Tags: food

e. st v. millay

Forgot to hit post last night

Made myself crepes after dinner and put some lemon curd on them. Shrove Tuesday! Britaboo level: increased! (They were delicious.)

I am watching Saving Mr Banks this evening and it is just ... why did I not realize how adorable this movie is? Emma Thompson is such a delight. She made me laugh out loud multiple times before I was halfway into it. (Bob Sherman's son made a revue about his father, it's called A Spoonful of Sugar, you can find it on Spotify.) Also, I had NO idea Ruth Wilson and Colin Farrell were in this and as amazing as they are.

Books lately:

Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding, by Rhys Bowen - the latest in the "Royal Spyness" series. An adequate continuation; I mostly read them out of momentum, and really, they are better than most formula series mysteries. Better-written, I mean, and Georgie's mother is always fun to read. But as mysteries I always feel like they lack something - partly because mysteries set in the 1930s inevitably make you draw a comparison with Sayers which everyone else will always lose, but partly because Georgie just ... she just sort of walks around and the most obvious clues get left in front of her, every so often she does something insanely risky without seeming to realize it, and then she mainly solves the mystery because she runs into the criminals doing crimes. So just not quite satisfying. But as the title hints, she marries Darcy, so at least we can stop being reminded that she's a virgin every book!

An Unkindness of Magicians, by Kat Howard - a standalone urban fantasy novel, probably could be categorized as "new adult" although it isn't as far as I know. The premise is that New York City is controlled by various magical families/Houses, and every so often they have to participate in a tournament to see which House will be in charge. I'm going to get a bit spoilery about the worldbuilding, so I'll shift into a cut: Collapse )

Now I'm working on The Victory Garden, also by Rhys Bowen, and it's interesting to see where it is and isn't like the Royal Spyness series, in terms of voice and character-type and plot. (It's a standalone novel, not marketed with the RS books at all, but close enough that she's not using a pen name, so ... I have to say, it seems like she phones it in with Spyness.) Though I hit a Stupid Corset Scene - really stupid - and about ten pages later there was an unexpected Australian slur, which is like ... if you're going to have characters be "oooh modern young women who all agree about corsets and jobs etc.", can't you have the Australian perfect-man love interest have some slight racial awareness?

Also started The Haunting of Hill House, don't know if I can/should read it at night.

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e. st v. millay

(no subject)

Just dropping in to say - this is an excellent recipe for paneer, I highly recommend it.

Lately I've been writing and writing in my journal, trying to dig deeper than a recitation of events. Now to channel that into fiction ... if only the same kind of short story market existed today as in 1900! But I've basically made up my mind that my fiction-writing career, such as it is/will be, should be confined to self-pubbing on Amazon for the select crowd that really likes historical pastiche.

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e. st v. millay

This weekend!

I'm trying to remember what it was that I actually did on Saturday and Sunday. Um. Saturday I went to get a few more presents at the Traditional Arts in Upstate New York shop where I got all of the others - a pair of earrings for Melissa, a candle and hand lotion for Gramma - and then I came home and wrapped everything. I'd walked into the village to do shopping there (and at the health food store, where I realized that there are FODMAPs in all dried fruit and so got bananas and GF flour, to make banana bread instead of fruitcake), and then after lunch walked in the other direction to Price Chopper/Stewarts/Kinney's for other food things. Since that was about four and a half miles altogether, I felt okay about not doing anything else the rest of the day.

Then Sunday I made yoghurt (it came out this time! I think I was incubating it just a little too cool), did some more walking errands, and then more of nothing useful. There must have been more, but I have no clue. My weekends are so scintillating.

But today! Usually on the weeks where I've worked Friday night and have Saturday off, by Monday I'm ready to be productive, and productive I was. I was going to bring my January challenge project with me for Christmas, but it's a pain; I'd rather bring my cardigan (which I haven't touched since May). Instead, I worked on the January challenge today. And I got so much done. I moved the skirt about 1.5" up the bodice in front, gathered the back of the skirt and the bodice and sewed them together, sewed up the back of the skirt, hemmed it, and hemmed the sleeves. So basically done, apart from the neckline and back opening finishes (well, the bodice is done there but not the skirt) and the fastenings, and the pintucks at the wrists. Which is all very good for finishing it after Christmas, I think. If it doesn't fit properly I'm going to be very annoyed.

I might really be able to do the HSM next year! Although I'm already backing off the idea of an 1860s traveling costume. I'll probably make a traveling hat/bonnet instead because IDK if you remember but the one I made last year sucked.

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e. st v. millay

(no subject)

My last two batches of yoghurt haven't set at all. With the second, I decided to try to reactivate the soup by heating it up just a bit and letting it incubate again (which the websites all say works!), but instead I got cheese curds. Fortunately I have a length of cheesecloth and I set it up in my sieve, poured the curds in, and am making cheese. Farmer cheese? Paneer? I'm not sure. At least it won't be wasted. Going to buy a thing of yoghurt at the grocery store this weekend because I'm getting tired of running through milk like this - it's only just barely worth it financially to make my own yoghurt (you basically break even compared to store-brand, but come out on top compared to other whole milk, live & active culture yoghurts, because they're never store brand), so buying gallon after gallon of milk eats into the margin. If the cheese comes out well, I'll heat up and reincubate the last runny batch and have lots of paneer. (Heaven.) But I wish I knew what the problem was. Used a new starter, made sure the temperature was right at all steps in the process - there's no reason for it to suddenly not work.

Today we had the children's Christmas program at work - 18 kids, which is doing pretty well for us. I was anxious the whole time, and have been for two days, because I was scheduled to give a talk on Regency women's dress and then do a book signing. But then nobody came. A Christmas miracle! Does sting, but it was really nice not having to speak.

Tried to transcribe things on ShakespearesWorld.org. Failed miserably. 17th century handwriting is insane.

Ron cut his hand on some kind of farm equipment and had to be rushed to Albany to a hand specialist. :( Don't know more yet, Mom didn't have time to text. He's not supposed to lose any fingers, she said, and hopefully he'll be all right.

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e. st v. millay

(no subject)

I bought some really cute tights and three pairs of thick stockings from Sock Dreams. The stockings do all go over my knees, but they're all too thick for garter clips to hold them up. I'm going to try out just wearing them as-is, but might have to get band garters.

So my second Butterick 5556 looks really 80s, I think, but mainly because it's so brown. Very Nostalgia of Mud. Maybe I'll get use to it, though. And in my next dress, I'm going to tone the FB down, I've been adding something like 4" and I think it's just too much. But even Mom likes this one! You don't understand, we hate each other's clothes (although we have very similar feelings about really historical styles - that stripped-down thing I go for is totally the way she dresses IRL).

I think I left my cheapo Walmart fake diamond girandole-style earrings in the motel in Ottawa. :( And I didn't even wear them. Going to write/call and ask them about it, meanwhile look harder here.

The director at the museum in Potsdam asked me to bring over an outfit for them to dress for their Dickensian Christmas thing, so I brought them my Cranford cotton gown. And then I got a tour of the collections storage, which is a little scattered, but their clothing is all very neatly put into (horrible heavy Hollinger) boxes and put into custom-built wooden shelving so that each box has its shelf and you don't have to stack them. Got some envy there! And then since I'd gone all the way to Potsdam, I figured I'd go to the co-op, which is like the health-food store in Canton (I'm pretty sure they're affiliated in some way) but twice as large - I got some things we don't have in Canton, like lard (what will I do with it? I don't know!) and barley malt syrup and tofu and a piece of baklava. That was a nice treat. It's was all enough to make me wish I had friends, so we could go hang out and walk around in Potsdam where they have some stores to window-shop in. #foreveralone

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e. st v. millay

(no subject)

Yesterday I cut two ~80" bias strips of the shot purple taffeta, sewed them together, started to iron the edges in, got to the seam and realized I was ironing them to the wrong side, started over. After a break, I pinned them on the black overskirt. So then today, while I caught up on Downton and Bake Off (the last season of which is on Netflix as "The Great British Baking Show" for reasons that completely elude me, because I'm pretty sure we have the idiom in American English, cook-off, etc. But anyway, if you want to try it, you should, also last season has the high drama of Iain's Baked Alaska) I slip-stitch basted it on, and it's stunning. I'm not doing *all* the trim the original has, but I've got to put a little bit on over the gathers in the sleeve ruffle, and I might put a thinner one along the seams in the peplum, maybe, we'll see. I have yet to formally put it all on and I'm a but worried about how the overskirt's going to work with the bodice, because the bodice's lower edge comes up on the high side. We'll see.

I made that apple shrub and it kind of tastes like ... sweet apple vinegar. I'm hoping that it will develop because I made three jars of it. The pretty faceted Ball jars, so I'm going to try to make some kind of preserves or jelly so I can use more of them.

Is it just me, or have casual bra manufacturers given up on sports bras? I finally decided to just get one of those instead of trying to make a substantial bandeau, and all they had at Walmart - seriously, the only choice - were these packs of three single-layer "bras" you're supposed to layer to get the amount of suppression you want.

Did an AMA today while RPing as Lucile - it was pretty fun, didn't appeal to many, but I liked writing about the Titanic from her perspective.

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e. st v. millay

(no subject)

Pbbbt. Just realized the reason my rehydrated beans are always so dry is that you're supposed to boil them before you start cooking with them, especially if you're cooking with tomatoes as well. WELL. How are you supposed to just know that. I'm still going to reheat some of the Butter Chicken-Style Beans I made last night for today's dinner, but I'm not sure I'll do it on Thursday night since the partially-cookedness isn't good for me, I don't think. But I have so much of it left over, I don't want to throw it all out ...

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e. st v. millay

(no subject)

I tried on my new dress over a yoked circle skirt I made some time ago, and it seems like a good slip! (If the skirt panels were instead cut straight and gathered to the yoke.) So I went looking for the pattern, and wouldn't you know it but that's the only pattern of mine that's nowhere to be found. How? How does this always happen? I don't actually own that many patterns!

Made a great risotto tonight. I had to go out for arborio rice and vegetable broth, but that gave me some more exercise. It was pretty ordinary, but not bad!

It stays light very late up here. It's 9 and the sunset is still pretty pale. This is probably why I've been finding it hard to make myself get ready for bed at a sensible time lately.

Found the pattern, it was in a pile instead of a box. Now I just need to find a sheet somewhere. I also have a lead on an aqua Singer in Massena, but I can't go check it out until Sunday as we have a book sale Friday-Saturday and that's a ~45 minute drive. They're asking for $60 but I'm probably going to offer $40 because $60 seems high.

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e. st v. millay


I'm totally getting things done today!

First I worked some more on my Doucet and Doeuillet posts (don't really count as "getting things done" because this is like all that I do with my time these days). I think Doucet is finished, but Doeuillet needs some more illustrations. None of the photos I want to use from the Met are OASC released. *sulks*

Last night I made the layers (Victoria sponge) with my new pans for Dad's cake, to be eaten tomorrow. Froze them. This morning I made the cannoli filling and put the stack together, then made the mascarpone frosting. WOW. I've never had mascarpone before, now I realize why it's so expensive. There's a good amount of filling left over and a bunch of frosting. It was very runny so I kind of drizzled heavily and then plastered the sides with mini chocolate chips - later I might see if it stiffened up in the fridge and try to pipe some on the top. You know those cakes that are covered with big flat rosettes? I assumed you piped, you know, huge roses but it turns out that it is all a lie - it's just big swirls. So I might do that on top. Although the effect is totally ruined for me, now instead of roses they just look like swirls.

Started a load of laundry early and have it drying now.

Tried on my mourning skirt over the proper(ish) undergarments to dart it. I need to make a petticoat, my Neoclassical one is too full. With luck I will sew the darts in and then attach it to the bodice today. Maybe even cut out the collar and cuffs!

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e. st v. millay


Okay, sewed enough that I'm starting to feel it. I have the side seams done and nearly all of the gussets in. (Gussets are awful.) Very optimistic about this corset!

For a break, I went and picked a bow full of peas, and now I'm shelling them. I love our setup: Ron plants the garden and gets it going, Mom weeds it, I harvest and eat. Om nom. Neither of them are home frequently in the summer, they're usually down in Delhi, it's totally honest.

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