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Full disclosure # 1 — It has been three weeks since my last post. This is no big hidden secret. You can check the date stamp on my prior post and see that yes, in fact, three weeks have passed since my first post on doing One Project a Week. Ha Ha!, you laugh. She couldn’t even make it through week one! Ha ha!

Well…

Full disclosure # 2 — I have been working on the same project I pulled from the Jar on Week 1. I know, I have already broken a rule. Rule No. 4 states:

‘If project isn’t finished by Sunday evening, put the To-Do back into the jar so you can work on it again another week.’

Well, you see, Project 1 is this flipping co-knitted blanket. It is beautiful, really, and I only say flipping because I feel like we’ve been knitting on it for a year. And I only feel that way because we almost have? My mum and I have been kneedling away on this thing since… last November? Yes. It was last November. We bought the wool from Windsor Button (RIP, boo-hoo, no more Windsor Button) during Thanksgiving 2012. Now remember too that we live about 10-flyover states away from each other, and have had to mail (or fly) this dang thing back and forth to get it done. So really, it’s not that bad, right? And it is a huge 5×5 foot blanket. Knitted. With multiple and complicated color and stitch direction changes. Did I tell you it’s knitted?

Well, it is.

photo

And it is lovely.

It is a gift, and the recipient needs this blanket before the cold months begin, so I MUST finish it. It’s not quite done and probably needs a few more weeks of work. Goal is two weeks.

So for now, I’m foregoing the rules and will finish this blanket by knit and by purl (well, really only by knit since the whole thing is knit stitch) and will pull a new to-do from the jar whence this dang blanket is complete.

In other news, I have been a fairly productive baker these last three weeks. I made these, for instance:

photo-6

To be honest, I have baked scones every weekend. Having been spoiled with readily available quality scones on our vacation, I have had the urge to bake them. A lot. I’ve tried three different recipes, and today’s were the worst. The scone in the pic above was try #1 and they were quite good.

I also made this Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe with Bird’s Custard ice cream (a recipe of my own design). ‘Where’s the pic!?’ you say. ‘Show me this STP!’ Hoh! Aren’t you demanding?

I promise I did make it. I cut up and made a crazy mound of sticky dates, and used cream and molasses to make the toffee sauce. I did make this delectable pudding. And though I have no photographic evidence, I do have witnesses—Annie, Mark, and Shehz all partook in the STP.

And it was good.

See, I’ve been productive, even though I have spent all of my creative time baking and knitting on this one project. I feel accomplished! I feel happy! And I feel… full.

And ok, NO. I have not completed One Project a Week. But I have completed one scone a week. OK OK! I’ve completed 4 scones a week, if you must count… OK 5!!!

Cheeky.

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In another installment of my new series, we feature a classic spot in Watertown that’s about 10 minutes from our house. We first saw this place just driving by and thought, “A new restaurant in an old steel car diner! Every one of those we’ve ever been to has been good.” It looks like this:

Just by the looks of it, you’d figure it would have good breakfast stuff, right? But would you guess they’d have a rockin’ gourmet dinner menu? And fantastic dessert? And good beer? And water in fancy bottles? Well let’s see…

Right on all counts! The whole classic old-school diner vibe is evident from the counter…

…to the menus, which feature images of old travel postcards from tourist traps of the U.S.A. (including… wait for it… Ogden, Utah! Which I’m thrilled about, because my Aunt and Uncle live there!). Here I am with a slightly more conventional San Francisco menu:

Anna and I like to go to the diner for just about any special occasion or, well, just about any occasion. Usually we try to sit in the fun circular booths. The last time we went it was super busy for a Sunday night, so we sat at the counter and watched one of the chefs turn out magic on the griddle. Highlights include their “kobe” beef burger, their Thanksgiving dinner plate, their sour cream pancakes, and their split pea soup:

When I try to be healthy, I order my favorite, the Asian chicken salad. Sometimes Anna likes to order it too:

Lately, Anna has been really into their Lime Rickeys, whose color reminds me of Ecto Cooler:

And we both are totally into their one-of-a-kind pointy cupcakes:

In short, the Deluxe Town Diner is the Best of Boston. It will make you happy. If you are in the Boston area, you must go soon. If you live somewhere else and ever come to visit us, chances are we will take you there.

EDIT: We were there on Saturday and the menus have changed! No more olde timey state postcards, now it’s some kind of painting that’s the same on them all. Oh well, farewell, Ogden menu, it was fun while it lasted.

Anna has been on fire with the blog posts lately. Time for me to catch up and add to the conversation. I’ve been meaning to blog about a new favorite place near our house, and our trip this morning reminded me to get on it!

As something of an amateur chef, I have enjoyed the variety of places to shop around Boston. Within 15 minutes of our house are probably 10-12 grocery stores, including several of the “usual suspects” for the Northeast suburbs (Trader Joe’s, Whole Paycheck). These places have their spot in a grocery rotation, but we are lucky to live where we do in Belmont because my favorite grocery find, Russo’s, is just 10 minutes away in Watertown.

Over the past month, an early morning Saturday or Sunday trip to Russo’s has become one of the highlights of our week. And we’re not the only ones who love it. Russo’s is nearly always packed by 9 a.m. on Saturday AND Sunday. Why, you ask? How about this?

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And this?

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The place has an incredible variety of produce for just about every sort of cuisine you can think of. The Asian and Italian sections are especially strong:

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They buy local stuff in season (today I picked out a basket of apples, maybe 7 lbs. worth, for $.79 cents a pound):

mark apples

They also have a fantastic bakery and deli counter. The only problem with those is the crowds. As I mentioned earlier, it’s almost incredible how full the place is by 9 a.m. on the weekends. Getting a cart around the small store requires real concentration. But the mix of shoppers is great and the deals even better.

I’m hoping to post more “Best of Boston” places in the near future. But in the meantime, anyone have any spots like this to share?

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