Monday, October 31, 2011


Happy Halloween!

I'm happy to report that this year I celebrated all-hallows-eve in style.

look at that mud!
To wit: I visited my first ever corn maze. I even got lost.  There were 22 trolls to find, and I only found 17. I gave up early because it was super muddy and I was over it; I had definitely had my $5 worth of fun.  (The best part about being an adult? Getting to admit you're over it.)

that middle pumpkin is a pirate. arrrrrrrgh says the middle pumpkin.

Then I got to pick my own pumpkins. This year's poor pumpkins were never given the sunshine to turn all the way orange...because, dear readers, Seattle never saw summer this year.

Then, for the actual Halloween festivity (ridiculous house party anyone?), I just couldn't get into the spirit costume-wise. I mean, I sewed a skirt for my friend's Daphne costume (think Scooby Doo) but just didn't want to spend time that I could be knitting or stitching or baking (or sleeping) making a costume that I would only wear...for about 3 hours.

Three days before the big party, I had an idea: wouldn't it be funny (in an ironic kind of way) to be old-school ghosts?

Full disclosure: this was after a couple of beers and a long day. But that night it sounded like the best idea ever.

In the morning it seemed a bit less funny, but not so bad as to not carry out the idea.

Joe and I went to Goodwill, bought two white flat sheets, and then promptly bleached them. (They were, in a word, icky.)

We put them on our heads, marked eye holes, cut eye holes and...done. Costumed.

(We then practiced being spooky.) (And we took two grainy and dark pictures...that are nevertheless awesome because you can't see our legs and we thusly look like...ghosts!)

horrible lighting makes it look like my sheet was dipped dyed. I assure you that it was not.
Note: although being old-school ghosts is fun and funny, it has the following drawbacks:

  1. It's hot in there. Really hot.
  2. It's hard to see where you're going. And if you're at a house party with narrow stairs and too many people, that makes things tricky.
  3. That stupid sheet doesn't stay where you want it to. It slips around and you end up walking on your sheet and constantly trying to find the sweet spot where those holes are lined up with your eyes.
  4. Already-drunk people will holler out: the Klansmen are here! when you walk in the room. It won't make you feel good, and you'll spend the evening explaining that you're GHOSTS. You'll even wave your sheet-covered ghosty hands and moan out your best boooooos. 
  5. It's hard to drink your beer with a sheet on and no mouth hole. I tried drinking through my eye-hole (yes, I did) and by holding my requisite red cup underneath the sheet. Mostly, I just spilled beer on myself and thusly ended my beer-drinking. It was Jell-O shots for the rest of the evening. (Or, to be more specific: one Jell-O shot, two bites of molded Jell-O brain.)

Sunday, October 30, 2011


boiling tongue

Sometime last year, a group of us went in and bought a quarter of a cow (affectionally named Happy Cow) while it was still a calf (and alive).

Happy Cow spent a year wandering around rural Washington, eating grass and breathing clean (rainy) air, and then, as things go in that whole circle of life metaphor, Happy Cow was slaughtered on our behalf.

boiled tongue. look at all that muscle! that is one strong tongue.

Around slaughtering time, the butcher called to ask how we wanted our quarter cow butchered. Joe spent hours looking at cuts of meat, trying to figure out how to cut things apart so that we could split a quarter cow five ways and all get some good stuff, and then at the end of the list of cuts and requests, he asked for the tongue.

I mean, it's not like anyone else wanted it, right?

skinning the tongue.

We promised our fellow cow-buyers that we would host a party where we cooked up the tongue (and the brisket too).

It finally happened, dear readers. Joe soaked Happy Cow's tongue, skinned it, and braised it in red wine with a medley of fall vegetables and spices. He reduced the braising liquid until it was strong and flavorful, purreed the vegetables from the braise, and then added the puree to the liquid to make a delicious sauce.

He then chopped up the tongue, pulled apart the brisket, and doused it all in the amazing sauce.

We toasted sourdough hoagie rolls and made dripping, delicious sandwiches.

We invited twelve people into our tiny condo, who all brought sides and booze, and we dined and dined and dined.

And it was good.

after braising. (that's the tongue in the foreground and the brisket behind it.)

But, as it would always seem to go...I did not take a single picture of the delicious tongue sandwiches. I did not take a picture of the delicious tongue and brisket beautifully laid out as a festive spread on the countertop.

In short, I did not get any "after" photos. And for that, I am deeply regretful.


But, alas, the lights were dimmed and the candles lit, and anyhow, it's October now so the sun was long set by the time we sat down to dine. Clearly, there wouldn't have been enough light to take photos anyhow...and one wouldn't want to ruin the mood by sliding the light dimmer switch up to the top and making my guests squint while I photographed their food.

So you'll have to put on your imagination caps and think about toasted, buttered mini-hoagies and dripping, beautiful braised meat.

OR, you'll have to make your own tongue. (Not your OWN tongue, but your own cow's tongue.)

Friday, October 28, 2011


What is there to say about beautifully filled and rolled bread that hasn't already been said?

Shall I wax poetic about the gorgeously thin, almost transparent lofty layers of bread, enrobed in sweet walnut paste?

Shall I go on and on about the delicate crumb or the toothsome texture?

Shall I admire its ability to both satiate and provide warm-your-soul comfort with just one bite?

Or shall I just leave it at: this is delicous.

De. Lish. Us.  (<---click there for the recipe)

Blog-checking lines: The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!

all rolled out bed sheet.

De. Lish. Us.

delicious filling.

rolled up! look how long it is!

two tubes of goodness nestled in their loaf pans

Full disclosure: this recipe makes four loaves. Four. You'll say to yourself, "Self, there's no way my partner and I can (or should) eat four loaves. I'll make a half-recipe."

And then, dear reader, you'll take one loaf to a party, and keep one for yourself, and that one lonely loaf will be gone and while you're still licking the sticky filling off your fingertips you'll be saying to yourself, "Dang it, Self. You should have made all four."

Because we all know, dear readers, bread is like lasagna. Just as easy to make more as it is to make one.

Finished product

Let this be a lesson to you: make. all. four.

Mouth-watering close up

Monday, October 10, 2011

two things

Thing One:

Joe and I were walking around South Lake Union yesterday and stumbled upon a tiny Sunday gem: the model boat pond at the SLU park.  On Sundays, the fabulous people at the Center for Wooden Boats are there with model sail boats that you can take out on the pond. (And it's free! Although they like donations.)

We took out the Posideon. She has adjustable sails (real sails!), and she is quite sea-worthy.  In fact, once we got her trimmed just right, she even keeled beautifully.

Also, the pond was in high use by families with small children, and their delight at this simple, air-powered toy was pretty contagious.

Moral of the story: Get thee to the SLU park on a Sunday afternoon. Wear your captain's hat.

Thing Two:

There is a new whiskey and bitters emporium (read: bar) in town called Canon. If you live in Seattle and you like either a) whiskey or b) bitters or c) clever comfy bars you should get yourself there.

First off, they have a drink called the hanky panky that comes in a flask. (Your very own flask!)

(my very own flask!)
Secondly, they have a drink called the vermouth experiment, wherein you get three (yes, three!) manhattans, each expertly made with a different vermouth. (Each, too, with a happy booze-soaked sour cherry waiting for you at the bottom of the glass.)

Thirdly, and not the least of which, your bill comes in an old school tobacco can. If you are lucky enough to get the Prince Albert can, you'll learn all about the benefits of Prince Albert tobacco.

(amazing old-timey advertising copy)
 Moral of the story: Get thee to canon. Bring your bootleg.

Friday, October 7, 2011


one hound dog and one yellow dog. hard at work.

(also, i would like to note, that the yellow dog doesn't really like to share space with the hound dog. he got up right after this photo was taken.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Photo courtesy of Uppercase

Last Friday night, Joe and I ventured to Assemble Gallery and Studio (my new favorite local gallery) to celebrate the book launch of one of my favorite long-term bloggers, dottie angel.

dottie is the alter ego/blogging personality of one Tif Fussell, who I met, and who is very sweet and not yet snooty-star-struck. (not that I am assuming that she will become snooty-star-struck, but one never knows.)

(Also, I hope that she, and her publisher, won't be sad that I poached these photos.)

I told her I was reluctant to come to her party, since I didn't want to appear to be some raving lunatic of a fan. It's weird to meet someone in person who you seem to know so much about, while still knowing that you don't know them in the real flesh--only their web persona.

Luckily, Tif agreed with me regarding the weirdness (on her end as well), but she has thus far been delighted to meet people who are not raving stalkers but rather crafty people like herself who are genuinely nice and normal. I hope that I too came across as nice and normal. (or at least, not scary or raving.)

Photo courtesy of Uppercase

You may remember dottie as the inspiration for the bunting I made for my studio. Although our color palettes would seem to disagree, our crafty philosophies are quite similar. We do not take ourselves too seriously, we must have dogs on the floor to get anything done, and we both fight mightily against a very long rainy season here in the upper northwest.

Also, dottie's new book is amazing. So, so much better in person than could ever be shown on the interwebs.  (And yes! It comes with an amazing envelope of real life goodies, including buttons and scraps of happy.)

Monday, October 3, 2011

results not typical

Embroidery on cotton, found frame. (And by "found" I mean purchased for something like .99 cents at Goodwill.)

The first of my disclaimer series. Watch for more to come.