Sunday, August 31, 2008

chutney update

I know I have a rep for cheesecake and that is all well and good, but I tweaked up the chutney I made for the trout. I may have a new signature dish because peeps were RAVING at Tishies--it ROCKED with the roast piggy. (Oh I finally got to eat a "cheek"--big whoop)

Daye's Chutney of Local Braggadocio

six over ripe michigan peaches (red haven)
six overripe brandywine toms.
1/2 c golden raisin (yes-- I dehydrated them!)
1 tblspoon of curry powder
1 tblspoon of ginger powder
1/2 cup dk. brown sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar

Put all the non produce related ingredients in sauce pan. Dissolve and start to simmer.
Stem, seed, peel & dice the peaches & toms.
Add peaches & toms & raisins to "sauce" simmer for an hour --lo and slow baybee. I toyed with onions here. Maybe next time.

Serve as an accompaniment to something delicious like a hunk of pulled pork.

Party hopping

Well, considering that we were at two different bonfire parties it is entirely appropriate that Luna's howling in response to firetrucks was what finally woke my bleary butt up this morning. After crossing my fingers and hoping the subdivision was on fire (JOKING!) I stumble down to get some coffee. Oh my poor head--I am too old to stay up that late.

Great Lakes Beer and apple stuffed pig at Tishie and Steve's, where we played scrabble with a beautiful woman named Claudette and left Zoli (who was later attacked in the dark by a vicious rose bush.) behind to continue the tag in the dark game that kids everywhere resort to when their grownups sit around listening to music and drinking while poking a huge fire.

The fire at Steffie & Andre's was smaller but the music was live. And Izzy was only attacked by a misplaced marshmallow. Lo and behold--the kids at Andre's were playing the same running around in the dark like maniacs. It is nice to sit and chill with friends. Very pleasant. A beautiful evening.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Last night's dinner

It was late, but it was local--

Parsnip fries with ho-made ketchup.
Peach and tomato chutney (forgot to put in the basil!)
pan fried trout fillets.


Then for dessert Rollo&Carol brought mochi, but the sweetest thing we had was Obama speech!! YEAH BAYBEE!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hot damn look what I found!!!

Great storage solution!! American Indians had no refrigerators!
Spaghetti Squash is a tough vegetable -- you can store a spaghetti squash in your home for several months, prior to using it. Because it can be stored for long periods of time, the natives of both North and South America used spaghetti squash as one of their dietary staples for many centuries.

in my best Strong Bad voice--


The tomatos are in. I think StrongBad's head looks like a tomato. I picked so many tomatoes all I could keep saying was "HOLY CRAP!" It was like the Easter Egg hunt from hell. The Heirloom vines do not behave in a orderly fashion--they sprawl and creep and crash over their support system so I have this jungle of leaves and vines. You move one branch aside and there is another little clutch of testicle shaped plum tomatoes all nestled together. Sometimes one is a gold ivory color and I think I have found Gertrude's first egg--but not so much...just MORE DAMN TOMATOES!!

Made ketchup from the cherry toms, cold pack in recycled Bonne Maman jars--they are soo cute. Four lbs of fruit down to two pints--remove the water and all you have left is flavor. Amazing It was! Really kinda cool watching it thicken down. It was still quite juicy when Carol & Xanni were here but by 6:30 it was almost paste. SCIENCE!! I used a recipe from 1871 that had cinnamon in it!! Zoli approved whole heartedly.

Today is Spaghetti Sauce 2.5. Quart jars in the dish water and peeling and seeding to begin...NOW! (wish me luck)

The first batch of pasta sauce (NOT PESTO that is getting done too) was shallots & oregano (also from the garden). The first batch was more orange than RED so I have let these subsequent harvests hang as long as possible. (It helped going to NY for four days!) and today will be more of the same minus the shallots.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

but their teeth!!!!

Back about a month ago Matthew was all excited about a goofy movie he had enjoyed called "Black Sheep." If nothing else it had New Zealand scenery so we added it to the ol' Netflix queue--well it was in the mailbox when we got home and last night we popped it in. The beginning drags, in fact I very nearly vetoed it as I was looking forward to watching Hillary at the DNC, but Zoli was so into the concept of zombie sheep that we hung on.

Oh dear, what a silly squishy mess!! Isabel, who can generally deal with "ewww" stuff pretty well, was not interested and blew it off completely. Pete was totally into it, of course he and Paul had had so much fun on You Tube "" popping zits that I wasn't surprised at his loud guffaws of disgust as we watched the grotesque blood and guts. This is the goriest movie I have ever seen. Never ending Intestines and clots--long strings of gore that seemed so WRONG!! we were laughing our asses off! Preparing Haggis has never been so beautifully filmed!! (NOT!) A slimy gooshy (startlingly good makeup) montage of blood and guts I have never seen.

But two things still bug me-- 1.) The satire and constant ribbing of crazy Greenie/PETA types kinda got on my nerves. At least I'm not a sheep farmer cuz then I would REALLY be offended! :)

and I couldn't help but be hypercritical (which I know is the wrong tactic to take with such a high caliber film) as I repeatedly noticed 2.) SHEEP DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT KIND OF TEETH!!! They just aren't carnivores!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Zoli is right

BREAKFAST TABLE, early morning:

Z. (enters with bagel & juice)
I only have a week left.

No! it's still August! (defensively grabs at the planner and starts to count days--confidently turns page.
-sighs sadly)'re right. My bad.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

the end of the summer reading list

I finally got a NEW book to read; we hit the AADL library last night.(Gotta get outta the Japanese cookbook rut I have been in.) Lately, I have been in kind of a HP review phase--re reading and listening to HBP and DH. My new buddy T. Pierce (whom I met in Chicago) suggested Holly Black's "Tithe" and it's accompanying series so I am looking at that again too but dude...I need a NEW book.

Looking at ten hours in the truck when my email told me that the new book "Bottlemania" by Elizabeth Royte was ready for *ME* I hustled everybody's sorry asses into town. I also got two more tomes for me, The Voyage of the Short Serpent by Bernard du Boucheron (looks kinda Bernard Cornwell-ish but and the third book I chose was The Temple of the Wild Geese & Bamboo Dolls of Echizen, looks like two novellas in a slim volume.

God I love books. There is something so visceral and so physical and so sensual, the smell of paper and ink, the heft and gravity of a well bound story. I like to hold books. I like wandering the stacks of a real library. I am home there. At the risk of boring you to tears dear ones, look at this quote from The Love of Books: the Philobiblon written by Richard de Bury (who is just a little older than my house!)

But the contemplation of truth is never more perfect than in books, where the act of imagination perpetuated by books does not suffer the operation of the intellect upon the truths that it has seen to suffer interruption. Wherefore books appear to be the most immediate instruments of speculative delight, and therefore Aristotle, the sun of philosophic truth, in considering the principles of choice, teaches that in itself to philosophize is more desirable than to be rich, although in certain cases, as where for instance one is in need of necessaries, it may be more desirable to be rich than to philosophize.
Moreover, since books are the aptest teachers, as the previous chapter assumes, it is fitting to bestow on them the honour and the affection that we owe to our teachers. In fine, since all men naturally desire to know, and since by means of books we can attain the knowledge of the ancients, which is to be desired beyond all riches, what man living according to nature would not feel the desire of books? And although we know that swine trample pearls under foot, the wise man will not therefore be deterred from gathering the pearls that lie before him. A library of wisdom, then, is more precious than all wealth, and all things that are desirable cannot be compared to it. Whoever therefore claims to be zealous of truth, of happiness, of wisdom or knowledge, aye, even of the faith, must needs become a lover of books.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

snarky comment

Rembrandt depicts Bathsheba...I wonder if she "danced all night to this DJ" in new boots and now has big blisters on her heels?

I don't think DIGG is working right--

Naked wizard Daniel Radcliffe
Posted by: "dawn secondcost" wingnutdawn
Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:14 pm (PDT)

Read and wonder !!!!

Naked wizard Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe has revealed he will appear naked in the next Harry Potter film, 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'.

(BANG) -
Daniel Radcliffe has revealed he will appear naked in the next Harry Potter film.
The actor - who has starred as the teen wizard in five movies in the franchise based on the books by J.K. Rowling - admits he was unsure when he was told he would be appearing without trousers in a scene in 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'.

He said: "At first I thought I had pants on. Apparently not!"

However, Daniel - who has stripped off in the stage production of 'Equus' - insists he isn't worried about his fans seeing him nude on screen, adding: "It's all old hat now, really!"
Daniel, 19, also revealed he has never had much luck with women, and has yet to perfect his flirting skills.

He added to Entertainment Weekly magazine: "When it comes to women I just think, 'Look at them until they notice you and hope for the best.

"I never had any idea how to talk to girls until a year or so ago. I still come out with trivial c**p when I'm flirting, but I like to think I'm doing it in a faintly endearing way."

Warner Bros. have also confirmed they are pushing back the release date of the sixth Harry Potter movie, 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' from November 21 this year to July 17, 2009.(C) BANG Media International

Friday, August 15, 2008


It's all in the presentation baybee. The arrangement, the colors-- the play of light. The empty space.

In an effort to clean up the DVR queue last night we watched Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations"-- the travel foodie show where he occasionally eats the most disgusting things imaginable to the Midwestern palate. Well the Tokyo show wasn't disgusting at all. It did in fact show him happy as a child in a toy shop, which made ME happy. I needed a little psychological inspiration for this Heian feast I am cooking in Sept. Bourdain usually presents himself as a very bitter and sarcastic bad boy of the food world, but watching him admit near incompetence in the prowess/kendo field was "cute" and he was absolutely endearing when he sat down with the Ikebana master and said that his three yellow flowers were "happy".

He opened the show with the following observation--

The ability to look at one thing and only one thing is something totally alien to me, but it is something I most admire and appreciate about the Japanese. A rock, a pond, a single bite of fish, a grain of rice--to know these things and appreciate them.--Anthony Bourdain

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I am so sick of cherry tomatoes

seriously...I have a lot. Too many. and they take forever to dry.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

other peeps flicker photos

more terminus pics

still more Terminus

I mentioned that I met tons of folks at the HP con.This was particularly cool. Please check it out.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Post Terminus

I want to begin by pointing out that hanging out with people from Pepperdine and Smith, from Pace and Illinois State, from Haaaaavard and Princeton has done a lot to assuage my worries that JKR's canon was not being taken seriously in the academic world. I feel reassured when names like Showalter, Graff and Fisk are cited. It makes my heart sing to meet secondary teachers who use the books in their classes. I like talking to doctoral candidates who are writing their dissertations on Snape; yes, yes I do.

and now that the coffee is kicking in I need to point out the striking similarities between the SCA and this past weekend. Fighting =Quidditch --both have some amazing athletes. A&S=The room of requirement--I wish I could produce actual art. Original music is represented by lyric poets and skilled musicians; Bardic circle in the park anybody?
The Pelicans of the SCA are "Knight Bus conductors" silly deceptive titles for people who organize the structure of the event and be sure everyone is in the right place at the right time. The events couldn't happen without their quiet dedication.

The combination of scholarly and artistic endeavors coupled with adrenaline and wonderment. The brilliant costumes are literally only the surface. The vibrant intellectual discourse centered on a subject that is so dear to me, the interplay between the personal and community...enjoying beloved author Tamora Pierce say at breakfast that "cute makes me want to smack it." This environment was a happy place.tap here

Respected editors and talented writers, eager students (truly one of my favorite things) nationally known publishers and new friends; all combined into a happy melange that reminded me of nothing more than my first SCA event.
The swirl of energy and unadorned surprise that a whole world, an utopian universe truly exists despite the mundane reality of Monday.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

don't travel alone

it sucks.

don't get me wrong but MAN do I wish I had a travel companion!! The individual sessions are freaking fantastic and I am glad I am here (did I say my presentation was VERY well received? and Annette I am networking like you wouldn't believe!!) and I am thrilled I don't have to go to a session I don't want to go to... but the whole eating by myself thing is getting OLD!! True the UK girls were fun and so were the Quidditch players at breakfast--But tonight is the ball and all my new friends either have "dates" or are the non-dancing type. Pete & Lisa and Fina and Eua..we need to talk...ya'll owe me. ;)

So I guess I am gonna grab some Thai food with this lady who reminds me of my most favorite prof ever (the infamous Judy Kollman) and then change into the steampunk. Tomorrow at 8:30 it is back to reality. boooo hisss.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

busy day

This morning was my Snaper presentation. I kinda feel like a rockstar. People keep coming up and saying shit like "I really liked your essay." etc. It is kinda weird. It is really weird. I had lunch with three girls from the UK. Met a dude from Texas. Went to the live Pottercast.This is HALF of the auditorium they held the HP podcast in.
The people seated up front are the hosts. My new pal Gwen introduced me to John Noe. That was nice he seemed perfectly normal. I said Hi to Sue Upton a couple of times but she is pretty busy and I kinda got the "random person in crowd smile". Still haven't met Alex Carpenter yet. Frak is adorable.

My ass is dragging. I'm hitting the hay.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Can it get any more amazing?? I am kinda overwhelmed--yeah me! I thought I would be pretty chill-lax, but I am actually really having a lot of very stimulating lit crit type amazing conversations. My brain hurts. It is like grad school but FUN!!

Quick list cuz I got shit to do and I am whipped!

1. Cheryl Klein is a genius. Her talk was very writerly. (and very inspirational)
2. Tamora Pierce can swing some serious postmodern jargon. I know, cuz I talked in the ladies pisser with her. She is so cool.
3. Snape as Lady in the Lake!!! who knew?
4. Trader Joes saved my hungry butt. (the corkscrew must be in the everything bag. BTW wandering around with a wine bottle is quite the conversation starter!)
5. I kinda like it when somebody makes my bed whilst I am gone.
6. the alarm clock plays my ipod outloud!! love it! HP audiobooks when I am not actively talking to HP geeks.
7. I have met sooo many brilliant people today. wow
8. I really wanted to get over to the Lake Shore/beach area but I am too damn busy!
9. Lupin and Sirius! Now there is a ship that only gets better when you realize Tonks is a shape shifter.
10. PWP= porn with plot. I get it!!
11. body glitter is contagious
12. Lori & new peeps.
13. Some really beautiful CosPlay folks--wow this one chick as Lucius?? *fanning self* whaaaaa!!
14. on the other hand Some CosPlay peeps need to keep the wig on..ya know?
15. THERE IS ONLY MORE TO GO!!! It is only Friday night!! I am in fangirl heaven!! EEEEEP

$3.50 AN HOUR!!


okay enough shouting in all caps. The Snape wake was cool. The train was slow, (and full) I have two bathrooms. Drank three Guiness and had a "snake bite" with my new snapeygirls. I am not! I repeat NOT a Slytherpuff. Okay I have 38 emails.

oi. more tomorrow.

I am so NOT the biggest freak here. Lots of cosplay---one good Lucius, one hot young snape and two old snapes. Oh and an "epilogue Harry" that's joke--just an old muggle who had Harry's basic phenotype. (Lots of boots T.!!)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

produce production

The cold pack green beans are Japanese recipes. Pete likes the green beans. I think they taste like green bean sake. I am pretty sure I would prefer the salt pack recipe-- that will be next time. (after the conference) The cukes are just standard dill. (they are tasty!) I do have experimental ginger cukes. On the blue dish. They need MORE ginger! too much vinegar for my taste.

Today's haul was 2.5 lbs of cherry toms and 3 lbs even of plum.

Be Packing

Henry VI Part 1, 4. 1
That is what I should be doing right now. I just don't want to iron my skirts. bleh. Must not be wrinkly when one is representing one's University.

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

So does that mean the lap top is coming with me?? Pete does have his iphone to play with. Yes. I think so. Still I should get soemthing to read on the train. Colbert recently interviewed Lucas Conley, the author of Obsessive Branding Disorder: that should be an interesting read as I walk into a conference for the biggest brand to hit the market in 15 years. snicker.

Tomorrow will be a repeat of something I have done much in the past. Taking the train to Chicago. That will be about as unique as going to the grocery store. There was a year when Pete was at North Western and Matty and I were doing grad school--that almost every weekend we took the Wolverine to see him. That got old fast. We fixed it. Pete is a smart boy.

I love traveling by train. It is my preferred method of transport. In fact I detest flying and who wants to drive when you can sit in the lounge car? mmmm lounge car....

From lounge car to lounge bar! The first thing on the agenda for TERMINUS this weekend is Snape's Wake. EEEPP!! fangirl mode!! (well grown up barfly fangirl mode!) The keynote speakers for the conference are Tamora Pierce (famous sci-fi grande dame) and Cheryl Klein. Klein is Arthur Levine's right hand. WHAT? You don't know who Art Levine is?? The publisher for the American Editions of the books. C'mon people!! I can't wait to meet both of them. Saturday is my panel discussion. My topic is Snape's patronus (white stag) and chivalric love. Sunday is the Farewall Ball for which I made the steampunk outfit, Monday there is a brunch then back on the train and I am back home by 2pm.

Fun for me!!

Monday, August 4, 2008


This photo is from Friday night; which was the closing gig for Izzy's two week mathlab. She was invited by The Dept. of Ed at U of M to participate as a guinea pig for student teachers. The program was co-sponsered by UC-Berkeley.

At first she was all-- "No. I hate math." THEN after much support and enthusiasm from all of her significant adults (from Tom to Roxy) she acquiesced with the caveat that if she survived the two weeks without tears ...she could get her ears pierced. WELL!! Not only did she survive, but after the first day she was like..."Does it go on the weekend? I like it!!" So on Friday she did get her ears pierced. Little April birthstone cubic zirconium studs.

Man! Has THAT procedure changed! I clearly remember when I was 13 the gun looked like an industrial stapler. It resembled nothing so much as a huge pneumatic nail gun. A silver plated hypodermic of doom. I was so scared I permanently creased the patent leather handle of my little purse. I had clutched it so tightly in my nervous anticipation. My mom had psyched me out by saying she had to "get daddy one more present" and on Christmas eve afternoon we went to the tiny pharmacy in my home town, where my great aunt was waiting to do the deed. She worked at the drugstore and snuck us in the back after hours.
I was already to buy myself some candy with MY money, or better yet get free treats from my beloved auntie, whilst Mom bought Daddy some old spice or some other boring crap, and it turns out that I was getting my ears pierced!! WOW WOW WOW!!

Izzy was just as excited and quite possibly more nervous then I had been that long ago day. She certainly had longer to prep for it! To fret and second guess, but no she did not hesitate. The second I picked her up from MathLab she was ready to roll.

We went to Claire's (all parents of little girls heads up-- it is pink plastic accessory HELL!!) at Briarwood Mall and made a beeline straight through Macy's to the boutique. She was very brave and got her ears pierced with a harmless looking little white box that didn't even make scary noises. I was jealous.

THIS is our first carrot from the garden. She chose carrots and she planted the Danver's Half Long seeds. The remarkable thing about these carrots, you may remember me gushing about how sweet and clean the broccoli tasted?--well the big diff twixt this carrot and any other grocery store carrot was the remarkable turgidity of the greens. They were like...erect. You could fence with them! But fencing...that would be a blog about Z!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

One year anniversary of "Belly Acres"

It has been one year since we moved in. We met the neighbors and they seem pretty cool! That spring day will go down in history as the craziest five minutes of the year. No fictional embellishments here dear one; Just the facts of what occurred in five minutes:
Zoli barfed. A tree broke and the storm window sucked off the front of the house while the new neighbors knocked on the door!! Our neighbors are a bit of alright. They have a great pool! Our kids are the same age! Meredith & Izzy get along great & the two 13 year old boys are friendly but prefer very different activities.

We have not yet sold the Wallace house. BUT we have accomplished some amazing things. (including admitting defeat with Bree.) Most of which were recounted in previous entries of this blog. Check the archive if you want. A quickie list (I again want to thank Garth for the time he spent with us. He is a grand friend and a good man.)

Roof--wow. That was a thing wasn't it!
Removed the “Nantucket Effect” from the master bath & painted
Geothermal Furnace & Air
-new electricity (including change every damn light bulb in the house over the space of first three weeks)
Removed wierd Sink from d. room
Bathroom X2
-ant wall
-frozen pipe--which ultimately led to
+ New upstairs toilet
- Insulated tool shed
Decorative garden fence repairs X4
Bookcases (time for more of those already!)
Painted library
New well pump
Garbage outta the woods
Id-ed most plants/trees
Removed one dead tree (several more to go!)
Appliances (master bath ceiling fan)
Switched the colors in d. room
Front window=Andersen renewal (patio door in progress)
Chimney check/cleaned (gotta do that again pronto)
made a game room in basement (The ZoliCave)

Barnstairs & people door
(but we have since broken the big door opener-uh oh!)

Plans before snowfly:
Paint house & garage (eep!)
New carpet upstairs
Rug in library
(& if we win the lottery=belle époque sofa & scrabble table in library??)

Like This but purple, or cobalt or red.

It feels like we have lived here forever. The list of things to do seems too long. But I wouldn't go back at all. We can breathe here. The kitchen is definitely a tall left handed guy kitchen and I am a short right handed chick--but, the double Viking ovens count for a lot and I can be patient. I just wish somebody would love the Wallace house. It makes me sad that it just sits there.

But let's not quibble about who killed who--I love my big purple farmhouse, and my chicken and my doggies and I love my boy for working so hard that we can do this. He rocks.