Archive for September, 2007

WIP – Malabrigo Cardi

MalabrigoCardi2, originally uploaded by Rina7.

Knitting is so much more fun with soft yarn! It’s a bit small at my chest, even accounting for a button placket. One of these days I have learn how to do short-rows! Hope it blocks a size up after it is finished. 🙂

I free-styled this top-down raglan with yarn-overs for the increases. From the waist down, I’m adapting the lace peplum stitch pattern from the feminine puff sleeve cardigan pattern in Fitted Knits. After I finish the peplum, it’s on to the sleeves.


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Raw Fish, Anyone?

A great reward after two and a half hours of bike riding (on bike routes from the Alameda shoreline to the Oakland Airport and back):

Berkeley Bowl has an amazing fish section, including reasonably priced sushi grade fish. I picked up some tuna along with a seasoning package with which to make poke and planned a chirashi sushi dinner.

The great thing about chirashi sushi is that you start with seasoned rice and then get creative with the toppings. I added: gari shoga (pickled sliced ginger for sushi) , beni shoga (shredded red pickled ginger), avocado, lightly dressed sliced cucumbers, fukujin zuke (a sweet mixed pickle that you usually eat with Japanese curry), and a Korean shredded daikon pickle (which I probably would not use again for this, as the smell is strong). I also added tamago, a special omelette that can be made into nigiri sushi. In retrospect I should have added shredded nori, but it was still delish.


In addition to miso soup, I served horenso no goma-ae. Spinach with sesame dressing. I was thrilled to finally learn how easy it is to make, using a recipe from an English/Japanese basic recipe booklet brought back from Japan by my partner. Fresh spinach is blanched, immediately rinsed with cold water, squeezed, then chopped. Dressing: toast several tablespoons sesame seeds in a pan; coarsely grind; then mix with a little sugar, pinch of salt, and just enough soy sauce to form a coarse paste. Hand-mix spinach and dressing together; mound on a plate to serve.

Edited on September 15, 2007.

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Sunshine for a Blue Day


Feeling maudlin today, and an hour in of dance exercise class failed to shake it loose. So I played with my camera and another Trader Joe’s $4.99 bouquet.

One of these days I would like to write a post about relationships and love. Right now I can’t even find the words. It’s just that sometimes I feel as if I’m living out a Latin American Novel, namely Love in the time of Cholera. The idea of that novel as a metaphor for my life isn’t even my own; someone else pegged it a long time ago. I tried to forget about it. But lately it’s been shocking to look back and see how the ways in which I’ve lived that story.

Sometimes an idea can insinuate itself deep into your mind. At the crossroads, they quietly push you in certain directions. Maybe this only happens to romantics.

I think I’ll finally do some more Kool-Aid wool dyeing for Babette, to cheer myself up this evening.

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$5 Trader Joe’s bouquets have been exploding with stargazers.



I’m still new at this photography thing. Focus, focus! Anyway, I gathered some heirloom tomatoes, red bell pepper, a sweet Armenian cucumber, and red “spring” onions at the farmer’s market and made some refreshing gazpacho. But no recipe, since I forgot to take a pic of the soup!

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I’m in shock from starting a full time job for the first time in over a decade. Can I say that the 9 to 5 routine is inhumane? Stop bitching, you only have to go into the office 3 days a week and the rest is flexible.  Anyway, I managed to make a little progress on a couple of projects.  Here are a couple of WIPs. Hopefully I’ll dye some yarn this weekend and finally get going again with Babette.


Ghislaine from French Girl. Again with Woolease. I love and hate Woolease. It’s cheap, it’s soft (in most colors), but the quality control is less than ideal. Notice that the sleeve on the right is thicker? Same yarn, same dyelot, different gauge!! After this, no more Woolease for clothing.


A knit cardi I’m winging with Malabrigo worsted merino in Shocking Pink. I splurged an Addi Natural bamboo circulars, because this was too slippery on metallic needles. No pattern; I fudged the raglan increase placements, but so far so good. Being knitted from Malabrigo, it’s as soft as a cloud. I know it will fuzz like hell; I just hope it fuzzes in a charming, not ugly way, if you know what I mean. But at the rate I’m knitting, it will be done some time around the New Year if I’m lucky.

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What to cook for a guest on a hot day? It was a friend visiting from New York, so I wanted to serve something special. At the neighborhood fish market, I splurged on a really nice cut of ahi tuna. Then I went home and improvised.

Seared Ahi & Soba Noodle Salad

Sesame and cracked pepper crusted, seared ahi (chilled) on a bed of wilted spinach, on top of miso flavored, chilled soba noodles, on top of a salad with a miso or light rice vinegar dressing. The key is high quality tuna. The cracked pepper lends piquancy, the sesame and soba a rich earthy nuttiness, and the dressing(s) a balance of acid, salt, and a slight sweetness. The dish pairs well with a crisp white wine or, my favorite, soju.

Seared Ahi & Soba Noodle Salad - detail

Recipe follows. Keep in mind that this is a modular recipe; you can cook one component or substitute parts. (more…)

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