Sunday, August 31, 2008

3 peaches

We went to the farmers' market this morning, and I saw these beautiful peaches. I asked for a pound, and was too emotionally committed to say 'no thanks' when I learned 3 peaches cost $6. I followed through, and was even more chafed to discover that other stands were selling peaches at half this price. These had better be some pretty damn good peaches.

Since I'd made the investment, and the fruit was so ripe they bruised when I looked at 'em funny, I opted to make peach cobbler using this stupidly simple recipe. Sampling the peaches while slicing them reassured me that maybe they were worth $6. Delicious.

And even better...the resulting cobbler:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

In the deep end

My schedule is coming together for fall quarter, and only a few more things need to fall into place before the first day of school: 1 class, 1 lab meeting, 1 journal meeting and -- duh duh duh -- my TA assignment.

Yes, I am being dramatic, but only because I now know a) which class* I'm TAing, and b) that I'll be teaching my own section. Of a class I've never taken. And only have cursory knowledge of the subject matter.

Thankfully, I don't think the subject matter is difficult at all, but still, I'm a little nervous. I was hoping my first TA position would mean office hours and grading papers. Guess not.

Anyway, I probably would feel comfortable teaching a class only if I'm super well-versed in the subject matter, like...

1. grantwriting
2. capital campaign strategy, circa 1998
3. kleenex technique in psychotherapy
4. singing in the car
5. underwater bubble-blowing

That's all I can think of right now. If I know nothing else about getting a doctorate, it's that I better get used to being thrown into the deep end.

* Voice and Articulation Improvement -- "Voice production and the sound system of standard American speech. Speech standards, regional and social dialects, voice quality and basic language-oriented characteristics. Practice for improving speech style."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Omnivore's Hundred

I found this list via Chocolate and Zucchini, though it's from an apparently well-known (but new to me) blog called Very Good Taste. Anyway...

Here’s what I want you to do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating. [noted instead]
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

1. Venison

2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile - no thanks
6. Black pudding - no thanks
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi

15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns - I assume they mean hum bow
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries

23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese - no thanks
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl

33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo

40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects - no thanks!
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu - no thanks
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel - no thanks
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin - no thanks
51. Prickly pear - does it count if in drink form?
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle

57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV - uh, Olde E?
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores

62. Sweetbreads - no thanks
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian - no thanks
66. Frogs’ legs - no thanks
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis - no thanks
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette - no thanks...I've smelled them during prep, and that's enough
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill - really? no thanks
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky

84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate - may have had
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab

93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox

97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I heart questionnaires!

Thanks Miss D Regala!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7:30 am...and I'd better enjoy it while it lasts.

2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Iron Man (in Vegas), I think.

4. What is your favorite TV show? Buffy was way up there. Currently (for me) it's Gilmore Girls, as we're finishing up Season 6. Really currently it's Project Runway.

5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Egg and toast. Or Cheerios with raisins and milk.

6. What is your middle name? My former last name.

7. What food do you dislike? Peas. Smelly fish. Fresh chicharones for breakfast.

8. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Radiohead "Rainbows"

9. What kind of car do you drive? Volvo 850

10. Favorite sandwich? Right now, it's grilled cheese with carmelized onion and apple

11. What characteristic do you despise? Arrogance (I stole that from D. Regala and Rodney)

12. Favorite item of clothing? Orange Piemonte sweatshirt

13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? secluded island in the Carribbean

14. Are you an organized person? Selectively organized.

15. Where would you retire to? 6 months in Seattle, 6 months in small beach village in Mexico.

16. What was your most recent memorable birthday? I don't remember any recent birthdays at the moment.

17. What are you going to do when you finish this? Reading my school orientation materials.

20. When is your birthday? Sept 25

21. Morning person or a night person? Both and neither

22. What is your shoe size? 9.5

23. Pets? Yup. And I want another dog though it's not realistic.

24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? I have leftover Vietnamese food for dinner! (Is that exciting? Oh well.)

25. What did you want to be when you were little? Fireman. Opera singer. Landscape architect.

26. How are you today? A little frazzled with figuring out my schedule and too hot.

27. What is your favorite flower? Hydrangea. Daffodils.

28. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? August 30, when Ray and I will see as many movies as possible. And September 24, the first day of school.

29. What are you listening to right now? Sammy snoring, and a helicopter in the distance.

30. What was the last thing you ate? A healthy-tasting cookie.

31. Do you wish on stars? Uh...really? No.

32. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Orange, or a dark purple-ish blue.

33. How is the weather right now? It's hot! It's possibly almost 90.

34. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Susan H, just moments ago, about meeting up this afternoon except August is sleeping.

35. Favorite soft drink? Root beer.

36. Favorite restaurant? All of the Chow Foods eateries.

37. Hair color? brownish

38. What was your favorite toy as a child? stuffed animals

39. Summer or Winter? Summer

41. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate

42. Coffee or tea? Coffee

44. When was the last time you cried? I don't remember, but something on the Gilmore Girls we've been watching made me tear up. What was it? I don't remember.

45. What is under your bed? Carpet

46. What did you do last night? Ate a late dinner and watch Gilmore Girls.

47. What are you afraid of? Failure.

48. Salty or sweet? Sweet.

49. How many keys on your key ring? Four maybe.

51. Favorite day of the week? Saturday

52. Do you make friends easily? Most of the time.

55. Do you like finding out all this stuff about your friends? I like reading questionnaires almost as much as filling them out myself.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The chest

I'd like to believe that I'm a proponent of Things Can't Buy Happiness, and Experiences Can Buy Happiness. But I'd be wrong.

Case in point: I'd been looking for weeks for a piece of furniture that would alleviate this pile problem we've had by the front door. It's mostly baby bags and gear, all of which just sits on the floor with no real home and looks horrible. It was driving me crazy. I looked around the house for some furniture to reappropriate, and checked the garage for something that'd do the job. Nothing.

IKEA put out its new catalog a week or two ago, and I found a few items that would solve our problem -- a bench, some shelves, a bench/shelf combo. But buying something from IKEA seemed quite uninteresting, and would require more cash than I was willing to shell out.

I checked Craig's List a few times, and found a couple promising items, but no must-haves. Then last week I tried two furniture stores and the antique mall in the Junction. I found three possibilities at the antique mall, and after checking out the furniture stores, I went back to pick up this slightly interesting cast-iron bench thingy. On the way I noticed another tiny antique store, one that didn't seem worth going into as they have a lot of shabby-chic style things (which isn't exactly my style).

But lo...what have we here?

Amidst the white-painted vanity benches and smelly lotions, there it was, sticking out like a Christmas wreath in April: a chest. And it was perfect. Asian. Detailed. Lacquered. Interesting. Less than $100 (slightly). Lined with some kind of metal. Quite interesting. And the pile? It would be completely hidden. Jackpot! Here's my money, Lady!

The seller didn't have any info on it other than it was a Tea Chest. I had to know more so I took a picture and stopped by a few Asian antique dealers. From what they could tell, it's probably Chinese, made in the 1930s or 40s. And worth at least the amount I spent on it. Whew.

So, anyway, yes -- experiences can make you happy, as this experience did for me. But I must admit that I get little warm fuzzies every time I look at that chest, and almost better yet, I don't have to look at that annoying diaper bag clutter any longer.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Buh-buh-buh Birthday!

At 9:45 am on this day a year ago, August burst forth (i.e. was tugged athletically) into this world. She weighs 3 times as much, and is about 50% longer. And she's a lot more fun. August, we wish you a year full of books, teddybears, remote controls & cell phones, running around on the porch, and that evil Cookie Monster remaining in his box.