Friday, May 29, 2009


Until yesterday, I had never even tasted rhubarb, let alone cooked with it. But there I was at Whole Foods, where they manage to make the most unlikely food look appetizing. Really, they should run a dayspa. Anyway, I brought home a few stalks and Mary and I had some fun with it.

After trimming the ends off the stalks, we sliced it up and threw it in a pot with a pint or so of beautiful strawberries, 3/4 c sugar, and 1/4 c water. After a few minutes of bubbling gently on medium heat, the inside of the rhubarb turned from green to yellow, it all thickened up, and we plopped it into some thawed puff pastry I happened to have. 25 minutes at 400F later, we had a strawberry rhubarb tart, and being great fans of tart+sweet, the John and the girls all enjoyed it.

By the way, while researching exactly what you do with rhubarb, I found out that the leaves of the rhubarb are poisonous! Mary and I would both like to know how they found out the stalks were okay....

Bags and Sweets

Vasalissa in Recoleta...a pink and celadon paradise of chocolate

While I didn't manage to get to any sort of fiber-y shop in Buenos Aires, how can a place teeming with shoes, bags, and sweets be bad?

That bag came home with me...

In addition to eating my weight in beef (sorry, my vegan friends...but when in Argentina...although actually I eat plenty of beef right here at home so it's not a good excuse) I also managed to consume a fair amount of chocolate, pastries both straight from the bakery and in the million and one cafes I sat in, cheese, nuts, and olives. In other words, my ideal diet: chocolate, cheese, olives, nuts and coffee, chased down with pastry and steak. The minute I manage to look like Valerie Bertinelli I plan on cashing in.

If you are in BA, don't miss Fervor. We had a fantastic dinner there, the ambience is warm and lively, and the dessert menu includes flan with ice cream. You hear that? Flan AND ice cream, both made in-house. What a great idea - two-course dessert. And of course we went to La Cabrera, a BA must.

I also went to a couple of really nice bars, something I rarely do at home. (Actually, that came out wrong: it's not that I don't go to nice's that I don't go to ANY bars...lest you think I go to dives. And I do go to the Whaling Bar once in a blue moon.) The Library at the Faena Hotel is such a nice place for a drink, and the bathroom is not to be missed. It's a palace of marble and beveled glass, with fresh flowers and freaking swan faucets. The Oak Bar a the Hyatt was pretty spectacular too, although you do have to brave the cigar smoke.

And just in case you gather the impression we didn't do anything "cultural" at all (four women loose in Argentina = no museums) we did visit the very beautiful Recoleta Cemetery. And, I believe I can make a very good argument for the case that we experienced more culture talking to the wonderful, friendly locals than we would have on the tourist circuit.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Buenos Dias Buenos Aires

Usually my excuses for not blogging regularly are pretty lame: work, busy schedule, sheer laziness, etc. But this time I've got a good one. At the drop of a hat, I decided to go with my sister and another friend to Buenos Aires, Argentina! That's right - I decided on a Friday and on Saturday morning I was on a 757 winging my way to the southern hemisphere.

My niece had been down there for a couple of months visiting a friend, and she had the use of a darling little apartment in Recoleta - so lucky for us! We had a fabulous week of shopping, lounging in cafes, eating in wonderful restaurants, and having a fantastic time in general.

Here you see the view from our little pied-a-terre and the cafe across the street. Isn't it wonderful?

Tomorrow I'll blog some of the fantastic stores and restaurants we visited.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Work, Work, Work

One of the sad realities of my life is that my knitting and my work can occasionally become incompatible. Working the mouse a lot when I'm on deadline for a graphics project irritates my right elbow - if I'm knitting something at the same time I get a painful bout of tennis elbow and that's that - no knitting, no work!

At this time of year I always work on a couple of jobs that cause me to put down the knitting for a while. And since it coincides with warmer weather, there you go: knitting sabbatical. This year, however, I've been able to pace myself on the knitting so I haven't stopped altogether.

I'll post some of my print projects in a bit, but in the meantime here are some knits I finished in April. As soon as I get someone to model them for me I'll post better pictures, but for now, that gorgeous pinky-purple thing is a Just Enough Ruffles scarf (the second one, and I'm contemplating a third) in Malabrigo merino worsted in Hollyhock, and the wheat-colored thing is a Sunray in Malabrigo again, in the Pale Khaki colorway.