Fitting the foot synopsis

Thanks to a member’s post on Crispin Colloquy, I found “Dress and Care of the Feet” by J.L. Peck at, a book which I found to be enlightening.

I have very short very wide feet. One foot is a 3┬ŻEEEEEE, the other a 4EEEEE. Yup, really. I’m 5’3″ so I’m not short. Okay, I’m not relatively short for a woman. Next to my 6′ spouse, I’m short. And my feet are very thick. All the volume in length I should have for my height is packed into short wide feet. We can do the “woe, genetics” thing another day. I’m just not that into beating my chest over things I can’t change.

With my feet it’s impossible to get shoes that fit the volume of my foot. If the shoe is short enough to fit my length, I can’t get my foot in them. If I can get my feet in them, they’re so long nothing on the footbed fits.

Over the last 8 years I’ve been on a journey to get shoes that actually fit. I’ve gone from shoes made by others (custom made shoes which gave me an ingrown toenail and mildly uncomfortable clogs with a generic footbed that didn’t accommodate the intricacies of the bottom of my foot) to shoes I’ve made.

10th century turn shoes which were too short and exacerbated the ingrown toenail

Pig skin lined wool which were very comfortable if too loose and which still lacked the necessary custom foot bed

The pair of shoes I’m wearing now (kangaroo lining and chrome tanned bison outer) which are ugly but the most comfortable and easily the healthiest shoe I’ve worn yet, though still somewhat lacking in having the footbed just right.

With each iteration of footwear I’ve learned something vital and each subsequent effort is closer to the mark.

So, back to Care and Feeding of the Foot . . . In reading Peck’s “Dress and Care of the Feet” I got confirmation on what I have done. In making the toe box of my shoes overly generous I have been slowly restoring my feet to health. My ingrown toenail no longer bothers me, the large callous at the base of my little toe has peeled off and my ankles are getting healthier and stronger. I no longer lose a day to lameness when I spend a day running around outside.

So, though my shoes are very unfashionable, my feet are happier. With that I interject a hearty and droll “Go me!”

My next effort will be a pair of shoes with the lace encircling the ankle. I’ve made a test shoe and it wraps around my foot properly and provides the right support. I just need to master the footbed. I’ve got plans for that (custom press to shape mold-able cork).

Latest with lace race

I made two iterations of this shoe, one with the ankle race and one without. The one with the lace race around the ankle was easily the best as it keeps my foot correctly oriented in the shoe.

If you’re wondering about the lacing hardware and direction, my instep is so sensitive I am uncomfortable with laces running across it, even with the extra buffering of a lined tongue. Keeping the laces on the outside of the shoe makes having laced shoes tolerable. By trial and error, I’ve discovered tying the shoe at the bottom provides the most comfort.

The next pair of shoes will have one lace hook paired with lace Ds. I can knot the lace at the bottom and by unhooking the lace off one of the upper hooks I can loosen the laces enough for the shoe to be taken off and put back on.

Chicken vegetable soup

Lovely color, beautiful flavor.

I made chicken vegetable soup yesterday and it’s truly delicious!  It’s  bright, succulent and satisfying.  Paired with garlic bread or corn bread, it’s also a low cost lunch or light dinner.  This is so good I will explore canning or freezing it for quick meals.

In a small frying pan, brown two chicken thighs in olive oil. Do the browning on med-low so the thighs are at least halfway cooked before transferring them to your sauce pan.

Add 2/3 cup white wine to the frying pan for deglazing.  I use Franzia Crisp White which gives a lovely mild slightly sweet flavor which is totally harmonious with the chicken and veges.

Pour the deglazed drippings and wine from the frying pan into the sauce pan.  Add a dozen brisk shakes of Bragg Organic Sprinkle (awesome with chicken and turkey), a diced celery stalk, 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley, 1/4 sweet onion-diced, 1 carrot-diced, 1/4 cup each of diced red and green peppers and fresh cracked black pepper.

Add 2/3 cup water and the juice from the corn dip recipe.  Put the lid on and simmer until the veges are done but still slightly crunchy.  If you aren’t a fan of the corn dip recipe, put the contents of all three cans in a blender, liquify and divide into three.  Put the portions you aren’t using in a ziplock and into the freezer for later use.  Use in soup or chowder to bump the flavor.

Turn the heat off and remove the the chicken thighs.  Once cool enough to handle, remove skin and bone and dice the meat.  Add the diced chicken to the pan.  Bring to a simmer for a few minutes to heat the chicken through.

If you want to make chicken noodle soup, consider pureeing the rest of the ingredients before adding the chicken back to the pan.  Add your noodles and cook for the time necessary to finish the noodles.

Sans noodles, this makes 4 nice big bowls of soup.  If adding noodles, this should feed five or six.