Wed I got some nice chunks of shin from the supermarket, and stewed it for 5 hours for niu rou mian (taiwanese style beef noodle soup). A couple star anise, some chinese kardamom, szechuan peppers and some other seed herb things really add the right depth and complexity to the broth. I need to get some doubanjiang that is not chilli based – i made do this time with soy sauce and a more bean based chilli sauce (rather than chilli based bean sauce) which was fine but I like the broth to pack a bit more punch. I meant to make man tou as well, but I only got started after lunch and ran out of time. I got distracted also making these pecan bars dipped in chocolate ganache by the Barefoot contessa. Incredibly rich. I think I’d like to make them again omitting the honey as I really am not a fan of the flavour of unset honey, and I’d chop the pecans into smaller bits, and I’d use a lasagne pan instead as the caramel bubbled out of the flat sheet. Oh and i’d make sure the edges of the crust raised up like a pie to contain all the caramel!
I got a little stiff by the end of the night – and woke up on Thursday really stiff – coughing hurt my sides, laughing, moving my arms. I drove up to see Jenny & Oliver, and she made some yummy risotto. We visited the awesome crockery place and I got some more of my soup bowls and a beautiful salad bowl. Came back and got Marja on the way as we had knit night at mine last night.
Remember the pottery painting we did last week? After the kids were done I took 15 minutes to finish my plate with a rooster. I thought the tail would look pretty with the different glazes. Marja had picked it up along with the kids pottery and brought it with her. I am really pleased with it, despite the rooster being somewhat off centre! We’re going to go back and I’m going to make more plates! I wish I’d done white glaze strokes around the rooster for texture and effect, but given that I had no idea how the glazes would work together and so was doing some serious blind off pisting, I’m really happy with how it turned out. Next up a chickie plate.
Knit night was good fun – we got stuck in with the wine, and then ordered in some food from Addie’s Thai, though I made a colossal error in judgment. I thought i’d try something new and different… and ordered their noodles in red soup. Hmmmm. Well they weren’t kidding. It looked like this:
And though I like to think I’m relatively adventurous with food (you can’t not be when brought up with Chinese food… alot of it is strange and weird relative to the aisles of Safeway, but tasty nonetheless). This was.. well, not as bad as it looked, but not much better either. Bleck. Lesson learned, never to try a dish the staff can’t describe to you in terms that don’t include the menu descriptions (“special red soup”).
Everyone was joking about i-tampons and i-maxipads, and I totally was out of the loop. Had to finally ask – and was answered with all heads turned my way and total silence. Then Marja pipes up with ‘I can’t hang out with you – you aren’t cool enough if you don’t know!’ Apparently I’ve been away on the moon for the big news – Apple’s new ipad! lol. Well I am in lala land most of the time, so go figure. I googled it (thank the Interwebz) and it looks like quite the nifty gadget. I really do live in a bubble. Thank goodness for my knit group or I’d lose the thread completely.
And I’m almost finished my Aeolian shawl! I finished the last 3 rows last night with the girls, and have only the bind off to do now. Will post a picture once it’s been blocked. Cheryl it’s a beautiful pattern, though pretty involved (most of it is sort of alone knitting. Talking to other people increases the risk of tinking way too much!).
Will check out those books Daniele, thanks! And Yseult, thanks for delurking! Big kisses, tink 34 stitches, knit forwards and back, ssk 4 times, and bind off. ;P Lol – one day you will be a master at the language!