My dad visited J and me this past fall in California. Unfortunately, he bowed out of staying with us, and didn’t get to experience that studio life!! But we did a number of other fun activities.
We went to Santa Cruz and saw some old mission buildings. The actual mission was partially destroyed in a mid-1800s earthquake and replaced by another church. A replica was built in 1931. The only original building was used as housing for Native Americans.
As so often happens, J and I had nothing in the fridge to eat. No greens, no leftovers, no beans soaked and ready for boiling. Fortunately, we were able to scrape together some lingering and more robust ingredients to cook.
Aaaaand we got our produce delivery today, so we’re back to having fruit and leafy greens!
Here are some old projects I found. I think I made them in middle school – I was really into beading and jewelry then.
Both of my siblings are strangely attached to crayons. Although they allowed many of our crayons to be given away, the compromise was that we had to keep the 96-color set. As sibling C said, “Who knows when the world will end and we realize we need crayons”.
Sibling C and I went to a cool estate sale in Austin a few weeks ago! It was particularly well-organized, and much of the normal junk that clutters estate sales (old food, low-quality mismatched silverware, low-quality pans, etc) had either been hidden or sold.
I was excited to find a small collection of old shaving accoutrements. I have a straight razor (that I need to get sharpened), but I’ve also been interested in trying out safety razors, with the particular goal of being able to recommend them to friends in good faith.
I bought 2 of the razors from the sale for $3.75 each, which seemed like a good price 👍
I got a free baguette from somewhere a few months ago. It’s been sitting in my freezer since then, desiccating, apparently. I got it out to make banh mi yesterday and discovered that it was rock hard. I would’ve given up on the whole idea except that I’d already bought all the other ingredients.
To attempt to rehydrate the bread, I… steamed it. It mostly worked. Soggy on the outside and still pretty hard on the inside = delicious, right? Fortunately, panfrying got rid of the sogginess.
Bread down, onto the hacked-together filling! The main components of banh mi are some protein (I used fried tofu and scrambled egg), cilantro, mayo, fish sauce, and marinated veggies. I had trouble with the fish sauce (don’t have it) and the marinated vegetables (don’t have vinegar), so I made some wild substitutions like usual.
Julienned carrots and radish are supposed to be marinated in a combination of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. I didn’t want to buy a whole container of vinegar (and it’s not available in bulk) just as I’m about to move out, so my plan was to use lemon or lime juice in place of vinegar. Lime would be especially fitting – it’s commonly used as a topping. But… the grocery store didn’t have either 🙁 The closest alternative I could find was grapefruit. I still don’t know if that was a good choice.
I added bonito flakes to the marinade to substitute for fish sauce.
The sandwich was actually pretty good, considering. The vegetables only have the faintest hint of grapefruit-bitterness flavor… 😀
A while ago, I need to use up a pound or so of sour cream (left over from some event) and some over-cooked sweet potato. I steamed it into sweet potato mush 🙁 I had the bright idea of making pancakes (really good, super tender and fluffy) and biscuits (not so great, but edible).
The original biscuit recipe, which is much better than my modification, is from Joy of Cooking:
20 2-inch biscuits
2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt (might need more salt)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Mix dry ingredients. Add the cream all at once. Mix until the dry ingredients are moistened.
Gather the dough into a ball and knead it gently 5-10 times, adhering any loose pieces in the process, until the work area is clean.
Roll or pat the dough out to 1/2-inch thick. Cut into desired size (2-inch squares is standard). Reroll and cut any scraps.
Bake in center rack at 450°F for 10-12 minutes until biscuits are golden on top. Set biscuits close together on baking sheet for joined biscuits with soft sides.
(To cook on a griddle, roll dough out to 1/4-3/8-inch thick. Cook in griddle until brown on one side, 3-4 minutes, then turn and cook until brown on the other side.)
I don’t really use cornmeal for anything, so I decided to make cornbread to use up the haul-cornmeal. It had the added benefit of using up the rest of my flour. I’m moving out in a month and am trying to not have any food left. I’m down to my freezer stash of carby foods, like biscuits, brownies, low-tier garlic bread, low-tier baguette (which is gonna be upgraded to banh mi :).
Anyway, my mom provided the Cook’s Illustrated “Northern cornbread” recipe that she likes. (The “Southern cornbread” recipe has more cornmeal and, I believe, less sugar.)
1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk (I used yoghurt)
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Adjust oven rack to center position and heat to 425°F. Grease a 9-by-9 pan.
Stir together dry ingredients. Stir in wet ingredients until just combined.
Pour batter into greased pan. Bake until top is golden brown and lightly cracked and edges have pulled away from side of pan, about 25 minutes.
I discovered a neighbor was moving out when I discovered trash bags full of dry goods (gasp!) outside their door. I couldn’t keep myself from asking if it was fine for me to take what I wanted (the answer was “yes” and I was even offered my pick of furniture), so I ended up with this haul:
I love getting stuff I wouldn’t normally buy. It’s a treat 🙂 I especially enjoyed the salsa.
The day the neighbors moved out, I dug through the apartment dumpster, and additionally got a chair (for putting my “in use” clothes on), an apparently never-used yoga mat, laundry detergent (never get Gain original scent… On the plus side, I hear Gain is super strong), and a single handkerchief.
Frankie, one of my favorite musicians, has a new song about ghosting, “breaking off a relationship (often an intimate relationship) by ceasing all communication and contact with the former partner without any apparent warning or justification, as well as ignoring the former partner’s attempts to reach out or communicate”. The song is really good, plus the music video is a gender-swapped allusion to Grease 😀 Enjoy (and listen to Frankie’s other songs)!