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Top o’ the Day, and Bottom o’ the Barrel

Dear Kay,
One casualty of this sleep mania I’m experiencing is that it seriously cuts into my most prime knitting time: late at night, parked in front of some movie featuring Julia Roberts. I’m not giving up, mind you, but I’ve GOT to figure out some system for getting enough knitting done.
My Fair Isle Starmore project is officially parked for the duration. In its place, I’ve just returned to the sort of soul-satisfying, open-ended (that is to say, interminably long), yet very portable project:
clifsblanketwithkermit.jpg
This project, a blanket for Clif, has been in the works since last spring break, and I did righteous work on it this summer. But now, having to cram knitting into various daylight activities, I find that these log-cabin squares are really working for me.
Clif'sblanket2001.jpg
The recipe for these squares can be found in this entry from last summer, which will also get you jonesing for a deviled egg.
Sleep Challenge 2010 Update
I don’t how whether to credit this to the Sleep Challenge 2010 or not. But this morning I did something I never seem able to do:
kenken.jpg
The stupid KenKen puzzle in the Sunday Times. I try every week to do the Sunday crossword, to varying degrees of failure, and when I get really irritated I try the KenKen puzzle, which also rarely goes well. But today I sat down and filled in the squares, bingbangboom.
Another weird thing: in an effort to follow Michael Pollan’s Rule #39 (Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself), I made my own Strawberry Pop-Tart:
shortcake.jpg
And I made some supernutritious bean soup from a present my sister Buffy sent me.
beans.jpg
Soaking a dried bean has to be one of the more satisfying things a person can do. (What a colorway for a blanket.) And talk about feel good: the beans and cornbread mix came from the Women’s Bean Project, a nonprofit in Denver whose mission is “helping women break the cycle of poverty and unemployment. We are a nonprofit organization that teaches job readiness and life skills for entry-level jobs through employment in our gourmet food production business. Women come with the goal of transforming their lives and moving toward self sufficiency.” They’re having a bean soup mix sale right now! Give beans to your friends!
Of course, I spent a nice long time patting myself on the back for this sudden burst of wholesomeness.
I turned to organizing my yarn basket. As I reached the bottom, I found a little reminder that I have a long way to go in my quest for a smug ‘n’ sanctimonious life-style.
bottomofthebarrel.jpg
What IS that thing?
Is it . . . a Frosted Brown Sugar Cinammon Pop-Tart?
Half eaten?
In the bottom of my knitting basket?
Why yes, I do believe it is! Perfectly preserved. Looks just like it did on the day I lovingly removed it from its mylar package, back in . . . July, when I took it to a lecture at the Assembly so I could sit in the back and eat it while knitting.
Love,
Ann

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65 Comments

65 Comments

  1. Wow… your homemade “poptart” is more like a giant strawberry shortcake! Looks delish! I made half-homemade poptarts using pie crust and strawberry jam. A bit less healthy :-) LOL at the half eaten one in the yarn basket… I’ve never found anything quite like that before!

  2. And that just proves the truism of rule 39. Processed food isn’t really food, or it wouldn’t still be recognizable after 6 months unrefrigerated, unwrapped.

  3. Sleep check in I’m at day 6 ish? I forget. Anyhow, my progress has not been perfect but most nights I’ve gotten to bed by 10:30. Now last night would have been golden if almost 6 year old had not awakened at ten to six am! Demanding the reading of Little Lulu. I hope we both make it to 7 am tomorrow.

  4. So everybody needs to ‘fess up here. How many of us would examine that pop tart bit and then pop it in our mouth to “see if it was still good?”

  5. you are a funny girl.
    always a treat to see a yarn basket – looks so very much not like the colors in mine.

  6. LOL&P!!!!!!!!!

  7. Dear Ann,
    You inspired me to work on sleep. I haven’t had great success though so(each night while lying there trying to go to sleep but failing) I got to problem solvin’. First night I decided that I just needed to make the adjustment more gradually-I went to bed a little later but still earlier than before. Didn’t work. So I kept thinking. Could it be all those limited-time-only throwback mountain dews I’m chugging?
    There’s just no hope- nothing better than a mountain dew with real sugar…not even sleep. I’ll rock the poptarts and the late nights in your stead (until the throwbacks cease to appear on the store shelves and my world-end size supply dries up anyway).
    Love, sleep deprived but caffeinated Sara

  8. That strawberry ‘poptart’ looks amazing! Is the recipe share-able?

  9. The Denver Women’s Project makes AMAZING stuff. Yummers. And can I echo the request for the strawberry poptart recipe?

  10. Frosted Brown Sugar Cinammon Pop-Tarts are my fav and the only one’s I would buy. Gotta say, I don’t buy them often, but I do currently have a stash to keep me going through my pregnancy. I’m more into salty rather than sweet–so when my husband sees these hiding in the cabinet he asks, “who are you, and what have you done with my wife?”
    At the bottom of my knitting bag (which ever bag you happen to find lying around–there are several!) I would not be surprised to find a sealed but completely squashed flat Trader Joe’s fruit bar. They are the sort of thing I used to keep around for emergency moments–but rarely eat because I find them too sweet. Many many flat fruit bars hiding in my house.

  11. That blanket is going to be gorgeous, and I hope the bean soup tasted as good as the beans looked. As for the pop tart, I never liked the frosted ones, but maybe somehow it acted as a “natural” preservative!!!

  12. It appears your sleep project is working– all that knitting and numbering and organizing, and all of it in daylight hours! Your brain is supercharged. If all women got enough sleep, we would rule the world by next week, and it would be all organized and yarn infused. Knitting would be the new national passtime and everyone would be decked out in wonderful handknits. Plus, we would finish every crossword and sudoku puzzle – in ink.
    Now THAT’s a great dream!

  13. I just made that bean soup mix last night and it was awesome. I added a smoked ham hock for a while, then in addition to the can of tomatoes (quart canned from our garden last year), I added some celery, onion, bell pepper, carrot, and kale to it. It turned out delicious.
    And we totally justify having pie for breakfast as “this is what poptarts *really* want to be when they grow up.”

  14. I will go to my grave wondering, “Why didn’t she finish the Pop Tart?”
    Sometimes you really freak me out.

  15. The strawberry pop tart looks amazing! I’m kinda hungry now.
    And the poptart at the bottom of the yarn basket is cracking me the hell up. :)

  16. Oh, your bean soup beans are gorgeous! I’m kinda off chicken soup since I ate a “bad” bowlfull last week that totally interrupted my sleep. Good news is that I lost 6# in 2 days, tho.
    I so would have eating the poptart remnant. Gorgeous strawberry “poptart”. I’ll be right over.

  17. Too funny!
    At one former employer, there was an antique PopTart passed down from intern to intern. It was over ten years old and looked like it had just come out of the box. Scary.

  18. To be fair, frosted brown sugar cinnamon IS the best Pop Tart flavor.

  19. Well, yeah, why didn’t you finish it? What made you drop that last bit back in the basket? I mean, really, what sort of horrifying things do they have at those assembly lectures? I bet if you had been sleeping more then, you’d have been able to listen, knit AND finish the poptart.

  20. Not really a poptart fan since I was about 7. But that gorgeous strawberry one you made… you could convert me, girl!

  21. Stop the presses- the throwback mountain dews are made with real sugar, not corn syrup?!

  22. That is both disgusting and hilarious.

  23. That strawberry pop tart looks heavenly!!!

  24. Are you gonna eat it??? Funny, just yesterday I went for a poptart in my colleague’s garbage can! She knew where I was going, and headed me off my pouring soda on it. I am not ashamed to say that I asked what kind of soda, as if it had been anything but Dr. Pepper, I totally would have gone for it anyways!

  25. Laurie: me. Just because. Ann, I laughed so hard at the pop tart I have had a coughing fit, but I would so have bitten it, just to see… But did it not gunk up the lovely yarn with the frosting?
    Is this the time to confess to taking things off other people’s plates if they’re not eating them and they’re calling to me? (People I know, obviously, and stuff like olives or pickles they’ve abandoned. Even I wouldn’t remove stuff from the plates of strangers. Well, perhaps if they were Jude Law or Sean Bean, and it would be an introduction, so to speak). x x x

  26. Love your homemade “pop tart.” Also, I’ve made several of the bean soups from the Women’s bean project, and given them away as gifts, etc…. I especially love the 10 alarm chili (and it’s more like only 1.5 alarms, which is why I really like it…)
    Thanks for your awesome blog! You two are hilarious!

  27. Honestly Ann, that 1/2 poptart saved you. That post was getting so wholesome I wasn’t sure I was going to be allowed back to the MDK site!

  28. Can I just say that your homemade poptart looks 1,000 times better than any strawberry poptart I have ever seen?

  29. I read your blog but never comment. Today that changed when I saw what you called a “pop tart”. I almost wet my pants that is so funny to me. You know of course, it’s really a big honking strawberry short cake. But Pollan is right–who wants to make some giant awesome piece of deliciousness every day? I’ve got to get started on my own homemade junk food.
    Also, you two introduced me to log cabin knitting and I love it.
    Enjoy thy junk food.
    Going to try to link this to my tumblr if I can figure it out.

  30. I can’t believe it – I recognized those soaked beans before I scrolled down far enough to see where you got them. Praise you for mentioning Women’s Bean Project – my all time favorite charity! I volunteered there for years when I lived in Denver – they are truly a wonderful organization. Go Bean Girls Go!!

  31. I know that poptarts and their ilk (I love that word) are virtually indestructable, but it is another thing entirely to see photographic evidence proving it.
    That is one scary breakfast/snack thing you have in your knitting basket.

  32. I cannot stop laughing about the pop tart. Thanks for the giggle, I needed it.

  33. Your homemade pop tart looks like it has at least three food groups – starches, fruits and dairy – so in my opinion does not qualify as “junk food” (surely you made real whipped cream to put on that gorgeous shortcake???). Coincidentally I recently started on a get-more-sleep program too and made more delicious meals, have a cleaner house, and probably lost a pound or two — but like you have lost a lot of knitting time. What to do? What to do?

  34. That’s hysterical. If strawberry shortcake is your Pollanated version of a strawberry PoptartTM, I wonder what you’ll come up with for the cinnamon frosted cravings.

  35. Man your strawberry “poptart” looks beyond yummy. (I swear I’m not thinking about the calorie count…)
    As for random food items in the knitting basket, I’ve personally found pistachios and chocolate in the bottom of mine so I can’t talk.

  36. And the thing is, that poptart tastes just the same now as it did then I betcha!

  37. By the way, I’m formerly known as LaVieEnRose, of stalking at the Met before Rhinebeck “fame”!

  38. Someone gave me a lovely and beribboned sack of colorful beans THREE YEARS AGO, and I still haven’t cooked them because they look so pretty on the little shelf in my kitchen reserved for pretty things.
    Plus, um, I haven’t run out of, um, other stuff to eat.
    But that half-a-poptart? Scary. I’d cook the Prettybeans before I would eat the residual poptart.
    Lovely squares! Can’t wait to see the blanket. Clif is a lucky fella.

  39. My dog (God rest her soul), a dog we rescued, used to take pizza crusts, which we thought she was eating, and bury them in strategic locations for later. One such place was the knitting basket!

  40. That poptart in your basket? Hilarious!!!!! My basket usually harbors popcorn kernels: popped and not.

  41. That poptart in your basket? Hilarious!!!!! My basket usually harbors popcorn kernels: popped and not.

  42. Hahahaha, I love it. A half-eaten, non-wrapped pop tart. That has got to be the best thing found in a knitting basket ever…besides knitting, of course.

  43. thank goodness this will last for a month
    then we can all go back to being possible
    to live with tour jour gai for petes sake
    who ever pete is

  44. That’s some pop tart!
    And some pop tart…
    Knit on!

  45. I’ve been on vacay and just read all about the sleep marathon! Oddly, my 2009 NYR was to SLEEP LESS AND KNIT MORE! Numerous projects and audiobooks were completed as a result. Now much data (including those reported by MDK) seem to indicate that I should return to the old paradigm, for the sake of healthy living and longevity, not to mention that part about looking like Heidi Klum.

  46. Dang, lady, you make one mean strawberry poptart!
    I’ve been trying to do the sleep thing with you…which means I need to go to bed NOW.

  47. How funny about your yarn basket. I would blame the cat. Mine, who is identical to yours by the way (except your is skinnier), has kleptomania. He’s stolen DPNs, pens, jewelry, and most recently a goat cheese crosini. I found said partially nibbled crostini under the couch along with a bazillion abandoned cat toys. Oh my, how I laughed!

  48. That little bit of poptart is the highlight of my week! I laughed myself into an asthma treatment!!!

  49. I am laughing so hard….. first at the homemade “pop-tart”, which looks like it could eat YOU, then of course at the non-homemade one, which I’m truly impressed that you ‘fessed up to in public.
    And what a beautiful basket of tweeds – as soon as you remove that, um, thing, I mean. I like scrolling from beans to tweed, to beans, to tweed…..

  50. Is that Rowan Wool Tweed? Beautiful. Makes me want to cast on right now, thanks for sharing. If we eat pop-tarts will we be preserved that well? If so, I’m in!

  51. Those beans are beautiful. May I suggest calling the blanket you are sure to create “The Beautiful Bean Blanket Bingo” pattern? Personally, I would have blamed the petrified pop-tart on the kids. Hmm, “The Petrified Pop-tart Purse” pattern? Nah.

  52. First reaction: Wow! What honesty! To ACTUALLY ADMIT to the world (in living color, yet), that there was a half-eaten pop tart at the bottom of your knitting basket! my, my, my, my, MY, my, my!(heady stuff, this honesty)
    Second reaction: Much laughter after reading Kay’s comment! (still chuckling…)
    BTW, L.C. Squares are lookin’ goood!
    LoveDiane

  53. I haven’t (yet) taken the sleep challenge, but I woke up this morning remembering my dream. I was dreaming about sleeping. Does that count as more sleep?

  54. Don’t you just looove rule #39? Your pop-tart (strawberry, not the halfsy in the basket) looks delicious

  55. Don’t feel bad i started a blanket a few weeks before christmas’and i reacently finished it, well i had filled a VERY large tote with all the yarn that i wuold need for it and when i went to clean that bag out and put the yarn back on the shelf, i foulnd half of a chocolate chip cookie in the bottom of the bag! Mine ways home made and it was still good about a month after i lost it’ so now i’m wondering what other food do i have hidden in my knitting?

  56. Don’t feel bad i had recently finished a blanket that i had started around thanksgiving, i also had filled a VERY large bag filled with all the yarn that i was going to use for it. Well a few days ago i was cleaning out that bag and i found half of a chocolate chip cookie that was from about mid-december, this had gotten me thinking, what other food do i have hidden in my kitting?

  57. What a den of domesticity you’ve got going on there!
    I am totally committed to sleep… once I faced the sleep deprivation of having kids, I realized I needed it. I go to bed early, and wake without an alarm almost always. Sometimes I’ll get up very early… and that’s when I get my knitting in. And no one distracts you at 5AM!
    Aside from being healthier (not getting sick often), I’ve seen some compelling studies on sleep and children. Like, for instance, one study said that, on average, A students got 30 mins more sleep than B students, B students got 30 mins more sleep than C students… Another study had kids sleeping just 30 minutes less than their average sleep for a week and then gave them a test. The kids deprived of sleep scored 2 grade levels worse than those with normal sleep.
    I average about 8+ hours, my 12 year old sleeps 9 hours (and could use more), and my 9 year old sleeps almost 11 hours a night!

  58. I can’t wait to see the dried bean and cornbread blanket! lol!

  59. The sleep project is hard. I’ve only been successful for half of the week.

  60. Looks more like a dog bone than a pop tart to me.
    That’s what would have been in MY yarn basket.

  61. Hey – I noticed you did a bit of clean up on the “places we love” links and took out those that had become obsolete – good job. I love your blog, sense(s) of humor, your books and strolling through the links, but one of my faves is gone – alice*thelma. I can certainly get there on my own, but wanted to point it out in case the deletion wasn’t intentional.
    Thanks for putting a bright spot in my day!

  62. Oh, to find a brown sugar/cinnamon pop tart in the bottom of my knitting bag….
    was it just as yummy as the first part?

  63. Your strawberry pop tart looks far superior to all other pop tarts that ever did, do, or will exist on this plane! Wow…

  64. Your strawberry pop tart looks far superior to all other pop tarts that ever did, do, or will exist on this plane! Wow…

  65. Wow! The Women’s Bean Project is great! Thanks for the linky referral, my family is currently working our way through a nice big batch of WBP mild chili and corn bread: delicious! What a nifty organization.