Hope springs eternal

I have eaten hundreds of apples in my life. Maybe even thousands (we did have our own orchard for six years when I was growing up), and while I have bitten into more than a few worms, never have I experienced what I did yesterday: the seeds within were sprouting! Must have been a cold-storage apple and the wee buggers thought spring was here.

Wait, it is.

I couldn’t bring myself to toss the little darlings in the trash. I mean, come on – they were trying so hard to grow! So I did what any romantic green thumb would do: put them into a wet paper towel and tucked them into a baggie. Overnight, one of them shot out a root, and all are busting out of their confining shells. I take this as a sign that these little seeds have big, tree-sized goals.

I have no idea if it’s feasible to grow a producing apple tree from seed, but there’s no harm in trying. My grandpa always grafted his fruit trees. But hey – I’ll stick these guys in some dirt and see what they think. If someday, six or eight years from now, they decide to bear fruit, that would be great. If not, well, at least I gave it a go, right?

(oh, and the apple was delicious!)

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Bag the granny

I am working on getting my craft room under control – and one way I’m tackling that is by ripping out projects I shall never finish in order to reclaim the yarn. Projects that seemed like a good idea many years ago and then ended up stuffed into a bag and abandoned in the back of a cupboard, that when rediscovered I had no recollection of what I liked about the project in the first place. I think a lot of knitters can relate.

Case in point: a long granny square vest, knit in cotton yarn. My color choices were, um, ‘interesting’, and the vest would have weighed about fifteen pounds had I ever finished it. Not to mention that granny square vests are a questionable fashion accessory in the best of times, and I am not the sort of person that can make quirky clothing look fashionable. At some point a grain of common sense kicked in and I realized I would never, ever wear the vest, and that it was an awful waste of forty dollars’ worth of yarn. And, into a cupboard it went.

As I said, it’s cotton yarn, in three colorways that go together a lot better as a bag than they do as a granny square vest, I can assure you. After frogging several dozen granny squares and winding the ramen yarn back into cakes, I cast on a market bag.

I have a lot of this yarn, especially the variegated one (a vest’s worth, as a matter of fact). There will be a lot of bag knitting during my daily commute, and a lot of bags in the Christmas box this year.

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In with the new, out with the old

I noticed that I never posted a final pic of my Eco Vest. It’s 99.99% done — just need to knit a little button loop. It’s beautiful; I love the yarn and the color. It’s soft and cozy, exactly like a vest should be. Here it is after blocking – there is a single button at the waist but it’s hidden behind the rolled front (which is why I need a button loop).

I was obviously in the mood for cozy knits, because I am also working on a thick, squishy cowl. This is one I saw at Madrona a couple months ago and just had to have. It’s almost done, I think there’s only about five rows left to knit.

In the “old” category, we are shopping for a newer vehicle and the Mr. prepped my old SUV for trade-in. He cleaned out twelve years’ worth of accumulated mittens, hair clips, hats, assorted bags, pens, books, toys, markers, and so forth from all the pockets and compartments; and then he washed and waxed the outside and vacuumed the inside. It’s weird, driving my car with absolutely nothing in it. No chapstick, no hair ties, nothing in the console… It almost looks too good to get rid of now. (almost)

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Walk on

After a looooong hiatus from exercise walking, I hit the trail today during lunch. Marta has been giving me gentle nudges to be more active, and lately she has started withholding food as a motivator. (Now that Marta has several weeks’ worth of experience keeping tabs on my food intake and exercise habits, she is able to fairly accurately dole out daily calorie limits for me, so the more active I am the more I get to eat. Lately I have not been very active, and I’m finding it difficult to stay within my allotted calories. Marta may be cruel, but it’s an effective motivator to move my backside.)

Anyway: today was lovely, and I took a nice 40-minute walk along the waterfront. I wasn’t able to get my phone out of my pocket quickly enough to take a picture, but two groups of Seattle Police on bicycles rode past; it looked like a training ride (gearing up for the summer). There must have been sixty of them.

I did manage to take this pic of a man playing a trumpet on a pedestrian bridge.

And this lovely view of the Space Needle hiding behind the Seattle P.I. Building.

And just when my hips were getting tired and achy, I ran across this little bit of motivation:

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Not exactly a success

A couple of weeks ago I ran across a video that showed how to scramble eggs inside the shell before you boil them.  I was intrigued. I enjoy eating hardboiled eggs, but will admit that the differing textures and flavors between the white and the yolk can be off-putting for folks. Plus, it’s difficult to chop one up to put in salads (and by “difficult” I mean “difficult for me to do without mangling the yolk and making a hideous mess of the whole thing”).

Since I was boiling eggs yesterday anyway, I decided to give this method a whirl (so to speak). I found a stocking, chose four fresh eggs, and spun them silly. Amelia was intrigued by the whirring sound, but less than impressed when I showed her the egg inside the sock. I don’t know what she expected, but it certainly wasn’t an egg.

Anyway: I proceeded the boil the spun eggs along with the un-spun eggs. As the water heated, I suddenly heard a “POP!” and was dismayed to see that one of my spun eggs had exploded. As I was lamenting this development to my housemates, a second “POP!” resonated, followed quickly by a third.

Foamy eggs whites oozed into the water, creating an unpleasant scum on the water and coating the side of the pan. Not very appealing. After cooking, I rinsed everything off.

After a night in the fridge, I decided to see how they turned out. A hardboiled egg would go well with my toast, I figured.

The egg put up quite a fight. A bit of water leaked out as I skinned peeled the egg.

and inside? Well, definitely not scrambled. The yolk is oddly shaped, but still intact.

And if you look closely you will see that the whites are full of air bubbles. When I ate the egg I was dismayed to find that the whites were indeed “whipped” while the yolk was denser than usual.

I still think this could work, but I think perhaps the stocking doesn’t hold the egg firmly enough for the yolk to break up. I found another video, this time using a tennis ball to hold the egg, and I think I’ll give that a try sometime.

Posted in Family nonsense, Just Plain Silly, Random Thoughts, Recipes | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Playing with eggs

Seeing as how tomorrow is Easter, I figured I’d better make some hard boiled eggs — and why not color them with natural stuff we already had around the house? I raided the spice cabinet, the freezer, and my soap room, and gathered up seven jars to experiment in.

In the center is frozen blueberries. Around the perimeter, clockwise from the top left is annatto seed, beet root, nettle leaf, hibiscus, paprika, and turmeric. I put 1-2 Tbsp of each into a jar, added 1 cup boiling water, and 1 Tbsp vinegar. Then I dropped an egg into each jar and let them sit awhile, checking on them every couple of minutes to see how they were coming along.

The results were mixed. The hibiscus was the most disappointing; it created a weird film on the outside of the egg that wiped right off (it’s the egg in the lower right, that is practically white). I wonder if I should have strained out the flowers first? The three on the left ended up all being similar, and the nettle leaf left a soft olive/khaki color much more subdued than I expected, considering how bright the herb is. The blueberry and beet root took well. All in all, a fun little experiment!

 

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Cat trap

I’m trapped under sixteen pounds of feline warmth and cuteness. Not a bad way to spend Sunday morning.

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