Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Braised Short Ribs, Gourmet, December 1975

I've been on a bit of a pursuit of a good short rib recipe similar to the one that used to be served at Butterfield Nine, that wonderful restaurant downtown DC that had the temerity to close. This recipe doesn't have the same flavor, but it's still good. It is from the December 1975 issue of Gourmet Magazine.


The posting here is a tribute to the now defunct (and already missed) magazine. Gourmet Unbound organized this tribute in which fans can choose a recipe from a Gourmet issue that was published during the same month, any year.

The interesting thing about this recipe is that the ingredients aren't listed at the top of the recipe, but written into the cooking instructions.


Lists are definitely easier. Other than that, the cooking instructions were pretty straightforward. And delicious.

Short Ribs

Sautee onion, carrot, and garlic in 1/4 cup of bacon fat. Tranfer to bowl. Season, dredge in flour, brown the shortribs, add veggies back, some red wine and beef broth. Braise at 300 degrees for two hours. I served them with roasted rosemary potatoes and spinach sauteed with garlic.


Knit Siblings, this will still be a knitting blog, but I hope to post a Gourmet recipe once a month! I'm happy to share recipes, just shoot me a message.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Japanese Avant-Garde Fashion at the Textile Museum

I had a chance to see 35 articles of Japanese avant-garde fashion from the collection of Mary Baskett at the Textile Museum a couple of weeks ago. The weekend symposium began with a reception a Friday night, which I missed, because it was rainy, cold, and by 7:30 I was fried. Saturday's session was held at the Phillips Collection, one of my favorite art galleries in DC. The theme was from "Kimono to Couture: the Evolution of Japanese Fashion.” The Museum brought in experts to speak about the kimono in early Japanese history (which I missed because there was bike race through NW Washington which brought traffic to a standstill. Many of us were late.); the geisha influence on kimono fashion; the modern kimono; Japanese avant-garde fashion; Japanese youth in fashion subcultures; and Japanese textiles, in which the speaker described a number of ways to create textiles. I wish they would give classes on the latter, especially shibori.

The Sunday session began with a guided tour of Japanese textiles developed by Nuno, a Tokyo-based corporation. It included fabrics created with stainless steel thread, some felted pieces, and some that were hand-embroidered.

ETA: You can click on any of the images for a larger view.


Nuno Stainless Steel Fabric

Then Ms. Baskett conducted a guided of her garments. I know it’s lame to scan the exhibit pamphlet as I have below (and I hope the Textile Museum doesn’t mind, I’m not affiliated with them), but I took few photos and they’re not great. I dutifully left my camera in my handbag as we were not supposed to take photos, but when Ms. Baskett posed for a few shots, everyone whipped out camera phones. It was like we all had our hands on our photographic equipment just waiting for a chance…

I won’t go into detail; the pamphlet covers it all. Most of the garments were designs by Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, and Rei Kawakubo, designer and owner of Comme des Garcons. It’s an entrancing collection that really showed the genius of these designers.

Ms. Basket is amazing too. She is a Japanese art historian, who was a curator at the Cincinnati Art Museum, then opened the Mary Baskett Gallery in 1977, which features contemporary Japanese artists. The pieces in the collection are part of her wardrobe; she wears them everyday.

You can view larger images here.

Mary Baskett in front of Rei Kawakubo outfit

Mary Baskett in front of Rei Kawakubo exhibit

Basket 1

Basket 2

Basket 3

Basket 4

Basket 5

If you missed the symposium, the Textile Museum will conduct some evening lectures early next year.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kinokuniya, Seattle

I actually made it to Seattle despite my employer's every bureaucratic effort to prevent it. That's a bit of an exaggeration, maybe, but it seemed so at the time! I went there for work, but stayed on my own dime over Memorial Day weekend. Seattle is one of my favorite cities for many reasons, not least of which are all the wonderful yarn stores. As soon as my delegation returned to Europe, I rented a Zipcar Saturday morning (thanks for turning me on to Zipcar, Deb!) and, with my friend GPS, headed to Kinokuniya Bookstore, Little Knits, and Hilltop Yarn in the Queen Anne district. I spent Sunday on Bainbridge Island at Churchmouse Yarns and Teas.

Kinokuniya is cool Japanese bookstore in Seattle's International District. It appears to have every book and magazine published in Japan including a healthy selection of knitting and other craft books.


I picked up Vivian Hoxbro's Advanced Domino-Knitting and Three Crochet Plants by Knot.
I haven't been able to find an English-language version of Advanced Domino-Knitting, but it has enough English in it to decipher the patterns, and like other Japanese craft books, it has excellent charts. I've posted photos of a few projects I haven't seen on Ravelry.

From Three Crochet Plants:

Kinokuniya is attached to Uwajimaya, a very large Japanese grocery store.


I bought lots of green tea,


then headed for Little Knits in West Seattle.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Waiting and Waiting

and waiting and waiting. And spinning. I won't bore you by whining how work has overtaken my life at the moment. I'll just say I've spent endless time waiting for callbacks and return e-mails instructing me on how to use the new travel software that was designed to make my life easier, but has actually messed everything up. And that's from someone who likes new technology, hard and soft.

I do like my new Bluetooth enabled Jawbone, one of those wireless earpieces that allows me to talk on my cell handsfree. (I have a new cell phone too, a Samsung Omnia, a touch-screen mobile device on which I actually spend more time texting, e-mailing, surfing the web, and taking photos, than talking.) I spun tonight while talking, I spun while watching Keith Obermann. After getting past the dreds in the locks - corny, but true - the fibers easily slide against themselves as I pull them into the spin. It is possible to achieve small moments of flow in a way impossible for me while knitting. While it's possible to achieve flow in any activity one does, I think spinning is the ultimate. I can imagine it's more intense on a wheel, because you don't have to stop and wind.

Spinning Locks

I hope to get good enough to spin this soon.


I bought it at Nancy's shop, but I want to be able to spin with some consistency before I touch it.

If I can get past the technology blocks to get an airline ticket, I will take spinning as my travel project. Maybe a sock to knit on the plane because I don't have the courage to spin in public yet, but I will definitely spin for at least a few minutes at night will I watch the news. I think the public has gotten used to seeing knitters in public now. I get smiles in airports now, rather than those "what the hell are you doing?" looks.

Back to sliding fibers, the locks make spinning silk seem easy. On a spindle at least.

No, I have not given up knitting though I haven't done since the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.

And, no, you cannot have my yarn.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The locks are spinning up nicely. In absence of spinning tools, I separated them a bit by hand at first, and with the advice of Kitty Kitty and Javajem, brushed them with hairbrush. Actually they recommended a flicker and a dog brush, but I don't have those either.

April 23 2009 005

I barely pre-draft now. I tug at an inch or two, then start spinning right away. Almost all of the curly bits disappeared. I'm learning how to retain some of them when I attach a new piece. They will probably disappear in the final knitted project.

It's a Lock!


It spun up really fast until I had all this on the spindle. It seemed like it was getting too full, so I wound it on the ball winder. Indeed, it was beginning to felt on the bottom where I set spindle in motion, so now I know to wind it off a bit sooner.

Rose Garden Locks

Felting's going to be a factor in the knitting project I choose because these locks are not superwash. I'll probably knit socks. Who cares if they'll wear like Russian felted boots?

How will I keep it from felting when I wash the plied hanks? A question for the experts.

I just learned that it's possible to freeze whole citrus fruits and tomatoes, and lots of other food too. Read Mark Bittman's article in last Wednesday's New York Times.

Friday, May 08, 2009





I was intrigued by this roving. it's 100% wool. Most people told me that it needs to be combed, but I ran into a woman who told me that she spins it as is. As usual, the colors drew me to it.

Before Deb, Debbie, and I left for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival Sunday morning, I told Deb that I absolutely did not need any more sock yarn since I have plenty, and my sock knitting mojo seems to have left. What did I buy? Sock Yarn! What was I thinking? It was predictable, I guess.

Sock yarn

I couldn't resist these lovelies. From left to right:
Pagewood Farm Hand Dyed Sock Yarn (purple and red, how could resist?); STR Lightweight "Scum Bubbles;" more Pagewood Farm Hand Dyed Sock Yarn; STR Lightweight "Pond Scum;" Creatively Dyed Yarn "Ocean;" Sock Hop by Dancing Leaf Farm, no colorway specified.

Here's Dianne, owner of Creatively Dyed Yarn, doing a brisk business. We had to wade through lots of mud to get to her tent. I guess I haven't mentioned that it never stopped raining the whole time we were there.

Dianne, Creatively Dyed Yarn

Not for one freakin' moment.

Wandering in from the rain

Entering the Main Building.

The Fold

The Fold. I can't believe I actually got into the booth!

Sock Hop

Sock Hop by Dancing Leaf Farm

I bought more roving too.


Corriedale, by Grafton Fibers

Blue Moon Fiber Arts

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Handpainted Roving


100% Merino Wool

Though I love what I bought, I thought the roving selection was small, and few of the colors appealed to me (maybe it was all sold Saturday?) So I bought this too:

Greener Shades Dye

Non-toxic yarn dye. Doubly, what was I thinking??? Well, actually, I was thinking about that beautiful over-dyed Sundara yarn that I was hardly ever able to acquire. It sold out in seconds. Anyway, I already dread the mess. And I have to learn how to get the colors I want.

Finally, a new spindle was at the top of wish list. Here's my new Bosworth drop spindle.

My first Bosworth Spindle

I almost bought a Golding too, but decided that I'd get one later. Maybe at Rhinebeck, if I go, or next year. Look at this big Golding wheel. It was beautiful.

Golding Wheel

Chakra Cotton Spinning Contraption

Chakra Cotton Spinning Contraption, seen at the Bosworth booth.

At the Maryland Spinners Guild Section

The most amazing thing about the day is that I passed this up



I've never passed Habu without buying some.


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