Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Moving!

No, I’m not moving; the blog is. I’ve been pondering a move away from blog.com for quite some time, and the time to move is…now. I’ve had a Blogger account for years, so I figured I might as well make use of it.

The new blog is still under construction, but it can be found at http://www.ericah64blog.blogspot.com. Sorry for the long name; none of the shorter ones I preferred were available. I’ll leave things up on here for a while, but all new posts will be at the Blogger site. See ya over there!

Posted by erica in 23:06:07 | Permalink | Comments Off

Monday, July 12, 2010

OOOOOPS!

THIS is why I keep a spare pair of glasses:

Uh, oh...

Luckily, these are still under warranty, so I should be able to get them replaced for free. Until then, I’m wearing my red glasses.

Posted by erica in 10:05:05 | Permalink | Comments Off

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Adventure Begins…

The Boy Has Landed

Andrei arrived yesterday to stay with us while Mark & Bobbi are in La Bella Italia. Should be quite an adventure!

Posted by erica in 12:37:04 | Permalink | Comments Off

BUMMER!

A few months ago, I was approached by Amy Detjen and asked if two of my square baby shawls could be included in the upcoming re-issue of Knitter’s Almanac, coming in celebration of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s 100th birthday. Of course, I said yes! After getting permission from the baby shawls’ recipients, getting them shipped out to the publisher via Priority Mail, etc., etc., I ended up getting this letter last week:

Bummer

Apparently, the publisher decided not to use my baby shawls after all. What a drag! It is, however, pretty cool to have received a letter from Meg Swansen (AND a phone message a few months ago!). Oh, well….

Posted by erica in 12:35:06 | Permalink | Comments Off

Oh, dear…

THIS, my friends, is why people with long hair should wear a ponytail holder when they go play in the pool for hours and hours on end:

Tangle

Posted by erica in 12:29:38 | Permalink | Comments Off

Farmer’s Market Haul

July 2 Produce

Clockwise from the top:

- White mushrooms
- Indian eggplants
- Red plums
- Leeks
- Green plums
- Mini cucumbers
- Yu choy

$18.25 at our local farmer’s market.

Posted by erica in 12:24:37 | Permalink | Comments Off

Making Yogurt in the Crock Pot

With as much yogurt as Hubby & I eat (typically 8 oz. each every morning), I thought I’d get some tips from my friend Dani and try my hand at making yogurt in the Crock Pot because a) it would be cool to say I made yogurt, and b) it would be MUCH cheaper than buying yogurt.

The first batch I made was with 2% milk, so I made it for the kids (Hubby & I eat plain, nonfat yogurt). Once I strained it a little, added some vanilla, thawed frozen berries & some Splenda, they loved it! The process is quite long, especially if you strain it (unstrained = soupier a la “European-style” yogurt; strained a long time = thicker “Greek-style” yogurt or, if you strain it too long = spreadable yogurt cheese), but it’s VERY easy.

NON-FOOD SUPPLIES:

- 6-quart or larger Crock Pot

- Old t-shirt for straining (optional)

INGREDIENTS:

- 1 gallon milk of any kind – whole, 2%, nonfat, but NOT ULTRA-PASTEURIZED OR IT WON’T SOLIDIFY!!! (Homogenized is OK, as is pasteurized, but NOT the ultra-pasteurized kind)

- 1 cup plain yogurt with live, active cultures (Once you’ve made your first batch, you can save a cup to use for this.)

- If desired, vanilla, fruit, sweetener to add later (or garlic & herbs if you’re making yogurt cheese).

DIRECTIONS:

Step One – Pour milk into Crock Pot. Put the lid on, and cook it on LOW for 2 1/2 hours.

Step Two – Turn off/unplug Crock Pot and just let it sit for 3 hours.

Step Three – Take out 4 cups or so of the warm milk and whisk in the 1 cup of yogurt. Stir mixture back into Crock Pot. Put the lid back on and wrap the Crock Pot with towels (I use 2 beach towels folded in 1/2 around it and 1 beach towel folded in 1/4′s on top). Let it sit for 8 hours.

Step Four (optional) – Put t-shirt over the top of a really large bowl. Scoop out yogurt onto top of t-shirt and let the whey drip through. The longer you let it sit and strain, the thicker the yogurt will be. If you let it sit too long and it ends up thicker than you want it, you can stir some whey back in.

Step Five (optional) – Stir in any flavorings, fruit, or sweeteners you want.

Plain yogurt before straining, adding stuff, etc.:
Yogurt

With fruit, sweetener, and vanilla, the way the kids like it:
Yogurt +

NOM, NOM!

Posted by erica in 12:07:42 | Permalink | Comments Off

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Market Bag

On THIS one, I finally got the lace pattern to work out correctly. Now, to figure out how to write it up. It’s a bit more complicated b/c I had to keep moving the EOR marker to make it work. I like the results, though.

Black Bag

Black Bag Detail

Posted by erica in 11:31:38 | Permalink | Comments Off

Monday, June 28, 2010

The “Little” Things

“It’s the little things….” We’ve all heard it; we’ve all said it. As part of my 2010 effort to focus more on the positive rather than doing what comes naturally and focusing on the negative*, I’ve been thinking about the “little” things lately. What are some of the seemingly small things that act as bright spots in your day or can even turn your day around? I find that the more conscious I am of these things and the more grateful I am for them, the more cheerful I am (duh).

Some of the “little” things I’ve thought of:

- a “driveby” kiss and “Love you” from one of my kids
- a stranger holding open a door for me
- someone telling me to jump ahead of him/her in a checkout line
- finding something I lost a while ago
- discovering that Hubby unexpectedly did one of my chores for me (like the dishes!)
- hearing something funny in a show the kids are watching
- a sincere compliment on a day when I’m feeling anything but attractive
- a call/email/note out of the blue from a friend
- trying something new and liking it

SO, what are YOUR “little” things?

* This is thanks largely to a friend who told me in December or January that every time he sees me, within the first five minutes I always say something negative. OUCH! Truth hurts!

Posted by erica in 09:17:41 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Farmer’s Market Haul

P6263081

This week’s take from our local farmer’s market (approx. eight houses away!):

- Plums
- Tomatoes on the vine
- Leeks
- Gailan
- Yu choy
- Amaranth
- Red bell peppers

All for the low, low price of…$15. Sweet!

Posted by erica in 13:41:00 | Permalink | Comments Off