Sunday, November 30, 2008

fancy dinner

so last weekend (before Thanksgiving weekend), we thought our friend L. was going to be coming to dinner and bringing a friend, but we were wrong. Instead, we finally figured out what everyone had been saying at about 7pm, when suddenly we realized we had a feast for four and no dinner guests.

E to the rescue! Thank heavens she had been shirking plans, on account of being sick and not wanting to go out; a quiet evening in, doing that thing we always seem to do (dinner + TV or movie) was really nice. It's been a while.

So we had a salad with warm walnut-encrusted goat cheese balls, venison marinated in akvavit and crushed juniper berries, served with a cranberry-fruit chutney and venison gravy (above), and chantrelle and hazelnut risotto (also above; extra tasty as I did not have white cooking wine on hand and substituted leftover locally-made hard cider). We popped open a Negrette from Kenneth Volk, and finished off with dessert:

Steamed persimmon pudding, with persimmon slices and lightly whipped cream (sweetened with golden syrup). As this was my first steamed pudding, I let it boil extra long, but it still was a little underdone, but still tasty. Clearly, I have not yet mastered the English art of boiling food. I'll get there. ("please, don't," joked my fella.)

Nothing like familiar friends, a couple episodes of House and a feast on a wintry night. E said she was particularly excited to finally partake of one of the photographed blog-meals.


I can show you some of what I was working on at the end of summer. With the economy tanking, I've been trying to reassure myself that family and friends might actually enjoy (even, want?) a more personal gift from me this year, particularly as they mostly seem to have everything they NEED, per se, and so what do you end up getting people, other than just more STUFF? So here we go:

This little kitsune (Japanese fox spirit) is the newest addition to the menagerie I've been making for E. I only gave it five tails, so that it would be easier to keep in line. Designed/drafted/made by me, from recycled fulled wool double knit fabric (the salmon), leftover corduroy (ivory) from former projects, and scrap leather and buttons taken from a sweater before it was recycled into cleaning rags (eyes and nose).

The black paws, white tail tips, and fluffy ears and chest are needle-felted wool fiber over the body of the kitsune. Oh, and so's this feature, which I had to add for cuteness:

After taking these photos, I made a little greek fisherman's sweater out of a navy sweater of mine that Boyfriend washed (!!!) and completely shrank/fulled. Don't have pics of that, though.

the holidays are off to a bright start at chez pacific rain! How about you? What are you doing, making this year? Anyone else sick of stores and hunting and only ever turning up something mass-produced for the most important people in our lives?

Monday, November 17, 2008


been pretty quiet around here lately; school has got me hopping and I hardly have time to do laundry, much less cook, craft, do anything exciting. Gave one of my handmade gifts away last week, so I'll post those pics in a few days when I can grab a moment.

In the meantime, it seems the nantes carrots might not need to overwinter after all. Delicious, sweet, and a little musky soil-flavour. This seems like some kind of metaphor for life right now: there's a lot going on just under the surface of this silence. Hopefully, the product at the end of the quarter will be as sweet as these fresh little things.