I am so pleased with my thumb today. It looks so un-fat. Healthy wrinkles of all kinds abound—from the deep creases at the joint to the fine network of ittybitty wrinkles that characterize normal finger skin. I would go so far as to say my right thumb actually looks almost the same as my left thumb! We have come far from the fat thumb days, my thumb & I. We’ve been braving all kinds of new adventures. Last night we sliced up a cauliflower, carefully applying lessons learned from the cabbage-cutting incident. Flexibility is key. If the knife gets stuck part way, change the angle a bit, move around on the knife handle & try a slightly different position. What might have been one continuous motion for a regular-strength hand turned into a somewhat wiggly series of several small motions for my weak hand, but in the end I got what I wanted: a nicely halved cauliflower. (The slices that come next are not as difficult because you’re not going through the dense, hard center of the stem.)

We also tried driving a little ways up a curvy hill street in Kensington, which wasn’t too bad, but I was glad not to have to go any further. Then yesterday, feeling extra brave, I let my left hand turn the mouse over to the right hand for a few experimental clicks. Pretty exciting stuff!

By the way, you can thank Textism’s Textile for the lovely em-dashes, smart apostrophes & other treats that finally allow this posting—& all future postings, I hope—to look decent, upstanding, & typographically correct. At long last! Hallelujah!



It’s been a little while. The hand has made it clear that I shouldn’t have cut that big cabbage in half last week while making Orangette’s braised cabbage, but I have to say, it was almost worth it. Next time I’ll have Donna make that first cut, & next time is coming soon, because this cabbage was divinely comforting. Gas bills be damned, hot food pulled from the oven is infinitely more winter-perfect to me than almost anything you could do on the stovetop. Fortunately I was not stupid enough to attempt hefting the six-ton Le Creuset roasting dish in & out of the oven.

I had Donna repeat her weight-lifting last night for my first-ever macaroni & cheese. Wow, what a revelation! I’d never made mac & cheese before—unless you count Annie’s, which you shouldn’t, I mean I really don’t know why these two things are called by the same name—but, whatever. Not only have I never made it myself, I realized I’ve never eaten homemade mac & cheese from anybody anywhere. There was some kind of invisible, unconscious boundary between Outside & Inside; mac & cheese belonged to the Outside world of cafeterias & restaurants. It seems my friends & relatives all share in this division. Weird!

Until now! (Fanfare please….) I recently read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, which among other things contains a detailed & mesmerizing description of a woman making macaroni & cheese. I happened to be very hungry while reading this section & instantly developed a serious jones for the rich stuff. Even then, though, it did not occurr to me to make it myself; instead I remembered that a friend had raved about the mac & cheese at a nearby deli, so vowed to go asap to satisfy my craving.

I couldn’t get there until yesterday; I was on the verge of buying a large hunk of it when Donna pointed out, “hey, it’s $7.49 a pound, why don’t we just make our own?” Oh. Duh. Of course. So, organic cheddar in hand, we walked on home & she hauled out the anvil Le Creuset.

My! What a tactile treat for the hands! First of all, the best way to butter a baking dish is with your fingers. Whee, fingerpainting! Then there’s spreading out the macaroni—your fingers are already all buttery, so why not just use your hands to pat the warm, squishy pasta into a level layer? Cool, fatty shredded cheese comes next, then another layer of al dente goodness. More cheese, then the roux. Wait! I must rant about roux: it’s been years since I made a roux. I don’t know why I have deprived myself in this horrible way, because the roux is pleasurable kitchen magic at its best. A little lump of butter melting in the pan, a little flour, whisk whisk whisk, pour in the innocent milk, whisk whisk & then poof! the most velvety, creamy, yummy, fragrant stuff you could ever lick off a whisk. (Okay, so maybe hot fudge sauce is good for that too.)

Anyway, the mac & cheese was bubbly & crusty & gooey. I consider my itch well scratched.

Now I’m going to disappear for a while more. Karen is coming to visit from Chicago.



Holy cupcakes! You know that other cupcake blog I mentioned? It is mere cupcake frivolity, my friends. Those people may be into cupcakes, but they are total lightweights compared to what I just found. This is the one! My jaw dropped lower & lower as I read through the recipes. Girl is out. of. control. She is obviously the Queen of Cupcakes! Seriously. I bow before her Cupcake Greatness. I'm really not the stalking type, but I admit the thought crossed my mind when I noticed she lives in San Francisco. Indigo Som, cupcake stalker. Can't you just see it?

If I had mo betta use of my hand, I would go ahead & get a life already, perhaps starting with baking my own damn cupcakes, but here I am in this strange limbo while my hand improves at a brisk, but never brisk enough, pace. It's sort of weird. I can now do enough things in a normal way (such as brushing my teeth) that I get lulled into this false sense that it's time to carry on with normal life now, when in fact my hand is still nowhere near normal. It's sort of a glass half full/glass half empty conundrum; I'm so happy that there's any water in the glass at all that I actually forget there's still a ton of room left for improvement.

& then I wonder why I'm having cupcake stalking thoughts.



So. You wanna know how the hand is doing? It's getting a little cocky. This is good because it means there is something to be cocky about, but, of course, bad because of the risk of reinjury. Nevertheless I have done the unthinkable & joined Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics. I was inspired by her friend who'd had to quit knitting because of arthritis but is going to knit one stitch a day for the Olympics. I thought, hey, I can do that too! So every day I'm going to knit one cable repeat (approx. 23 stitches) on the hat I had to abandon when I screwed up my hand.

Knit bloggers are so wacky. They're coming up with all these crazy buttons, like for USA Cable Team or Canadian Sock Team. Lo & behold, someone made a button for my team: