Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Congratulations, Eleanor!

Ecclesiastical Council treats

When Ed made the announcement in church, his words were that we were all invited to "an Ecclesiastical Council - now there's a jawbreaker for you -- " for Eleanor Harrison (who has been going through the UCC ordination process). The phrase "now there's a jawbreaker for you" got stuck in my head on a little loop for a few minutes.


Well, as it turns out, there were no jawbreakers for us at the Council, which was held last night, but there were breads, cheeses, brownies, and cookies. Breaking bread seemed an especially symbolic reception action, given that Eleanor has shared several times (and beautifully) how meaningful the experience of communion has been for her during her journey.

By the way, she recommends this book very highly. I bought a copy but haven't read it yet.



Of course, the important part of the evening was the culmination of it in a unanimous vote to ordain Eleanor as a UCC minister. But the brownies Ed made ran a close second.

Just in Case

I had emergency snacks in my bag, just in case I came out of the meeting and was starving, but I didn't even need them.

p.s. I ate the almonds this morning. Not bad, but not bold enough. More chili and lime, please!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Poetry Tuesday: Mommy Complex

Mother's Finger
[Mother's Finger - Blueberry Flavor. Thanks, Paul!]


Mother, your finger, your
Blueberry finger points,
A long, white packing peanut
Sweet and purple side to you
A blander melting white rice-ness:
Blank slate Cheeto.

Mother, I do not know you
I cannot hold your hand.
Your fingers broke off like lizards' tails
As I tried to keep the clasp.
Your useless gestures are rolling
Around in my mouth.

Mother, you are removed,
The bright fruit of you is fleeting,
The sigh and styrofoam remains.
I absorbed your indexes, have finely hidden
Any knowing I could do.
To chew is not to capture.

Blueberry fingers of Mother are
My own. I have eaten them

Monday, September 28, 2009

I went to your legally-mandated disaster training and all I got was this Deputy Fire Warden armband.

I am a Deputy Fire Warden.

Look. Here's what I think. If there's a law that says we have to be there, you should be required to serve us snacks.

Where were the snacks?

Peanut Butter and Stained Glass

Religious Snack

I'm usually running late on Sunday mornings, between the subway commute and my own laxity. This means I'm frequently snacking/breakfasting between choir practice and the church service, if I get anything at all.

Yesterday, I gave myself enough time to swoop into a bodega and grab a Vitamin Water ("Defense"), a banana, and a pack of two beloved no-frills granola bars. Nature Valley's Peanut Butter are the best. They just barely border on greasy, but come down on the side of rich and filling. A 2-pack is inexpensive, too -- 89 cents in inflated-price-central NYC means it's probably cheaper elsewhere (or bought by the box).

Adding to the grounded opulence of eating something so simple under stained glass and soaring ceilings? While snacking, I was able to listen to a cellist and pianist rehearse their special music for the morning's service. Perfection.

I've done a lot of eating in sanctuaries in my life (a pastors' kid learns the skills), but these granola bars remain a favorite choice.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Adventures in CSA: Week 14, Part II + Week 15

CSA: Week 15

Once again, we find that one's CSA share may not be completely used up at the end of a given week. So far, however, I have been lucky. Very few items (or their cooked/assembled leftovers) have gone bad after 7 days. Most of the time I can just apply the overage to the following week, as I've done here.

Carry-over from Week 14
(find Part I of the week here):
1/2 a head of lettuce
1.5 lb potatoes
1 lb shelling beans (CHALLENGE VEGETABLE!)

Retrieved in Week 15 (pictured above):
String beans
2 ears of corn
3 Tomatoes
Salad greens mix
1 melon
3 onions
2 heads of garlic

Put together, that's a lot of produce. Time for some hearty eating! We made 'n' et:

CSA Salad

1. Big, Simple Salad. Lettuce + salad greens + tomato + sunflower seeds + sprouts + string beans (raw) + oil + vinegar.

Pommes de Terre Byron

2. Pommes de Terre Byron. This may look like a charred, bubbly mess on a baking sheet, but the recipe is going right into my top 5 discovered during this CSA season (along with eggplant bread salad). What you are looking at is potatoes baked in their skins (then scooped out of them) that have been cut up; seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg; pressed into a sort of cake; fried in butter and oil; shaken; baked; flipped; topped with sour cream (or something similar); sprinkled with cheese (I used cheddar); and then broiled. I substituted plain yogurt for the sour cream in the last, cheesiest steps of the recipe.

You really should make it. It's better than hash browns, and I am enamored of hash browns. Use a nonstick pan.

Shelled bean salad

3. Shelling Beans Salad. I took a gander at the internet to find some information about shelling beans. Lo and behold -- a preparation idea for the beans. The shelled beans didn't take long to boil with a bay leaf. Once drained and contained in a salad bowl, I added some raw string beans, along with a tomato, salt, walnut oil, and a splash of red wine vinegar. In retrospect, I think toasted nuts would have been a nice addition to this, too.

Turkey Chili

4. Turkey Chili with Cumin, Beans and Peppers. I used a head of CSA garlic in this baby, so it just barely counts for inclusion in this post. I also threw in some leftover assorted peppers from a our share a week ago. The recipe is based on this (vegetarian) recipe for Black Bean, Yellow Pepper, and Cumin Chili on Epicurious, which I have made before, but I added ground turkey and cheddar cheese this time. It's delicious meatless and meat-ed.

Corn and Potato Skins
Corny Skinners

5. Corn-filled 'Tato Skinners. I saved the potato skins from the baked potatoes this week (see dish #2) and both Dan and I had the same idea -- potato skins topped with onion, cheddar, turkey bacon, and corn.
I had baked the potatoes after coating them with oil, salt, and pepper, so the outsides were already nicely seasoned. Dan loaded the skins up with toppings on a baking sheet, baked the mess at 425 degrees (F) for 5-10 minutes, and we were off and eating. Corn made these memorable, but all of the flavors were guh-lorious.

Mini Melon Closeup

Mini Melon

6. Mini Melon. This baby seemed to be a mini watermelon. I ate it with a sprinkling of sea salt. It had a mild flavor and sweet disposition.

Yet Another Salad!

7. Leftovers Salad. What was left from these two weeks of CSA goodness on Saturday evening? Lettuce, salad greens, beet greens, onion, garlic, and string beans. Another salad seemed like the optimal way to use everything up (though I feel no need to use up the onion and garlic; they will keep). I didn't use the garlic in the salad, but I did add the sprouts and goat cheese that were kicking around in the fridge, as well as some sunflower seeds. I dressed it with walnut oil and rice vinegar.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Why didn't this occur to me?

City Bakery Lemonade

Super-tart lemonade with "a touch of cream?"

So. Good.

Thank you, City Bakery. My life has been changed.

Accidental Video of a Disappointing Pickle

Oops. Thought I was taking a still photo at local BBQ joint, Fette Sau.

WHY do they insist on serving these bland garlic pickles? Even the baby dipped hers in BBQ sauce to try to make it more appealing. And WHY won't they serve BBQ chicken and/or better sides (though, to be honest, the potato salad was better than usual this time)? I remain an unhappy camper at the Sau.

Except for those rolls.

Lunch Club round-up: Week 2

Lunch Club continues to be a hit at work, and though I am not participating every week (too many leftovers to consume on my own), I will share with you the weeks that I do partake.

This week, we lunch-clubbed-it for four days (Tuesday - Friday). I took Tuesday.

Lunch Club - Tuesday

Tuesday - Me.
Turkey Chili with cornbread and caramel apple cheesecake bars.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bar 1

Did you hear me?

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bar 2

I said, caramel apple cheesecake bars!!

Lunch Club - Wednesday

Wednesday - Erin.
Baked macaroni and beef (I admit to picking around the beef), tomato and bean salad with homemade dressing, and a brownie.

Lunch Club - Thursday

Thursday - Dave.
Pasta with tomato sauce and chicken, served with Parmesan cheese and homemade chocolate chip cookies. I use the plural because I had two.

Lunch Club - Friday

Friday - Jane.
Sandwich of turkey, bacon, tomato, lettuce, white cheddar cheese, mustard, mayonnaise, and avocado. Plus, a peach!

Snacking Survival Tip #1

Paper Towels as blanket

Chilly at an outdoor restaurant? In a pinch, paper toweling makes an effective blanket.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A magical, Mexican beast.

Tortilla dough
(photo by Dan)

You know you're in the presence of some kind of creative genius when he takes the dragon his aunt (not me) has made out of tortilla dough (which they give kids to play with at Uncle Julio's in Dallas) and tortilla chips...

Dragon Unicorn?
(photo by Dan)

...and sticks a shrimp on its head. The question is, what do we call this creature he has made?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mindy Lu, I sure am sweet on you.

The promise of pie

What was my biggest regret on my trip to Dallas?


That I bought only one of the Mindy Lu Pies being sold at the register of the BBQ joint where we ate lunch the first day.

Mindy Lu's pie

Banana, Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate, etc...I'm sorry to have missed out on what might have been.

These packaged pies beat the pants off of those shellacked, sugary packaged handpies made by Hostess. With Mindy Lu, you get something that actually tastes like sweet fruit in a real, flaky crust.

Oh, Mindy Lu. If only I'd known.

What's that? You say you ship anywhere in the US? Do you mean it? Don't lie to me, Mindy Lu. I couldn't stand it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Poetry Tuesday: I didn't mean to do two song parodies in a row.

Monday Sundae

"Monday Sundae" Sing-Along

Monday Sundae, so good to me,
Monday Sundae, it was all I hoped it would be
Though waffle coning, waffle coning couldn't guarantee
That sundae eating you would so much make me pleased.

Monday Sundae, Nutella-lined,
Monday Sundae, your whipped cream collar mighty fine,
Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be
By Monday four-ish, I would have you inside of me.

Every other day, every other gay,
Every other Gay (Big) Ice Cream is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
He can salt my ice cream all of the time

Monday Sundae, so news to me,
Monday Sundae, twist ice cream, how yum you could be
Inside my sundae, topped with caramel and salt of the sea,
And Monday evening you were still so loved by me.

Every other day, every other gay,
Mostly other Gay (Big) Ice Creams are fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
I would lick this sundae all of the time

Monday Sundae ...

Making my Sundae

Monday, September 21, 2009

Still Life on Video

I am experimenting with using more video on this site. The fact that most food doesn't move shouldn't stop me, right?


It MIGHT be love.

On the Clif

I think I have a new favorite Clif bar. This despite the fact that I've never been able to figure out whether I really like them or not.

Phone Photo Flashbacks

I found a couple dozen photos on Dan's phone that I didn't realize/remember existed. Their discovery comes with some lovely food memories of the recent past.

Chinatown bánh mì

Hey! Remember that awesome bánh mì we ate in Chinatown with Kate and Luke and Melissa near the bike polo and soccer fields? I think those are shrimp chips to the right of the sandwich.

Party spread
(photo by Dan)

Ooh! And remember the pretzels I made for H's first birthday?

(photo by Dan)

And how she wouldn't eat the blueberries, but really enjoyed squishing them with her fingers? And spilling them?

Pretzel by me.
(photo by Dan)

Those were some good pretzels. I should make more.

Adventures in CSA: Week 14, Part I

CSA: Week 14

This week, if you'll recall, I had a friend offer to pick up my CSA share while I was out of town. Naturally, I took him up on the offer. That's a far sight better than giving it all away! Mr. Paul procured:

1 bok choy
1 lettuce
3 beets
1.5 lb potatoes
1.5 lbs (mooshy, gooshy) tomatoes
1 lb shelling beans (CHALLENGE VEGETABLE!)
1 peach (bonus fruit)
1 plum (bonus fruit)

We're off to the races now, kids! This was a big batch and we haven't gotten through it yet. So, what did we eat so far?

Pasta with sauce

1. CSA Pasta Sauce and Pasta. The tomatoes were super-ripe and turning to mush, so I felt we needed to use all of them immediately. A vat of pasta sauce seemed the perfect solution. I sauteed leftover CSA squash from week thirteen in olive oil with half a large onion, added 2 bulbs of CSA garlic that have been kicking around the kitchen for a while, smashed the tomatoes, and added basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

I forgot to salt the pasta water, so I had to add a fair amount of salt to finish the dish, but otherwise it was perfectly simple and comforting.

Peachy Breakfast

2. Peachy Yogurt Breakfast. I posted earlier on my week of yogurty breakfasts. This one was a bowl of raw honey, bonus CSA peach, puffed brown rice, sesame seeds, dried cherries and cranberries (the final, frozen "crispy rice cakes" from July), plain yogurt, and flax seed.

I do believe Dan ate the bonus CSA plum, though I don't know if he yogurtized it in so fine a fashion.

Beet salad

3. Beet and Goat Cheese Salad. I baked the beets (2 golden, 1 red) in foil, then cooled and sliced them to add to a salad of CSA lettuce, clover sprouts, and goat cheese. Dan dressed it with oil and vinegar, and it was done. I love beets.

Stir Fry

4. Bok Choy and Mushroom with Noodles. This was a week of fast suppers and light labor. We have had leftover cellophane noodles in the house for a month or two, and since preparing them is much quicker than cooking rice, we added the remaining noodles to a stir fry of bok choy (the leaves were a little bitter, but didn't harm the dish much), scallions, baby portobella mushrooms, and leftover soy-glazed almonds (from that magnificent green bean salad recipe I've raved about). With peanut and sesame oil, fish sauce and soy sauce, the whole thing cooked up nicely, though the noodles are a bit fiddly and tend to stick together -- perhaps I should be cutting them?


I picked up a smaller lot of vegetables yesterday (for week 15), which is great, since I still have some lettuce, some peppers, all of the potatoes, and the beans (which I have shelled) from week 14. Watch this space for more on that.

Triumph over the rot.

Pomegranate breakfast

I always feel incredibly accomplished when we manage to finish a family-sized yogurt tub before the yogurt in it gets moldy. It's not that I don't like yogurt; I get distracted and forget it's in the refrigerator.

Last week, there were several mornings of yogurt-themed breakfasts. The one pictured here was yogurt, granola, pomegranate seeds (harvested from the whole fruit by Dan), and flax seed. An accomplishment, to be sure!

p.s. I just hit 550 blog posts! I should celebrate by finishing off the yogurt that is currently in the fridge.

And, oh yeah, I tried Pinkberry...

First Pinkberry 1

Our visit to Pinkberry - my first - slipped my mind because it wasn't on my camera. But I found a couple of blurry shots while flicking through Dan's camera phone's album. Consider my memory jogged.

I chose the pomegranate flavored frozen yogurt (or whatever it is) and had it topped with toasted almonds and little round crispy chocolate pieces. I recommend this combination wholeheartedly. Dan's original with oranges and coconut was good, too, but my combination won the day. I liked the tanginess of the pomegranate more than the original, though neither one displeased me, and the almonds were perefectly toasty, which meshed beautifully with chocolate.

Hitting Pinkberry was Molly's idea (she was visiting from the DC area), and I'm glad she suggested it. I was afraid the stuff would taste "diety," but it wasn't bad. It's not that I'm suspicious of restaurant chains that are born in LA. I'm suspicious of things that resemble ice cream but are not ice cream.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Giant Movie Night -- Accidentally Awesome

Spotted Dick; Boogie Nights

GMN Week six

Film: Boogie Nights, starring Luis Guzmán, as far as I'm concerned. With Thomas "Mr. Patricia Arquette" Jane of Hung, interestingly enough.
Snack: Spotted Dick (a gift from Rusty), ice cream.
Guests: Dan.
Outcome: It was another quiet Giant Movie Night. I appreciated the film on this re-viewing. Like Casino, it's the sort of stylish epic (with just enough humor) that I don't get tired of.

Canned Spotted Dick was a frightening and exciting treat. I may have mentioned I'm not too big on raisins, and this is basically a stiff sponge cake with raisins (if only it had been currants, as described on the Wikipedia page). However, once steamed in the microwave it wasn't half bad. It was a little like slightly dry pumpkin bread (with raisins). I didn't even need to cover it with ice cream to make it palatable. Perhaps the non-canned version is grosser? I thought it would be grosser.

In short: this snack was not terrible at all. Thanks, Rusty! It was only due to your thoughtfulness that I had the chance and encouragement to try it.

Still, the cake does manage to look unappealing. You could work on that, Brits. But don't let me tell you your business.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How to Accessorize a Sweet Tooth

(photo by Dan; shirt by Jemma Hostetler; cardigan from Urban Outfitters; tank from source unknown; purse from Anthropologie)

Is it weird to be excited because one's new purse photographs so well alongside Reese's Pieces?

Candy Machine

I mean, it only made me a little more excited than I normally would be about Reese's Pieces, but still.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Poetry Tuesday: What I Ate in Texas

BBQ wings

The BBQ of Texas

(to be sung to the tune of The Yellow Rose of Texas)

There's a yellow rose in Texas, but all I find is meat,
Few vegetables or salad, unless they're fried or sweet.
There's BBQ a-plenty, with sauces as high art,
But eating yellow roses might be better for my heart.

Jumbo, Ridiculous Shrimp

I'd the biggest shrimps with bacon this chow-hound ever knew,
Their bellies stuffed with cream cheese, and jalapeño, too.
You may talk about your San Antone, and sing of Kansas Cee,
But the Mexican of Dallas beat the belly out of me.

Birthday luncheon

Where the chicken gravy's flowing, and the okra fried delight,
I walked with my umbrella* to huge dinners every night;**
I think that I remember, when I left upon the plane,
I promis'd to not eat for days, so I'd feel me again.


Oh! now I'm going to veg out, for my stomach's full of woe,
And also full of casserole, and things fried long ago;
I'll eat my greens so happily, and I'll sing a song of fruits,
And the BBQ of Texas I will leave for Texan brutes.***



*It did rain the entire weekend we were in Dallas.
**And lunches every day
***It was really good! But overwhelming. I can't eat like that every day.

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