Tuesday, February 21, 2006

For the Freudians: Dora and the practice of Home Economics...

Last week, my featured french pastry was the beautiful little Madeleine. (Those with whom I shared these pretties, agreed with my use of, "Heavenly," for their description.) This week, I've become enchanted with Financiers, or Friands, as they're sometimes called. I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Barquette Molds and Friand Pan, but until then, I'm simply going to use an ordinary mini-muffin pan. They'll not be as dainty, but they'll still be as yummy! (Don't worry, I'll share the results!) And so my culinary adventures continue.

But, again, concerning the sewing...last night, I had a vision of a quilt I must make. Okay, admittedly, it wasn't really a vision, but a normal, ordinary dream. Well, not necessarily normal, since I'm incapable of, 'normal,' dreams. My dreams are often similar to the scary montage scene in the original Willy Wonka movie with Gene Wilder. Some of you may recall those unsettling, nearly pyschedelic images, complete with violence and chickens, etc. But I digress. As I said, my dreams are always filled with crazy and seemingly nonsensical sequences, where various people or inanimate objects which have for whatever reason, become personified, appear and then disappear. Yes, it does seem odd, but it is rather, 'old hat,' after all these years, so I don't bother too much about it. The intention for this bit of Freudian dream analysis was to discuss the quilt which appeared in my dream last night. This quilt was handmade, primarily sage green in color, with toile patterns and some pretty little Victorian-English tea cup flowers. It was somewhat earthy and provencal, yet springlike and floral. It might be said to have had a Laura Ashley feeling to it, although, it was completely handmade. Okay, I must apologize for this bizarre description that doesn't do any justice to the mental image of my dream quilt at all. I'll leave it at this: it was pretty, cozy, and perfect! And I want to attempt to make it myself. My grandmother often used to make quilts by hand. When I was a little kid, I remember helping her a few times and it was nothing like what I see quilts being made like today. Her quilts (I still have one from when I was very young) were all, "hand stuffed, tied (with yarn), and sewn." In comparison to the more popular ones without ties, this must seem completely primitive and odd. However, once completed, these quilts were very warm and comforting. I am definitely planning on attempting to duplicate this technique someday in the not so distant future.

Yes, for someone who, previously was always too busy working, to consider these sorts of endeavors, I've got quite a lot of future plans to complete. In addition to the culinary adventures and sewing experiments, the current domestic project is getting the basement in order. My mother in law has an immaculate basement and I want mine to become immaculate as well. Or at least, nearly immaculate. Daniel has set up his workbench, which has helped to alleviate the problem of various tools and hardware being strewn about on the floor. We've gotten rid of some old clothes that neither of us will ever be able to squeeze into, never, ever, ever again. And we're currently sorting through some old, stowaway odds and ends that came with me on the moving truck last year. All in all, it's a productive process.

Finally, I feel the need to share some thoughts on frugal home economics. For me, using a coupon at the grocery, becomes a small victory against the large corporation. It's not a matter of being in dire straits, but it is simply a matter of why pay more for the product than necessary? Currently (no pun intended), I am preoccupied with kilowatts. I'm sure that most of you are aware that utility companies have mysterious peak and off peak hours, where the kilowatts per hour charges vary accordingly. But how many of you are aware of exactly what the particular times of the day when those peaks and non-peaks occur? To determine yours, visit the website of your utility company. This may seem trivial to some of you, but personally, I have always had an issue with these peaks and valleys. I will always have an issue with paying twenty-one cents (summer; eleven in winter) versus six cents per kilowatt hour for the exact same electricity! It's a matter of principal. Yes, it is partially unavoidable and sometimes impractical to wait for certain times of day to perform certain tasks, but some habits can be altered to maximize the off peak usage. But again, I digress.

Until we meet for coffee,

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