31 January 2009
29 January 2009
27 January 2009
*Layered and Baked Elk Pasta (Wade killed and butchered the elk. I was afraid to cook it until now, when I bravely defrosted it and cooked it into a really terrific meat sauce layered between bowties tossed in bechamel--a great pantry staple--then baked until buttered parmesean breadcrumbs--made from leftover pieces of baguette and frozen until a time of desperation--another great pantry staple--become crunchy.)
*Seared Garlic Cauliflower
*Cut up candied apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
Staples on hand:
*Bowtie Pasta (Ziti would have been better, but would have cost $$)
*Milk (dried milk works well for Bechamel in a pinch)
*Frozen butter ( I always buy a lot on sale and freeze)
*Huge bag of onions in the garage (five bucks for 25 lbs.)
Had to purchase:
*Cauliflower for 1$
From the End of the Month Fairy:
*Rice, Beans, Eggs
*misshapen oranges, but very delicious five pounds for a dollar (bought three pounds)
*Mark Bittman's Chicken Chickpea Tangine (I'm sorry Mark Bittman, but I don't have a vanilla bean in my pantry--I have to leave it out, so it probably won't be quite as good as you intended it to be).
*Frozen cut-up chicken
*Fresh Broccoli (1.00)
*Homemade Pita (I went to Carlon's house and ground some wheat that I have in storage in her wheat grinder. Nothing is better than freshly ground flour. If I have enough energy tomorrow, I'll bake bread.)
*Red Pepper Hummus
*Canola and Olive Oils
*Red Pepper Hummus
End of the Month Fairy:
For after school snacks we're eating oranges and popcorn, apples (we still have a half bushel in the garage from Allred's) and peanut butter, cheese and toast, peanuts, and hot chocolate, all from the pantry.
Grocery Total: $6.33
Questions: What's in your pantry? Freezer? What do you cook when your dough runs low?
26 January 2009
I'm reading Farmer Boy to Lula and Cecily right now, and remembering some of the best food writing around.
(I was scolded by a colleague once for reading the Little House series to my children because of it's politically un-correct writing about "injuns" and homesteading. Rest assured that I explain as I read why characters in the book talk that way and why it is problematic. Hope that makes it ok, because these books are so fascinating.)
In regards to home cooking,though, no one has ever impressed me as much as Mother Wilder. She makes delectable things for breakfast, like stacked pancakes, with each cake lavishly buttered and sprinkled with maple sugar and placed on the stack as it comes of the griddle. In this scene, she has ten stacks working and adds to them as she goes. In addition to huge stacks of pancakes, the family eats oatmeal, sausage, apples, and pie for breakfast.
And Sunday dinner--three plump hens under a crust: "Father's spoon cut deep into the chicken pie; he scooped out big pieces of thick crust and turned up their fluffy yellow under-sides on the plate. He poured gravy over them; he dipped up big pieces of tender chicken, dark meat and white meat sliding from the bones."
But my favorite scene, which highlights mother's skill and industry, as she cooks on a wood stove, is this one, from pp. 75-76: "That night was Saturday night. All day long Mother had been baking, and when Almanzo went into the kitchen for the milk-pails, she was still frying doughnuts. The place was full of their hot, brown smell, and the wheaty smell of new bread, the spicy smell of cakes, and the syrupy smell of pies.
"Almanzo took the biggest doughnut from the pan and bit off its crisp end. Mother was rolling out the golden dough, slashing it into long strips, rolling and doubling and twisting the strips. Her fingers flew; you could hardly see them. The strips seemed to twist themselves under her hands, and to leap into the big copper kettle of swirling hot fat.
"Plump! they went to the bottom, sending up bubbles. Then quickly they came popping up, to float and slowly swell, till they rolled themselves over, their pale golden backs going into the fat and their plump brown bellies rising out of it.
"They rolled over, Mother said, because they were twisted. Some women made a new-fangled shape, round, with a hole in the middle. But round doughnuts wouldn't turn themselves over. Mother didn't have time to waste turning doughnuts; it was quicker to twist them"
1) Don't you love the crisp end of the doughnut that Almanzo bites off? New-fangled round doughnuts wouldn't have a crisp end.
2) I love mother's adherence to tradition--she's not going with every little foolish trend in doughnut making. I'm absolutely positive that twisted doughnuts are tastier than round. ( I despise doughnuts, except for homemade--Mother's doughnuts couldn't possibly be related to the corn syrup-drenched food product we buy in the stores.)
3) It would definitely be easier and faster for me to turn doughnuts than to twist them. Mother's an iron chef with mad skills--she bakes all day Saturday, plus she weaves and dyes her own cloth, sews everyone's clothes, processes raw ingredients every day all day long while maintaining her position as mistress of the best farm in the county. Plus she's hot.
If you've not read this book, or if it's been more than five years, go out and pick it up. And post your doughnut recipes in comments (Emily, I'm talkin' to you!)
25 January 2009
I had a fun time at Stake Conference today with Elder Moon and Elder Russell M. Ballard. Elder Ballard said recounted his experience at the inauguration with Pres. Uchdorf. He said it was an unprecedentedly amazing experience. He said that the church is politically neutral. Then he said that "no matter what our party affliction..." that got a laugh, that we should all support and pray for our new president. It felt a little like 1978, I have to say. He also talked a lot about the economy and quoted at length Pres. Hincley's 1998 talk about preparing for economic hardship. In the afternoon I heard a talk on KBYU from Ezra Taft Benson, maybe from the '60s or '70s about communism. Not sure why they chose to broadcast that one.
We went to Goblin Valley yestreen. Really incredible. The drive was half the fun. But Goblin Valley was such an immanent experience. There are no trails so the kids can basically go anywhere and you can see people from pretty far away. You can climb any of the goblin-like structures. If you fall, the ground is really soft. We finally started going barefoot.
24 January 2009
22 January 2009
20 January 2009
*Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup
*Neapolitan Baked Ziti
*Seared Garlic Cauliflower
*Cream of Broccoli Soup
*Ten Grain Hazelnut Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
*Chocolate Mint Annas
Alice and Jim treated us to a beautiful evening at Lark, on Capitol Hill in Seattle. The food was inspiring and engaging to all of the senses, as was the conversation and company. Lark is, Jim said, Alice’s favorite Seattle restaurant, and Chef John Sundstrom’s menu “features a range of small plates, allowing you to savor courses of cheese, charcuterie, vegetables, grains, fish, and meats. We work with local artisans, farmers, and foragers for an ever-changing selection that offers the best of each season, bright and intense with summer, heartening and rich in the fall. Sundstrom’s version of small plates is intended to inspire communal dining with waves of courses coming to your table, a blend of simple, seasonal, classic, and adventurous dishes. You dine, talk, and laugh while experiencing more flavors than with traditional entrées.”
So, small plates. We ordered eleven, plus four desserts. We ate for a very long time, and shared everything, which is the best way to eat with friends. I’ll post our menu and a few pictures. The stars of the evening were the foie gras, the carpaccio of yellowtail, the beet salad, the pork belly, the frozen lemon mousse and the quince tart.
And the butter. Does anyone know who makes their butter?
Watercress salad with beets,
sherry vinegar and guanciale wrapped date
Sautéed wild mushrooms
with garlic, olive oil and sea salt
Bluebird Grain Farms farro
with salsify and black trumpet mushrooms
Salumi Winter salami
with preserved quince
Oyster pan roast with cream,
bacon, salsify and chives
Carpaccio of Yellowtail
with preserved lemons and green olives
Roasted eel with saba
and new potato salad
Seared Sonoma foie gras
with caramelized pear and pain d’epice
Pork belly with braised cabbage,
potatoes, apple and crème fraiche
And, items I don’t have full descriptions for:
*Fish with white beans and Kale
*Frozen Meyer Lemon Mousse
*Sticky Toffee Steamed Pudding
19 January 2009
-Watch "Ghandi"--King got many of his ideas from Ghandi
-A Ghandi quote for Obama: "A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."
-Read the "Letter from Birmingham Jail"
-Listen to Max Roach playing with the "I Have a Dream Speech"
-Three Ghandi Quotes for me, creeds for 2009:
(All of these quotes are mantras to keep me on track for my New Year's resolution to be a better parent. And for one of my children (she knows who she is) I vow to not even THINK sermons to her, passively, passive-agressively, or otherwise.)
1)"An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching."
2)"We do not need to proselytise either by our speech or by our writing. We can only do so really with our lives. Let our lives be open books for all to study." and
3)"Unwearied ceaseless effort is the price that must be paid for turning faith into a rich infallible experience."
This is the end of the "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech. It's a great one. It always makes me weep. What do you think of it in the context of this week's events?
You know, several years ago, I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, "Are you Martin Luther King?"
And I was looking down writing, and I said yes. And the next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X-rays revealed that the tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that's punctured, you drown in your own blood—that's the end of you.
It came out in the New York Times the next morning, that if I had sneezed, I would have died. Well, about four days later, they allowed me, after the operation, after my chest had been opened, and the blade had been taken out, to move around in the wheel chair in the hospital. They allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states, and the world, kind letters came in. I read a few, but one of them I will never forget. I had received one from the President and the Vice-President. I've forgotten what those telegrams said. I'd received a visit and a letter from the Governor of New York, but I've forgotten what the letter said. But there was another letter that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student at the White Plains High School. And I looked at that letter, and I'll never forget it. It said simply, "Dear Dr. King: I am a ninth-grade student at the White Plains High School." She said, "While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I am a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I'm simply writing you to say that I'm so happy that you didn't sneeze."
And I want to say tonight, I want to say that I am happy that I didn't sneeze. Because if I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around here in 1960, when students all over the South started sitting-in at lunch counters. And I knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up for the best in the American dream. And taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can't ride your back unless it is bent. If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama, aroused the conscience of this nation, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill. If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had. If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been down in Selma, Alabama, been in Memphis to see the community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering. I'm so happy that I didn't sneeze.
And they were telling me, now it doesn't matter now. It really doesn't matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane, there were six of us, the pilot said over the public address system, "We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong with the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we've had the plane protected and guarded all night."
And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?
Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
14 January 2009
Among other things I lost the final draft of my poetry mss., the first draft of my latest poetry mss., and the latest draft (about 50,000 words) of my novel, in other words, most of the work of August '08 to January '09, six precious months I had free of teaching duties. I also lost a many-sectioned post I was working on about our Seattle trip last week, which was fabulous except for the robbery part. So before I devolve into an even deeper and less appealing whine, let me just say that this is the part of the movie where I stand up and say "I WILL not let this stop me!" or maybe "I will NOT let this stop me!" or perhaps even "I will not let THIS stop me!"
As soon as I can think straight, I'll be posting about dinners out at Lark, Lola, and an anonymous Pho house in Seattle's Lake City neighborhood, right across the LEGS strip club (did I get the name right, Seattleites?)
I'm off to C's gig at the Penny Royal Cafe (what's up with that name?)
11 January 2009
I'm really loving learning a new language-- I kind of though that it would be one of those things that is mostly hard/frustrating/tedious but with lots of good rewards, but I really haven't found that to be the case--I wake up every morning excited about all of the German I'm going to speak, and I really really love German-- the etymology (sp?) is so straightforward! That is exceedingly helpful for an exchange student. Do you want to know what the word for lightbulb is? Gluhberne (sp?), which literally means glowing pear. Isn't that wonderful? Also, they have good idioms. One that I picked up this week after much confusion is called that when you are fed up you say you have your nose full of something. I love Germans! All of my teachers were saying that to us this week, but I am kind of feeling like they must not have exceedingly capacious nostrils, because we are Gymnasium kids-- Thüringian Gymnasium kids-- and therefore perfect.
But the road to bilingualism is paved with low self-esteem, so will you guys give me cyber-gold stars and tell me I'm great? I know that I am shamelessly fishing for compliments here, but shame stopped being a factor in my life months ago. I'll reciprocate if you want.
This week was the beginning of the drama program. Actually, I think it's been going on for a while. But I joined it this week. I was standing there looking awkward, and somebody handed me a white jumpsuit and gloves and mask and commanded me to put it on. I thought about giving them a bemused look, but in the end I just went with it. So we interpretively danced for a few minutes, and then I sat and watched for the rest. The teacher gave me a script, though, so next week.
Also, I gave a presentation. But don't get excited, it was in English-- the advanced English class wanted to hear me mother tounging (that sounds really dirty. It's not supposed to) about Utah, so I told them about High School Musical and Zion's National Park and The Mormons. It was fun.
What else? I love you all.
08 January 2009
07 January 2009
06 January 2009
05 January 2009
*split pea & vegetable/guiness soup
*homemade caramelized onion, eggplant, feta and rosemary pizza
*homemade caramelized leek, pear, sage, and blue cheese pizza (bittman)
*marni's famous seven layer dip
*bam's romaine & orange gem salad
*grandpa noel's roasted chiles salsa
*roasted carrot/ginger/orange dip with pomegranate seeds (from my boyfriend mark bittman's blog)
*daddy's apricot nectar punch
*lula's bacon/cheese quiche
*giada's stuffed mushrooms
&. . .
*emily's cherry/chocolate/kirsch trifle
. . . and thus begins 2009's theme of bountiful, simple, homemade food. . .
*rice (the non-special kind--i can't make myself go to orem right now)
*garlic grilled green beans
*shredded napa salad with parmasean vinaigrette
04 January 2009
But that's enough about forward men.
I went on a walk on Friday because it snowed for once and the sun was shining for once and I ran into my sweet cousin Paulina with her dog! The one thing that I had wished for on these walks was a friend and a dog (okay, and some bubble liquid and a picnic) so it was lovely, of course. We had come seperately and therefore with iPods so we talked sometimes but it wasn't a big deal when we didn't and I saw actual human beings skating on an actual frozen pond! Can you believe it? I thought that only happened in movies/daydreams/stories about my dad's life, but there they were, in the flesh. We walked almost to Mülhausen, but then the sun set because it was four in the afternoon (deep sigh) and we went home. It was very nice. You know what esle this place has? Good stars. Sometimes living in a small town isn't so bad, especially when you're walking home in the wee hours of 2009 with your eyes in the heavens. Not so bad at all.
03 January 2009
This paper had a companion sheet, but it disappeared (that story will come later on in the post.) I’m not sure how unfathomable these formulas are, as I never made it past Algebra 1. It does seem like there’s a whole universe there into which I have no entrée whatsoever.
This paper makes it seem like the world is way too big and, what's the word--ineffable, maybe? But I digress. We were talking about Boxing Day, not numbers.
For an all nerd party, it was exceedingly fun, though. For one thing, there were two guests who were flirting vociferously, and were this party set in a Jane Austen novel, it might have been commented upon as being unseemly for two guests to so monopolize each other in conversation, and with such enthusiasm as to exclude all other guests.
For another thing, nerds are much more interesting than cool people. So overall, it was a good night: much progress was made by one of the guests on a multi-colored argyle sweater, a small amount of progress was made on absolute zero, several hilarious musicology jokes were told, and one of the flirters left with the other flirter’s email address folded into a page of algorithims. Or whatever those things are called.
Wish all the rest of you nerds could have been there!
1) Three FULL packs of Stride gum
2) Three crisp dollar bills
3) My Bath and Body Works headache cream
4) A full bag of homemade chocolate covered toffee
I was feeling rather sluggish and depressed, but my clean purse has given my a new hope and optimism for 2009: maybe I can be organized, thin, and successful!
At the very least, I'll have fresh breath at church tomorrow, and a delicious treat for movie night tonight.