03 August 2009

cookies, baozi, and toe-up socks

Today I baked cookies using this recipe. I omitted the white chocolate chips because I don't like them much and I didn't have any, and upped the regular chocolate chips a little to compensate. They are delicious. I would never have thought of putting apricots into chocolate chip cookies, but it's a really nice combination. Some of our friends came over and now the cookies are all gone.

I also wasted some time trying to find files I know I don't have to install East Asian language files on my computer. This isn't the first time I've done this, and I really should just give up. For some reason, my copy of XP didn't come with those files. I have a recovery CD that has the right service pack on it, apparently, but I'm leery of just sticking the disc into my computer without knowing the consequences. It's frustrating, not being able to see Chinese characters, mildly annoying at times, but it's not the end of the world. When I can get a new laptop, eventually, I'll make sure I have the language settings right, but for now, I can wait. This time I noticed the number-gibberish instead of Chinese characters because I was trying to find a recipe for baozi. We went for dim sum yesterday afternoon and had some and they're really good. I want to try making some at home. Baozi are delicious steamed buns with fillings. Barbecued pork is one type of filling. We had one with some kind of bean paste in it yesterday. Something with leeks would probably be pretty good. Anyway, I did find a recipe in English for the bun dough, so I'll probably give that a try sometime this week.

I'm trying to get the hang of the figure-eight cast-on for toe-up socks, but it's not going so well. I'll give it a few more tries before I give one of the other toe-types a go. My mum gave me some dark green yarn that is absolutely perfect for the Bombadil-sukat that I want to make, and those are toe-up. I've got the charts and most of the instructions figured out, and just need to work out some kinks with the heel now, so I can start on the toe and foot of the sock. They'll be my first toe-up socks. I like top-down (or cuff-down, if you prefer), but those are the only kind I've made so far. I think toe-up socks look like fun. The other socks I'm working on right now (Earl Grey) are interesting, but I'm only a third of the way down the cuff of the first one. Men's socks take so much longer. And I've half-way promised to knit a pair of argyle socks for my dad sometime. That means I'd have to learn intarsia. But many of the projects I knit, I choose specifically to learn something new. So, perhaps I'll knit some argyle socks this winter. After I finish the Earl Grey socks. And the Bombadil-sukat.

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