Friday, May 20, 2011


Saara, who blogs in Finnish about gardening, life and everything in between, has most kindly and flatteringly given me a picture and, apparently, a task to confess seven things. I actually hesitate to post these sort of things (not that I've had the occasion to before) because then I'll have to pass it on and suddenly we're at confession number one, which has a lot to do with my "comment on blogs you read week":

1. Reading other people's blogs makes me feel like a sweaty, creepy stalker.

Because I don't have many real life friends who blog, I have two options: One, pass this on to someone with lots of readers, someone who's probably already sick and tired of all memes and thinks "Oh dear lord, who is this nobody who thinks I actually care? Obviously my blog is great." Two, pass this on to someone with few readers, who will think "Jeebus, what is this pervert doing, reading about my life like this? We've never even met!" And I guess three, some sort of a combination of the two. You see? Awkwardness all around. The whole COBYRW was pure hell. It was like having to go through the entire neighborhood in your underwear, knock on every door and sing a song to them. I'm never doing that again!

Yet I guess I have no choice but to choose one of the above, because all other options - not accepting the acknowledgment or not passing it on - would just seem snotty and/or self-congratulatory. You just can't win. So how about I just tell you my favorite blogs and leave it at that? I don't actually have to go and tell them I creepily talk about them here behind their back, do I? Good.

JaanaMaa blogs about knitting, sewing and thrifty things in Finnish. She is so pretty and makes such awesome, inspiring things that when I found her blog I read it all in one sitting. Creepy, huh?

Needled belongs to a wonderful, wonderful knitting designer and I always feel refreshed and inspired when I read her writings about knitting history and hiking or look at her gorgeous photographs. I actually have a room in the basement decorated with pictures of her with her SO's face scratched out. (Too much?)

Okay, so there. Go stalk, it will be worth your while. On with the confessions, then.

2. I really, really, REALLY hate cooking.

I've tried the whole cooking, healthy eating yada yada thing. Okay, I lie. I've thought about trying it. But the truth is I'm more of a frozen pizza girl. If it wasn't for my finances, I would stay on that beautiful, greasy, carbohydrated path. Because of said finances, once again I've been forced to make food in my kitchen, the place I most like to use for watching other people make me food.

So I hate cooking, but baking bread, making hummus and eating all that with some smoothie? That's not remotely the same thing. I could easily blog about baking, but for some reason I find it really boring. Writing down instructions and recipes is so mechanical and rarely anything groundbreaking. Yet I just have to tell the world that I finally managed to bake the perfect ciabatta

I made these! Can you believe it?

I used this recipe (actually half of it) and I think I have now discovered the secrets of ciabatta:

1. Mixing the yeast in with cold water

2. Leaving the dough very soft

2. Putting a bowl of water on the oven pan with the loaves

Cold water means that the yeast does not really spring properly to life until in the oven. I let the dough leaven for two hours and it had maybe added a half to its volume. There were bubbles in it, but not many. Yet the loaves doubled in size once in the oven. I hesitate to add the softness of the dough to the secrets because I don't know how important that is yet, but that's another thing I did differently this time around. My previous attempts have resulted in very flat, dull loaves, nothing like the crispy plumpness of these specimens.

Srsly guys!

Another kitchen discovery this week has been the perfect flapjack recipe. (See? If I just link to other people's recipes, I don't have to write them out!)

3. I am not a morning person.

I wish I was, I really do. I'd love to be one of those people who rise and shine with the sun and get all sorts of shit done before the birds finish singing, but I'm not. I'm grumpy and slow and I'd rather sleep an extra half hour than, say, have breakfast. Enter flapjacks. I first encountered their chewy goodness during my studies in Wales. Packed with life (read: sugar), they are just the thing I like to stuff my face with on the train in the mornings. Or afternoons. Or nights. The recipe above made twelve separately packed snacks, enough for a week's worth of missed meals. I used butter instead of margarine, just cheap porridge oats and added some leftover chocolate muesli plus a pile of dried and chopped dates, apricots and goji berries. Delicious!

"We are food! No, really we are! Truuust uuuus!"

It's a beautiful evening outside, so let's save the last four confessions for another time. I want to get some gardening done before sunset.

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