January 10: I made dinner on Monday night...my first time cooking without a recipe! Nothing too complicated, just chicken and pasta. When I am making something in the kitchen, it is usually baking, which you really need a recipe for. The combination of sugar and flour and leavener needs to be just right, or the texture is all wrong. But pasta is easy to do without a recipe (boil water, add pasta, cook until done, add seasonings and/or sauce) and I knew how to cook chicken from making Chicken Helper. Heat up a couple tablespoons of olive oil, season the chicken, cook it for about 6 minutes on each side...I had to cook it a little longer because the chicken breasts were pretty thick. But it was good. Jason and Johnny agreed; we ate all the chicken up.
January 11: Jason and I were both off of work, which has not happened on a weekday in a very long time. We spent the whole day together. Our original plan was to go out somewhere, but it was snowing pretty hard all day, so we went out for brunch and then came home and had a snow fight. I say "snow fight" because it was too powdery for snowballs, so we ended up just throwing handfuls of snow at each other. It was hilarious. I'd never done that before.
In the afternoon, I learned how to jump-start a car. Fortunately, I was in the car providing the jump. My dad's car broke down in the parking lot a few blocks from our house, so Jason and I drove over to help him out. It took a few tries, but we got it working.
Jason and I watched Ninja in the Claw of the CIA. I had never seen a ninja movie before, and after that one I am not sure I would ever want to again. It was incomprehensible, plot-wise, not to mention that it was hard to go longer than a minute without someone attacking someone else. The main ninja (named John Liu, played by...John Liu) had a girlfriend. She was killed by a harpoon to the chest. In the very next scene, he has a completely different girlfriend who was never mentioned before. We kind of gave up on trying to follow the plot after that. Jason says that one was about on par with the other ninja movies he has.
January 12: I have been working on knitting myself a pair of "convertible" mittens--the kind that have a mitten top that you can flip off, with fingerless gloves underneath. Here is a pair in plain grey:
I need to take some pictures of mine. I have wanted for years to make mittens that match my favorite hat (which was handmade from fleece many years ago by a friend) so last week I went to the yarn shop and found yarn in the exact colors in the hat. I have been working on them off and on since I got the yarn, but yesterday I got to the fingers. I know I said I would not count knitting projects as something new, but this is my first pair of gloves. It is also my first time adding color work to a pattern for plain gloves, and I am working the mitten top without a pattern. I have a pattern for gloves, so I just changed the finger measurements so they end at about the first knuckle. I read some other convertible mitten patterns to get an idea for the general principle of how to create the top. I have been trying them on frequently to make sure they fit, so I am confident they will come out the way I want.
I can feel myself becoming a little more adventurous; before I made this resolution I probably would have stuck to something familiar. Time to make dinner? Open up a box of Chicken Helper. Need a mitten pattern? Search for someone else's. Now I am branching out to try things on my own.