Category Archives: Site of the Day

Cheap and Cheerful Object of the Day: Sleeping Gloves

My hands are a gnarly dry mess. My thumbs could sand 2X4s, my knuckles are cracked and I’m shedding dry skin like like cats shed hair in June. Don Giovanni would never sing “La ci darem la mano” to me.

Which made me rustle through my lingerie drawers for my sleeping gloves. You know, the ones I bought from The Vermont Country Store in, like, 1979. I didn’t find a single glove and I’m cross.

I know gloves have gone the way of MS DOS, but these gloves were special in a pure Vermonty way. Wrist length, white cotton. You’d slather your hands with the unguent of choice, slip on the gloves, and awake, after three faithful days, to hands worthy to be kissed by an Archduke.

I Googled about and discovered the The Vermont Country Store still carries them, at about three times what I spent back in the day. I’m going to close my eyes, click , and order three more pairs.

Go here:

http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/store/jump/productDetail/Health_&_Beauty/Health_&_Beauty/100spPerc_Cotton_Knit_Sleeping_Gloves_(Set_of_3_Pairs)/59951

 

 

 

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Filed under Body, Cheap and Cheerful Object of the Day, Site of the Day, Twenty bucks

Apron(s) of the Day (Week)

Hoo boy, what a week! We’ve got a new roof and new soffits and fascia, so I can now pull into my driveway without feeling as if I’ve been transplanted into a Steinbeck novel. (The Polish gentleman who did the installation didn’t kiss my hand, as Polish gentlemen of a certain age almost always do, but he bowed low over it instead of shaking it. It, no kidding, made me feel like a princess, for the first time in a few years — the last time a Polish gentleman kissed my hand.)

My right index finger met the spinning blades of an immersion blender; pure carelessness on my part. (It could have been much worse. Much worse.)

And I cranked those holiday aprons! I tried a time and motion study, an apron assembly line, to see it I could speed up production. One apron takes me a day to make, which includes doing laundry, checking Facebook, watching Jeopardy, running errands, reading and cooking. I wondered if I cut out several aprons, then trimmed all the pockets in one step, sewed all the neck straps in another step, and assembled the aprons one after one I might shave some time off the process.

Detroit methods don’t work. I made five and a half aprons in five and a half days, and I was bored. I missed the satisfaction of having a finished product to admire during cocktail hour, and I didn’t get as attached to any particular product as I always do. I’ll be back to artisanal, not assembly line aprons.

Technical issues aside, I think these are swell aprons!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a closeup of the print, which I love:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the Hallowe’en/Thanksgiving side, modeled by the lovely Christina Simpson, since I’ve known, no kidding, since she was a babe in arms. Baby, look at her now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the fabric. To me it whispers farmhouse kitchens, candy corn and a big bird in the oven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s the same fabric I used on the reverse of this Christmas beauty — it might be my favorite:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I mean, how could I resist a yard of this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a shot of the other fall holiday print. It or “candy corn”  was the reverse of most of the holiday aprons. Like this one:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a sad day at the Kenmore — I used up the last of my super-duper-pooper jumbo rickrack. The prezzies have a sort of mid-century vibe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll find the punkins backing up this oh-so-Christmassy print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are Dale Jr. and his lovely sister modelling the apron and a half. Dale looks as if he’s wearing a bib, but it’s actually a tot-sized apron. The fabrics are both red, but this side could be worn any season of the year:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ah, youth and beauty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whew! I need a computer that uploads pix faster for posts like this. Needless to say, they’re for sale, and I have enough yardage of most of the fabrics to construct a custom item for you.

Time to don an apron and rustle up dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under A yard of fabric, Apron of the Day, Cheap and Cheerful Object of the Day, Home, Reversible Aprons, Site of the Day

Required Watching: How To Peel a Whole Head of Garlic in 10 Seconds

I watched Rick Bayless make mojo de ajo on his PBS show last Saturday, and I decided that I needed some, bad. Mojo de ajo (slow cooked garlic in a bath of oil) requires tonnes of peeled garlic cloves; Chef Bayless used four whole heads. He said something like: “Yeah, peeling four heads of garlic is a drag, but it’s worth it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo from garlichealth.wordpress.com.)

Well, flap my flippers, what popped up on my Facebook feed yesterday but this 10 second demo courtesy of Saveur mag. “How to peel a whole head of garlic in ten seconds.” I was grabbing garlic heads from the garlic/onion bin within, well, three quarters of an hour. (I read Roger Ebert’s blog posts via Facebook before I even brush my teeth.)

I promise, very soon I’ll send WordPress that 55 bucks so I can plant video directly on my web page. But until that happy day comes, just follow this link:

http://www.saveur.com/article/Kitchen/video-How-to-Peel-a-Head-of-Garlic-in-Less-Than-10-Seconds

 

Lor’ lummee, It works! It involves “shaking like the dickens,” and my dickens might have involved fifteen seconds — I’m a girl and all. The second head I shook took much longer , which puzzled me until I realized that I hadn’t smashed the head hard enough to separate every clove. The smashing is an important step. I’m going to use that toolbox-to- kitchen-utensil drawer essential, the rubber mallet, next time.

I’ll talk about mojo de ajo another time and another place. But, amigos, I made it, and with my new garlic peeling skills, I’ll never be without it again. So help me God.

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Filed under A Couple of Bucks, Food, How Cool is That?, Site of the Day

Site of the Day: Photofunia.com

See dat? Folks are walking through an art gallery enraptured by photos of me and my family. That was in Santa Monica last year, and yes, there’s a seventy dollar catalogue of the show you can buy on line.

Not! It’s an example of the photo mash up fun you can waste weeks at if you call up http://photofunia.com/

Wanna see yourself on a billboard, a stamp, a watercolor sketch, Lara in Dr. Zhivago furhatted, staring out a train window? As Santa Claus? Inserted into a Klimt painting?

On a hundred dollar bill? Made from Lego?  Hee — as the star of one of those dreadful Motivational posters that anyone who’s done time in a cubicle will snarl at till they die?

Now, geeks, I know this is kindergarten stuff — my son-in-law was probably creating things like this in tenth grade. But for the rest of us, it’s so cool to see your picture on a billboard over Times Square!

Have fun.

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Filed under Art, Free, HeeHee, How Cool is That?, Site of the Day

Site of the Day: The British Monarchy

Queen Elizabeth has a Facebook page. Go revel: http://www.facebook.com/TheBritishMonarchy

No, you can’t Friend her. But you can read the Court Circular!  One or another of her lame sons or grandsons are doing Good Works (when they’re not dressing inappropriately at Hallowe’en parties, fighting in Afghanistan , pushing organic produce or playing polo.) You can see pix of ambassadors presenting their credentials. Endless pix in what I can only describe as Queen chic . She’s not a bit chic, but I admire her matchy matchy outfits, always with a hat. I love hats.

I saw the Queen once, when I was a toddlesr. She and her newlywed husband drove in an open car  around the track at the Semanaire St. Joseph in Trois-Rivieres. She was young and beautiful, the Dook was young and handsome. Then time happens, kids happen, the Empire dissolved.

Unlike most Canadians, Kiwis, Indians and Aussies I was raised in a Jacobin family. My father was vocal in his loathing of the monarchy, rich twits with no clue. Even my Nana, who was born in England, despised the whole House of Windsor, and she saved her bile for the beloved Queen Mum. Poor Nana, she would have made a fab Queen Mum.

So this site is for retro fun, disengaged from the reality that Queen Elizabeth might be the only member of the House of Windsor with two brain cells to rub together, great hats and a bunch of weird kids. And that royal hubby, quite mad .

For followers of Brit soap operas, it’s just Coronation Street with money. But I can tell that’s it’s going to become a guilty pleasure. BTW, Camilla rocks hats too.

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Filed under Free, History, Media, Politics, Site of the Day

Site of the Day: Snopes.com

Hallowe’en seems to have become the biggest secular money-fest of our times. (Of course, historically, it’s not secular, but religious, but that was way back in the day.) I mean, for Thanksgining you might want to buy a couple of gourds and a turkey, but you don’t have to erect faux tombstones in the front yard, hang strings of teeny pumpkin lights, and head to a party store to buy a cheesy costume that will transform you into a hot dental assistant or a pirate wench.

The one chink I can find in my idol Martha Stewart’s radiation – proof armor is that she’s infatuated with Hallowe’en. Hey, we’ve carved a pumpkin after Goya. I sewed elaborate costumes for Honor — OMG, that dinosaur! I have it around somewhere. We found out, accidentally, that the ethereal last act of “Der Rosenkavalier” scares kiddies out of their wits when you open the door, so I hear it at least once a year. I’m attaching the Hallowe’en pic of me and Ian from, well, a zombie’s lifetime ago.

OK, the Hallowe’en theme is the long way round to http://snopes.com/ , a respected fact-checking site. I was reminiscing about the terrific treats we got handed into our pillowcases, way back then. They were homemade: fudge and divine popcorn balls and Rice Krispie squares, and yes, apples.  Did you know that there’s not one documented case of poisoned Hallowe’en candy? Not one? That’s why we’re stuck buying wrapped mini  Mars bars.

Really. Check this out: http://www.snopes.com/horrors/poison/halloween.asp

Snopes.com has a great Urban Legends topic, Popular Scams, and you can type in something like:” Did Earl Butz really say that awful thing?” (He did.) The Mikkelsens, the couple who run it, are researchers by profession, and you can smell how much they love their work.

Well, if Univac hadn’t been a mere glimmer in a mathematician’s eye when I was a kiddie, if the internet had been around back in the days of the family Olds station wagon, if Snopes had been around …  kids would be scarfing down the popcorn balls and fudge their friends Mom’s  made. Oh! How could I have forgotten Mrs. Bellefeiulle’s brownies ?

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Filed under Food, History, Holidays, Site of the Day

Site of the Day: Hyperbole and a Half

Your bloggiste has a headache, a deadline and a noisy cat who just can’t believe that I refuse to open a fourth can of cat food tonight — that would be two over his dinnertime average. He’s pushing my left elbow with his head as I type, because that usually bends me to his will.  Oh, go eat your Iams kibble!Yeah, him, Ajax.

This is a plea for patience,Dear Reader, a whining roundabout suckup and apology for not writing a proper blog post tonight. But I’ll point you towards a site that’ll entertain you more than I ever could.

You see, when I’m on Facebook, and someone I respect  “likes” something, I’ll check it out. Thank you, John Nguyen, for turning me on to http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/. It’s been around for awhile, but I didn’t meet up with Allie and her crazy art, skewed world view, and mad funny writing until yesterday afternoon. Yes, I could have written my column and two blog posts, expanded my apron empire and cleaned the powder room in the time I spent giggling.

It was worth it. Thanks John! Now I’m gonna let the Advil kick in.

(Image: hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com)

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Filed under Art, Free, HeeHee, How Cool is That?, Media, Site of the Day