01 March 2010

Litany of Vexation

I have a project at work that I think can rightly be described as Sisyphean. I think my boss is trying to soothe me by acknowledging how Sisyphean it is, but somehow I am not really consoled. Acknowledging that something is Sisyphean doesn't change the fact that the rock keeps rolling back to the bottom of the hill.

I made an enormous batch of marmalade this weekend; I'd bought some blood oranges that had been sort of disappointing as fruit but made acceptable marmalade.

Just acceptable. Partly because blood oranges make marmalade of an alarming colour, and partly because I somehow never got it to boil up to the jelly stage, so it didn't set up as firmly as I would have liked. Improper balance of water to sugar? Batch simply too large? I don't know. I gave up and put it in jars because I was afraid the colour would graduate from alarming (all those anthocyanins!) to icky (carmelised anthocyanins) if I kept at it much longer. It still tastes fine on toast but I'm sort of dissatisfied.

I messed around with some other recipes but came out feeling dissatisfied with them, too. Anything to do with sweet potatoes has been a disappointment this year; I am not sure if the problem is with the sweet potatoes themselves or with my technique, but it's all been sort of fibrous, regardless of how long I cook them, or how. I am not pleased.

Enough snow has melted that I can see the damage to my azaleas but not enough for my crocuses or Lenten roses to be visible, and not enough that I can start to do anything, even simple things like rake up leaves and clean out the pond. The noisettes and the berry bushes are still buried as well. There are some broken canes on Iceberg but it needed pruning anyway, and if it dies it's not a tragedy. Gruß an Aachen may be squashed flat but again, hard to tell until the rest of the snow melts.

My poor azaleas. My poor squashed, snapped azaleas.

The one thing in the last two weeks that has not left me feeling displeased is this:

Unbelievably beautiful mittens

The third finished object of 2010, and probably the end of my blizzard-fueled rush: really basic mittens made really beautiful by amazing yarn. The photo is terrible, but I am not sure even a good photo would do them justice. They really are lovely. Yarn and pattern info available on the Flickr page (click the picture) or in my Ravelry notebook.

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