Knitting and a Movie
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
      ( 7:14 PM ) Rebecca  
Semantics
And the lure of Christmas baking

Today I was talking with Ingi while realising I had increased too many stitches in my sleeve. He asked if the English word for lykkja was loop. I said, no, it's a stitch. He said, but it is a loop. He's got me there. Why is it that we call them stitches? They aren't the same as sewn stitches.

Eklectika reminded me all about Spam-A-Lot with her last post, so Ingi and I may see it in January if we can score tickets. I've never been to a Broadway show and he's never been to New York, so there you go.

We were also talking about Christmas bread that was in the supermarket there. I saw the yummiest looking Christmas bread on the Sandholt Bakery website. So now I feel inspired to make some kind of Christmasy bread like that.

Meantime that sleeve is just cursed. After realising my miscounting on the increase, I fixed it and knit the whole colour pattern only to realise I had shifted reading the chart (since A B C D E doesn't mean much, I should put a sticky on the pattern) so now I've got to frog it again. My tension is wrong there anyway so I guess it's OK. But I don't want to look at knitting right now.

I mailed off my Christmas gifts to Iceland, including that hat. Hopefully that package doesn't have customs issues. They pick the weirdest things to want to go through. Last time it was a little book that we mail back and forth. I think they just get bored and try to pick things that will be interesting to read. The time before that it was a book, too, come to think of it.

3 vikur i dag. Yay!
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Monday, November 28, 2005
      ( 6:32 PM ) Rebecca  
Earl's Saga
Or, an Experience in Window Shopping

Here was a story from the other week that got eaten.
The other week I went window shopping. No, not the kind where you don't buy anything, I hate that. I like to go to stores with a purpose, get what I need, and get out. One of the rooms in my house has dreadfully drafty old windows. So I wanted replacement windows. We measured, following the instructions on the manufacturer's leaflet, and I went to Home Depot, measurements in hand. When I got to the window counter, the guy working there was named Earl.* Now, I should have just turned around and left then, but no, I had to try anyway.

"Hi, I'd like windows 34" by 54" please." "Is that frame size or rough opening?" "I measured the opening, following the instructions in the leaflet." "Oh, that would be frame size." When he calls it up on the screen, I can tell that it's wrong. I mean, now the rough opening is somewhat bigger than the dimensions I gave. How is something with larger dimensions than my opening going to fit? "Are you sure that's correct?" "Oh, yes." Now he manages to delete the order. Do I leave? No, I'm stubborn, and I stick it out. Second mistake. Finally he gets the order in the system again. "Are you positively sure you put it in correctly?" "Yes, I'm sure." Now I have a slip of paper saying that my special order windows are not returnable. And meanwhile I am now 30 minutes late for a family party, since not only did he have to type the order in and go through all the options twice, since he couldn't copy the first window, but then he had to do all that over again when he deleted it, and then he had to move it to the other computer, and then I had to stand in line to pay. And I'm fairly sure at this point that it is wrong.

Next day, I call the store. Sure enough, I was right. The guy on the phone corrected it for me. And when I picked up the windows this weekend, they were the correct size.

I've gotten a lot accomplished with my 4 days off. I finished my Domino Knitting potholder, which I am giving to my mom. I finished a random baby hat that was originally for a craft fair but now I think is going to go to I's niece. And I found a yummy sounding birthday cake recipe, using ingredients that I actually already have, for the party this weekend. And the house was clean for about 10 minutes yesterday, until the dirty dish fairy came and messed it up again.

* Apologies to anyone with friends or family named Earl. But really, isn't it the most redneck sounding name ever?
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Friday, November 25, 2005
      ( 8:27 PM ) Rebecca  
Sk÷tuselur

It all started last summer when we were at Skˇgasafn. There was this hideous skeleton of sk÷tuselur. I asked Ingimar, "What do you call that in English?" and he said he had no idea. So of course it became our quest to figure that out over the next few days. It just so happened we were at Steini's house, who has a degree in the fishing industry. So Steini comes out with the answer, plus a giant frozen piece of fish: monkfish. We never actually had the fish.

When the new Whole Foods opened up, they have a great fish selection, so I was determined to make it. I asked him for a good recipe. He ends up chatting with a chef from Sjßvarkjallarinn and this is how we ended up with this recipe.

Monkfish with Blue Cheese Hollandaise
monkfish filet
bacon
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp lemon juice
small pinch of cayenne
1/3 c boiling water
about 25 g blue cheese

Cut monkfish into chunks and wrap them in bacon. Cook in pan until fish is white and bacon is slightly browned (not cooked through). Put in a 150░C/300░F oven for about 5 minutes. I think it might be nicer to cook it for less time in the pan and a little longer in the oven. Also I used kind of thick bacon, I think it would be better with a thinner bacon.

Meanwhile, make the sauce:
Melt a third of the butter in a double boiler. Add egg yolks and lemon juice. Stir constantly with a wisk until butter is melted, add next third, and repeat with last third and cheese. Add water, cook one minute, and add cayenne.
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Thursday, November 24, 2005
      ( 7:02 PM ) Rebecca  
SNJËR!
Og einn sokkur er b˙inn

So we had the first real snow of the season, we had some odd flakes yesterday but they didn't count, really. I woke up and there were like 10 centimetres of snow (but only at my house, I live on a hill with lots of trees so we always get more up here.) Just enough to be pretty and not enough to interfere with Thanksgiving driving. I love that first snow.

While I was being lazy and taking advantage of not having to clean my house for company, I finished sock #1. No pictures, but as soon as I track down a digi camera to borrow, I'll post one. I also had scoured the shops in Western Connecticut to get sokkaprjˇnar (that would be double pointed needles) for the sleeve for lopapeysuna. Wool Connection was all out of the correct size, and then I had to park blocks and blocks away from the shop in West Hartford since it's apparently Official Christmas Shopping Season. Argh. (It was funny because when I went into Wool Connection with my pattern for a minute there I just could not remember the English word for the life of me, I almost asked for "size 4,5 sock needles.") So now I have the cuff of sleeve #1 done but now I've got to juggle my Denise needles. I think I could use some spare cables. I left the cable I want in another project. Do I finish that first, or just throw it on a stitch holder? With this snow, I'd kind of like that sweater done. So maybe I'll put aside the baby-hat-for-charity and borrow the cable. Decisions.... I have tomorrow off from work so maybe I'll get some knitting time.

My poor J Crew-knockoff mittens from last year got eaten by moths. Good thing they were fast to make. Maybe I should make a new pair one of these days. I was going to wear them the other day when it was bitter cold. I did wear Rogue today (it was just perfect in this snowy weather, I didn't even need a jacket.)

╔g get ekki be­i­. 26 dagar.

Happy Thanksgiving, all.
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Thursday, November 17, 2005
      ( 7:39 PM ) Rebecca  
Ekkert a­ segja

Another long week. I haven't been working at nights but I seem to have that brain-fried fallout from having been doing that for the last 2 weeks. And catching up on things like shopping and housework and social engagements and laundry (who am I kidding, I'm not caught up on laundry. Maybe in 2008).

What did I accomplish this week:
* Finished lopapeysa bolur to the point where now I should be starting on sleeves, and I don't have the right size needle for that. Perhaps Saturday I will be able to get those.
* Watched My Own Private Idaho and gained utmost respect for elskan mÝn for saying it was a great movie
* Got sock #1 of my fun patterned socks to the ready-to-turn-heel point
* Raked some leaves in the back yard
* Finished the Ian Curtis biography

I have a birthday cake to make in early December and I seem to recall seeing a really fun cake recipe online (besides the marsipan one which I am planning to make in January). So my mission is to remember what that was, or find an equally fun one.

The biggest event of today however was me knocking over my coffee ALL OVER the counter at the coffee shop. I mean all over. Every last centimeter of that counter was covered and even the dishes underneath. When I screw up, I do it in style. No half-assed attempts for me!

That and the weird psychic text messaging. Mine:
Langur dagur ■ar? I have to go home and make a salad for that thing tonight and I am leaving at 18.30. Hope we can chat before then.
As I am sending that I get:
Just got home from work. Are you stopping home before that thing? What time are you going?

And maybe next time I post I will tell the story of Earl, which was a funny story that got eaten by Blogger last week.
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Saturday, November 12, 2005
      ( 8:26 AM ) Rebecca  
Morgunmatur

It's Saturday after a long stressful week, so while listening to The Cardigans' Super Extra Gravity, I figured I'd post some breakfast recipes. They're hardly recipes, they are so easy to make.

It's also officially winter here. We got colder than ReykjavÝk last night (-5C). I'm sure that won't last, we'll probably will get weirdly hot again.

Best MŘsli
Wheat flakes 12 oz.
Oats 3.5 oz
1/3 c wheat germ
1/3 c oat bran
1/3 c raisins
1/3 c hazelnuts
1/3 c peanuts
1/3 c banana chips

(alternate fruit mix)
1/3 c raisins
1/3 c sultanas
1/3 c dried papaya
1/4 c brazil nuts, chopped
1/3 c banana chips

Tumble fruit in bran to separate. Mix everything together.

S˙rmjˇlk

Since you can't get decent s˙rmjˇlk in the States, I make my own.

Heat 1 quart of milk to 72░F. (It doesn't have to be precisely that temperature, but if it's too hot the culture will die.)
Add 2 Tbsp of last week's s˙rmjˇlk or buttermilk culture (you can buy that from New England Cheesemaking Supply Company).
Stir, and then cover. I use a Pampered Chef covered measuring cup/mixing bowl thingie, it's perfect, because it holds a quart easily, and has a lid. And it's thick glass.
Let sit overnight, around 16 hours, depending on how warm it is. This time of year, I mix it around 2 in the afternoon Sunday and then it's ready Monday morning when I wake up. I can put it in the fridge in the Pampered Chef thingie.
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Thursday, November 10, 2005
      ( 7:17 PM ) Rebecca  
Stress

This has been such an awful couple of weeks. Work has been so busy with
a crazy deadline. I've been up every night until very late working. ╔g
ß besta kŠrastann og hann keypti fyrir mig a Lush bath thingie, which
will be SOOOO nice to have. I'm hoping to take a nice long bath next
week when I get that.

In a bored google search, I came upon this
article on the availability of skyr in the US.
So maybe next year.

╔g sakna hans svoooooooooooo miki­. 40 dagar er of langt.
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Tuesday, November 08, 2005
      ( 7:24 PM ) Rebecca  
Blogger is pissing me off

For some reason, blogger and the Mac and Icelandic characters are not getting along. I typed a really long post which Safari kept clearing out. IE is not playing nice with Icelandic characters, and when I copied and pasted what I typed from Safari to IE, it added all this weird character padding. Argh.

So maybe I can fix my other post, I'm too tired to type it again.
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Sunday, November 06, 2005
      ( 9:53 PM ) Rebecca  
Another Food Post

I've had no time for anything hobby related, movies or knitting or anything. Work has been so insane. I should be working right now but it's Sunday night and I'm just fried. I've been going to bed early and getting up early but I'm not sure that would help.

Ingi minn told me that Morganbla­i­ said a while back that Whole Foods Market was going to be importing skyr into the States. They just opened a Whole Foods nearish me, so I went there today to check it out. I used to shop at one in Massachusetts. This one is much smaller, but it┤s still nice. They have the great selection of fresh (many local) veggies that you expect from them, and a huge fish department. Not a whole lot of bulk foods so I am not sure I could get my ingredients to mix mŘsli, but certainly a good selection for that "shop the edges of the supermarket" thing that you are supposed to do. No skyr though. The dairy guy tried to show me gjetost when I asked after it. (No, that's nothing like that.) Come to think of it, I'm not sure if they had Brown Cow yogurt or not. I may still need to do my slimy-gelatine-free yogurt shopping elsewhere.

As I drove around this weekend, I had a thought about signs for local politicians. Other than reminding people it's voting season, I just find them a blight. I'm not going to vote for Joe Blow just because my neighbour likes him. Or because I saw 10 signs around town. The ballet question signs I can see, just reminding people that they've got to vote on an important issue, but those politician signs are just a hideous waste of space. And half the time I'm driving through a town where I don't even have a say in that election.

To Kathy, on Highland sock patterns: One of these days I want to figure out a good shaped-calf Highland sock pattern. The one I was working off was from an old OOP sock booklet. There is also a woman that sells a pattern, but it's not shaped either. You can email me (gothrabbit AT gmail DOT com) if you want more details, I can give you the info. I wish I could just put an email link on my blog but stupid spam robots are so bad at abusing those things.
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Needles and Wool Knit At Nite

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