Archive for November 2009

In the land of Japan

I'm looking forward to knitting this week. A couple friends and I are starting up a weekly knitting group. I'm a little rusty. Last week I had to tear out about a thousand stitches because I found a hole and dropped a stitch.

Free-form knitting. How beautiful.

For this week we went to Mitsuwa market to get food, sake and look at the knitting books. All the knitting patterns are in Japanese, but it's fun to look. It's also fun to look at all the sake:
I got brown rice tea, noodles, incense, adzuki bean pies, mung beans, sushi rice powder, little fish pellets for soup, lots of spices and matcha powder (I'm going to try and make Green Tea ice cream tonight!).

But wandering around the market had me remembering about all the cool and alien things from Japan. Like the men reading the "backwards" amine novels on the train and the girls crocheting. About how the food tasted uber fishy (I didn't like it) and how much they like Americans and American things (which was not the case at the market; only in Japan I think).

So then the knitting got me thinking about Japanese martial arts (?) and how the bushi (warrior class) women were trained in naginata. It's sticking fighting used to knock enemies off their horses when they had to protect their homes. They kind of look like bamboo needles, right?
Ok I'm reaching with the analogy, but wouldn't it be cool to be skilled in fighting and knitting and sewing AND making babies?

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Oh Sherry

Sherry is back and so right for winter. Curled up reading Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisted (or watching the 11-part British mini-series) the cold almost seems palatable.

Here's Charles (played by Jeremy Irons) in fright when served a Brandy Alexander instead of this usual Sherry.

Looks appealing, no?

Sherry is Spanish, like your lover, and because it's wine (fortified, that is) there is lots of variance.

The two predominant types of Sherry are Fino (very dry with a lighter-body) and Oloroso (still dry, but much richer in both flavor and body). If the winemaker is going for Fino, alcohol is added (fortification) until it reaches just over 15%; however, if Oloroso is the goal then alcohol is added to reach an 18% alcohol content.

Check out Sherry Wine 101 for more of the breakdown.

My Mom's favorite Sherry is Dry Sack. Hehe. It's a medium-bodied sherry that is also good for cooking. Patrick Sheehan of the Signature Room uses it in their lobster bisque.
She also loves the movie, Babette's Feast (which, you really should see). Here's General Lorens Löwenhielm, drinking sherry with the one of the finest meals ever served (french, of course).Ahh, I hope my pre-Thanksgiving meal I'm planning is good. Here's what Babette served: "Blini Demidoff au Caviar" (buckwheat cakes with caviar and sour cream); "Potage à la Tortue" (turtle soup); "Caille en Sarcophage avec Sauce Perigourdine" (quail in puff pastry shell with foie gras and truffle sauce); "La Salad" featuring Belgian endive and walnuts in a vinaigrette; and "Les Fromages" featuring Blue Cheese, papaya, figs, grapes and pineapple. The grand finale dessert is "Savarin au Rhum avec des Figues et Fruit Glacée" (rum sponge cake with figs and glacéed fruits). Numerous rare wines, including Clos de Vougeot, along with various champagnes and spirits (they drink Amontillado sherry with the turtle soup), complete the menu.

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I ♥ I.Anton

I stumbled upon I.Anton's photos on flickr. There is something simple, beautiful and nostalgic about her subject matter; empty park benches, seagulls, flowers and bicycles. She is master of manipulation as she uses grain, blotches, sepia tones and rounded corners to recall an old-timey aesthetic. I could get lost in these images for hours. They remind me of home.

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