Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

Midweek Miscellany

Dear Kay,
Let’s just see here. I got nothing organized for you, but I do have tidbits and knicknacks.
1. Sleep Challenge 2010: Did you know that there is a Sleep Giant amongst us? Designer/author Kristi Porter shared her sleep philosophy with us, and it’s downright enviable. If she weren’t such an altogether decent person, I’d kind of hate her for being so well rested. Hey wait: maybe there’s a connection between her good nature and sleep? I think I’m onto something. She writes:

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!

I’m having a moment of mourning for my poor, bleary-eyed GPA. No WONDER I never got a Rhodes!
1.5. For those keeping track of my efforts, and even if you’re not, we’re going there anyway: Night 14 has passed, and I’m still getting 7.5 hours, except for when I had to co-host a party Saturday night, at a friend’s house. An entire party of Episcopalians. The scalloped potatoes flowed like a mighty river of protestantism. I was so wound up afterward that I woke up at 4:30 am like the house was on fire. Wide. Awake. Worried that I’d forgotten most of the Nicene Creed. Or is the Apostles’ Creed? Is that Methodist? The lack of sleep sent me into an existential tailspin. The next day, starved for sleep, I zonked around the way, I realized, I have been zonking for many, many years.
2. Another sleep-related change: I continue to make junk food here at home. For the party I took:
leeks.jpg
You see leeks, but I see a scalloped potato recipe that called for four cups of heavy cream and a pile of gruyere. With, like, leeks playing some kind of symbolic gesture toward vegetables in it.
pizza.jpg
Domino’s pizza.
pringles.jpg
Pringles. These were so insanely delicious. Potatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper, 400-degree oven till they’re as burnt as you want ‘em.
3. Somehow, sleep has induced Enchanting Juno to make her bed. I’m telling you, this sleep stuff is flukey.
4. As a sure sign of the apocalypse, I started Twittering. The thingie for this is down at the very bottom of the right side of the blog, down in the moldy basement. Only the darkest, deepest secrets will be revealed there. I personally would rather read KayTweets, but I realize you might need to get something other than that kerosene-powered cell phone in order to do this. I may start Fake Kay Tweeting if you decide not to Tweet.
Love,
Ann

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36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. I love the idea of fake Kay tweets!!!!!

  2. I am reading the original Julie/Julia project blog, having missed the boat in 2002, and the leek/cream/cheese recipe she talked about there made me want to rush out and buy the gigantic Julia Child book just to make that one dish. Luckily I remembered the library… So, when my turn comes up, in 2012 or so, I’ll make that leek dish, too!
    And tweeting, that’s just too much for me, a girl who’s still reading blogs from 2002…

  3. This Episcopal priest had a good laugh over your river of scalloped potatoes. I’ve been working on getting better night’s sleep as well. For me, the key seems to be keeping the bedroom cool enough. Hubby is now piled under four sets of blankets, shivering, while I drift away to sleep.

  4. I got 7.5 last night, too! I am trying hard to get more sleep, because I sure feel better when I do. Unfortunately, sometimes I have to stay awake because I had a houseful of teenagers staying up late because they didn’t have to go school Monday.
    I sure will be glad when my son leaves for college!

  5. I had a bunch of potatoes that were getting soft, wrinkly, and shooting roots. Normally this is a sign to throw them away but I couldn’t stand to throw away an entire bag because I was too lazy to cook. So I sliced them up longwise about 1/2 cm thick, tossed them with olive oil, salt and pepper, parsley, and I think rosemary. Then I put them on the grill and toasted them.
    The were SO good! So unbelievable tasty. And I would bet they only get better when the potato isn’t 5 days away from turning into vodka!

  6. I’m loving the roasted potato dish. My new year’s resolution was more veggies, so now, pretty much every weekend, I shop for whatever looks good and roast various veggies in the oven with olive oil, salt, pepper and whatever herb or spice sounds good until all crispy like. Then I have them for the week for salad or frittata or under something else or whatever. So far it is working (but it is still January).

  7. EVERY vegetable tastes great roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper! :-)

  8. everything you cook looks so yummy
    will you come cook at my house?

  9. I totally love your Pringles! For some more great meal ideas, check out:
    http://dinnerwithjulie.com/
    I have a cookbook by Julie called “Grazing” and it is totally dog eared. She makes great low-fat snacks with all those crazy healthy ingredients (yummy flax seeds!)

  10. I have been following your (Michael Pollan’s) advice on making your own junk food. Lily and i just cranked out a pan of home made Brownies. Does this mean we can eat the whole tray? And we have been making French fries (from taters we grew ourselves!) every Friday night…now I no longer feel guilty about eating them ALL. I like this new plan. Your Domino’s pizza looks awesome!

  11. Thanks for linking to the crazy Huffington Sleep Project – it’s nice to have reinforcement. I started something similar without Arianna’s influence a few weeks ago, and I have to say, I’m kind of hooked on more sleep. It’s sad to think that I spent the better part of my 30s poorly rested!

  12. That is a BEAUTIFUL pizza.

  13. That’s my biggest problem with good sleep intentions. I go to bed earlier, turn out the light…and find myself fussing for another 30-60 minutes about everything that needs doing in the morning, than waking up at 4:30 or 5 am and fussing again. It’s not exactly what I’d call a reward for good behavior! Melatonin + sleepy time tea seems to be able to cut it off, but one of them without the other and I’m just helpless while my brain runs the ticker tape. I have a feeling I should go to bed even earlier and read for a while before turning out the light, but at that point I’m going to bed at the same time as my high schooler! Meanwhile, I know my husband is out there watching our favorite TV shows and enjoying a nice glass of wine. Not fair, I tell you. Not fair.

  14. Go our sleep Goddess. I’m still making it happen about half of the time which is vastly better than it had been. Hate hitting the hay at 9:30ish but waking up at 5:15 a.m. has been oh so much easier and less painful than it has been.

  15. I was admiring your pizza, isn’t homemade the best! I found a great recipe with fresh basil diced tomatoes, garlic and gruyere and that’s all anyone in the family wants anymore.
    My husband just moved out of town for a new job (leaving me to sell the house) and the dog is looking for him every night-not much sleeping here!

  16. where can i get one of those kerosene-powered cellphones? and is there an adaptor for propane?

  17. That 7.5 IS a challenge. This morning I found myself laying there a saying to myself” NO you can’t get up yet, you need 25 more minutes to get the REM in” until I realized how stupid that was, since I was awake and already running through stuff in my mind. I might be more patient. Still waiting for that memory thing to kick in. Jeans not any losser. And that election in Mass? Couldn’t we have overpowered that outcome with more sleep???

  18. Mmm… Gruyere.
    Must. Eat. Cheese. Now.

  19. Oh my gosh…those potatoes…I want them! Yum. Somehow, junk food seems okay when you make it at home.
    My own sleep project: Project Z, continues. I kinda fell off the wagon this past weekend, but took some naps and got right back on the horse come Sunday night, despite the fact that Monday was a holiday. Feeling good, though I’m not a whirlwind of productivity. At least I’m not an exhausted wreck.
    And yes, it does affect how much knitting gets done around here, too. Sad about that, but maybe a row a day on a sweater is just the price I have to pay, right now.
    Sweet dreams to you.

  20. Try your Pringles with sweet potatoes. I also sprinkle a little chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder on top. Heaven!

  21. I really want the Fake Kay Tweets. Be careful though. I’m too easily mocked.
    Also I’m still getting 5.5 hours of sleep per night if lucky, and if I define sleep as lying in bed trying to sleep.

  22. my crazy sleep secret: harry potter books on cd, uploaded to my computer, transferred to the ipod, then replayed every night. it’s my amazing sleep aid. the first month, i listened intently, but these past few years, ahem, i fall asleep within minutes.
    but i leave it playing all night, and when invariably awakened by (snores, john getting home at midnight, owen restlessness/nightmare/loneliness, betty claws on the wooden floor, or worst of all betty’s dog nightmares which toss her ceremoniously from her bed thunk! yelp! shiver! shake!) my family, i slip a little earphone back into place and pick up another few sentences in jim dale’s most excellently lulling voice. even he-who-must-not-be-named makes me drift off now!
    the nice sleep tapes were great at first, but how many beaches can i picture myself on while counting backwards from 10 and trying to relax my ankles?

  23. Ay yi yi, so many comments on all the above! As a former Episcopalian, gotta wonder why you had such nerves, even after the potato-laden event. And just about all my favorite foods in this life contain potatoes, salt, and olive oil, because simple is best. I am haunted by JM’s sound bytes of doggy claws on wood floor, as our old pup nears the end of life and yelps intermittently through the night, for no apparent reason, despite our medicating him– lots.
    Our dear Kay, is that you getting the low numbers on the sleep scale? Well, blessings to ya, perhaps a Sleep Quest is not in your cards just now. So off I go to my pillow, may the dogs rest quietly, zzzzz…..

  24. You mean pizza, PIZZA, is a junk food?? Say it isn’t so….
    BTW, with regard to the Apostles Creed, I looked it up (that means that I Google’d it) about six weeks ago. The version that I found has a line saying something like “I believe in the Holy Catholic church”. I’m not of the Catholic faith, but I took it down anyway.
    LoveDiane

  25. I’m not a giant… just sleepy I guess! I suggest a nice dark beer in the evening if you don’t feel sleepy.
    I do have bouts of waking in the wee hours (a couple nights a month maybe), but since I get enough sleep generally, I can be very functional on the 5 hours. Plus I welcome insomnia as a chance to catch up on recorded TV shows, which I don’t ever watch because, you know…. I’m asleep.

  26. Love the comments about a party of Espiscopalians.
    **An entire party of Episcopalians. The scalloped potatoes flowed like a mighty river of protestantism.**
    Having grown up an Episcopalian when I read this I was laughing so hard my morning cup of tea blew out of my mouth and landed on my computer screen. Very unladylike behavior for an Episcopalian. What a hoot. This brings back so many memories, mostly good, but boy (or Goddessess, Guru, Krishna have I gone in a different direction based on the basics learn as an Episcopalian) Thanks for the flash back. But when my folks passed away, the old funeral ceremony from the book of Common Prayer was very comforting.
    Except, I don’t want to step on anyones toes, but I don’t quite get the newer versions of the Bible, I love the King James version. Gosh, I probably shouldn’t even say that – but maybe because I was exposed to the King James at a fairly young age – the words still just flow for me.
    Oh heck, have I stepped in it? Part of the Episcopalian memories for me is the beautiful words.
    As Bob Hope, would say, Thanks for the memories! Best – Hester

  27. Ann, I was confused by the correlation between scalloped potatoes and Episcopalians. You mean that we Methodists don’t have a corner on the casserole-bringing market??? And, yes, we Methodists do recite the Apostles’ Creed, but I don’t think we have a corner on that market–I think other Protestant religions may recite it also. We do recite the Nicene Creed sometimes, and I’m not sure what the occasion is for that–maybe just for a little variety?!
    For Diane: In the Apostles’ Creed, catholic church is not capitalized. It means the church universal, not the Catholic Church, as you are thinking.
    Mary G. in Texas

  28. Wow. I am jealous of both yours and Kristi’s sleeping skills. I have woken up before 4 pretty much every day this week (and I am on vacation – how is this right?), which has resulted in a nap most days. The nap feels great, but doesn’t really fix what ails my night time sleeping!

  29. time to clean up get ready for bed
    i wana stay up late,not now when?
    when you are a grown up
    oh sure

  30. Your Pringles thing? Even better when *fried* in olive oil with salt and onions. Then, if you have any left, mix with a couple eggs for and cook as an omelette (or as we said in Spain, tortilla espanola.) Nothing better, I say!
    I, too have taken making your own junk food to a whole new level–tonight it was 3 ginger gingerbread. Yesterday, peanut butter cookies with Hersey’s kisses. I might be better off with Twinkies!
    xog

  31. I haven’t been remotely tempted by Twitter until now! At least we can pick up your tweets via the webpage, without leaping into it the thing whole hog.

  32. SOS! Re: “Make your own junk food”–CAN YOU DO KRISPY KREME???!
    (ohplease,ohplease,ohplease…..)
    LoveDiane

  33. love the foodie photos, mmm…

  34. WARNING: Mildly nerdy theological content to follow.
    The Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds are almost universally followed by Christians; they’re lower-c catholic (as in universal), so no denomination has a corner on them. (Although, I have to say, some folks are more prone to like them than others.) However, Eastern Orthodox folks don’t dig the Nicene Creed so much because of a clause in there about the Holy Ghost. [/end]
    In other news, those potato chip things look AMAZING.

  35. Your pringles and Dominos look amazing. I’ve been following this rule of making my own junk food for a while now. Every once and awhile I eat a Hostess cupcake and remember why I started doing this!

  36. I only started the “waking up in a panic at 4:30-5a.m.” routine after my hormones started diminishing… now I consciously let go and do some deep breathing, and I will get back to sleep until the alarm goes off.