Saturday, June 27, 2009

garden to table

though I don't really like hot days, I do love summer evenings. Soft light, comfortable temps, and the garden starts to pay for itself and forms the basis for a little frugal experimentation in the kitchen.

witness: peas and purple chard (the latter doggedly overwintered our snowstorms this year. good plants! good garden!)

I added some things we had knocking around in the pantry and fridge and this is what we came up with:

The rice pilaf is just some arborio (2 c.) I cooked up with the last of the black olive tapenade (Trader Joes), about 3-4 Tbl; the last half of a preserved lemon (Sur La Table), chopped; all of the chard, roughly chopped; a few scraps of roasted red pepper (Trader Joe's), chopped; and about 15-20 dried Turkish apricots (PCC), quickly sliced into strips. I tossed everything in with the water at the beginning, and aside from stirring periodically and adding more water about halfway through, it cooked up like normal rice. We topped it with a bit of goat cheese (Trader Joe's) that I have on hand for stuffing roasted peppers tomorrow. The apricots we found to be a particularly good mix with the olive and preserved lemon.

For the peas, I thinly sliced the last two good onions in the pantry and tossed them in a saute pan with some olive oil (too much, really). We caramellized them over med-low heat while the arborio was cooking away. When they started to really get good and brown, we added the peas and began stirring, adding a couple pinches of sel gris, about 2 tsp. brown sugar, and a liberal dusting of freshly ground pepper as they cooked. When crisp-tender (and just before the peas lost their brilliant green colour), we turned off the heat and let them sit until the rice was done.

voila! We served this up with a drink also made from leftovers: a bit of simple syrup infused with juniper berries that I made for the solstice, the last cup of pear nectar, some sparkling mineral water (long since gone flat), a couple shots of gin (Tanqueray's brilliant Rangpur Lime offering), and some ginger ale for bubbles. Delish.

Finshed the book on Havel. Working away at cleaning my closet, the shibori dress, and reading Annie Dunne, and perhaps tomorrow I'll have more to show and say.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

more forthcoming...

a bit dusty around here, eh? Sorry about that - spring quarter was about the maddest one I've yet had. The last four weeks I've done nothing but exams, then fall desperately ill, defend said exams, traipse off to the Czech Republic, and return with five days to write two seminar papers and grade a ton of stuff for my 101 students. Upon completion, I plunged immediately into house cleaning and preparation for tonight's annual Midsommar party. Whew. So, photos forthcoming, and more real work to show around here after summer really kicks off.

In the meantime, I've been thinking a lot about summer. Here's that dreamy ideal summer goals list that I always fail to complete (partly because I add to it as I go along!):


Acts of Courage - Open Letters - Swann’s Way - To the Lighthouse - Between the Acts - Something on William Morris and the Arts & Crafts movement - Julia Child, My Life in France - Glass Bottom Boat (Herman’s new book of poetry) - Dylan Thomas; look for “Poem in October” - Anais Nin's diaries (?) - Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man?

Overhaul Yeats paper - Research Trial of Six - Work on Thorne research?

CK buildings/red roofs - and then...?

Green silk blouse (BBW pattern) - Lengthen Moroccan blue dress - Shibori stitch, dye, lengthen, and embroider Maggy London dress - Use tussah cocoons: collar on blouse (neutral Japanese twill)? Dress from ice blue silk? - Make pale green knit into cowl-neck tee? - Vest from one of the two vest fabrics - Marc-Jacobs-esque obi/waist corset-esque belt from lemon plaid - Buy BBW jacket pattern, make up in lilac wool? - Shopper bags – 2-3; (+ tulle produce bags?) - Doll - Plush

Other Needlework:
Finish beaded bib necklace - Cut apart openwork sweater, rework with brown merino in crochet? - Finish stitching fulled vessel.

Other hand work, etc:
Get rough diamonds? - Stud a pair of shoes. For kicks. - Make 2-3 new pairs earrings - Make hair thing for fall (acorns?) - 5 things post from facebook: DO.