Apr. 30th, 2017

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It feels as if it has been forever since I've had enough free time on a Sunday to tend to chores and then work on a project, what with regattas, science marches, and bicycling expeditions and such.

Today I got to test out the new sewing machine, a Janome HD-1000, and try my hand at sewing nylon.

Sewing setup

The machine's in the background. In the foreground, you can see a cardboard cutting table from [personal profile] annikusrex's mom, K. K taught both of us how to sew, and I have a lot of memories of standing around that cutting table, playing with pattern weights and pins. It is so handy to have a table for sewing projects that also folds flat, and it's surprisingly sturdy. Thank you, K!

The sewing machine worked like a dream.

After a bit of rummaging around, I was able to relocate the strip of aluminum I'd used previously to anchor the basket to the CETMA rack, as well as the old bolts and locknuts. I hope the blue foam camping pad works as well as, if not better than, the last closed-cell foam I used to pad the rack. I suspect the whole setup is still going to make a ridiculous and awful rattling racket again.

Fresh Amish bike basket install

This is the third Hirshhorn basket, and this time around they made a couple of awesome custom modifications for me, to enable much better left-handed access:

Left-handed bike basket

And here's what I sewed, in action. A nylon rain and weather covering:

Basket with cover

For, ahem, aerodynamics, you know.

If I'd had such a covering on the previous basket, it might have lived longer, as it sat outside through the Texas heat and humidity and rain.

The next item on the sewing list is that set of Bike Spats. Those are going to be slightly complicated to shape, but I think I'm up for the challenge. I'm fairly certain that the moment I complete them, we'll revert back to the dry season here.
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Our Friday morning bicycle coffeeshop destination was to Highwire Coffee. They definitely subscribe to the "Reclaimed wood. Edison bulbs. Exposed brick." aesthetic. But they have nice seating. We enjoyed the cool morning out on their back patio.

Coffeeshop bike ride to Highwire Coffee

Coffeeshop bike ride to Highwire

Coffeeshop bike ride to Highwire

Coffeeshop bike ride to Highwire

Friday after work, I set off in search of a place called Ras Dashen Enterprises, which is an Ethiopian grocery store. I was not disappointed. Not only did they sell big bags of berbere, they also had freshly prepared injera, and it was made from 100% teff. I'm glad to finally have had the chance to try 100% teff injera.

The berbere did not disappoint, either. I fed the household some giant vats of homemade Ethiopian goodness on Saturday night - misir wat (red lentils with the berbere and onions) and atakilt wat. It's hard to go wrong with cabbage, potatoes, and carrots.

I also used the very last of the sour cherries from Nebraska to make one last Black Forest Cake, for [personal profile] scrottie's birthday [but everyone knows I just use the occasion as an excuse to bake a ridiculous cake]. Boozy. I miss those cherries.

Then today I made another batch of a green bean recipe from The Healthy Cuisine of India that I think is a fantastic way to showcase green beans. The recipe goes by a name something like "green beans in mustard-poppyseed sauce," but it uses white poppyseeds, which I'd never heard of but managed to find at a nearby Indian grocery. [Yes, this is a perk of having to deal with life in the Bay Area]. You're supposed to toast the poppyseeds and then grind them with a mortar and pestle, but the previous time I made this dish I found the grinding to be rather ineffectual and very labor-intensive. So after reading further online, I decided to instead clean out the Porlex coffee grinder and try it. WAY easier. The coffee grinder was easy to clean, and everything ground together wonderfully.

I will try to post the recipe for these green beans sometime soon. The white poppyseeds release an incredible aroma after they have been toasted, and they do pair well with green beans.

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