beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
So, I signed up for a service called TheFresh20. Basically once a week, it posts five recipes that take 20 new ingredients (in total) and up to 20 'staples'*. I've been using it for a month or two and here's my thoughts.

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Sep. 1st, 2014 06:02 pm
beccastareyes: (Son of a Bish)
My new resolution should be to update this more than once a month. At first, nothing was happening, then EVERYTHING happened.

-- I got a year-long lectureship at California Polytechnic State University, in San Luis Obispo, California. For reference, that's almost exactly half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco. (For those of you who have been added since the last time I taught or graded, any posts that mention students will be locked and I will keep names off. My students have a right to privacy more than I have a right to rant.)

-- I move on the 10th. Classes start the 22nd. I teach three classes: two sections of calculus-based physics, and a section of 'physics for non-scientists'. The last is at 8 AM. (No one likes 8 AM classes; I don't, and most of the students don't. The only reason I liked 8 AM classes as a student because it meant I was done early in the day, and I had no trouble doing math at ass o'clock in the morning*, even before I started drinking tea.)

-- I probably have an apartment. I mailed my deposit last week, and I was going to call them today before I remembered that it was Labor Day.

-- I am (mostly) packed. There are about five boxes of actual household stuff, and 18 boxes of books and craft supplies. (Three of those are work-related books). Also several full trash cans, 3 ebay auctions and 9 Rubbermaid totes of things to donate. Mom's current thoughts is that it will be cheaper to ship these than hire someone to move. (As I have had my license less than a year, Mom has vetoed 'rent a van, drive to California', which was Dad's suggestion; if they're still there by Christmas, I might do that anyway. After three months on California highways, I suspect the interstate will be fine.)

-- I'm driving a lot better. I still hate going downtown, and like parking far away from everyone. (I get a walk AND I don't have to deal with not hitting things.)

-- Mom and Ben are out of town (back tomorrow), so I've been using the excuse to cook all the things I'm too lazy to make normally because only I will eat them.

-- I expect my adviser will be making noise about publishing the parts of my dissertation that aren't in peer-reviewed journals. I haven't looked at my research in a week. (The good news is that my collaborators and I mostly agree, and where we disagree are the places where one person's data isn't reliable.)

* Seriously, in high school math competitions, the earlier they were, the better I did... I suspect more because everyone else was half-asleep than any ability on my part to be a morning person.
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
I'm trying to walk more, but taking a half-hour break in the mid afternoon for 'wander about campus' is making me tired. Or maybe I didn't sleep well last night.

Also learning there are vegetables I don't care for. Kale is kind of one -- it's not that bad with tomatoes and cheese on toast, but inevitably I don't use it until it's not good any more. Pumpkin may be another; I have some roasted pumpkin in my fridge and eating it with dinner is one of those 'swallow it quickly so it's done'. Which is a shame, since I like most veggies, so I shouldn't have to feel like they're medication.

In addition to at least half a cooked pumpkin, I also have an uncooked butternut squash. What to do with that...
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
It came up in a discussion of North American* cuisine, that we don't really have one set of cuisine -- rather we have some foods that are North American specialties**, and some foods that have smaller regions than that -- Louisiana has its own food, the US southeast (or the South) has its own regional foods, Canada is famed for things like poutine that USians are like 'what's that?'.

When I moved to Nebraska, this was my first experience with the fact that 'American' food wasn't some kind of monolith. At that point in my life, I'd only been through the Northeast (New England and New York), which is pretty constant food wise. And a trip to Dublin where there was the excuse of 'foreign country, duh'.

It wasn't that Great Plains folk put ranch dressing on everything, or call soda 'pop'. It was that there were new foods that I hadn't even heard of.

Consider the runza, popular enough that there was a regional fast-food chain devoted to them, and our elementary school got sued for improper use of the trademark when they served it.

For the non-Nebraskans, a runza basically comes from Eastern European immigrants. You take meat, cabbage, spices and onions and cook them together, then wrap them in egg-bread dough and bake them. There are other variants, but that's the basic. I never actually tried one until I stumbled onto a recipe a week ago and made a batch with leftovers (no cabbage, though -- I might use the kale I have for the next batch). It's not bad -- you can't go wrong with things wrapped in bread dough, and I see why it's a fast food item. Runza restaurants still serve the normal American fast-food staples (burgers, fries, chicken sandwiches, etc., but the runzas are the selling point).

There's also the cheese frenchee, which my mother had to have explained to her. Basically, you make a cheese and mayo sandwich, bread it and deep-fry it -- yes, someone found a way to make a grilled cheese sandwich even more spectacularly bad for you. I still don't know where this comes from.

Things like this make me want to start seeking out regional foods wherever I go.
* Here I mean US and Canada, though southwest USA food blurs into Mexican foods.

* Granted, foods tend to spread and mix. A lot of North American food comes from European foods that have had centuries to change.
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
I have a pumpkin in the fridge, so recipes for pumpkin baked goods would be appreciated. (Also other forms of squash are also good. And root veggies -- all my beets are cooked, and the celery root is mashed, but I still have turnips and carrots and onions and shallots.)


Jul. 6th, 2010 10:05 am
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
I keep wondering if I should keep my to-do list in my journal. Because all the cool kids are doing it.

Anyway, I need to preserve my vegetables, since the heat wave means I don't want to actually cook new things. Which means I still have to cook things -- most things need to be blanched before I can freeze them. But I can do it at 9PM with the AC on. I still have writing and art to do, and I need to stop playing with my flash cards and playing Portal. Especially since I've discovered some of the acrobatics I try to pull in Portal makes me motion sick. (Who knew rapid changes of view and perspective would be so disorienting?)

Also, a chance sale* meant that I already bought one Christmas gift for a friend. Well, more of a silly 'inside joke' kind of gift, so it might go with another small thing. If I get last year's gifts out before September, I'll maybe offer art, but other than that, I'm buying stuff this year. Because I'm still getting Christmas gifts out in effing July. I have a good idea about what to get several more, which is nice. And the only reason I'm thinking about this is that, hey, chance sale meant I got a gift for cheap, and I suspect the recipient will get a kick out of it.

* It was a 'If I break my habit of not writing, I can buy discounted gamer books. Plus Special Secret Surprise Gift'.

Bah, time to put on shorts (that are not PJs) and head to work. No way in hell am I walking, thanks to the heat.
beccastareyes: (OMGYEY!)
I got all of the cleaning done today except for mopping my kitchen floor and cleaning out the bottom of the fridge where what used to be vegetables are currently engaging in an experiment to synthesize life under Martian temperatures. (That and cleaning the spice shelf, where, thanks to vanilla and almond extract spills, the bottom feels like the floor of a movie theater.)

I made (Indian) curried vegetables* for dinner, but think I need to work a bit on the recipe. I love the taste of Indian curries, but this one needs a bit more body, since the spice doesn't stick well to the veggies. It also may need meat/tofu/paneer**, depending on if my body decides that no, this is not enough for dinner. (I also had naan, but the first batch was lost to 'put in the oven to toast and forget about it'.)

Now, I can write or draw or something. Maybe watch anime for a bit, while the laundry runs. I kind of want to start FMA: Brotherhood. Part of it is because I want to get back into the fandom (because I'm insane) and maybe write a sequel to my AU.

The [ profile] scifibigbang is starting up in March (IIRC), so that means finding a story I want to write 25,000 words on. I could do the whole 'novelize my old comic' project so I can put that sucker to bed (this Big Bang allows original works of fiction), or I have some fanfiction prompts. The sad thing is the Slayers trilogy I really want to finish writing needs its third prompt, and I want something that can stand alone. (And a sequel to my FMA AU needs a bit more for me to come up with a driving plot, even if I have the setting and background thought out.) I shall have to go through my WIPs/plotbunny list and look for something that does not have much work on it, and that can work as a 25,000 word fiction idea.

* Distinguished from Thai curried vegetables -- the spice mix is different, and Thai curries involve a coconut milk base. Both are good.

** A sort of firm cheese. Also, yes, I will eat tofu, even though I am not a vegetarian.
beccastareyes: (have a nice sol!)
This is adapted from a recipe I found in the New York Times -- I just added the cinnamon and raisins. And sarcastic commentary. I brought it to the Astronomy picnic where it was a hit -- a loaf and a half were eaten, and Shoshe (the one who gave me the recipe) was quite happy, since the bread is low fat (and also vegan). Now, if only I could come up with a gluten-free version and handle everyone's food preferences/allergies/etc. at once.

Read more... )
beccastareyes: (have a nice sol!)
So, my air popper -- which I purchased after realizing that I despise the artificial butter most microwave popcorn bags us -- gave up the ghost. As in, it was emitting sparks, and it was a good thing I was there to see this, turn it off and unplug it before I had to dash to get the fire extinguisher.

[ profile] kuchehexe suggested I try popping my corn over the stove. And I haven't had such good popcorn in ages. Air-popped popcorn might be better for me, but it was pretty much 'crunchy filling thing'. With the oil on the stove, the salt actually sticks to the popcorn, giving me the full flavors of salt and grease -- totally worth the extra calories.

I might try popping it in butter next time.

I need a food icon
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (geek_at_work)
Sorry, I haven't been blogging much. My life is just being average. I'm getting ready for a conference next week -- I still have to finish my talk, and buy some nicer shirts to wear. (And maybe either capris or skirts that fit -- I have one set, and I probably shouldn't wear jeans. On the plus side, the highs are supposed to be in the 70s, so I could probably get away with pants.)

On the way down (to Virginia Beach), our group is road-tripping it. Eight hours with four scientists (me, my advisor, another grad student and a postdoc) in the car -- this can only be trouble. When I get there, I'm sharing a hotel room with an undergrad from Wellsley whose advisor is friends with mine. (I met this student once -- she was considering Cornell as a grad school, but ended up going elsewhere.)

Diet is 'meh' -- I've been hovering around the same weight for a month or so. My love of vegetables is being balanced by my love of sweets and free food. I've taken to eating* roasted veggies, which are yummy. Though next time, I think I need to add some carbs to the veggies and chicken so I don't get hungry and have a bowl of cereal three hours later. (I got rice. Rice is good.)

* Okay, I had it for dinner today

In related cooking matters, I discovered that if you place a piece of Pyrex glass -- like, say a casserole dish placed under a roasting pan to catch drips -- that has been sitting in a 375° oven for 25 minutes directly into a sink with cold water in it, the glass will shatter. Impressively. In retrospect, the fact I got an A in Thermal Physics probably should have clued me in that this was a Bad Idea. At least, if I didn't want to buy a new casserole dish. It was a great idea to see physics in action.

I'm out of things to say.

Oh, wait! Swine flu! I used it as an excuse to restock my medicine cabinet, and buy some staples In Case of Generic Disaster*. Not terribly worried, though -- I figure the supplies are good to have on hand anyway, since I'm prone to headaches and allergies.

* Read: pasta, chicken broth and toilet paper. Probably should add in some Instant Soup and Cans of Stuff that couldn't be eaten by people feeling icky. (Especially since there's instant Thai Curry soup that tastes wonderful when I have a cold, probably because I can actually breathe after I eat it.)
beccastareyes: Image of two women (Utena and Anthy) dancing with stars in the background.  Text: I have loved the stars too fondly... (stars)
I like my slow-cooker. The reason is that I can spend fifteen minutes shoving canned/frozen vegetables and chunks of chicken into it, add some herbs, and when I get home, dinner (with enough for lunch the next day) is waiting. The house even smells like cooking. I feel horribly domestic, except it's the kind of domesticity that I like -- the kind that takes very little work for the results.

I found a lovely passage of kitchen-witchery in the book I'm rereading (Whisky and Water, by Elizabeth Bear). I need to get a copy to [ profile] zannechaos because I think she'd get a kick out of it. I'm enjoying my re-read of that series (The Promethean Age) -- there are two books (Blood and Iron and Whisky and Water) set in the modern world, with two set in Elizabethan England coming out soon. It's urban fantasy, but it feels different than The Dresden Files. While Harry has a page out of the pulp hero, the world in The Promethean Age is much more complicated. It's not the sort of thing that a guy with a quick wit and handy fireball can easy come in and make things mostly right in 400 pages. Don't get me wrong -- I like both, but they are a bit of different tastes, for all that both are clearly in the 'urban fantasy' subgenre.

Though Whisky and Water does feature the Archangel Michael in a Trogdor the Burninator T-shirt.

It says something about me that I am the sort of person who, after a thunderstorm and upon noticing that the Sun has come out, will dash outside to see if there is a rainbow. I like to think that that something is flattering.


beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)

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