forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
R and decided somewhat at the last minute to go to Eat Real Fest for lunch yesterday. It is being held in Jack London Square for the rest of this weekend. We were happy to go near the start when it was less crowded. The set up is that there are a bunch of booths selling small portions of food and that you can wander around and pick what you want. I had a spinach and potato knish, duck taquitos, and small sandwich of miso glazed tofu on a steamed bun. For desert I had the most amazing popsicle: mango and sticky rice.
forestofglory: (veggies)
I own a melon baller, and use in fairly regularly. This is not because I eat my melons in prefect little spheres, but rather because I learned for my mother that melon ballers are one the easiest ways to core and apple. For those who are unfamiliar with melon ballers, these devices consist of and stick with two sharp edged metal half-spheres at either end. To core and apple with one, you cut the apple in half and then use the melon baller to scoop out the core. It is considerably easier to do it this way then to just use a knife.
forestofglory: (veggies)
Saturday I went over to my mother's to help with more cooking for my dad's birthday party today. Before the cooking we walked to the farmers' market -- there are massive amounts of lovely fruit right now. We got strawberries, bosen berries, nectarines, and peaches.

When we got back we started cooking. My mom made the shells for the eclairs, and I started working on Pineapple upside-down cake. My mom went out for a bit to go to her clay studio (normally she goes on Mondays, but this week she is working on Monday.) I kept cooking, got the pineapple upside-down cakes in the oven and started on my mother's belated birthday
cake. As I was doing this I went over to the sink to rinse something off. I noticed the sink was full of water so I tried running the garbage-disposal. When I did water started leaking all over the floor. I did not exactly stay calm. I sent my brother to get a towel and yelled for my
dad, when my dad hadn't appeared by the time the towel did, I asked my brother get him. My dad came down and poked under the sink. He announced that the trap was broken went off to the hardware store to get a new one, telling me not to use the sink while he was gone.

So I kept cooking. The pineapple upside-down cakes came out of the oven and I flipped then over. (They worked!) I keep working on my mother's cake and put the eclair shells in the oven. The sink was getting fuller and fuller of dirty dishes.

Then the dishwasher (which was running) dumped water into the sink and it went all over the floor. My dad wasn't back yet. I ran upstairs and got all the towels (well all the old towels we use to clean up the floor anyways). My dad got back as I was working on cleaning up. He helped me clean up and then fixed the the sink. Meanwhile I finished my mother's
cake.

By the end of all that I was quite tried. So after I cleaned up I went upstairs a took a nap. Then I poked the internet for a little bit. Then R and his mother came over and we all went out to diner.

Today I'm going over before my dad's party starts to help set up, and to make the eclairs. There is going to be way to much food.

Challah

Jun. 2nd, 2012 11:32 am
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
I made challah yesterday. It was the 1st major cooking project I've tried in this kitchen. Generally when I've stayed at R's mom's house before I haven't done any cooking at all -- if I wanted a big cooking project I went over to my mother's house and used her bigger and nicer kitchen.

Anyways I learned that the oven is finicky. I also burnt the 1st batch. The 2nd batch came out ok.

Also we've set up a dinner roster and Friday night's are my night to cook because I like to make exciting things for shabbat, though I didn't really this week. I made lentil soup -- just a basic one. It had onions, carrots, celery, red lentils and spinach. Being new to the kitchen and also making bread I didn't want to make anything too complex. Still it was well received.

Shavuot

May. 27th, 2012 08:50 am
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
I helped my mom with a dinner party last night. Since it was Shavuot we decided to have very dairy menu. It started off with cheese (most dinners at my parents do) then we had blintzes for the many course, with steamed broccoli, next we had a salad with lots of goats cheese, and finally there was homemade ice cream. So the food was good and the dinner guest where lovely. People I've know for a long long time and was glad to talk with.

Home!

May. 12th, 2012 08:57 am
forestofglory: (ship)
I'm home again. It's great to be back -- flowers are blooming, the weather is lovely and there are strawberries to eat.

The last two days of driving where not very exciting. We didn't stop anywhere interesting along the way, and where generally a bit tried and cranky.

I do feel that I won at eating this trip -- I didn't eat a signal grilled cheese sandwich!

Denver Ho!

May. 9th, 2012 07:21 pm
forestofglory: (travel)
On Monday we drove form Kearny, NE to Denver. Tuesday we took off form driving to hang out in Denver.

Read more... )

Today was mostly just driving through Wyoming, which is very beautiful. We are staying in a small town almost in Utah. We had dinner at hole in the wall Mexican place which was good.
forestofglory: (veggies)
So last night I roasted a chicken for the 1st time. It wasn't as simple as the internet has been telling me it is but it was delicious.

I suppose I made the process less simple for myself by by adding extra steps, but really all of those steps improved the final product. Anyways I made brine Thursday morning. Thursday evening I went to put the chicken in the brine an relished I needed to defrost it 1st, so I could remove the gut. Friday afternoon I make stock with the guts and neck, and simple stuffing. Before I put the chicken in the oven I rinsed it, oiled it and stuffed it. The actual roasting process was simple. Once the meal was cooked I made gravy. I severed the chicken with the leftover stuffing and mashed sweet potatoes.
forestofglory: (veggies)
I baked sandwich bread yesterday for the 1st time in awhile. I've been mostly making challah instead. It came out decently. I also made tomato rice soup, we don't have a blender or anything so I used the food mill. Which was hard work. The soup came out with little chunks of veggies in it. Which R liked but I'm not so sure about.

Today is the 1st day of real classes. I'm feeling a bit nervous about it.
forestofglory: a small plant in a clump of dirt  (eco-geek)
This answer is part of the Environmental Science FONSFAQ. This was going to be part of Three Weeks for Dreamwidth, but it took longer then planed to write.

Q: Should I worry about genetically modified crops?

I’m going to assume that by genetically modified crops you mean transgenic crops. Some people argue that all domestication is a process of genetic modification. This is true but also a bit like saying all chemicals are natural. I think transgenic crops are clearly different from other forms of plant breeding. Transgenic crops are crops where genes from another species have been added to the original crop’s genome (the set of all of an organism’s genes). Two genes are most commonly used in modern agriculture: Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) a bacteria derived insecticide, and Roundup Ready – a gene which confers resistance to Monsanto’s herbicide: Roundup.

Read more... )

Seder

Apr. 24th, 2011 09:37 am
forestofglory: picture of a handfull of cherries on a wooden surface (Cherries)
Friday night I went to a seder. I planned it with some friends. My friend M was excited about using her table linens and knows more people them me, so she hosted. I was in charge of the menu. Planning a vegetarian seder is a bit tricky, and I'd never done it before. I did a bit of prep before hand (see last post). I had few things I knew I wanted to make. (And had asked R to bring a yummy quinoa dish) but I knew my friend was getting her veggie box Thursday so we didn't plan everything ahead. Planning the menu the afternoon of the meal was a bit scary but everything worked out great. Here is what we ate:

Carrot and Celery sticks with (store bought) dip -- this was to keep us going during the bit before the meal.

Frittata with caramelized onions and Parmesan cheese
Roasted asparagus
Broccoli with a soy dressing
Mashed sweet potatoes
Matzoh ball soup (brought by someone else)
southwest quinoa (brought by R)
Haroseth
Mataoh, plain and whole wheat

The French Macaroons -- which where a hit (yay!)
Ice Cream a pint each of chocolate and salted caramel from bi-rite
Chocolate sauce
Raspberries

There was also going to be sauteed chard, but we forgot to cook it until the last minute and then decided there was too much other food to bother.

I also enjoyed the ritual part of the Seder. We had three Haggadot, with different numbers of copies. The where "seder in the bar" -- very short and basic haggadah one of M's friends put together -- 10 copies as it was only about 10 pages long. A traditional Haggadah that I fond on my parents book shelves --3 copies. The Velveteen Rabbi's feminist hagadah -- one copy.

So we mostly used the short one, but digressed a lot. I read a few bits from the VR hagadah, and we read a few bits from the traditional Haggadah, including my family's favorite bit that no one else knew about. This is the bit where the Rabbis are discussing how many plagues there where and go on about the hand of God and the finger of God.

We also digressed to tell personal stories about our families and favorite Midrash.

R had never been to a seder before so I recruited him to ask the 4 questions which he did with style. I think he had and ok time, but was bored by some of the longer bits.

Cooking

Apr. 21st, 2011 10:34 am
forestofglory: (veggies)
Last night I had had a major cooking session. Mostly prep for the Seder I'm going to Friday. I caramelized a bunch of onions; made a crust-less polish cheese cake from our French Jewish cook book (for a dinner party Sat); made the batter for matzoh balls; and chopped so veggies for dinner.

However the biggest project was French Macaroons. Our cookbook suggested filling them with chestnut spread which is delicious, so I just had to try it. The macaroon batter is easy to make -- just powdered sugar and almond flour folded into egg whites. There is so much dry stuff it look like it won't fold in at all, and then it does and you are left with a nice thick batter. The 1st batch I made was under cooked and wouldn't come of the tray right. It ended up as a big sticky (but yummy) mess. I knew what went wrong and I really wanted the macaroons for the seder. So I decided to make another batch and bake them a bit longer. They worked perfectly -- came right of the tray and they looked lovely. I definitely want to make these again. I think they are going to be my default thing for using up extra frosting.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
I got a real letter in the mail today! I love getting mail more then is perhaps reasonable so that made me happy.

It has been very sunny and warm here. I'm still not adjusted to back to the lack of winter.

The number of books I am reading at once seems to be growing. I find this somewhat alarming. I am currently reading 4 books. One fiction (just at the moment Nova by Samuel R Delany); One general non-fiction (Strawberry Fields by Miriam J. Wells); One book with R. (Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld); and one Jewish Non-fiction which only gets read on Saturdays, as part of my making up for not having got any official (Jewish education Jewish Eating and Identity Through the Ages by David Kraemer).

Which reminds me, yesterday was Tu B'Shevat (the new year of trees) and I tried out a new recipe to celebrate. It is from the french Jewish cook book I got my mother for Xmas. It is bread/cake thing full of dried fruit. I thought it tasted nice, but it was a bit doughy in the middle even though I baked it longer then the recipe said. I wish there was a good fool prof way of telling when bread is baked through.
forestofglory: Glasses and books (books)
I found this book very readable. Indeed I read it in about a week, which is fast for such a dense book.

The book covers American eating habits form 1880 to 1930 (with the last chapter giving a whirlwind tour of 1930 to about the 1980's). The book there for covers some of the same ground as Perfection Salad but is not spefically focused on women's roles. There is in stead more of focus on class and income and how these effected diet.

One thing that struck me was how terrible everyone's diet was in the 1880's; no on of any class ate very many veggies. I guess I've been reading too much Michael Pollan and other activist types who go on about the virtues of traditional foodways. This book is stark reminder that some old fashioned foodways where not really that good. (And of course they where less likely to be good if you where poor.

Over all Levenstein argues that economics probably had the biggest role in changing food habits, followed but advertising and education (including school lunch). However the book isn't really making a sweeping argument, more pulling together a lot of information in a informative and entertaining way.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin and Pooh floating in a upturned  umbrella , with the word Ahoy in the corner (The Brain of Pooh)
Daily Life Stuff:
I'm making bread again -- Tassajara with oats and flax seeds today.

I've decided to clean out the inside of my dollhouse. I have this huge dollhouse -- its a 3 story Victorian that a grown-up friend and I put together from a kit when I was about 16. I used to collect minis -- I have all kinds of tiny things. However, I'm currently against owning too much stuff. So the plan is to take the minis out to the dollhouse, find homes for the things I want to keep (I currently have one shelf for minis, and a fair bit of clutter on my computer desk -- mostly pigs and Daleks) and put the things I don't want to keep in the charity pile in the spare room. Then I can move the dollhouse out and replace it with a bookshelf. (Maybe. I hope so anyways because books don't count as stuff/clutter and I need more shelf-space.)

On the projects note I've finally started to short out all the recipes. Oh and I've done an bit of sewing even if it is only mending. The undead jeans ride again!

Books:
I've love some recommendations for books about Jewish people that don't feature the holocaust.

Also why do Quakers seem to be disproportionately represented in Science Fiction about religious people?
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (CR reading)
So passover is coming up. I'm excited. I've been invited to two Seders after three years of missing them.

However I'm a bit worried about what I will pack for lunch. I mostly take sandwiches at the moment. And when I don't I generally take some other baked goods. So if you have suggestions for veggie, non-grain stuff that can be eaten cold, that would be very helpful.

Also if you celebrate passover and you want to tell me about what you traditionally eat, or what you are planing to eat this year I would enjoy hearing about it.

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forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
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