Tag Archives: dorkitude

My first DIY

Here’s the short history of me making things: I was not good at it. That is a really. big. understatement.

Take learning to knit. As a child, I made lots and lots of bubblegum pink Barbie scarves. Think about that for a second. My second attempt at learning to knit was approximately fifteen years after that. I was sitting next to my mother at the St. Louis airport, coming home from a family wedding, and she was “teaching” me to “knit.”

By which I mean, she started the thingie for me on the needles (see?) and then she and I proceeded to bicker through the next three lines of my attempts at knitting and purling. We were such entertaining bickerers that the guy sitting across from us put his book down and watched us. That actually happened.

Needless to say, that ball of yarn and still attached, half-assed knitting is still wrapped up in a plastic bag somewhere in my house. Don’t ask me where.

I have always been vastly more successful in the kitchen, where my mistakes were generally edible, and my mother generally trusted me to follow a recipe and clean up my mess. In fact, she bought me a really cute little kiddie cookbook that came with a set of primary colored measuring spoons that I still own. The spoons, not the cookbook. And it was primarily she who inspired me when she purchased a copy of Fanny at Chez Panisse, the exact copy of which I still own. I was fascinated by Fanny’s adventures in the kitchen and this magical place called a farmer’s market.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember the first dish I ever made. I don’t remember the second or third, either. I remember burning myself on the oven making enchiladas one time, and spilling flour making cookies. I remember helping my mother make batch upon batch of Christmas cookies ranging from snickerdoodles to pfeffernuesse to good old sugar cookies for Santa. To this day, my mom relies on me as her sous chef when I come over for dinner–she tells me to stir this, put those ingredients together, make the salad, whatever she needs. It’s a good feeling, actually.

As far as working on the house goes, I had exactly two projects under my belt before high school graduation. My father enlisted me to shore up the two story wooden back deck one summer by drilling new wood screws into every board in the back deck, and the stairs that joined the two.

It sucked. And then he made me power wash the driveway. I suppose I was lucky that he is a gadget fiend, and I didn’t have to embark on either project with hand tools.

So it’s come as a bit of a surprise to people who knew me in high school that I’ve become so interested in DIYing anything, really. And I guess it came as a bit of a surprise to me, just how much I’ve been enjoying it. Life is kind of funny that way.

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Filed under Cooking, In the beginning..., Navel gazing

New toys!

In preparation for cooking my mother’s belated birthday dinner on Friday, I stocked up with some new toys tonight. Since the no-knead bread thing has been going so well, I decided to go ahead and try baguettes. Baguettes are a little bit more work, so I wanted to give myself every possible advantage. Hence, I went to Sur la Table and bought a baguette shaping pan. Hopefully, this little gadget will help! I also got a bench scraper, since I inexplicably don’t own one.

While I was there, I decided to go ahead and commit to a ravioli maker. Since my husband is far more sensible than I am, he insisted that I go with the $26 ravioli tray and rolling pin instead of the $130 Kitchenaid attachment that I wanted. You know, to see if I even liked making ravioli. See why I married him?

So watch this space to see if it is an unqualified success, or if I’ll be cleaning my kitchen with a toothbrush for the next month.

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Filed under Baking, Cooking, This could get ugly

National Championship cookies!

Well, we didn’t win, but I helped prep for the big game by baking a bunch of cookies with the Kitchenaid and homemade frosting for the first time. I think it went well!

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Filed under Baking, Looky looky

It’s alive!!

I’m currently doing my very first loads of laundry in my brand spanking new washer and dryer.  I’m getting ahead of the narrative as far as the house renovation goes, but I’m so excited that I literally cannot hide it.  And it’s making me quote terrible 80’s songs.

That’s a problem.

What’s not a problem is my new appliances.  I got a pair of LG high efficiency appliances from Home Depot on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, since I don’t have an unlimited budget and I can deal with the occasional big box store. Plus, the clothes washer qualified for an Energy Trust incentive.  Which technically makes me a freerider, since I work for an energy efficiency nonprofit and would opt for the energy efficient…wow, that got boring in a hurry.  Sorry about that.

Anyway, I got a washer and dryer that make me seriously so happy and doing laundry is now making me happy again. Because I’m a dork.

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Filed under Excitement