Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Last of the Turkey

This past Tuesday we had the last meal featuring the leftover turkey.  Oh, there was turkey barley soup for lunch yesterday and still more in the freezer, but this was the last distinct, dinner dish.  Turkey pot pie!  Featuring a leftover crust (from pumpkin pie), leftover brown rice, a make-shift gravy (which I also made to go with it using the last bit of gravy from dinner), carrots from Thanksgiving, turkey (of course), and then a few other bits - peas, onions, garlic, and celery.  It was actually pretty tasty.  I know I sound surprised, but when you make the pot pie into "refrigerator velcro" (to use an Alton Brown phrase), you can never know what to expect.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas List Entry 1

Okay, I have a few things in mind, but this one is just blowing it (my mind, that is)!
I found out about it on Kate Davies's lovely and amazing blog.  (You may recall I sent her a "Get Well Soon" card, which she actually received.)  Anyway, this is a collaboration with yes, a shepherd, a shearer, and two knitting pattern authors (of which Kate is one).  I'm afraid my description of the project (oh, you know how I love projects) will not do it justice, but not only does it entail knitting up a good "working" sweater (read: not a frou-frou luxury yarn one - which I still love by the way), but some of the profits from the project will go to establish scholarships to help other women become sheep shearers.   It is definitely what I'd call a "nose-to-tail" knitting project, and I want in.

The question is - can I wait and see if it somehow materializes beneath my yet-to-be-found-and-cut-down Christmas tree (makes it sound like we're going to steal it, but we're not), or do I reward myself for my hard work this year (hah!)?  (Needless to say, this flies in the face of the no new crafting materials pledge, but c'mon.)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Enter the Enabler!

I take pride in many things, and one thing that I think I'm pretty good at is enabling others when it comes to shopping.  See, my theory is this - if I enable you to buy something, then I get the vicarious pleasure of purchasing without the financial consequence.  How's that for crafty?

I let myself be tempted by the Alabama Chanin sale going on today (items up to 50% off) but managed to stay strong (if the lightweight jersey had been on sale...); however, I'm hoping you find something because there's a lot of good stuff on sale.

If I can't be with you as you come out of the (virtual) dressing room,  I can at least point you in the right direction. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Whole Lotta Love

Yes, that's the 19-pound turkey, and all of that for six adults and one child (despite our gracious invitations to a number of friends, who obviously did not know what they would be missing).  The crazy (and frankly, amazing) thing is that the turkey only took three hours to cook.  I know - you're wondering, "How can that be?"  But I followed an Alice Waters's recipe that starts the turkey, which should be at room temperature when it goes in (ours was close-ish), at a high temperature (400 degrees) for the first part.  In fact, I probably could've taken it out even a little earlier if I'd bothered to put the thermometer in right away (thought it was going to take five hours).
The ladyfriend made an amazing stuffing that in addition to the traditional bread had polenta, prosciutto, and mushrooms in it, and my friend "chef" made chicken liver pate, mushroom soup, carrots, and braised red cabbage.  Her son, four and a half years old, also wanted to contribute so he made "mustard bread," which essentially was mustard on bread in little half-sandwich sizes.  For dessert we had the traditional favourites - pumpkin pie (made by yours truly) and apple pie (specialty of the ladyfriend).

And what about the leftovers, you ask...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: I Know Where This Story's Going

(Yes, I live in Canada so turkey day will have to wait until tomorrow - but stay tuned!  There's a 19-pound turkey involved.)  Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and family in the States.
Dress:  Chaiken
Scarf:  Hermes
Tights:  Wolford
Shoes:  Aerosole
Book*:  Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

*If I were really reading, I'd be wearing my glasses.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cutest Bread in the World

Okay, maybe just in my world.  But what a cute little loaf I made last night (using the "almost no-knead" recipe from Cook's Illustrated).  What a little round of love!

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Turn Up the Volume

Shirt & Vest:  Kedem Sasson
Pants:  Comme des Garcons (mom*)
Shoes:  Trippen (ebay)
Socks:  Calvin Klein

*when I say "mom" here, I mean that the item was originally hers.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Rent My House - Really

Have you ever wondered what it was like to live in Hamilton?  Ever wanted to understand why I love this city?  Yes, I love Hamilton.  It's a city with no pretensions and a lot of possibility. (If you go to the link, please note that #4 is being amended constantly; there are more and more good restaurants in this city.)

We're off on sabbatical for part of next year and are trying to rent out our house.  You can check out our listing on Sabbatical Homes.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Ms. Fancy Pants

Turtleneck:  Uniqlo
Pants:  Betsey Ross pattern sewn by me (expect detailed blog post soon)
Shoes (not seen):  Cole Haan

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Slouching Toward...

Turtleneck:  Cadeau (thrifted)
Sweater:  Twinkle pattern knit by me
Pants:  J. Morgan Puett (ebay)
Shoes:  Cydwoq

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Marilyn Showing How It Should Be Done

I have a lot to blog about, but in the meantime, how awesome is this?
I'm loving Marilyn Monroe's exuberance and ability to just be in her body!  Rock on, Marilyn!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


The other day, a colleague asked me if I made most of my clothing.  I remember thinking, "I wish I could make this," and it reminded me of something that both my own sewing attempts as well as my participation in the Seam Allowance Project have made me realize.  Some things I just cannot or will not make.  For example, this Proenza Schouler dress.
And I don't have to.  I want to make more of my own clothing, but I still love, appreciate, and understand designer clothing.  When you've tried to make a dress or a skirt, you realize that it is not necessarily easy, and when you look at a Proenza Schouler dress or a Comme des Garcons skirt, you can appreciate why it costs what it does. (Of course, there are times or limits to what is justifiably compensatory, and the price is not just about the cost of fabrication.)

Proper Tension has just had its birthday (on the 6th), and this post sits at that moment of tension between the rustic and the refined. Crafting blogs seem to stay away from designer duds.  Frankly, I get a bit of a intellectual snobbery sometimes in them - "fashion is superficial; homesteading is where it's at." Fashion blogs, on the other hand, seem to believe that making your clothes is for, well - the less-than-financially gifted, Occupy Wall Streeters, and your mother.   But there's a tension here that I refuse to believe I'm the only one interested in.

So happy birthday, Proper Tension.  Let's keep the conversation going.

What I'm Wearing To Teach Today: All the Leaves Are Brown

Poncho:  Knit by me (Fleece Artist kit)
Turtleneck: Akris
Skirt:  Issey Miyake
Shoes:  Cydwoq
Tights: DKNY

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Wish I Were More Surprised

Really?  That many people voted for Romney?!
Jacket:  Comme des Garcons
Shirt:  Theory
Skirt:  Comme des Garcons
Tights:  Wolford
Shoes (not seen): La Canadienne

Monday, November 5, 2012

Food! Glorious Food!

So, Friday night my friend and I made dinner together.  Let me back up and say that this friend is a former chef, which I imagine contributed greatly to the success of this meal.

Here is the menu:
Steak tartare (first time I'd ever made it); I hand-chopped the cutest tenderloin I've encountered in recent memory.  The dressing was rather simple - finely chopped caper berries, a little Dijon mustard, a chopped anchovy, a little olive oil, a dash of Worcestershire, a dash of Frank's Hot Sauce, salt & pepper to taste (I may be forgetting something...).  Yes, we topped it with a raw egg.  (Just another reason to eat local & organic!)  It was a revelation - rich, creamy, and delicately balanced; chef said it was the best she's tasted.  Yay!  Now I want to make it at least once a week.  Not sure if the ladyfriend will go for that.
Photo by chef; food better than photo
Sweetbreads (a new favourite meat); sweetbreads are rich and creamy, with a light hint of liver (okay, here you might be, "Gross!"  But liver gets a bad rap, and remember, I said "a light hint").  We poached them in a court bouillon and then sauteed them in a little bacon fat (of course!) to get a nice crust going, finishing them in the oven.

Finally, there was the Cornish game hen breast on risotto encircled by sauteed leeks with bacon (match made in heaven) and turnips.  Chef made a sauce by reducing chicken stock until it was almost unbearably rich.  I'm having food flashbacks now!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Under Wraps

Movie:  Funny Face
Top:  J. Morgan PuettSkirt:  Junya Watanabe (Comme des Garcons)
Tights (which are brown and not rust): Assets
Shoes:  Cydwoq