Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jam it, pickle it.

This past weekend was a culinarily exciting one, to be sure. Hook and I tried two new recipes, both from Eating Well. The first -- a salad of small potatoes, green beans, and sirloin in a creamy, horseradish-based dressing -- was good enough to warrant a repeat preparation. The second, a wheatberry & veggie salad, was not. I actually expected to like the wheatberry salad more, being a huge wheatberry fan (and not so much a fan of potatoes), but the dish ended up being too oily, the proportion of vegetables to grain out of whack. If I were to prepare it again (and "prepare it again" is a generous classification: what I mean is, if I were to use this recipe as a starting point for another wheatberry-centric salad), I'd use half the amount of oil and would add a more diverse mixture of vegetables: broccoli florets, lightly-sauteed mushrooms, maybe some fresh corn. Who knows?

More exciting is the fact that Hook and I made refrigerator pickles(!) This activity was also inspired by an article in Eating Well -- Hook was so excited about the prospect of homemade pickles that 1) could be eaten within 24 hours of preparation; and 2) would not require the use of proper canning techniques that he went out the same day and got a set of canning jars. We pickled cucumbers, beets, and jalapenos, all purchased at the Civic Center farmers' market (save the golden beets, which I got at Haight St. Produce); we prepared a sour brine and used a variety of spice blends, including a traditional pickling blend, cinnamon/clove, curry/ginger (for some beets), and fresh herbs from our small, new herb garden: thyme, oregano, basil. I know I run the risk of tooting my own horn, but the pickled goods turned out phenomenally well. The curry ginger beets are my favorite: the curry flavor is less dominant, and the ginger adds a kick. YUM. Be advised that, if you are in the SF area this summer, you will be goaded to try 27 varieties of homemade pickles. Just saying.

Last night

I dreamed that my hair reached halfway down my back. When I woke up, disoriented from a fitful night's sleep, I still believed that my hair was this long.


Yes, today I stayed home sick from work. I was feeling alright yesterday (though, in retrospect, I was feeling crummy enough to have allowed myself to predict that yes, indeed, I would be getting legitimately ill within the next twelve hours), but I was awake most of the night with a low-grade fever. And now, I will drink cup after cup of tea and catch up on blogging.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I'm really enjoying my new, blonder hair (though I'm worried that the color is already fading: paranoia). Indeed, at my next scheduled color appointment (on August 2nd), I may become totally blond.

I haven't done any cooking projects in a while, this owing mostly to the craziness brought about by my massive job hunt, starting this new job, and so forth. But now that I'm settling into a routine, I'd like to get back to cooking more regularly. This weekend's goal is to make bread pudding - a favorite of mine, though maybe not of Hook's. I just finished reading Judith Jones' "The Tenth Muse," which includes a fairly straightforward recipe for the said dessert, and so I'll start there. Also on the docket: rice pudding!

It's true: I love old-timey desserts.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

So much to report on this end that I don't know where to begin. (Note to self, others: it might be helpful if I updated this blog more than once a month, but oh, well. I'm still not convinced that switching over to strict use of my tumblr would encourage me to update more frequently. In fact, I tumbl even less often than I blog...)

The big news: I have a new job - my first actual adult job. By adult I mean 1) more than marginally related to my field of study; and 2) salaried, benefitted. Yes, friends: last week, I started working as a course captioning transcriber for the Academy of Art University. So far, so good. The work is interesting, the projects are varied; my coworkers are really friendly and stylish. This weekend, I bought a 4-cup coffeemaker for my desk! I commute! I just bought some office friendly wedges online!

Smaller news: I survived a legit hair disaster. Saturday, I went in to get highlights done. I asked for "sparse, natural-looking" highlights and ended up with hair that looked frosted and greenish. No joke, my hair looked like a toupee and/or an animal pelt. I did not cry, but I did wear a giant, decorated headband yesterday to cover the mess. Luckily, I was able to snag an appointment (today) at Edo, where Taylor reversed the horrible damage that had been done to me not 48 hours earlier. I kept the highlights but had the tone altered (they're now honeyish blonde, rather than chlorine-damaged grayblonde), the roots of my hair darkened/the ends brightened. Now, I'm happy to report, I look like a human again.

Medium news: Hook and I registered for the KP 5K (July 25th). Anyone wanna join us as we run?