5-11-2016

(for an explanation read this post) Of course I was going to shop here… (not often you find stores that target the wealthy while making sure they get the best bargain…)   As I started to walk across the street… I realized that walking into these doors would make me look cheap…   or they would find out … Continue reading 5-11-2016

5-10-2016

(for an explanation read this post) TUESDAY   This morning while walking I noticed what I thought was a “Pool Store”…   I was going to title this the worlds hardest to fill swimming pool.  I was then informed this was not a sales advert for pools but art… in fact it is called Van Gogh’s … Continue reading 5-10-2016

5-09-2016

  Back story.   When  my oldest daughter was young and I would travel to France without her I would always take a picture a day of something I thought was “weird” “odd” or “funny”….  so I continue this tradition on this blog here in New York… (cannot promise anything good… I think it is easier … Continue reading 5-09-2016

Weekend with Chou de Choucroute

This weekend will be shortened since I am traveling to New York next week and will have to spend some time getting ready…  (at least there will be fewer words)

I am going to introduce this weekends activity again by giving the back story.   As mentioned in previous posts… I am married to a beautiful french woman… (must say that…she reads this… ).   What I didn’t realize when we first met is that she is not an ordinary “frenchy”…   She is Alsatian (not to be confused with the dog breed).  I had no idea about this peculiar group of people who have a very interesting history, language, and culture.   If you have never been to Alsace (pronounced Al’s ass…. which makes me want to tell everyone my wife comes from Alsace… and even after over 15 years I still chuckle)… You must visit this region of France.

strasbourg

My wife is from Strasbourg and it is a beautiful place.  While in Alsace (pronounce it correctly and see if you don’t chuckle) you must try Alsatian local dishes… I have never been fond of sauerkraut until I had an “choucroute alsacienne“.   The cabbage wasn’t the horrible pickly flavor I had always experienced.   I instantly fell in love with this dish…  I talked my sweet wife into leaving her family, food, and yes “Alsace”… (chuckle chuckle) and we tried for several years to recreate this beautiful dish using the sauerkraut I find in the US…   it sucked…  so vinegary… pickly (I know that isn’t a word )…  even if we washed it I could not get the fantastic flavor I had learned to love.

SOOO like other things I thought… I wonder if I can make chou de choucroute…(sauerkraut)… And the answer is YES… and it is easy.   The best part is that like cheese you let it rot in your basement for about three months and people will eat it.  In my experience they will not only eat it but say… (I hate sauerkraut… but I love this…) .  The picture for this post is from Christmas time and is the last batch I made…

This weekend I am going to make chou de choucroute and will share with anyone that wants to read further the step by step instructions.  Please follow along and then try this… in your own home… basement…or cellar.

 

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Un-Weekend or Mid-Week Plea for Advice

5 suggestions So FAR… don’t let your VOICE go un heard… nor miss out on a grand prize!!!

(So it is not the weekend…but I am posting… gosh… makes me feel like I am ruining the theme of my blog… please forgive the weekend faux pas)

I am not going to talk about what I did… (except show some mid week work and than see if I can get some advice).   Above you will note I started the second red stripe… and did it correctly this time.  It looks so much better.   While doing this I started second guessing my design.

(Maybe thinking too much?  I talked about having urges… that can be bad… but you know what is worse…  obsessing over something… overthinking it until all the fun and spontaneity is gone…  and it looses  the “magic”…. so I am hoping to let someone else make a design decision for my rug/blanket)

Here is my design (dont mock my draftsmen or the fact that it is actually versioned…  I write software can’t help myself)

rugdesign.jpg

Let me talk through what you are probably scratching your heads at and then quickly get to the advice request.   I like the simplicity of this design dark gray -> gray->light gray -> white…(then the same pattern in reverse) with 5 red lines and 2 dark gray lines. (hope that made sense).

Since I created this design I have dyed more wool…Gray Blue (black-beans), Gold (annatto), Blue-Green(red cabbage). I also have Black wool…  and two more dyeing project Olive (nettles), and Dusty Pink (avocado)…    I am pretty much set on the outer red lines and gray…since I have almost finished one side…  I am looking for advice for the middle section I think I like it white with something in the white… but am open to any good idea.

SO… KEEPING ALL OF THE COLORS AND CURRENT DESIGN IN MIND… Does anyone have a Design Idea???…   PLEASE… PLEASE…Any idea welcome…   any suggestion!!!

Here is what is going on in my head…

  • Should I leave it as it is? (don’t over complicate it)
  • Should I keep the design but change the colors of the inner lines? (currently 2 gray… with middle red… could do blue and gold)
  • Should I re-think the lines and do something else?… (but not too hard this is my first project on a loom)

IF YOU HAVE AN OPINION OR AN IDEA PLEASE LEAVE IT AS A COMMENT… DONT BE SHY…  IF I PICK YOUR IDEA I WILL NAME THE RUG AFTER YOU…

(think about it… my family will be calling a rug by your name from now until the rug falls apart.. hopefully the rug lasts a long time… what an amazing prize… for those bloggers you can post a picture of the finished rug with the incredible claim that it was named after you )

read below for results of suggestions (I am adding images and short thought on all the suggested designs)

Continue reading “Un-Weekend or Mid-Week Plea for Advice”

Weekend with Warp and Weft

You may have read an earlier post of mine when I spoke about my “urges”… Not the cheese urges but spending a Weekend with the Cochineals and the urge to dye something red.  If you remember I dyed (not died) some wool red and then I spun it into yarn.   Then I said I need to do fun things with it..  well   that is what this weekend is about.   It so happens that I finally got my loom after a long wait!!!  I will be weaving (or starting to weave) my first blanket/rug (depending on how it turns out).    Unlike cheese this is my first attempt and I am doing this with my daughter… (she has been awesome… only complaint she has made is why is it so big?…. and she didn’t get.. “go big or go home” since we were already home…” ) .  Before I go into our experience/experiment I want to share some back story.  My urges went beyond just red dye… I have been boiling or soaking all kinds of different plants and other thing to create natural dyes.    Have a woad dying weekend coming and will get more into this but I wanted to share some pictures and let you know why I was so excited Friday afternoon… (just before leaving for our bunker) when …. the loom arrived.

Here is one of my experiments… I dyed and spun wool and made a hat (crochet… which I hate doing… when I die and by some horrible mistake land in hell… the devil will be waiting for me with a crochet hook asking me to crochet him an afghan).  The hat my daughter is wearing is wool dyed from red cabbage (light blue/green), black bean (blue gray), and some weeds she brought me from the field next door(yellow/biege).   This is also some of the first wool I spun (learning how to do this… that is why the yarn is uneven… stop judging)

I love natural dye and love the idea of our ancestors experimenting with plants, bugs, sea snails, etc. … to make colorful things.  I mention all of this because I have been anxiously awaiting a loom so I can use all of the wool I have been spinning and dyeing to create something beautiful.. (or at least homemade).  That hat just frustrated me… It was suppose to be a mans hat for myself… but I suck at crocheting and wasted cool wool on a girly hat… (at least my daughter liked it… so I lied and told her I made it for her.)

SO…if this hasn’t made you already leave… ( continue reading and you will see what I did with a loom… wool and… a weekend)…if you don’t want to read click like anyway… it helps my ego… and I won’t know

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Weekend with Raclette

 

I GOT MILK… (picture me with a milk moustache… would have been a great header for this post but… just couldn’t do it… don’t like milk in its natural state… picture gag reflex).  Above is what I will be making (or starting) this weekend.  RACLETTE… (This is one I made 6 months ago) This cheese dates back to medieval times and is often served HOT AND MELTED… poured onto potatoes and charcuterie. (See picture below… same cheese melted at one of our dinner parties… we like to add “lardons”) I am very proud of this batch.  You should take note of the rind (the orangie pinky outer layer).   This comes from bi-weekly washing with a light brine and B. linens (Brevibacterium linens… often found on skin..  causes foot order… imagine how this was introduced into the cheese by a medieval stinky footed cow herder… I bet by accident… maybe by straining curds through his/her socks???  and now I carry on his/her tradition with intent and pride…   you also see why these recipes use to be secret.)

raclette3.jpg

Please read on… I will be posting the recipe and steps… (three day process) and it will be nail biting excitement… (or don’t read… buy some in the store… especially if you have never  tried raclette… then melt and eat… )

Continue reading “Weekend with Raclette”