18 February 2010

I am so deep

The thoughts that went through my head - in order - when a doctor's office told me that there was a problem with one of my routine tests:

1. I guess David would be willing to take Pekoe if ...

2. Huh. Does this mean I can stop contributing to my 401(k)?

3. Screw that gluten-free diet.

Luckily for David, Pekoe, my 401(k), and the manufacturers of the gluten-free products I buy, the specialist to whom I was referred declared the area in question "extremely normal."

17 February 2010


I heisted this from my adorable pal, Tommy's*, post on Google Buzz.**

Single Serving Pie in a Jar

I'm going to get some gluten-free pie crust from Whole Foods and make myself some pies.

I'm also going to make several to take to my Dad's so that I can have pie at Thanksgiving and Christmas without either throwing out the crust (sad face) or bringing a gluten-free pie from Whole Foods that looks kind of mashed, as they always do, and that everyone else ignores which makes me feel all ghetto-ized about my food (put upon face).

*I would link to his blog but he last updated it over a year ago. Tommy ... dude ...

*Remember when we used to find things out by talking to each other? Yeah, that's so last century.

10 February 2010

Kasha & friends

With all the snow we've had, I've run through most of my usual favorite recipes and I did a fairly limited shop during the last clear day we had (Monday), so I've decided that it's time to go to the perishables at the back of the cabinet for inspiration.

I found a box of Kasha which is - and I am not making this up - buckwheat* groats. Yes! Groats! How cool is that? And even though there were directions on the side of the box, I found a recipe for Kasha in the next-up contestant in the Leta-cooks-her-way-thorugh-all-those-damn-cookbooks reality show.

The recipe is absurdly easy to make, so I gussied it up a bit, for a couple of reasons: 1. It felt more like a one-dish meal post-gussying; and 2. A nice big bowl of plain groats for dinner is too peasanty, even for me.

I still have plenty in the box and will probably make Kasha again soon, but I may have to try it without the egg, just to see what that does to the final product.

Kasha (Buckwheat Groats)
The Molly Goldberg Jewish Cookbook, page 124, published 1955

(I made a half recipe, but this is the full one)

1 cup Kasha, medium or coarse
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups boiling water

Mix the kasha, egg, and salt in a saucepan. Place over low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until each grain is dry and separate. Add boiling water; cover and cook over low heat 12 to 15 minutes, or until dry and tender.

Serve as a substitute for rice or potatoes, or use as directed in recipe. This recipe makes about 3 1/2 to 4 cups.

The gussying consisted of sautéing some onions and garlic in olive oil and adding them, along with some chopped spinach after about half the water was absorbed into the kasha. Because, really, could it hurt?

*Nope, buckwheat isn't really wheat. It's a whole nuther grain.

08 February 2010

In this bleak midwinter

I have a great fondness for what a friend of mine labled "downer Christmas songs." You know, "Do They Know It's Christmas" and "Carol of the Bells" and the most Downer Christmas Song of them all, "In the Bleak Midwinter."

The only part of it that doesn't work for me is that we sing it (or, more likely, listen to it) in mid-December, which around here is more like "In the Reall Late Autumn."

Our bleak midwinter is actually about now and this midwinter is bleaker than most. We got a big snow on December 18th (24 inches), another on January 30th (about a foot), another on February 2nd (5 inches) and another over this past weekend (another 24 inches).

We are now expecting another 4 to 12 inches before Wednesday evening. The frozen heaps from December haven't yet eroded and we've had more and yet more. I love snow, but we've had enough.

And when someone on the radio described this past week as "snow on snow on snow," I realized that the theme song for me for SnOMG 2010 is the poem written by Christina Rossetti well over a century ago.

In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Long ago

06 February 2010

On this one, I think Lucy is right

Up here on the 8th floor, the snow definitely seems to be coming up.

And way up there,
The little stars and planets,
Make the rain,
That falls in showers.
And when it's cold and winter is upon us,
The snow comes up,
Just like the flowers.

Now, Lucy, I know that's wrong. Snow doesn't come up,
it comes down.

After it comes up, the wind blows it around so it
looks like it's coming down but actually it comes up
out of the ground- like grass. It comes up, Charlie Brown,
snow comes up!

Oh, good grief!

"Little Known Facts" from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, lyrics by Clark Gesner, ideas by Lucy, Lucy by Charles Schultz.

05 February 2010

Snowed up

Every time we get a lot of snow (we are currently in the middle of SnOMG 2010 with 5" on the ground so far and another 20 or so expected), this scene runs through my head.
One still morning, Laura came downstairs to find Ma looking surprised and Pa laughing. "Go look out the back door!" he told Laura.
She ran through the lean-to and openend the back door. There was a rough, low tunnel going into shadows in gray-white snow. Its walls and its floor were snow and its snow roof solidly filled the top of the doorway.
"I had to gopher my way to the stable this morning," Pa explained.
"But what did you do with the snow?" Laura asked.
"Oh, I made the tunnel as low as I could get though. I dug the snow out and pushed it back of me and up through a hole that I blocked with the last of it. There's nothing like snow for keeping out wind!" Pa rejoiced. "As long as that snowbank stands, I can do my chores in comfort."
"How deep is the snow?" Ma wanted to know.
"I can't say." It's piled up considerably deeper than the lean-to roof," Pa answered.
"You don't mean to say this house is buried in snow!" Ma exclaimed.
"A good thing if it is," Pa replied. "You notice the kitchen is warmer than it has been this winter?"
Laura ran upstairs. She scratched a peephole on the window and put her eyes to it. She could hardly believe them. Main Street was level with her eyes. Across the glittering snow she could see the blank, square top of Harthorn's false front sticking up like a short piece of solid board fence.

From The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

03 February 2010

Me, too!

Life & Theater

Driving home from Peppermint Creek's "The Seafarers" last night, I got to thinking about my taste in theater, which admittedly at this point is pretty broad. I was tickled with a metaphor.

My taste in theater is much like what I want out of life:
  • Heavy doses of comedy to fill the days with laughter
  • Plenty of drama to challenge me, make me think, help me grow, and help me form healthier relationships with others
  • Strong dashes of absurdity to keep me on my feet
  • Small bits of the familiar to comfort me
  • A vast majority of new experiences to expand my horizons
  • Relevant stories that give me something to share with those around me
  • Lots of song and dance to celebrate it all