Personally I plan to watch the Puppy Bowl (and Kitten Half-Time Show!), though...
*come to think of it, it was at least 20 years ago. Which makes me feel better about the cookware's longevity, but dear god does it make me feel old.
( my thoughts )
I got mangoes in the fruit of the month club this month, and so M and I made a sort of poke for dinner last night with raw ahi tuna, mango, avocado, cucumber, green onions, olive oil, sesame oil, chile sauce and ginger. Yum yum yum! As M noted, somehow free mangoes resulted in spending over $25 for one dinner, but it was so worth it as an unexpected midweek treat!
Over the course of two hours, I ate:
- smoked sablefish with caviar and fennel vinaigrette, with little I think radish sprouts
- tempura cod cheeks with spicy mayonnaise. Ordinarily I do not like mayonnaise at all but this bore little to no resemblance to the stuff that comes in jars
- seared tuna with fennel sauce and some kind of greens that I am forgetting
- macomber turnip puree/soup--this was to die for
- Chilean sea bass with chinese broccoli and a carrot au jus. The fish was of course delicious, even if Chilean sea bass is one of those fish one ought not to eat, iirc, but the carrot au jus was a revelation. I like carrots well enough, but this was the Platonic ideal template of carrot against which all taste of carrot must be measured.
- apple and pear crisp with prune cognac ice cream. I make a pretty mean crisp myself so while the crisp was delicious, it did not blow me away. The prune and cognac ice cream, otoh--wow. If you had told me before Sunday that I would swoon over prune flavored anything I would have been highly skeptical, but I did indeed swoon over this!
All in all, it was a highly memorable meal. It is not the kind of splurge we can make at all often, but it was well worth the money for both the meal and the pampering. Perhaps during the year we can go back for the bar menu and drinks...
On a side note, I'm inspired to try cooking with fennel now, as it appears I like it quite a bit. Must look at recipes...
I did wonder if this quote from the review might perhaps be someone I know:
"I'd order Fernet Branca, Tommy, but I have a bottle at home," a young woman confides, showing off her knowledge of the cult liqueur.
synaethesia, I'm looking at you ;-)
I am loving my new earbuds--such clear sound and crisp detail! They are far superior to my last pair, not leastly because both sides work. They're Philips SHE9800, should anybody else be in the confusing market for earbuds and want recommendations.
Years ago I accidentally bought three large containers of cinnamon--I kept forgetting I'd already bought some. So I have had bountiful cinnamon for what seems like ever. Today, I have run out of cinnamon! I did not think it would ever happen! So the sweet potato pie has taken a somewhat Caribbean turn, with extra ginger and allspice and nutmeg to make up for the lack of cinnamon. It is smelling pretty darn tasty...
You take a tractor-pulled hay wagon to get to the orchard:
( more photos, mostly animals not apples )
It was a nice orchard, rather crowded on a beautiful October day but I would go there again, though more likely on a weekday. I got some lovely apples and ate a fresh cider donut and also picked up some wines and jam and chive blossom vinegar at the store. I can now say I've had dandelion wine. It isn't bad, but it's not something you need much of. Saying you're drinking it makes you feel like an elf or fairy, though, so that counts for something.
Funny moment: a young girl, maybe four-ish, ran up to a flock of chickens yelling "Hello chickens!!!" and flapping her wings. She followed them back around their coop, and her dad called out to her, "Don't go back there, honey, that's where the scary inbred backwoods people live!" Which perhaps was not that appropriate a thing to say, but the look on her face was priceless--she had no idea what that meant, but it sounded pretty bad and so she got out of there pronto!
In other news, Big Brown has been retired. During a workout, he whacked one of his front hooves with one of his back hooves and sheared a pretty big chunk of it right off :-( I suppose it's the old trouble with the relative weakness and brittleness of his hooves. It's not expected to be life threatening as long as it can be kept from getting infected, but given his stud value, it is certainly career-ending. He really did do some incredible things as a racehorse and it's sad not to get to see what he'll do next. I hope his feet problems aren't genetic...
- Yay Connecticut!
- Last night I made a good dinner. I sauteed leeks and garlic, then mixed that up with cubed potatoes and cauliflower florets and oregano and thyme and pepper, and roasted all that for about 45 minutes. Then I made a feta cheese sauce, poured it all over the vegetables, baked it for another 30 minutes and then I said yum yum as I ate it up. It seemed like a daunting amount of work when I got home tired and a bit depressed last night, but that 45 minute roasting period was just enough time to get in a yoga practice, so it ended up feeling very efficient. Between the yoga and a good meal I felt much, much better about life at the end of the evening.
- The last time I made a roux for a cheese sauce it was disastrous, but this one turned out perfectly, even using olive oil instead of butter. I absolutely credit the silicone-coated whisk I got at Ikea.
- Looking forward to apple picking tomorrow, though I will be showing up late as I have a massage scheduled in the late morning. Don't you feel sorry for me?
- Back when I was in grad school, I ended up reading rather more than I would ever have intended to about Iceland's history and ethnography, because an anthropologist whose theory I was interested in did her fieldwork there. The current news about Iceland reminds me that the island nation's economy has periodically collapsed throughout all its recorded history, generally due to the fishing stocks collapsing or to consecutive poor harvest years or to plague, or occasionally war. It's really no wonder that Iceland shifted the basis of its economy off its own land into other people's, in a way. But in the long view of history, collapse like this is nothing new, and probably nobody will starve to death in little hovels this time around.
- A blue jay in a green and yellow leaved tree festooned with shiny red berries is a beautiful sight to see.
Oct 7th, 2008 | BEIRUT, Lebanon -- The latest conflict simmering between Lebanon and Israel is all about food: Lebanese businessmen accusing Israel of stealing traditional Middle Eastern dishes like hummus.
Fadi Abboud, president of the Lebanese Industrialists Association, said Tuesday his group plans to sue Israel to stop it from marketing hummus and other regional dishes as Israeli.
"It is not enough they (Israelis) are stealing our land. They are also stealing our civilization and our cuisine," said Abboud.
He said his group also seeks to claim the eggplant spread baba ghannouj and tabbouleh, a salad made of chopped parsley and tomatoes, as Lebanon's own.
Hummus — made from mashed chickpeas, sesame paste, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic — has been eaten in the Middle East for centuries. Its exact origin is unknown, though it's generally seen as an Arab dish.
But it is also immensely popular in Israel — served in everyday meals and at many restaurants — and its popularity is growing around the globe.
While Abboud cites a history of complaints by Lebanese businessmen about Israel exporting and marketing Lebanese dishes as Israeli, it's not clear where the Lebanese might file suit since the two countries are officially at war.
The answer is obvious: they should settle this on Iron Chef! Tonight's secret ingredient is... tahini! Let the battle begin! *zaghareet*
Friday was the American Craft Beer Festival. I had: ( list o'beers )
Saturday started with a much needed massage, and then a fun and heartwarming shower for my future nephew up in Lowell. That will be one well dressed kid, I tell you! Funny moment when somebody said they needed a knife; my dad, my uncle and I all said "I have one!" Later somebody remarked that our whole family carries knives, which was pretty funny if you know my family, as it made us sound like some kind of crazy gang.
Today I went to the Dance Complex and sweat buckets while working on my piece for next Sunday. Did not feel super awesome about what I accomplished but I'm still not 100 percent over being sick, and it was awfully hot. The mirrors in the studio I used are angled slightly so that you look extra squat and stout in your reflection, which didn't help but at least I could keep sight of the fact that it was the mirrors, not me. Glad I went, anyway, so that I could use a lot of floor space.
Now I am going to do carpentry on our futon frame to prevent weasels from sneaking in through the sides of the frame. It's fine if they go under the bed, but we're afraid they'll get squished squeezing through the small holes between the slats and the futon. Hopefully I am stronger than the drill right now...
Oh! Saturday night we went to La Buona Vita in Arlington Center. We'd never been there before. Very good uncomplicated Italian cooking. Not a long menu but a well-chosen one. Definitely somewhere to go again.
I walked to Alewife this morning! My foot hurt enough that I probably should hold off on regularly walking for a bit longer, but it felt good. I didn't end up limping, which is definitely progress.
The weasels were able to come out into the rest of the apartment last night. Ianto is--I don't exactly want to say fearful, but he is very cautious and a bit hesitant. I remember seeing that with Ronan too. This is undoubtedly more space than he has ever experienced in his entire life, and for a not-baby ferret, that can be a bit intimidating. He also has some trouble with the hardwood floors. After a while, it was clear he was a bit freaked out, so I brought him back in the bedroom, gave him treats and told him how brave he was. After regrouping a bit, he was able to come back out again later, so he wasn't too traumatized. It's just going to take him some time to get comfortable. Sisiutl, on the other hand, explored, mapped and catalogued for about three hours straight. Her tiny feet tippytoe across the hardwood floors with no problems. She also started relocating bats from our shelf of bats in the dining room to under the bed, which is apparently where all toys belong. They both liked the water fountain, once they got the hang of it. They came out this morning to enjoy the cool air, and both of them did some running around. I am going to have to add fifteen minutes to my morning routine to accommodate weasels being cute time.
( SYTYCD )
Oh, and Top Chef--yay! All ends as it should.
There are donuts in the kitchen.
Must not succumb to the obvious temptation of donuts for lunch...
'bout time last night's chef was booted off Top Chef, I didn't see that particular chef as having much to offer at all in any of the challenges. I think the male faux-hawk or Antonia will be the winner, but you never know. Dale's pretty good too. I can't stand Spike's stupid hats and want him out for that reason alone.
I made a pretty tasty mac and cheese last night with smoked gouda, mushrooms and asparagus. It went well with the cold weather.i
Yesterday M and I went to Flora, just down the street from us. We've lived within a mile of the restaurant for years now and somehow never made it over there. The building was my bank when I was a kid, though. We were quite impressed with our meals and enjoyed the atmosphere. We were offered the Restaurant Week menu even though the participating restaurants aren't required to offer their special menus on Saturday. I had cod cakes with puttanesca sauce and watercress for an appetizer and an absolutely delicious wild mushroom risotto with acorn squash and some kind of greens. M also had the cod cakes and some beef thing that he said was excellent. I also had a good cocktail called a 1794, I believe equal parts rye, campari and sweet vermouth. They are one of the very few places in Arlington with a full liquor license, and I think we might perhaps make a habit in the summer of walking over and having cocktails and light snacks (crazy Arlington by-law, you can't order just booze, you have to order food with it, otherwise you might think you were in a bar and cause mayhem and anarchy).
Tonight I will be bad and order pizza for dinner, I do believe.
Really enjoyed Lost last night. What an appropriate episode to air on Valentine's Day!
Speaking of Valentine's Day, we had a really disappointing dinner at Prose last night. ( here's the story )
It didn't ruin the night though, just made it a little draggy in the middle. M gave me a very lovely bracelet even though we'd said we weren't giving each other gifts.
The best thing of all about Valentine's Day, though, was that Seti ate a fairly normal amount of kibble during the day, and a bit more during the night! He's still underweight but he's clearly more alert and engaged than he was this time last week, and hopefully he'll put some weight back on. It's strange; even though he weighed less this morning than he did on Tuesday, he somehow looks more filled out to me. Maybe it's the difference of looking at him with eyes of hope rather than eyes of despair.
I needed to stock up on Innova Evo ferret kibble, and have been increasingly annoyed by the spammy behavior of my online supplier. So I went to the Innova site, which has a handy "find a retailer near you" feature. Lo and behold, there was a retailer not a mile from my house! I called to make sure they had the ferret kibble in stock, and stopped by on Tuesday to pick it up. This is really the best kind of pet supply store, all kinds of healthy food options (no cheap grain based foods for carnivores here!), grooming stuff, neat toys, etc., plus a resident kitty and a rather shy rescued dachshund behind the counter. The staff were friendly; I didn't have any reason to ask questions, but I suspect they would be quite knowledgeable as well. I am impressed that the only brand of ferret food they seem to carry is by far the best food on the market. They carry BARF diet as well, which is certainly easier to buy than make, if that's your thing. So, if you feed your pets high quality food, check out Animal Spirit!
Review Number Two: Various vendors at Etsy
This holiday season, I have done some of my shopping at Etsy, and I've been having the best experiences. Each of the vendors I've shopped from has been prompt with shipping, the items have been great, would do business again A++++++! Seriously, it's been fun. The thing I ordered has not yet been the only thing in the package. One person included a hand-colored comic about his creations. Another person included a mix CD, and another threw in some buttons. The stuff you can find at Etsy is creative and unique, and runs the price range from dirt cheap to tres cher for the genuine art. So if you're struggling for gift ideas, check out Etsy!
Oh, and a third review, just because: recipe for Cauliflower and potato soup, Jane Brody's Good Food Cookbook. I rate it four potatoes out of five. The soup is basically cauliflower, potatoes, onion, garlic, soy sauce, a lot of parsley, cardamom, pepper and milk, which sounds a little incomprehensible but is very tasty. The parsley and cardamom especially go well together. If I make this soup again, I would use more cardamom than the recipe calls for because I love it very much, and I would add some toasted almonds either as a garnish or perhaps ground up and added to the soup. The only reason I didn't give this soup five potatoes is that it really screamed for those toasted almonds. Also, if I'd used another potato it wouldn't have all fit in the pot I was using.
Took the night off from official exercise due to general ouchiness but danced around in the kitchen while cooking. I swear sometimes I do my best dancing in the kitchen in my fluffy slippers and gothic ass sweatpants.
Stayed up too late last night because I went grocery shopping after class, then decided to cook a real dinner, a Spanish tortilla. My MIL gave me a five pound bag of potatoes (apparently when she did her thanksgiving shopping the supermarket was having a buy one, get one free deal) and I'm trying to use them up in ways that don't involved baked potatoes every night for dinner. The tortilla turned out really well, with potatoes, a little onion, some broccoli (also a buy one get one free acquisition) and most importantly some black pepper goat cheese. Usually when I make tortillas they come out a little dry as I'm always afraid of undercooking them, but the cheese (melted into the potato/onion/broccoli mixture before I added that to the eggs) kept things creamy. Hooray the power of cheese!
I will get my foot x-rayed after work today. I hope they let me see the x-rays. Not that I can really tell anything from looking at them, but I'd just like to see my bones and know whether the metatarsals really are as shoved over as they feel. In another two weeks I'll see the doctor again to get his interpretation and recommendations. Pretty anxious about that, but there's not much I can do about it.
Decided to get a camcorder in the after Christmas sales. I'm quite excited!