A Toronto vegan blabs on about crafting, food, and her life in general.

Friday, October 27, 2006

"No, she's not retarded"*

Remember in Sixteen Candles when Long Duk Dong is missing and Grandpa Howard is on the phone with the police:
"What was he wearing? Well, uh, let's see, he was wearing a red argyle sweater, and tan trousers, and red shoes... No, he's not retarded."

This afternoon, while leaving the washroom, I caught a glimpse of myself in the full size mirror, and realised how I'd left the apartment this morning. I immediately went to the boy's desk and gently requested that next time I accidentally leave in the morning dressed in red pants and a red jacket with a purple bag and cheetah print gloves, to please let me know that I look ridiculous. Thank you.

Not only that, but it started to rain and my pants, a teensy bit too long, were going to drag on the wet ground. My only option was to staple - yes, staple - the cuffs up.

Where, oh where were Stacey and Clinton?!

On a happier note - MY CAMERA IS FIXED! Wheeeee!!! Good thing, too, or else how could I adequately capture my wonderfully put together outfit today?

* disclaimer: please read my post in the comments

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sweet potato goodness

As someone who has never been a huge fan of sweet potatoes - or most orange vegetables - I am so happy that I've found a way to enjoy them. After learning from Carla that sweet potatoes and kale are high in calcium, I decided to try making a meal with them tonight, on the fly. And with such success!

Sweet Potato Kale Soup

either 6 cups of broth or 6 cups of water plus 2 broth cubes
1 very large, or 2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped into 1 inch pieces, with skins
4 sundried tomato halves (not the packed in oil kind)
1 cup of chickpeas
3 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
a couple of pinches of dried curry leaves
a huge, overflowing handful of fresh kale
1/3 cup of frozen edamame
1/3 cup of fresh cilantro

In a large soup pot, bring broth and sweet potatoes to a boil. With kitchen scissors snip dried tomatoes into small pieces and put them into the pot. Add chickpeas, garlic, cumin, coriander and curry leaves and reduce heat. Cook until sweet potatoes are soft. You can mash slightly with a spatula or potato masher to break up the chunks, or even use a blender if you like a smoother texture. With scissors, snip the kale leaves into the pot and add edamame. Heat until edamame is warmed through then add cilantro and serve once the herb is wilted. Garnish with sesame seeds and fresh ground pepper.

Made 1 large soup bowl, plus 2 large Ziploc soup bowls to take for lunch.

possible additions:
cubed potato, corn kernels, carrot, parsley

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Vincent's favourite author is Edgar Allen Poe

He has come a month early.
Welcome to the world, Vincent!
And congratulations to Tara and Jean-Paul!

update: how fitting is it that Vincent, named partly after Vincent Malloy, came home from the hospital on Hallowe'en?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Knitting content

(I promise my Portland Post is coming soon!)

My first sock

During my visit to Portland, Michelle helped me start a sock. She took me to her LYS where we browsed a basket full of Cascade Fixation sock yarn. I really wanted to stick with the blue-grey colour for the full length, but there was only one ball in that colour. So I decided I'd be very happy to have a mostly green sock, with blue-grey at the top. Since I don't own teeny sock needles, Michelle let me borrow her's while I was there and when I got home, I made my own set!

I bought:
1 pack of bamboo skewers
1 sheet of fine sand paper

I cut 4 of the skewers to length, and used a sharp knife to whittle (hee!) the cut end into a dull pont. Then, I rubbed the ends smooth with the sand paper. Once all slivers were polished down, I alternated between rubbing an old candle along the wood and rubbing the wood with a piece of paper until the needle was nice and smooth. Of course, I have to repeat the last step every so often when the tips start to splinter again, but I'm pretty happy with my new needles!

Now, I just hope I don't get what Michelle told me is called Second Sock Syndrome.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Vegan Pal!

For my first blogoswap, I'll be participating in the Vegan Pal Swap lead by Sarah and Desirée.

My answers!

1.) What is your craft, & how long have you been doing it?
  • Beading - I make beaded jewellery like necklaces, earrings and pendants
    almost 3 years
  • Knitting
    just over 1 year
  • Sewing
    off and on for many years, though I'm not very good

2.) Are you a vegan, vegetarian, veg-curious, veg-friendly or other?


3.) What is your favorite color(s)? Do you particularly dislike a color(s)?

I like earthy colours - reds, olive greens, dark oranges, browns - and black

I am not fond of light or pastel colours, though I do like muted pinks

4.) Do you have any allergies (such as pets, foods or cigarette smoke)?

I've been blessed with no allergies, except hayfever.

5.) Do you have any companion animals? If so, names and types?

I have 2 cats who shed. A lot.

6.) Do you collect anything?

vegan cookbooks, craft books, mini living dead dolls, Tim Burton items

7.) Do you have a favorite vegan food, snack or dish? If no fav that's vegan (for those who aren't vegan), what's your favorite food? (Hopefully your pal can find a vegan version!)

I like limited amounts of sweets, preferring more salty/savoury foods.
Coffee is one of my vices and I am addicted to chickpeas.
For chocolate, the darker and more bitter, the better.
Peanut butter is also high on my "likes" list.

8.) What tools/supplies/accessories for your craft(s) are you wishing you had but don't? Also, what do you have TOO many of? (basically a wish and anti-wish list)

  • circular needles (I have only 1 set of 4.5 mm - 16 inch circulars)
  • pretty bamboo needles
  • stitch holders
  • crimping pliers for beading
  • pretty glass or crystal beads
  • Bali-style findings
  • pretty yarn
  • ribbon, any size

  • seed beads
  • stitch markers
  • stiff cotton yarn
  • base metal findings (eye pins, head pins, rings, etc)

9.) What type of handmade item would tickle your fancy? What don't you like? (Keep in mind this swap is open to all types of crafters.)

I would be really happy with with just about anything! But since I should probably be specific:
cell phone pouch (knit or sewn), earrings or necklace (based on my favourite colours), wrist warmers, wrist cuff, ear warmer, ankle socks, paper cards, paper book, photo album,

10.) Is there anything else you would like your pal to know about you?

I'm sure there's stuff that I could say, but I'm not sure what at the moment. Umm... I *think* I have a pretty good sense of humour and I'm dangerously close to being a cat lady. How's that? :)

For reference, the Vegan Pal Swap details are:
Basic rule: Everything must be vegan and we mean EVERYTHING. For the purposes of this swap, vegan is defined as "no animal products". This includes recycled yarn. To expand, no wool, alpaca, mohair, cashmere, angora, silk, leather, suede, fur, ivory, bone (I hear there are bone needles out there). Did I forget any animal fibers? Let me know!
Also, no meat, dairy, eggs, honey, beeswax, lanolin, gelatin (important when shopping for candies), casein, whey, albumen, urea, tallow, lard, confectioner's glaze, carmine or cochineal.

You'll be sending your partner (at least):

1 handmade item

1 tool/supply for her/his craft

1 item to eat


1 card/letter/postcard (not blank; with content from you)

The point is to learn about or share veganism and make new friends! The price range is $25-30, not including shipping, and this swap is open to all (international or not) who will follow the basic rule: everything sent must be vegan!