Monday, September 27, 2010

Super harvest moon

Last Wednesday was a super harvest moon, which apparently only happens once every 20 years. This fact was drawn to my attention by a friend of Mike's, who we met for beverages and cookies on top of Alamo Square to bear witness. The sun went down while the moon came up, and Jupiter followed. A Gollumesque dude stood behind us and whispered (to himself or to us, I do not know) about Pisces and important signifiers and stars in alignment. It was eerie, and very very beautiful.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Creations continue

Emboldened by my purchase, use, and enjoyment of my new immersion blender, and overwhelmed with piles of summer squash, last week I whipped up this garlic zucchini soup. I made one addition that had a bit more of an effect than I had anticipated - celery. I don't think of celery of having much of a flavor, but that is like thinking a boring politician will remain boring, and will not make stupid, harmful voting choices. Not that celery is stupid or harmful. Just that it doesn't figure into my life very often, and so I forget it has some bite.

As a result, my soup was zucchini-y, garlicky, and significantly celery-y. But good! But I would have liked more of the first two, less of the third. I would not discourage you from using it, just from using 4 stalks. But what the hell else do you do with a poor wilting bunch of celery? And don't say I should put peanut butter and raisins on it.

Also in the vein of when-experimentation-isn't-the-answer: last night we had several people over for football watching. I served:
  • a homebrewed pale ale on ice (out of our keg, biotches!)
  • homemade salsa (can you tell I'm obsessed with this blender?)
  • pizza with homemade dough and sauce (obviously I need to learn how to make cheese to complete the picture)
  • Smitten Kitchen's blueberry cake (it's called Blueberry Boy Bait, but that's embarrassing to me)
Mike and I broke the gauge on the keg's CO2 regulator the first time we tried to move it, and so we accidentally overcarbonated our beer to a comical extent. In order to serve it, I had to decant the foam into pitchers and let it settle down. Which it did after a few minutes, during which I spoke soothing words to it, and it was delicious.

Another lesson learned: when your cat tangles himself in your blender cord (in this case I was using it with the whisk attachment, so handy) and pulls a bowl of cake batter off the counter, attempting to estimate how much is on the floor and adjust the flour amounts to match is not likely to be effective. It is, however, preferable to my first instinct, which was to somehow retrieve the batter from the floor and put it back into the mixing bowl. I'm not above that, but the cat was already having his way with the batter.

I figured I lost a half cup of butter/sugar/egg mixture, and I used my mediocre maths to correspondingly decrease the amount of flour I added. The cake came out just fine (I mean, it's blueberry cake) but not very cake-y; more, um, fudgy-brownie-y. Consistency-wise, I mean. I also added way too many blueberries because Mike and I panicked when the lady at the farmer's market told us it was the last week for blueberries and we bought a quart or something. But too many blueberries is never a bad thing, and I would do it again, dammit!

Oh, and also I promise that the next post will have fewer made-up adjectives.

Bike storage

Yes please.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My baby's got sauce

Last night I made a shit ton (actual measurement) of tomato sauce from scratch. Start to finish the process took about 3 hours, but that's mostly because I kept running into the living room to yell at the TV. The Jets blew it last night, bro.

I used this recipe, and started with 12 pounds of tomatoes from the Divis farmer's market. Here they are, all ready to be blanched and peeled.
Post-peeling, I squeezed their little guts out. On the left is the tomato flesh; on the right are the skins and guts.
The flesh got added to a mirepoix and cooked down. I had some ciabatta set aside just for the purpose of dipping and sampling, and I'll tell you what, this was some tasty sauce.
Today I need to get an immersion blender to smooth the whole pot out, then I'll freeze for later. Then I will be done, and will have gained both A Sense of Accomplishment and Several Months' Worth of Lazy Dinners.

Fix Up

This gorgeous yellow pickup has been parked outside my apartment for days, and I want it. I'm probably not cut out for grand theft auto, nor do I actually want to own a truck while living in the city, but I'm now seriously considering both.
And check that license plate: Fix Up. Well, at least now I know what I want to do when I move to the country.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Are you mad?

My mom Gchatted me before my cousin's wedding to tell me she had bought a dress that was the same color as mine. Our exchange is one of my favorite of all time.

Mom: jUST THOUGHT i'D GIVE YOU THE HEADS UP. i BOUGHT A BLUE DRESS. I refused to buy another black one. We'll look like Arnie and danny Devito from the TWINS MOVIE.
me: excellent
i am looking forward to that

Why on earth would I be mad? Especially since my brother came through with this gem.
I'm not going to stop asking people that for a very long time. Say it. "Are you mad for some raisin?" It's just a delight to say.

Mike picked up on the other nugget in that Gchat; Arnie and Danny. And lo and behold, look at what we have:
And, even better:
Many thanks to Mike, whose photoshop skills were invaluable in extending this joke into its third week.


Wednesday was Umbro's birthday, and I met her downtown for drinks. I never have a reason to go to the FiDi anymore, and it was a really nice change of pace. The bar was on a little alley, and I had just enough to drink that I became enamored of the local fire escapes.
We sat outside, and it was aaaalmost warm enough for me, though I had to ditch beer for red wine. I'd still like a bit of east coast summer, but I'll settle for a lack of chilly fog.
The birthday girl drank her way through the evening with style, flair and a surprising lack of slurring. And I got to ride my bike home in a dress, which always makes me feel like I have an exciting life. It is like, "Woo woo, you might be able to see my underwear but I don't care because I'm going FAST!" There's really no arguing with that.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


While I was away, my team moved from one building to another at work. The new building was just renovated and is lovely. Here's the space outside my cube.
I feel like I should be drinking a martini and feeling discontented with my increasingly empty upper middle class existence which has gotten me a glamorous mid-century modern house but a loveless marriage. So happy!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Home again home again

Holy peanuts, it has been a couple of weeks, if you know what I mean. Boston to New York to PA to New York to PA, weddings and bars and jogs and heat and rain and bagels. I mean, a real couple of weeks.

I have hundreds of pictures to go through, but here is a sampling of the last week. First, upon Mike's arrival in NYC, a boat tour around the isle of Manhattan.
My brother, visiting from Oz.
My parents' house and property, where we cavorted on land, on river, and on horseback. And on the porch, with beers.
My cousin's wedding, at which at least a dozen middle-aged family members absolutely FREAKED OUT to the live band's rendition of Lady Gaga songs. The bride had the tiniest waist and the biggest smile I've ever seen, and it was a beautiful party.
As I write, it is 4 p.m. here in San Francisco, and 7 on the east coast. If we were still at my parents', we'd be having drinks on the porch right now. Mike would be looking very satisfied from the time he spent clearing brambles on the Bush Hog (photos to come, I promise), and I would be sore from the athletic undertaking of the day. And it would be good.

But also good is the end of vacation, since I'm back with my cats in my apartment, with my things and my smells. And a suitcase full of my dad's homebrew and my mom's zucchini. So there you go.