Posted by: lexyknits | May 13, 2008

Delicious Flat Iron Steak

Since lot’s of people came over today from my recipe at Shakesville I thought I’d post a reward recipe for super delicious flat iron steak.

I like to let this marinate for at least an hour but if you can go for 3 or 4 hours it will be even better.

Ingredients:

2lb flat iron steak

marinade-
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup Rice Vinegar
2 tsp hot sauce
2 tsp worcetershire sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Seasoning-
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarse ground pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chile powder

 

whisk together sugar, vinegar, hot sauce, worcestershire and then slowly add vegetable oil while whisking. Pour marinade into a large ziploc bag, add the steak, squish it around until combined and refrigerate for at least an hour, but 5-6 hours is better.

Pre-heat a grill-pan (or grill) on medium high heat. Remove the steak from the bag, pat dry and sprinkle seasoning mixture over both sides. For medium grill 5 minutes on first side and 3 minutes on second.

Slice thinly against the grain. Serve with horseradish mashed potatoes (recipe coming soon! But I bet you can figure it out cuz ur sMrt) and cesar salad.

YUM!

I also have a vaguely political post brewing in my noggin but who knows when I’ll figure out how to put it into words.

 

Posted by: lexyknits | April 17, 2008

Why I’m a Feminist

Inspired by this post over at Shakesville. This started as a comment but then it got talky so I put it over here where no one will be forced against their will to read it.

 

Here’s why I’m a feminist. It has nothing to do with any sort of theoretical philosophy, or any high minded academic ideas of human rights. It has everything to do with how my life has actually progressed and who will stand behind me and my experiences, who will listen to me and hear me and think “you were innocent, and you were wronged and that shouldn’t happen to anyone”.

 

Sometime in the late 80s I was in the room while my father tried to kill my mother by choking her. I don’t know how she got away because I, a grade school child, ran to my room and hid under my bed with my two year old brother because I was afraid he’d try to come after us next. He had never hurt me before but the threat of violence under the circumstances was certainly very real.

 

My mother chose not to press charges because she didn’t want *her* name to be dragged through the mud. After all, people would talk, and she had a decent job and needed her reputation. My mother had the legal right to press charges against her husband but the shame that her community would have heaped on her for “causing a scene” interfered with her using her legal rights.

 

I hope things are better now, I hope more women realize that when a crime has been committed against them that it is not only okay but expected that they go to the police no matter who perpetrated the crime. If that is the case, if there are fewer women like my mother who are savagely beaten and then try to quietly hide the bruises on their neck, it is because of feminism. It is because of women and men who stand up and point out the subtle, quiet, and perfectly legal inequity that shames women into silence.

 

But then again, when I was a naïve 18 year old college student I went on a date with a 28 year old man who got me drunk and raped me. I did nothing about it because he was my friend’s boyfriend’s brother. I knew the likelihood of a conviction when there’s alcohol involved is practically nothing; never mind the fact that the laws on the book say that a person under the influence of alcohol is unable to give consent (to anything, not just sex).

 

The actual fact is that District Attorneys only have so many dollars to devote to justice and need to prosecute based at least partially on the likelihood of a conviction and juries don’t see what the big deal is with some 18 year old girl who had to much to drink and did something she regrets, I mean that’s like the definition of college right? She’s just trying to ruin this guy’s life because she feels like a slut now. I like to think no one would say that to my face, but plenty of people say it all the time about faceless rape victims they don’t know.

 

My life is not a philosophical hypothetical to be debated over. I am not a feminist because it seems like a good idea to be for equal rights ‘n’ stuff. I am a feminist because feminism is the movement that will hear me and women like me of which there are millions.

 

I wish I could tell all the stories of all the women I’ve met who have been assaulted, who the system failed because of this or that technicality. Guess what, they were still hurt, they still need to heal. You don’t have to believe their story for the pain to be real, and feminists know that. Lot’s of other movements try to be inclusive of everyone, like “humanist” but the only people who GET it deep in their hearts are feminists, and that’s why I’m proud to be among their ranks.

Posted by: lexyknits | January 3, 2008

Awesome Christmas Gift

So my mom got me the only thing I asked for and have been asking for for about 3 months.

christmas present

Isn’t it great? I am a slow cooking fiend now. I made Pot Roast on Tuesday and Spareribs last night and tomorrow I’m making Chicken Cacciatore. I haven’t figured out what to use to little dipper for. I mean dips obviously, but I’m not much of a dip person, there must be some other use for the adorable mini crokpot… any suggestions?

I like it a lot, so far I have only cooked on the high setting because I can’t seem to get anything in there more than 8 hours before I need it. If I ever need to purchase another slow cooker I think I’d go for the All-Clad model with the programmable timer and shiznit.

Posted by: lexyknits | January 2, 2008

Comments on: In Defense of Food

Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food I haven’t read this book. I heard him talk about it on NPR.org today from when he was on Morning Edition. His book sounds interesting I guess, the boiled down premise being “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” which seems like reasonable enough advice. Yet listening to his privileged elitist voice kind of made me want to strangle him. 

He rails against “edible food like substances” and says that we should use as a rule of thumb whether or not your great-grandmother would recognize Product X (i.e. Go-gurt) as food. Now I am all for trying to eat as naturally as possible because it’s you know, logical, and yet I find myself snacking on candy-bars and Doritos and “edible food like substances” with some frequency… why? Because they’re delicious, dumbass. Oh yeah, and cheap, and easy. 

I don’t know when and how Mr. Pollan’s own food is prepared. Perhaps his charmed life as expert food writer means that he has hours of free time to shop for fresh, local organic produce (mostly plants, remember) and prepare them in a delicious way. Hey jackass, some of us work full time and commute an hour each way by bus and barely have time to fix a healthy nutritious dinner let alone three meals a day full of fibery planty goodness. Not to mention the fact that I have a… what’s that thing called… oh yeah, a budget! I would love to buy and cook with fresh vegetables for 21 meals a week with just a touch of protein and very little seed (grain) products. Even if I had the time, I certainly do not have the money. I have to pad my meals with pasta, potatoes, preserved products, cheap cuts of meat, and so on so that I don’t pass out during the day from hunger.

Mr. Pollan says “You’re going to have to spend more time or more money… it’s really a question of priorities”. Good call, I should totes not pay my water bill so I can eat all organic natural food. Or maybe my electric bill? Maybe I should work less hours so I have more time? I mean Mr. Pollan, what pray tell should I prioritize here so that I can be pure and worthy and a “good” person. His advice isn’t bad on its own, if you’re an upper middle class American who can afford to spend $400 on groceries per month per person in your household and have the time and inclination to prepare 3 veggie/fruit filled meals a day. Otherwise he’s a bit out there as far as reality is concerned.

If he had taken his premise toward the direction of “we should make whole and nutritious foods more widely available and affordable for real American families” I would like him. Instead he sounds like “If you eat cream of chicken casserole, well you obviously don’t have a clue about what’s best for you.” Which, besides being patronizing is really pretty ignorant.

Like I said, I haven’t read this, I might check it out from the library along with his other book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” but I certainly won’t be plunking down any hard earned money on this guy until he proves not to be an elitist jerk.

Posted by: lexyknits | December 13, 2007

Roast Beef

Since I don’t have much to share with you this week I thought I’d give you a recipe for one of my favorite creations.

I do a lot of cooking on Sundays so that we can have lunches during the week that just need to be reheated and don’t require any preparation (like say, making a sandwich, way too much work).

Oven Roast Beef:
2-4 lbs Beef Roast (like chuck or bottom round)
4 cups beef broth
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1/4 cup steak sauce (like A1)
1 can cream of celery soup (cream of mushroom works too)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Season roast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on all sides. Place roast in a cast iron dutch oven (like this one) and cook uncovered in hot oven for 10 minutes (5 minutes on each side). Remove roast from oven and lower heat to 250 d F (see note).

Sprinkle onion soup mix over roast, cover with beef broth and mix in steak sauce and cream of celery. (see note) Cover and return to oven. Cook for one hour, flip roast, and cook for another hour.

Once the first two hours of cooking are done your roast may or may not be ready depending on it’s size and shape. The easiest way to check it’s doneness is to pull it out of the cooking liquid and use to forks to seperate the meat. If the meat easily pulls apart it is finished, if not return to the oven for 20 minute increments until it is ready.

Remove from oven and cooking liquid, let rest 15-20 minutes then pull apart into individual servings. I like to pack these into tupperware type containers with mashed potatoes that I made while the roast was doing it’s thang. This makes about five servings, it would also be a tasty Sunday dinner for a family type group if you’re into that.

Note: When I turn the oven down I leave it propped open a bit so that it will cool off quicker, you don’t want to put the fixed up roast back into a really hot oven or it will cook too fast and dry out. Also I don’t work about stirring the liquid mixture. As it’s brought up to temperature and starts bubbling it will mix up itself.

If you make this let me know how you like it.

Posted by: lexyknits | December 7, 2007

On Bravery

Last night my mom did something really brave. She told a friend “Jane” something unpleasant that she needed to hear. I don’t mean something unpleasant like “You’ve let yourself go” or “No one will be attracted to you if you look like that”. Rather it was regarding this Jane’s partner who attacked her.

My mom was afraid to to talk to Jane because she didn’t want her to think she was judging her or telling her how to live her life or that my mom was putting her nose where it didn’t belong.

To which I* reply HOOIE! It is universally okay to butt into your friends lives when they are actually in danger. This man, who promised to love and cherish Jane above all other women, COULD HAVE KILLED HER. This is a perfect example of when it is acceptable to give unsolicited advice.

So my mom did. She called Jane up and talked to her seriously about what had happened. And Jane thanked her. She said no one had put it that way and she appreciated the honesty and candor.

I don’t know what’s going to happen with her. I don’t know if her husband will be successfully treated for alcoholism, if they will be a happy non-violent nuclear family again, or if this is the last straw that it should be (In my extremely humble opinion natch) and their lives will never be the same. I don’t know if they’ll have Christmas together this year, or ever again. All I know is I’m very proud of my mom for standing up for her friend to her friend and doing something really brave.

Yay go mom.

*So that you don’t think I’m just some random person with another opinion but no practical experience, I volunteered for a long time for a women’s crisis line and was an emergency assitant at a domestic violence shelter. I’m not an expert but I’ve met a lot more survivors of domestic violence in the context of their domestic violence than most people, I imagine. (BTW you have all met survivors of domestic violence, and you have all met batterers, and isn’t that a little bit scary?)

Posted by: lexyknits | December 5, 2007

Holiday Gift Plan

I am trying to avoid shopping for a single Christmas gift this year. I am making (knitting) virtually everything and I thought I’d share my list and time-line:

Boy - Felted Clogs 
status: finished 11/24

Mom – I’m vacillating between another pair of Felted Clogs or Fetching Mitts
status: haven’t started

Dad – No plans

Brother – No plans

Grandpa S – Generic hat pattern using Misti Alpaca Worsted
Status: finished 12/2

Grandma S – White Mittens using Encore Chunky and Collinette Parisian held together
Status: 90% finished

Aunt Nyla: Pink Mitts
Status: haven’t started

Aunt Rena: Purple Mitts
Status: haven’t started

Uncle Ray: Generic ribbed hat
Status: haven’t started

Friend Shannon: Pirate Mitts with name (Sha) instead of year. Knit with Knit Picks Telemark in Aubergine and Snow Leopard
Status: Finished 12/4

Friend Jess: Same Pirate Mitts with name instead of year.
Status: Not started

Okay so I have three weeks to complete six gifts… yikes! I need to get on the stick.

I think I will cop out and purchase DVDs for my dad and brother. However I won’t “go shopping” for them, I’ll pick things up when I’m at Fred Meyers doing my grocery shopping. So there. I have no idea what to make for the boys. Also I have no yarn in the stash that’s appropriate for boy gifts and I’m too poor to buy new yarn at the moment.

Too poor because I just bought This Yarn which, once I finish Xmas knitting, will be made into a lace scarf from Victorian Lace Today. I haven’t decided which scarf yet. Any suggestions? 

Posted by: lexyknits | December 3, 2007

The Fantasy of Being Thin

So I have had the idea of this blog rolling around in my head for about a month. I knew it wouldn’t have much of a central purpose because my thought process is not put together enough on most days to talk about one subject consistently.

Last week when Kate Harding published this post I had so much to say I waited a full day to comment and tried to make it brief because I knew most of my thoughts were rapidly approaching a tangent and I didn’t want to derail the thread too much. So I decided to go ahead and sign up for my username and begin with my thoughts on the fantasy of being thin.

As it stands it’s taken me a few days to get this put together. The Fantasy of Being Thin goes so deep and is so connected with everything else that it’s hard to pry it out and examine it.

When I’m thin I’ll…
Run a marathon
Backpack in eastern Oregon
Strip
Dress Better
Make myself up every day
Go to the clubs

Run a Marathon: I’ve never been a runner, not when I was a skier, not when I was a dancer, not when I was a cheerleader. Sometime, somewhere it got in my head that I would be “thin enough” if I could run a marathon. I’ve taken up and dropped running in the past because it didn’t make me thin enough. Right now The Boy and I have started running a bit a few times a week. I am making a very very conscious effort to make this about being fit and in better condition than about losing weight or dress sizes. This is hard.

Backpack through eastern Oregon: I love the mountains in eastern Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness. We used to camp there when I was a kid, they are empty and peaceful and truly wild. I am not in good enough condition to backpack through there for several days without completely wimping out. In my head this has translated to “I need to lose 30 lbs before I can do this” instead of “I need to be physically able to carry around a 30-50 lbs pack before I do this” so rather than try to actually condition my body to take on the feat I’ll be asking of it, I pitied myself for not losing enough weight.

Strip: I don’t know what to say about this. It’s more of a sexual fantasy really like “when I’m thin men will give me money to see me naked because I’ll be so hot and sexy” Intellectually I know that I would not like to wrap up my self worth (and actual monetary worth) in the level of desire men feel for my body which, seeing as it’s a real human body, will never be perfect.

Dress Better: I’m what I guess the fatosphere calls an “in-betweenie” or whatever because I’m not generally plus size, and I can usually make skirts and dresses work in straight sizes (I’m a 12-14). I don’t really have fat as an excuse for dressing like a slob for several reasons 1) women much fatter than me can dress better than I usually do 2) I can 80% of the time fit into the largest straight size at normal (not boutique or designer) straight stores. 3) I can sew and adjust patterns to fit me. So clearly what keeps me from dressing as classically professional and put together as I’d like is not my fat. I suspect it’s because I’m too lazy to sew a whole wardrobe and too cheap to buy nice clothes that I like and too lazy to put together interesting outfits.

Make myself up every day: This is loosely related to Dress better, but even less related to my size since there is no known link between fat and the ability to do ones hair and makeup. The sad cold truth is as much as I love doing my makeup and hair and being really satisfied with my appearance there is very little I will ever love more than sleeping as late as possible. The End.

Go to the clubs: I can go to the clubs, look fine, dance and get all the male attention I could want just the size I am. When I want to be I have a really visible confidence that people are attracted to and that makes going out a lot of fun. BUT I still sit there moping and hating the skinny girls out on the dance floor taking up no space with their skanky outfits and… *sigh* yuck.

 So, there it is, my fantasy of being thin. I feel kind of naked having laid it all out there like that.

Posted by: lexyknits | November 29, 2007

Sewing Accomplished

I have engaged in sewing related activities twice this week. On Monday I hemmed my red & White Polka-dot dress made from this pattern:

red/White dress Well… you can barely see it here, but it’s cute. I wore it to Tony Starlight’s Supper Club on Tuesday night.

Last night I cut out the pattern pieces to make this Simplicity dress. I should be able to finish this this weekend since it consists of six fashion fabric pieces and three lining pieces. I’m making it out of some camel colored wool. I plan on making the skirt out of some beautiful chocolate colored corduroy.

Posted by: lexyknits | November 29, 2007

Premiere

Ahem. Well. I have started this blog to post my random and not entirely intelligible thoughts on my own existence.

Sometimes these thoughts may relate to *your* existence, in which case I hope you find them helpful or insightful or meaningful in some way. Sometimes my thoughts will be simple naval gazing and you’ll just have to deal with that (if, you know, you’re reading this at all)

Mostly I just occasionally want to announce my feelings about subject X or show a picture of an awesome dress I just made or whatever. I just want it out in the ether.

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