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2 weeks ago at a dinner party I made the following, compiled from about 4 or 5 different seafood recipes.  Due to popular demand I’ve written down more or less what I did (I took notes for once!) and am sharing the recipe here.  This is very tasty, rich feeling yet light, and actually pretty darned easy to make.  The only annoying part is the white sauce, because white sauce is always annoying.  It really means it when recipes say stir constantly (or rather, you darned well better be stirring in the last 30 seconds!) and it just takes forever to thicken.

Crab stuffed sole with shrimp sauce
By Suzi Anvin

Serves 8-10

Stuffed Sole –
2-2.5 pounds of sole fillets (2-3 individual fillets per person)
1 lb can of actual crab meat
1 minced shallot
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes (or equivalent fresh chopped parsley)
4 tbs melted butter
3 slices whole wheat bread, chopped to crumbs/tiny cubes
2 large eggs
aprx 1/3 pound chipped mushrooms
1/2 cup white wine
Salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t use any)

Shrimp Sauce:
4 tbs butter
4 tbs flour
1/4 ts salt
2 cups milk
1/2 shallot, chopped (green only)
1/4 -1/2 cup grated cheese (I used mozzarella but swiss would be better)
1/3 cup white wine

1/2 pound tiny cocktail shrimp
(Additional milk to thin sauce if desired)

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Melt sauce butter in a saucepan, and add flour.  Stir in milk, wine and salt and lower heat to medium/low.  Stir as close to constantly as possible until mixture thickens and begins to simmer.  While sauce is heating, begin stuffing instructions below, remembering to stir the sauce as frequently as possible (particularly at the end!).

Melt stuffing butter in a frypan, and add mushrooms, cook until soft. Combine mushrooms and all other stuffing ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Butter a large oven-safe casserole dish or 2 and place 8-10 of the larger fillets in the pan.  Spoon the stuffing mixture in piles over each fillet, then cover each stuffing pile with 2 smaller fillets. Spoon approximately half the sauce over the fish so that each piece is coated with a layer of sauce, and place casserole(s) in oven.  Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes.  Return remaining sauce to stove, and stir in shrimp, cheese, shallots and if desired, additional milk to thin sauce.  Use sauce to top each individual serving of fish after it is served.

Well its not really new… more like combining past and present. Lately I’ve not been in as much of a knitting mood – probably started too many projects and need to let them sit and get interesting again. So instead I’ve been spinning. I’ve spun up in the past week or 3 pretty much all the wool intended for sock yarn in my possession (when last I was into buying wool I was not yet into socks, so its only a few recent purchases!) I am truly lazy as a spinner – I like to make one bobbin of singles, then ply it back onto itself. Voila, yarn, NOW. Simple 2 ply yarn with a minimum of planning. it also makes it easy to check your progress as you go along – just fold a bit in half and see if its thick enough. It also makes for really fun yarn – kind of like the ombre Trekking yarns if yous tart with hand painted roving – each of the 2 strands changes color in its own sequence for a fun multi-toned gradually striping yarn. Here’s the results:

The green yarn is from a slightly variegated roving from Crazy Monkey on Etsy. The blue is actually a lot more multicolored than the photo showed, from turquoise to deepest navy, and came from Royale Hare, whose website seems to not exist, mores the pity. And the red/brown came from a non superwash bag from Purlescence Yarns, bought to encourage them to keep selling fiber some months ago. It sadly isn’t quite soft enough to make socks out of (plus I decided to navajo ply it and had some consistency issues with my plying technique as the singles were really fine and kept trying to break!)

Since I am *gasp* out of wool I of course had to buy more, from another etsy seller, The Ranches Angoras. This is all superwash again, and instead of hand dyed, its carded together for heathered yarn. I’m hoping to spin it so that the colors don’t blend TOO much so it ends up half heathered, half ombre. The top left wool didn’t show up well – its white with dark blue and reddish brown.

I’ve been shopping for newer shoes for race day… see your feet get bigger the longer you run, and my old shoes started feeling a little small after about 20 miles… 😛 So Thurs and today I was breaking in a new set of Brooks, as they have rounder wider feet than my well-loved Asics. The run was a bit interesting. First off, there are again major wildfires, complete with a dusting of ash on my car this morning, but apparently not as bad as over labor day weekend when our run got canceled. The advantage of the smog is that the clouds made it just that much cooler, and they burned off about half way into the run for some perfect not-too-hot sunshine. We had a pretty small group too, with this being a recovery week and the weather looking downright scary last night (dark ugly bruised clouds for Friday the 13th! very cool effect…) Of the 6 people in 2 pace groups, only Ekta and I showed up. We decided to take it a touch slow (why rush, this is training not race day!) which turned out to be a good thing. My feet were not liking the new shoes. I am a complete dunce about shoes, I swear. Utterly picky, but I can’t tell if I like them until a good 6-8 miles worth, when my legs are tired enough that they fall into old habits if the shoe doesn’t help correct them. My poor feet were rolling on the Los Gatos trail like landlocked sailors (YAY pronation!), and by mile 9 my ankles and knees and outsides of my legs were hurting so bad I decided to call it quits and walk it off the last mile (its not bad just… why push yourself when you know its hurting?) BTW the walk was a good idea, the worst of the soreness worked itself out in that extended cool down.

So I cruise myself back into runner’s factory and much to my delight, John, my favorite shoe salesman is there (he’s the same guy who clued me in on the difference between motion control and arch support). I take out my old shoes and take off the new shoes and explain what happened. He looks down and says “you got these shoes here? Why’d they chose THESE for you?” Apparently they are a lot less supportive, particularly in the arch (hmmmm… the sales person last week insisted they were equal, maybe a bit more support… but my feet were rolling like there was no arch in the shoes!). He went to the stack of shoes (Runners Factory thinks the best store decor is stacks of shoe boxes on every available surface – saves on trips to the back room too!) and grabs me the same darned shoe (Asics Evolution) same size, only in wide width. Voila, my little toes no longer rub against the side/front of the shoes. So I have new shoes for the marathon and last remaining long runs. And I get to decide if I care to track mileage now on *2* pairs of shoes.

Tune in next weekend for a truly long long run – 23 miles on midsummer day! We’re headin’ up to SF for longer trails and cooler air!

YAY! I can FINALLY talk about them! Muscari socks went live in this season’s edition of Knitty. As you may or may not know, Knitty really loves their patterns to be a surprise, so they simply don’t accept any pattern you’ve blogged or photoed or mentioned on ravelry. So I’ve been biting my tongue on these socks for, oh, months. The pattern was originally named Falling Leaves (BTW I recommend green or fall toned yarn… 😛 I still like ’em in purple tho!) but Knitty editors correctly realized that not everyone thinks leaves should be purple and falling isn’t what leaves do in summer! I’ve come to terms with the name after stubbornly looking thru about 1000 flower photos looking for another one that fit better – Didn’t find one. Special kudos to the people that can guess why there is only one sock in the photo and why this pattern went with that yarn… Other yarns I’ve played with the stitch pattern in are Online Sierra and some leftover swatches from various hand dyed yarns I had around. I rarely actually knit the same sock more than twice so I don’t have any other finished socks to show off. BTW Muscari is under consideration for a monthly sock knit along on yahoo groups in July so if you’re interested, drop by and put in your vote for this pattern! I will definitely be joining and offering support. I fully expect loads of questions about the heel and encourage heel substitution on this one – a flap heel would look just as well, I just don’t like the feel of flaps.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know what you think. 😛  Even more photos can be found on my flicker page or at Ravelry.

I appear to have taken a week off blogging… ooops, I frankly never was good at journals and this was quite the week.

Marathon training continues to progress. We tapped out the entire length of the Los Gatos Creek trail last Saturday for our 20 mile run. They had us going nice and slow (14 mins a mile, run 3 mins walk 2) in keeping with Jeff Galloway’s program – you do the whole distance, but slower, so your legs are used to very long distances and very long exercise times by the marathon day arrives, yet you go so slow that the chance of injury is pretty nonexistent. Melissa and I had a good run- it was quite cool (stayed cloudy most of the morning in fact) and the time seemed to fly as we chattered away. No energy left for a sprint at the end this time like with 16 though. Overall, we finished in less time than I’d taken to do 18 miles two weeks before. That’s what nice cool weather does for ya!

Sunday in honor of having bought bathing suits that don’t fall off my new body, I decided that the day off exercise was a great excuse to finish a Terry Pratchet book in the sun. Rule #1. never suntan without sunscreen. Rule #2 never actually read a good book… I got myself rather severely sunburned from head to toe on both sides. Well, front and back. 😛 I have pale marks on the sides. *sigh* when the burn heels I will have to try this again WITH sunscreen, laying on my side while reading a less good book… 😛 its peeling nicely in huge sheets as I type this.

meanwhile, while I was running, napping, and cooking in the sun, our insane and loving bunny was not doing so well. I come in to use the bathroom before checking e-mail and whining about my cookedness to find the bunster sitting in the bathroom, not even noticing I walk in (usually she runs like she’s in trouble) right next to a puddle. Now keep in mind, Scamper has ONCE IN HER LIFE peed outside of a litter box – on a brand new comforter in a very clear act of defiance/play for dominance. So this is weird. but even weirder is that she doesn’t run away. Or really move much when I go to see what is wrong. She acts limp all evening, and won’t eat. I can tell from the PILES of fresh hay in the litter boxes that she hasn’t eaten at all today, and probably not much yesterday either. If you know buns you know this is a medical emergency. 24 hours without food and their gut starts to literally shut down. (how do they live in the wild you ask? mostly they don’t.) i try to feed her some mint by sticking it in her mouth and she makes the most horrible chewing noises and won’t finish the stalk. She DOES lick up some apple juice and canned pumpkin and we head off to the vet the next morning. Vet can’t find anything wrong. She’s so still she is almost self-sedated and we get a good look at her perfect teeth. Xray shows little amiss other than loads of gas in her belly. And 10 days ago she had a perfectly healthy blood panel drawn. Vet shrugs, gives us the force feeding stuff, and sends us home. Scamper is very lethargic and barely fights the feeding, but tries not to swallow… We go on with life, stubborn buns are pretty normal. Then in the evening we hear these SCREAMS like a cat in heat or a child being murdered and run upstairs to find her laying on her side gasping for breath. I pet and hold her (she doesn’t fight being held!) as peter frantically calls an emergency vet hospital. I yell at him to get off the damned phone and come be with the bunny. She gives one last shake and then goes still 😦 We had house guests over and we can’t decide if she’s gone. Denial runs deep. We hold her til its painfully obvious she’s not moving. 😦 Peter sobs, I wish I could sob but somehow can’t. We buried her under a rosebush in the yard the next day. Rosebush breed is “Feisty” We thought it fitting…

Life tries to go on. I drag my butt to work and have been far less efficient (particularly with paperwork) than usual. We took spare veggies to the sitter’s and pet her buns on Friday and she tries to sell us on some cute buns… (We aren’t ready yet and besides… want to put off adopting anything til after summer travel). Saturday I make it to the group 10 mile recovery run (only 10 miles… 😛 ) I also make it to a yarn store and buy some angora mix yarn to make a stuffed bunny in Scamper colors, and work a little on editing my pattern that will soon go up in Knitty (I’m not allowed to break the suspense but just in case you can’t guess I’ll tell ya one thing – its SOCKS! I know you would never have guessed I would write a sock pattern…) And today I finally get my self back to blogging.

Oh yeah and my feral cat are back. They always seem to show up when I need something to distract me. About a year ago, Momcat and 2 kittens showed up in my yard, and came daily cuz I fed them 😛 then I took mom off to be spayed (kittens wouldn’t go near the trap, smarter than mom) and the local Tom decided that he owned the food and chased them off. every few months I see momcat and give her a bit of food. She came by when Peter and I were sitting by scamper’s bush, and then Ghost, one of the adult kittens, showed up the next morning. Momcat also showed up again last night, just SITTING on our patio furniture like she was a resident, and let me feed her on the patio:

Hopefully they will become regular visitors again, stray cats make great low commitment pets…

SF AIDS Marathon 2008

On August 3, myself and about 500 other runners will complete the San Francisco marathon in an effort to raise $1,000,000 for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. This is the culmination of nearly 2 years of lifestyle changes and weight loss for me, and a chance for me to use my new-found energy and fitness to give back to my community. I hope you will join me in this effort by reading and offering your support through my blog. If you are able, I also welcome your contribution to the cause! Thanks and keep on running!

Progress Bar:

Marathon time: 5:40:22
Total Raised: $2,815.70

My Sponsors

I'd like to thank the following organizations and individuals for their support of the SF AIDS Foundation!

Dianne Whitfield of the Bunny Hay Loft

Ulf Anvin
Rob Millner
Scott Lamb
Jeff Barlow
Erika Duplantis
Nick and Carol Esser
Kathryn Mercer
Nicole Pauls
Kathryn Coll
Timothy Berger
Susan Druding
Jenny Forman
Kathryn Mulgrew
Jamie Piperberg
Lucia Sanchez
Fran Taillon
Douglas Leeder
Barbara Kirsch
Ellen Atkinson
Valerie Esser
Peter McCourt
Carla Schroder
Sandra Spicher
Matthew Wilson
Valorie Zimmerman
Kathryn Kramer
Roxanne Seabright
Gayathri Swaminathan
Jason Spiro
Dianne Schoenberg

Thank you so very much for your support!

June 2008

Knitting projects!