Monday, August 31, 2009

From the Mountains to the Sea

Glendale Fwy (8/28/09), heading toward Montrose
Saturday was made up of contrasts for me. First thing in the morning I headed up to Suss Design on Beverly Blvd. in West Hollywood to check out the yarn sale. It was hot and the sky was smoky because of the nearby forest fires. I bought lots of green mystery yarn for $2 a skein and saw many WeHo SnB yarnsters. Then, I kept driving northeast up to Montrose for Griffin Dyeworks Fiber Fest.

Fiber Fest - August 2009

My friends back at the yarn store told me to avoid the area, but I was on a mission. I wanted to see some other friends that were attending the Fest and of course, I wanted to scope out the vendors. I wasn't sure how many people would attend, because of the fires, but I was surprised to see a full house upon arrival at the La Crescenta Women's Club.

Yes, smoke was billowing up into the sky just over the ridge. The air was thick with falling ash. It was like being on the downwind side of a huge barbecue. Ugh. The fiber dyers could not dye their yarn until the wind shifted a bit after the lunch break.

Kenny, Chuck, Kyle and Debra patiently waiting for the wind to shift

I left after lunch, but the rest of the group seemed to be having a great time learning new techniques in spinning, weaving, dying and all other things fiber-related. Griffin Dyeworks holds these events a few times during the year. I would definitely attend again and partake of the classes.
After clearing my lungs a bit I zoomed out to Pacific Palisades Park in Santa Monica for a bonus meeting with the Fairview Knitters. The air was considerably clearer out by the ocean. About 10 of us settled on a shady, grassy spot with a great view of the ocean. Natalie and I brought some treats to share. It was a glorious afternoon with lots of people (and their adorable little dogs) stopping by to ask us about our group and how often we meet. Details: We meet on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month at the Fairview Branch Library, 21st and Ocean Park, S.M. from 3:30 -5:30pm. This was the fifth Saturday of the month and we decided to venture away from the Library for this bonus meeting. It was delightful and we will definitely meet in the Park again!

My positive wishes go out to everyone in burn areas in SoCal. Hopefully, we will experience some moisture in the air, lower temperatures and our valiant firefighters will be able to contain the blazes.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Fire Season

"Animals don't start fires. Smokey the Bear, part of the U.S. Forest Service exhibit in the Sportsmen's Show at the Pan Pacific, warns 2 1/2-year-old Crystal Mae Mitchell about dangers of fires."
Photo by Hal Jensen, 1962 from LAPL Archives
Who says we don't have seasons here in Southern California? It just so happens to be Fire Season right now. Ugh! It is horrible. People have been forced to evacuate their homes. Our air quality is awful....there's smoke and ash all over the Los Angeles basin. We're a burnin' Hell here, folks!!!
First, there's the Station Fire in the Angeles Crest National Forest, the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains; then, there's the Palos Verdes Penninsula Fire in Portuguese Bend area and now I just heard that there's a fire near Hemet, in Riverside County. All of these fires are due to dry brush and hot temperatures. If your grounds are part of a hillside, please remember to clear the brush! I know it's expensive, but if you don't take on the responsibility, then the County will do it for you and charge a lot!
More vintage photos here.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Published Recipe

OK, it seems that I've been concentrating on cooking quite a bit this summer. Of course, "Julie and Julia" may have had something to do with this. I always read Los Angeles Magazine. I even follow their Twitter posts. Last month's issue had the Best of L.A., including restaurants, spas, bakeries, dog groomers, tiki drinks, etc. Grub Restaurant in Hollywood won for best tuna melt in Los Angeles. L.A. Magazine then had an online contest for the best tuna melt recipe. I sent my recipe in and I won!!! Last night, Larry and I gorged ourselves with our $50 dinner coupon at Grub. It was divine.

Blueberry Lemonade


Fresh Spinach & Greens with Warm Goat Cheese,
Roasted Shiitake Mushrooms & Sundried Tomatoes tossed in homemade Champagne-Lemon Vinaigrette. Topped with warm Walnut-crusted Goat Cheese

California Crab Cake. Crab mixed with Tarragon, Dill, and Lemon coated in Panko and cooked to golden, served with Citrus Cole Slaw and Ha Cha Cha Creamed Corn with Cheddar

Drunken Steak. Marinated in Stone Pale Ale, tender and delicious cooked to Medium-Rare with a Mushroom Onion Pan Sauce & served with Mashed Potatoes & sautéed Spinach

Grub is located in the heart of the old studio district of Hollywood on Seward St., just south of Santa Monica Blvd. It's in a transformed, side-by-side, Spanish Revival duplex with a large patio. It's a charming place and we plan to return to try their award-winning tuna melt. Thank you, Los Angeles Magazine for introducing us to this great Hollywood hideaway.

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L*O*V*E this book!
We plan on attending the book signing of Adriene Biondo's and John Eng's book, "Southern California Eats " on Friday from 6-9 at La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Sunset Blvd., east of Vermont Ave., East Hollywood. I just received my copy of the book a few days ago and it's fantastic. Of course, I've known about most of the restaurants detailed in this architectural and cultural tome for awhile. However, the photos representing these places are not the usual views. It's so refreshing to see many of these restaurants from different angles. There's lots of preservation info here too. Buy this's beautifully designed and contains a wealth of information on Googie architecture in Southern California.
Saturday morning, I'll be heading out to Montrose for the Fiber Frolic, hosted by Griffin Dyeworks in Monrovia. Hopefully, the fires in the L.A. mountains above La Crescenta will be put out soon. The air quality in the L.A. basin has been chokeful of late. Luckilly, this yarn dying fest will be inside the La Crescenta Women's Club, away from flying ashes. See photo of January's Fiber Fest above. A few of my friends from the mile-high Idyllwild Stitch 'n Bitch are attending this conference. I hope to meet up with them for lunch and yarn vendor shopping onsite!
I'll be a freeway flyer on Saturday....later that afternoon I'll be heading toward Pacific Palisades Park overlooking the ocean in Santa Monica for a bonus SnB with the Fairview Knitters. Instead of our regular meeting place at the Fairview Branch Library, we're meeting for ocean view knitting from 4-6pm. After braving the hot temps of the San Gabriel Valley, I'm looking forward to relaxing at the park with my Fairview homies, taking in the cool ocean breeze.
Sunday, I plan on going thru my old 45's, 33's and CDs and playing every Ellie Greenwich (pictured above) penned song in my collection. RIP, Ellie.
Stay cool this weekend....pray for rain.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another Obsession

You know that I'm obsessed with the magnificent color combinations of Noro yarn. I've made many items out of Kureyon, Kureyon sock, Silk Garden, Noro Chunky, etc. Lately, I've been obsessed with crocheting the Kureyon and Silk Garden sock yarns. I completed a shawl out of Kureyon sock a few weeks ago (above).
I recently finished another shawl out of Silk Garden sock yarn. I scored this yarn at Compatto Yarn Salon in Santa Monica for 30% off! I just love this pattern and this yarn!Here's Heather at our recent Fairview Knitters meeting, modeling the Silk Garden Sock Yarn Shawl for me:
Heather @ Fairview Library, Santa Monica
I just started yet another Kureyon sock shawl in earth tones (below). Looks like I'll be ready when Christmas comes around this year! It's August....time to start your holiday knitting and crocheting. What are you making for holiday gifts this year?

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mid-City Weekend

Insulation being blown into space between roof and ceiling

Larry and I had a Mid-City weekend. On Friday, after the insulation guys blew fiberglass insulation into the space between our non-existent roof and ceiling of the original house, we met up with Mom, Hal and Hal's son, Tom for dinner at the Original Farmers Market. Tom hadn't been there in over 30 years, so it was a treat for him. Later that evening we listened to the sweet music stylings of D.J. Bonebrake and his Syncopators in the West Patio of the Market.
Hal and Tom

Mom and Hal

Tom and Larry

Saturday was a busy day of running errands, attending the Fairview Knitters group and going to a birthday party for my Uncle, who just turned 92! I was having such a nice time visiting with my aunts, uncles and cousins, that I forgot to take photos!

Pann's Coffee Shop, La Cienega & La Tijera, L.A.

On Sunday morning Mom and Hal picked us up and we zoomed down La Cienega to our favorite coffee shop for Sunday breakfast, Pann's! We arrived before most of the local churches let out, so we only had to wait about 10 minutes to be seated. It was so worth the wait! We had the chicken wings and waffles with eggs. My fave breakfast! Pann's has the best fried chicken in town. Try it'll love it!

The roofing guys showed up this morning with their stinky tar truck. Hopefully, we'll have a new roof on our 80 year-old house by the time I get home tonight!

Roofing Material

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday Supper

Ingredients for Lemon Basil Cake
I modified my cooking this weekend and only experimented with two new dishes. I baked the Lemon Basil Cake. It turned out beautifully. The final presentation, accompanied by fresj raspberries, was delicious.

On Sunday, after our Sometimes Sunday Crochet Group met, I was kinda' tired. The weather this weekend was muggy and exhausting. I wasn't up for creating anything spectacular for dinner. I made a nice green salad. Then, I popped Trader Joe's Mushroom Risotto into the microwave and sauteed some shrimp and shallots in garlic, butter and lemon juice. I tossed the shrimp mixture into the risotto after steaming some zucchini and we had a lovely dinner! Thank you, T.J.'s for great fixin's for a wonderfully easy and delicious meal.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Grocery Shopping

Y & Y Corner Market, 39th St., L.A.
Photo by Wm. Reagh, 1976, from LAPL Archives

We've come a long way in Los Angeles from the corner market to the many Trader Joe's Grocery Stores on the Westside.
Well, it's finally happened...there is yet another Trader Joe's in West Los Angeles. This one is located on Olympic Blvd. @ Stoner Ave., near Barrington. This store will supposedly serve the communities of Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, West L.A and other nearby areas. There must be at least four other T.J.'s nearby, but the demand is high. If they build it, we will come!

I arrived at the new store about 15 minutes after the opening at 9 am this morning. The roof parking lot was jammed. There are lots of spaces on the roof, but I'm not thrilled about access to the parking lot. There's only one ramp and it tends to get clogged at peak hours. One more negative before I get to the positives: You have to either take the stairs or an elevator to and from the parking lot....not great if you have lots of groceries.

Now, on to the positive factors of this new store: There was a hula band playing in the lobby, everyone got a Hawaiian lei upon entry to the store and there were lots of free snacks. The store is large inside, beautifully layed out and almost roomy compared to other T.J. stores. Each section is huge and of course, well-stocked. They went all out on the art design of this store with painted murals of Los Angeles landmarks. I'll definitely shop at this store because it's on the route between my office and home. I will be avoiding it for the first few weeks though, until the glow wears off.
It is Vintage Photo Friday (note photo of old corner market above). Click for more VPF.
Trader Joe's-Olympic. 11755 W Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064. Phone: (310) 477-5949. Trading Hours: 9 am - 9 pm

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Suzy Homemaker

I have a bit of unscheduled time this weekend. I've collected a few cookbooks this past summer and have marked some recipes to try. Since the weather is cooperating and it isn't a zillion degrees in Los Angeles, I might just pop on my apron and do a bit of cooking this weekend.
My Mom taught me cooking basics. She learned a bit from her mother, but really honed her kitchen skills after she married my Dad during World War II. In those days, cooking with canned goods and packaged mixes was all the rage. Campbell's cream of mushroom soup seemed to permeate most of our meals when I was a kid. When frozen vegetables were introduced, Mom was in heaven. Most nights our dinners consisted of: Iceberg lettuce salad with Wishbone dressing; main dish of some sort of protein with cream of mushroom soup baked in; frozen vegies sprinkled with Lawry's Seasoned Salt and butter; rice, potatoes or some other starch. Dessert was, pudding or Sarah Lee cake. When there was a special occasion, then Mom would take the time to cook something more involved. Otherwise, she thrived on quick and easy meals, afterall there were bridge and tennis games to be played! That was my culinary training ground.
When I was married the first time in the mid-1970's, the cooking revolution had begun! We always watched Julia Child on TV, along with Graham Kerr (the Galloping Gourmet). Haute cuisine had come to Los Angeles, via Patrick Terrail of Ma Maison Restaurant. Cookbooks like the Silver Palate and Renny Darling's tomes were my go-to sources during this era. I was even a member of a monthly gourmet club with four other friends. We alternated cooking elaborate meals for each other and dining out. It was a heady, foodie time in Los Angeles.
For the last 20 years or so, I've taken a page out of Mom's book and gone the way of Trader Joe's recipes and easy cooking ideas. By the way, the new Trader Joe's in West L.A. opens tomorrow!
Well, now it's time to re-cycle the past and consider nutrition and care in the preparation of our meals. I may just drag out a few of my old cookbooks, along with my recent purchases and prepare feasts for the week! Larry will be so impressed.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Orange Tones

Yes, I do like orange and any color related to orange, like rust, copper and certain reds. I just finished my Kasbah slipover. It's a bit short, but it's cool and comfy and works with lots of my wardrobe.
Sorry for the blurry photos. My fashion photographer wasn't available at the time.
My friend, Ana invents sweaters all the time. I love her Easy Breezy halter top. I decided to see if I could make a crocheted version of this halter. I used some beautiful Red Heart Eco-Ways Bamboo Wool that my friend Darcy gave me for my birthday; size "I" crochet hook, back loop only double crochet stitches for drape. It's a little bit holey, but I do like it. I'm working on a new and improved version!


Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery