Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday: Sprouts, Stories, Sewing.

Somehow, as I was wandering around the wilds of the Internet on Friday night, I stumbled on the idea of growing your own bean sprouts.  I have a weirdly vivid memory of my mom doing this when I was a kid, but only on one particular occasion---we were going to Pennsylvania to visit one of my mom's college friends, and we packed turkey-and-homegrown-sprouts sandwiches to eat on the drive.   I remember being really excited about the homegrown sprouts and then not actually liking them that much, hah.

Fast forward a bit, and I have come to loooove bean sprouts, but the nearest place here to buy them where they're consistently any good is an Asian grocery that's about forty minutes away, so I don't have them often.  I consulted google, was encouraged by someone linking to this tutorial with glowing praise, and went to pop some French lentils in a jar to soak for their initial twelve hour soak, feeling skeptical because the super-humid climate where I live tends to ruin cute little growing-stuff projects (see: Chia Pet, make-your-own-rock-candy kit). 

Lentils, however, are way tougher than a Chia Pet, because they're already sprouting!  I think they're adorable, and can't wait until they're eating-size.  And then I'm going to try chick peas, and adzuki beans, and maybe buy some alfalfa...

Maybe Sprout the Squid, seen presiding here over the Sprout Jar, has something to do with it.  He's like some kind of minor agricultural deity.

Speaking of deities (and what a strange beginning to a sentence that is...), I just finished the first Percy Jackson and the Olympians book this morning, and while it didn't grab me in the immediate OMG-magic-I'm-hooked way that, say, Harry Potter did, I enjoyed it.  Rick Riordan had some seriously clever and funny ways of combining the modern world with the Greek pantheon, and I can see why the series is popular.  I was crazy about Greek/Roman mythology as a kid, I took the pictured-above book (please tell me one of you other lovely blogosphere people remembers it) out of the library a billion times and absorbed the stories and ogled the beautiful illustrations.  I like knowing---the library had a bunch of paperback copies of the first book, and all of them were beautifully battered and dog-eared---that apparently the whole gods-and-goddesses thing is still appealing to kid-readers. 

I sort of want to save this next thing for FO Friday, but I don't think I have that kind of will power!

Meet Most Serene and Honorable Teatime Ninni, part of my very slow effort to improve my sewing skills.  I made her from this cute pattern/tutorial, as a trial run for one I'll be working on later this week for my first-ever Craftster swap. 

I even gave her a little pocket on the back (made with one of three beautiful teacup templates from Trish at genuine mudpie) to hold a teabag. 

I haven't made a fabric-plush for a while (and I haven't made many of them, period), and wow, are they more difficult to stuff than amigurumi!  It's harder to get the stuffing into the spaces (especially with a project that has tiny arms and ears like this one, granted), and it's so much less forgiving about lumps and stuff.  This will clearly take more practice, so this or other, future Ninni-monsters may turn up in giveaway form at some point...


  1. I was mad about Greek/Roman myths as a kid as well. I had a different book of Greek stories to the one you've posted above, but I read it countless times.

    I saw the Percy Jackson movie not so long ago, I thought it was pretty good. Haven't read the books, though.

  2. Bean sprouts, we used to get them on sandwiches at several local deli's then for some reason they quit serving them. I don't know why. I always liked them.

    Your green squid is darling!

  3. Tink, I'm glad it wasn't just me with the myth-obsession! I actually had a Greek-mythology themed party at one point. I just watched the Percy Jackson movie (which is what got me to pick up the book, actually0), too. It was cute! The book is---as usual---better in some ways, though, it's more complex and clever.

    Sandy, you should definitely try sprouting some of your own! Ijust ate my crop of lentil sprouts yesterday for lunch and they were delicious. :D