Tuesday, January 10, 2012

early January miscellany

Last night was the first fancy-ish sort of wing-it dinner I've made this year.  I took two pork chops (excellent meat from Skagit River Ranch that's been in the freezer for a while), and some carrots and baby potatoes that I also had in the fridge (the latter from the farmers' market as well).  I seared the chops on high heat in the Dutch oven with a little canola oil, and then set them aside (this made somewhat of a mess...glad I used the oven for that!).  Next I turned down the heat, added some olive oil, and sauteed a yellow onion and some garlic (also from the farmers' market), adding a bit of white wine that was in the fridge to deglaze a bit.  When the onions/garlic mix was done, I turned off the heat and set aside most of the mix to use on top of the pork chops.  Then it was just a simple layering of the chopped potatoes and carrots, already mixed with olive oil, salt basil, rosemary, sage, and garlic powder, followed by the pork chops on top (seasoned with salt) that were then covered with the onion/garlic mix.  I popped the whole thing in the oven at 350F for 45 minutes, and it came out great - the pork was a bit dry, but not bad, and that could be minimized by adding it in 15 minutes after the potatoes were started.  Plus there was only one pot and two cutting boards to use for cleanup!
On Sunday I finished knitting the first ball of yarn for my first knitting project - a scarf made from some lovely purple merino wool.  The dimensions at this point are 9" wide by 9" long, so that points to a finished length of 36" which is fine with me.  Last night I started knitting with the second ball of yarn, and after a mis-start where I was knitting with the tail and not the new ball (necessitating quickly learning how to un-knit!), it's moving along nicely again.  I loosely knotted the two tails for now, as I'll need to get someone to teach me how to weave in the ends, although it seems odd that will work since I have to pull on the ends pretty hard to get the knit stitches on the ends to tighten up properly.  Presumably whoever I find to teach me this skill will be able to explain it!

Last week Windstone put up a very small limited production run of silver Spectral Dragons, and after looking at my plans for my current bit of stock option money, I bought one.  He arrived yesterday, and he's gorgeous - just look at that reflective eye!  It looks purple in this picture with the camera flash, but it shows green, blue, purple, and other colors depending on the angle and the lighting.  I think he's absolutely gorgeous and I'm thrilled to add him to my collection!

And speaking of dragons, one of my friends put this up on my Facebook wall the other day.  I am highly amused, and totally in agreement with the awesomeist.

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