Hello! What’s been going on? I’ve been busy, mainly with photography related stuff and the odd bit of travel here and there. We went to New York and New Jersey!
And South Carolina and Georgia!
Yay travel! But now it’s the summer (almost), and time to just hang out at the homestead for the season, enjoying our deck, doing various crafty things, and sweating. Heck, I even spun yarn the past few days for the first time in a million years.
Crazy, I know! I’m going to try making socks out of it eventually. One ply is bamboo and the other is superwash wool. I’m not sure how well they’ll hold up, but what the hell – I’ve got a ton of handknit socks, so there’s no reason not to experiment.
I’ve got a couple of projects I’d like to get on the loom, too. My aunt Dorie sent me a skein of really awesome felted wool yarn she bought at a farmer’s market, and it’s just crying out to be made into a rug. I just need to figure out something appropriately sturdy and earthy to use as the warp.
Last summer I got Michael Ruhlman‘s Ratio cookbook, and that turned out to be pretty inspiring. I haven’t been in the mood to cook much lately, but weirdly, after the temperature reached the mid-80s here, I got the strangest sense of de ja vu and was all, “Must… make… noms… from Ratio…” So tonight, I tried making homemade mayonnaise for the first time. It’s a simple combination of canola oil, lemon juice, egg yolk, salt, and water. I wasn’t too keen on doing fifteen minutes of whisking, so I used my stick blender instead. The emulsion broke the first time I tried it, but after adding extra water, it was all good.
Since getting into making old cocktails, I’ve overcome my fear of consuming raw egg. Still, I had to mentally psyche myself up to try it. It was pretty tasty! I had some on a sandwich (pastrami, mayo, cheese, and homegrown lettuce on wheat), but I think I would like it even better as a french fry dip, a la those wacky Dutch.
We also just got an ice cream maker. I’ve been holding out on getting one, waiting to come across a good deal, and lo and behold! Costco had the Cuisinart 1.5 quart ice cream maker I was looking at for $40. And it came with an extra freezy bowl. And it was bright red. I’m a sucker for colors.
The first thing I tried making with it was the frozen yogurt recipe from 101 Cookbooks. I really liked it, but Travis was all “Eww! Gross buckets!” (paraphrased) But, you know, more for me. I ate the last of it this afternoon topped with fresh strawberries and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Holy good eats, Batman! Also, why the heck do I never remember that I really like strawberries? What’s up with that? I need to eat them by the bushel.
The second thing we tried in the ice cream maker was essentially frozen pudding. It was a recipe in the ice cream maker cookbook. Essentially, mix up milk and instant pudding mix. Insert into ice cream maker. And that’s it. It turned out pretty much exactly like it sounds, except the texture was kind of… odd. Unsettling. Maybe it needed to freeze longer. We ate it, but I can’t say I respected myself very much.
So, my next two adventures with the ice cream maker will be to make a strawberry-lime sorbet (complete with fresh strawberries, lime juice, and lemon and lime zest, for flecky goodness!), and to come up with a hybrid ice cream/frozen yogurt concoction that is frozen yogurt based, but tastes enough like ice cream so that Travis won’t be sad. I’m thinking about just mixing up a little of the creme anglaise from Ratio with some strained, sweetened yogurt. Also, if I don’t get to try this chocolate sorbet recipe from Vanilla Garlic soon, I think I’ll just die.
OMG… chocolate-strawberry-lime sorbet? Too many flavors?
I’ve got some Mexican chocolate (the kind that comes in wheels and is flavored with cinnamon) that I want to try mixing into some sort of frozen dessert, too. And hey, the ice cream maker is supposed to be the bomb for making frozen daiquiris and margaritas and such! The mind is boggling at the possibilities!
On a different note, I watched the Lost finale and liked it.
Do I wish the mysteries regarding Walt and the Dharma Initiative (Alvar Hanso, anyone?) had been solved? Yep. Do I feel like watching the whole series was a waste of my time? Hell no. You want to talk about a waste of my time? Let’s talk about the ending to the book Cold Mountain, shall we? I literally almost threw the book out the window when I got to the end of that. ARGH!!
So now Lost is over, and there’s just a few episodes left of Breaking Bad and Justified. I haz a sad. What will get me through the summer until Mad Men starts again?
And oh yeah, there are roosters in my neighborhood now. Sometimes, even in my front yard.
It’s all well and good until they wake you up at 4:59 am crowing. Then, not so good.