April 12, 2004

The Proof is in the...er, Cake!

Despite my one-day respite from blogging, all this morning I suffered from severe “blog block” and it was truly a crapshoot whether I would get anything posted. If you’re not a blogger, then you should know that blog block comes with its own set of symptoms, something akin to having mental heartburn. You want to write, you need to write, you want to reach out to your Dear Readers that you miss even after just one day of not posting—but there’s nothing there. (Okay, maybe it's more like mental constipation.) Fortunately, long about 10:30am, The Most Timely Email Ever arrived from Big Sister...

Remember how on Wednesday I talked about my sister’s attempt to make a cabbage cake? I was un peu worried that she would not take kindly to my publicizing her less-than-successful cooking exploits but I should have had more faith in my sister. Rather than be upset, she sent me The Photo!

Here, by way of comparison and also from my sister, a photo of what the cabbage cake is supposed to look like:


And here, her stove and her, ahem, "variation" on the cake:


Chocaholics, be honest. Right now you’re saying to yourself “Ok, it’s not pretty, but if I had a fork…”

Thank you, sister, for the bigbig laugh this gave me this morning.

Knitting Knews
Over the weekend I finished the Dublin Bay Sock (which, this morning, a co-worker dubbed the "Easter Egg Sock," which is such a mo' bettah name than "Dublin Bay" that now I’m thoroughly annoyed. Why didn’t I think of that?!) At any rate, here is a picture of the finished sock. I’ll update the pattern to include this picture, instead of the half-assed one that's there now, and also update the sock length information in keeping with the erratum I posted on Wednesday.


The felted clogs are almost finished, so much so that we may be able to felt them this weekend. TMK has put in a request for a pair of her own...but I’m hesitant. If you could see how she tortures her footwear… She wears her current pair of lambskin moccasin slippers in the house, in the wet grass and mud when she accompanies Frankie outside for her nightly constitutional, into the flowerbeds for impromptu bits of weeding, in her sawdusty workshop, across the street to get the mail, in her garage… TMK is by not by any means lazy or a slob, quite the opposite, in fact. It's just that she works at home and sees no reason why she should spend a goodly portion of her life changing from slippers to sneakers to garden clogs to Birkenstocks and back to slippers when the pair she puts on when when she gets out of bed in the morning is perfectly serviceable, thank you very much. If I do make her a pair of felted clogs, methinks she will have to agree to have a set of leather soles sewn on.

Woodworking World
I am so excited to post this picture of TMK’s finished beadboard wall cabinet! I think it's gorgeous and, to top it all off—and perhaps more importantly—TMK still has all ten fingers!


Still on the subject of TMK, please join me in wishing her a Happy Birthday (officially tomorrow)!

We try to plan An Event for each birthday (like the trip to Churchmouse for me). TMK's Event will be a (slightly belated) trip on Saturday to Flower World, a vast nursery about 45 minutes outside of Seattle. How vast? You need a map to get around. Really. They supply them.

Chocolate lovers, by way of penitence for tantalizing you with pictures of luscious chocolate things that you cannot have, a little something extra for you. For her birthday, in lieu of a a traditional cake, TMK has requested pots de crčme. Easy to make, so rich, so yummy. Just think, if you went to the grocery store now, in 4.5 hours you could be plunging your spoon into your own ramekin full of chocolatey heaven.

Posted by Ryan at April 12, 2004 12:48 PM

Mmmmmmm.... chocolate... where's my fork?

Posted by: Nathania on April 12, 2004 01:15 PM

You're a woman after my own heart, Nathania!

P.S. Saw the pictures of you and all the other attendees at Rachael's SnB. Very nice! Looks like you guys had a great time!

Posted by: Ryan on April 12, 2004 01:18 PM

Happy tomorrow birthday, TMK!

Ryan, you sister's version of cabbage cake looks much more edible and yummy. One doesn't really want to destroy the delicate chocolate leaves, no?

Posted by: Vaire on April 12, 2004 01:51 PM

Knowing your seester, I had a major chuckle myself.

Tho I remain in awe of her performance in a favorite Chinatown restaurant we called the Pink Palace where she ordered for everyone in flawless Mandarin.

Send her email to me, OK?

Posted by: Cuzzin Tom on April 12, 2004 01:52 PM

Who needs FORK when there is CHOCOLATE...the perfect finger food! Thanks for the giggle.
enjoy, enjoy!
Oh, and Birkenstocks makes washable garden clogs...making my footwear decisions in this season of glorious gardening..a piece of...um...cake.
I'd wear them to church if I thought I could get away with it....

Posted by: greta on April 12, 2004 02:00 PM

Yep, Cuzzin, it's hard to compete with a sister who can do that. But then again, during one of the two six-month periods she lived in Taiwan which allowed her to reach that level of fluency, she lived across the street from a pig slaughterhouse and could hear Everything. You have to ask, was it really worth it? (Sister's email is on its way to you, BTW.)

Funny, Vaire, I had the same reaction. My sister's "cabbage" looks gooey and chocolatey and yummy; the "real thing" looks pretentious and dry.

Posted by: Ryan on April 12, 2004 02:00 PM

Greta, your mention of "finger foods," reminded me of how, when we were younger, my mother occasionally used to have "finger food" meals where, no matter what she served, we were allowed to eat it with our fingers!

Posted by: Ryan on April 12, 2004 02:08 PM

Erm...chocolate cabbage leaves? I don't have anything against cabbage - love it in fact, but I don't want ghosts of it hanging around my chocolate. Chocolate should look like chocolate.

I'll take your sister's version...

The sock looks beautiful and stop poking yourself about the name. You want an Easter Egg sock? Dream up a new one to suit the nomenclature :)

The wall cabinet is indeed gorgeous - nice work TMK - very glad to hear all the digits remain attached. And a very happy birthday!

Posted by: Robbyn on April 12, 2004 02:09 PM

Robbyn, with regard to the sock name, it also occurred to me that "Easter Egg Sock" would only be appropriate for socks knit in the "Easter-y" colorway I used so, in the long run, "Dublin Bay," which is more generic and will work with more colorways, will work out just fine. You're right! Thank you for wagging your finger at me! :-)

Hmmmm. It never occurred to me that the chocolate might actually TASTE cabbage-y. Euuuwww.

Posted by: Ryan on April 12, 2004 02:14 PM

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of my chocolate looking like cabbage. So the mound 'o' heaven your sister made looks much better. But a fork? C'mon guys! I woulda just started licking it.

I'm like TMK with the slippers but found that a pair of Lands End All Weather Clogs by the front door make it easy to slip in and out of when I go outside. When the weather gets hot, I switch to the backless tennis shoes.

Are you making the Fibertrends clog pattern? I'm stuck right now trying to get on the second sole...

Posted by: Laurie on April 12, 2004 02:30 PM

Laurie, I also just bought a pair of backless sneakers for myself for slipping on to go outside and I'm really enjoying them. I especially like the fact that they can be adjusted for thicker or thinner (or no) socks.

Yes, I am doing the felted clogs from FiberTrends. What is the problem you're having? Inquiring minds want to know!

Posted by: Ryan on April 12, 2004 02:44 PM

Happy Birthday TMK! Your cabinet is incredibly beautiful, you are a master woodworker already.
As for the footwear issue, I recently upgraded to LLBean driving moc slides(sort of like a backless mocassin). This is funny because I don't drive(long boring story).
Ryan, I love your mo' better ,Easter, Dublin sock! Also, your sister's cake looks ....interesting. Is that a cabbage in the background? Did she put cabbage in the cake?

Posted by: Debra on April 12, 2004 03:44 PM

Actually, Debra, she didn't put cabbage IN the cake, although she used cabbage to MAKE the cake. The theory was she that she was supposed to be able to "paint" the cabbage leaves with chocolate, peel away the cabbage leaves, and be left with chocolate "cabbage leaf" facsimilies that she could assemble into a cake that LOOKED like a cabbage. All I can say is I'm glad it was her and not me.

Posted by: Ryan on April 12, 2004 03:52 PM

TMK, happy birthday! I'm so glad to know that there is another person in the world who does that to her slippers. Time is precious, who wants to waste it slipping into something else just to go outside with the Sherlock? Ryan, can't wait to see the completed clogs!

Posted by: Sheila on April 12, 2004 05:09 PM

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, everyone! ;-)

I'm sure you'll see a picture of all the Flower World booty next week.

Posted by: The Mysterious K on April 12, 2004 05:11 PM

TMK is so lucky to be going to Flower World! I love it there! I once went to purchase a few plants for my apartment and filled my car to the brim. I had a virtual jungle in my home!

Posted by: Rebecca on April 12, 2004 05:13 PM

happy bday mysterious k! btw do you get the micromark catalog? the cupboard blows me away :-)
call me martha, but i like the looks of the cabbage cake ;-)

Posted by: vanessa on April 13, 2004 03:24 AM

Oh, Happy Birthday to the lovely K!

Great woodworking, too. I'm impressed.

So -- NONE of the cabbage leaves came out right for your sister, Ryan? Is this cause she's keeping it on the stove?

Just asking...

Posted by: Anne on April 13, 2004 04:19 AM

Happy birthday K! Have a great trip to Flower World! The beadboard cabinet looks beautiful.

Posted by: Fran on April 13, 2004 08:40 AM

Ooo. Flowerworld. And pots de creme. Happy Birthday TMK! :D (I'm also drooling over your wonderful woodworking skills. Fabulous!)

Ryan, the socks look gorgeous, and if you keep talking about those clogs, I'm going to have to go and get the pattern. Darnit. (not)

Posted by: perclexed on April 13, 2004 09:26 AM

Shadowy Green Thumb Visits Nursery

Investigaters continue to plow through the clues, digging deep to find the truth behind the odd occurence at a local plant nursery.
"It was mysterious," offered one shopper, "I didn't really see anyone, but then, well, all the plants were just gone."

Happy Birthday, TMK!

Posted by: Kit on April 13, 2004 10:08 AM

Happy Birthday TMK and many happy pots-de-creme of the day.

Posted by: CarolineF on April 13, 2004 10:27 AM

Imagine my surprise last night when Ryan returned home from Feral Knitters with a mysterious bag which appeared to be quite heavy. With some small ceremony she plopped it in my lap and said "happy birthday from Janine." It turned out to be a set of beee-yoo-ti-ful "Taunton's Kitchen Garden" magazines which cover my 3 main passions (besides Ryan, of course): cooking, gardening, and woodworking projects for the garden. The living room began to spin as I was sucked into a vortex of everything plant. Ryan ceased to exist. Frankie ceased to exist. My coffee got cold. I eventually became aware that someone was trying to get my attention. Oh. Yeah. Hi, Ryan!

Janine, thank you for the gift of magazines. I found so many answers to questions last night in just the hour I spent skimming through every single magazine. And, as a first, I got to open a birthday present BEFORE my birthday!

Posted by: The Mysterious K on April 13, 2004 10:28 AM

You are o-so-welcome, TMK. Happy birthday! We are so happy that the magazines found good home. Yes,those seductive photos of weedless, slugless gardens, the pristine drawings of plans in which feckless nature is held at bay, the charming plates a-swim with seasonal bounty that would seem to require no dirtying of dishes--I love this magazine, too!

Posted by: Janine on April 13, 2004 12:34 PM

Thank you, everyone, for such great and plentiful comments!

Kit, very, very funny. TMK and I both laughed out loud.

Janine, well, if you're going to let REALITY intrude into the fantasy world of perfectly groomed gardens that TMK went to....

Perclexed, do go get the pattern for the clogs. It's weird but fun. You just have to trust that if you do what the pattern says, it will all work out. And I'd be glad to share what limited knowledge I have.

Fran, Rebecca, fer sher we'll tell you all about how the trip to Flower World goes! We're taking The Truck. We plan to buy...gulp...trees!

Pots de creme made (although apparently it's not really pots de creme unless I serve it in a Little Pot With A Lid and all I have are ramekins). Presents wrapped and delivered (yes, early, just to annoy her). Plans for dinner at Outback. All is good with life!

Posted by: Ryan on April 13, 2004 03:21 PM

I haven't looked at your site in ages, had a minute, and caught the Cata Cabbage Cake Chronicle - laughed until I cried! You go girls!

Posted by: Cuzzin Sal on April 19, 2004 05:00 PM
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