CSA 2011, Week 5

Today’s haul was: broccoli rabe, spinach, arugula, four adorable little heads of lettuce, a peony, scallions, kale, and strawberries.

Highlights from last week’s cooking were a Swiss Chard, Ricotta, and Sausage Torta, which was perfect comfort food on a cold, rainy Saturday, and yesterday’s dinner of Green-Curry Chicken with Peas and Basil where I not only used CSA scallions, but also cilantro and Thai basil from my garden.


Knitting Notes

I’m taking a break from Christmas knitting (ha!) for another type of gift knitting. I’ve cast on the Lilah shawl by Heather Storta from the Spring/Summer 2011 Knitty. It’s technically angel wings, but my friend is about to get her ornithology degree, so it’s going to be bird wings for her, as a graduation/birthday present.

I’m using Malabrigo lace in the Polar Morn colorway, which is a lovely, pearly gray. I was only able to get two skeins at my LYS, and it theoretically calls for three, so we’ll see how this goes. Fortunately, it’s a widely available color.

Wizards – Edited by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois

Read for the 2011 TBR Lite Reading Challenge.

I picked this book up from the bargain bin because there were so many stories by authors I love: Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix, Patricia K. McKillip, to name a few. The book did not disappoint. The theme is obvious, but the variety of stories that came out of that theme was impressive. I really enjoyed this anthology – enough that I’m going to hang onto it. Some highlights:

Kage Baker’s “The Ruby Imcomparable” – the story of the daughter of a living saint and a great dark lord that must figure out her own version of her parent’s magics. With an ending that tells you it’s not necessarily about magic after all.

Tad William’s “The Stranger’s Hands” – an interesting mediation on the nature of punishment for past crimes.

Tanith Lee’s “Zinder” – a lovely tale of a most unlikely magician, who is good in spite of himself.

Gene Wolf’s “The Magic Animal” – This was my favorite story of the book – a very unique twist on the story of Merlin and the Lady of the Lake.

Knitting Notes

I totally can’t believe I’m saying this, but my first Christmas gift is done. It does need blocking, but since the recipient will be coming in from CA this weekend, and staying in the very room where I usually leave these things until they can be blocked, it’s instead going into hiding at least until she’s safely left Maine again.

This is a lovely pattern to work with – just an easy enough pattern repeat to memorize, but complex enough to keep it interesting. And I love this yarn. So lovely to work with, and the finished product feels wonderful.

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Kernel Scarf by Bonnie Sennott from Knitty Fall 2009
Yarn: String Theory Caper Sock in the Labradorite colorway
Needles: Size 4 Circs

This post is well overdue, considering I finished this scarf in April. It’s been sitting on my desk, waiting to be blocked, and since it isn’t exactly scarf wearing weather, it hasn’t been high on my priority list. But, we’re having company shortly, and my desk had reached epic levels of clutter, so I blocked it today as part of my general desk cleaning compaign.

Unblocked is on the left, and blocked on the right.

Blocking definitely opened up the lace pattern, but more importantly, made the scarf a more wearable length. Pre-blocking, it was pretty much at pin it with a shawl pin to keep around my neck length. I can now actually wrap it around my neck.

The Sleeping Beauty – Mercedes Lackey

The Sleeping Beauty is the tale of Rosamund, only daughter of the King and Queen of Eltaria, which has the misfortune of being a rich kingdom. Rosa’s known her whole life that puts her straight into the path of the magical Tradition, which will try to force her into all manner of magical paths, many of which could end in tragedy.

Eltaria is fortunate in having Lily as their Godmother, for Lily is half-Fae, and has therefore served them for three hundred years. If anyone can navigate around the complexities of the Tradition, it’s her. So when Queen Celeste dies, and Lily arrives at the palace to find three evil Enchantresses camped out in the throne room, just waiting to become an Evil Stepmother, she knows exactly how she must act. She assumes the persona of Sable, another evil enchantress, and she and the king are quickly married. The Tradition is still looming, but Lily is now in the position to do something about it.

This story combines Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and an interesting addition, the Nibelung’s, as it’s Siegfried that comes to the rescue. I’m just so happy that these books continue to be fresh, interesting takes on these fairy tales. The next one is apparently Beauty and the Beast, and I just can’t wait.

Crescent Beach, Cape Elizabeth, ME

On the first of summer, I headed to the beach. I arrived not long after 6:00, so got about a good hour and a half of wandering in before heading back to my car to get out before the gates closed.

It was a really lovely day. There was a stiff sea breeze, but it was actually warm. And, I managed to hit low tide, which I don’t feel like I’ve done in a couple of years. It was definitely a great way to start the summer.

Once Upon a Time V 3/21/11 – 6/20/11

Somehow, it’s going to be summer tomorrow. I’m not sure how this managed to happen, but it has, so that means the Once Upon a Time V challenge is over.

This year, I did Challenge the First again, which is to read at least five books in any of the challenge categories: fantasy, fairy tale, folklore, and mythology. Assisted by an airplane flight in April, I did pretty good for myself this year. I read:

Most books were straight fantasy, but I worked in some good fairy tales (Firebird – Pure fairy tale, as well as the following, which had fairytale characters or tropes: Elf Magic, Swordspoint and The Bell at Sealey Head), folklore (The Third Magic – modern King Arthur), and even mythology (Orphans of Chaos draws its characters from Greek mythology).

All and all, it was a lovely cruise through my favorite genres, and I can’t wait to do it again next year.