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Showing posts from June, 2009

Eatin' fun times

I bought a fancy new photo card thingymajig and now I can't get my food photos off the camera.

And I am too tired to go root out the camera-to-computer cable.

But I have been eating non-stop, so here is a list to keep you entertained while I go find that frickin' stupid cable.

1. June Jam - I typically will not take anything a defense attorney tries to give me because usually it involves work and something protracted and difficult. However, there is one who I like very much and her name is June and I know she is reading this blog and when she gives me something protracted and difficult, she makes up for it with jam. June and I talk about food - what we eat, what we make, the how's and the why's. So when she made jam, I gave her a couple of starter pointers and she in return gave me a jar of both her strawberry jam, and of her apricot jam. Both of which were gone almost immediately. The strawberry jam I ate on toast for three days straight and the apricot jam, which I got …

Finally, dinner at MY house

I am a pretty lackadaisical housekeeper at the best of times. Candlelight and wine definitely help to cover up the awkward bits.

But you know you can't live with CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome) forever. You can I suppose, but then you start with one cat for company, and the next thing you know you have 87 cats and newspapers stacked to the ceiling. Oops!

So I lugged all the mess into the basement, swept a little, stuck candles everywhere, and told everyone to BYOB and lots of it!

Then I made a nice little late lunch/early dinner to celebrate Father's Day. And also that it is Dad's birthday, Mom & Dad's wedding anniversary, and the longest day of the year....

For the first time in a very long time I had a little tiny party and I didn't sweat it really. I did what I could do to tidy up everything and then I made a very easy meal.

A friend had given me a gigantic slab of very expensive & delicious cheese that I could not otherwise afford on my tuna fish…

Sad News

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As some of you might remember back in December I hosted a round of Operation Baking GALS. The fantastic members of Team Calamity Shazaam sent nearly two dozen boxes of cookies to SFC Kevin Dupont who was stationed over in Afghanistan.

Even though the boxes arrived in time, Kevin had been out on a mission until January. However, according to Lisa (his wife) the cookies were mostly intact by the time he returned and were well enjoyed!

Sometime at the end of February, beginning of March Lisa came by the office to say "Hi" and we were chatting about how she was relieved because she had finally heard from Kevin after not hearing from him for several weeks. She played a voicemail from him and we giggled like schoolgirls because it's love and it's goofy and it's a relief to hear from someone you love so much after not for so long.

But war and things military being as they are, a few days later I got a call from Lisa's boss who told me that Kevin had sustained severe bu…

All rhubarb, all the time

Ok you know what? After today, how about I not post about rhubarb again this season? Hmmm, I will see what I can do, but I am not making any promises.

I made jam finally.

And you know what is one of the most satisfying noises in jam making? The little pop-blurp when top seals properly and pops in. Right now I am listening to the sweetly weird symphony of pop-blurps.

Alright. So when I make jam I kind of wing it. Well, frankly, when I cook I am pretty much winging it. The only part I actually follow exactly is the canning part because if you f*ck that sh*t up you can KILL people! Yipes!

To be honest with all the rhubarb and strawberries I bought I've been eating it a little at a time, trying to prolong the deliciousness. Tonight I cooked some with a little brown sugar and rum - different and delicious! The other night was with a little mint - which was gross. But I really bought so much that jam seemed like a great way to cook up lots of it in a hurry before the deliciousness turned i…

Rhubarbiola - have you heard of it?

I doubt it. I just made it up. It is how I am now referring to my love of rhubarb that has now become a fever: rhubarbiola.

It can only be cured by eating rhubarb until it is out of season. Or until your teeth fall out from the ill effects of oxalic acid.

Anyway, as I mentioned, I brought back an armful of rhubarb from Vermont this weekend. I have had every intention of making rhubarb & strawberry tarts and rhubarb & strawberry jam, but the reality is that I have been making plain old rhubarb & strawberry cooked in a little sugar and vanilla and then eating it directly from the pan.

Ahhhh, rhubarbiola!

But today is THE day I make jam. Dammit!

And first I had lunch with the Evil Twin because she is hands downs my most favorite person to spend time with ever in the world. Woot!

Pictures and other stuff will be posted later.

Vacation Day Breakfast with Sister

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It is a fact that whenever I have a day off and the Evil Twin and I get in a car together, we somehow end up driving around for f*cking hours and hours just messing about.

It is hysterical.

Today we started off planning to go to Friendly Toast in Cambridge, then ended up going to Sorella's in JP because we sort of thought we'd go visit Grandpapa in rehab. Yeah, I have a Grandpapa in rehab. Woot!

But then the food at Sorella's took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to come out and by the time we were done we had to run off to an appointment (the Evil Twin works for herself and her vacation requests are always denied. Bitch boss right?) and then off again to another appointment. After which we stopped at the area big box so I could get some canning jars (rhubarb!!) and some jar lifters. The Evil Twin bought some yarn and a cap organizer.

Oh and then we had to run back into town to drop some papers off at my Grandpapa's apartment.

By that point I was like oh holy crap, get me the hells outta this…

Ahh happiness....

You know if we were all happy all the time, we wouldn't even know it.

Which means that when I am happy, I am really grateful for it. Like today. I went to Vermont this weekend and brought back an absurd amount of rhubarb and strawberries. The warm, clear red scent of really ripe strawberries in my kitchen makes me nearly delirious with the joy of being alive in the same way that just bloomed lilacs do. Or the same way the woods smell make me happy, like spring water and leaves and dark damp earth and filtered sunlight. Happiness!

The other thing I brought back from Vermont was our old kitchen table that had been stored up in the barn at the camp. And this has made me much happier than I would have thought.

So as I mentioned in a previous post we all went through the cabin up in the woods to see if there was anything that we really really wanted. I took a million photos to send to other family members to see if there is anything they all want and then I realized that everything up the…

Vermont for the weekend

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And all I can think about is if I will find rhubarb for sale somewhere on the road....

It's a sickness I tell you.

Anyway, yes, so my family is selling the old homestead. Only the buyer can only take the land so the house is available.

Can't you just picture yourself living in this house? Making jam and drying stuff in the attic loft? Yeah, I totally can. Which is hard because I am going up there this weekend and I know that all I am going to want to do is figure out a way to move the house somewhere so that I can give up this city living and go live in the Little House in the Big Woods. This has been my dream since I could read.

Seriously.

I bet you didn't know that about me huh.

Anyway, so I am going to go and I SWARE I will sort out the kitchen when I get back. Sware.

Encore pasta!

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Yeah, yeah, the kitchen is STILL a f*cking massive sh*tshow.

Oh well. It's Wednesday. The most effective way to deal with a tipped over kitchen is to ignore it as much as possible.

And eat lots of pasta.

Pasta requires one pan, and maybe a strainer, if that.

I pretty much made the exact same recipe as the other night. A chopped head of garlic (yes, an entire head), some tomato paste, basil, bucatini, oh and this time I added a giant spoonful of chili & garlic sauce.

Because I wanted to light my mouth UP!

Although to be honest, I didn't feel the heat too much because I had already scalded my mouth with the rhubarb-strawberry compote I made for dessert. As per usual I could not wait to eat the rhubarb. Oh and thanks to the oxalic acid in the r'barb I cannot feel my teeth either.

You know, all things considered, as to what I eat, it sometimes is a marvel to me that I am still alive.

Update

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Yep, I took no further action in the kitchen.

Instead, me n'Even Steven went for dinner at dbar and I ate steak and drank cosmos.

But my excuse is, not that I need an excuse, is that I was out with Even Steven to celebrate his being out. Out of the closet that is.

Yep that is correct. It is officially Pride Week! Hooray for gay people everywhere!

And hooray for drinking cocktails with very nice people I like very much!


PS: Get your gay pride vodka drink ideas here, complete with a very cool intro from Gilbert Baker, the creator of the rainbow flag: Absolut Colors

Day 1 (too many) of the Unfortunate Kitchen Incident

I don't know if I can call it an incident so much a made-by-me-clusterf*ck, but I don't think that this kitchen is EVER going to get sorted.

*sigh*

Don't get me wrong, I have every intention of coming home after work to get going on it, but then my energy level peters out right around the minute I flip open the laptop and decide to rearrange my blogs and write some posts and read some recipes and respond to some emails.

It ridiculous really. And really I can't wait to get to the part where it is all organized so that I can start cooking again.

Which I need to do stat because I've promised to make a friend some soup & stuff and besides I am all out of leftovers.

I wish I was that person who could tip it all into the garbage..

Pretty soon I will be eating cake out of the trash*

I ate half a cold leftover bacon cheeseburger. I did not even warm it up, or even take it out of the plastic takeaway container. I ate it at the tiny bit of counter that is clear, dipping it every other bite into ketchup.

This is the same hamburger that sat outside for, oh, a good few hours yesterday afternoon. Really this is just a test of the emergency expulsion system - I will either be seriously ill later, or I won't.

But I am totally unrepentant because it was f*cking delicious. So there.


Oh and a side, unrelated note, if I listen to anymore Iron & Wine I am going to vomit up an entire Robert Pattinson. True story. Ok, well maybe just that one song.



*The above headline is a reference to a very funny scene from Sex in the City when Miranda uses cake as a substitute for sex.

Quiet weekend.

Well Friday night I stayed in, which for me personally is something I enjoy. I can watch all the crap tv my little brain can handle, eat popcorn and chocolate chips for dinner, and drink a 2-liter of soda straight from the bottle without worrying that the caffeine will keep me up. Ahhh yeah!

Which was just as well because then on Saturday I pulled my kitchen apart. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip.

Whoops!

I did not mean to go as far as I did. There is sh*t EVERYWHERE. But my original theory was that I was going to reorganize everything, and get rid of the stuff that doesn't fit back.

Which is a totally bogus original theory, in case you were wondering.

For example, the reason I keep all my plastic lunch containers in the lazy susan thingy is because they don't quite fit in their new storage spot in the sideboard. Which is a major bummer because now they are all sitting in a storage box because I can't put them back in the lazy susan thingy due to the fact that now that is where I a…

Mutti Tomato Paste

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I love tomato paste. I will eat an entire tube of it at one go.

Did you know that tomato paste is very nice on buttered toast? Well it is.

Anyhow. Since you asked. The paste I prefer is..... (drumroll please....):

Mutti Double Concentrated Tomato Paste.

De-licious. I got it at Salumeria Italiana in the North End but I am pretty sure I saw it at Whole Foods.

And for Ms. CDB, since you asked, the thing that I can't stand about all tomato pastes is how sometimes it has a sort of metallic tinge to it. Blech! I read somewhere once that the cure to this is to always saute the paste a little before using, to cook that taste out. I find that cooking helps, but also that the Mutti brand is pretty delicious without.

Fast & Spicy Tomato Sauce

Last night I had pasta. Tonight I had pasta. Sometimes I think the hole at the bottom of my stomach will never be filled.

In fairness, the pasta was really just a vehicle for garlic.

The sauce for the bucatini last night was made from a whole chopped head of garlic which I sauteed with basil in olive oil and then added a bin of cherry tomatoes and let stew for a bit. It was delicious. Frankly that is enough garlic to give an elephant explosive poops, but I needed to burn the allergies out of my head.

Which it didn't do sufficiently enough for me.

Today I came home and went immediately to bed. I was so exhausted I was incoherent. I fell asleep at about 5:20 and woke up at 8pm starving.

So I made a big pot of linguine and pasta sauce. I love this tomato sauce because it is fast, easy, spicy and delicious.

Sorry, no pictures. Too tired. As soon as I finish this post, I am going back to bed.

Fast & Spicy Tomato Sauce

Make some pasta and when cooked, drain, and leave pasta in colander. R…

Cheap Eats on a Monday Night

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In life, cheap is relative.

For some there is perfume while for others there's Designer Imposters. Some people want imported mortadella, while others settle for bologna.

When I talk about cheap eats, I usually mean it is cheap relative to the place where I am eating. Because otherwise a cheap eat will always be the dollar menu at McDonalds.

One of my all time favorite eating companions is Pam from Cave Cibum. And tonight we cheap ate at two South End restaurants. There are definitely cheaper places to eat, but for the South End, these were considered cheap.

The first place we hit was Pho Republique. I ate there years ago when they first opened, before I realized that I could get the same thing cheaper in Dorchester - pho at Pho Republique starts at $14 a bowl. But you know, you gotta start somewhere.

We went for the "Two Dollar Dim Sum" menu which is no where to be found on the website, so I took a photo of it for you:


We ordered one of everything except for the seaweed salad…