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Thursday, September 29, 2005


so the realization that the first fellowship application of the 'season' is due this upcoming Monday has sent me into a tizzy

Since I'm going to be absent from the blog until at least Tuesday night (and I can't talk about/show y'all the wonderful shetland roving I picked up a last Saturday's farmer's market or my progress on my knitting projects), I seek to appease you all by revisiting the vintage pattern of the day. The upcoming pattern pictures are from McCall's Needlework, 1961

Today's vintage knitted pattern is a couple of neat knitted dresses. I particularly like the white one on the left. I think it could be fun to play with nowadays too!
fellowship app due monday...
nuff said,
I'll be back in the blogging world Tuesday

Monday, September 26, 2005

whew! what a weekend!

I'm exhausted. I had a fabulous and full weekend starting off with a simply wonderful evening with Hilary and Steven on Friday.

As mentioned previously, we went to The Village Pub in Woodside, CA for dinner. The one downside of the dinner was that, although we had reservations for 8:30pm, we weren't seated until around 9pm. The maitre' d (sp?) came over (after I asked how much longer we would be waiting) and apologized profusely to us explaining that people just weren't leaving... and within 5 min we were seated in a wonderful cushy booth near the fireplace.

They gave us three different types of menus, the dinner menu, the wine menu, and the pub menu. Our waiter came over promptly and explained the menu and some of the specials of the evening. We ended up ordering both specials, which were appetizers, some fabulously rich lamb meatballs on black chard in a yummy broth and heirloom tomatoes with a delicious local extra virgin olive oil, a 25 year old oak barrel aged balsamic, water buffalo mozzarella from Spain, and some special rock salt from Australia (i think). Before we had even ordered, the sommelier came over to the table to inquire about what we might like to drink with the meal. He was relatively young, so it was actually quite fun to engage him in conversation about what it takes to be a sommelier. I also found it amusing that he would say things like, "I like to drink a lot" and "I found this wine to go great with everything, including cheerios." We ended up getting a bottle of this delicious rioja to go with our meal:

Rioja, Crianza, Sierra Cantabria 2000

The rabbit meatballs:

The heirloom tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella salad. Btw, I've had some water buffalo mozzerella, and it is indeed much much tastier than normal fresh mozzarella, but THIS mozzarella was the YUMMIEST one I have ever had the pleasure of eating.

Actually before our appetizers, they brought us each out a complimentary first plate of local sliced beets (bright orange and yummy) with asparagus which we each demolished before I remembered to take a picture.

Both Steven and I ended up ordering the pork chop dinner on the menu. How could we not order that after the waiter so deliciously described it? It is Niman Ranch Pork that had been covered in some sort of maple glaze and grilled as a huge rack before being cut up into servings. It was served over Italian butter beans and roasted figs. *drool* Ohmygodyumiwishicouldeatthateveryday

Hilary ordered the gnocchi with clams which she reported to be also quite wonderful.

ervyscurvy ordered the grilled 28-Day Dry Aged Rib Steak which he said was also amazingly tasty, although he did keep nibbling on my porkchop...but who could resist that chop?!!

Before we finished our main courses, the sommelier came over and had us try another wine to go with the last bit of our meal. It was the Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir 2000. I found it absolutely wonderful!

For dessert, each couple got one of the yummy chocolate hazelnut souffles...oh how I love a good souffle.

We were also graced with a small platter of petit something or others (yummy sweet goodness including the best macaroons ever, some chocolate bark, a truffle, and some tiny rendition of a provencial french dessert)

I highly highly recommend this place if you're in the area. I'll blog about the rest of my weekend tomorrow...

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Village Pub

I'm so excited for dinner tonight! As much as I tried to dissuade my wonderful friend Hilary from taking us out to a nice dinner, she insisted she and Steven really wanted to do this to thank us for our help with their wedding.

Anyway, she insisted I give them the name of the restaurant that ervy and I had originally planned to go to for our 3rd yr anniversary (before we bought the smoker instead).

So tonight we're heading to The Village Pub in Woodside, CA. YUM! 'pub' is a misnomer according to most accounts. It's really just a truly fancy restaurant down here on the Peninsula. The chef is Mark Sullivan who apparently turns out wonderfully tasty meals (and I hear it's not the tiny cuisine you get in most fancy restaurants...). The James Beard Foundation says, "Today, The Village Pub is the poshest pub around, with plush leather chairs, arty black-and-white photos, a mahogany bar, Lamborghinis in the parking lot, and contemporary Mediterranean-inflected food so good it earned the restaurant three and a half stars in the San Francisco Chronicle. As Chronicle critic Michael Bauer wrote, "Those who get to eat Sullivan's food regularly are privileged: he is producing some of the best food in the Bay Area. Few chefs have more talent-or restraint...Dish after dish proves Sullivan's mettle.""

oh yeah... i'm excited.

oh and here's a pic of the sky yesterday afternoon for Sandy's contest. I actually caught it a little cloudier than it had been yesterday:

In my knitting life, I'm on the 3rd set of repeats still for the FBS. I would take a picture, but I'd rather wait another couple repeats so that my progress since my last picture will be more evident. I did swing by target at the beginning of this week to see the $1 yarns. They had some novelty yarns (a furry one and a ribbony railroad type yarn). I'm not really someone who knits with a lot of novelty yarn, but I picked some up to make a shawl for a charity auction at the local preschool. I figure, people who don't knit seem to like this novelty stuff more than complicated stitch patterns anyway. So I'm knitting a big dropstitch stole on large needles for the project.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

the best rating fun since netflix...

thanks to Esmerel, Evvie and I have found The rating system isn't the best (if they're going to make you comment a 75 char comment, why don't they have a character counter? and what's with the different scales... who rates 1-20???), but we at least now have a nice centralized way of reviewing the beers evvie seems to bring home from his many trips to Whole Foods. Too bad we didn't find it earlier. It's hard to remember specifics of many beers now.

I do want to mention, randomly, that I've found some of the best packaged biscotti I've ever tasted. Semifreddi's chocolate dipped almond biscotti is frelling fantastic!

on knitting
every time I get through an odd lace row of fbs, I'm pretty proud of myself for my concentration. I'm on the second set of ten on the lower fbs chart now... I'm thinking of scanning and printing out the chart in different colors to help myself visually keep track of where I am better (I don't want to write on the magazine... for some reason, that just makes me cringe...)

Monday, September 19, 2005

jayne hat, fbs progress and dumpling adventure part #1

This weekend involved alot of settlers playing, and some work and part 1 of an amazing dumpling adventure.

I did see ervy's new cube. Here's ervy at work

Sunday, instead of going to work out, Ervy and I decided to embark on a tour de dumplings. We roped fu into our journey, and although we had about 9 dumpling places to try on our list, we only got through 3 of them before being defeated by the fullness of our tummies.

Part 1 included the Taipei Stone House, A&J, and the Tong Dumpling Pot - all of which were in Cupertino.

1. Taipei Stone House:
0877 N. Wolfe Road, Cupertino, CA 95014
Cupertino Village (Ranch 99 Complex)
(408) 255-8886

This is not only a dumpling restaurant. It is a normal Chinese restaurant, and I must say, while waiting for our dumplings, we saw many other delicious looking dishes heading to other tables. Also, fu and I had much guilt about going to a full restaurant and only ordering a couple dishes of dumplings. Fu apologized before ordering (in Chinese), but the owner/waiter was nothing but polite and happy to serve us. We had an order of xiao long bao ("pork steamed buns" on the menu) and an order of fried dumplings/potstickers. The first to arrive was the xiao long bao. Our waiter brought it out in a large full size bamboo steamer (not one of the tiny ones, so the dumplings were able to rest far apart from each other, getting rid of the risk of sticking to each other and breaking, losing precious soup). He also brought us all soup spoons to eat the dumplings with and a dish of black Chinese vinegar and shredded ginger. He explained how we should eat it, and then revealed the dumplings with flourish. OMFG. They were fantastic. The wrappers were thin and perfect (not the thick chewiness you might find on others), the soup was wonderful, and intact in the dumplings due to the care in spacing as mentioned above. Wow. Afterwards, the waiter/owner man explained that they are actually famous for their xiao long bao (although I'm not sure what he means by 'famous.' articles? awards?). After finishing the first dumplings he brought out our fried potstickers (jiao zi(sp?)). These were made in an interesting way. Instead of fully enclosing the meat with the wrappers, the dumplings were wrapped more like open ended egg rolls. Very simple, but wonderfully fried and nicely flavorful. A++++... I'm going back for sure.

2. The second spot we hit was A&J also in Cupertino Village
10893 N WOLFE RD 160C CUPERTINO, CA 95014-0605
PHONE (408)873-8298

We've been here previously for other yummy taiwanese/Chinese snacks. We couldn't help ordering a non-dumpling dish of sliced pig ear in sichuan peppercorn oil. That was delicious. Unfortunately, the dumplings were not as tasty - at all. The xiao long bao were unfortunate. the wrappers were too thick and chewy at the top. Plus all the dumplings were shoved together in the smallest of steamers such that in picking one up, you'd rip the dough and lose the soup and possibly any filling. We also had some vegetarian dumplings and beef dumplings. The beef dumplings were especially average. The veggi ones were ok, but most lost filling when picked up. Also, the waiter was a bit annoyed with us for just ordering a few dumplings and pig ear. I like A&J, but I wouldn't order dumplings there ever again.

3. Lastly, we hit Tong Dumpling Pot
in cupertino, follow Wolfe Rd past the dead mall (Vallco?) as it turns into Miller. When you hit Bollinger, turn left and go into the Safeway parking lot. Go past the Chef Woo side and turn the corner. It's near the water place. Maybe 6184 Bollinger?
This place is mainly a dumpling spot, so there were no worries about just ordering dumplings. The prices were quite reasonable 12 dumplings (boiled or fried depending on your choice) for $5.50 (for lunch it's $5.50 for 12 dumplings + soup or porridge + snack). You can also buy them frozen in packs of 50 for about $12+. They have 4 choices of pork dumplings, one vegetarian choice, two lamb dumpling choices, and 3 chicken dumpling choices (i think). We ordered the pork with shrimp and chives dumplings, the vegetarian dumplings, and the lamb and squash dumplings. It's a very small shop, but since it was the middle of the afternoon, we were the only ones besides the owners who were there. They have a small counter where you can sit and watch them make the dumplings (they handmake them from the wrappers to the fillings.. yay!). Indeed, the handmade wrappers were highly praised by fu. The first set of dumplings we received were the pork/shrimp/chives. These were ok, but had an odd aftertaste that we attributed to the shrimp. Get the ones w/o the shrimp, and I'm sure they'll be good. 2nd came the lamb/squash dumplings. Fu and Ervy LOVED these. They are unique and lamby tasting. (I actually detest the taste of lamb so after one bite of half of one of those dumplings, I passed the rest of it off to ervy). The veggie ones were also good. They tasted highly of mushrooms (so if you don't like mushrooms, do NOT eat this), plus it had yummy noodle bits in them. I would go back here.

The dumpling adventure left us full and lethargic. Even tho we had tea at each place, ervy and I craved espresso. We headed off to Castro (after pulling Adam with us). Ervy and I got yummy Americanos from Red Rock, and we headed across the street to Tapioco Express so Adam and Fu could get pearl milk teas. While there, ervy and I tried to remember how to play Chinese checkers... I lost.

Jayne hat:
I bought the yarn for my hat Friday afternoon and got cracking right away... I realize that the photo I posted from Firefly doesn't show the color of Jayne's hat very well. There are some better images here. Anyway, I grabbed 2 skeins of Lamb's Pride bulky (1 in a red color, 1 in an orange color). There wasn't a yellow I liked enough in LPB, so I bought a bulky in Numero Uno by Lana Grossa. Here was the finished hat Saturday:

You might notice the colors are a bit brighter than Jayne's hat's colors are... So last night I tea dyed the hat. Unfortunately it didn't tone down the red enough... I plan to dip dye just the bottom half of the hat (the red part) in coffee this evening to darken it down a bit.

Flower Basket Shawl Progress

I stopped by Uncommon Threads on Friday to pick up some yarn for my Jayne hat, and while I was there, one of the workers... (Carolyn?) helped me figure out the lace charts on FBS. (I totally didn't realize that the first 2 and last 2 squares on the charts were stitches I was actually supposed to KNIT! (i thought they were just designating purl or knit....). That's why I wasn't ending up with the right number of stitches... duh!

Also, my sp5 Nancy is still rocking my world!!! She sent me a great link to some notes on the fbs which is perfect for right now as I'm just moving on to the lower fbs chart. The site she sent already answered my question about the repeats!

Here's where I am now (although at this point it doesn't look like much unless I stretch out the stitches (then I can see some of the first "leaf" pattern repeats). Oh and if you can see where I made my mistakes... shh! I am actually having a hard time keeping track of where I am on the charts as I often knit while watching tv... this type of knitting seems to require a little more attention than i'm used to giving.

Friday, September 16, 2005

knitting and diddy/martha

ok, yesterday's Martha was a weirdly amusing segment. Martha Stewart and Diddy (aka Puff Daddy, P Diddy, Sean "Puffy" Combs, etc) were on, and Martha was 'learning' how to rap. Diddy explained what "Cheddar," "Benjamins," "Ballin'," "Shorty," "Flossin'," meant to Martha and made her rap out his "All About the Benjamins" chorus... btw, why are the police called, "The Jake"? Fuson, do you want to field that question?

so I tried starting the fbs shawl yesterday on size 8's since my 7's are taken up... I think I need to restart this near some more experienced knitters. My lace knitting experience level is quite tiny. I'm horrid at reading charts... so when a chart reads o / o, do I yarn over then knit that stitch, then knit two other stitches together and then yarn over and knit? I seem to be confused and end up with either not enough stitches to finish what I think the chart should be, or too many stitches! poop. I won't give up, I just need to be around some other knitters while figuring this out.

So I will instead concentrate on something for Serenity (out in 14 days!!). I'm going to make the Jayne Cobb hat so that I can wear it to the movie. Here's a website with the pattern, and a nice long followup thread on Gotta get the yarn....

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


ok, it's official. I'm not allowed to watch the show 'Supernatural'. I couldn't fall asleep last night because I was horribly afraid of my ceiling. Still, if one of you does watch the show this season, can you tell me eventually what's with the bleeding/burning females on the ceilings? I'm going to guess they'd find that out when the season ends...

damn my curiousity... or is it damn my hyperactive imagination? bleh.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Yay new fall TV season!

I'm ecstatic my fall shows are back... or at least mostly will be soon.

I did Tivo Martha Stewart's new show "Martha" on NBC. I didn't realize it was a talk show... albeit a talk show with crafting, cooking, and gardening. I admit, I have learned a new way to fold a t-shirt since watching. I do appreciate that the show doesn't try to hide the fact that Martha was in prison for awhile. In fact, it pretty much celebrates the fact. The opening has pictures of Martha leaving prison in her famous poncho. Also, all the producers of the show wear leg bands (like she had to wear while in house arrest) so they can keep track of each other. I'll be honest, I think she did better with just her cooking shows on foodtv. Watching her try to converse with Marcia Cross was painful (desperate housewives!). I guess I just don't like her style of interviewing. Maybe it was 1st day nerves... meh we'll see.

We Tivo'd WB's Supernatural. This first episode is partly set at Stanford University in the beginning which is funny, because it doesn't look at all like Stanford, and they go to a party with an awesome bar (which is really funny)... ok, Im trying to say it's still funny, but I'm now afriad this is going to give me nightmares. I'm not allowed to watch X-files (according to evvie), because it keeps me up all night. Yikes. ok we'll see if I'll be ok with this show.

I listened to the committee hearing for John Roberts today, and I have to say I enjoyed Senator Biden's questioning the most. I found it most amusing while doing boring brain analyses. I hope my boss didn't think I was crazy laughing at my data...

sp 6 starts now!!
Hi SP6 if you're reading!!!

I have been having fun spinning the rovings that my sp5 gave me, and honestly, I've been craving a good knit. I had hoped to begin my flower basket shawl, but I realized the needles I need are taken by this boring old scarf (a 2x2 rib... so boring i can't do it for long periods of time). I think I may pick up my lace cowl from weekend knits so I can wear it now that the weather is starting to cool down again. Blah, wanting to knit being indecisive about what project makes me weary... actually that's probably all the grad app stuff. Poop. I think I'll start knitting again when I'm a bit less stressed (I know, I know, I should knit so that I BECOME less stressed)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

back from illness

After being out and completely removed from the world for a week due to being sick, I am back!

While I was lying in bed with fever, evvie brought me up my last package from my absolutely FABULOUS SP5! It was an especially bright moment in my illness as I poured over the treasures that my sp5 (who I now know as Nancy of bird knits)! Wow Nancy sure knows how to spoil a girl! She sent me that neat Red Cross kit I've been eyeing so that I can knit myself (or evvie) some army socks! I do love the color olive drab - how awesome! She also sent me some creamy superwash wool and a dye kit so that I can make dye it myself to create some yummy roving! She also sent some neat woolwash and two AMAZING skeins of yarn! One of the skeins is this pretty boucle and the other is a fantastic fluffy skein of handspun which I'm drooling over just thinking about it right now! Nancy went even further with her generosity and donated $100 in my name to the Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina. How did I get blessed with such a wonderful and giving Secret Pal? Honestly, I feel a bit guilty getting such a great SP when I know there were quite a few people this round who had flaky sps. Nancy, you're the BEST!

closeup of handspun from sp5

Also, a quite belated thank you to Suzie of The Purly Gates. I won her blogiversary contest and she sent a wonderful package of Japanese yarn, a CUTE japanese bag, some clover pins, a new notebook (I LOVE notebooks!), and some wonderful Japanese candy!! Thanks Suzie!

Last night I met up with some high school friends and had some pie. It was good to see people.... We ate the pie before I took the picture :(

As a last note, while I was out sick last week, many people's lives were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Please think about giving a little to help rebuild these people's lives. Evan and I donated to the Red Cross, and I encourage y'all to give what you can to help these people. Also you might think of giving to habitat for humanity which is down there helping rebuild homes.