Back to School!

quilt backMy weeklong hiatus is explained by the arrival of the spring semester.  I started class again, with two brand-new ones on my roster, and a slew of committee meetings.  I have joined an awful lot of committees, as those of us seeking tenure sometimes do.  After this week it’ll quiet down, but until then, it’s a little bit of madness and chaos.

I thought I’d share with you, though, a few things today.  One is my quilt back!  Here you can see it folded on top of the quilt.  It’s a golden paisley pattern.  I wasn’t sure about it when I bought it, but I’m glad I went with it.  It complements all the blue on the front well.  Plus it’s extra-wide, so I didn’t have to stitch pieces together to make the back.  That’s a wonderful thing.
Bittman's new bookSecond is the new cookbook by Mark Bittman, writer for the New York Times.  I like Bittman–his TV programs are entertaining, as is his writing.  This cookbook is a great departure, though, from standard cookbooks.  It contains hundreds of recipes, but none are written out with long ingredient lists and numbered steps.  In this cookbook, each recipe gets a simple paragraph and instructions are pretty general, without a lot of measurements or specifics.  I made chicken with maple pecan sauce last weekend–there were specs for the sauce, but not for the chicken.  I used a pound and it was delicious.  Recipes for pasta often don’t contain quantity, either.  I’m going to make a couple of other recipes before I send this back to the library, but I really like this book and its style.  For folks who are not comfortable with cooking, this might freak them out–“HOW MUCH PASTA?  ARRRGH!”–but for those of us pretty cozy in the kitchen, this feels right at home.

Granola variation--maple with pumpkin seedsLastly, I share with you a variation on granola that’s pretty good.  This one has about a pound or so of oats (you see why I like Bittman’s style), around 2/3 c of unroasted, raw pumpkin seeds, about 1/2 c chopped pecans, mixed with a combination of 1/4 c vegetable oil, about 6 T maple syrup (the real stuff), and about 6 T brown sugar.  Bake in a 250* oven, stirring every 15-20 minutes, til toasted enough for you. Let cool in the oven.  Mix with a handful of flaxseeds and 1/2 c of dried cranberries.  This is a variation of Molly’s grandmother’s lovely granola recipe.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have chapters to read, Neko Case to listen to, a whiny cat to quiet, and a chiropractor to see despite the typhoon outside.

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