Blue

March 6, 2009 at 9:52 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

When I was little, my Mother used to drag us out to pick blueberries by the bushel. It would be hot, and sandy, and sunny, and one of us–usually Matt–would whine and complain until she got frustrated enough to take us all back to that beat up gray mini-van. I remember being in a little sun dress, and always wearing my Father’s straw hat. I remember sneaking a few into my mouth, tasting like slightly-sweetened dirt. We’d take them home and fill the kitchen sink with them to rinse them off, then put them into labeled Ziploc bags to be frozen, and forgotten about.

Until the winter, when she would remember that there were a dozen bags of blueberries frozen solid in the freezer in the basement. Then there’d be muffins, and pancakes, and sugared blueberries in our cheerios.

Last time I went to the grocery, I saw these bags of frozen blueberries, and couldn’t resist buying them. I put them in my cereal; mixed them with pomegranate seeds and dusted the mixture with Splenda; mixed them into what I had left of Vanilla Silk and froze the mixture. Very wistful. I can’t seem to make pancakes (I think I’m too impatient) but tonight, I decided to make muffins.

Muffin Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • ¼ cup margarine
  • ½ cup Splenda
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tea spoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1  cups frozen blue berries
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk
  • ½ cup blueberries, thawed, mixed with Splenda to create thin syrup

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a muffin pan. I used Pam Baking spray, with flour.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, Splenda, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add the soy milk, margarine, egg and lemon juice, and thawed blueberry/syrup, and stir until mixed.
  4. Gently add the blueberries.
  5. Spoon the batter in to the muffin pan, filling each cup about 2/3 full.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until muffins are golden brown.

Blueberry-pomegranate juice is also delicious. I had purchased the pomegranates in October, scooped the seeds out, and froze them. I basically just squish and strain the berries and seeds with my fingers, but this is because I don’t have a blender and only make a glass at a time.  If you try this and find it to be too tart, try adding a little apple juice  or ginger ale to it. I have also done this with the pomegranate seeds and strawberries.

Blood Orange Juice is also quite good, but almost overwhelmingly sweet, and I made a nigh-gorey mess in my sink. I seem to gain sustenance primarily from liquids…

I usually go to a place called Red Bank to walk around in the late afternoon. It runs along the oh-so-scenic Delaware River, and is actually pretty sketchy in the off-season. Today, I met up with my cousin at a local health facility that also runs along the Delaware, and is notably less sketchy–street lamps, people in little carts patrolling, a lot of people. I found it strange that a matter of maybe 2 miles could make such a difference.

The Hex goes well…is currently about the size of an average umbrella around, 2½ feet from point to point. It is mostly navy blue, and there are several spots where the color changes a few stitches away from the completetion of the round. It irks me, so this will likely be given away.

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Hex

March 5, 2009 at 3:56 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

I don’t generally like the number six.

In my experiences, it usually leads to awkward, occasionally menacing things. Bad things happen in sixes, too, not threes: it’s always three big things, and three little things.

Regardless! I decided to make a hexagon blanket, because I haven’t made one yet.

A month or so ago, my grandmother gave me a trash bag full of balls of blue yarn. Mostly navy blue, with some smaller balls of light colors. I made all of the bigger ones into hats, and a few of the small, light ones into flowers for the hats and a necklace.

But I still had a lot let over. So I tied them all together, and rolled them into one giant ball. And started crocheting the hexagon.

Why a hexagon? To satiate me impulse to count things. And, well, it’ll be interesting when it’s done!

It’s a fairly simple pattern:

Chain 4, slip stitch closed to form a ring.

Round 1:

Chain 5. [3 Double Crochets into ring, chain 2] 5 times, then 2 DC into ring. Slip stitch into the 3rd chain of chain-5.

Round 2:

Slip stitch in next chain, chain 5, 1 DC into 2-ch space.

*1 DC into each of the three DC. [1 DC ch 2 1DC] in ch-2 space.

Repeat from * 4 times.

1 DC in next 2 DC. 1 DC in 3rd ch of Round-1’s ch 5.

Slip stitch in 3rd ch of this round’s ch-5.

Repeat Round 2 as many times as needed for desired size, adding 12 DCs to each round (in the ch-2 spaces.)

I’ll post pictures when I’m done!

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Hello

March 2, 2009 at 10:02 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

There is something to be said of the inability to sleep.

At first, it is irritating. You toss and turn in the dark, tangling sheets, becoming aware of the quiet shuffling of the night–the tick of the clock, the sound of cars passing in the distance. You try teas, and herbal supplements; chamomile, Valerian root. You try over-the-counter sleep aids: tiny blue pills that do little more than suppress the headache that has been slowly, but constantly, building in your brain. You cut caffeine out of your diet, try to relieve stress, exercise. You might even take prescription sleep aids, only to find that the one night you refrain, you cannot sleep. You try all of these remedies, all for five hours a sleep a night, if you’re lucky.

Eventually, you give in to the lull of prescriptions, letting the tiny white pill become a nightly routine after brushing your teeth and setting your alarm clock. You get used to bizarre blurriness of the waking world, the fog that settles on your brain, and never quite leaves.

Or you don’t. Maybe you decide to stay awake. What’s the worst that could happen? A Fight Club-esqu break in your psyche?

I tried all the remedies, none of which was very effective. I still have a full prescription of sleeping pills hiding out in my vanity drawer, and maybe someday I’ll act responsibly, and take them again.

Maybe not.

For now, though, those 18 to 20 hours that I am usually awake (sometimes more, but those days are less common, and more disconcerting) I decided to utilize. I crochet, mostly. Stuffed animals, blankets, hats…sometimes other things, and rarely with a pattern, or a purpose. When I’m not crocheting, I read, bake or cook, and write. I’m almost always online.

At the next available chance, I will post all the things I’ve made thus far (and still have) to give an example. I will post recipes, and patterns (if I have one.)

There’s something to be said of the inability to sleep. At least, something useful (and occasionally yummy, or adorable) can be made of it.

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