Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Happy Camper, Ecstatic Cook

We just got back from a few days of camping in Algonquin Park with friends.  It's great to be able to get in one more camping trip before the end of the season although now I'm wondering if I can get the ladyfriend back up there for a little winter fun in a yurt.  They'll have hockey on the lake and cross-country skiing!  We're not traveling for the holidays this year so I might be able to persuade her...

In the meantime, I've come home to recipes galore left up on tabs on my computer or new on my Feedly list.  Here are some of the ones I'm dreaming about now:
  1. Tabasco Style Fermented Hot Sauce:  I have a whole new respect for Tabasco, and you know I'll be burbing mason jars in my basement soon.
  2. Muffuleta Pasta Salad:  Kind of like a chopped salad, an amazing sandwich, and an Italian fantasy in a bowl.
  3. Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Donuts:  I certainly hope I don't need to tell you why these would be amazing.
  4. Butterscotch Pudding:  Because pudding from scratch, and butterscotch no less, seems like a little bit of nirvana in a dish.
There are definitely more things I'll be making soon, but these are the ones that are teasing my taste buds right now.

Anybody have recipes they're dying to try or want to share?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lest You Think There's Been No Crafting...

I have been crafting up a storm this summer although none of the last four things I've made go toward my stash-busting goal.  I will post photos soon-ish of the aforementioned items (for the dying-of-curiosity types - a shawl, a tunic, a hat, and a cuff).

I've also been biking as much as possible for everyday transportation, and over the course of my travels, it's become clear to me that I could really use a purse-like thing that straps to my bike, either like a pannier to the rear rack, a trunk (also on rear rack), or on the handlebars.  Sometimes I just don't feel like wearing a backpack or constantly readjusting the straps of some bag I'm wearing.  So I started searching for something that might fit the bill and not break the bank.

My favourite thus far is the Logan Trunk bag from Po Campo

But there's a problem.  It's made in China.  This is actually a real issue for me (and often saves me money - hah!).  It seems like it might've been made in the US at one time, and I've emailed the company to see why they moved overseas (okay, I know why, but I feel that by asking them they know that it can affect whether an individual buys their product).  Even though they give a bicycle to a schoolgirl in Africa for every 25 bikes they sell, I'm not sure it's enough to sway me.  Maybe I need to come up with some kind of matrix of pros and cons around manufacturing issues.

Then, the ladyfriend comes home from the mechanic today and I learn we have $3,000 worth of repairs looming in the not-too-distant future, which actually means we have to buy a new car.  Suddenly the relatively reasonable price of the Logan Trunk bag feels unnecessarily expensive.

Enter craft!  I found this Amy Butler pattern (for free!) online, and I think I can modify it to work on my bike.  I'll add a shoulder strap (pattern includes this) as well as straps to secure it to the rack or my handlebars (will decide on that as I sew).
I've made other Amy Butler bags (High Street Messenger bag as well as her yoga mat bag), and they can be a bit involved (the messenger bag was quite the experience, but I love it and use it all the time).  I have some oilcloth although I'm not sure I have enough for this.  Worse comes to worse, I'll Scotchguard (remember that?!) the fabric so I can use what I have in my stash as opposed to buying more fabric.

I will say, deciding to make it myself means more time and the possibility that it might never happen (hey, I'm being realistic), but I have the pattern and the desire.  Hopefully I'll find the time and energy to follow through.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

MichFest 2014!

The ladyfriend and I have been back from the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival for a little over a week now.  This was our fourth Fest, and it was one of the best ones we've attended.  The music was great (holy cow, Medusa!), the weather was good, and there were plenty of workshops, dances, and other activities if you didn't feel like just hanging out on the Land.

I had actually started this post last Tuesday and knew that I needed to address the controversy over the womyn-born-womyn policy, but I was having a hard time putting into clear words some of the thoughts and issues at hand.  This morning I received the following statement from MichFest, and I think it says it best so I am copying it here: