In the immortal words of Thumper:
Monday, November 24, 2014
In the immortal words of Thumper:
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
|It looks almost as good as it tastes.|
Serves 4 to 6
1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 scallions, white and green parts, minced, plus more for garnish
8 ounces ground pork
4 cups store-bought or homemade chicken stock
1 pound soft or firm tofu (not silken and not extra firm), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 or 5 medium button mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced (or substitute dried, rehydrated wood ear mushrooms)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2/3 cup rice vinegar, or to taste
3 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon sesame oil, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce, or to taste
2 large eggs
White or black pepper for garnish
|starting with the pork|
|pour in everything else|
Sunday, November 16, 2014
At left: George, sprinter, food critic, interior and landscape designer
At right: the lady Bailey, guardian of the kingdom, keeper of the toys and distributor of the fur
Choosing your pet
Bailey: Rebecca is your second pet, is that right?
George: Yes. I originally chose a family with children, thinking that would be fun, since I love to play. Then I found out they had a dog. That would not do, so I returned to the agency, determined not to make the same mistake. The second time around I took my time, did my research and looked at more adult humans.
Rebecca impressed me with her good manners. (Like not picking me up uninvited; so many humans do that.) I was particularly impressed that she paid just as much attention to me as to the big fluffy show-off in the room. For some reason, humans are impressed by long fur. As if that’s a talent and not a genetic quirk. I think it’s because they are so lacking in fur growing abilities themselves.
Bailey: I know. If they had long fur, they’d know what a fuss it is. While I was also impressed by her manners, what I really liked was her scent. When you live with a human, everything will smell like them, so you better like their scent. I let her know my decision by jumping onto her shoulder and refusing to let go. They had to peel me off of her. At first I thought I had been too aggressive, because she went away, but it turned out she had gone to get a cat carrier. Ugh! Longest ride of my life. I know you shouldn’t start a relationship by complaining, but I had to let her know that driving was not going to be something we could share.
George: Oh, I agree. Some things you have to be up front about.
Communicating with your pet
Bailey: Communication can be difficult. So often you’re stuck with mime. For example, last August I tried to get her to sell Baidu, (the stock was doing really well) so I got on top of the china cabinet and cried Sell! Sell! but she just thought I wanted attention. Humans can be so dense sometimes.
George: I don’t think she realizes that you monitor her investment portfolio.
Bailey: What does she think I do all day? Besides, it’s not her portfolio, it’s our portfolio. And I want a worry free retirement.
George: I still can’t believe the way she bathes. I’ve tried breaking her of the habit: sitting outside the shower and staring disapprovingly. Glaring at her from the edge of the tub while she takes a bath. I’ve even demonstrated by grabbing her hand and washing it properly, but she just doesn’t get it.
Bailey: I think it’s because you mix your messages. I’ve seen you playing with the pumice stone in the tub. And what about the way you drink from the tap?
George: I like fresh water. It doesn’t mean I approve of immersing oneself in it. That’s just wrong.
Bailey: I think you have to pick your battles. As long as she doesn’t leave puddles on the floor, I’m okay with it.
Advantages of having a pet
George: There are so many. I can’t believe we even have to answer the question. Pet owners have longer lives, lower blood pressure and are all around happier and more attractive. We also chose a human with great design skills, so we haven’t had to do much in the way of re-decorating the house. I particularly like the blanket on the sofa. I’ve made it very clear that she’s not allowed to move that blanket.
Bailey: I think it’s advantageous for the humans too. I can tell when she’s had a hard day, and when that happens I make a point of sitting in her lap and purring. It soothes her and I like taking proper care of my pet. And while it’s occasionally annoying when she wakes me up, it’s because she wants to share with us. She alerts us to things like the birds outside the window. She reminds us to live in the now.
George: It’s also interesting to see the world through her eyes. I like sitting on top of the refrigerator and watching her cook. It’s amazing to see how much effort she puts into a meal. Take breakfast this morning, you or I would have eaten those eggs raw, but she scrambled them with cheese, and they tasted great!
Bailey: Have we mentioned the security benefits? It’s convenient to have a nice big pet to scare away other cats, deal with dogs, and take care of strange humans. Not that I can’t do that myself, of course, but having a pet makes it much easier.
Disadvantages of having a pet
George: The hardest thing has to be keeping them on schedule. Humans don’t have efficient internal clocks, which is why they put timers on everything. All that technology and we still have to wake her up on weekends, remind her of dinner time, bed time, play time. . .
Bailey: Maybe it’s because humans don’t nap during the day? Spending all that time awake has got to affect their sleep cycles. My favorite move is to settle in on her chest and start purring, really loudly. I don’t want to be mean to her, but I do want her to wake up.
George: I prefer the direct approach. Biting her feet always works and doesn’t get confused with cuddling.
Bailey: I don’t mind a morning cuddle. Cuddling means she’s at least half awake. I found this link while surfing the web. I think it perfectly demonstrates the difficulty of getting your human up in the morning.
Bailey: The lengths we have to go to.
Conclusion: Are pets worth it?
George: Well, if you're an outdoor cat, the adventuring type, it's not ideal. Humans are big and incapable of being quiet, so they tend to scare prey away. They are also very sensitive to cold. That lack of fur again.
Bailey: But if you live a more settled lifestyle, humans make wonderful pets. It's true that they take a bit of training, but they're pretty smart, and you can get them settled into your ways in couple of months. They're affectionate, and since they can't talk, they make wonderful confidantes. Rebecca is my only pet, but I can honestly say she enriches my life and I wouldn't want to be without her.
George and Bailey: Are pets worth it? Yes!
Thursday, November 13, 2014
spinach and bacon
The basic framework is you take a ramekin:
- Put some savory things in the bottom, veggies, ham, what have you...
- On top of this you put a dollop of yogurt, crème fraiche, sour cream, heavy cream. . . I once made a heavenly version using an herbed cheese spread.
- Top it with an egg
|ready to go in the oven - cheese is not traditional, but what the heck?|
- Wake up, turn on the oven (bain marie is already in the oven, where I put it last night).
- Take a shower and dress.
- Pull a ramekin out of the fridge, drop in the yogurt and an egg and put it in the bain marie.
- Feed and water the cats, make the bed.
- Take the finished oeufs cocotte out of the oven, pour myself a cup of tea, sit down and eat.
- Put the dishes in the sink, find my shoes and head to work.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
- The item purchased cannot cost more than $23.05
- The item cannot be practical.
- The item must be girly in some way.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
|lovely golden egg yolks|
|egg yolks, sugar and lemon zest|
|ready to go into the oven - a little streaky with egg whites|
1cup (225 grams) caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
|Normally, I would put it on a plate before dusting it with sugar, but I couldn't get it out of the pan.|
Use parchment paper! And doesn't it look like Pac Man?
Monday, November 3, 2014
|Traditional Victorian crazy quilt|
|Can't you just see this at Comic-con?|
|You can't see it in the picture, but the sky is all patterned with lines of the dreamtime|
|The artist said she created this for her 65th birthday, when it's traditional in Japan to don a red vest.|
|This is actually a completely white quilt, with all the figures outlined in gold thread. It's spread on a light box so you can it it better. It's the story of Tristan and Iseult.|
|part of one of the panels|
|A tribute to a teacher|
|You felt like you should be lighting candles in front of it.|
|All buttons. I'm sure there's some quilting under there, but who cares?|
|This one was painted, then quilted.|
|The inspiration for this quilt was The Book of Changes|
|Every one of those squares is about the size of a Chiclet. Imagine piecing that.|
|Samson and Delilah. Honestly, the photo does not do this one justice.|