Monday, March 31, 2008

How Vile

This stuff sits in its box on the shelf. It's not in a fridge. You don't even have to cook it. Because you can never get back those precious 10 minutes spent cooking bacon.

Some people shouldn't be allowed to eat. What's even scarier is that there are several different brands of this "ready to serve bacon" Can you believe they actually made bacon more artificial??

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour

Tonight at 8pm (everyone's local time) turn off your lights to participate in Earth Hour.

If every American household turned off their lights for one hour 16,500 tons of CO2 would be saved from escaping into the atmosphere. Yikes! That's a lot of junk.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hungarian Recipes

Since making the chimney cakes with my father, he and I have been finding lots of great Hungarian recipes. He got some links to a nice Hungarian woman's blog, in which she lists many traditional recipes (especially for holidays and festivals). On her site I noticed a site with a great name called It also lists a lot of great recipes. I have to make some of these soon because these dishes can be very heavy w/ sour cream, regular cream, eggs, etc. They are better winter meals. Even youtube has videos of people making chicken paprikash! The following one is pretty funny.

Who knew there were so many crazy Hungarians floating around.

Here's video of a professional making the chimney cakes. It was good to see because "roll out the dough" meant to roll it out and then cut strips, not wrap rolls of the dough around the wooden post the way we did.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I have been working on this hat by Ysolda Teague, or some version of it for a while. The actual knitting wass quick and fun once my addled little brain could handle it. I've been on a yarn diet for a while, so I chose a lovely ginger colored yarn from my stash. I once knew what yarn it was, but it was given to me from a photo shoot, so it didn't have it's label. Anyway, the yarn was many years old, so I'm sure the color was probably discontinued. I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this. I was 3/4 finished when I finally ran out of yarn.

I'm not a big fan of knitting things twice (which explains why I have had only one sock finished for about a month now), but decided that I really wanted a slouchy beret of my own. I brought a lot of projects with me to France when I visited my father. I wasn't sure how his energy level would be and I think that I had fantasies of how much time I would have without a 4 year-old to entertain. I knit a lot on the airplane home (8 1/2 hours) and then finished it yesterday. The yarn is a wool/angora blend, so there's good stitch definition with a nice halo of soft fluff. I'm quite pleased with how it came out.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


We spent a lovely weekend with our friends the Remke's at their house on the North Fork (of Long Island). It's really beautiful out there with tiny old towns, rocky beaches, zillions of birds, protected land and lots of agriculture. They seem to be very careful that it doesn't turn into the obnoxious scene that the Hamptons have become. When you buy/sell property there is a 1% tax that goes to a land trust. They've been buying up land to preserve. There is a vineyard for sale across the street from our friend's house that has a stipulation that there can't be any development of that land. They can't even build a building for the vineyard, so it is going for what is a very cheap price out there. Something like $800k for over 30 acres.

We explored the beaches, had our first bbq of the season, and had an Easter egg hunt. Here are some photos of the weekend.

Monday, March 24, 2008

little hat

I finished this little pink hat while I was in France. It's a bit big on Lindsay, but still looks cute on her. Besides it's PINK, which is the ultimate color for Lindsay. She's turned into such a girlie girl wearing only dresses, ruby red sparkly shoes a la Dorothy and preferring pink over other colors. I'll have to remember this phase when she's a teenager. This hat was inspired by all of the cute hats that I saw on Mustaa Villaa's site.

We went away this weekend with friends. After a while I noticed that their sofa was made with a knit stitch. How funny. Knitting knitting everywhere! Neil hates this photo of him and wants me to add the asterix that he just woke up.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

a visit to Provence

I just got back from visiting my father who lives in Provence. He and my stepmother live in the old village train station that was converted to a house. The name of the town is carved into the side of the house and you see signs of where the tracks were in the back yard. Actually you see two long stone lines that go through their garden, which just look like the edges to the flower beds. The main house was the main station house, and then there's a small house, which was the waiting area for the other side of the tracks. It's a lovely house which gets a lot of light.

They rent the main house out in the summer and move into the smaller house. It's a great way to get some extra income, especially with their retirement income being in the deflated dollar.

With my father being ill, I didn't know what to expect when I got there. He's always been very healthy and shunned taking medicine. Although things are quite serious, I was pleasantly surprised with his energy (he still enjoys chopping wood for the fire) and interest in new things. I helped him set up a camera on his computer so we could Skype one another. It's a great way for him and Lindsay to see and talk to one another. I helped him set up a blog, which is something he's wanted to do for a while. And we cooked together. On his blog you can see the Hungarian chimney cakes we made. This is a dessert that is cooked on the bbq. You make a dough, which you wrap around a wooden tool that resembles a baseball bat. Then you baste it with melted butter and grill it over the bbq. After it cooks a while, you roll it in sugar and ground walnuts. When it is done, you rap it to make the dough fall off and then steam comes out of it to resemble smoke emitting from a chimney. It was delicious, and now I'm the proud owner of my own pastry baseball bat. I definitely need to refine the recipe we had, and now have some experience under my belt.

It was a wonderful visit. I decided not to bring my daughter and I'm glad I made that decision. I was able to spend uninterrupted time with my father, which would have been impossible if she had come. We had nice conversations, and were able to generally enjoy each other's company in a way that we hadn't for a while.

I also did some knitting while I was there, which I will post shortly.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What is eaten in one week?

Here's an interesting comparison of what families in different countries eat in one week and the associated costs.

Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07

United States: The Revis family of North Carolina (Sure hope most American
families eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less junk food than this family.)
Food expenditure for one week $341.98

Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca
Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09

Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53

Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55

Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03

Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tree Sweaters

Here's a funny article today about a town in Ohio that is putting sweaters on the trees along one main avenue.