Friday, April 20, 2007

a little quiz...

I think I am really an enigma. I appear to be very social in person, but really, I am quite content to be alone and do not seek much company after mandatory work hours. I care very much for others but am quite selfish with my time! I think this little quiz captured me perfectly...
You Are 30% Extrovert, 70% Introvert

You are quite reserved
You aren't afraid of social situations...
But you very much prefer to go it alone
And why not? You're your own best friend!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

sad, sad day

The Virginia Tech shootings ~ another heart-breaking day in American history. I cannot understand such things enough to even comment upon them. My heart goes out to all of the families affected, even the family of a young Korean boy who was disturbed enough to do this. There are no words for this extreme sadness...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

shopping bags vs spring cleaning...

ok, I'm still knitting away in my spare time, BUT it is spring cleaning time as well! UGH!!!

When I was younger, I tackled such projects in a Very Big Way and took much pleasure in cleaning out the excess from my home.


Now, it is still something that needs done, but my enthusiasm has waned, to say the least! All that deters me now is the thought that if I don't do it, someone I love with have to and it won't be pretty!! UGH again!

And so I embarked on some closet and drawer cleaning this weekend. But only with my tried and true tricks in place. You see, I make a deal with myself. One, I only commit to working for ten minutes to start with and then, if I am too miserable, I can quit. Usually this will get me going for anywhere from one to three hours. Thank goodness!

Two, I play my current book on tape while I work to distract me. So far ~ so good! It works!! I start out with a small goal in mind and manage to do much more overall. Phew! It is good to know how to trick oneself to do these things!!

Meanwhile, I have lots more to do but am happy with what I was able to accomplish this past weekend. To reward myself, I took knitting breaks to work on Market Bags! I absolutely hate the buildup of all those plastic bags from the grocery, so I am going to make a stash of knitted bags to bring home the groceries. Here are two completed ones and the start of a third. It must be true that old hippies never die!! Peace, my friends! And happy recyling!!

Friday, April 06, 2007

fagioli alla Toscana

or ~~ Tuscan Style Beans
I am an admitted italiano-phile and last night I was reading a new cookbook that I got called "The Antipasto Table". It mentioned how Italians LOVE beans (as do I) and here is how they cook them: they "oven-bake" them slowly to tenderize them and retain their shape, only adding salt at the very end of the cooking time.

BUT ~ one needs a cast iron dutch oven in which to do this (which has been on my "list" for some time) and today I went in search of one. Do you know how expensive these are???????? OMG!!!! I was in sticker shock over the prices of Le Creuset - a medium size Dutch Oven is $150 ~ $225!!!! OMG!!!!!

I'm sure that pan would outlive me by a long shot, but who can afford to have it now??? OMG, OMG, OMG!!!!!

And so I took off for my fav local knock-off store, and lo and behold, there ~in all it's glory~ was a no-name brand of exactly what I was looking for!! It was RED, it was medium size (not too big and not too small) and it was OBLONG (my preferred shape). Yeh, it was made in China and it had a chip out of the rim, but not too big and something that woulda happened in short order anyway...

I snagged this prize and headed home to cook some fagioli of my own...

So here is what you do: rinse a pound of cannellini or Great Northern Beans, put them in a bowl covered with cold water by 2" and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. After that, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Drain the beans, put them in the ovenproof casserole with a cover. Add fresh water to cover by one inch. Add a large clove of garlic (peeled), a tablespoon of olive oil and a bit of fresh or dried sage. Bring to simmer over low heat on the stovetop. Move the dish to the oven and cook until tender ~ about an hour or so. Add salt to taste. Remove from oven, smash the garlic and add back to the soup. Serve warm or at room temp with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground pepper. These are really good atop toasted rounds of fresh bread, garnished with chopped fresh onion...

And that is exactly how I just had them ~ YUM!!! Best beans ever! Try them!!!