my current favorite sandwich

I first made this basic sandwich years and years ago, and in fact I took a photo of myself eating it one day I was feeling so smug about it (that photo is at the end of this post), but it just sort of fell out of my rotation when I wasn’t eating sandwiches as much. This week I brought it back, and I’m so happy with it every time I eat it that I just had to share.

1. spread avocado on a slice of oatnut bread

Smear a piece of Oatnut bread with half an avocado. I think Oatnut is the most perfect bread for this. Sometimes I wonder if it should be lightly toasted for texture, but I like its softness, to tell the truth. Oh, sprinkle it with a touch of salt if you don’t eat the sandwich with kettle cooked potato chips.

2. add a layer of sliced radishes

Top with sliced radishes.

3. a slice of havarti cheese

Add a slice of Havarti. I forget that delis slice all sorts of cheeses besides just American, Swiss, and Provolone. I feel like Havarti is what makes this sing, but perhaps you’d enjoy Provolone instead. I would not recommend American or Swiss.

4. now a layer of cucumber slices

Top with some cucumber slices.

5. a whole mess of alfalfa sprouts

Add a whole mess of alfalfa sprouts. I’m talking 1/3 of the package. Someday I’ll start growing my own from seed, because I know it’s easy, and given how perishable they are I’m often disappointed in what I get from the store. But I want a LOT.

avocado, radish, cucumber, sprout, and havarti sandwich

Top with the other slice of bread and cut in half. Enjoy every bite. Like I said above, I think it needs some saltiness, and just eating it along with a nice crunchy kettle cooked chip is a match made in heaven. If you don’t have that, you might want to add a touch of salt. This sandwich is dubiously healthy (that’s a shameless amount of avocado and cheese despite the number of vegetables!) but I don’t care, I love it. I feel a little self-conscious posting this—what if other people hate this or think it’s a bad balance. Still, I like the combo of the soft bread and avocado, the crunch of the cuke, the spice of the radish, the brightness of the sprouts, all melded together with the creamy cheese. Maybe try it if you’re looking for a new sandwich and you like all these ingredients.

Here I was back in 2009 (FIVE YEARS AGO) enjoying this sandwich. The kitchen doesn’t look anything like this anymore, and that table is long gone, but, um, I still have (and wear) that shirt!

plus quilt for patrick and katie

plus quilt

Last summer when I gave my cousin Meg and her husband Josh their quilt, it was the same week that my cousin Patrick and his longtime girlfriend Katie solidified their venue and wedding date, so we got to talking about colors, personal preferences, etc., because I knew I’d make them a quilt, too. They both liked the colors in Meg’s quilt but definitely seemed to be leaning blue and green rather than the blues, greens, and purples I put in that one. I floated the idea of asymmetry and that was not met with enthusiasm, which is just fine, and helped greatly in narrowing down what kind of look I’d go for. I hit on plus signs and was sold—perfect for a wedding theme, and the bride works for the Red Cross! I mean it was meant to be. I kept the design a secret from them, though.

plus quilt

Several fabrics were left from Meg and Josh’s quilt, and I liked that I could use them here. I bought a few new ones to round it out, and then I set to cutting strips. I liked the pluses to have one long leg and then the cross-piece, rather than piecing the plus like a 9-patch. I even deliberately cut the strips so that the direction of prints would cross too.

This one came out pretty big, but with Patrick well over six feet tall, and Katie not far behind, it seemed good to go a little big. It’s about 65 x 80, I think. This meant quilting it was an enormous ordeal, and I’ve sworn off quilting on my dinky home machine any longer.¬†As a result, the quilt got only straight doubled vertical lines because there was just no way I could curl it up crosswise and get it through the narrow throat. I like the simplicity, though.

quilt back

This was shot in February on my knitting weekend away with friends, using the awesome stand that Caro brought for me to use, on a somewhat windy day. In fact it seems Caro took two of these photos for me, though we’d originally planned for me to just do the shooting myself. Anyway, we did this before I made the label. (I finished the quilt specifically for this weekend away knowing I could have a nice photo shoot there!) So this is what the back looked like before I added the label. Hilariously, now that I’m looking at this picture I see that I originally thought of the green polka dot on the back as the bottom! Oops, I totally forgot that and placed the label in the khaki in the lower right. There’s no real top or bottom to the quilt, of course, but as I was piecing it I oriented it this way, so I always thought of that as the top. Ha! Want a peek at the label? Check my most recent post, here.

As always I hope the blanket brings my cousin and new cousin-in-law comfort in times spent snuggling on the couch! We leave for the wedding tomorrow and the weather is due to be 85 degrees—a sharp contrast to what it felt like when I photographed their quilt!

sneak peek

In two weeks, we head to the wedding of my cousin! He’s known his bride-to-be forever, and in fact I’VE known her since she was in high school, if that gives you an idea. We’re thrilled to see them getting married and can’t wait to party with that side of the family. Of course, I sewed them a quilt. I need to mail it off to them—but I’ve never mailed a quilt before, so it feels like a Big Deal and I’ve been avoiding it—before I show you the final product, but for now, a peek at the label:

quilt label

I was inspired by all the typography stuff that’s become so popular lately; it seemed perfect for an embroidery project and would feel “of its time.” Also I didn’t want to cop out like I have in the past! This is a proper label, made separately, hand-stitched on, etc. It helped that I finished the quilt a while ago and knew I had plenty of time before I needed to send it out (that is, I wasn’t staring down a hard deadline). I just used a khaki colored thread that matches the background of the backing, and I like the effect. The solid green is a Kona cotton.


in training

In the same way that I haven’t been to the gym in ages… I haven’t been keeping up with my hand exercises.

grip strengthener

When I saw the hand doctor in September, he “prescribed” a simple solution: get a hand grip strengthener and do some exercises 3x a day for six months. He wasn’t specific about what exercises to do, but he did insist that I stretch before and after. That was it! I did the exercises diligently for, oh, about a month, and noticed improvements in even that short a time. I could knit for short stretches without excruciating pain. The tingling that I got in my hands (a result of forearm inflammation) after washing my face each night subsided. So…




And then I started knitting again like I wasn’t just recently off the DL. And… it aches. My hands tingle again. So here’s my re-commitment to my exercises! I selected a handful of exercises from this site (you can go through any portal—the moves are the same—but I thought the musician one was more interesting to read!) and I’m back to doing them. I swear. Perhaps I’ll take a little video to show off my moves someday. ACCOUNTABILITY.

from city to the country

Last post was about my visit to Seattle—a thoroughly urban experience, with friends who are best described as urban. The next day, I took the water taxi across the Sound to Vashon Island, which is decidedly the country. Friends recently moved there and we had a lovely, relaxing day on their new island.

rocky beach on Vashon Islandview from Vashon IslandVashon IslandVashon Islandtrees on Vashon Islandcow on Vashon Islandameraucana chickenchickensVashon Island

I mean look at all that nature. And animals? What is going on. The skies were a leaden gray, as befitting a trip to the area, and the water was super still. I almost think I preferred it to a boisterous sky full of puffy white clouds. But I would still love to see it in that state, too. I guess I’ll be back!