Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hi-ho, hi-ho, It's Back to Work I Go

School's starting again, thus the radio silence. I have had such a great summer that I am in complete denial that tomorrow is the first day of school. Where did the time go?

Good-bye lazy days . . .

Friday, August 15, 2008


Confession: I am a closet foodie. I love strolling through the "gourmet ghettos" around the Bay Area, I'm a fan of our local farmer's markets, and I'm a compulsive recipe hoarder and cookbook collector (which is really ironic, since I don't actually cook too often). Obviously, I'm not a food snob, as witnessed by my last few posts on chocolate (and Tina, Choco Flakes are chocolate covered corn flakes. Yes, "Mar" I will be doing treadmill time to burn it off!)

Last week, I found myself in Lupicia, a tea store based in Japan, that has an outlet here in San Francisco. They had a great summer tea called Sakurambo, which is a black tea blended with sour/sweet Japanese cherries. The tea itself is very light and refreshing; however for me, the kicker was the little jello shots they made with the tea. So of course, being a closet foodie, I had to buy the tea and go home to make jello shots!

I thought putting them in tea cups would be a nice touch.

Since I can't find the recipe on their website, I think it will be okay to share it here.

Sakurambo Tea Jelly Recipe (from a Lupicia recipe)

  • 4 tsp Sakurambo loose tea
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2.5 envelopes gelatin
  • 7 tbsp sugar (I used 6 and would probably reduce it further, but that's my taste)
  • 3.5 cups cold water
  1. Steep the tea in hot water for 3-5 minutes and strain.
  2. In a saucepan, combine gelatin with sugar and slowly stir in the cold water.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil and remove from heat.
  4. Combine gelatin mixture with tea and pour into molds.
  5. Chill in refrigerator for six hours and serve with honey syrup (2 tbsp honey, 4 tbsp water-I made it with tea instead of plain water)

Verdict: Once you get over the fact that you are eating tea jello, it's a fairly tasty, light summer dessert. I will probably try this again with some of the other teas lurking in my cabinets, as it seems to be a good way to move through the stash.

Now to get back to the knitting...

Edit: Hey Mar - You think this is "fine dining" wait until I tell you about the mac 'n cheese I made . . . in the rice cooker!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Chocolaty Goodness

Oh dear...emicat just had to tell me about Choco Flakes. So what do I find when wandering around Ichiban Kan, my Japanese dollar store? Yeah, you guessed it:

I'll have to agree with your comment; they're "hella good too!"

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Internet Time Suck

Just a quick post before Blogger pulls the plug for their scheduled outage.

This week passed in a blur. I joined that swap on Ravelry and learned a new phrase in the process: the Ravelry time suck. Oh my gosh - it's amazing how you lose track of time! Once you get in those groups and forums, the addiction really sets in.

I can't believe summer is already almost over. I have my classroom 80% set up, since a "friend" invited herself to stay at my house the week teachers officially report back to work. I'm not ready to start getting up early in the morning, let alone plan my lunch for the day. Thank goodness for those Ravelry groups; I joined the "Bento" group just to get some inspiration. Think I'll have to go practice, now that I've pulled out all the supplies.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mmm, good!

I recently discovered these: Boy, am I in trouble!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Let There Be Balance in the Universe

When I got back from Alaska, my sister started leaving "funny" little messages on my Facebook wall. She started out with, "Got fish?" and progressed to, "We're all waiting to see if you grow fins and gills." Yeah, hah, hah, hah.

I warned her to be careful about teasing me, because it was "bachi" (loose translation: what goes around, comes around). So today I get a text report on the first day of fishing; everyone caught something & she caught a 90 pound halibut. Who's laughing now? Yeah, that would be me.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Queen of the Fishermen

My mother is on a mission to become a fishing goddess. I can't believe she's already back in Alaska with my sister, my brother-in-law, and a college friend. Yes, to go fishing. Again. For her sake, I hope she catches some salmon this time, or she will start looking like a halibut before the year is out!
It's funny how surprised everyone gets when they see how gung-ho mom is about fishing. I mean, she's this five-foot-nothing lady who looks like a good gust of wind would knock her over. But she gets in there, cutting bait and getting all excited when something is on her line (although we do have to help her reel in).
She's responsible for two of my favorite memories from this trip. The woman has so much fishing talent that she lassoed a fish! Well, ok, the fish actually lassoed itself while trying to escape, but it sounds much more impressive to give mom credit. I will admit my other memory is a bit snarky, but it was funny to most of us! My mother was reeling in a (little) fish at the back of the boat. Satisfied that she was doing all right, the rest of us on deck went about tending our own poles. Suddenly, we hear this, "OH! OH! OH!" and we turn to see my mother scooting forward towards the very back. Seems the little bugger had a lot of fight in him! Luckily, my cousin was close to her, grabbed her belt loop, and hauled her back to a safer distance. Good thing she has a good sense of humor, because I don't think I laughed so hard in a long time!
Oh, by the way, she was never in any danger of actually falling in!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Knitting Mojo

Apparently, my knitting mojo is back. There's nothing like going somewhere cold after suffering through a heat wave that gets the needles moving! Of course, being the ADD knitter that I am, I have three projects going on simultaneously.
I took my openwork scarf out of hibernation:

I love this yarn! It's Artfibers Alfabeto and it's so smooth and nice to knit with. I want to switch my needles to something with a sharper point, but I'm afraid it will affect my gauge too much. I'm wondering if I can get away with switching them for the KnitPicks wood needles. With all the psso's the blunt tips of my Crystal Palace needles are driving me crazy! Opinions?

I also started a scarf for my cousin, since she needs pink in her life (sounds weird, I know). It's a variation on Candi Jensen's Mohair and Lace.

Finally, I was all set to make the cuff for my first toe-up sock, when something went so wrong that it was easier to frog the thing and start over. Talk about blessings in disguise! It was suggested I put a gold toe on it when I knit the first one, but I didn't have the yarn. Now I'll have my gold toes and heels. Sometimes, the little things can really make your day!I decided I needed to celebrate the fact that the knitting mojo has returned. So of course, I just had to sign up for a swap on Ravelry! I haven't been in a swap since last winter and the Blue Sky Alpacas Swap looks like it will be fun to shop for.