Friday, May 23, 2008

Food, but no picture.

Earlier this week Nico made a very impressive dinner that he had never made before: linguine with red clam sauce. Ohh la la! I didn't take any pictures but it smelled and tasted great: spicy garlicky seafood and pasta. Very good.

Since I'm the one commuting now, Nico has a little more time and energy and so he's going to start doing more of the cooking. This is great and I'm really pleased. He's been saying that he wants to increase his cooking repertoire which I can totally understand. I've been wanting to increase my repertoire too, since the kinds of things I used to make pretty often (beans and rice, salsa, onion soup, etc) are either a little too 'single vegetarian' or a little too oniony (he's got that onion allergy after all).

So last weekend I bought a new cookbook: Express Lane Meals by Rachel Ray. And you know, I felt a little bit like I was giving up on being a good, or at least diy, cook. Like, here I am, believing myself to be so into cooking and then as soon as I get a little tired I give up and buy the cookbook aimed at the lowest common denominator - whatever's easiest.

But I guess I was just being a snob. Again. And I really should give Ms Ray her due. She does have good recipes that aren't overly complex or time consuming. The cookbook is well-organized, and most importantly, Nico was interested in actually using the recipes in it. The linguine with red clam sauce was awesome. And I did base my good roasted salsa recipe off something she made.

Tonight it's my turn to make something from the cookbook. I'm doing warm chopped chicken piccata spinach salad. Nutrition assured.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Yes we are. In the new place in Oly! And internet finally just got hooked back up today. Slowly unpacking. Bought some generic chile plants and planted them in the rocky dirt next to the back door. They will probably die. Everyone at work keeps asking about my commute, but it's really quite nice. Last night took a walk down by Capital Lake. Ahhh. This is more like what I imagined living in the Pacific NW would be like. For the first time since leaving Tucson life feels normal and comfortable again. Now if only we had a bed.

Pictures will happen as soon as we make the place into something other than a mess of boxes. It could be a while.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Engagement Ring

My engagement ring came on Monday. Squeeee! OK. Ahem.

There are stories that go with getting this ring. When Nico and I got engaged in February we went to one of those jewelry stores in the mall to get our fingers sized and to see if maybe, just maybe, there was anything good. Of course there wasn't. The first store we went into didn't have anything I liked, and they couldn't size Nico's finger because they only sized up to a 15. And the one thing they had that he might've liked couldn't be made in whatever size he was. So we went to another jewelry store in the mall, where a gaggle of tiny jewelry store clerks all told us that it would be next to impossible to find something in Nico's size. At the time we guessed that he might be a 17. A 17! The store clerks' eyes practically bulged out of their heads. And as we were leaving the store they actually laughed at us. Yeah. Nice.

So I began looking on Etsy, and there were some great rings but the one I really liked was made only in titanium. I thought that would be fine, until I found out that titanium cannot be resized. Not really. OK. But I had an idea for a design, and we decided to go to ye olde jewelers here in town. Buy local, support your community, yadda yadda.

So we go in to this place, and I'm trying to describe what I'm thinking of to the sales-lady, trying to bounce some ideas off her, that kind of thing. Her response to pretty much everything I said was, "No, you can't do that, no, no, I've never heard of that." She managed to find a plastic ring-sizer and estimated that Nico's finger is a size 19. And then she showed us an ugly pre-made band that she thought she could slap a diamond on and sell us for a thousand. Um. No. This is my engagement ring. I want to wear it forever. I don't want to hear "can't do," I want "can do!" Can do!

So we went home, I wrote up a description of what I wanted and we posted it on Etsy's Alchemy page. We got several bids and we got to pick and choose among them. We went with a ring and jewelry maker in the UK, Nico paid, and several weeks later we got the ring in the mail. So now I have a ring I designed, we supported an independent artisan (though not local) and I get to laugh at all those jewelry store clerks because I got exactly what I want for a hell of a lot less than they would've charged. CAN DO!

This is the best I could do with the camera. It's a white gold band with a tiny 2mm ruby drop-set, and an even tinier diamond also drop-set. I love it! I think it looks very modern and slightly minimalist. We're going to add other tiny stones to it for special occasions and anniversaries.

Oh yes. The seller we went with on Etsy is Fluid By Design. She's got some pretty stuff, you should check her out.

T-minus 4 days until we move to Olympia!