Sunday, November 25, 2007

this is what happens...

When one posts only once a week, what happens is either you end up leaving out significant pieces, or you end up with a post that is rather more like a word smörgåsbord. Hopefully this will not be the trend here at Bamboo Village, because we are soon getting wireless internet and will not have to be computer-sharing as much. Hooray for our household!

Here is our week in review, working backwards:

Cozies a go-go.

I love knitting while watching tv, and these cozies are super-easy! Strangely enough, my own French press is still without its own cozy, but I think I'm going to fix that today. It's getting cold enough that the coffee is cold before I get to my second cup. I've always wrapped a towel around the cylinder, but I want my own cozy! Here's the new one, just added to Bamboo Village Press:

Saturdays are for Delicious Food

measuring out the rice

anise cloves

Yesterday I went to spend the day with Knittah, her husband and close friend Amy. It was a lovely, crisp fall day, perfect for slow-cooking meat. Don't worry, dear veggie friends, there will be no photos of the pork. This is one of my all-time favorite recipes, and it's always a hit with guests. It's very easy, and ridiculously scrumptious. It's the "Shanghai Ham" recipe from the Joyce Chen Cookbook, and is just one of many crowd-pleasing meals from this great collection of Chinese recipes.

Shanghai Ham

4lb fresh pork ham, butt or shoulder [we always use shoulder, bone-in is best, but buy more than 4lbs if you're getting one with the bone]
1 cup dark soy sauce [if you can, buy your soy sauce from an Asian market. it will give much better flavor than the kikkoman you usually get at the regular grocery]
1/2 cup sugar [honey is also ok!]
1TBS dry sherry [i skip this and use a splash of white or rice vinegar]
2 [generous] slices of fresh ginger - or 2 whole cloves garlic
few cloves star anise
1/2 - 1 cup water

Sear and scald the pork by soaking it in boiling water for a few minutes. Rinse with cold water.
Place the pork with all the ingredients in a large sauce pan or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer. Turn the pork over occasionally until tender - about 2 hours or more. Remove cover and increase heat. Baste the pork until about 1 cup of liquid remains (about 15-20 minutes). Skim fat and serve it hot or cold.


Unexpectedly, the gathering of friends yesterday also opened the birthday lead-up, complete with gifts and talk of cheesecake.

I received these two awesome books, appropriately, from Knittah. I think we have an unspoken pact to support each other's knitting obsessions on our birthdays. The first book, Last Minute Knitted Gifts, has been a long-time favorite. The photographs are stunning, and I like almost all of the projects. It was among my last batch of overdue library books, and was destined to be so again, so this is super-awesome!

The second, Knitting Nature, is as artistic as the previous is practical. The patterns are simply mind-blowing, so this will be a book of patterns to aspire to making.

I've also included here a gift from Knittah's aunt, Mother Earth and her Children, which was signed by the author. If you don't know the story behind this book, take the time to look it up. It's completely worth it.


On Friday, my sister and I were fortunate enough to take a 2-hour hike at the Wissahickon, one of my favorite places for outdoor bliss in this area. I say fortunate because it was our last chance to see the foliage before it all dropped to the wintery ground. Here are some of the photos... you can see more on Laurie's blog, linked above.

covered bridge along the "forbidden trail"

japanese maple, in full autumn glory

And, although that is not a *week* in review, it's all I've got in me! Stay tuned next week for a new moleskine design honoring Bamboo Village's China roots and Zhang Lin, our sponsored student.


korin said...

I can't wait till you're close by and I can take a walk with you! :D and you can cook at my house

Korin said...

Happy happy birthday my sweet friend! I love you so much!!

The Town Criers said...

Everything in the esty is gorgeous! Even the pictures of the pictures are gorgeous :-)