Wednesday, September 30, 2015


1. One day last week I was feeling tired and gross when I got home from work so instead of my usual unwinding period I jumped right into my seminary lesson then it was dinner, shower, and in bed by 8:00 and asleep by 8:15. All of this was entirely unheard of before this time. But it felt so great to get 8.5 hours of sleep that I have done it every night since. My goal is to be asleep by 9 every night. My whole life I've gotten by on about 6 hours of sleep and now I think of all of those hours that I've missed doing what? Watching reruns of Gilmore Girls? I am now reveling in my old-lady bedtime and yawn-free days.

2. You guys, not one of us is ever going to be as good as Malala. I just finished I Am Malala and it was astoundingly good. She is as inspirational as everyone says she is. She gets shot in the face by the Taliban for speaking out about girls education and instead of screeching, "I got shot in the face by the Taliban! I'm going to go live in a cave now with sticks of dynamite at the entrance," like I would, she's like, "Whatever, Taliban! I'm still going to talk about it. At the UN, losers!" That was me adding the loser bit. She seems far too gracious for name calling. I finished the book right after watching the Pope give his talk at the 9/11 memorial. So basically the rest of my day involved me being weepy and singing Give Peace a Chance.

3. I've noticed that the demographic at the Institute this semester is guy-heavy. Or maybe it's just the demographic of those who come and chat with me on a daily basis. Which means that I talk a lot more about sports and Lord of the Rings then ever before. Although I did have to put a stop to a conversation that was getting a little too deep into Star Wars. When guys start talking about the intricacies of Star Wars my mind wanders off to Pemberley.

I would write more but it's my bedtime. Nighty-night, pals!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Leaving Early

Sarah invited me out to a concert on Saturday night and about an hour into it she turned to me said, "Do you want to go?" and I said, "Yes." and it was confirmed once again that we are related. Because Knechts value sleep. It was a really great show, (Brandi Carlile. I'm a super big fan now.) And still I thought, yep, let's call it a night. It reminded me very much of this Portlandia clip:

Like all shows where standing is involved, this was my view.

I overheard a girl behind me say, "I'm not nearly as short as I feel at a concert." Truer words, sister.

Not only did we leave early but we also went to dinner instead of catching the opener. Because there is nothing worse than an opener. Especially when you're in a venue with no seats. By the time the main act gets on stage you've been standing for 2 hours with a few more to go. It would be fine if you were walking laps or something. But you're just standing while the blood pools up in your ankles. And I have found that the time between the opener and main act is comparable to the time between the dinosaurs walking the earth and humans showing up. Which is approximately 64 million years. I looked it up. The only thing better than skipping the opener is going specifically for the opener and then leaving before the main act comes out. 

Isn't it grand to be old enough to leave a concert early? When I was in my 20s I would never have done such a thing, even if I was tired or having a miserable time. Your 20s are a time for late night fun, even when you're desperate for your bed. And I was, often. I think more than anything age gives you confidence to say, "I want that, not that," and not be ashamed of it. You can follow it up with, "So what if I'm old. I'm going to get like 5 more hours of sleep than you, sucker." Because being older also means you can speak your mind and people just laugh it off.

Monday, September 21, 2015

These signs are a web of lies.

Gina sent us this picture last night of Levi's church class. And you guys, if this face doesn't capture the very essence of Levi, then I don't know what does.

Here it is zoomed:

Levi is all, "I don't miss you at all, Malyssa. These signs are a web of lies." I can't stop laughing over it. This is "Who stole my pork bun" 2.0. And it's a real shame I had to cover the faces of the other kids because they are equally unconvinced. As someone said last night, "It doesn't look like any of them really miss Malyssa." They're 4. What more do we need to say.

But who's with me that Levi's little shiny shoes are the cutest things ever?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Deep Fried Pineapple of My Dreams

It's been a take-to-my-bed kind of day, minus the taking to my bed. All day long I've been like, Ugh! Humanity! Where are my stretchy pants? Will someone please call up Julie Andrews and have her come over and sing me to sleep.

But on the bright side I had the single best thing I've ever eaten at the LA County fair last night. Behold, the deep fried pineapple:

It was, in fact, the size of my face. And it was drizzled in caramel sauce. Wowee. Also, I was a bit of a hero when I attempted to push it up the stick a little and the whole thing popped right off. I lunged and got caramel all over my hands but the pineapple, and thus the whole fair, was saved. If you're going to the fair it's just outside of the craft section of the Grandstand. Get one and then go on the Big (formerly) Yellow (but now it's blue) Slide for me and your fair will be made. 

(Please excuse my hair in the above picture. Who's done with this Summer of Humidity we've been suffering through? How do you all do it? I mean, really. How? But my skin is incredibly soft these days, so there's that.)

We went on the slide, naturally, but as we were hiking up the stairs a group of rather eager young children were right on our heels. I was in my powering through it mode and refused to stop or move over for them to pass and I wanted to shout back at them, "Children, I am a Very Old Woman. Give me a break! We will all make it to the top so that we can hurl ourselves right back down." But I do have very fond memories of rushing up those stairs on warm summer nights, so I indulged their enthusiasm and let them go ahead of me once we were at the top. Before shoving off the worker told us to hold on to the front of our burlap rugs but to that I say Stuff It! The only way to enjoy that ride is to throw your hands in the air like a champion.

Here, look at this picture of cuddling sheep:

Okay, I feel better reliving the fair. But I'm still going to wait up for Julie to come tuck me in.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Summer of Ice Cream Recap

Remember how this was the Summer of Ice Cream? I'm calling it a success and I may just carry it into the Fall. Believe it or not, making ice cream is a hot business. Like, sweltering. The Knecht way of making ice cream is to just throw everything together and chill for an hour, if you remember to, and then throw it in the maker, raw eggs and all. It has worked for us for decades without a single case of salmonella and the only sweltering part is that it has to be made outside as the ice cream maker is 43 years old and requires a lot of ice and leaks a bit. Whatever, it's amazing and we refuse to change. But for the Summer of Ice Cream I wanted to try a cooked custard recipe which is labor intensive and requires some time stirring over a hot stove, in my kitchen with no air conditioning vents. Just like the pioneers. Plus, it has to chill overnight and then you make it, and because I like a firmer ice cream it had to sit in the freezer over night again. So it's a three day process, but I think, worth it. I used a recipe from the New York Times and it is really great. It's definitely richer, which was good and bad, depending on the flavoring.

Here's the rundown:

1. Strawberry Balsamic. The flavor was right on but the consistency was off. It was too thick. I think I overcooked the custard.

2. Goat Cheese, Honey Pistachio. I know what you're thinking. But Leo makes a blueberry goat cheese that is so, so good. This was not so, so good. I thought I would go nuts and add some orange zest to it and that threw the whole thing off. I still think it could work if I took out the zest and put in more honey. The pistachios were delish.

3. Salted Caramel. The flavor on this was amazing. The consistency was like silk. But it never firmed up properly. I made it twice because I liked it so much and just dealt with the meltiness. 

4. Chocolate Malted Crunch. It needed more malt. But the chocolate ice cream was great.

5. Toasted Coconut Fudge Ripple. This was COCONUTTY! I loved it. I even made my own fudge syrup and had left overs for the occasional chocolate milk, that is until the container got knocked over  and oozed all over the fridge. Thanks for cleaning that up, Katie!

6. Plum. Katie and I both agreed that this would have been better as a sorbet (this was where the richness was too much. I may cut out a few yolks on my next fruit ice cream.) But this is not the Summer of Sorbet. And the flavor was so good so I'm not complaining. Plus, the color was straight out of my dreams.

Speaking of sorbet, did I ever tell you about the last time we went to Neveux's when Camille was in town? After we were done with our ice cream Leo came out and placed a ramekin on our table and said, "Try this lemon sorbet I just finished." The first taste was LEMON!!!! but the second taste was SUMMER! and SUNSHINE! and HOLY CATS, HOW CAN I HAVE THIS IN MY LIFE EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! I'm not even going to try it. You can't start out being Van Gogh. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Bunny Killer

1. Big news first:  My parents are going on a mission to Boston, MA and they report on Jan. 4. They've only been talking about this my whole life so it's kind of hard to believe that the day has arrived. The whole family watched, either in person (me, Katie, and Lindsay) or online (all the defectors) as they opened up the call. Super exciting! And you're not going to believe this but there was hardly a tear shed. This is very un-Knecht behavior and I don't know how to explain it. Anyway, go Red Sox!

2. Seminary has begun and I am loving my class so far. We've had so much fun already and they ask really thought provoking questions. They're really great kids. But to bring us back to reality, I've started keeping track of the number of times I spot one of the boys picking his nose. So far three of them have done it. I don't know what to say about this other than their 14. What can you do but laugh and Clorox their desks after class.

3. Do yourself a favor and make this Pineapple Coconut Cashew Rice. I tried it the other night and whoa. It was delicious. This may have been the first time I cooked an actual meal all summer. My summer diet consists largely of toast, eggs, apples, cheese, pasta, Slurpees, and breakfast cereals. I eat like a 3 year old in the summer. The heat makes it impossible for me to even think about standing over a stove. Our wee kitchen doesn't have an air vent in it (I know. It seems insane to me too.) So I do what I can to get by. But this week we have felt the first nip of fall. Most people outside of So. California may not actually be able to feel this particular nip. It is slight. But there was just something autumny in the air and so I slung on my apron and cooked. And not just rice but chicken too. Like I'm Martha Stewart or something.

4. And now for some sad news: yesterday on my drive to work I passed by a dead bunny. I have a strict no-looking rule when it comes to roadkill but I think I spotted ears before averting my eyes. And then, maybe to cheer myself up, I made up a little song about dead bunnies on the road and I sang it to myself the rest of the way in. I don't know, guys, alright? I have no explanation as to why I do these sorts of things but let me tell you there's a catalog of little ditties I make up through out the day and sing to myself. Oh, like you don't do weird things. Anyway, several hours later I was driving home from work through Cal Poly, which is  practically a bunny sanctuary there are so many of them hopping about, when suddenly a bunny leaped in front of my car and then I heard a horrific thwump. I KILLED A BUNNY!!!!! And I'm kind of sick about it. I was teary the whole way home. I feel like I need to make amends somehow. Do they have actual bunny sanctuaries I could donate to?  Ugh, circle of life.

My dead bunny on the road song is a little reminiscent of Blue Shadows from the Three Amigos so here you go. Happy weekend. Keep safe, bunnies!