Archive for the ‘*Petra’ Category

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TND – Irregular Verbs

May 22, 2014

table scape

I am a self-confessed list maker.  I’d say that the first step is admitting you have a problem, but I don’t actually think that my list-making habits are problematic.  Possibly this makes me a functional list maker?  I have lists of books I want to read – cross referenced by whether I’ve managed to put a reserve on it in the library system.  I have lists of future Dinner menus (which should not be confused with my pinboard account which is essentially a list of all recipes I have made or recipes I want to make).  I have lists of places I want to eat in cities I plan to visit sometime in the next year (currently indexing for Austin and Portland if anyone has suggestions they want to send me).  Suffice it to say, I’m a girl who likes a list. Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND – You Say Cheese, I Say Fromage

May 22, 2014

potatoes

It’s time to talk cheese people – both metaphorical, and literal.

Yet another year of Eurovision has come and gone, and I remain disappointed that no network in the US airs it live.  I have, however, noticed more and more references to it, so I am cautiously optimistic that someone somewhere will understand the genius of Eurovision and air it so that I can have a viewing party some year.

Now, you have to understand, my criteria for who/what I think should win Eurovision essentially boils down to who gives the most balls-to-the-wall crazy-cakes performance.  None of the songs are even in the vicinity of good, so that is never a deciding factor.  And, if I wanted tasteful, well I probably wouldn’t be watching Eurovision.  So what I look for is a group who really commits to the insanity.  I want vampires who turn into boats, and dancing gumbies, and twins in futuristic pompadours (all of which have featured in performances in the last three years alone). Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND – Breakfast of Champions

May 22, 2014

iced cake

I asked my aunt about my mother’s strange aversion to grits.  I wanted to know if it was something that my mother had inherited from my grandmother, or whether it was her very own personal (baffling) quirk.  My aunt confirmed that it’s an idiosyncrasy entirely personal to my mother; and that in fact my aunt makes a mean shrimp and grits.  She did add that despite living in Virginia that it wasn’t something they grew up eating much because in the South it’s traditionally a breakfast food and breakfast wasn’t something my grandmother typically spent much time preparing.  Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND – Taking a Break

May 22, 2014

oranges

Bits and Pieces of recent food-related news

The next season of Top Chef is filming in Boston. Apparently Padma Lakshmi has already been spotted at the Copley Square farmer’s market, and is as tall and gorgeous in person as she appears on TV. I predict that there will be some adventure on a lobster boat, and something involving food carts on the Greenway. Guest judges will definitely include Barbara Lynch (#9 Park, Sportello, Menton, etc.) and Tony Maws (Craigie on Main), with possible appearances by Tim Maslow (Ribelle), Ana Sortun (Oleana), Jody Adams (Rialto), and Barry Maiden (Hungry Mother) Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND – Emmissaries of Spring

April 17, 2014

spring flowers

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by the sun of York
(William Shakespeare – Richard III – Act I/Scene I)

Currently we’re about halfway in between those two lines – it’s no longer the winter of our discontent, but it’s not quite glorious summer yet*.  We’re just glimpsing the onset of Spring, and I had the realization the other day that all my favorite flowers are Spring flowers – crocuses (croci?) hyacinths, daffodils, snow drops, lilies of the valley, forsythia, lilacs . . .

I’m not sure if this is because they are all things that come and go quickly; their pleasures are fleeting and like asparagus and cherries must be enjoyed to the fullest in the moment.   Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND – Winning at Birthdays

April 7, 2014

cake

Some people have Birthday Weeks in which they celebrate their birthday on the day of their actual birth + some celebration on a more convenient day of the week like a Friday or Saturday. Some people have Birthday Months in which there are multiple birthday celebrations (friends, family, Dinner . . .) spread out over the course of a month – and sometimes in different cities – to accommodate the vagaries of everyone’s schedule. I appear to have basically won at Birthdays by achieving the Birthday Year. Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND – In the Kingdom of Leftovers . . .

March 31, 2014

veggies

The Kingdom of Leftovers is always problematic.  How do you define leftovers, and having defined them what do you do with them?  In my personal Taxonomy of Cooking the Kingdom of Leftovers is divided into two Phyla, and then further categorized into more and more specific Classes and Orders*. Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND – Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered

March 24, 2014

 

caramelized onions

Bewitched . . .

I am completely entranced by these copper cooking vessels and covet them. I also covet a full kitchen staff who would polish said copper cooking vessels, because I am fully cognizant of the fact that I never would.

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TND – Admitting Defeat

February 26, 2014

carrot curls

I have never been as defeated and dispirited by winter as I have been this year.  We had a brief respite this past weekend when it was sunny, in the high 40s, and I daringly left the house in less than four layers of clothing.  By Monday it had dropped back to the low 30s (feels like 18!), and by Tuesday we were back to 16 (feels like 3!).  Granted this is still an improvement over 8 (feels like -5!) – at least we’re in double digits and nothing is in the negative numbers – but it’s still incredibly cold.

I’m trying to decide if the weekend’s brief lull has made me more or less depressed about another 3-4 weeks of snow and ice (at least according to Punxsutawney Phil).  I’m leaning towards more depressed.  Basically at this point I’m bribing myself through every week until the weather warms up because crying seems pointless, and seasonal alcoholism seems like a bad idea (although tempting).

Also, for the second time in six weeks our server at work has crashed hard.  Practically speaking this translates to not being able to access any files or use the printers for two days.  They keep taking the system down to test emergency preparedness.  At this point the response from my office is, ‘we know it doesn’t work in emergencies, stop testing it’.  Fun times.

In order to distract myself here’s a round of what’s making me happy this week. Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND – Put the Lime in the Coconut

August 23, 2013

carrot curls

If you’ve ever tried to cook a vintage recipe – or tried to recreate some recipe your grandmother always used to make – you’ve probably run into the problem that older recipes tend to be frustratingly short on details. For example, my grandmother’s recipe for Moravian Coffee Cake (which incidentally is (a) the best coffee cake ever, and (b) why I don’t particularly like the crumb topped coffee cakes you usually see – see below the crunchy sugary glory of a Moravian Coffee Cake)

moravian coffee cake

is a little too vague on specifics for me to attempt to make it without doing some research to nail down quantities, times, and textures. It’s got the basics (flour, sugar, yeast, mashed potato), but veers into ‘here there be dragons’ territory when it comes to exactly how much flour (enough to make a stiff, but not too stiff dough), and how much butter (enough to cover tuck into indentations all over the dough).

 

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