Eat a Slice

After tasting this heavenly pie last summer at a bbq, my husband begged the recipe. He finally whipped it together this weekend after several days of cooking mainly meat dishes. While the name made us a little skeptical, one bite was all it took to get me hooked. Oh so creamy, just slightly sweet with a hint of tart, it is everything I want to cool off my palate after a meal of spicy Indian dishes.

Avocado Pie

  1. Prepare a standard graham cracker crust
  2. Mix together until smooth:
    • two egg yolks, beaten
    • one large avocado or two small avocados
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • dash of salt
  3. To the above mixture add one can sweetened condensed milk, mix until smooth, pour into graham cracker crust
  4. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, remove and cool
  5. Top with 2 cups sour cream mixed with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and a dash of salt
  6. Refrigerate until serving time

Thanks to Wayne Lennon for the recipe and the Crowleys for hosting the summer fun.

Collaboration and Recycling

I came across two neat tidbits today from the fiber world to share.

First, my talented friend Shirley sent a link to the wearable art show in Juneau, Altered States. Many of the pieces in the show used reclaimed materials prominently in the garment. The gallery of photographer Seanna O’Sullivan showcases the event on the runway and backstage as the models are prepped for their appearance.

The International Fiber Collaborative is working on building a tree as a way to illustrate the idea of interdependence. “Much like a live tree is interdependent on its leaves and roots for survival, societies are interdependent on the greater whole, family units, communities, and countries. Participants from around the world are invited to create leaves to contribute to the creation of the tree. ”  The submission deadline to have your leaves added to the tree is March 15th. Leaves must be created using fiber, but beyond that, use your imagination. Make sure to look through the gallery to see the submissions they have received so far.

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For several years, I’ve wanted to try making silk paper in an effort to reproduce the embossed leaves from this piece by Emily Archer of Milkweed Arts. I found some instructions on Pat Sparks’ website, but I’d love to hear whether anyone has worked through this process. My son wants me to coordinate a project for his K-1 art class, and I’d love to dovetail the two projects. Am I biting off more than I can chew and swallow?

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If I can’t carve the time out in the next two weeks, I have a box full of these felt leaves to send.

Fill My Cup

Tuesdays have become the day when all of my needs, both creative and emotional, are fulfilled in eight hours by my tribe of Attachment Parenting families. In the morning, the AP craft group meets at my house to learn a new skill or work on a project and share in the joys of parenting small children while playing with hot liquids and pointy sticks.

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This week, Jen showed Kristen and I how to improve soap by milling it and then adding common kitchen ingredients. We started by grating twelve ounces of olive oil soap and melting it on the stovetop with nine ounces of water. Once you can trace a spoon across the surface, the soap is ready for whatever you would like to add.

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Kristen added ground oats and cinnamon.

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I added orange zest and cloves.

Once the ingredients were thoroughly mixed, we poured them into a shallow container and put them in the freezer to solidify. When the liquid has set, the soap needs to be left undisturbed for at least three weeks to dry. Then the bars can be cut, or milled again. As you browse the shelves of your favorite body store, you will notice the finest soaps have been milled at least three times. Something in the process of melting and remelting soap alters the chemical composition and produces a better soap.

dojo.jpgAfter lunch, Owen and I head to aikido at Tenzan Aikido. Owen gets to run around, practice the disciplined spiritual art of aikido and play with his friends while I socialize with Sara and Rosie. This usually means that I knit while Sara reads to Rosie; I try to limit my interruptions to once per page. Today, I was (re)working the sleeve on my Café Bastille Cable sweater.

A few days ago I noticed that the sleeve seam was coming loose, and since the sleeves were not long enough, I decided it made more sense to try adding a few more inches than just tighten up the seam. Not sure how many more inches I wanted, I put the sweater on while I knit the shoulder. One of the mothers told me at the end of class that she and another onlooker were trying to figure out if I was knitting the sweater while it was on my body. That would be an amazing feat of flexibility! In the end, I decided the entire sleeve needed to be reknit because my gauge was tighter the second time around, which made the lower section seem sloppy. I frogged the sleeve and will redo it in the round using magic loop.

After aikido, we zoomed over to Salmon Bay to pick up Sophie from school, then zoomed back home to pick up a potluck dish I made during lunch for dinner at Sara’s house. To my delight, my zooming to and fro was so effective that I was able to spend a few extra minutes at home reading email, while Sophie and Owen played cards in the car; this met my need for a little solitude.

Sara had a bumper crop of six families arrive for dinner. As Matt and Sara tried to figure out how to fit everyone around the table, I caught up with Erika who had just returned from a nine-day Non-Violent Communication intensive in New Mexico. I am forever grateful to Erika to introducing me to NVC, also known as Compassionate Communication; it has changed the way I view the world and approach my personal relationships. Jen brought a fantastic twist on Cinderella for everyone to read: Cinder Edna. We shared great food and co-parented our large flock of children. It was a wonderful evening that met my emotional needs for connection and authenticity.

We managed to leave Sara’s without drama or hysterics, an improvement over last week, and get home in time for Sophie and Owen’s normal bedtime routine. Lance walked in the door just as we were starting to read our bedtime stories. He relieved me of my parental duties so I could join my knitting tribe at the Fiber Gallery for our weekly Sit ‘n Knit. I felt like Norm on Cheers as everyone told me how much they had missed me the last few weeks.

I love Tuesday.

PS. If you are interested in learning more about NVC, Marshall Rosenberg will be speaking at Town Hall on March 23rd. I saw him speak last year and can honestly say it rocked my world. I’m going to hear him again, but this time I’m taking Lance and hopefully a few friends with me.

PPS. The quinoa pilaf I’ve cooked two weeks in a row continues to please. The recipe, as requested, follows:

Quinoa Pilaf
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 ½ teaspoons table salt
ground black pepper
2 tablespoons solid coconut oil
1 small onion , minced (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 medium cloves garlic , minced
¼ cup currants
¼ cup pine nuts , toasted in a small dry skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes

1. Melt coconut oil in large saucepan over medium heat; add onion and sauté until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes.
2. Add turmeric, cinnamon, and garlic to sautéed onion; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer.
3. Add quinoa and stir to coat grains with coconut oil; cook until toasted, about 3 minutes.
4. Stir hot water and salt into quinoa; return to boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 16-18 minutes.
5. Off heat, remove lid, sprinkle currants over rice in pan (do not mix in), and place kitchen towel folded in half over saucepan; replace lid.
6. Let stand 10 minutes; toss in toasted pine nuts, fluff quinoa with fork, and serve.