Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mending again

We've had some mornings with frost, and near freezing temperatures near the Bay, so I've wanted more wool layers for my bike commute. But I don't want to spend a lot of money--it's not just the economy being in the toilet, it's wanting to have some money to spend on Christmas presents, on paying off debts, and, dare I dream, a vacation? So, luckily, there's Goodwill, with darling wool sweaters for $5.00. This one had many holes in it, and I didn't do extensive darning--if I can get it decent-looking so it lasts for one winter, I'll be happy.

So I just ran horizontal stitches across the holes to cinch the knitted fabric together:

Many holes were mended in about ten minutes, and then I replaced the buttons, since a few were missing. And, voila! A very warm, darling cardigan, suitable for biking & wearing to work.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Foccacia and wine

My darling friends had given us Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan, and I gave the foccacia recipe a try. It's absolutely delicious. The bread comes out with a dense, moist texture, perfect to hold up to cheese, a dip in wine, or even sliced horizontally to make a sandwich. I cut down on the salt quite a bit (2 teaspoons rather than a tablespoon, and no salt on top), and topped it with only 1/8 cup garlic olive oil (made with sliced garlic sauteed in extra virgin olive oil) mixed with 1 tablespoon water. I cut the fat and salt since I like to top the warm foccacia with cheese (like a Point Reyes blue), or dip it in red wine.

The wines are two of my absolute favorites, the carignane and mourvedre from Cline Cellars. Grown in Contra Costa County, these wines are surprisingly affordable, and with every sip I feel lucky about what the phrase "buy local" means for me.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pumpkin scones

The Joy of Baking's pumpkin scones recipe is wonderful. I've modified it a bit; I only use 1/4 c. organic vegetable shortening (rather than 1/2 c. butter), use lowfat milk or soy milk rather than buttermilk, and like them a little less sweet, so I substitute 1/4 c. agave syrup (rather than 1/3 c. sugar). I also omit the egg wash at the end to cut down further on the fat & cholesterol. I then bake them as directed on on ungreased cookie sheet--no need for parchment paper if you aren't using the glaze. They come out great!

And they're even good for lunch the next day!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Schmap Napa

Slightly Daft Cedric is slightly famous! His photo from his trip to Copia in Napa has been selected for the 5th ed. of the Schmap Napa Valley entry on Copia.

He was very modest about it, speechless, in fact.