Meat & Potatoes #11

This week's music selection was a little more well-loved often-played desert-island type music...

  1. TV on the Radio--Heroes
  2. Iron & Wine--Resurrection Fern
  3. Sufjan Stevens--Vitto's Ordination Song
  4. Joanna Newsom--Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie
  5. DeVotchKa--Til the End of Time
  6. Angus & Julia Stone--Paper Aeroplane
  7. Jenn Grant--Dreamer
  8. Feist--Mushaboom
  9. Bright Eyes--Another Travelin' Song
  10. Dave Matthews Band--Two Step
  11. Belle and Sebastian--The Blues are Still Blue
  12. Hefner--I Love Only You
  13. Melissa McClelland--A Girl Can Dream
  14. Jeff Buckley--Hallelujah
  15. Maria McKee--If Love Is A Red Dress (Hang Me In Rags)
  16. Justin Rutledge--This Is War
  17. Cowboy Junkies--Sweet Jane
  18. Neko Case--At Last
  19. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy--Take However Long You Want
  20. G. Love and Special Sauce--I-76
  21. Beck--Go It Alone
  22. Scissor Sisters--Don't Feel Like Dancing
  23. David Bowie--Heroes
I also shared a great recipe for carrot cupcakes that I found over at Epicurious.com.  I did make two small changes when I made mine.  I decided to add a 100 gram package of pecan pieces to the cupcakes (carrot cake doesn't seem like carrot cake to me unless it has nuts in it).  And I skipped the orange frosting and went for a classic cream cheese icing instead:

1 pkg brick-style cream cheese
2 tbsp buttter
splash of vanilla
2 cups icing sugar

This made a lot of icing--I have leftovers in the freezer for next time!


Finished Object--Laminaria

I finished knitting my Laminaria (Ravelry link) a couple of weeks ago, and finally got around to blocking it last week.

I knit a shawl that was somewhere in between the two sizes listed in the pattern.  I used a three-stitch garter edge as for the larger shawl, but did only four repeats of the Star Chart and then (if I remember correctly) seven repeats of the Blossom Chart.  I pretty much just worked each chart until I got bored with it, and then moved on to the next one.  I like the size I ended up with--it wraps around my neck just perfectly without being too dangly or too short.

The pattern itself isn't perfect; there are a few places that show a certain lack of attention to detail.  The biggie is that, as written, the Star Chart isn't symmetrical on either side of the centre stitch.  I thought it looked awful, so I frogged and then worked the stars as SSSK before the centre stich, and then K3tog after.  But overall I did like the pattern, and the result has already garnered many compliments.

Between this project and my Percy,  I am totally won over to small triangular shawls for warmth and ease of wear.  I used to be a big fan of huge blanket-like shawls, and while I do love the drama and total coziness of them, they can be a bit of a pain to wear.  These little triangles are just so uncomplicated.  They stay in place and keep me warm without getting in the way of anything.  Despite the number of other projects I have on the go, I'd love to cast on for another shawl in this style...

Meat & Potatoes #10

Definitely a weird mix this week...
  1. Bryan Adams--It's Only Love
  2. Abba--Waterloo
  3. Tavares--Heaven Must Be Missing and Angel
  4. Thelma Houston--Don't Leave Me This Way
  5. Muddy Waters--Mannish Boy
  6. John Lee Hooker--Boom Boom Boom
  7. Ray Charles--Hit the Road, Jack
  8. Etta James--Dance With Me Henry
  9. Otis Redding--These Arms of Mine
  10. Eartha Kitt--Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
  11. Barry White--You're The First, The Last, My Everything
  12. Little Richard--Tutti Frutti
  13. West Side Story Soundtrack--I Feel Pretty
  14. tUnE-yArDs--News
  15. Arling & Cameron--Herrmann
  16. Solex--The Burglars Are Coming!
  17. Florence + the Machine--My Boy Builds Coffins
  18. Broken Social Scene--7/4 (Shoreline)
  19. Beirut--Postcards from Italy
  20. Justin Rutledge--I'm Gonna Die (One Sunny Day)
  21. Royal City--O You With Your Skirt
  22. Jill Barber--For All Time
  23. Rae Spoon--Lord Send an Angel
  24. Bob Dylan--Sara
  25. Leonard Cohen--Chelsea Hotel No. 2
  26. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts--She's Lost You
  27. Live--All Over You
  28. Gomez--Detroit Swing 66
  29. Barenaked Ladies--New Kid (On The Block)


Meat & Potatoes #9

This week I was knitting with cashmere during the sets, and it was hard to put the needles down to deal with my laptop and the board.  I played:
  1. Betty Carter--Open the Door
  2. Crooked Still--Come On In My Kitchen
  3. Billy Bragg & Wilco--One By One
  4. Hayden--All In One Move
  5. Creedence Clearwater Revial--Walking on the Water
  6. John Prine--Crazy As a Loon
  7. Old Crow Medicine Show--Caroline
  8. Judy Henske--Till The Real Thing Comes Along
  9. Hamilton Camp--A Satisfied Mind
  10. Tim Buckley-- Hallucinations
  11. Joanna Newsom--Sawdust & Diamonds
  12. Efterklang--The Dream In Which I Flee
  13. Patrick Watson--Big Bird in a Small Cage
  14. Andrew Bird--The Giant of Illinois
  15. Jenn Grant--In a Brown House
  16. Calexico--Quattro (World Drifts In)
  17. Jeff Buckley & Gary Lucas--She Is Free
  18. Laura Barrett--Deception Island Optimists Club
  19. The Temper Trap--Sweet Disposition
  20. Hot Chip--One Life Stand
  21. Hollyweerd--Have You Ever Made Love to a Weirdo?
  22. Scissor Sisters--Music Is the Victim
  23. Of Montreal--Our Riotous Defects (feat. Janelle Monae)
  24. Kid Koala--Bjork Scratch
  25. G. Love--Back of the Bus


Adventures in Chicken Fried Steak

My boyfriend requested chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and carrots for his birthday, and despite feeling like I was really giving him a heart attack as a present, I whipped up the Southern dinner he wanted.  It turns out that chicken fried steak doesn't involve any chicken at all--it simply means steak cooked in the style of chicken.  I used the recipe in the Fannie Farmer Cookbook for the most part; my comments are in square brackets.

1 1/2 lbs top round steak [I used two New York strip steaks]
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening [I did use shortening, but the nutitrional info is appalling; a cook friend recommended vegetable oil instead]
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups milk [this made a lot of gravy for two people; this recipe is supposed to serve four to six.  But who's going to complain about too much gravy?]

Cut the steak into 4 to 6 serving pieces [or trim the icky bits off of your NY strips like I did].  Pound 1/4 cup flour into the steaks using a meat pounder or the rim of a sturdy plate [I rocked it Yukon-style and used the butt-end of my hatchett, and it worked like a charm].  Pound in as much flour as you can until the steaks are saturated and quite thin.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Heat the shortening in a large skillet over high heat.  Cook the steaks very quickly, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.  Remove to a platter and keep warm [a plate overturned on top of another plate on the back of the stove worked great for me].  Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat.  Add the onion and sautee, over medium heat, for about two minutes, or until soft.  Stir the remaining flour into the onion, continuing to stir, and let it cook for 2 or 3 minutes.  Slowly add the milk, constantly stirring, and cook until the gravy is thickened.  Serve with mashed potatoes and pass the gravy.

Meat & Potatoes #8

A rather more successful show than last week.  I didn't prep my playlist in advance, and flying by the seat of my pants worked out better than expected.  I also described how to make chicken fried steak; find the recipe here.

  1. Sufjan Stevens--All Delighted People
  2. Jeff Buckley--Ulalume
  3. Florence + the Machine--Girl With One Eye (Bayou Percussion Version)
  4. The XX--Hot Like Fire
  5. No Kids--For Halloween
  6. OK Go--It's Tough to Have a Crush
  7. Cat Power--Breathless
  8. Okkervil River--A Stone
  9. Neko Case--Lion's Jaws
  10. Jenn Grant--Britt 'n Kipp
  11. Rocky Horror Picture Show--There's a Light
  12. Rocky Horror Picture Show--Hot Patootie Bless My Soul
  13. Rocky Horror Picture Show--Eddie
  14. The Like--You Belong to Me
  15. Belle and Sebastian--Funny Little Frog
  16. Metric--The Police and the Private
  17. Hayden--Dynamite Walls
  18. The Consecos--Beyond the River
  19. Angus and Julia Stone--Mango Tree
  20. Bob Dylan--Jolene
  21. Hamilton Camp--Pride of Man
  22. Tim Buckley--I Never Asked to Be Your Mountain
  23. Dave Rawlings Machine--Monkey and the Engineer
  24. The Little Willies--I'll Never Get Out of this World Alive
  25. Of Montreal--Hydra Fancies

Meat & Potatoes #7

I branched out this week and instead of just playing mp3s off of my laptop, I skimmed through the record collection at the station and played a few vinyl cuts (sort of--once I forgot to hit the cue button again and played about two minutes dead air by accident [I almost cried]).  Here's the playlist, with the vinyl tracks marked with an asterisk:

  1. Hefner--Trouble Kid
  2. Marvin Gaye--Stubborn Kind of Fellow
  3. Aretha Franklin--Do Right Woman, Do Right Man
  4. The O'Jays--Love Train
  5. Willie Bobo--Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries (Dan the Automator Remix)
  6. Tim Buckley--Move With Me*
  7. Roberta Flack--Compared to What*
  8. Billie Holiday--Crazy He Calls Me*
  9. Etta James--You Can Keep Your Hat On
  10. Gladys Knight & the Pips--I Heard It Through the Grapevine (Sympathy for the Grapes Mix by The Randy Watson Experience)
  11. Bill Withers--Use Me
  12. The Band--Long Black Veil*
  13. Crosby & Nash--Cowboy of Dreams*
  14. Del Wood--Where the Blue of Night Meets the Gold of Day*
  15. Ohio Players--Love Rollercoaster
  16. Young Rascals--In the Midnight Hour
  17. Deep Cotton--Self!
  18. Me'Shell Ndegeocello--If That's Your Boyfriend (He Wasn't Last Night)
  19. Spoon--I Turn My Camera On
  20. Scissor Sisters--Do the Strand
  21. TV on the Radio--Golden Age
  22. George 2.0--Turn Off the TV
  23. The Rapture--Whoo!  Alright Yeah...Uh Huh
  24. Roberta Flack--Angelitos Negros