J and I moved to New York earlier this year (not a great time, I know). I was here alone for a few months, so I had the opportunity to expand my home furnishings collection! I think J and I might have different aesthetic tastes 🙂
This bookcase (13″ Gunn sectional bookcase) was made by Gunn Furniture Co. in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The manufacturing information includes two patent dates, Dec 5, 1899 and Jan 1, 1901.
This is the 1901 patent, for “knockdown” furniture. I couldn’t find the 1899 patent (My mom later identified it as this patent. When issued, it was not shown as assigned to any company and the Gunn company may have licensed rights or bought the patent later). It would seem that this bookcase was made between 1901 and 1905, when the furniture company was granted an updated bookcase patent.
The bookcase was in quite bad shape when I got it. Besides re-gluing the plywood and cleaning off lots of spider webs, my dad doweled and glued a split side panel. I disguised some dings in the finish by staining the wood, and tried to fill in chipped areas in the varnish by redissolving it with a solvent and painting it back on, but that didn’t work so well.
I made bread this week from a recipe recommended by (not-college) friend S, whom we met on a Japanese hike in the Bay Area! I share a lot of interests with non-college friend S, like homemade and fermented food, gardening, and sustainability!
This bread has a good neutral flavor – it’s not the most amazingly yeasty, savory bread ever, but it’s good for all your normal bread needs.
3 cups (390 g) flour
2 tsp (7 g, 1 packet) yeast
1 1/2 tsp (9 g) salt
1 1/2 cups (338 g) water
Mix dry ingredients. Add water. The dough will be quite wet. Cover and let rise in a warm place for an hour.
On a lightly floured work surface, gently stretch and fold the dough several times until firmed up into a loaf, being careful not to deflate completely. Cover and let proof for 15 min.
Swiss darning is like this. You can use it to fill in holes in a knit while still retaining stretch, unlike “sewn” (regular) darning.
A few months ago, I found a cashmere Loro Piana sweater and a felted wool hat in the trash. To those of you with offended sensibilities, they weren’t deep in the trash, they were in a little paper shopping bag beside the trash. Although I like dumpster diving, I’m not up for rummaging through gross stuff. I mostly look for things on the top or left out on purpose (i.e. the person knows they are too good to get rid of but doesn’t want them anymore).
It seemed that the sweater had been thrown out because of a few holes – totally fixable, of course!
I’m going to give this sweater to sibling C. I hope it gets a lot of good use in its second life!
My sibling C is perpetually cold. She needed a new winter pajama top and requested that it be quilted, so I threw this together (it’s so much faster to make items for other people – I care much less about getting them perfect).
The pattern was made based on the previous pajama top (which I also made. It was based on commercial pajamas). Amazingly, we already had all the necessary materials. It took about a week to make, I think.
For future me, you already have a pajama top pattern! No need to make another 😭
Overall, it turned out really well! C says it is super warm. It is nicely color-coordinated and I even got some of the stripes to line up!
With the hotter summer weather, a lot of my pea plants died 🙁 The two that survived aren’t doing so well and are likely to die in the next week – we’re having a bit of a heat wave here.
I’ve been looking for veggies that like hot weather. Some old sweet potatoes sprouted a bunch, so we planted those. And my mom sent some seeds to try out! We’ve got basil, shiso, and melon (from sibling C’s garden). I’m excited to see how they do!
Our front windows are quite sunny – they face southwest – so I’d hoped to be able to grow some veggies. I planted lots of things, cilantro, peas (for pea shoots), various greens. Peas are the only thing that really took off, and (amazingly, considering they’re inside) actually made peas!
We got a handful of pods from the peas. Maybe I’ll save them to plant next year?
I also have a houseplant (Aglaonema) that I got for free! from work. It’s doing well. I might expand the houseplant collection. Ferns sound nice 🙂 It’s also possible to grow some tropical and more unusual foods indoors (see Growing Tasty Tropical Plants). I’m considering figs.
We use up chili oil really fast, so we thought it’d be more cost effective to make our own batch. Past chili oil attempts haven’t turned out particularly well (basically red oil that doesn’t taste like anything…), but I did more research this time 🙂
This recipe combines various online chili oil recipes plus everything on the ingredients list of the last commercial chili oil we bought (Blank Slate Kitchen has great chili oil). We get our Sichuan spices from Mala Market.
1/2 cup Sichuan chili flakes (spicy Korean chili flakes is an okay substitute)
1 tsp Chinese five spice powder (substitute with any or all of: whole star anise, a cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, cardamom, and cloves)
1/3 cup minced shallot (substitute with green or white onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooking oil (peanut, canola, avocado, etc)
1/4 cup sesame oil
Put chili flakes, five spice, peppercorn powder, and salt in a heat-proof jar.
Fry shallot, garlic, ginger, and any whole spices (cloves, etc) in cooking oil until crispy. Remove the ginger and any whole spices. Heat oil to 275°F. Pour into the jar of chili flakes – they should sizzle.
Cool to room temp. Add sesame oil. Store in fridge for maximum shelf life.
When the oil is gone, you can reuse the sediment (chili flakes, etc). Just pour more hot oil into the jar.
You can add other delicious things to your oil, like fermented black beans (douchi) or peanuts or sesame seeds.