about 4-6 dozen tamales. 14 dozen later... no, I am so not kidding. We ran out of the pork filling halfway and had to use cheese. But they turned out great, and the Hispanic people at the party thought the gringa acquitted herself quite well. Now we have a freezer full of tamales. Not that I'm complaining or anything. J and I ended up spending the night at J&M's, and they put us in the guest room with our kitties :) I think we had at least two cats on the bed the entire night. It was sooo nice to be able to spend time with our cats, and to be reassured that they still knew who we were. The next day, I baked up a Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Strata for breakfast, and we had leftovers from the night before for lunch/dinner. We sat around in our PJ's and played video games for the rest of the day. Ahhh, so relaxing! All in all, it was a kickass way to usher in the new year.

As far as the knitting goes, I was ridiculously prolific during my holiday break between Christmas and New Year's. This is what I finished:

A pair of Fetching gloves
The lace leaf pullover
The basketweave v-neck
Two Odessa hats
Brioche scarf (my own design, using the Brioche stitch*)

Yes, I know there are no pictures. I will take pictures and post in the next few days. One comment about the lace leaf sweater - I had TWO leftover balls of yarn after all was said and done. So, I knit M (who is going to Wisconsin in about a week) a big, cushy scarf so she won't freeze. And I still have about 3/4 of a ball left over! Now, I knit very tightly, but this is freakin' insane. The sweater is plenty big enough for me, so I don't know what happened.

I also cast on and started my mom's Harlot Poncho, and I'm working on a crochet project as well - the Simply Cloche hat from Hip to Crochet. I'm not quite halfway and I just started it last night, so I will probably have it done by the end of the week. I'm making it out of Elizabeth Lavold Silky Wool DK in Graphite. Pretty, pretty yarn, and soooo soft to work with.

And yes, I shopped some more. I bit the bullet and bought another set of the Denise Interchangeables, in the pink this time. And a Lantern Moon tote. Somebody stop me.

*What is the brioche stitch? Let me share:

Cast on stitches in multiples of 3
Set-up row - YO, Sl 1, K 1
All other rows - YO, Sl 1, K2tog
Go until you get to the desired length. I recommend using a really flexible cast on and off for this stitch pattern.