A finicky guy's exploits in finding gustatory (and other) satisfaction in his kitchen, his neighborhood, and beyond.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

We interrupt this food blog...

...to bring you hot news from the world of sewing!

Yesterday's mail included a package from Florida from my reader Debbie.  "My reader" is perhaps not so accurate here.  The package has much more to do with Debbie's being a Male Pattern Boldness reader...and even more, a participant in Peter's mens shirt sew-along.

By some bizarre stroke of good fortune, it turns out that I am Debbie's sewing muse.  (Which is especially hard to understand when you see how hunky certain men in her life, like her son and his friend, are.  Check out her blog if you like pictures of handsome guys in Marine uniforms and/or renaissance doublets.  Now there's a sentence that's probably never been uttered before.)  As strange as it may seem, without the inspiration of creating clothing for me, her living Ken doll, Debbie could never have propelled herself to these heights of sartorial splendor:

This is only a muslin, mind you, minus a cuff and pinned onto my torso due to the complete absence of buttons, but it's already my favorite shirt!  How did Debbie know that daffodil yellow has been my favorite color since I was a toddler?  Thanks, Debbie — the fit is virtually perfect.  I can hardly wait to see the "real thing" sewn in the fabric I picked out last month.  But I hate to see the muslin go to waste — maybe I can start a trend in Chelsea of wearing only one cuff.

(On a side note: you can see in the picture that I have abandoned my plans for growing out my hair into a scruffy soccer-player 'do.  With the beard, that just seemed like too much hair.  My barber agreed and last Thursday trimmed it all down to the same length as my facial hair, for a clean, (deceptively) conservative look that is perfectly complemented, I think, by the daffodil shirt.  Will somebody please let Men's Vogue know I'm ready for my shoot?)

Debbie had dropped clues that there might be a little treat for the dogs included along with the muslin in the package, and, sure enough, when I opened it up, tucked neatly inside were — a jar of fennel and a jar of saffron?  Huh?  Do Debbie's dogs snack on exotic spices?  Maybe she roasts the fennel seeds as an after-dinner canine palate-cleanser like the mix you see by the exit in many Indian restaurants.   God knows Freddy and Willy could stand a little palate-cleansing.

Well, I'm not one to reject an idea, no matter how crazy it seems at first glance, without at least trying it out.  I decided to use the spices as an enticement to get the dogs to perform their cardio routine, and propped them up in the little indentations on their treadmill that seem designed for just such a incentive:

Don't tell Debbie, but it seems the dogs were not impressed with her gift.  They trotted rather lethargically while contemplating the bottles.  D'oh!  That must have been the trouble — I left the treats all sealed up!  Tomorrow I'll remove the lids and try again.  I'm sure that when they get a whiff of that saffron, those dogs will be begging me to turn up the speed on their treadmill.

Luckily, Debbie had also included in the box some packing material which did seem to interest the dogs.  I felt so bad after seeing their dejected expressions upon being "rewarded" with jars of spice that I offered to let them sniff this packing material:

Willy just immediately entered the Zone of Total Focus, but you can see that the little strips of muslin cushioning inspired Freddy to lick his chops and wag his tail into a blur.

So, thanks, Debbie!  Even with your little mis-step with the spices, you have made one person and two canines a little happier today.  Perhaps you would not mind if I took the spices and used them myself?  Unlike the dogs, I adore fennel and saffron and could make them into a very effective enticement for the humans in our household.

And now, back to our food blogging, already in progress. . . .


  1. I'm glad to see you've abandoned the bedhead look. I know it's all the rage but I prefer to see men all tidied up. You look fab! So jealous of the spices you stole from the puppies, but I'm sure you can put them to better use.

  2. BTW- the shirt look swonderful on you! I'm in awe of Debbies talents. I'm just finishing my final muslin. Yes, I say final. The earlier ones were too embarrassing for words.

  3. Good luck on your final muslin — and then onto the shirt!!!

  4. For someone who is "not supposed" to wear yellow, it sure looks nice on you. You look so sunny! Or is it the new 'do? The fit looks great, but I've got a couple of tiny questions for Peter on it. Sigh. Yesteray and today are busy, busy day so that will have to wait a little while longer.

    Your entire post cracked me up, which I needed! So glad that you and pups were able to compromise on the packing materials. Looking forward to what comes out of your kitchen with the spices. I don't need to know any more about the yam/chick treats. ;-)

  5. Yes, I have to thank you for expanding my color palette to include this yellow. Actually, when I consulted my color chart, I found similar shades, but for some reason, I've been overlooking them all this time.

    Don't stress yourself, honey — get to my shirt whenever your schedule clears a bit.

  6. I am so jealous. I wish Debbie was my friend. It's almost enough to make me start my own blog.

  7. You look great, good job Debbie! Can't wait to see your 'saffron' inspired recipes...

  8. That's so NICE! And that shirt looks like spring!

    Just for the record, I liked your moptop. Clean cut is fine (and you rock that, too), but bedhead is sexy!

  9. Thanks, Darci. Don't tell pikojiko, but my current short 'do can also be ruffled up with a bit of gel for a moptop-like look as well, which I just happen to be rockin' today. Don't you love versatility?

  10. I now have pieces of a turquoise/brown check shirt all over my cutting table. Actual (vs. muslin) shirt construction will begin shortly.

    P.S. Tell Peter I'm waiting on his reply.