Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Funny Valentine

It all started with my non resolution to eat healthier and move more in 2013. My Zumba Gold DVDs are not seeing much action, but I did start eating oatmeal almost every day for breakfast. No instant, sweetened, flavored stuff for me. My aim was for old fashioned oats, whole grain, no additives, no over processing. I'd add my own natural fruit and maybe a few slivers of almonds if I chose, maybe even some skim milk.

After a month of  microwaving and trying to remember to use the deep, not the wide, cereal bowl for my one-portion size to prevent an oatmealy mess in the microwave when the timer sounded, I thought there must be such a thing as an electric oatmeal cooker. Voila! The rice cooker, my new love.

When I Googled "oatmeal cooker" and was led to rice cookers I went to where I also found this book:

It's a great little book, especially if you like Roger Ebert. It's funny, witty and informative. But if you're looking for a rice cookbook, this is not it. There is information and blog posts and charming, witty anecdotes all pertaining to rice cookers, Roger's rice cooking experiences and also those of his blog readers. Although he mentions it quite a few times it only took one "Get the pot!" for me to go searching for the perfect least expensive, three cup cooker. After all I only wanted it to cook one portion of oatmeal a day.

Here it is:

Roger said you only need a little basic pot, one that turns on, cooks then switches to warm. The name he dropped was Zojirushi. My little Zojirushi pot was advertised as such, but actually does not have the Warm feature. I needed the six cup version for the Warm feature. Oh well, I should have done just a tad more research.

So as in all things, I went on a mission to "read up on" (a favorite expression of my late Aunt Ruby) rice cookers--brands, sizes, features and cooking oatmeal in one. Google led me to a blog via an "I love my rice cooker" post which included instructions for cooking steel ground oats. I've come to really enjoy the writings of this blogger. She's a young mother, chef, vegetarian, marathon runner and loves her rice cooker. The blog is Daily Garnish by Emily Malone. After reading the post in which she extols the virtues of her rice cooker, a top of the line six cup beauty, I was smitten. I found myself wanting to upgrade . . . badly. And not to the six cup version of the one I had. After reading the blogger's recommendation of a less expensive one comparable to hers, one now sits on my kitchen counter. Sorry, Roger, I found I did need a fuzzy logic, micom with all the bells and whistles. I also needed a six cup size, even for just one portion.

I bought it as a Valentine's Day gift to myself, My Funny Valentine. At night I can put in 1/4 c steel ground oats, 1 c water, a dash of salt, set the timer and at 7:30 a.m. have hot oatmeal. If I'm not ready to eat then, it will keep warm for me until I am ready. Yes, I have used it to cook rice as well.

Will the rice cookers please step forward . . .


No knitting. No knitting content. When the tough can't focus to knit, this tough turns into a foodie. Remember my homemade ice cream? How about the cupcake phase I went through? I guess this is healthier--rice, steel ground oats, quinoa, etc. I have The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook now, a real rice cookbook all about types and sizes of cookers, every kind of rice, porridges, techniques and recipes.

However, I am still a

Bona Fide Knitter

Friday, February 8, 2013

Back to Hexipuffs

Friday is my newly designated  "by myself date day" and the weather forecasters put such a damper on today with their gleeful "Nor'easter" predictions that I decided not to spend the day at the Barnes Foundation Museum exhibits, then having dinner and staying for this evening's event. I even gave up on the idea of going instead to the 10:30 a.m. showing of Argo. Cold rain this morning changing to icy snow this afternoon lasting into the night is not appealing to this driver. Sooooo, I cuddled up in front of the fake fire and arranged the newly acquired tote for my Beekeepers Quilt in-the making.

It's the greatest little on-the-go project bag for the small balls of sock yarn, polyfil, needles, hooks, pattern, tools, etc. There are six pockets for the yarn on the outside and the inside can hold all the other stuff. It closes with hook and loop strips.
I filled the pockets with small center pull balls of the Koigu colors from my stash I'm working with at the moment. My hexipuff in progress still on the needles and polyfil peek out from the middle section. Love it!

Speaking of Koigu, you will remember I mentioned the Grab Bag of Koigu skeinettes I ordered online that I was dissatisfied with. Well, I had written a negative review on the site and I got an email from their Customer Service. They were willing to do everything to make me a satisfied customer including let me keep all the yarn and refund all my money! I didn't want to take unfair advantage, so I sent back the skeinettes I had not opened and they refunded my entire payment including shipping. How great is that!

I didn't name the site because I have purchased there before and been very pleased with what I received. I didn't want to bad mouth them. I will not mention the name now because I don't want to start a run on the bank. But I will tell you this, they are the BEST!!!

Back to the tote bag . . .

The tote bags are sold on Etsy and eBay. The are called Bingo Bags and come in two sizes. I got the smaller size. The Etsy and eBay seller does a great work. I ordered mine from Etsy before I read the part where it says, "It will take two to three weeks before I ship."  Not good for my desire for instant gratification. The bag arrived in 21 calendar days, a real trial for me! But I'm very happy with the purchase. I picked the owl priint because the Beekeeper's Quilt pattern is from Tiny Owl Knits. I know, awwwwww.


Bona Fide Knitter