Saturday
Apr012017

baked fish and chips (really veg)

We eat a lot of fish and chips.  The Bear likes it a lot.  But he actually likes baked fish and roasted veg.  Sometimes he wants chips and then I roast a few potatoes as well.  The question was asked if I could try making the fish instead of buying packaged fish.  There was a nytimes.com recipe I wished to try for fish and chips.  The Bear said sure!

Except for convenience, I do not believe I will be purchasing breaded fish in the future.  I have made these twice so far and both times were good.  I tweaked the recipe a bit for what was in my kitchen and to our tastes, but no one seemed upset.  The Bear likes white fish best.  He is not too picky whether it is halibut or cod.  I like the salmon but he did not.  

Oh well.

I start the dinner with getting the veg in the oven.  By the time the veg is done, the fish is done.  I do a bit of preplanning though with the bread crumbs.  I do not buy store bought bread crumbs so I need four slices of sourdough bread to go stale or make it stale before I start this process.  And defrosted fish is a plus but not necessary.  I would take the fish out before I start the veg.

baked fish (and chips or veg)

Note:  I tweaked a nytimes.com recipe.  The link is above.

3 filets of white fish, skin removed.  Cut into strips

4 slices of stale, dry sourdough bread, made into bread crumbs

2 teaspoons basil

1 teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon pepper

2 eggs

3 tablespoons mustard

1 cup flour

2 tablespoons olive oil plus a bit more for oiling the oven rack

salt and pepper, optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (This is what I roast veg and potatoes at.  I just add in the fish).

Oil the oven rack you are going to put the fish on.  Put the rack over a sheet pan.

In a skillet, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.  Add the bread crumbs, basil, salt, and pepper.  Stir occasionally until brown.

While the bread crumbs are browning, cut the fish filets into strips.  Salt and pepper if you wish.

In one bow, put a cup of flour.  In another bowl, mix the mustard and eggs together.

Dredge the fish in the flour.

The dredge it in the egg mixture.

Dredge it in the bread crumb mixture.  This was still warm in my kitchen, so be careful!

Put is on the oven rack.  Continue until all the fish are coated.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the fish is tender.

I have a happy Koda Bear.  He will eat that whole plate in the first picture.  I swear he is growing!

I am going to be off adventuring for the next couple of weeks.  The Bear and I have places to go.  I may post on Instagram.  I may not.

Thursday
Mar302017

dressing gown

After updating my nightgown pattern and style, I started to wish for a dressing gown.  Part of it was due to the linen that I chose for the nightgown.  It was not very heavy.  But the style of the nightgown is such that I have a tendency to live in it a bit in the morning.  It is really more of a simple dress pattern.  I am so not surprised.

But due to the lightness of the linen, I just needed something for a bit of warmth.  A sweater could be an option but most sweaters are falling apart and I have not replaced them.  I wanted something that I could wrap around myself and would be as long as the nightgown.  I became obsessed with having a dressing gown.  I took out the nightgown pattern, which is a dress pattern, and a kimono pattern and got to work.

I also had a few interruptions.  Koda Bear is learning to sew on my sewing machine.  I hopefully hide how anxious this makes me.  Both due to his fingers and the age of my machine.  He asks about every time I sit down to sew.  I usually have to finish a seam but then I let him.  I am going to need to set aside fabric for random stitching.

With all the help, I have a dressing gown.  This picture was taken early in my wearing of it.  I find that I do not tie it as tightly any more.  I usually tie it at the side and it looks more like a kimono, flowing vest style.  The weight of the linen is nice because it is heavier.

It is just a garment that pleases me.  I would not mind finding more of the linen for a regular day dress either.  Or a nightgown.  But I think this is more due to the lines of dressing gown and the colour.  It really speaks to me.  I wear it everyday.  It is nice say that about something you make.  But that means I will wear it out which is also frustrating.  

But that is life.

Tuesday
Mar282017

sorting

I have been looking at my workspaces and realized I needed to do some sorting.  It is not very creative but it helps me find what I need to find.  Like squares for quilts.  Or patches for bear's knees.  Or the backing for a quilt.  Or the makings of a market bag.  Or . . .  Just makings.

I filled an old wooden box I had.  My Dad gave it to me.  It was his when I was small.  I do not remember what he used it for but I took markers to it and made it into a dollhouse for my doll Sarah.  I wanted a dollhouse but knew it was not going to happen.  This was my solution.  

I obviously still have the box.  I was making due even when I was small which just makes me smile.  Now, my dollhouse is fabric storage.  Not my only but my ultimate goal is to fit all my fabric into four plastic bins and this box.  I know that is a huge undertaking but that is the goal.  I wonder how many quilts and market bags will be made between now and then.  Let alone shirts, vests, dresses, and nightgowns.  It will be interesting.

Saturday
Mar252017

quiet spot

My garden is growing.  I have been spending a bit of time out in it each day.  There are weeds starting to come back so I go out and work with my garden knife.  It may not be that long each day but I seem to get a couple handful of weeds out each time.  

I have also needed to do some thinning.  The pumpkins are trying to take over the world again.  Some of the broccoli seeds came up much too close together.  I know I will need to thin more as things grow but it is hard when the plants are so small.  But I did notice that they were bigger in the evening then when I weeded in the morning.  That is what happens when a bit of water and warmth are added.

This bunch of mint came out of my mint bed.  I walked it up to a local restaurant.  We went out for drinks last night and talked a lot with the bar manager.  I think I found someone of like mind.  There may be much more infusion happening in my future.  Infusion that is alcohol based.  For now, I will take him mint occasionally.  Even though this did not even seem to touch my mint bed.  The clipping will help it keep from getting leggy and it will grow more.  Just what I need, more mint!

Thursday
Mar232017

started bitters

I received the Issue 21 of Taproot.  My thoughts about this magazine are always a bit divided.  There are just enough good ideas for me to keep subscribing.  Part of my divided thoughts are that there is a counter culture type vibe going on with it and I just feel they try a bit hard.  Maybe because I have already lived through it before.  But I guess it says something when I pull out my flour mill to make fresh flour for soy sauce.  Been there, done that.  Just relax.

This issue had an article on making your own bitters which I have been thinking about doing.  To add another steeping jar of bits on the counter.  Why not?  I saved the peels from the mandarin oranges Koda Bear eats by the dozen.  I went through my spice shelf and pulled a few things.  I added a bit of honey.

Brandy, mandarin orange, mandarin orange peel, four vanilla beans, a knob of peeled ginger, six cardamon pods, ten whole cloves, six whole allspice, and a tablespoon of honey or so into a jar.  I shake it occassionally but it is supposed to sit until next month.  Then we will see.  To add to drinks.  To settle tummies.  To help with digestion.  I like the idea of making my own.

I will just have to see how it all turns out in about a month.