Is this fellow adorable or what? Also, really tiny. When he speaks, he sounds like a little bird. He will eat anything he can get his cutesie little paws on, which forces us to keep the kitchen tidy – not a bad thing, all things considered.

These two Waldorf kitties were a present to my daughter’s little friend who asked for ’something for her two cats‘ as a birthday gift – remarkable for a 12-year old, I thought. Since it seemed weirdly impersonal to just buy a voucher from the pet store, I decided to try my hand at the knit cat pattern I’ve had for a long time. I’m afraid the first attempt was so terrible it had to be thrown out, but after a bit of tinkering, I stuck with the knitting pattern, ignored the finishing instructions, and shaped the cats the way I thought they should be. Made more sense to me than doing what the pattern said. Maybe I’m just too dumb for those. But in the end, I was happy with the result, and the kitties were completed and delivered to great success.

When I was done with that, the pink yarn I ordered came. I plan to make amends for my son’s washing efforts‘ collateral damage – it was my daughter’s favorite sweater. I started on that while binging Star Trek. Are any of you watching Discovery? Awesome, right? In between new episodes, we like to watch old reruns, all available on Netflix.

To me, it doesn’t get much better than that: Snuggling with husband and dog while watching intrepid space explorers boldly go where no one has gone before, knitting or doing crochet all the while. We’re well into the fifth season of Voyager now. That particular part of the franchise always reminds me of when I watched it first, rented in stacks of video tape boxes for the weekend, from a video rental place close to my apartment. (Millennials: there was no Netflix, nor were there computers at our houses, nor did we even have cell phones. To you, no doubt this sounds like the Stone Age! Even I must confess I can hardly remember what it was like before Internet access.) But, in my memory, it was not a bad time at all. Maybe because I was young?

As stockinette stitch lends itself to bingeing (you don’t have to look all that hard at what you’re doing), I managed to make good progress:

Initially I wanted to work in secret, to then pull a surprise hand-knit sweater out of my hat for Christmas, but now my daughter has spotted it and all is known. Maybe I’ll wrap it anyway. I chose this particular yarn quality (4-ply sock yarn, 75% wool, 25% acrylic) because I wanted something that would not be in danger of getting damaged when being machine-washed. I also had difficulty finding this particular shade of pink – other than in a very exclusive cashmere yarn, which, well, no.

As for work, I’m done with yet another urban fantasy (Demons Do It Better was the catchy English title ;-)), and am looking at two weeks of clearing up my desk, paying bills, submitting invoices, and my end of year doctor’s appointments (bloodwork, ugh, diabetes check, ugh, OBGYN, not that bad because I love her so much I don’t even mind her poking and prodding me), before diving into the next fantasy slash love story, and then … starting on volume II of the Most Famous of All Cookbook Authors‘ French Cuisine, which is an honor and a pleasure both.

Since this is still not that kind of blog, just a quick word on how pleased I am at the way the American people have spoken, effectively throwing the current public embarrassment to a prestigious political office out on his despicable ass. I think they did their country as well as the whole world a great service, and I feel we have a lot to be thankful for next week.

Incidentally, thanks to Covid, this will be the first time in years that I have no Winter Fayre to prepare on Thanksgiving weekend, and I’m looking forward to celebrating, even it will only be with my nuclear family instead of Friendsgiving like we used to do. This is fine. We haven’t spent all that much time together, the four of us, for months. Our son and GF tend to prefer to be alone. Our daughter has more and more Most Important Friends Stuff to do, and so we’re left to our own devices a lot of the time. It’s a new era of growing back into being a couple once again – it certainly is a process, and I’d be lying if I said I don’t find it hard sometimes.

This is a spot that I’m particularly fond of. As you can see, it’s an old oak grove (old in terms of a human lifespan, barely middle-aged in terms of tree life, no doubt), and to me, it’s an enchanted place. I always stop for a minute and just breathe whenever I walk there with Charlie. In early spring, winter and fall, it’s a light-filled space that reminds me of a church with no roof. Maybe the spiritual vibe is all in my head, maybe witches or druids used to converge there, no idea. It’s one of my favorite places in this forest, and I feel grateful every time I have a good reason for being there :-).

The recipe I want to rec today is not my own, but from a food blog I like very much. I stumbled across the blog while working on Ruth Roger’s River Café cookbook last summer, and it’s lovely and inspirational. I get notifications for new posts by Email, and the dish read so intriguing that I clicked on the link right away. I mean, pasta with creamed pistachios, with a dash of whisky or brandy? Come on!

The recipe is in German, and you’ll have to piece it together as best you can if you don’t speak the language. If you can read German, and love Italian cuisine, it’s definitely worth while to follow!

The gist of this particular dish is that you briefly sauté and heat the ingredients, then puree, topping your pasta with the creamy result. I assure you it’s amazing – here’s what ours looked like when we made it last week:

Even my daughter had a large plateful, and you know she’s not easy to please. Talking to my vegan friend A. on the phone, we reflected on a dairy-free alternative. I assume you could use a vegan cream substitute, soy or oat-based maybe? Not coconut milk though, I don’t think the flavor would go well with the pistachio and shallot. I will try that variation next time.

Have a good week, everybody. Stay healthy, and keep wearing those masks.

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