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22 January 2008

Chili chases chillies

I did some cooking over the weekend to help warm things up.  On Saturday, it was Abbey's Chili All Day.  I've made that recipe at least once per year since Abbey first posted it.  It makes a nice big pot of wonderful, hearty chili.  Since roasting is my new favorite thing to do in the kitchen (plus it helps with the "warming things up" part), I roasted the stew meat and onions a la Carole's Roast Beef Soup, just as I did for stew a couple of weeks ago, and then picked up the chili recipe from there.  However you might do it, I encourage you to try it... you'll like it!!

On Sunday, I roasted* a chicken and will use the leftovers tomorrow to make chicken soup.  Ali also has tomorrow off, and we're going to work hard at cleaning out the playroom (where no one has "played" in years, but we still call it that) and carving out a work space for her -- a studio space, if you will.  She is serious about taking on and doing more work, as well she should.

There's a part of our basement that's really, really cold and I use it as a gigantic walk-in cooler at this time of year.  On Saturday, I had to go down there to get a beer for the chili and discovered standing water -- quite a bit of standing water -- on the floor in one area.  There's a floor drain there, and another close by, but it was obviously stopped-up.  The water was crystal clear, so I immediately (and thankfully) ruled out leaky drain pipes from shower, sink, washer, or other "dirty" plumbing fixtures.  Frankly, where the water was coming from wasn't as much a concern as why it wasn't going.  We tried poking then snaking, with no success, and it was determined that we'd have to rent a larger snake and try again.  We snaked the floor drain last night, then the main drain, and again with no success.  In a last-minute desperation move, a simple, lowly plunger was called for and... plunge-plunge-plunge WHOOSH!

Whew!  It's good for now.  The investigative work and any necessary repairs or replacements will have to wait 'til spring.

I cast off the sleeves of Oblique last night and the raglan decreases appear to match up perfectly with those on the fronts/back.  I'm thrilled!  I picked up buttonband stitches on the left front and will work on that at knit night tonight.  Then there's seaming, the collar, and buttons.  I had Katie pick up an extra hank of yarn yesterday, after all; I'm almost certain that it'll be needed.

Sorry for the picture-less post.  Besides dealing with the water in the basement problem last night, there was more than 3" of snow to deal with this morning before leaving for work.  Man, it was scary-slippery on the highway!  Katie originally wanted to go back to Madison yesterday but postponed her departure 'til this morning because of the weather.  I white-knuckled it to work -- it was greasy-slippery and I felt that any sudden move or twitch would land me in the ditch -- I'm pretty sure I skated most of the way -- and intended to call Katie with a warning the minute I arrived.  Too late.  She called me from a ditch just as I pulled into the parking lot -- she's okay and her car is okay (minus one fog light -- meh), but her door was wedged so she needed rescuing, and the car needed to be pulled out.  The sun is shining and roads are improving and she'll be on her way soon; missing her first day of second-semester classes.

Arrgh.  Yeah, looking forward to knitting tonight!!

*Big surprise, I know!

Comments

Here, we have snow at 1,500 feet. That means a dusting on the highest hills, nothing on the roads. Ever. I wouldn't have a clue about driving in your weather conditions. Not. A. Clue. Glad to hear Katie's ok.

Glad ya'll made it on the roads relatively safe, and I hope Katie didn't have to wait too long for a toe truck - I heard this morning before I left it was a couple hour wait. It sure was nasty - the closer I got to "town" the worse the roads were, and the worse the other drivers were, that is for sure!

Glad she's okay! The Madison area got 7 inches. Needless to say, my van is buried up past the bumper-ugh! My husband gets the lovely job of shoveling it out when he gets home from campus (he's a prof at the UW), after shoveling our car out this morning.

How long till spring, again?

Anything roasted sounds good right now. I gotta tell you - I'm so sick of this cold weather I could scream!! I never used to be like this - must be age!

What!? You didn't run and grab the camera at the sight of the standing water in the basement? Jeesh. What kind of blogger are you anyway?

All that roasting and cooking sounds really good right now.

OK, that's it. No learner's permits in this house!

I am also a fan of roasting... one or two pans, all in the oven, no fussing over the stove. Have you roasted root veggies with olive oil and a good herb like rosemary or thyme (works great for me in a big cast iron skillet)? MMMMM hmmmm. Also great with roast chicken or pork. Shortly after we moved into this house Hurricane Floyd hit. Granted it's New England, but it was a lot of rain. DH says to me, you have to come into the basement. I say, no no no... new old house, very creepy dark basement. There was 6 inches of water down there. I said there's a drain, I remember, but where. Found it, it had a ROCK over it. Move the rock, water goes away. Magic. But the floor is dirt, and we really do need to do something better down there.

Vegetarian here, but I like to roast root veggies before throwing them in the stock pot. It gives the stock a richer taste.

Your Ali should absolutely have a studio of her own. She's a wonderful artist!

And too bad about Katie's mishap. What on earth did we do before cell phones?

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