ironymaiden: (AB)
i've been involved in a series of dinners inspired by historic menus. (this started with King Midas' funerary feast a few years ago and has spiraled out of control from there.)

this one was based on the dinner menu for Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural (an annotated reference).

the damn thing is basically half meat and half desserts. by the time i had time to think about a dish (since i spent most of the last month+ in and out of movie theaters) the desserts were well-represented, so i decided to rep the "en geléé" portion of the menu. we also had oyster stew, chicken salad, chicken fricassee, tongue, fruit tarts, poundcake, and a charlotte. we watched a couple hours of Gettysburg, ate the savories, watched the rest, ate dessert.

i made this meat aspic recipe with beef.

mods:

  • i did the initial beef boiling in the crock pot on low during the work day, lifted out the (disintegrating) meat, then poured the liquid into a pot through a colander lined with coffee filters.


  • then i added the beef to the pot and i basically followed the recipe on the stove top from the adding of the aromatics point on. if i had to do it again, i would have bagged up the aromatics in cheese cloth like a bouquet garni - picking hot floppy onion and peppercorns out of a pile of hot meat is not super fun. if i had been home on the day i made it, i would have done the aromatic stage in the crock as well.


  • i was surprised at how little food a couple pounds of chuck roast turned into - one loaf pan plus one small dessert dish (my tester).


  • i was afraid that the amount of gelatin it called for was excessive, but it was perfect - a set soft enough to melt in the mouth, but firm enough to unmold neatly. i embedded flat leaf parsley on the top and the bottom, in case the tester tasted good but didn't unmold well.


  • i had nothing to fear:
    loaf of meat in clear gel with embedded parsley on top

    you eat it in slices (it takes a very sharp knife, cleaned between slices, to cut the meat neatly) with a bit of grainy mustard. i was surprised at how much i liked it, and it was a hit with everyone but C (who couldn't overcome the texture of the gelatin).
ironymaiden: (fall)
I bought eight kinds of apple yesterday. Three i had never heard of before.

This post brought to you by knitta D's apple obsession, and Yakima.
ironymaiden: (rich zoe)
this has a been a tough week. I'm okay, good people are not.


  • Seafair is on. in Ballard, that means Seafood fest. i bought ginger-infused honey from a taciturn old white guy who was wearing a sweater with a hole in it and could barely interact enough to take my money. There's the combo dim sum/elephant ear stand. I had a locally made birch beer. I had a pickled herring sandwich. I nearly collapsed from ecstasy taking my first bite of deep fried bacon cinnamon roll. I finished it while watching awesome little girls do a skateboard slalom competition.

  • apparently, once a year i facilitate [livejournal.com profile] mimerki's purchase of awesome shoes. If this is my superpower, i accept it.

  • Google sheep view

  • touchstones. I was looking through my yarn stash to pick out a worsted weight for a project, and i had stories to tell for every scrap and skein. Gifts, souvenirs, milestones in learning to knit and spin. So many good memories and good people.

  • Planet Earth is on Netflix. So amazing.




OMG i go camping soon!

Edited to add: the issue of Hawkeye told from the dog's POV. It's not a gimmick, it's the best way they could reveal information to the reader through the eyes of a character. I've reread it a few times because there's so much going on. Seriously a masterful use of the medium.
ironymaiden: (don't walk/i love you)
i am head-over-heels in love with mynoise.

it seems that the older i get, the more sensitive i am to sound - more jumpy in response to sudden changes, more on-edge in response to high-pitched sounds, less tolerant of loud venues. the noise generators knock out the various ambient noises of my open office much more effectively than music and noise-cancelling headphones. in addition to the usual water and fire noises, there are drones and soundscapes, including cat purring and starship activity. i'm more focused and more relaxed. so happy. on the Chromecast they're a great alternative to tv-as-background-noise, and they seem to help C sleep. i sent the dude some money. totally totally worth it.

***
caught Tosca at Seattle Opera this week. definitely up to the standard i've come to expect from them: great performances, flawless stagecraft.* i liked the show itself - it's structured in such a way that there are no hit arias you can break out of context. lots of places where the music tells the actors exactly where their beats are - to, say, place that candlestick at any other moment would be impossible.

***
C's contracting agency had their "holiday" party at Teatro Zinzanni. i had to nudge C into going, but i was sure he would be impressed by the show, and they did not disappoint. (when my taciturn man won't stop clapping, you've won the everything.) i was especially delighted with Duo Rose. usually aerialists are rail thin (with muscles like a basket of snakes), but Samuel is built like a tank. i realized how rare it is to see a really muscular man who hasn't been going through some kind of cutting routine, but it's not like he could do the crazy shit he does if he was starved or dehydrated. <3

really, everyone in and out of the show was awesome. one of the members of the group was pulled into audience participation, and christened "Boobs McGee". she had a great time, and it was a running joke at the after party. C overheard the HR guy checking in to tell her that if it stopped being fun to check in with him and he would shut it down. correct.

***
yesterday i saw a girl in a hijab and ankle-length skirt skateboarding.

***
Patxi's pizza is really good. get the deep-dish if you want to have a leisurely chat (it takes 45 minutes to make) or the thin crust if you want to eat right away. they're of the bland sauce school, but the toppings make up for it. balsamic onions.

balsamic onions.

***
i am wearing socks that i knit myself, made out of yarn that i spun myself from fiber i got from [livejournal.com profile] mimerki as a gift, using a technique from a book [livejournal.com profile] shadawyn recommended, blocked on custom blockers that knitta K made for me. they are pretty and i feel accomplished and loved when i wear them.




*Seattle Opera is a safe zone where there will never be a flat purse, an inappropriately wrinkled costume, or a botched light cue. the only distraction is how GOOD they are.
ironymaiden: (AB)
a wild meme appeared!

Bold the ones you have and use at least once a year, italicize the ones you have and don’t use, strike through the ones you have had but got rid of.

pasta machines, breadmakers, juicers, blenders, deep fat fryers, egg boilers, melon ballers, sandwich makers, pastry brushes, cheese knives, electric woks, miniature salad spinners, griddle pans, jam funnels, meat thermometers, filleting knives, egg poachers, cake stands, garlic crushers, martini glasses, tea strainers, bamboo steamers, pizza stones, coffee grinders, milk frothers, piping bags, banana stands, fluted pastry wheels, tagine dishes, conical strainers, rice cookers, steam cookers, pressure cookers, slow cookers, spaetzle makers, cookie presses, gravy strainers, double boilers (bains marie), sukiyaki stoves, food processors, ice cream makers, takoyaki makers, and fondue sets

***

by "sandwich makers", i mean the George Foreman grill. because that stupid thing is remarkably handy for grilling meat quickly with no fuss.

i do have a reamer, but i'm pretty sure "juicer" means a machine.

i kind of miss the fondue set, but not enough to store it.

i don't like actual martinis, and when i make myself a cocktail it's at least rocks-sized.

***
Alton Brown says that you shouldn't keep a kitchen implement if you don't use it once every six months. that doesn't mean you should go get rid of those tools necessarily, it just means that you should try to use them more often. (and there are some things that just aren't going away. i have a fish-shaped gelatin mold. i am never giving it up.) he also has a thing about kitchen implements that are "unitaskers". i think you need unitaskers sometimes; and fancy appliances - i love my kitchenaid stand mixer and its attachments.

the rest of the time i could get by with a 10" chef's knife and a cast iron skillet.
ironymaiden: (fruity oaty bar!)
i came across this hypothetical gmail plugin today posted as a joke. but it's really an underserved need (like mail goggles but better). what do you wish your email program could detect and prevent? i think i would like something similar for chat or texting...

after some scheduling fail, i finally picked up my big quilt from the longarmer. it looks great, better finished than i had imagined it. except that it's not finished yet, i have to bind it. (i'll take pictures when that's done.) i now have two quilts at that stage. stress leaves me a bit butterfingered, so i'm reluctant to do the required trimming of edges even though i know that the rest of the process pleases my inner geometry nerd and the actual hand finishing is meditative.

i just got fixings for lunch - Exalted game soon. (the letter near "a" and "c" is sticking. i didn't realize how much i use it. writing without it is an interesting exercise.) QFC HAS HERLOCHER'S MUSTARD. i cannot adequately express the awesomeness of this. they also have Snyder's of Hanover pretzels. please get Yuengling next, QFC.
ironymaiden: (AB)
since [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne was successful, i decided to try the nytimes no-knead bread which apparently is something people have been doing for years (recipe is 2006) but between various diets and general hate of the fuss involved in yeast bread i haven't been paying attention.

works beautifully. while it requires pre-planning, the actual time involved in dealing with the bread is minor. it produced a nicely browned boule loaf with a firm crust that shattered nicely. C wants to do it again soon.

the only thing i want to change is to use a smaller pot; the recipe calls for a 6-8qt container and i used our 12qt dutch oven. i'm guessing the smaller container would make for a rounder loaf.

in looking up the link to the recipe i discovered a couple other versions.

also this soup [livejournal.com profile] mimerki suggested to use up a can of coconut milk is not really Thai, but it is quite tasty and filling when you add a couple handfuls of shrimp and much more chili paste. (i used dairy milk instead of rice milk, left out the salt -added to taste at table- and increased to 1.5t of chili paste. i'm guessing 2.5t or more would have made me happier. the 1.5 was savory but not spicy.)
ironymaiden: (Default)
since [livejournal.com profile] e_bourne was successful, i decided to try the nytimes no-knead bread which apparently is something people have been doing for years (recipe is 2006) but between various diets and general hate of the fuss involved in yeast bread i haven't been paying attention.

works beautifully. while it requires pre-planning, the actual time involved in dealing with the bread is minor. it produced a nicely browned boule loaf with a firm crust that shattered nicely. C wants to do it again soon.

the only thing i want to change is to use a smaller pot; the recipe calls for a 6-8qt container and i used our 12qt dutch oven. i'm guessing the smaller container would make for a rounder loaf.

in looking up the link to the recipe i discovered a couple other versions.

also this soup [livejournal.com profile] mimerki suggested to use up a can of coconut milk is not really Thai, but it is quite tasty and filling when you add a couple handfuls of shrimp and much more chili paste. (i used dairy milk instead of rice milk, left out the salt -added to taste at table- and increased to 1.5t of chili paste. i'm guessing 2.5t or more would have made me happier. the 1.5 was savory but not spicy.)

<3

Sep. 29th, 2009 09:08 pm
ironymaiden: (fall)
there was a genuine downpour as i was heading home from work today. not a problem. waterproofing on coat, bag, and boots worked perfectly.

i baked winter squash with chicken-apple sausage for dinner. and then we made chocolate pudding (hot) for dessert. the heat is on, and In Search of the Trojan War is on in the background.

it's a good night.

<3

Sep. 29th, 2009 09:08 pm
ironymaiden: (Default)
there was a genuine downpour as i was heading home from work today. not a problem. waterproofing on coat, bag, and boots worked perfectly.

i baked winter squash with chicken-apple sausage for dinner. and then we made chocolate pudding (hot) for dessert. the heat is on, and In Search of the Trojan War is on in the background.

it's a good night.

five words

Jun. 19th, 2009 02:46 pm
ironymaiden: (boid)
Reply to this meme by yelling "Words!" and I will give you five words that remind me of you. Then post them in your LJ and explain what they mean to you.

from [livejournal.com profile] mimerki

olive - green, my favorite shade of my favorite color. (i don't care much for the food.) i like to wear it; it brings out my eyes. (there was a while where this led to a penchant for military surplus.) i think perhaps also that it, like orange, doesn't get enough love from the world at large.

match - is that a game, or my complement, or a source of fire? i enjoy them all. equal or complement is the best - those are the sort of people who bring me great joy.

soccer - came with C, who started playing at age four. (i was pretty much incapable of sports other than swimming until adulthood, although i liked watching the back and forth ones like hockey and basketball.) i didn't get too interested until we watched the 1999 Women's World Cup, which was just freaking incredible. i was watching to support women's sports (which inevitably cause me to burst into happy tears at some point) but in the process got a bit interested in the game itself.

fast forward to 2007, when i got C the Best Giftmas Present Ever. i got two season tickets, because going to $sportingevent alone is sad, assuming that i would keep him company until he found a more enthusiastic soccer buddy. turns out that's me.

i'm bemused when i think on it. perhaps i enjoy it because it was unknown during my childhood and it's kind of a fringe thing in the States but big in the rest of the world. anyway, attending the games is huge fun - an electric atmosphere where most of the stadium stands the entire game. and i've gotten to the point where i know names and numbers and style of play. 29,000 people, yet it's still intimate enough that the players circuit the stadium at the end of the game to thank the fans. on Wednesday i found out that you can totally hear our section chanting "Allez Le Toux!" from the field, since he came right over and gave us a thumbs up. squee.

my younger self hates me a little for it. (while youngest self is all "i belong!") but i also feel like i have a window into the wider world of sports fandom and a better understanding of others' enthusiasm for their spectator sport of choice.

movies - movies were a big part of my life as a kid. there wasn't much tv to speak of since we got three and a half stations (one was intermittent) and cable would not arrive until just before my senior year. it was a 25 mile drive to the nearest theater, and my brothers went weekly. (tickets were $2. they could afford to go a lot). i got towed along more often than i probably deserved. once home video hit, we tried renting movies, but that was also 25 miles away, so we ended up joining Columbia House and building a library of about a thousand films on the old CED VideoDiscs. (i can still tell you the exact moment when it's time to flip over Raiders of the Lost Ark.)

anyway movies, my window into a larger world. these days i engage more in the SIFF binge than in a steady diet.

dessert - my favorite! i used to just love sugaaaaar, now i love a really well-made confection with an interesting combination of flavor and texture. doesn't need to be very large, or very sweet, but it is the proper end to a meal.

five words

Jun. 19th, 2009 02:46 pm
ironymaiden: (Default)
Reply to this meme by yelling "Words!" and I will give you five words that remind me of you. Then post them in your LJ and explain what they mean to you.

from [livejournal.com profile] mimerki

olive - green, my favorite shade of my favorite color. (i don't care much for the food.) i like to wear it; it brings out my eyes. (there was a while where this led to a penchant for military surplus.) i think perhaps also that it, like orange, doesn't get enough love from the world at large.

match - is that a game, or my complement, or a source of fire? i enjoy them all. equal or complement is the best - those are the sort of people who bring me great joy.

soccer - came with C, who started playing at age four. (i was pretty much incapable of sports other than swimming until adulthood, although i liked watching the back and forth ones like hockey and basketball.) i didn't get too interested until we watched the 1999 Women's World Cup, which was just freaking incredible. i was watching to support women's sports (which inevitably cause me to burst into happy tears at some point) but in the process got a bit interested in the game itself.

fast forward to 2007, when i got C the Best Giftmas Present Ever. i got two season tickets, because going to $sportingevent alone is sad, assuming that i would keep him company until he found a more enthusiastic soccer buddy. turns out that's me.

i'm bemused when i think on it. perhaps i enjoy it because it was unknown during my childhood and it's kind of a fringe thing in the States but big in the rest of the world. anyway, attending the games is huge fun - an electric atmosphere where most of the stadium stands the entire game. and i've gotten to the point where i know names and numbers and style of play. 29,000 people, yet it's still intimate enough that the players circuit the stadium at the end of the game to thank the fans. on Wednesday i found out that you can totally hear our section chanting "Allez Le Toux!" from the field, since he came right over and gave us a thumbs up. squee.

my younger self hates me a little for it. (while youngest self is all "i belong!") but i also feel like i have a window into the wider world of sports fandom and a better understanding of others' enthusiasm for their spectator sport of choice.

movies - movies were a big part of my life as a kid. there wasn't much tv to speak of since we got three and a half stations (one was intermittent) and cable would not arrive until just before my senior year. it was a 25 mile drive to the nearest theater, and my brothers went weekly. (tickets were $2. they could afford to go a lot). i got towed along more often than i probably deserved. once home video hit, we tried renting movies, but that was also 25 miles away, so we ended up joining Columbia House and building a library of about a thousand films on the old CED VideoDiscs. (i can still tell you the exact moment when it's time to flip over Raiders of the Lost Ark.)

anyway movies, my window into a larger world. these days i engage more in the SIFF binge than in a steady diet.

dessert - my favorite! i used to just love sugaaaaar, now i love a really well-made confection with an interesting combination of flavor and texture. doesn't need to be very large, or very sweet, but it is the proper end to a meal.
ironymaiden: (not alone)
C: what are you doing?
me: i'm commenting on a post, about my favorite smell.
C: bacon.
me: yes.
ironymaiden: (not alone)
C: what are you doing?
me: i'm commenting on a post, about my favorite smell.
C: bacon.
me: yes.
ironymaiden: (AB)

reducing
Originally uploaded by green eyed so and so.
one can stewed tomatoes, the kind with basil and oregano
two handfuls precooked shrimp
1/3 large onion, chopped
4 T-ish butter
chopped garlic (costco, three heaping spoons. 4-6 cloves?)
two salt cellar spoons of salt (approx 2 pinches)
pepper - many grinds
red wine
whole wheat pasta
shredded mozzarella garnish

put bag of shrimp in H20 to thaw. put water on to boil for pasta (blue stockpot).
set electric burner to medium, heat yellow (small heavy) skillet and add butter. when butter melts, add onions.
monitor onions until half-clear. add garlic. stir more, make sure it doesn't get hot enough to brown the butter.
add tomatoes, break up chunks. turn up the heat to a simmer. reduce for a while.
add splash of wine. stir, reduce.
when water boils, add pasta to the water and shrimp to the skillet. (shrimp could go later, test this.)
keep reducing skillet, add more wine, salt and pepper. go until pasta is al dente.
drain and plate pasta, top with skillet stuff. sprinkle of cheese. would be better with parmesan.

pair with red wine, try not to lick plate after.
ironymaiden: (AB)

reducing
Originally uploaded by green eyed so and so.
one can stewed tomatoes, the kind with basil and oregano
two handfuls precooked shrimp
1/3 large onion, chopped
4 T-ish butter
chopped garlic (costco, three heaping spoons. 4-6 cloves?)
two salt cellar spoons of salt (approx 2 pinches)
pepper - many grinds
red wine
whole wheat pasta
shredded mozzarella garnish

put bag of shrimp in H20 to thaw. put water on to boil for pasta (blue stockpot).
set electric burner to medium, heat yellow (small heavy) skillet and add butter. when butter melts, add onions.
monitor onions until half-clear. add garlic. stir more, make sure it doesn't get hot enough to brown the butter.
add tomatoes, break up chunks. turn up the heat to a simmer. reduce for a while.
add splash of wine. stir, reduce.
when water boils, add pasta to the water and shrimp to the skillet. (shrimp could go later, test this.)
keep reducing skillet, add more wine, salt and pepper. go until pasta is al dente.
drain and plate pasta, top with skillet stuff. sprinkle of cheese. would be better with parmesan.

pair with red wine, try not to lick plate after.
ironymaiden: (boid)
today is supposed to be the worst day of the year. i had the day off (thank you, Dr. King) and it's been quite pleasant. here you can see what people wanted to say to the internets on Blue Monday via [livejournal.com profile] warren_ellis: page 1, page 2.

i made a macro at C's request, inspired by this.

sacrifices

made not one, but two experimental homemade light boxes this afternoon with [livejournal.com profile] scarlettina. the first one was too large for the throw of the lamps we had. i put together a second smaller one in short order. when we set the reject on the floor, Merlin moved in right away. so it counts as success all around.

C and i bought some lovely baby bok choi at the farmers' market on Sunday; tonight we made stir fry with that, Japanese eggplant, and red bell peppers in curry coconut sauce. i think this is the first time i have seen C devour a bowl of only vegetables and ask for more. he also happily ate baked acorn squash for lunch today and asked if i could pick up another winter squash so we could have more. i don't know who this man is, but i'm hoping the sex is good.

i had a moment of Seattle-squee over the Chinese New Year decorations that are up at the local grocery store.

now i am trying to remember if they also had them at HT (the grocery store that replaced Larry's at Oak Tree) when we stopped by last night. i'm sorry we hadn't gone there before. it's kind of like Ranch 99 plus Russian and Mexican stuff. there's horchata in the cooler, and the packets of drink mix [livejournal.com profile] mrdorbin and [livejournal.com profile] southplains brought back, and masa, and giant tubs of lard. i need to spend more than 15 minutes there next time. (we were there because we went to see Tale of Despereaux next door. C chose it for the mousies - and it was okay. i probably enjoyed the Up preview more than the feature.)
ironymaiden: (boid)
today is supposed to be the worst day of the year. i had the day off (thank you, Dr. King) and it's been quite pleasant. here you can see what people wanted to say to the internets on Blue Monday via [livejournal.com profile] warren_ellis: page 1, page 2.

i made a macro at C's request, inspired by this.

sacrifices

made not one, but two experimental homemade light boxes this afternoon with [livejournal.com profile] scarlettina. the first one was too large for the throw of the lamps we had. i put together a second smaller one in short order. when we set the reject on the floor, Merlin moved in right away. so it counts as success all around.

C and i bought some lovely baby bok choi at the farmers' market on Sunday; tonight we made stir fry with that, Japanese eggplant, and red bell peppers in curry coconut sauce. i think this is the first time i have seen C devour a bowl of only vegetables and ask for more. he also happily ate baked acorn squash for lunch today and asked if i could pick up another winter squash so we could have more. i don't know who this man is, but i'm hoping the sex is good.

i had a moment of Seattle-squee over the Chinese New Year decorations that are up at the local grocery store.

now i am trying to remember if they also had them at HT (the grocery store that replaced Larry's at Oak Tree) when we stopped by last night. i'm sorry we hadn't gone there before. it's kind of like Ranch 99 plus Russian and Mexican stuff. there's horchata in the cooler, and the packets of drink mix [livejournal.com profile] mrdorbin and [livejournal.com profile] southplains brought back, and masa, and giant tubs of lard. i need to spend more than 15 minutes there next time. (we were there because we went to see Tale of Despereaux next door. C chose it for the mousies - and it was okay. i probably enjoyed the Up preview more than the feature.)

nom.

Nov. 11th, 2008 07:34 pm
ironymaiden: (AB)
cake in a mug works as advertised, and is surprisingly good.

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