WIP Wednesday: My Life + telemark sweater

tomatoes are finally ripening!
babies like knitting!!
oh boy, i need a nap and helvetica needs a nap. helvetica also needs to eat, i have a slew of emails to reply to, and the dishes and laundry both need to be done before i pile him into the car and meet stewart for a quick and dirty overnight trip to victoria so i can attend a job interview tomorrow. for a really cool job. that i can't believe even exists and that i got a call for. it means, though, that i have a 25% chance b/c they're interviewing four people. and if things go "our way" we'll be going on holidays for two weeks and returning to victoria instead of port alberni to start our new life on november 2nd! it all seems too soon. i've been feeling super weepy about it but not anxious at all. or nervous. or overwhelmed. i'm also trying not to get my hopes up. but i do feel like i'm "on my path" and that this is the next step. even though it's heartbreakingly too soon. i'm not going to get nostalgic until we find out if we're actually going or not, but i wish that i could just get a job here, or that they even came up. or that when i applied for them i'd even get a call back. who knew it would be harder to break into a small town than victoria? weird. anyway, that's enough lamenting. seth just went down for a nap and my eyes are droopy and my face is greasy in a way that is indicative of too little sleep. we stayed up late last night watching waiting (and me knitting this telemark sweater seth is playing with that's ALMOST done, i'll post finished pics and info about it tomorrow or friday) and even though i got to sleep about 6 hours in a row it still wasn't enough. on another note, i'm always surprised how much i'm obsessed with how much sleep i got.


Recipe: Zucchini Plum Upside Down Cake

zucchini plum upside down cake!
zucchini plum upside down cake
zucchini plum upside down cake
Yesterday felt like a pretty slag day and I'm not sure what exactly lit my fire to make this cake, but I'm so happy I did. I went through a series of vintage cookbooks (Pioneer Potpourri, some random BC Council of Women cookbook from the 60s, and my newer version of the better homes and garden's cookbook Bridal Edition)...but NONE of them had an upside down cake recipe! I was so upset! Then I remembered I had Amy Sedaris' book, I LIKE YOU, that finethankyou gave me a few years ago for my bday or something. And she had a pineapple upside down cake recipe. So, I used hers as the basis and made this cake. My other inspiration was this chunk of white zucchini in the fridge for quite a while and it needed to be cooked into something. Anyway, this cake was a complete success! It's so delicious, not too sweet (tho a little salty, yum!), and was big enough that I froze half of it in the freezer for a later date and can cut the half I have into 8 pieces...though that's not what I did and there's only a little left. HA! (The other benefit is that I did this in stages between bouts of hands-on parenting...so if you're busy and can't do all the steps at the same time, don't preheat the oven until step 3 or 4).

Upside Down Zucchini Plum Cake
adapted from I Like You by Amy Sedaris

Preheat oven to 400degrees.

Step 1: Place a 9x13 cake pan on low burner. Melt 1/4 c butter in pan. Once melted add 1 c brown sugar and stir. Once dissolved remove from heat and add 4 tbsp lemon juice and mix well. Place 40 or so plum halves to cover the bottom of the pan, cut side down.

Step 2: Melt 1/2 c butter in a small sauce pan. Once melted remove and stir in 2 eggs, 1 cup milk (I used rice milk), and 2 heaping tbsp of honey. Beat well.

Step 3: Combine 1 1/2 c grate zucchini with 2 c all-purpose flour, 1 cup brown flour, 4 tsp baking powder, and 2 tsp salt in big bowl. Stir in butter-egg mixture and mix well.

Step 4: Pour cake mixture carefully and gently over the plums trying not to disturb their placement. Try to make the cake as even as possible.

Bake for 40 minutes. Wait 10-20 minutes after you pull it out of the oven and invert on a cookie sheet or fancy dish. xo


"baby i'm howling for you"

right now i'm sitting on my bed in the dark. our routine for seth of bathing, breastfeeding, and bed has officially gone out the window. he's currently lying on the bed just past my feet, grabbing my toes occasionally and up until about 20 seconds ago wasn't really whining. and now he's whining a little. something i ate made me feel sick. i don't like feeling sick in my tummy. boo. and stewart's having sneezing fits. haha. we're in this weird space biding time until we might have a major transition very soon (moving to victoria!!). i have a phone job interview tomorrow and if i slay it then i have an in person interview in victoria on thursday. we're still going on our holiday to PG and the Okanagan, but we might be returning to victoria instead of port alberni. definitely strange.

today seth and i went for a long walk to buy groceries and drop off movies i watched yesterday (read: the back up plan was HORRIBLE worse than expected and i was expecting the worst. no chemistry. terrible dialogue. you could cut through the gender shit with a knife!). the walk was great and it was nice to take advantage of another not rainy day. but i should really be digging up my potatoes. i keep putting it off. when we got back i spent the afternoon cooking. i made a zucchini plum upside down cake (recipe tomorrow?) and half of it's in the freezer. i also made a meat pie. and i think that's why i'm sick. bleck.

UM, i'm going to be putting together my zine over the next two weeks. making copies, getting 'er done. some day this week i'll be posting just about it, with info on how to buy it, and teaser pages to read to decide if you want to buy it! it's going to be between $10-$15 or so (including shipping), and have extra goodies in it, and be 8x5 inches in size. a fatty, really. i'm super excited to have this project ready for zine-y consumption. i'll probably also try to find a distributor for it....that would be nice.

okay, off to bed. helvetica has stopped the whining and stewart took some vitamin C so maybe we'll all get some sleep now.


"there was no light that we could see as we listened to the sound of the engine sailing"

WIP Wednesday: telemark sweater
lunch! cheese and cucumber sandwich with homemade peach salsa and chippies!
happy WIP Wednesday!! I'm so happy with myself that I actually have something to share that isn't something I was already working on. Which means that I've been casting on more things that I can knit! But, hey, that's what happens when I think about knitting all the time (and don't get to knit all the time). This week I've casted on the Telemark Pullover for dearest Helvetica (rav link). It's getting chillier here and I just hate fan-dangling with zippers. I'm also writing an essay, finishing it up, for the end of my zine and fingers crossed for publication in a book. I hope it's good enough! I wish I could add more at this exact moment, but all I can think about is my breasts and how much milk they're producing, as well as the above mentioned essay. So, I feel I'm kind of boring. I did catch up on my "shows" over the past two days, and I must say that I'm just BORED by all three (Gossip Girl, House, and Glee). Why can't TV just amaze me? It sucks that I feel like I just wasted those three hours. BLECK.


"this one's for the granny, take a bow"

grape foccacia
piedoe and my gpa.
footz and edna.
this weekend felt loooong. probably because for us it started on friday and ended yesterday. saturday was my gma's funeral and so many people came to town from all over the place (including the peace! kitimat! nakusp!). it was so nice to hear so much croatian in one space at the same time. i also got to catch up with an uncle i hadn't talked to in over a decade, even if it was just on the phone. my grandpa, too, got to catch up with one of his bestest friends and play a super quick game of chess before piedoe (his nickname) had to get back on the ferry to his vancouver life! the funeral, i feel i should add, was bearable and nice (though alienating as edna said...so much churchy/jesus stuff). i felt like i was doing so well keeping it together and then i saw my aunt and she was teary and i just started crying. after the service when we hugged i cried again. i didn't even feel like i had an emotion to name, just exhaustion, just overwhelmedness, the precipice of emotion passing. i'm happy all the fuss is over, for now.

i spent much of those four days in the car. two trips to nanaimo and a trip to victoria. in victoria we made dinner, watched eden clean her kitchen, and ate rice ice cream. seth got a considerable amount of cuddles from a number of people and was a happy happy baby the whole time. very impressed. stewart and i also put together a dirty magnet list at eden and footz's house.

back at home, this week is a busy one. i'm going to be writing, i've already applied for one job (in victoria!!!), am going to apply for another one tomorrow, hanging out with friends, hopefully getting out for a walk, digging up the rest of our potatoes, and picking the last of our green tomatoes. seth and i have spent most of our day avoiding sleep (him), knitting (me), and having robyn dance parties (both of us). stewart just got home from work and we're going to watch the new jakey movie, prince of persia, and cuddle...er ,well i'll knit. xo


"if you were to fall apart there's plenty room inside my heart"

putting our mini frames up
putting art up in helvetica's room
our entry way
Today's task was to put art up! Ha! And, to get the hooks up on the 1x4 we put on the wall over 2 months ago. Oh, boy. I was scared that the hooks would cost me like $40 so kept putting it off, but managed to get 6 hooks for $12 plus HST (bastards). They've got a pewter finish and I like them. Despite the fact that I hate pewter. Looks better than a "nickel" finish, though. Anyway, I got the hooks up and hung up a few of the hoodies/sweaters that were on side tables, our bedroom floor (we have another row of hooks in the bedroom), as well as the few hats that I found of Stewart's. That man has a serious prblem with leaving hats absolutely everywhere. I like that the only shoes we own (minus Stewart's work shoes and a replacement pair for his skate shoes that are in a box in our closet) fit under/around our bench. I think I might even get rid of my black shoes and then wear the shit out of my chucks and then in the spring get new chukka boots or something. I also hung up some mini-frames in the hallway above our bulletin board, used clothing pins to put small pictures on magazine files or the curtains in the kitchen, and put up a painting in Helvetica's room.

I am slowly getting through my list of home to-dos. And am working out how to get the rest of them done. Some of them are going to cost a bit of $$ which we're saving right now to go to PG, so I'll probably get those done when we get back.

Today it's rainy and wet, but warm enough to leave the front door open, trying to get the last batch of fresh air I can before it gets too cold to leave it ajar. I can also see my tomato plants and their reminder to PICK ME!! I made seven 500ML sized jars of green tomato salsa last night. I've probably got enough green tomatoes to go into business. Blarg. xo


"in the night, call you up and wanna know when you're coming home"

right now i'm making this summer salsa. and i seriously think i'm getting my sister's cold. DAMN YOU!

the last few days have been more uplifting, but just as draining as the days leading up to it. my dad came to town for a few days and my sister came up for one night. we also spent some time at our aunt's farm with our uncles who had popped over to the island for a few days. we also got to go into nanaimo to stay with my grandpa. it was super sad to see my grandpa so heart broken. and my heart just dropped when i saw my grandma's pile of toothpicks left on the coffee table where they always are, but hadn't been used in about 2 weeks. i still haven't cried, and still don't feel weepy-sad, but i'm definitely exhausted, worn out, and just "down" feeling about the whole thing.

in the past few days i also cut my hair off, and have started knitting a few comfort knitting projects for helvetica. and i've just been gobbling down food that's not good for me and just being exhausted not doing anything. haha. maybe now that the load of people are gone i can relax and visit with cruely sue who's coming to cuddle and craft for a few days this week.

well, off to knit and eat some grapes/drink ginger tea to get my stomach back. i thought that eating the pint of ben and jerry's gave me the stomach ache, but i think it was the soup i made for dinner :(


WIP Wednesday: Shawl and catch up

working on a shawl for my midwife
on tuesday morning i got up early in my pjs and went outside to take the garbage out. my mom came out to let me know that my grandma had passed that morning. she'd been in the hospital for the past few weeks after suffering a second major stroke. death is so interesting and i find i cope so strangely, but that's what grief does, i guess. i'm most surprised by how worn out i'm feeling rather than sad, etc. i'm finding it hard to focus on anything other than dealing with my teething helvetica. who has been quite demanding lately.

rooster with my grandma!

in other news i've been working on this here shawl as a thank you gift (much belated) for our midwife. i'm using a yarn that i got from a woman at the prince george farmer's market about 2 years ago. it's a silk blend and so soft and shiny. i'm knitting the traveling woman shawl and just got to the first lace chart. i really like the pattern and am just happy how quickly it's coming together. i'm also working on some gifties for stewart's coworker's bday. rewound all the yarn from my bergen street cardigan which i've now frogged for good, and day dreamed about other knitted things. i wish i could knit all the time.

bedtime! xo


"somebody said you have a new friend"

smore pie
and then put his fingers in his mouth
today was my 28th birthday. man, i'm sure getting old! ha! we had a good lazy day and then a handful of wonderful friends came over for a corn dog cook out! we made corn dogs from scratch, and i made a smore pie which was a total fail, and some salads. for my birthday i got a mix cd, a sweet board game, a container full of vegan chocolate chip cookies, and the best Ukrainian present ever (a 5kg bag of flour, icing sugar, a bag of brown sugar, cream cheese icing in a container, and reese chocolate chips). the issue right now is that i either ate too much raw corn dog batter or something else at dinner and my stomach hates me. i feel like i'm going to throw up everywhere. stewart made me a cup of ginger tea and it's doing it's magic. slowly. haha. i was going to knit but i'll probably just go to bed. where seth is. cute. little. button. (aside: he's really grown a lot in the last few days. his hands are MASSIVE and he's just today started to use those hands to play with toys. so cool). ps. thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes, you know who you are but i wanted to say a communal thank you for being so awesome and in my life! i definitely cherish all of our friendships and your awesomenesses. xo


"so much pain for someone so young"

oh life without facebook! it's absolutely incredible. and awesome. and my internet experience is just, well, more specific and less droll. more blogs, more communicating about important things, and more flickr. ravelry. and apartment therapy blogs. this is the life i much more prefer. well, and that "big brother" isn't pilfering my shit and thinks they own it. i was surprised at how difficult it was to delete my account and it's actually not deleted for 2 weeks. they sure try to keep you!

i intend to blog a bit more now that i'm not on facebook so much. i think what i'll do is find specific things to blog about a few days a week and then blog others as they happen. i'm a fan of friday favourites but not sure i'm organized enough. i will, however, definitely do work-in-progress (W.I.P) wednesdays. there was another one that's assigned to Mondays but I can't remember what it is. I'll also try to do a recipe a week. So we'll see how it goes.

lately i've been listening to a few tracks on repeat, namely the new Cee Lo Green single, "Fuck You" (1:50 i die) and the new-ish arcade fire song, "Month of May". my summer has been without a doubt dominated by Robyn and Body Talk Pt. 1, and the Hang With Me single. on repeat. i've also just stumbled upon new Kelis (i <3 kelis). yes!

before this becomes a run on post here's some photos from the awesomeness of august. i'm gonna run and watch last week's true blood and knit a shawl for my midwife (a little overdue).

our potatoes have been so good! the local deer ate all the nightshade on top but the potatoes we got are still so yummy and milky and just so clean and dirty tasting at the same time. we've made homefries a few times, and potato-based soups, and hashbrowns with them. just so good. i still have just over a bed left to dig out, which i should do soon, so we should have potatoes right up until xmas! woop!

cathedral grove
stewart's mom was here and i took her to cathedral grove. we tried to walk the long side of the trail but it was closed for whatever reason. it wasn't even a week day and there were so many tourists. but, no complaining about tourists as they're the left's answer to coal mines and copper mines and clear cuts.

stuffed crust pizza
we made a garlic-havarti stuffed crust pizza with nickolas. it was to DIE FOR.

blackberries! we picked pound after pound of blackberries from right by our house. all for free. and they've been canned into jam and drunken blackberries (with brandy) as well as frozen in the freezer by the bag full. we also picked a bunch of blueberries at my family's farm and i'm still plowing through them. so. good.

canning with eden!
i canned a lot with my sister. well, pretty much every time i saw her we canned. it was so nice to spend the summer with her! it's been so long that we've been so apart, geographically anyway.

enchanted forest socks
knitting! i knit two pairs of socks in august. this really nice pair for me and an anniversary pair for stewart. having a baby obviously means not so much knitting time, which is heartbreaking, but august was so full with putting away for winter that i didn't get to knit so much. i can't believe how little time i'll have when i go back to working. blarg.


recipe: chicken BLT salad with homemade buttermilk dressing

chicken BLT salad + homemade buttermilk dressing
chicken BLT salad + homemade buttermilk dressing
stewart has been eating a grocery store version of this salad all summer and credits it with "helping him like big pieces of tomato" of which he was previously not a fan. i've never had the one from the grocery store, but the one we put together at home was definitely a home run. so much veg. so much protein. and the dressing (adapted from one from the homesick texan) is just killer. unfortunately for us in our impoverished time this salad definitely broke the bank (ie. hormone free chicken, locally smoked bacon, and just the existence of cheese). on a normal day it should feed four grown adults, but for us two adults who barely ate all day, we devoured it.

chicken BLT salad with homemade buttermilk dressing

In a large bowl combine:

3 grated carrots
2 cups of shredded red cabbage
2 tomatoes chopped in large chunks
1/2 field cucumber julienned
6 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled
2 cooked chicken breast (or equivalent) shredded (we grilled ours on our george foreman mini grill with juice of the other half of the lime used for the dressing)

top with generous handfuls of shredded aged chedder cheese and lots of buttermilk dressing.

Buttermilk Dressing (adapted from Homesick Texan)

Buttermilk dressing, extra spicy
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
freshly squeezed lime juice of 1/2 lime
2 cloves of garlic, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
1/2 tsp mexican paprika

Mix all the ingredients together and let chill for an hour.
Makes 1 cup, keeps for a week in the refrigerator.