Monday, June 25, 2012

an easy summer salad

Annie came over yesterday to have some tea and work on our scarf knitalong, so I fixed us one of our favorite salads. I would usually wait till further into summer, as it's really dependent on good tomatoes, but Whole Foods had had some ripe looking tomatoes on sale and I thought I'd risk it. They turned out to not be quite up to snuff, but they were okay. I should have known: there never are really good tomatoes in Seattle till at least August. Anyway, for the benefit of my followers to the south, here's the recipe:

Tomato Tofu Salad
the amounts given are approximations; use however much you feel like using
tomatoes, two medium, halved vertically then thinly sliced
tofu, 6oz, cut into ~1cm cubes
2 or 3 green onions, thinly sliced
2t each soy sauce and sesame oil

Arrange the tomato slices on a platter, then scatter the tofu cubes over them.  Grind pepper of it all, then whisk the soy sauce and sesame oil together and carefully drizzle so the at least a little gets on each piece. Artfully strew the green onions, then serve.

Below is pictured the scarf Annie and I were knitting. I finished mine last night, and she just started hers yesterday,  but we did work on them together for an hour or so.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


I have long admired amigurumi, but thought they looked too finicky to be fun to make. They're so little, and have so many pieces to sew together, and you wind up with all those yarn ends to deal with! My friend Shannon--a capable maker of afghans but inexperienced at crocheting small things in the round--asked me to help her interpret the directions in her amigurumi book, and when I looked them over I quickly realized that they would be more fun to make than I had thought. There can be a lot of little pieces to sew together, but you use the ends for the sewing and then just bury them in the body; no need to laboriously sew them invisibly into the wrong side of your work.

I decided to make something small and limbless for my first project, as I thought arms and legs might be a little tricky to arrange naturally, and I was eager to get it completed. I settled on this tiny, tiny owl I found on Ravelry, and it was really fun and quick to make. I crocheted all of its pieces in about half an hour before I went to bed last night, and when I got up I found some beads for its eyes and sewed it all up in another half hour. The many yarn ends became the stuffing! I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and plan to make a sheep or a squirrel very soon. This will be an excellent way to use up little yarn scraps!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

raw foodist's strawberry pudding

One of my favorite late spring/early summer puddings is strawberry tapioca.  It's better than many strawberry dishes because the strawberries are never cooked; that cooking destroys strawberries' flavor is a Ross family truism. My new dietary regimen precludes tapioca, though, so I had to modify my recipe to make it for my work lunches this week. It turned out pretty well, but be warned: the success of this recipe rests almost entirely on the quality of the strawberries you use.

Strawberry Chia Pudding
serves two or three

1 lb strawberries, cored and thinly sliced
1/3C sugar (raw if that's what you like)
2T lemon juice
1/4C chia seeds

Toss the sliced strawberries with the lemon juice and sugar, and let rest for about an hour. Strain the juice into a big measuring cup and add enough water to make a total of 3/4C water plus juice. Whisk the chia seeds into the juice, and stir every few minutes for a while so they don't form a huge clump. When they've thickened up quite a bit, stir them into the strawberries, cover, and put in the refrigerator for about an hour.