Archive for September, 2008

Black Bean Brownies, or why I can still listen to the radio

September 23, 2008

On the public radio station near me, there is a cooking show. I know that the idea of a cooking show on the radio is hard to believe, but it actually works somehow. The other day, the host was interviewing the author of the cookbook Baking with Agave Nectar. She was raving about black bean brownies, one of the recipes from the cookbook which the author had brought in a sample of. Being pregnant, I am supposed to eat a lot of protein. There have been studies to prove that eating a lot of protein can prevent pre-eclampsia, and it’s just generally a good thing anyway. Also, I have a tendency to get low blood sugar (which makes agave nectar a good choice for a sweetener). So I was intrigued by this recipe and had to try it.

Ingi told me if the brownies were disgusting, then I wasn’t allowed to listen to that radio station again, since it was tempting me into trying new recipes and cookbooks. 馃槈 Well, luckily, they actually were quite good. I suppose it isn’t all that odd, the Japanese and Chinese use beans in desserts all the time, including ice cream! The beans are pureed, so you don’t have a bean texture or anything, and the key (as the recipe says) is to eat the brownies cold (one of the few things you don’t want to eat when it comes right out of the oven).

I look forward to getting the cookbook and trying some of the other recipes.

In other media-related news, we watched some great films over the last few weeks which we stumbled upon at the library. I can see both getting remade horribly into bad American films. The first is Buddy, a great Norwegian comedy with a sweet story. And the other is The Memory of a Killer (a horrible translation of the title), an amazing action/drama from Belgium. It’s really interesting to watch Belgian movies; they switch back and forth between French and Dutch mid-conversation. So I can understand about half (thank goodness for subtitles). Both of these are really good movies, I highly recommend them.

Rag Rug

September 17, 2008

A friend sent me an email with a picture of phone cord sheep

Aren’t they great?

I am trying out making a crocheted rag rug

I am not sure what I think of it so far. I am using true rags: sewing scraps and bits of clothes and fabrics that I had from old sewing projects. Maybe it would be more colour coordinated if I used purchased fabric because there could be larger bands of one colour. But that defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

There is a tutorialhere.

I have a hole in my living room

September 13, 2008

Ingi is re-doing B’s room, and the ancient wiring had to be replaced. It came down into the living room, so the wiring had to be replaced in that wall too.

So now we have a big hole there. At least now it will be better insulated (note the complete absence of insulation except where the new window had been installed).

I saw this cardigan on the KnitPicks site. I wonder if it would make a good maternity sweater, since it is open over the belly. Or would it just be too open and look weird?

Everything is going just fine with my pregnancy. My sister-in-law is asking for belly pictures, I am not sure it’s that exciting to see yet, although it is starting to look more obvious, depending on what I wear.

I really am knitting

September 10, 2008

I haven’t had a lot of time and/or energy to knit lately. I’ve been reading a lot on the bus instead. I did start a baby sweater, though:

It’s a really interesting construction, if you can tell from the picture. It’s knit from the bottom of the back up to the neck, and then split for left side and right side and knit down.

I think there is some errata in the pattern, or I miscounted when knitting. You divide for the neck and then it says to knit the right side (on your left hand). When I finished dividing for the neck and knit back, I was on the left side. So I just reversed the directions. Since it’s garter stitch, I am not sure if I made a mistake about casting off for the neck on the wrong instead of the right side or vice versa, or if there is an error.

I am using Kitten Mohair that I got in Hagkaup last time we were in Iceland. I think that knitting intarsia with mohair yarn is very, very evil. I don’t think I would ever do it again. This one isn’t even serious intarsia, it just has a few little balls of the contrast colour. They have a nasty way of getting themselves tangled and then the mohair yarn makes everyone glue themselves to each other. Despite that, I am still enjoying the sweater.

Summer Reading

September 1, 2008

I have been doing a lot of reading this summer instead of knitting. A friend gave me Water for Elephants when she was done reading it, which was a very fun read.

Then on vacation, I picked up The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island, which is a true story of a woman who moves back home to a small island in Maine to be a lobster fisherwoman. I always find glimpses into life in small (less than 40 people) communities (especially island communities) to be fascinating.

I also picked up a used copy of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter. I can’t remember if someone recommended it on their blog, or if I just saw it around on the best sellers shelves, but the book had struck me as interesting so I figured I would pick it up. It really grabbed me right away. The author has a great use of descriptive language, and the story (as poignant as it is) really catches you and makes you want to find out what will happen in these people’s lives.

I think I will be back to classic literature when I finish that one.