Tag Archives: cheap shopping

A Day Trip: Northampton

I went to Northampton yesterday. I end up going up there every year around this time, and it’s normally to visit WEBS, the giant yarn store in Northampton, but we ended up going on a Sunday, when they’re closed.

I love the town. It’s very focused on local, organic and sustainability. It’s so incredibly hipster. I love it. There’s owls, nail art and yarn everywhere. Everything I like. One day, I’d love to live in that area!

We walked around most of the day and shopped. Boyfriends came too and it was fun to get lunch out too (we went to the Northampton Brewery, which I really recommend). It was a good lunch.

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I thought these soaps were so interesting! Bicycle power? They weren’t even packaged! Just had a little sticker on the outside. I have ridiculous amounts of handmade soap so I didn’t get any of these but I did get a shampoo bar. I have three of them already. I think maybe I should stop buy soap for a while.

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The BF kept telling me I shouldn’t like this. But I’m pretty sure that’s a print of Elizabeth Zimmermann, so I do love it. It was right near the parking garage we were in.

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I love this little bakery. We got some cookies and meringues. I also bought some chocolates which didn’t last long, hence no picture.

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I found that book in a used book store (there are 3? in northampton!) and I may not knit any of the patterns but I love the history behind it. All the sweater patterns are inspired by the styles that an Ohio knitting mill made over the decades. I think it’d make a great coffee table book!

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The Trials of French Onion Soup

One of the families I work for, the mother is a really good cook. She doesn’t cook for me regularly, but when she offers me leftovers, I take them. The first time, she heated up some frozen butternut squash soup she had. It was so tasty, filling and really good for you that I made my own at home (and I have the ingredients to do it again soon!). I do have to give her a lot of credit, because of just talking to her and absorbing information from her cooking, I’ve learned to cook more effectively (I am a better baker, and she appreciates me because of that).

A month ago she made french onion stew with beef in the slow cooker, raved about it and had me prepare it for slow cooker one afternoon. She told me the majority of the recipe as I went, and then the next day, she gave me some of the leftovers. Again, all I could think about was making it for myself! I looked up recipes and most only used onions and beef stock which I was fine with.

Then that weekend, when I do most of my cooking, I was very sick but still wanted this soup and got some from panera which was multiple levels below her soup, but still so good. I tried making it a couple days later, because I had also apparently bought two bags of onions two weeks in a row! Way too many onions.

I tried making it about a week ago. I was silly and though it was good, I didn’t caramelize the onions enough. You can see that they are still mostly white (With red wine coloring them) but they should have been mostly brown! If I just let go a couple minutes longer, it would have been fine.

It was pretty tasty, but I also made it too thick. Eating it that night was fine but the next day it was too thick, mostly tasted just like onion soup, not the french part!

It was a learning experience though: next time, make sure the onions are fully caramelized and don’t thicken the stock too much! And I want to buy better cheese next time to put in the soup as well as melt over bread. I want to try this again soon though, I love soup and soup weather will soon be over. Does anyone have any yummy soup suggestions? Or ways to better my french onion experience next time?

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I bake, I sit and knit

And then I go to yoga, an hour and a half of working out my kinks, and I feel better. Mostly because I’ve been eating lovely fattening delicious foods and sitting on my butt and knitting but also because it makes me calmer, more connected with the fact that my body is part of me, and it does a lot of my bidding.

Today: first, yoga, then home, shopping with Mullica (cheap shopping nothing exciting) and then to my aunt’s and uncle’s. I love them and my little cousin and I haven’t spent enough time with them recently.

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