Sunday, June 29, 2014

New Cities, New Yarn Shops!

This summer I am continuing my work in the theater costume shop at school and this past week, my boss sent my coworker and I on a field mission to help one of our graduates costume 150 children for a theater summer camp! It was nice to have a change of scenery (and air conditioning) and I was able to do a little exploration of the city as well.

The first thing I saw after I hopped off the train were some beautiful murals covering the walls of the pedestrian underpasses below the tracks. I saw this one and was so excited:


Although it was impossible to capture this mural in totality, this one tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, which I think is awesome. I read the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks over the summer for my junior English class in high school (it was on my list anyways) and was completely emotionally caught up in the unbelievably true story of a lapse in medical ethics and the author's journey to find the family and get them justice. Seeing the mural reminded me of the amazing book and made me glad that more people will be exposed to the story of the HeLa cells and the family behind them.

While at the the school, I got to do my favorite thing... gathering 928374 yards of fabric into a 24 inch waistband! There is something so satisfying about creating a perfectly gathered and full skirt. Maybe just because I love to wear skirts myself! If the 1950's cut of dress was more in style for everyday wear, my wardrobe would be filled with full, poofy skirts!

Here is the black tulle being gathered on the machine!

Next, I noticed there was a yarn store in the downtown shopping area of the city, so naturally I had to drop in and check it out!
What a cute location! (Photo Credit: Owner of shop)

The store was very welcoming and friendly and they had quite a variety of beautiful yarns. They had some especially pretty handspun yarns created by the owner and were very inspirational for me, the aspiring art yarn spinner. I also happened to find some great Peruvian wool yarn for my summer research project (more on that later) and picked some especially vibrant colors that caught my eye!

They are from Cascade and I cannot wait to work with them (I have so much to say about them but, as I said before, more on that later!!)

And before you scold me for buying MORE yarn without knitting any of what I already have, behold the new cowl I have added to my collection of Finished Objects (FO's):

It is super soft and the color is great! It was made from the honey cowl pattern on Ravelry and I am definitely satisfied with my finished object!

Well that is about all I have to say for now, I promise I will elaborate more about the summer project soon, so check back soon for an update on that! Happy yarning everyone!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Last Six Months, a Food Review

Wow. I can't believe my first year of college is over already, and what's more, I can't believe it's been six months since I last posted anything here! A smattering of friendly comments from visitors left during my absence have encouraged me to start again and I'm excited to share some of what I have been up to, and the fun that is yet to happen soon. Of course, there is much too much to put in one post, so I've decided to highlight some of my more grand adventures through the memorable milestones of food I've eaten!

Thanksgiving break:

Escargots! I've been wanting to try this for years and finally, based on the recommendations of fellow food enthusiasts, my mom took us to a nearby French restaurant to try the famed buttered snails. Verdict: I knew I'd like them, and they are indeed a wonderfully warm, soft delicacy!

Winter break:

I recently discovered the blog A Cozy Kitchen via PBS and for the holidays, the author posted some of her favorite recipes from her childhood in Peru. Needless to say, I had never tried Peruvian food and was curious to dive in and try some dishes!

Here is a dish called Papa a la Huancaina, a potato dish with a spicy cheese sauce and olive garnish. The depth of flavor in this dish was very unique and I really enjoyed making and eating this!
These cookies are a Latin American favorite called Alfajores and are a sandwich of butter cookies with dulce de leche in the center! I was skeptical of the recipe for the dulce de leche which involved boiling an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk for three hours in a pan, but it turned out deliciously well! These are definitely a keeper as they were a hit among friends, family, and coworkers alike!

Valentine's Day, er, GALentine's Day: My roommate and I went on a late night adventure to the city to go to Insomnia Cookies, a cookie place that is open until 3am in Lincoln Park. The cookies were delicious and we had a great time! I had an ice cream cookie sandwich that was absolute perfection.
St. Joseph's Day (or Italian St. Patrick's Day): Every St. Joseph's Day (March 19th), Italians everywhere make even more food than usual and we enjoy our yearly fix of zeppole: a special pastry filled with cream. My favorite is the cannoli flavored version and that is what I picked out this year!
                                                                  Trip to Washington DC: In April, I was fortunate to be able to go on a school sponsored trip to Washington DC and discovered what is now my favorite city in the country! Not only are there plenty of museums for me to get lost in, but our nation's capital is a foodie heaven!                                                                                   I once saw a food special on the Travel Channel and heard about the restaurant Etete which serves Ethiopian style food and I've dreamed of going there for the last 7 years! This is the platter we ordered as a group.
And of course, what trip to DC is complete without Georgetown Cupcakes, the famous shop featured on TV's DC Cupcakes? My friend and I chose cherry blossom, chocolate birthday cake, cherry cheesecake, key lime, vanilla chocolate birthday cake and red velvet! They were absolutely delicious and I cannot wait to go back!
End of the Year Adventure: At the end of the school year, I had to say goodbye to a handful of wonderful people who live out of state, and one of my especially good friends and I decided to go into the city to see Avenue Q as our last adventure of the year! The play was great, as was the food we encountered along the way!                                                                                                                                                                                    We stopped at a bakery for breakfast and I selected a maple bacon doughnut. I've always wanted to try one, and it was absolutely delicious! Unfortunately, I could nearly feel my arteries hardening following the consumption of the gargantuan treat so while I will probably never eat one again, I'm sure glad I got to try it once!
                                                                                                                                                    Later, for dinner, we stopped at Coobah, a restaurant serving chic interpretations of Caribbean food. I ordered a dish comprised of marinated chicken and apple between layers of carmelized plaintains with a pickled something and orange! It was really fantastic!
Now these are just some of the food highlights, I could go on for hours, but we'll end it here for today! Stay tuned for more updates soon about other activities I've been up to and what I am planning on accomplishing this summer!