Friday, April 27, 2007

Notorious Pasta Salad

It was 90 degrees today, which isn't so bad. I'm just worried about what's coming around the corner. My daughter had a swim meet today and we had a barbeque afterwards with all of the "swim" families. It was just a nice, casual evening. I enjoyed it all the more because our school's superintendent had a "party" at his house which I definitely did not want to go to, and the barbeque gave me the perfect out.

In my last entry, I mentioned how food can be so evocative. I brought a pasta salad to the barbeque that is very evocative to Russ and me. I brought what we call Bud and Bev Pasta Salad. I've had this recipe for over fifteen years and got it guessed it...Bud and Bev. They were my cousin's in-laws, and they served this pasta at a barbeque at their beautiful house out in the country. We had a great time swimming and socializing with my favorite cousins. Russ and I thought Bud and Bev seemed really nice, and so did all of my extended family...for a while. Unfortunately, their son ended up being a jerk... er...a psychopath.. or maybe a sociopath. Anyway, to make a long story short, He really was a terrible person, and my poor cousin went through hell for several years because of him. He really was a head-case. Now Bud and Bev seemed to think that their son, who had nearly died from head injuries received in a drunk driving accident when he was in high school, could do no wrong. I'm all for parental devotion, but there weren't two sides to this story. My cousin worked all day as a teacher, took care of their two young children, and tried to be supportive of him as he tried to go to school (seizures and other results of the earlier injuries hindered this); while he had a trail of women "visiting" their house while she was gone all day, among other things. I don't like Bud and Bev anymore, even though I didn't really know them to begin with. My cousin is happily married to a nice guy and her ex and Bud and Bev don't even live in the state, BUT we still call this pasta salad "Bud and Bev Pasta." Kind of a silly story to tell. I just think it's kind of funny. I gave the recipe to a friend tonight and told her the story. She says she's going to call it "Bud and Bev Pasta" too.

Bud and Bev Pasta

Toss together while pasta is warm:
1 pkg. cooked corkscrew pasta
1/4 cup Italian dressing (I use Berenstein's Cheesey Fantastico)
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp dill weed
1/4 garlic powder
dash of oregano and pepper

Toss with pasta just before serving:
1 cup Feta cheese
4 tomatoes
1 green bell pepper (I often add red bell pepper too)
4 radishes
2 green onions

I don't have a picture of my finished salad, but here's what my bowl looked like at the end of the evening.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Enough Narcissism

OK, that was awfully fun getting the sweet comments about my past "cute-itude," but I suppose I should move on to the present. I stayed home from work yesterday, ostensibly to work on my thesis. I still had to go down to school to write out my lesson plans, but I was home by 8:00. I thought, "Mmmmm, I think I'll clean the living room and kitchen until 9:00 and then I'll settle down to work." Then I thought that I should go out and do a little watering...fill the bird MSNBC speculate on whether Rosie was fired or had quit....check to see if that nurse who has been on trial on Court TV since Easter Break for killing her husband was still sitting there looking guilty... You get the picture. I just never could get myself together enough to get to writing. Finally, I decided to finish my second lacey sock that I had never really intended to finish because I don't even like the yarn, except for the color. That's just how desperate I was. I finished that around 2:00 when I had to go pick Kai up from school, so there went my day off.

I did actually get to writing later in the afternoon though, and I'm proud to say that I now have 42 pretty well edited pages discussing the multiple uses of food in literature completed. At first, I was thinking that food was mostly in books to show ethnic traditions and to solidify one's ethnic identity. But there are tons of other reasons for it. One of the functions of food in literature is to evoke memories of the past. It's gotten me started on thinking about foods that evoke memories for me. Off the top of my head, snickerdoobles and canned chicken noodle soup make me think of being at my grandma's house. I have a pasta salad recipe from my mom that she used to make for different occasions when I was in high school, and I always think about swim meet barbeques and stuff like that when I prepare it; and spaghetti with garlic bread makes me remember having big get-togethers at my parents' house with my dad presiding over the stove. I think that it would be fun to hear about what memories other people have about food, even to collect some of those recipes and include little stories to go along with them, BUT first I must finish my paper...must matter how sick of it I am....must...

Sunday, April 22, 2007


I was looking at my iPhoto Library and noticed that the pictures from a CD my dad had given me last year were missing, so I decided to download them again. In my eternal desire to procrastinate on working on my Master's Thesis, (I spent most of yesterday on it.) I started browsing through them and realized something that I'd never noticed before. I had quite a few handknit sweaters when I was little. I know who made them--my aunt Marion. She was more of an artist than a knitter, but she really got me started with knitting and took me to my first yarn shop when I was in college. I've never considered myself to be that attractive, not ugly or even plain, just not that great. BUT I have to say, I was pretty darn cute when I was little, and I think I look so cozy in those little sweater. I know that I have the pattern for the little cream and red stocking cap. I might even have the sweater pattern too, I'll bet, since I have most of my aunt's pattern books. They're from the forties and fifties, and I wish that I'd taken better care of them. Oh well!

I have a friend at work who is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. They are having a "hat exchange" for her next week which I think is nice although I don't get the "exchange" part of it. I just want to give her a hat. I had some cashmere that I bought from Elan last year. It was really inexpensive, so I just bought it with no consideration for what I would turn it into. I think it makes a really pretty cap. I used the pattern from Headhuggers It was easy although I had to restart it at least three times because I didn't count right when knitting the lacey part. I'm nothing if not tenacious!

Monday, April 16, 2007

One More Bunny

I don't have bunnies out of my system yet. My daugher asked me why I was knitting toys when I didn't have any KIDS! What?? I have not found my family members to be suitably impressed with my bunnies, and I seem to need more praise than they think that I should. Luckily I have my "blogging" friends to pat me on the back. Thanks everyone!

I have been reading Friday Night Knitting Club for the last week. It's kind of good, not a lot of depth to it; but it's keeping me interested. I've read several other "knitting" novels, and they're usually pretty simplistic. Sometimes that's just what I need though.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

I don't know exactly what I did with this week. We spent several days in Cambria and stayed at the San Simeon Pines Resort, which is basically a nice hotel with a swimming pool, shuffle board, and mini-golf course. We had a really nice time. It's right on the beach. Russ, Paige, and I ran along the boardwalk for a couple of miles one morning, and then Russ and the kids "played" golf. I didn't get in much knitting, but I did work my way out of the "knitting doldrums." I actaully got half-way through my second "lacey" sock which I will probably never wear but that looks so nice on my sockblockers.

As I've said before, I'm kind of obsessed with the little rabbits that Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits knits. I finally found a bunny pattern that reminds me of Julie's little rabbits. I bought it from Fuzzy Mitten's Etsy Shop. It's so cute and easy to knit, but still looks like some talent was involved in putting it together. I ordered it late one night, and she had emailed me the pattern by the next morning! I finished him in the car today on the way to Fresno to spend Easter with family, and I made Paige model him while she was reading her book, then I had to take some more pictures of him because he is just so totally cute.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Procrastinator Extraordinaire!

I sat down an hour ago to work on my paper, but I started wandering a tiny bit through some blogs that I hadn't visited for a while. I found this meme and couldn't resist it. You bold the books you've read and italicize the ones you plan to read someday. I always like this kind of thing, especially when I don't feel like doing something like working.

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24.The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible (about half of it)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
.50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54.Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller's Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marqez)73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James

Monday, April 02, 2007

Same Cat, Different Box

It's been over two weeks since I posted last, and I don' have much to say about knitting. As seems to happen to me..and many others, I'm sure, I got sick in the middle of a very stressful couple of weeks. It was the end of the quarter at school; I was applying for a job at the college; I had a bunch of "skin of my teeth" deadlines to make for my Master's thesis if I wanted to have everything complete by August and the beginning of the college job....if I get it...or take it; and oh let's see,... my daughter let me know that she has not overcome the eating disorder that she had in 7th just as her usually not that perceptive father had been telling me he has suspected recently...She and I have discussed the pros and cons of her "perfectionism" a lot, (of course, I'm proud of the straight "A"s, athletic accomplishments, etc, but....) I'm not sure how helpful her doctor will be, but I'm taking her in to talk to her a least. She came by the binging part honestly since I've done that for most of my life, but I've simply settled for being twenty pounds overweight even though I run four miles a day. Yep, I think that's about it. I think I'll go crazy if her "easy" brother develops any problems. He asked me today what "Happy-go-Lucky" means, and I said, "It's you!"

Now, back to knitting. I had such a bad cold a week and a half ago that I didn't even feel like knitting. I only took one day off work, but I WAS sick. I laid on the couch most of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday last week, just sleeping, blowing my nose, wiping my eyes...sleeping... AND watching four hours straight of Deadliest Catch. I thought at first that I only watched it because I was too sick to find the remote, but I watched it last night again, and I really like it. I can't really explain why. I don't think it's because I want to be on a crab boat. Maybe it's in the same category as me liking moutain climbing books even though I hate heights and would never mountain climb.

So, now let me really discuss knitting. I knit a sock last month and started its mate. Half-way through, I discovered that I was using a different color pink! I have way too much pink, obviously. Now, I've lost the drive to finish, even though the shades are obviously very close. I've started this and that since then, but am pretty much uninspired. I almost went to the
LYStoday, But how can I justify that when my house in full of this?