gina_r_snape: (Noel emotional breakdown (NME shoot))
I posted this Saturday on LJ. But remembering there are folks over here not there, I'm posting it again.


Greetings flist. I'm feeling melancholy and nostalgic this morning. The weather is freezing out and I woke up with low blood sugar. At breakfast I drank too much very strong tea and now I'm trying to recover before starting my day. I plan to make a challah bread, and after that I'm not sure. Plans for a "board game" evening with friends were thwarted, and T-Rex has a lot of tasks to take care of during the day today.

While waiting for my blood sugar to normalize and the caffeine to settle down, I watched a show called How The Edwardians Spoke. It was very interesting; and watching people listening to recordings of their deceased relatives got me thinking about my own. All three of my grandparents (I never met my paternal grandfather) died over 10 years ago. My brothers have silent home movies of my maternal grandparents from the 1960s and 70s, but when I've asked them for a copy I always get told they are stored somewhere in the attic and they are too busy/lazy/disinterested to dig them out for me. So I got a bit emotional on the couch, thinking about them. One woman in the documentary said she couldn't remember what her brother sounded like, which of course got me thinking about what my grandparents sounded like. I longed to hear their voices. How could I not start crying, right?

Have I mentioned that I've met T-Rex's mother? I've been to her place twice now. She's a lovely, funny, interesting woman in her 80s with witty and painful stories of her life in the Ukraine and the States. Her flat reminds me of my paternal grandmother, clean but cluttered, overstuffed and decorated with cultural brick-a-brac (in her case Ukrainian instead of Spanish). When she tells me stories, I find myself longing to hear my grandparents' stories. Of course I regret never having the foresight to interview them before their passing. My maternal grandfather, in particular, would tell me bits of things about the neighborhood where I live; I live where he grew up and frequently walk past where he was born. He and I weren't as close as I was to my very affectionate grandmother. He was a quiet man, not terribly demonstrative. But "still waters run deep" as they say, and I know he loved me.

I suppose it's better to cry over the loss of loved ones than to cry over never having them, though. Right?

It's very cold in NYC. And work has been tirelessly pressing. The clients complained about the draughts (our building is in desperate need of repair but funds remain unforthcoming). So after gaining permission from the city, we were able to put tape (and in some cases plastic) on the windows to stop the draughts.

Of course, the temperature then went up to the point where the clients wanted to undo the tape and open their windows. But that was short-lived and we are plunged into freezing temps once again. We have a particularly needy, whiny bunch at the moment. And I am worried about getting audited while on holiday at Gallifrey. So this week I'll be doing my best to prepare my staff in case that happens.

On the physical front, I've been waking up with low blood sugars for a few days. I'm not sure how much of it is hormonal, but if it continues after a few more days I will know it's because I've now lost 7 lbs. T-Rex bought me a "Fitbit One" tracker and I've been using it to track my steps, miles, calories burned, sleep, and logging my food and weight. It's working. And although the numbers suggests I should be losing about 1 to 1.5 lbs per week, I am losing between .5 and .75 a week and that's good enough for me. When you have diabetes, it sometimes gets in the way of best laid plans. Blood sugar drops mean more calories. But it occurred to me not long ago that I really shouldn't complain about having a disease where one of the "cures" to a critical problem is eating sweets. I also think my metabolism is slow, and so I probably don't burn as many calories as the device assumes based on height, age, etc.

The best part about having the Fitbit is that the goal setting works. As a behavioral modification tool, it does actually get me moving more than I might have otherwise. I am motivated to meet my daily step goal. And as T-Rex walks A LOT, this is something we can do together. Plus, it's something I can keep up unlike other exercise plans such as workout videos or a gym membership (as history has shown unsustainable for me).

Anyway, I'm grateful today is Saturday. I can take things at a slower pace and do something that makes me feel good. So challah bread it is! Oh, and prepping for Gally. I will be COSplaying someone else this year in addition to Queen Victoria, and her outfit is not yet fully together.

Happy Saturday, flist.
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Don't Look Back (Colbert))
Well it's Sunday night and for the first time in ages I can not only manage easy egress in/out and within my study, but I can see the floor, the desk top and organized piles for the first time in months. I'm not entirely certain how many bags of recyclables were thrown away (articles, old notebooks, various other paper goods), but good doesn't even begin to describe the end result. I've not yet finished, mind you, but more than a dent was made.

A small amount of furniture was also moved. An old bookshelf may find itself on the sidewalk, even.

Purging is good. If 2011 is going to live up to its promise, then the purging is just as necessary as the commingling. Not holding onto things that "might be useful in the future," or that "seem really interesting and I want to read at some point," or that hold a tenuous emotional bond to a particular moment, or a hope, or a teacher, or a memory. Yes, there was even some of that in the stacks.

My muscles are going to be very sore tomorrow, I can tell you that. [ profile] drfardook was indispensable. I only hope my multiple forms and displays of gratitude were adequate to the task, and that he didn't completely freeze his backside off on his journey back to Beacon.

Which reminds me. Sesame oil, soy sauce and buckwheat soba noodles were made to commingle. Just saying. Consider it a PSA, even.

So I was chatting this evening with my friend BE and realized I've not left my house since Thursday night. That's right. THURSDAY. It's had both its positives and its negatives. Not being subjected to the cold = goooood. Spending too much time inside my own head = not as good. Two things pierced the protective padding in my mind this weekend and tried to drag me back to the ill-advised behaviors borne of the unhealthy commingling of painful pasts and selfishly unconsulted projected futures that form a kind of paradox mindset. I need to stop. I keep telling two specific friends of mine (LG and BE) to live in the moment. I need to take my own bloody advice.

And nothing soothes the soul like fandom. So tonight I rewatched the series 2 finale of Being Human and the series 3 opener. (Not gonna spoil, but feel free to say whatever in the comments). That finale remains a powerful piece of work. One part horror, one part mind-f*ck, one part eternal bonding. There's not a moment wrong in the entire episode. Series 3 opener? Not so much. The pacing was off, the themes overplayed. But there were moments. Moments that kept me interested. I am not sure how I feel about the anticipated story lines for this series. But I will stick with it. And I was amused by the cameo of Kai Owen. (Er, that's not really a spoiler, right?).

Now I've got a pile of books on my bed demanding to be stacked and a ticking clock threatening to sneak up on me and dart past midnight if I don't step away from the computer. So off I go. See you when I do.
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Don't Look Back (Colbert))
So I called out sick today. It's not the snow. I just woke up with, shall we say, certain pains that made me not want to put on real clothes and deal with the public. So after a nice long hot shower I am spending the day in sweats and fuzzy socks.

I plan to get some reading done, and maybe set myself some writing deadlines.

I've got plans this weekend to attack my home office again and this time REALLY make a dent. When MA came over the other night she said something interesting to me. I'll paraphrase. She hired someone to help her reorganize her workspace because she felt like putting it off was tantamount to telling the universe she wasn't ready to move on to a new phase in her life. This was just after she'd been laid off from her job, so it was an excellent time to tackle such a project. So I feel like, with the new year, now is a good time to make a genuine difference in my home work space.

Plus, I'll be getting some help this weekend from [ profile] drfardook who has been promised homemade multigrain bread. There may also be some cheese and marmite involved. And fruit salad of the kiwi, mango, strawberry variety. I am on the fence about grapes or pineapple.

There will be massive amounts of throwing things away. Of pruning and possibly posting online of books for sale. There might even be some moving of furniture, but that's more of a maybe whereas the purging of papers is a definite. It's not something I can do alone, as I live in a 4th floor walk-up and it would take me a month to carry stuff down alone. Plus, I need someone to push me so I don't just faff about moving piles from one spot to another and pretending it's an actual accomplishment.

When MA came over Tuesday night, she brought two books for me to borrow and/or keep. One of them is entitled Culinary Tea: More Than 150 Recipes Steeped in Tradition from Around the World. I found a recipe that might make good use of the napa cabbage we got in my winter CSA. Is anyone on my flist practised in the art of dumpling making? [ profile] ladyaelfwynn or [ profile] sketchybrunette perhaps? I am thinking of substituting soy beef for the pork and trying my hand at this recipe. Here are the ingredients:

Jasmine Dumplings


3/4 pound/340g napa cabbage, shredded
2 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
2 T coarsely ground loose-leaf jasmine tea leaves
1 bunch scallions
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 T soy sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 lb/455g ground pork
60 wonton wrappers

Jasmine Dipping Sauce
1c/240ml steaming water
1 T loose-leaf jasmine tea leaves
2 T soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
1 dash toasted sesame oil (with hot chile if desired)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger

cabbage leaves, jasmine tea and water for steaming the dumplings

Le Sigh

Jan. 18th, 2011 11:17 pm
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Purr cartoon)
Greetings f-list. Why yes, I am still alive. I've just been cocooned in pleasant company and pleasant pursuits for a few days.

The conference was wonderful and inspiring. I am very very pleased to have gone.

On the flight back I sat next to a junior faculty member (TM) from my Uni who extended herself during the con and she advised me about the qualitative portion of my dissertation. We also chatted about academia, family (she and her partner are raising their baby vegan, she keeps joking that it's the closest thing to immaculate conception she can think of since her partner is the one who gave birth), and her undying love for Angelina Jolie. LOL I told her about Doctor Who. We talked about playing music (she used to be a musician and I used to play guitar). And generally just enjoyed each others company. She even gave me a lift back into Manhattan!

Upon my return, I spent some time with [ profile] drfardook and I think it's fair to say my taking him to Russ and Daughters followed by Economy Candy and the Essex Market were something of a LES culinary tour de force. Pity we didn't make it to Guss' Pickles or the Doughnut Factory. But hey, gotta leave something for another time right? At the very least, he got to pretend to be a NY Jew for a bit. And I see my brainwashing influence has taken root because he insisted on buying licorice bootlaces in homage to the Mighty Boosh. ^_^

Today ME of the Jew Crew came for dinner. We had savoury chickpea flour pancakes with onion, shallot, and sunchokes from my CSA (and parsley) with a side of sauteed cod and a carrot salad (also from my CSA) with a balsamic vinaigrette. Then her husband AJ and a mutual friend (KS) came over for tea. I brewed some Whittard's Afternoon Blend and got to use my tea set! She made almond macaroons and we used an egg from my CSA as well for that. And we had some halvah from Economy Candy and I also happened to bake a challah bread for tomorrow so we had some of that with nutella.

There was much chatting and smiling and purring (AJ purrs when he's content. No . . . really). And now that they've all gone home I'm sitting here online instead of cleaning up. I suspect the wine and the heat and the food have lulled me into a sense of contentment. But the truth is, this year has started off such that I am brimming with contentment. What is that about?

Tomorrow after work I intend to hack away at my office space a bit more and set myself a work schedule for my dissertation. And catch up on my f-list. So if there are any pertinent entries you'd like me to see, please do not hesitate to point them out!
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Poncho (Mighty Boosh))
Is it a weekend if you go away Sunday and Monday? Well, after two weeks of covering for my boss I need a week of Gina time. [ profile] pov_power came over Friday for dinner and it was the perfect way for me to start my little holiday. We had those leek and onion pasties I made over the summer, salad, and [ profile] bluestocking79's delightful brussels sprout recipe. The pictures are not that impressive, but I assure you the brussels sprouts were melt-in-your-mouth heavenly. Pictures and recipe:

Leek and onion pasty with salad )

Roasted brussels sprouts with shallots and wild mushroom in a white wine cream sauce )

Recipe can be found here.

On Saturday I putzed around, did some dishes, relaxed. But on Sunday [ profile] drfardook and I took a little trip to Philadelphia where we stayed overnight at a very odd hotel. Nothing in the room matched - except for two identical wall decorations. And it had a kitchen (including dishwasher! actual pots and dishes!) larger than mine. I imagine people who stay there go for weeks on end, not overnight.

Anyway, on Sunday we went to the Mütter Museum and looked at all manner of creepy things. My brain, ever loving to amuse itself, started playing "Inside of You" in my head. As for the museum, I was struck most by the 8ft colon, depictions of various skin diseases, the human skin leather-bound books (considered an apt way to memorialize someone at the turn of the last century) and the rows of skulls with causes of death including "suicide from weariness of life." Have you ever heard a description more Victorian? Photography was not allowed inside the museum, but [ profile] drfardook did take a picture of me on the oversized couch in the atrium where I felt like a Gashlycrumb Tinie awaiting my doom )

(Also, I was approached no less than six times by people asking about or complimenting me on my kitty hat during our trip).

I also toyed with buying a small phial of Ü, the museum's signature fragrance by BPAL. With aromas of frankincense, vanilla and cinnamon on my wrists (and lingering on my sweater well into the next day), I kept declaring it smelled like death and breakfast. Intellectually compelling, but I remain ambivalent about its aroma as a sensual pleasure.

We ate at two places, one the Monk's Cafe where mussels in leek and garlic broth were devoured with glee accompanied by the smallest pommes frites I've ever seen in my life, and a selection of Belgian beers. We liked the place so much we went back the next day for more Belgian brew. The other was a little hole-in-the-wall that served vegan and vegetarian versions of the kind of food Philadelphian University students devour after a night of cramming and/or stumbling out of a bar at 3am. I got a vegetarian Philly cheese steak which was just ok, but looked rather nice )

Looking for a night's entertainment, he googled a dive bar in the area. I was not pleased that they had on a football game instead of music, so I asked a guy at the bar if he knew a better place to go. Turned out his name was Luke and he's in a band from NYC called The Runaway Suns. They were playing across the street at a dive called Tritone and were actually pretty good! We took his advice and stayed to watch a couple of bands, which really hit a spot needing hitting. Their sound was part garage band, part psychedelic, part sixties pop. I could definitely see myself checking them out again )

On the way back to the hotel I was somehow struck by this view, my only shot of an actual Philadelphia monument )

On Sunday, we went to the Franklin Institute, which neither of us realized was geared toward 8 to 12 year olds. We didn't want to spend $26.50 each on the Cleopatra exhibit. So we just wandered about the main museum (as an educator I gained free entry). I had crazy flashbacks to my childhood because my father took me there as a child and I vividly recalled the walk-through heart and the steam engine. We played with the displays in the electricity room, where I learned a valuable lesson about taking off scarves with metallic threads before touching anything focusing on static electricity. I also played with the pulse detector where I learned that if I think about studying, my heart rate shoots up; but if I think about the Mighty Boosh I completely flatline. LOL I question the reliability of the machine. Oh, and we watched a video in the Planetarium about black holes, which made me think of John Crichton until Liam Neeson (the narrator) sternly advised us that wormholes would be too dangerous a place to navigate for space travel. Party pooper.

Across the street from the museum were a string of now-defunct parking meters covered in cosies )

Afterward, we walked a mile in the cold to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and discovered IT WAS CLOSED. Aaaargh! The walk in the cold wore me out, so we waited for the bus. Growing impatient, and my blood sugars dropping, I suggested we find a cafe instead. I jokingly said "I bet you the bus will come rolling down that hill the second we've crossed the street (it was something of a highway)". And sure enough, it did exactly that. But we wandered into a small cafe where we were warmly greeted with tea, OJ, and a discussion with the worker behind the bar (named Mika) and two patrons about relationships. This was a sweet little surprise as we sat convivially and compared notes about cheating, time, expectation, and so on. At one point a sushi salesman walked in (the cafe used to be a sushi place) and offered Mika a calendar. Mika asked if he was selling calendars, and this set off in me the idea of a door-to-door sushi calendar salesman. I think it will have to wind up in a story at some point for the sheer absurdity of it. Then one of the guys (Tyler) offered us a ride back into the center of town in his VW bus, where he told us his theory of Faery and Elfin myths being comparable to Native American lore. Now, normally I would not get into a van with a stranger. But seeing as how I was not alone, and the day felt more and more like an unraveling adventure, we rolled with it and everything came up roses. It was just one of those days where you feel like you have wings on your feet. Know what I mean?

[ profile] drfardook and I ended the day by splitting some fried mac n' cheese and a fried oyster po'boy at a stall in the Reading Market called Beck's Cajun Cafe, a couple more beers at Monk's Cafe, and then back on the train to NYC. I taught him that memory car game "I'm packing a picnic basket" where you go down the alphabet and name things, repeating each prior item on your turn. We chose to load up an iPod instead and came up with band names. First just bands, then he came up with the idea for a second round with only bands who play terrible music. I could not have been more entertained.

Now I'm home and it's a blustery 21F (-6C). I was meant to meet up with a friend for lunch and statistics consultation. But instead I've opted to hibernate and avoid the cold and blinding whiteness of the tundra smattering of snowflakes.

I leave you with this picture I took in the doctoral lounge the other week. I had to laugh when I saw my jacket and accoutrement in juxtaposition to the others )

Phew. Well, I hope you enjoyed the regaling of my trip as much as I enjoyed having it.
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (eggplant)
I am sooo busy, y'all. End of semester plus my boss on holiday is gonna be the end of me, I swear. But next week I have taken a week's holiday and though my time is filling up already, I'm allotting the lion's share of it towards dissertating.

Tonight is the first pickup for my winter CSA, which is a once-a-month affair. And unlike the one I did for the summer, this one is SO ORGANIZED! I received a newsletter that has both the list of items for this month's share AND recipes incorporating those items. We're getting:

Brussels sprouts
Greens (unspecified, I hope it's kale)
Winter Squash
Jerusalem Artichokes
Yellow Onions
and one "added value" item (probably pickled something or other)

Perhaps tonight I'll make [ profile] bluestocking79's Brussels sprouts recipe. Any suggestions for the Jerusalem Artichokes?

Pie poll

Nov. 26th, 2010 11:58 am
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (gromit tea)
My oh my am I tiiiiiiiired today. I had a lovely gathering of folks over for dinner, and a spread that could have fed twenty. Pictures pending. But it feels like I had a workout. So yeah, I'm gonna count cooking as exercise, dammit.

But I need your opinion, flistees!

[Poll #1649591]
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (eggplant)
I wrote a final post for my CSA blog. Recipes include:

* Garlic Vegetable Soup*
* Gooseberry Mini Pies*
* Cranberry Ginger & Lemon Chutney
* Butternut Squash Salad*
* Pears poached in port wine*
* Sour Cherry Sorbet

(starred items have pictures)

Click here to go to that blog post. But I've recreated the salient portions for my LJ flistees here in case you want to comment )
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (pie and peas)
Er, yeah, so I'm doing my menu planning for Thanksgiving and I maaaay have gone a bit overboard. So far, for five (possibly six) people, I've got:

Roasted Garlic Soup
Tossed Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette
Raw Butternut Squash salad
Roasted Beets
Roasted Brussels Sprouts*
Mashed Potatoes
Creamed Spinach with three cheeses**
Turkey with stuffing*
Cranberry Chutney
Dinner Rolls
Pumpkin Pie**
Pears poached in port wine with vanilla ice cream

I shall post pictures and recipes, of course. But this looks like it all goes, right? Should I nix the roasted beets, maybe?

*Pre-ordered from Whole Foods for reheating (turkey is 3/4 cooked and requires 1 1/2 hrs to finish)
**Items being brought by my guests
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Look Normal (IT Crowd))
Thank goodness for quiet mornings, because I have a stack of papers to grade. I figure if I can get at least seven done today, this will put me at a good pace for finishing them the rest of the week. So far no "gems" to share with you, but a few surprisingly enjoyable ones. Yay.

On Friday one of my students rang me for clarification about the next paper and we got onto the topic of music. It never ceases to amaze me that students put you in a bubble. This particular student missed a class because he had a gig (they are allowed to miss two). So I asked him about his band and this turned into a longish chat on musical influences. He said his band was psychedelic like Pink Floyd and I asked if he liked Tame Impapa, which he'd never heard of. He said people compare them to Mazzy Star. I said that's more like goth psychedelia - like some Cure. I suggested perhaps they were a mix between The Cure and Syd Barrett. He seemed pleased and impressed. He's going to bring me a demo tape of his band. I'm fairly certain he's never talked music with a professor before, so I'm not sure if he was surprised at my interest in music, or my interest in his band. Still, it was a nice way to relate.

After hanging up with him, I met up with [ profile] elrina753 and we went to an art show for the comic book Kill Shakespeare and missed Michael Moore joining the party by mere minutes. The show was cramped and fun. The artist and writers were great guys, very engaging and a little bit flirty. One of them (Anthony) thought I was either a musician or clothing designer based on my outfit, which amused and pleased me greatly. He kept asking about my fiction (I said writing was a creative outlet) and [ profile] elrina753 did her best to keep from laughing and screaming SHE WRITES FANFIC PORN. I told him about a short story I had published many years ago. Well, it wasn't a lie! The other writer (Connor) kept asking about our television and fandom interests, which only garnered more opportunity for potential facepalmage as the Prosecco flowed and the space became steadily more cramped. I swear, I felt a bit like they were trying to get us drunk and suck ideas out of us.

I can't say I regret not running into Michael Moore. Although I agree with some of his politics, I do not get the sense he is very pleasant company as he's quite in-your-face to just about everyone whether you're on his side or not.

At any rate, after several glasses of Prosecco and much jovial conversation, we made our way over to Tea & Sympathy for dinner and managed to also finish of a Banoffee Pie that we shared. Then she helped me back to my place with bags of goodies for our upcoming Booshfest with [ profile] soulsister101 next weekend. They also gave us bags of Walker crisps that were just at their expiry date. I've brought them into work. People seem to find them exotic and exciting, just because they are British. :grin:

Saturday night reminded me just how much I love the internet and the kindness equally obsessed nature of strangers in fandom because someone managed to record and upload the Mighty Boosh Band Zappa tribute performance. PM me if you want a download link.

Here is a clip from the show. "Hello Little Deer" comes from their early radio show and this performance includes Noel reading bits from Zappa's Old Bailey Obscenity Trial. I think Frank would've loved their tribute; it was definitely surreal.

Yesterday was all about cleaning and grading papers. And tonight I'm going to use up the rest of my CSA bounty by making a Japanese curry and a cranberry cake.

We have sleet today; it's chilly and windy. Daylight savings is here, and soon it will be winter. I can't believe it's November already.

How was your weekend, flist?
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Noel snoozing Childmen)
First of all, I finally got to watch the Stewart/Colbert rally online. I'm glad I was there. The crowd was overwhelmingly nice, friendly, pleasant and engaged. Plus, I got to see [ profile] tigermind and meet her bf and her friend [ profile] hunter7. And I got to catch up with [ profile] ladyaelfwynn and kidlet.

I have so little time these days, and I know I keep saying I will post pictures of this and that. But I will. The list is growing steadily - rally, Portland, Infinitus stuff. I know. I know!

I picked up my final fruit share on Tuesday and it included honeycrisp apples, cranberries and gooseberries. Tonight I plan to try my hand at individual gooseberry pies (as I didn't get that many berries). Last night I made some cranberry muffins that were a bit chewy but yummy )

Yesterday I got to sleep late and then I went to vote. I'm extremely pleased to see NY State roundly reject that homophobic, racist nutjob Paladino. Not so happy to hear what happened in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. Sorry to hear Prop 19 didn't pass in California. And very unhappy about the House results. So pretty much, we've got 2 months to pass anything before we have two years of even more clusterf*ck than we've already had.

Elsewhere in the news, I've got dinner meetings with two researchers in my field in the next two weeks - one a doctoral candidate who I met via SF a few months ago who is very well connected as she's the partner of someone in a position of LGBT leadership, the other a former NGLTF research intern who I cold-contacted after my former CSA share forwarded me an email from her on a project related to my dissertation topic. Small world, and SO glad I mentioned my dissertation to my CSA share! Even more glad I was nice to her all season. :D Not that I wouldn't be, of course . . .

I also made professional contact with someone at a University in North Carolina who has agreed to list me as a reference in her literature review for a study I had published on homeless older adults. :beams: This was someone I met at the conference in Portland, btw.

Tonight I have so much prep work to do. I can't seem to get the fuzz out of my brain today. I'm attending the dissertation defense of someone I'm friendly with in my program. She used a data set I briefly looked at for my own dissertation. But seeing as how she was so far ahead of me and was asking all the questions I would have asked, there was no point in using it. I'm keen to cheer her on, and curious about both the process and her work.

I've got soooo much reading to do it's painful. And I'm hosting both a Booshfest and Thanksgiving at my house. These and other commitments mean I won't have a weekend "off" until December, I think. And now my University wants me to teach Saturday mornings in the Spring. I'm getting rather fond of Thursday night classes. But what can you do?

Well, that's more than a couple of thoughts, but that's the state of things at Hogwarts on the Hudson. Or Xooberon. Or Gallifrey. You choose your fandom home. ^_^

I need a nap!
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Japanese curry cauldron)
So it's the end of my summer CSA season. It seems the people who started it up are exhausted and won't be running it again. As such, if I do another one next year I'll have to scout out another. I got hugs when I went for my pickup. People thanked me for posting recipes. One person begged me to take over the administration next year. But there's simply no way.

I followed [ profile] sketchybrunette's lead and joined the winter CSA at another site. It's a monthly pickup, but I don't know if I'll be posting about that yet. It will feature root vegetables, dairy products, eggs and some pickled vegetables. And I suppose in the Spring there will be some early greens. (It runs for 6 months beginning in December).

This week's penultimate pickup (as I still have a fruit pickup left) includes:

White Potatoes
Habanero Peppers
Sweet Potatoes
Butternut Squash
Honeycrisp apples

I see another Japanese curry in my future, and either a stir fry or a nice soup. :-) Not too shabby for the end of the season, eh?
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (eggplant)
I just realized I forgot to post my CSA haul for the week. Last week I gave my share to my share partner as I knew I'd be away. This week makes 19 of 20. One more to go! If I'm honest, I will say that while I'm deeply glad to have joined it, I am a bit exhausted now. [ profile] sketchybrunette, ever the foodie and organically committed, has joined a winter share and I am on the fence about joining it too. The pickup is only once a month, but it's not in my neighborhood. And I just know I will be fighting with myself over pickup if we have a terrible winter. But it sounds like they'll get some good stuff, and all things that I eat on a regular basis. Onions, potatoes, other root veggies, eggs and dairy products (you get a choice of organic dairy products or meat). Potatoes are on the "dirty dozen" list, so the incentive to buy organic is pretty high. Plus, I really love the idea of supporting a local farmer.

But I digress. Here is this week's list:

Acorn Squash
Sweet potatoes
Collard Greens
Empire Apples
Winesap Apples (my favorite!)
jug of Cider

I swapped with my share, she took all the collards and I took all the kale; And I gave her the pumpkin and acorn squash for extra eggplant. I am allergic to roasted pumpkin seeds and her kids can have fun carving the pumpkin anyway. Plus, I still have some calabaza left. It was a very large wedge.

This morning I cooked up an egg with some onions and a sweet potato for breakfast. Soooo yummy. Here's hoping it keeps me sated most of the day. I was unnervingly hungry all day yesterday.

This weekend is looking to be crazy busy. But I'm especially looking forward to Sunday as the Merchant House Museum is hosting their annual reenactment of a Victorian Funeral. They host it at the museum, and then you follow a procession to the Marble Cemetery (which is rarely open to the public). They encourage people to dress in Victorian mourning outfits, so I will be repurposing my Widow Snape outfit, meeting up with [ profile] vraidaae, and going with [ profile] drfardook will of course be photographing everything. CAN'T WAIT!

And now I've got a stack of papers to grade. Fingers crossed I can get them done before class tonight.
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (eggplant)
Well, the CSA season is winding down. Just four more to go after this week. I'm not feeling well today, throat is scratchy and I've got a slight cough. I hope it doesn't blossom into a full blown chest cold, but I have a feeling it might. Good thing my list this week has lots of vitamin C.

Lettuce - two kinds
Bok Choi

Macintosh Apples
Grannysmith Apples

(We also got collard greens but I swapped them with my share partner for the entire share of beets)

I now have a stockpile of apples, and even eating one a day I can't get through them all. So I am going to take a cue from [ profile] sketchybrunette and try my hand at her Apple Butter recipe, what I bookmarked a few weeks ago.

I'm debating whether to make borscht or just roast the beets and eat as is. The last time I had beets I put them in a risotto that looked like an interesting recipe, but turned out to be terrible (too sweet for my taste). Maybe a roasted beet salad is in order. Oh, decisions decisions!

I am also thinking to make corn fritters at some point, as I've got so much corn in my fridge. I've been adding it to beans and salads. But there's just so much of it. I've got a nice recipe for Indian lentil fritters with cilantro. Maybe I'll add the corn to that.

And I still have an eggplant from last week that will either wind up in some pasta or become a bowl of baba ganoush.

Thoughts, flist?
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Grouchyface (DW))
So last week I exercised four days in a row and felt really good about it. I did a lot of walking yesterday, and decided that was enough for one day. I figured today I'd get on my exercycle after work. Except I wound up having some problems with my pump, which meant I couldn't do anything until that was fixed. I'll spare you the medical explanation except for that you're not supposed to exercise when you run ketones. So instead I had to wait for things to calm down (several hours) and then I just did some yoga. I feel good for that, at least. So that's pout #1. I'm fine, btw. This happens on occasion, so don't worry. It's just too late in the evening for me to start doing cardio and hope to have a full night's rest.

Pout #2 was a phone call I received this afternoon. Remember when I applied for that faculty position several months ago? Well someone from the University rang me up because one of their adjuncts fell ill and they are in a spot of bother trying to hire a replacement. I had to turn them down. There's no way I can pick up an extra class now, especially not in the middle of the afternoon way up in the Bronx. I had to tell her my commitments were made for the semester. But even more to the point, it turns out they wanted to hire me for the position. Only, they couldn't get a guarantee on the salary line because of all the problems with the University budget tied to the NY State budget. And our state government is a clusterf*ck of FAIL this year and nothing was finalized in Albany until late August, rendering the possibility of guaranteeing a faculty line nil.

So double pout. But at least I know I interviewed well. I told her I really wanted it, to keep me in mind if a full-time faculty position opens up in the future. She said she would. She sounded a bit annoyed that I wouldn't take the adjunct position, but there was just no way.

btw, as a total aside, the knife I bought on Saturday was a Forschner 7" Santoku Granton Edge knife with the Rosewood handle. I used it again tonight and I'm even more in love than the first time. Cutting with it was so smooth, it was like makin' love to my vegetables. Except, you know, not in the hur hur sort of way. The knife, the board, and I were as one. And at such a reasonable price, I dearly wish I'd purchased it sooner.
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Noel nutella)
This weekend I ran the risk of having my Puerto Rican heritage revoked for making truly hippyish black beans. But I made them with tomatillo guacamole, using a recipe from the NYTimes.

piccie behind the clicky )

The Guardian published another one of those celebrity "interviews" that's a series of thematic quotes. I am sad to say (confirm, really) that my CSA blog and foodie posts would be completely lost on Noel Fielding. Oh well, nobody's perfect. I do agree 100%, however with his sentiments regarding tea.

I'm having tea and toast with nutella this morning, btw. Mmmmmm.

Last, a MEME from [ profile] soulsister101 who gave me the RIDICULOUS letter J )
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (eggplant)
This is a reproduction of my food blog entry.

Here are two sides that I, as a vegetarian, prefer to boost up to center stage as they contain some protein. Quinoa in particular is a grain with a very high protein content. Every vegetable in these two recipes (except for the garlic) has been a part of our CSA this season.

Do you remember the epazote we got way back in the beginning? Well with any luck, you might have dried it like I did after having used a few fresh leaves.

Quinoa Pilaf )

Pasta Salad )
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Default)
I have a flickr account. I have woefully neglected it. But in the past two days I took photos of things I found particularly striking. So I share with you a study in colors:

Brown - I found the decay visually appealing - shoes, rusty old fan and the edge of a skip )

Orange - Tomatoes from my CSA today )

Black - I saw this sign sticking out of some bin bags on my street and thought How utterly gothic. Black-on-black. Perhaps we need the goth detectives to find out what in those bags we should be wary of )

Oh, and my CSA pickup this week includes:

Swiss Chard
Orange Tomatoes
Green Bell Peppers
Green Chile Peppers
Poblano Peppers
Bosc Pears
Macintosh Apples
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (Japanese curry cauldron)
It's been a quiet day at the shelter. Half my staff are out on holiday or escorting clients. I can't seem to wake up. So I decided to work on the photos from my dinner last night.

I made a Japanese curry! It's ridonkulously easy. And I used vegetables entirely from my CSA:

butternut squash

Dice to bite size chunks. Saute onions in oil for a few minutes. Add the other veggies. Stir until all are coated in cooking oil. Add water. Boil for 10 minutes (until vegetables are tender but firm). Add Japanese curry cubes (it looks like the weirdest chocolate bar you've ever seen). Boil until thickens. Serve over rice.

After I added the curry, it looked so murky and ominous I thought it resembled something one might boil in a cauldron for potions class. So I took a little movie of it and even made an icon today:

Here are two pics of the final product. Which do you like better?

With spoon: )

Without spoon: )

FYI, I used Golden Curry (mild). Next time I will go for the medium, as the squash made it taste rather sweet for a savory dish.
gina_r_snape: me as drawn by pennswoods (eggplant)
This is an exact reproduction of my CSA blog entry, for your amusement and/or edification.

So hummus. It's ubiquitous. It's taken over the shelves of your local grocery. It's high in fiber. Combined with a grain, it's high in protein. It's good with raw veggies. It's good in sandwiches. It plays well with chips. It's good for parties. It's comin' for ya, and you'll be happy to be won over by it.

I prefer to make my own hummus because I like to adjust levels of ingredients to my own taste, and I find some commercial hummus products to have a chemically taste. It's ridiculously easy to make. If you have a food processor or stick blender, you'll have a batch in under five minutes.

I will sometimes include parsley in my hummus. It adds a bit of flavor and is something else to do with that herb when we get it for our pick-up.

The basic hummus recipe consists of:
1 can chickpeas, reserve the liquid
2 cloves garlic
3 TB tahini (mix well before measuring)
4 TB lemon juice (or more to taste)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin (or more to taste)

Mix everything in a food processor or blender. I start with the chickpeas and then add the lemon juice (fresh squeezed adds extra zing), then tahini, then garlic, then spices. You can taste at this point and adjust to personal preferences. If I add parsley to my hummus, it's at the end. The reserved liquid can be added a little at a time as you blend, as needed to aid smoothness. Don't add too much or your hummus will come out tasting too watered down.

I find people often assume olive oil is in the recipe. It's not. But you can pour olive oil on top when you serve the hummus, and it adds a richness to it. You can also garnish with olives or pine nuts.

Now, for my Dinner Party I made cucumbers with goat cheese, spicy hummus, greek yogurt and chives

This recipe calls for a variation on your basic hummus recipe:
1 can chickpeas, reserve the liquid
2 canned chipotle peppers, rinsed, stemmed and seeded* plus 1 tsp adobo sauce (or more to taste)
1 large clove garlic
3 TB tahini (mix well before measuring)
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
4 TB lemon juice (or more to taste)
1 tsp cumin
2 TB reserved chickpea liquid

To make the hors d'œuvre, use a vegetable peeler to peel the cucumber lengthwise at intervals to create a striped pattern. Slice crosswise into rounds and top with a layer of goat cheese, spicy hummus and a small dollop of greek yogurt. Snip chives onto the top, or you can sprinkle with sesame seeds.

*Capsasin is the active component in spicy peppers, and dwells primarily in the seeds. You'll want to seed your peppers and adjust the flavor with adobe sauce, or this will come out too sharp.

Bon CSAppetit!
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