Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What does one do on a day when the top temperature is destined to be 35C? You make phone calls, read, and, apparently, blog. There is no "news" as such unless you count hanging one panel (out of four) of new lace drapes in the dining room. The old ones were in the house when we moved in 16 years ago and the sun has begun to take its toll. I wanted lace curtains that weren't violently floral but the combination of that desire and the fact that I need a long drop (floor to ceiling) narrowed my choice. The ones I got are one step away from sheers, but with the block-out drapes behind them, they will do. However, getting up on a stool and balancing to hang them almost crippled me with both knees and ankles complaining to the extent that I could barely walk yesterday. I'll wait a few days before doing another panel.

For those of you who like to dye, or choose colours for weaving, or just the have fun, I direct you to Adobe's free site Kuler. You can create a panel of 5 colours from a colour wheel, from letting the computer select colours to go with one you choose, or upload a picture and choose colors from that. I think it's really nifty especially to someone as colour-challenged as I am. I may like a colour but choosing others that go well with it is beyond me. One thing I found very interesting is that the "favorite" colour panels all seem to be muted tones. Even when one searches "bright", the panels retrieved (by tags assigned by the creator) all are greyed and pale. Is this a trend among designers? Are people no longer interested in saturated colours? I am, although I do prefer my surroundings to be on the soothing side. These colour panels can be downloaded to Adobe software but I find them helpful, just to see what would be complementary colours, or whatever.

Book report: I have been reading mysteries which are the equivalent of bonbons (and I don't even know what they are) and I won't review them. Michael Connelly is at the crease at the moment. A book I picked out for BBBB turned out not to be boring (let alone big) was
Heat by Bill Buford. I've always wondered what went on in the kitchen of fancy restaurants and I don't want to know from Gordon Ramsay. Since Bill is an established writer but starts out as "kitchen slave" mincing vegetables and watching what goes on, you learn from the bottom up. I almost wish it weren't an Italian restaurant he was apprenticed in, because I love Italian food and some of the menu items made me swoon. I have never had any desire to eat polenta before but now I'd like to try it. Not needing restaurant sized proportions I went looking for a recipe. Not in Marcella Hazan? Not in the New York Times Cookbook? Joy of Cooking says it's the same as corn meal mush? I know they sell here 2 grades of cornmeal, one labelled polenta. I finally found what I needed in a book I was sucked into by a podcast, namely Lynne Rossetto Kasper (The Splendid Table) and The Italian Country Table. I may have to seek out the best cornmeal, because I import cornmeal for cornbread, etc. which is a finer grind. And, needless to say, I am not making it when the temperature is 35 and I can't stand up for long. Her recipes for Polenta with cheese and balsamic vinegar sounds heavenly. Just what I need, another high carb "staple" to add to the brown rice, yellow rice, couscous, potatoes, pasta, bulgur. cornbread... I think it might be easy to give up meat which those to choose from.

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