Monday, July 12, 2010


Seven years old. Her birth seems like yesterday and yet a lifetime ago. How she has grown in those seven years. Today, we celebrated with new skirts (which necessitated a quick trip to City Craft), bottlecap jewelry and her favorite red velvet cupcakes.

May her joy for life never grow old. Happy birthday, sweet girl.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

homemade french dressing

A long time ago, I spent several months in France. Twice I flew to England and took a combination of buses, ferry (way before the chunnel!) and trains to Lisieux, in Normandy, and later Tours, in the Loire valley. I was in college at the time and was an extraordinarily picky eater. But those months spent eating seasonal fruit, meat from the semi-weekly market and delicious bread cured every last food aversion I had.
One such aversion was to salad dressing. On the rare occasions that I would eat a salad, I topped it with nothing but salt. During my second trip, which was to Tours, I lived with a family. Dinner each night ended with a simple green salad and cheeses from the week's market trips. Those salads were always the same and always delicious.
To make the dressing, start with shallow bowl. Add a small teaspoon of brown mustard, a clove of chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Mix with a soup spoon of red wine vinegar. Add three to four soup spoons of canola oil one at a time. Mix very well after each addition so the dressing emulsifies properly.
It's also good with tomatoes. You'll want a loaf of crusty bread to sop up every last bit from the plate.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

everything's better with knitting!

Or is it the other way around? :)  I have a new sweater on the needles. This one is the empire waist cardigan made with classic elite provence. I saw it on a friend to knit with last summer and started it not long afterward. It was eclipsed, though, by the cabled sweater (which is now sitting -- half-put-together -- in the basket from which I rescued the empire waist cardigan).
This is perfect, sit-by-the-pool knitting. The sleeves and back are knit sideways, starting at the end of one sleeve and knitting across to the end of the other sleeve. Then you pick up stitches along one edge and knit in the other direction to make the skirt (peplum?). Off to sit by the pool, knitting in hand...