Thursday, October 25, 2007

When I started this blog, I foolishly thought I'd have all the time in the world to post--ha! Here's what happend LAST week...

I made Chinese Orange Chicken. Even with a few modifications, it came out delicious. (Even my dad, and Ryan, enjoyed it!) I'll confess, when I first started making the sauce, I had my doubts. This is what I saw in my saucepan:

You've gotta admit: it looks a bit, well, strange at the very least. (The lumps floating in there are cubes of frozen lemon juice.) Fortunately, the appearance improved greatly as everything combined. Here's what I did differently:

1. I don't have rice vinegar; I just used regular old white vinegar.
2. I had no ginger; I just skipped it.
3. I had no green onions, and was too lazy to chop up some ordinary onions, so I just tossed in some dehydrated onions.
4. I had no red pepper flakes. I considered sprinkling in some paprika, but forgot to, so this ingredient was ultimately omitted all together.
5. Also, when it came time to thicken the sauce, I used a lot more cornstartch/water than what it called for. I didn't keep track, but it was at least 3 times more.

I'll admit, I was a little nervous making so many changes the first time I made a recipe. (The vinegar had me especially concerned, since there was so much of it.) I'm pleased to report, though, that it was delicious anyway. (Though I did buy some ginger to use next time around.)

I started the made the sauce and had the chicken marinating early in the morning, so while Darren was taking what turned out to be a 2 hour nap (!), I traced and made another pair of jeans for him. As you can see, I'm much more pleased with these:

(Let me just also mention how hard it is to get a picture of your very active 9 month old.) The main thing that makes these so much better is the denim I used. MUCH softer than the last pair. Of course, there's still room for improvement:

Mistake #1: The first pair I made was XL, and were WAY too big. The L didn't look much smaller, so I went down to a M. Not a good idea. These fit, but not for long. It's a struggle to get 'em over his tush.
Mistake #2: The pattern says to add 2". The first pair I added 4" (I allow for future growth), and it was just too much. I had a really hard time getting the hem to lay flat, with no puckers. So this pair I followed the pattern and added only 2". I really should have added 3".

So....third time's a charm, right?

And in randomness, can I just say how excited I am to have finally been invited to Ravelry? It's essentially an online database for your knitting: patterns, yarn, WIPs, items in queue, etc... but it's also so much more than that (as I'm just finding out). There are groups, forums, and more. My goal is to first get all my WIPs entered, then my needles. A lofty goal would to someday have all my yarn entered, but I have doubts that that will ever happen. If you're knitter, I strongly encourage you to sign up. There is a waiting list, but it's so worth it. My wait really wasn't that long. There were several thousand ahead of me in line, so I really expected it would be months before I got my invite. It was 6 weeks, tops. And well worth it.