Thursday, July 23, 2009

Waiting For Burda

Oh Burda, where art thou?
Here is what I'm up to as I wait for Burda to send me their magazine:

1. Watching my window box grow. Pretty but boring, and yet soothing in a way.

2. Making yogurt.

3. Making yogurt cheese. Wow, this is good! Put some plain yogurt in a strainer lined with a coffee filter over a bowl to catch the whey. Leave it, covered, in the fridge overnight. Amazing.
Here's a close up.
4. Make hummus.Here's the recipe, stolen freely from America's Test Kitchen and changed a bit:
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6 Tablespoons water
3 Tablespoons lemon juice from a lemon
2 Tablespoons tahini
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 small clove garlic, pressed through a garlic press

Put it all on a food processor and process until super creamy. 1/4 cup has 100 calories and 5 g of fat, as well as 3 g. of fiber. But honestly, it's the taste and texture that I love.

So, until Burda gets here, I will keep cooking. Good thing their patterns are multi-sized!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Recent Projects or How Many Shirts Does One Girl Need?

I have made 4 shirts so far out of the knits I got at Vogue last month. I am pretty happy with them, because they don't immediately jump out at you as "homemade." They aren't very fancy either, but mostly I was trying to make things I could wear in the heat. Then, Chicago's temperatures dropped to the 60's, so maybe I should have made them earlier...

I made two of each, in different colors. I copied the one with sleeves from a Gap one I had that was falling apart, and the red one is from a Vogue pattern by Issey Miyake. I lengthened the red one an inch, and took it in because I was already making the smallest size. I like how it turned out because it's an interesting tank, not an "I've given up on the world" tank.
My photographer is six years old, hence the strained expression on my face. ("Am I even IN this picture?" I was asking myself.) Also, I had just finished my run, so I am not normally this red in the face.

Honestly, I am not a fan of sewing with knits. I have all of the ballpoint needles you could ask for, but the way this stuff rolls up after you cut it is ridiculous. It's like trying to sew around a slinky.

In other news, I've been making more yogurt, and the boys have been lapping it up like starving kittens.
I also got a subscription to Burda, but have been informed by Amazon that my very very expensive magazine may not actually ship until October. October is a long way away. You'd think spending that much money would get you a wee bit of speedy delivery, but until then I'll have to settle for other things, like making hummus and cleaning. Hooray.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bushnell Living Part II

Here is what I love about having my family in Bushnell:

The boys get to do all of the messy, dirty things out there that we can't do in Chicago, like get hugely muddy. A couple of years ago, we were in Bushnell and I heard a lot of bickering so I went outside to find that my youngest son was lying spread-eagled on a huge pile of dirt in our front yard. I asked them what was wrong and they both yelled angrily, "This is my dirt!" Dirt is a rare commodity in concrete-covered Chicago, and they didn't want to share the precious stuff.
Aaaah, the riches of dirt. Aren't they cute with their "tough guy" faces on?

Next, we have the boys catching a frog. This has been a big year for frogs, with all of the flooding, and the boys catch frogs and feed them flies. (The day this was taken, we had ethereal lighting, thanks to a lot of misty clouds which made the sunlight especially orange.) Notice the head lamp on my youngest son. We tend to be a gadget family.

These last photos sum it all up. We can relax as a family. Here is my oldest son doing the hula hoop and later balancing some stuff on his head. At home it is easy to be too busy to do this type of slow- paced nothingness. But when we do, we find that it is just what we needed. Batteries recharged, we can get back to our "normal" life with a lot more energy.

Bushnell Living Part I

Here is a list of things that make me happy in Bushnell:

First, there is the view. We have our cabins right next to a lake surrounded by trees, and we love hearing the birds all day long.

Secondly, there is the way that the honeysuckle I planted two years ago has begun to take over everything. The flowers on it are very sweetly scented, and although the deer around here eat it mercilessly (along with all of my hostas...), it keeps on going strong.

Lastly, this is the view out the screen door of our bedroom. Holding the door open are my favorite rubber boots ( just great for muddy years like this one!) and the view out the door is wonderful. But most of all, the breeze we get when this door is open means we have very little use for our air conditioner. With two kids running in and out, this means I don't have to spend all day yelling, "Shut the door!" and can concentrate on the finer things in life, like baking cookies. Molasses cookies. Mmmmm.