Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
A few weekends ago, we went to breakfast in San Antonio, and I saw a bunch of articles cut out of the paper, and framed on the wall. They heralded places that served Eggs Benedict. All of them served it exclusively on the weekend, including the restaurant I was in. So I ordered it.
THAT was a mistake. I hate poached eggs. Yet today I was obsessed with creating a home version.
I found a recipe for hollandaise-
3 large egg yolks
1 TBsp fresh lemon juice
16 TBsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/8 tsp. cayenne
Blend egg yolks and lemon juice in blender till frothy - 10 seconds +/-. With blender running, slowly drizzle in HALF of the butter until mixture is quite thick. Blend 2 tsp. of hot water. Continuing to blend, add remaining butter, about a minute. Blend additional water until sauce coats the back of a spoon. Stir in cayenne, salt and pepper. Use immediately. If you can't, set sauce in a pan, and then another pan of warm water, covered. Since it has raw egg yolks, try to use it quickly. Note: I added a little tarragon and ground mustard, and made 1/2 a recipe.
I thought that if the butter was hot enough, it would cook the eggs. Sounds reasonable, yes??
I discovered why Eggs Benedict is a weekend dish-it's not difficult, but there are so many steps and layers, it's a bit of a dash and a juggle. Here, I had to
- Make Hollandaise
- Slice and toast ciabatta (not burn, just toast-I was going to get English muffins, but got sidetracked at the grocery)
- Scramble eggs
- put together a little salad
- Layer the whole thing properly-toasted bread, Canadian bacon, SCRAMBLED EGGS (because poached eggs are too fussy and I don't like them anyhow) top with sauce, and get the salad on the plate.
It's not hard, but with a dog in the middle of the kitchen floor praying for a delicious kitchen accident, and a man who can't work sideways, it's a bit of a struggle to get the timing down. My experience went to hell when the butter exploded in the microwave. And the bread smelled like it was going to burn. Gaaah!
My mock Eggs B were very good. Buying ciabatta, Canadian bacon, eggs and salad still had me far under the cost of one plate with leftovers galore. And I didn't have to wait until Saturday.
My recommendation? Learn how to do it, and delegate tasks. Next time, DH is going to get salads and toast.
Friday, July 25, 2008
July 25, 2008
He ventured forth to bring light to the world
The anointed one's pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a miracle in action - and a blessing to all his faithful followers
And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.
The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.
When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”
In the great Battles of Caucus and Primary he smote the conniving Hillary, wife of the deposed King Bill the Priapic and their barbarian hordes of Working Class Whites.
And so it was, in the fullness of time, before the harvest month of the appointed year, the Child ventured forth - for the first time - to bring the light unto all the world.
He travelled fleet of foot and light of camel, with a small retinue that consisted only of his loyal disciples from the tribe of the Media. He ventured first to the land of the Hindu Kush, where the
Taleban had harboured the viper of al-Qaeda in their bosom, raining terror on all the world.
And the Child spake and the tribes of Nato immediately loosed the Caveats that had previously bound them. And in the great battle that ensued the forces of the light were triumphant. For as long as the Child stood with his arms raised aloft, the enemy suffered great blows and the threat of terror was no more.
From there he went forth to Mesopotamia where he was received by the great ruler al-Maliki, and al-Maliki spake unto him and blessed his Sixteen Month Troop Withdrawal Plan even as the imperial warrior Petraeus tried to destroy it.
And lo, in Mesopotamia, a miracle occurred. Even though the Great Surge of Armour that the evil Bush had ordered had been a terrible mistake, a waste of vital military resources and doomed to end in disaster, the Child's very presence suddenly brought forth a great victory for the forces of the light.
And the Persians, who saw all this and were greatly fearful, longed to speak with the Child and saw that the Child was the bringer of peace. At the mention of his name they quickly laid aside their intrigues and beat their uranium swords into civil nuclear energy ploughshares.
From there the Child went up to the city of Jerusalem, and entered through the gate seated on an ass. The crowds of network anchors who had followed him from afar cheered “Hosanna” and waved great palm fronds and strewed them at his feet.
In Jerusalem and in surrounding Palestine, the Child spake to the Hebrews and the Arabs, as the Scripture had foretold. And in an instant, the lion lay down with the lamb, and the Israelites and Ishmaelites ended their long enmity and lived for ever after in peace.
As word spread throughout the land about the Child's wondrous works, peoples from all over flocked to hear him; Hittites and Abbasids; Obamacons and McCainiacs; Cameroonians and Blairites.
And they told of strange and wondrous things that greeted the news of the Child's journey. Around the world, global temperatures began to decline, and the ocean levels fell and the great warming was over.
The Great Prophet Algore of Nobel and Oscar, who many had believed was the anointed one, smiled and told his followers that the Child was the one generations had been waiting for.
And there were other wonderful signs. In the city of the Street at the Wall, spreads on interbank interest rates dropped like manna from Heaven and rates on credit default swaps fell to the ground as dead birds from the almond tree, and the people who had lived in foreclosure were able to borrow again.
Black gold gushed from the ground at prices well below $140 per barrel. In hospitals across the land the sick were cured even though they were uninsured. And all because the Child had pronounced it.
And this is the testimony of one who speaks the truth and bears witness to the truth so that you might believe. And he knows it is the truth for he saw it all on CNN and the BBC and in the pages of The New York Times.
Then the Child ventured forth from Israel and Palestine and stepped onto the shores of the Old Continent. In the land of Queen Angela of Merkel, vast multitudes gathered to hear his voice, and he preached to them at length.
But when he had finished speaking his disciples told him the crowd was hungry, for they had had nothing to eat all the hours they had waited for him.
And so the Child told his disciples to fetch some food but all they had was five loaves and a couple of frankfurters. So he took the bread and the frankfurters and blessed them and told his disciples to feed the multitudes. And when all had eaten their fill, the scraps filled twelve baskets.
Thence he travelled west to Mount Sarkozy. Even the beauteous Princess Carla of the tribe of the Bruni was struck by awe and she was great in love with the Child, but he was tempted not.
On the Seventh Day he walked across the Channel of the Angles to the ancient land of the hooligans. There he was welcomed with open arms by the once great prophet Blair and his successor, Gordon the Leper, and his successor, David the Golden One.
And suddenly, with the men appeared the archangel Gabriel and the whole host of the heavenly choir, ranks of cherubim and seraphim, all praising God and singing: “Yes, We Can.”
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
House from scratch is a lot harder than you might imagine. For one, the architect, who is a licensed "a professional" may be a flake. (I was going to use a different term that I never ever use. You might think 'douchebag' is part of my everyday venacular. It's not.) One of those people who owns the credentials but doesn't do the work? More on that later.
So here are swatches-
I found it difficult to pick these things out, because unlike choosing yarns or fabric for projects, redoing whole interiors isn't something I get to do all the time. And it's difficult to know how things are going to translate into the real world. Like the bold berry colored stain on the red-oak sample I circled? My cabinets are not nearly as red as you'd think, and this shot shows them as fairly red. Actually, they are primarily a cool brown. (I have maintained for years that my best brown is mauve, and I think it's STILL true.)
And the granite? That was selected in March, and I stood in the stoneyard with a list of stone varieties "in budget" sweating like a pig, trying to visualize slabs the size of small U-Hauls as my kitchen counter. They installed it yesterday, and I walked in yesterday evening at 8:30, and holy shit. I thought I had snow leopards mating on the counter-tops. We had to have a fight about it today. DH was annoyed because I was not over-joyed, but seriously suspecting my own taste level. I was scared I screwed up and ordered really expensive fug.
I turned it over in my mind and thought about this-it seems so loud because it is the only patterned thing in the whole house. And I went to visit it today. In the late afternoon light, I see fewer leopards, and more rivers of gold and bits of berry and it is ok. DH likes it better too.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I considered telling my single girlfriends to do something at a gun show to meet fellas-DH told me that was a bad idea. I saw a couple of pasty white guys with heavy backpacks on. He was probably right. Better that they stick to dog shows and the like.
Four is also the number of rows in my Queensland Tahiti stitch pattern-after I posted that photo yesterday, someone popped up and said their friend was having trouble with Tahiti biasing in stockinette. I went and looked, and sure enough, she did have trouble. I didn't notice any bias on mine, because I have 3 rows of stockinette, and one garter ridge (knit 1 row on the wrong side). The garter ridge apparently rights all the yarn karma, it's no trouble.
I'm working on 6s, which are 8s in every one else's world.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Saturday, July 05, 2008
This is how it works:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food? Chocolate
3. What high school did you go to? Thomas B. Doherty
4. What is your favorite color? Blue
5. Who is your celebrity crush? The Rock
6. Favorite drink? Diet Coke
7. Dream vacation? Mont Saint Michel
8. Favorite dessert? Angel Food Cake
9. What you want to be when you grow up? Famous
10. What do you love most in life? Life
11. One word to describe you. Quirky
12. Your flickr name. Junior Goddess
Here's what I got:
A search for, the man of my dreams (the Rock) yielded a photo of my home town-I have climbed some of those formations. My Flickr name gave up the city where my Dad's cousin lives, and quirky yielded my dolls.
1. 3:49 Betsy McCall goes to School, 2. Untitled, 3. P3290638, 4. Northwest 3, 5. Main Garden, 6. Birthday Bomb, 7. Coucher de soleil sur le Mont St Michel, 8. Lemon Angel Food Cupcake, 9. Nasir-almolk, 10. yodell ♫ lay-od-lay-od-lay-he-hoo, ♫ lay-od-lay-od-low yodellay, ♫ yodallay, yodal-low… ♫ and they fly low supreme! ♫ little egrets from bali- egretta garzetta ♫, 11. Be-Heinz, 12. HISTORY OF THE QUEEN'S HEAD PUBLIC HOUSE
Friday, July 04, 2008