Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cocooning...

I guess the travels I've had in the last few weeks have precipitated a rebound. That and my cold (now over, thankfully), the cold, rainy weather, and a desire to re-connect with my inner domestic diva put me into a blissful, firelit rural cocoon of warmth and gustatory delight. The chances of me rising more than a few levels up Maslow's hierarchy are pretty slim for the next few days, but I'm working on it. It's odd that when others are spring cleaning, sniffing daffodils and emerging from winter's hibernation I seem to be heading into the cave.

Maple-Glazed Tuna with Pear-Potato Salad

What the hell is she talking about? Well, first there was the Maple-Glazed Tuna with Pear-Potato Salad, which had me confused with all her oddly paired ingredients and then thrilled at the incredible marriage.

Sourdough Starter
A loosely fitting lid is highly recommended for sourdough starter.

Given how warm the wood stove has kept things around here, my starter was eagerly volunteering to work so I made a Fig and Rosemary Pot roast in the slow cooker, spinach artichoke dip and freshly baked sourdough bread. It helped liven up the Oscars a little (just a little), and I made an incredible Fish Couscous with Onion T'faya the next day. I like to make the spice blend up in bulk ahead of time, which is a blend of salt, ground ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, allspice, pepper and nutmeg. Imagine the aroma of that mix bubbling with a little butter on the stovetop, and you will know my bliss. I hope to put this in cute little decorative containers to give away with the recipe some time.

For a little artery cleanser I made a batch of vegetarian chili, but before I knew it, I had begun to channel Julia Child and took a couple of days to whip up a cassoulet using smoked pork hocks and turkey kielbasa. Next time the duck will make it in.

Cassoulet, before breadcrumb topping
Cassoulet, cooling before bread crumbs.

But why is she not making beads, and listing items in her Etsy shop each day, and preparing for shows, you wonder? For now I'm content to blog hop and marvel at what others have done in the latest Bead Soup Blog Party, order much needed supplies, and use my newly found breathing space to plan. My day job is increasing its demands on me and time is precious. It took me several sessions at the computer to try and find the things I need for my next set of projects, and I hate spending time that way. I'd much rather be on the torch, but I don't see it happening for several days, at least.

By the way, if you buy any supplies from Fire Mountain Gems and don't know about JetBeads, check him out. Jason is a mega buyer with FMG and as such has earned some discount privileges that you and I probably have not. You fill up a shopping list on the FMG site, share it with him, and he can get it for much less. He orders it for you, you pay him, and the product gets sent to you. I've ordered with him twice now, and it works great. He's also on Facebook.

I'm also happy that I finally found an explanation of double Viking Knit that made sense to me. I had attempted it on Maui, but got myself in a tizzy and what made sense before didn't when I put it in practice. But this thread on Lampwork Etc gave me a better visual feel for what to do. So far I've only done single knit, largely because I usually affix things to the finished tube as opposed to slide things onto it, and need the wiggle room that single knit affords. I plan to try double just to see how it looks.

Until soon...

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