Shucked Oysters

So raw I think they’re kinda gross. To be fair, I pretty much made up my mind before ever trying them. They look so slimy! So chewy! You eat them alive! But they are pretty interesting looking. I think their history is pretty interesting. They’ve gone from a working-class food to a delicacy. According to Wikipedia:

In the early 19th century, oysters were cheap and mainly eaten by the working class. Throughout the 19th century, oyster beds in New York harbor became the largest source of oysters worldwide. On any day in the late 19th century, six million oysters could be found on barges tied up along the city’s waterfront. Oysters were naturally quite popular in New York City, and helped initiate the city’s restaurant trade. New York’s oystermen became skilled cultivators of their beds, which provided employment for hundreds of workers and nutritious food for thousands. Eventually, rising demand exhausted many of the beds. To increase production, they introduced foreign species, which brought disease, when combined with effluent and increasing sedimentation from erosion, which destroyed most of the beds by the early 20th century. Oysters’ popularity has put an ever-increasing demands on wild oyster stocks. This scarcity increased prices, converting them from their original role as working class food to their current status as an expensive delicacy.

6 million oysters a day! That seems like a huge number, no wonder the stocks were diminished.

African Violet about to bloom for the first time

On a non-oyster note…. This photo of my African Violet was taken about a year ago. She was just starting to bloom for the first time. After seeing the African Violets JenO’s mother had, I realized I must be doing something wrong. I found myself some organic flower food and started actually tending to the plant. And she thrived! It seemed she was always blooming. So I kept up the feeding and watering regiment, and she did fine. Until recently. I’m not sure what changed. Maybe I was over watering? Over feeding? Not only did she stop blooming, but her leaves curled up and mostly died. I tried cutting back on the water, and the few leaves left seem to be doing better, but she is still a shadow of her former self. I don’t know what to do! I may need to re-pot her, she is just in the plastic pot she came in. Will that even help? Does anyone have any suggestions?? I loved seeing her little purple blooms catching the sun, and I’d love to be able to nurse her back to health.


flowers from the fish store!

I love my local fish store, Ippolitos. They always have the best fish, and lately the shopping experience has gotten more and more entertaining. And this weekend- Chris surprised me with flowers from the store. I love that you can buy fish, veggies, bread and flowers all at the same place. The other weekend they had balloons out front. No particular reason, just to have balloons. If you’re in Philly and need something to make for dinner, do yourself a favor and swing by the store… you’ll have a great experience and walk away with delicious food.

cheese from Tria mmm...

This weekend included a lot of driving. I went my Mom’s, drove over to Verizon (still no new phone though, boo), and then drove to South Orange for a huge family night. It was nice to drive around Hunterdon County, roads that I’m actually used to. It helped getting used to the new car. Driving home on the turnpike- well, I was pretty sure I got lost getting off the turnpike, but turns out I was going the right way after all. (Which was a huge relief because it took two hours to get home, so it was already rather late.) And I parallel parked my car without crying! I know for a lot of people that’s not a big deal, but I freak out about parking. I never really had to parallel park before, and of course now I live in South Philly where its the only option. I’ll have to get better at it eventually, but its pretty nerve-wrecking for now.

The rest of the weekend was pretty relaxing. Some grocery shopping, some cheese and wine at Tria for lunch, some cheesy movies, and a delicious dinner. I made mashed potatoes! My favorite food ever.

Hoping the week goes well.

Yup, didn’t get to that shirt, or to the hair clips. Lots of errands, melting in the heat….  We got the ingredients for jambalaya at Reading, but even thats been put off till tomorrow.

On the plus side- my African Violet is finally blooming! It hasn’t bloomed once since I bought it at the grocery store, but I bought some food for it, and its been doing well ever since. A few days ago I noticed the buds- and now its blooming! I’m pretty excited.

the first blooms

some flowers from the garden

some flowers from the garden

Ok, so I still need to clean the floor, perhaps a good vacuuming around the house, cleaning the bathroom wouldn’t hurt either….. but somehow when the weather is nice I just can’t stay inside and clean. A long-overdue trip to Reading Terminal, so the fridge is well stocked with veggies, which turned into a great dinner that disappeared before a photo could be snapped. Cajun catfish, cous-cous, fresh veggies and potatoes all in a wrap…. mmmmm.

I tried out another muffin recipe, “Sunny Lemon-Raspberry Muffins.” I used whole wheat flour instead of white, and Kashi cereal instead of the Total called for. Next time I’d add some poppy seeds, too. They’re not bad, I bet they’ll be better toasted up. I’m looking forward to breakfast tomorrow, toasted muffin and eggs with the potatoes we made for dinner.

sunny lemon-raspberry muffins

sunny lemon-raspberry muffins

Got some more work done on the blanket. I still need to figure out a good way to photograph it. Spun some yarn last night that I need to set, and tried to start a new pair of socks, but I need a different size needle…. so much to work on! Bit by bit.

I finally got the alligator clips I ordered, and set off on making round one of the re-design for feathery-flowery hair clips. I just love making these things. The combs don’t work in my short hair, so I thought that these clips would serve well. I also ordered some really pretty feathers from a seller on etsy, so I am rather excited about how they turned out. Rather hard to get a good photo of myself wearing them, but I think the general idea comes across… I want to try this style out before I make any more, I got a little over-zealous with the combs when I first started, before I really knew what would work well.

(I’m taking requests, if anyone wants in on round two of this design)

I had jury duty yesterday, as well as a cold that just about knocked me flat… but back into the swing of things today, and I’m determined to get closer to finishing my second sock! So close, so close….

Jordan with flowers
Originally uploaded by ducksRfriends

I’ve been meaning to make some flower pieces for my co-worker Colleen and her daughter, ever since I brought mine in and she seemed to like them. I had been spending a lot of my time prepping for Spring Caravan, so it felt great this past weekend to finally get back to some of my other projects. Sunday I broke out the glue gun, bags of feathers and flowers and got to work. I made this one as well as a giant, (nearly ridiculously giant) pink one. I think the flower looks great with Jordan’s dress! Colleen said she was bellydancing around the campfire at her friend’s party over the weekend. Oh, I love how dance has leaked over to so many other aspects of my (and my friend’s) life.
I also got back to work on the sweater I’m knitting for Ang, as well as getting some serious work done on KK’s doc….. yay for productivity!

flowers from a client at work

Today a client gave me flowers… and I made a grenade!

A present... will be shipped off this weekend. Stuffed with orange fabric, for fire-like effect

A present... will be shipped off this weekend. Stuffed with orange fabric, for fire-like effect