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September 2013



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In praise of the humble lentil--and WARMTH!

lentilsock, originally uploaded by Cathy (Kate) Johnson.

A year or so ago, it was more than a bit cold here in the winter, and I just had a sudden brainstorm. My corn bag was long gone, I didn't have one of the fancy flax ones, but this was an emergency--I was FREEZING.

What I did have, late that icy winter night, was a bag of lentils and an old sock. Voila'! Instant lentil-sock. More importantly, instant heat.

It's a soft old cotton knee sock, no polyester in it, so it's heat safe. It's also long and flexible and floppy--it molds to wherever you need it. A stiff neck, a sore knee, icicle toes...three minutes in the microwave and it gives off free heat for an hour, thereabouts!

It usually makes a moist heat, but it smells lovely--all toasty and warming, just the scent alone. I've thought of adding herbs, but this is just so pleasant and homey, as it is...
What a lifesaver...


i made a slew of them a while back, from a bag of feed corn. the corn was cheap, the bag was huge, and i ended up putting the leftover corn out in the "back 40" of the yard for the rabbits, birds, etc. best of all is the smell when it is warm, though. i'll have to try the lentils, next time. their bags are a bit more manageable in size than that ginormous bag of corn was!
It's also softer and more flexible than the corn...I've used both!
What a great idea! I am glad you mentioned about polyester. I wonder if I have any cotton knee socks... and coincidentally, I'm planning lentils for tomorrow night's supper.
These were half a pair of my reenacting stockings, really, with just a tiny bit of elastic at the top...

We just bought more lentils so we can BOTH have a warm bag!
I have ended up with an accidentally large amount of RED lentils, and I don't have a good recipe for them (maybe you do!)... am thinking these smaller lentils would be even better than the usual ones for a warmy sock.
mmmmmmmm...red lentils stewed up with stock, a bit of curry, a little onion, some chopped carrot, and served up over basmati rice! ( a friend who used to live in sri lanka made it for us, years ago, and i was hooked! nummies! it was her mother-in-law's recipe. can't fight that!)
Sounds great! (We don't eat much--or any--rice, either, siiiigh...still miss that!)
I have a couple of killer lentil recipes, but we mostly don't eat legumes any more. I've been hungering for M'jeddrah lately, though, so may have to make an exception...

But yes, the smaller the better, till you get into cornmeal territory.*G*
random word association--icicle toes=popsicle toes, a la the manhattan transfer...it's been noodging in the back of my head since i read the post. must..exorcise...song....

Popsicle Toes:

And when God gave out rhythm
He sure was good to you
You could add, subtract,
multiply and divide by two
I know today's your birthday
And I did not buy no rose
But I'll sing this song instead
An' I call it Popsicle Toes

Popsicle Toes
Popsicle Toes are always froze
Popsicle Toes
Oh you're so brave to expose
all those Popsicle Toes

You must've been Miss Pennsylvania
With your bedroom attitude
How come you always load your
Pentax when I'm in the nude
We ought to have a birthday party
And you can wear your birthday clothes
We can hit the floor and go explore
[ Find more Lyrics at www.mp3lyrics.org/6uSn ]
Those Popsicle Toes

Popsicle Toes (ooh)
Popsicle Toes are always froze (ooo ooh)
Popsicle Toes (wah ooh)
Oh you're so brave to expose all
those Popsicle Toes (ooh)

Don't 'cha know you got the nicest North America
This sailor ever saw
I'd like to feel your warm
Brazil, touch your Panama
Well your Tierra del Fuegos
are nearly always froze
We got to see-saw until we unthaw
Those Popsicle Toes

Popsicle Toes (wah ooh)
Popsicle Toes are always froze (wah ooh)
Popsicle Toes (ooh)
Oh you're so brave to expose
all those Popsicle Toes
Popsicle Toes (wah ooh)
Popsicle Toes are always froze (wah ooh)
Popsicle Toes (ooh)
Oh you're so brave to expose all
those Popsicle Toes (Fade)

doana krall does it, too, but i love the manhattan transfer's version the best...

sorry. am leaving, now.

I like the Michael Franks version...I was thinking he wrote it, but maybe not.*G* And in fact I was thinking popsicle and wrote icicle, siiiigh.

I haven't heard the Manhattan Transfer's version!
yup--michael franks wrote it, and i like his version, too. i love manhattan transfer, just on general principles. (we've seen them in concert many times. because of the vocal music background in my past, i am totally sold on their abilities. they are as good in person as they are on any of their recordings--it takes real ability to choose which "part" of a note to sing--to hit it in the center of the tone, the upper part, or to round it to the lower part of that note, to make the harmony perfect. voice is still my favorite, i think, in the panoply of instruments out there...)

*steps off lectern, goes to make pies...*
Wow, girl, you DO know your stuff! I've got a friend who teaches voice (is that how you say it?) and I'll bet she tells her students all that...

How cool! Does it relate to sharps and flats (or in the neighborhood) or is it more like the volume, or emphasis, or...?
*pies in the oven--gets to sit for a quick minute while the wild rice comes to a boil*

a "note" is basically a tone. sharps and flats indicate whether or not to move that tone up a half step or down a half step. each note is "round", like a circle. it is within that roundness that a vocalist can move just enough to make something sound perfect. it would be sharp or flat if they moved too far, but one can "round" out a sound by playing within the vibrations per second of that note. just like when tuning pianos--it is a matter of tuning it "perfectly imperfect". if one tunes each string within that instrument to a perfect match to "A 440", it "jangles", and sounds rotten. each octave has to be tuned to itself, then matched within the vibrations per second to the other octaves. it was a struggle to learn. i supposedly have perfect pitch, so making something deliberately "wrong" was tough. much easier to sing, and "bend" a note when it was needed.

i love music. i love music theory. i still miss singing--i still mourn that loss. however, it never slowed my love for others' music! and i got to sing for may more years than some others do, so i can't whine. and i can still play it. it's for me, and even if i'm my own worst critic, i don't have to read any reviews!