Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Charismatic weirdofauna"

At Educator Appreciation Night at the New England Aquarium in Boston.
Watching sea-creatures while eavesdropping on Aquarium employees' late-night conversation.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another foppish Saint Michel

at the Musee d'Orsay.

by Emmanuel Fremiet, ca 1897

This was made to top the spire at le Mont Saint-Michel, where only the lines of its gilded wings are visible from the stone stair maze.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day Five : Biscotti SUCCESS

Thank heavens. It's surprising how success still always feels surprising, considering I've been making this recipe for about 5 years. I baked them differently this time, and the result : a softer and (to Avana, at least) more appealing texture.

Day Four : Biscotti FAIL

Okay, semi-fail. Distracted and disturbed by job-hunting, I think I added an extra tablespoon of lemon juice, and made a liquid batter rather than the extra-dry dough that generally occurs. Result : edible but unappetizing. (Particularly for those of us who have grown accustomed to perfect anise & lemon biscotti in the mornings.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day Three (b) : Potato Rösti

. . . which means “potato pancake”, or “something like hash browns”. From Mark Bittman: a grated potato, an egg, two scallions, salt and pepper.

And then Avana had a stroke of genius : it tasted a hundred times better with Mom's salsa (as do most things).

Day Three : Cranberry & Orange Muffins

I found this recipe my senior year of high school, when I successfully avoided both homework and sleep by baking until 1 or 2 a.m.

As you can see, one of the problems is that the flour gets into the seedless caverns of cranberry halves, resulting in the occasional bite of cranberry-skin-and-flour. I have yet to perfect the solution, but I have hope for the future.


No scope or anything fancy, thankyouverymuch.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day Two (b) : Winter Squash Curry

A new recipe, also care of Mark Bittman. My result : edible but mediocre.

The problem : I threw it all together last minute, and didn’t have the fresh ginger and forgot to put in the jalapeño, and half-assed the curry powder. This meant blandness and flatness, and a boring texture. Next time I will prepare the curry powder with loving attention, add generously onion and peppers, and add whole peanuts in addition to peanut butter. And not overcook the squash. (Squishy squash.)

(This is the half-assed “curry powder”, and the peanut butter tablespoon.)

Day Two : Omelet First Attempt

Eggs are complicated (dead) creatures. Overcooked, they are dry and tasteless; undercooked, and the texture (runny, sticky, acrid) is nauseating.

This summer I made fried eggs my friend, and a visit to Mont St-Michel convinced me that The Perfect Omelet also needed a place in my future.

Most attempts up until now have created scrambled eggs or broken fluff. But with Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything I will sally forth ! and continue my quest !

First attempt : edible but not amazing. I think I need less egg and more surface area. The burnt exterior was delightfully crisp but tasted funky.

(There in the back is the filling-that-wasn't.)

Day One : Clafouti

As for most people, the ends of things unsettle me. I end up eating incredibly spicy food, wearing very bright colors, and doing impulsive, intense (occasionally stupid) things.

Our semester just finished, and I have ten days at home. My brain has just been forcefully filled and emptied of the Bhagavadgita, the Revelation to John, and Les Fleurs du Mal. At the end of fourteen intense days, I finished three classes, three final papers, and the first semester of my last undergrad year.

Potential solutions for this momentary emptiness included : burning my tongue with multiple daily cups of boiling coffee, snacking on whole jalapeños, a new wardrobe entirely in candy-apple red, re-organizing my entire room, or walking to Montana.

I’m going with the most practical one : FOOD. Trying new recipes, and perfecting old ones.

Day One back home called for pear clafouti, a favorite from this summer.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

On the street where you live

Someone wrote me a sonnet

Yes, that says what you think it says.
Call me if you want the full poem. WARNING: Not for the faint of heart, or for those who faint at the sight of tercets and slant rhyme.