Chitchat and the occasional in-depth analysis about fiber, knitting, spinning, crochet, cooking, feminism, self-image, and a modicum of personal blathering.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Airing of Grievances

I'm not really a festivus person but the title seemed appropriate as I sit here wrapping christmas presents, listening to my sample of the White Stripes to decide if I actually like them as much as I think I do, and trying my hardest to ignore the SOS signals coming from my leg. I had a fall last weekend and banged up my bad knee pretty badly in the driveway and I have had no time to get to the doctor as well as no time off I could take. So it has to wait. I am off today, though, because that was a planned absence because holiday festivities were to take place here tomorrow morning, but now that isn't going to happen either. Whatever. I'm trying to make the best of it, but damn, it's not easy.

Younger daughter is in from Tennessee. She arrived last night. I have really missed her. I mean, a lot. I wish she'd move back here. I understand why she wants to stay there.

To add annoyance to injury, I broke off a big hunk of one of my molars on Monday, and no, I can't get to the dentist either, until at least the week after next. I'm using that wax they make for braces so the jagged tooth doesn't slice up my tongue any worse than it has to.

I was planning to pile up all the handknits and take a group photo, but I didn't get to do that, and I'm still working on Bob's socks. If I apply myself tonight and tomorrow, I should be able to finish them. Now the rest of it is wrapped. I'll finish this post with a retrospective.

If I can make it through the next two weeks without landing in the hospital for any reason I'll be very happy.

It is my fondest wish that everyone have the best possible holiday and face 2011 with a bright face and hopeful feelings. Love to all.

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Multnomah in Falkland club "Pacific"


Multnomah in Falkland club "Croci"

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Testing, testing. This post is only a test. If this post had contained actual blogging content, you would not have been bored to tears with it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Plugging along


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Originally uploaded by mensabuttercup
Two and a half pair of socks done. One more sock and I'm there. Oh, and I need to finish Bob's. And possibly finish the ones I started for my daughter's roommates in Tennessee. And possibly make something for my step-cousin. But after one more sock, the pressure's off and I can do what I want.

Maybe I'll spin something. :)

Monday, December 06, 2010

PSA-What I am is what I am

And what I am not is Mrs Bob.

Don't get me wrong. I love my husband dearly, and am delighted to have taken his last name, mostly because in the time I've known him, he's done more for me in more ways than the father I never knew who saddled me with a name I know nothing about, a name that belongs to strangers.

But... When I get a piece of mail addressed to Mr and Mrs Bob, I get angry. It's the erasure of my identity as a person in that casual address, as if I am an adjunct to Bob and have no meaning or purpose without him. This is very much not the case. Bob and I love each other very much and are very much a couple, but we are not a single unit.

Women have been expected to disappear into how men define them for most of civilized history. I refuse this. Men are not compelled to discard their first or last names. Nor are they compelled to declare their marital status in their form of address, why should women have to do so? I am Ms Jamie, not Mrs. Bob. I will not be defined by any societal mannerism that diminishes me.

I took Bob's name because it was a way for me to both honor him and shed a name that that came to mean very little to me once my grandmother passed away. My father brought me nothing but pain and emotional damage. He ruined my ability to trust people, ruined my capacity for interacting with men in a healthy manner for most of my life, and ruined any chance of a normal, healthy relationship with his family. In fact, I feel his behavior robbed me of half my family. I was happy to get rid of his name and take the name of a man who loves and respects me, who would never abandon me, who treats me like a valuable part of his life and not like an unfortunate accident who should not exist.

(Plus, Bob's name only has one syllable, and I've always wanted a name with one syllable.)

So, if you're sending me a card this year, do me a favor, and address it to the people who live here, Bob and Jamie Fritz. It signifies that you acknowledge me as a person, and not just an extension of an admittedly wonderful man.

Thanks.

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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Savory Sweet Potatoes with Bacon Crumb Topping

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This is an easy recipe I came up with when trying to do something different with sweet potatoes for thanksgiving.

Quantities of everything are pretty much to your taste. Mine served 12 people, but it was in the context of a thanksgiving feast where the table was groaning from the load of delicious foods.

Ingredients
5 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed. (approx 4-5 pounds)
Reserved sweet potato peels (try to get a good number of long, reasonably straight peel pieces, as you are going to cook these.)
1/2 pound thin sliced good quality bacon
Two medium sized shallots
Heavy cream or half and half
Ginger, ground
Honey
Sea Salt

Scrub the potatoes well before peeling as you are going to use the peels in the crumb topping. Boil cubed sweet potatoes until they are a good consistency to mash.

While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon. Cook it nice and crisp, then place on paper towels to drain. Reserve the bacon fat.
Place a layer of potato skins into the bacon fat and cook until crisp, turning halfway through. Drain on paper towel with bacon. Do this two more times for three pansful of crispy potato skins.
Slice shallots very thin and cook in bacon fat until just crisp, being careful not to burn. Drain on paper towel with bacon and skins.

Place the bacon, the potato skins, and the shallots into a bowl and crumble together with your hands or a pestle. Set aside.

Mash the sweet potatoes using a hand masher, a ricer, or a mixer, to your preferred consistency. Add cream or half and half to taste. Add sea salt, ginger, and honey to taste. Since sweet potatoes vary greatly in sweetness depending on variety and season, you really have to taste them to get them flavored the right way. You want a nice hint of sweet and salt without it being overpoweringly sweet. We're not making candied yams here!

Spread the potatoes in a deep casserole dish or baker. Sprinkle crumbled mixture on top.

You may now reserve the dish for as long as you need to, I made mine the morning of thanksgiving and baked it uncovered for about 20 minutes before mealtime. It was delicious.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

2/3 of the way


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Originally uploaded by mensabuttercup
I'm proud to report that two of the three yarns pictured there have been made into a pair of socks, and the third one is well begun. That leaves one and a half socks for Bob, finishing a couple of scarves, and something for my cousin, probably another scarf. I have three weeks. I feel much better about this now than I did a couple of weeks ago.