Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A reverse cautionary tale for Halloween

This post started as an interior monologue about the dangers of letting your child know you can sew.

I was going to tell you that you should never start cutting fabric after dinner, because that is when the most mistakes happen.
See that purple stuff? Yeah, that would be what I'm talking about.  Twice.

I was going to warn you that you should do everything in your power to prevent your child from discovering that sequins by the yard is a thing.
If possible, just keep the child from knowing there are sequins of any sort.  It's safer that way.

I was going to remind you to just say no to sniffing Sharpie markers right before bedtime.
They won't keep you from getting any sleep but the voices in your head have a bad reaction to them.

I was going to tell you this because, while hand-stitching that strand of sequins onto a piece of felt, the thought occurred to me that just once it would probably be a nice little treat to just go to the store and buy a ding-dang costume and be done with it.

But then, something magic happened.

My child came into the room to inspect my handiwork.  And even though the sequins were wonky and the seam allowances were ragged, she said without a shred of irony in her voice, "I'm glad we never get store-boughten costumes.  Everything you make for me is perfect, and this is the best one yet!"

And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I clinched a lifetime contract to spend every October making someone's dream come true.  My work here is done, for now.

If you have a moment, share a picture of your costumes, store-boughten or homemade.

Happy Halloween!  Be safe, have fun, and don't rain on anybody's costume parade.

Friday, October 25, 2013

How to Free Yourself from Recipes with a Few Golden Cooking Ratios

Link---> How to Free Yourself from Recipes with a Few Golden Cooking Ratios

"Free" yourself is kind of an exaggeration but you get the idea.  Learn to use these numbers and you won't be hostage to a bunch of recipe books.  Yay, freedom!  'Merica!  Or something.

Yeah, I'm getting jaded.  The Science and Cooking course--which, by the by, is excellent--is kicking me in the logarithmic function.  So I find this whole "golden ratio" thing very soothing.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Don't let the fruit flies get you down

It's been another busy couple of weeks.  We're off schedule again.  Blah, blah, blah....

Which brings me to fruit flies.  Or something flies.  I don't know exactly what they are, or why they are here, because in actual fact they've been ignoring the sweet stuff and buzzing around things like bread.  Anyway, they invaded my pantry.  We had to completely dismantle the joint, wipe down every surface, inspect every item before putting it back.

Which brings me to "wasting" food.  I totally did that.  I had to throw out a ton of stuff, because I honestly didn't know what had attracted them in the first place or if they had piggybacked on those items to get in the joint in the first place, but whateva.  I tossed out food strictly on the basis that I just couldn't figure out whether or not it was a culprit.  Guilty until proven innocent.

Which brings me to food storage.  Mine is utterly depleted.  I'm starting over from scratch.

That's the kind of year it has become.  I'm at peace with it.

The plan, such as it is, is to allot $5.00-$10.00 per week toward rebuilding my emergency pantry.  I'm reallocating funds that I have been hoarding--namely, the random $5.00 bills that come into my possession when I get change from buying stuff.  I usually put those bills in savings, but for the next several months I'm going to add them to my weekly grocery budget.

The extra amount I'll have to spend will change from week to week, depending on how much purchasing I do with actual cash (as opposed to virtual cash, using my debit card).  And what I purchase will depend on what is on sale each week.

Which brings me to this:

This week, the best food storage buys at my favorite grocery store, henceforth to be referred to as Aldi-I-Love-That-Place, will be tomato stuff--stewed tomatoes and pasta sauces.  So that will be what I will store up first.

What's happening in your pantry or kitchen this week?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Science and cooking and Harvard and FREE

Link:  Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science | edX

This is why the internet was born:  freely distributed knowledge in the comfort of your own home kitchen (that, and cats).  edX is a new-to-me online education platform that offers engaging and unexpected courses from some of the top universities in the world.

From the Science and Cooking course description page:

"Top chefs and Harvard researchers explore how everyday cooking and haute cuisine can illuminate basic principles in physics and engineering, and vice versa."

Alton would be so proud.  That's why I signed up for it.  You should too, then we can chat about all the cool stuff we're learning.  The course starts next Monday, 8 October, and the only prerequisite is that you must be someone who eats.

My edX username is RoSoGo, so if you sign up for the class, introduce yourself to me on the Discussion Forums and mention that you are a VoHo blog reader!  It doesn't get you anything but the knowledge that you have warmed the cockles of my heart, but that's got to worth something, right?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My yoga dress solution

Remember how I wanted to wear a dress to yoga class?  Well, I now have the next best thing:  I made a tunic, and I used something I already had so it didn’t cost me anything.  AND it only took 10 minutes.

Actually, “something I already had” was actually something Rudi already had, which was a t-shirt that he no longer needed because he has awesomely lost the equivalent weight of a six-year-old this year. YAY RUDI!

Here is the first of a series of poor-quality photos of this process.  You're welcome.

Back to me:  I turned the shirt inside out so it would be ready to sew, then folded it in half neatly, but not OCD-ly.  I folded one of my own shirts to use as a guide, and aligned it on top of Rudi’s old shirt/my new tunic-to-be. Then I just cut away all the stuff that did not need to be part of the tunic.

NOTE:  Don't do what I did at the bottom and try to make it swing out. 
You'll just end up with little tails that hang down funny that you then have to cut off.  You're welcome.

After deciding that the black thread that was already on the machine was just fine and totally acceptable for this because I did not want to have to find matching thread because the stitching would be on the inside because ain’t nobody got time for matching thread, I took the newly cut Rudi’s old shirt/my new tunic-to-be to the serger and stitched the sides closed from the sleeve hem to about hip height.  That left side slits that allow the tunic to  swing open when I move or when I sit crossed-legged on the floor pretending I know how to meditate.
Isn't this cute?  Sort of a yoga-meets-the-renaissance-faire vibe.

Oh yeah--I removed the chest pocket, which left a patch of a different color.  I’m thinking of writing an artist’s statement for it--something about the ephemeral nature of our fragile blah blah blah.  Or maybe I’ll just stencil an owl over it and call it a thing.

This is the kind of photo you get when you think to yourself, 
"Hey, these pictures are all so dark.  Maybe I should use the flash."

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for:  an off-center photo from a distance in a room lit only with sunlight filtering thru frosted windows.  But Ella took it, so naturally it is my favorite in this post:


 Next up--yoga leggings that do not bunch up around my waist.  HAHAHAHAHA