Monday, May 26, 2008


So it's been hovering around 100 degrees here lately and I'm trying to embrace it as best as one can. Maybe if I pretend I'm one of those people who loves intense heat, I will actually become one. In the mean time, I had my bread party last weekend. Some friends came over and brought different items baked from the bread book. I made the almond bostock which is basically rolls of brioche with almond paste swirled inside them, along with orange flavor and grated orange peel and almonds on top. It was maybe one of the best things I've ever eaten, especially since we had it while it was still warm.
I also baked two plain loaves of brioche, and I just ate a slice of one with some Nutella and sliced banana on top. I guess the diet is officially off.

Katie made two focaccia, one plain and one with thin onions and salt. I could eat it all day long basically (with almond bostock breaks in between).
Harlan actually went up to this first and clamped his teeth around the edge of it. As Katie put it, "it got the toddler seal of approval." Kelly brought some pecan cinnamon rolls and they didn't exactly taste like crap either: Let me tell you, all that was left of these was a few pecans and some crust. Dr. Ruth made the light bran, and I have to say I think I may switch to this loaf for a while (I've been making the light wheat each week for sandwiches, but this one has a bit more heft to it): Jenifer made an awesome cheese ball with some fresh feta from a local organic farm.

In crafty news, I made a cupcake for Mae's birthday The pattern is from here.
We finally got some wicker chairs and a table from Ikea for our balcony, and I made a couple of seat cushions for the chairs. I've also been working on a sun dress with some of my coveted Folklore fabric. Here's the top of it shown upside down: Like the ric-rack around the top of the bodice? I'm going to add some to the hem as well. There is one big problem however. I cut my fabric and patterns super carefully, and sewed every single seam with the same seam allowance, but that shit just doesn't line up properly.
Notice how the vertical seams don't line up? I kind of tried it on and it seems like it should work out to fit O.K. if I go ahead and insert the zipper, but I feel like I'll know that I screwed it up. However, if I rip it up and take in the couple of inches along the front of the skirt then the floral pattern won't line up. I am stumped.

In shop news I'm adding a banana cowboy on a green background. He's kind of always been everyone's favorite and I think the green makes him look extra special.

A few nights ago we went out to a biergarten in the middle of nowhere and it was super awesome. Even though I'm not a big beer drinker, they did have the Widmier Heffewiesen that I always liked back in Portland, and a polka band really hit the spot. To make things even better there was a plethora of Texas glamour grandmas getting their groove on on the dance floor. There was one super old guy in a full-on Tyrolean outfit and I kept hoping he would ask me to dance, but all the old biddies kept getting to him first. Check him out in the left corner:

Friday, May 16, 2008

More Bees & Bread

This Saturday my high school class is having its 20th reunion (thank you to the lady from the park who acted shocked when I told her and said I looked 29. I guess the face lift really paid off) and I'm sad to say I won't be there. Yes, I'm one of the few people out there who loved her high school. I had dedicated and interesting teachers, and really cool friends. I should mention here that I didn't go to public school. My school is a pretty well-known private Brooklyn school that does things like have Bertolt Brecht Day, where we ate German food and performed his plays. We had a smoking lounge too, and you were allowed to smoke in front of the school, but if you were in 7th grade, you had to go around the corner to smoke so no one would see you (the school goes k-12). Mike Diamond from the Beastie Boys was a senior when I was in 8th grade and he would throw french fries at us eighth graders who dared to try and smoke in front of the front door with the seniors. It was good times all around, and I hope to make the next reunion.

Yes, more sporadic posting I'm afraid. I've been working on designing the new Rose & Duke line (entirely sewn from scratch children's clothing, that won't be sewn entirely by me for once) and researching manufacturers. Aside from that, there's been a little more stitching going on for Abby:

I bought the blank tea towel fabric from reprodepot, and sewed some ric-rack along the bottom edges. I also got some great amigurumi patterns from a new friend over at Ravelry (I sent her a really good Japanese pattern book for her to copy from in exchange for the patterns she designed and sent me copies of). I made a marshmellow man and a sour apple.

The apple is missing his leaf and the marshmellow man is supposed to be a cupcake, but I think he looks more like a toasted marshmellow instead. He reminds me of the marshmellow man that I got as a gift when I bought something from Chet and Dot.

MY OVEN SUCKS. I have a thermometer in there, and sometimes you have to turn the heat to 550 to get it to reach 450 and sometimes you have to set it at 420 to get to 450. There's no telling what will happen once you put the bread inside. In addition, my dough rising is pretty incosistant as well. I don't know if it's the crazy Texas weather which changes so quickly, or if something else is going on, but half the time the dough is nice and wet and it rises perfectly and looks like this
and when it comes out this wet and flat on top, the bread comes out like this This is the light wheat bread by the way. I've also tried the olive bread and my favorite, the Chris Kimball (of Cook's Illustrated) sandwhich bread:
This is super tasty, but like all the other loaves- not very tall. I have no idea how to get a taller loaf so that one can eat a more normal-sized sandwich.
I also got a wild hare and tried my hand at homemade orecchiette (which is a bitch to remember how to spell) because the recipe in the recent Italian issue of Gourmet sounded sooo easy. While it wasn't necessarily difficult at all, it took forever. I spent half of a nap (Harlan's nap) cutting and pressing each little piece together. It tasted really nice with some Romano cheese, chopped parsley, and oven roasted tomatoes from the Whole Foods olive bar. The texture of the orecchiette was soft but not sticky or slimy. I think however, that I will continue to buy it from now on instead.