teaberryblue: (cap)
Oh hey so I slipped and 22000 words of Captain America food porn.

Starting From Scratch

It's a story about Steve's first days out of the ice, reacclimation, and finding a connection to the new century through food.

It stars Steve Rogers and his complete disconnect from the world, Bobbi Morse and her crumbling marriage, Nick Fury and his impressive knowledge of whisk(e)y, and a beat-up copy of The Joy of Cooking.

It's nominally a prequel to 1796 Broadway, but pretty much independent and follows the events of Captain America: The First Avenger.
teaberryblue: (Default)
This thing happened a few days ago.

You see, I have been at my job for four and a half years, and in that time, I have been disappointed that there is no butter at lunch.

There is butter in the morning, in big tubs, that you can spread on your toast or bagel or whatnot. I appreciate the bit where it is conserving waste to have butter in big tubs, but I do not appreciate the inability of grown adults to keep crumbs and/or jelly and/or peanut butter out of the butter.

But at lunch, the tubs are gone. I have often lamented the lack of butter on baked potato days, and occasionally at other times, when I am eating something that would be nice with a little additional butter.

I have even thought about writing a letter to the cafeteria, but they still have not implemented my suggestions from my last letter, where I asked if we could get wraps with sticky rice, spinach, peanuts and satay sauce as a lunch option. (I just really like wraps with sticky rice in them). I sent that back in 2009 and they replied in the affirmative and said they would add it to the rotating menu, but it never happened.

Anyway, I've always been perplexed by this lack of butter available at lunch.

Until this week.

When I found out where they kept the butter.

At lunch, they have your typical foil-wrapped pats of butter. I was, I must confess, looking for cheese. They usually have shredded parmesan out with the salad bar condiments, and I wanted to put some in my corn chowder (because that would be delicious). But I couldn't find it. In peering around, I discovered that, in the small refrigerator where they keep the yogurt, was a basket of butter pats.

BUTTER PATS.

So I put three (this is important later) in my pocket and joyously purchased my soup, intending to butter my soup.

BUTTER MY SOUP.

I went upstairs, and put two pats of butter in my soup. I frowned, thinking that I had put three pats of butter in my pocket, but when I fished around, I couldn't find any more.

I had delicious buttered soup.

Then, a couple of hours later, I went to the ladies' room.

And on my walk over, I put my hand in my pocket.

And also into a squooshy lump of melted butter.

I don't know if I was just that un-thorough about my search for the last pat, or if it had dematerialized and re-materialized just to taunt me, but suddenly I had a hand full of delicious butter.

Which I licked off, like all good people should.

Anyway, that is my butter story. The renewed commitment to unfucking my lifestyle is working well: I actually managed to leave the distillery at 10, and that was with all my work done, after pausing for a visit, and after having some delicious dinner. Dave has an intern! Who makes Irish stew! And Dave made some glorious fried potatoes, so good.

I got home, watched an episode of Mad Men (I was three behind, so now I am two behind), and spent the last half-hour of the night cleaning out my drawers and forcing a massive purge. I made myself a rule that if the drawer didn't close, I had to get rid of stuff, and that worked well. I got through two drawers, tee shirts and pajamas. I realized that I pretty much never get rid of pajamas. I actually have pajamas that are more than ten years old. Which is great, except people keep buying or giving me new ones or I keep getting ones free from work. I just...I don't think I've ever actually purchased pajamas for myself. Except now that I say that, I can remember doing it. Let me amend: the last time I purchased pajamas for myself was in 2003. And I never wear them! I mostly sleep in just panties, or naked! So it seems silly to waste all that space with jammies.

I do sometimes wear pajamas around the apartment when I'm cleaning, and when I have guests or am a guest, so I did keep some. But I put a lot in the giveaways. And now the drawer closes.

I went to bed, set my new sleep cycle thingybob, and fell to sleep. I woke up WITHOUT the sleep cycle thingybob a full hour early. And felt fully awake and ready to get up. So I did my bottoms drawer, and then I cleaned out the baskets where I keep hair supplies, and re-organized them. And then got showered and dressed and went to work.

The UFYH philosophy suggests making your bed every morning. I keep forgetting to do that, but it is definitely helping me get through a bunch of tasks that definitely needed to be done.

Yay!
teaberryblue: (Default)
This thing happened a few days ago.

You see, I have been at my job for four and a half years, and in that time, I have been disappointed that there is no butter at lunch.

There is butter in the morning, in big tubs, that you can spread on your toast or bagel or whatnot. I appreciate the bit where it is conserving waste to have butter in big tubs, but I do not appreciate the inability of grown adults to keep crumbs and/or jelly and/or peanut butter out of the butter.

But at lunch, the tubs are gone. I have often lamented the lack of butter on baked potato days, and occasionally at other times, when I am eating something that would be nice with a little additional butter.

I have even thought about writing a letter to the cafeteria, but they still have not implemented my suggestions from my last letter, where I asked if we could get wraps with sticky rice, spinach, peanuts and satay sauce as a lunch option. (I just really like wraps with sticky rice in them). I sent that back in 2009 and they replied in the affirmative and said they would add it to the rotating menu, but it never happened.

Anyway, I've always been perplexed by this lack of butter available at lunch.

Until this week.

When I found out where they kept the butter.

At lunch, they have your typical foil-wrapped pats of butter. I was, I must confess, looking for cheese. They usually have shredded parmesan out with the salad bar condiments, and I wanted to put some in my corn chowder (because that would be delicious). But I couldn't find it. In peering around, I discovered that, in the small refrigerator where they keep the yogurt, was a basket of butter pats.

BUTTER PATS.

So I put three (this is important later) in my pocket and joyously purchased my soup, intending to butter my soup.

BUTTER MY SOUP.

I went upstairs, and put two pats of butter in my soup. I frowned, thinking that I had put three pats of butter in my pocket, but when I fished around, I couldn't find any more.

I had delicious buttered soup.

Then, a couple of hours later, I went to the ladies' room.

And on my walk over, I put my hand in my pocket.

And also into a squooshy lump of melted butter.

I don't know if I was just that un-thorough about my search for the last pat, or if it had dematerialized and re-materialized just to taunt me, but suddenly I had a hand full of delicious butter.

Which I licked off, like all good people should.

Anyway, that is my butter story. The renewed commitment to unfucking my lifestyle is working well: I actually managed to leave the distillery at 10, and that was with all my work done, after pausing for a visit, and after having some delicious dinner. Dave has an intern! Who makes Irish stew! And Dave made some glorious fried potatoes, so good.

I got home, watched an episode of Mad Men (I was three behind, so now I am two behind), and spent the last half-hour of the night cleaning out my drawers and forcing a massive purge. I made myself a rule that if the drawer didn't close, I had to get rid of stuff, and that worked well. I got through two drawers, tee shirts and pajamas. I realized that I pretty much never get rid of pajamas. I actually have pajamas that are more than ten years old. Which is great, except people keep buying or giving me new ones or I keep getting ones free from work. I just...I don't think I've ever actually purchased pajamas for myself. Except now that I say that, I can remember doing it. Let me amend: the last time I purchased pajamas for myself was in 2003. And I never wear them! I mostly sleep in just panties, or naked! So it seems silly to waste all that space with jammies.

I do sometimes wear pajamas around the apartment when I'm cleaning, and when I have guests or am a guest, so I did keep some. But I put a lot in the giveaways. And now the drawer closes.

I went to bed, set my new sleep cycle thingybob, and fell to sleep. I woke up WITHOUT the sleep cycle thingybob a full hour early. And felt fully awake and ready to get up. So I did my bottoms drawer, and then I cleaned out the baskets where I keep hair supplies, and re-organized them. And then got showered and dressed and went to work.

The UFYH philosophy suggests making your bed every morning. I keep forgetting to do that, but it is definitely helping me get through a bunch of tasks that definitely needed to be done.

Yay!
teaberryblue: (Default)

Lately, I’ve developed a fondness for homemade marshmallows. I’ve been making marshmallows on and off for a few years now, but never really started experimenting with them, although I Had Ideas.

Let me start with a secret: making marshmallows is easy. It is so ridiculously easy, and fairly reasonably-priced, and the results are so good, that if you have forty minutes to make them and don’t mind waiting overnight to have marshmallows, you might never buy store-bought marshmallows again.

I’m serious.

Basically, marshmallows are simple: you boil a mixture of 1 cup sugar, 1 cup corn syrup, 1/2 cup water, until it reaches about 250 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer. You pour the sugar solution into a blender where you have .75 oz of gelatin in another 1/2 cup water. The solution will foam up; you will turn the mixer on to its highest speed and mix for ten to fifteen minutes, at which point you will feel like Bartholomew Cubbins fighting off the Oobleck. You will coat a rubber spatula in margarine, which will make the Oobleck miraculously slide off the spatula, as you scrape it into a greased baking sheet lined with a mixture of 1/2 cornstarch, 1/2 confectioners’ sugar. You will let it sit overnight. In the morning, there are marshmallows. You can cut them apart with scissors, and then toss them in more sugar-cornstarch.

The basic trick to marshmallows is just to have a really good mixer. I destroyed two hand mixers making marshmallows, which had a lot to do with why I didn’t make them very often– but then, for Christmas this year, my parents gave me a standing mixer. And it makes a huge difference in the marshmallow-making process.

The thing with marshmallows is that they required heavy whipping for an extended period of time. So if you have a hand mixer, you had better have a book in the other hand or a television in the same room as your mixer. Or something. This is why having the standing mixer makes such a difference.

So once I got the mixer, I really started spending a lot of time playing with flavors. I started logically– infusing herbs in the sugar syrup, peppermint once, and lavender and tarragon another time. Then I moved on, realizing I could substitute some of the unflavored gelatin for Jell-o, and get day-glo marshmallows with delicious artificial candy flavors. Lately, I’ve been playing with boozemallows, and I’ve done three flavors that are all quite good: Angostura, Fernet-Branca, and Sazerac.

The Sazerac marshmallows were the first ones I made that actually approximate a cocktail instead of just having a bit of a specific ingredient flavoring the marshmallow. They’re very mild, but if you eat them alone, you can taste all the subtle flavors you expect from a Sazerac: whiskey, absinthe, and Peychaud’s, and they even have the tiniest tinge of pink to them (though it doesn’t come across much in the photo).

To the recipe I related above, I added about 1/4 cup Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye, about 1/8 cup Tenneyson Absinthe, and about ten dashes of Peychaud’s bitters– I added these right at the beginning of the whipping process, into the mixer. Use a splash guard for your mixer if you have one. You can taste the marshmallow to see if you want more or less of any ingredient, and it’s easy to add a little bit more later on– as long as it’s not too much, it mixes in well.

Of course, once the marshmallows are done, I recommend popping a couple of them into a glass of whiskey.

Mirrored from Nommable!.

teaberryblue: (Vector Me!)

Lately, I’ve developed a fondness for homemade marshmallows. I’ve been making marshmallows on and off for a few years now, but never really started experimenting with them, although I Had Ideas.

Let me start with a secret: making marshmallows is easy. It is so ridiculously easy, and fairly reasonably-priced, and the results are so good, that if you have forty minutes to make them and don’t mind waiting overnight to have marshmallows, you might never buy store-bought marshmallows again.

I’m serious.

Basically, marshmallows are simple: you boil a mixture of 1 cup sugar, 1 cup corn syrup, 1/2 cup water, until it reaches about 250 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer. You pour the sugar solution into a blender where you have .75 oz of gelatin in another 1/2 cup water. The solution will foam up; you will turn the mixer on to its highest speed and mix for ten to fifteen minutes, at which point you will feel like Bartholomew Cubbins fighting off the Oobleck. You will coat a rubber spatula in margarine, which will make the Oobleck miraculously slide off the spatula, as you scrape it into a greased baking sheet lined with a mixture of 1/2 cornstarch, 1/2 confectioners’ sugar. You will let it sit overnight. In the morning, there are marshmallows. You can cut them apart with scissors, and then toss them in more sugar-cornstarch.

The basic trick to marshmallows is just to have a really good mixer. I destroyed two hand mixers making marshmallows, which had a lot to do with why I didn’t make them very often– but then, for Christmas this year, my parents gave me a standing mixer. And it makes a huge difference in the marshmallow-making process.

The thing with marshmallows is that they required heavy whipping for an extended period of time. So if you have a hand mixer, you had better have a book in the other hand or a television in the same room as your mixer. Or something. This is why having the standing mixer makes such a difference.

So once I got the mixer, I really started spending a lot of time playing with flavors. I started logically– infusing herbs in the sugar syrup, peppermint once, and lavender and tarragon another time. Then I moved on, realizing I could substitute some of the unflavored gelatin for Jell-o, and get day-glo marshmallows with delicious artificial candy flavors. Lately, I’ve been playing with boozemallows, and I’ve done three flavors that are all quite good: Angostura, Fernet-Branca, and Sazerac.

The Sazerac marshmallows were the first ones I made that actually approximate a cocktail instead of just having a bit of a specific ingredient flavoring the marshmallow. They’re very mild, but if you eat them alone, you can taste all the subtle flavors you expect from a Sazerac: whiskey, absinthe, and Peychaud’s, and they even have the tiniest tinge of pink to them (though it doesn’t come across much in the photo).

To the recipe I related above, I added about 1/4 cup Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye, about 1/8 cup Tenneyson Absinthe, and about ten dashes of Peychaud’s bitters– I added these right at the beginning of the whipping process, into the mixer. Use a splash guard for your mixer if you have one. You can taste the marshmallow to see if you want more or less of any ingredient, and it’s easy to add a little bit more later on– as long as it’s not too much, it mixes in well.

Of course, once the marshmallows are done, I recommend popping a couple of them into a glass of whiskey.

Mirrored from Nommable!.

teaberryblue: (Default)

When I was a little girl, my mother was one of those Kitchen Goddess moms, the ones who made ten or twelve kinds of cookies for Christmas, as well as fudge and sometimes some other candies. Christmastime, or the time leading up to Christmas, was an absolutely magical time for me, and I would arrive home from school every day to discover new delicacies stored neatly in containers and tins, new smells wafting from every corner. But the best part was that once school was over for the day and homework was done, it was time to help. There was something even more magical about practicing the alchemy that created the treats we would serve and give away to friends and family.

Now, we’ve cut back quite a lot. We don’t have big parties or huge family get-togethers anymore, and for the most part, we don’t really miss them. But there are a few kinds of cookies that we make every year, no matter what, although maybe in smaller quantities than we made when I was a child. (There is a note on one recipe, hand-written by my mother, from the year I graduated high school: 1996, 6 recipes= 375 cookies.) These are the cookies that make Christmas Christmas for me. They don’t really make an appearance the rest of the year, but at Christmastime, they are on every tray. They might not be the shiniest or prettiest or most colorful cookies, but they’re the ones that taste the best, or remind me the most of happy family times.

The cookbook shows above is the 1966 Woman’s Day Cookie Cookbook. It’s torn apart (missing the back cover), dogeared, yellowed, and covered in ballpoint-pen-notes. We don’t use it for much, apart from one very special recipe.

my adaptation of the recipe underneath the cut )

Mirrored from Nommable!.

teaberryblue: (Vector Me!)

When I was a little girl, my mother was one of those Kitchen Goddess moms, the ones who made ten or twelve kinds of cookies for Christmas, as well as fudge and sometimes some other candies. Christmastime, or the time leading up to Christmas, was an absolutely magical time for me, and I would arrive home from school every day to discover new delicacies stored neatly in containers and tins, new smells wafting from every corner. But the best part was that once school was over for the day and homework was done, it was time to help. There was something even more magical about practicing the alchemy that created the treats we would serve and give away to friends and family.

Now, we’ve cut back quite a lot. We don’t have big parties or huge family get-togethers anymore, and for the most part, we don’t really miss them. But there are a few kinds of cookies that we make every year, no matter what, although maybe in smaller quantities than we made when I was a child. (There is a note on one recipe, hand-written by my mother, from the year I graduated high school: 1996, 6 recipes= 375 cookies.) These are the cookies that make Christmas Christmas for me. They don’t really make an appearance the rest of the year, but at Christmastime, they are on every tray. They might not be the shiniest or prettiest or most colorful cookies, but they’re the ones that taste the best, or remind me the most of happy family times.

The cookbook shows above is the 1966 Woman’s Day Cookie Cookbook. It’s torn apart (missing the back cover), dogeared, yellowed, and covered in ballpoint-pen-notes. We don’t use it for much, apart from one very special recipe.

Pecan Butterballs, adapted from Women’s Day Cookie Cookbook, 1966
Recipe Type: Cookie
Author: Tea
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 45 mins
These are one of my favorite cookies to make at holiday times. Light, buttery and not too sweet.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Let butter soften– do not melt.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a mixer at lowest speed until well-blended.
  3. Cut soft butter into tablespoon-sized rectangles. Add pieces to dry mixture a few at a time and mix well.
  4. Once all butter is in mixture, set mixer to medium speed and mix until everything is well-blended.
  5. Add pecans, a cup at a time, to mixture and blend in well.
  6. Roll dough into 1″ spheres and put on ungreased cookie sheets.
  7. Cook for 25 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Take off tray immediately– cookies will be very soft, so work carefully or they will crumble in your hands.
  9. Leave to cool several hours, preferably overnight.
  10. Put about 2 dozen cookies at a time in a large bowl.
  11. Sift powdered sugar over cookies, then stir cookies around with hands until well-coated.
  12. Store in cookie tins with layers of wax paper between.
Notes

This recipe makes about 50 cookies. I tend to make two recipes or more.


Mirrored from Nommable!.

teaberryblue: (Default)
So, I wanted to write down some stuff about the dream I had the night before last.

I have long and involved dreams )

In waking news, yesterday was AWESOME. I went over to Rina's house to color a cartoon for her, and she paid me in dinner. So usually when I go over, I pack up my knapsack with liquor and other delectable things (like sometimes sorbets or whatnot) and bring them over and mix drinks. But I didn't because we were going to dinner and figured Rina would want to get the coloring done and just get out the door, and then I got there, and Rina asks if I want a drink. My only regret is that I didn't bring over some of the pickled cherries and my bottle of Root. But Brendan has these bottles of Royal Rose syrups, which are phenom, and some wormwood bitters I hadn't tried, so I played around with those, and then went up and did some coloring, and then we walked a few blocks to this new restaurant in our neighborhood called SALT & FAT. Yes, that is the name.

This place was seriously the best meal I have had in my neighborhood. The only problem is they don't have a bar, although they have a great spot for one should they wish to remedy this (they should). First off, they give you pork fat cooked popcorn as soon as you walk in, and, um. Unlimited little bags of hot pork fat popcorn. Rina and I shared a bunch of small plates; we had scallops and meatballs and little porkbelly BLT Beijing kao ya style buns, and omg oxtail. Seriously good oxtail with seriously good roasted mushrooms. And a couple of beers, and we chatted a while about writing and stuff and oh my god that oxtail. So we are definitely going to be going back there. If they had a bar, I don't know if the rest of you would hear from me ever again. I need to go back with my camera and do a proper review.

Oh, also: I wrote this excellent post about ice cream and dinosaurs night before last but a couple people said it didn't show up on their flist. So I'm posting a link: ice cream and dinosaurs. It also has my friend Steve's excellent old timey folksy band playing Folsom Prison Blues.
teaberryblue: (Default)
So, I wanted to write down some stuff about the dream I had the night before last.

I have long and involved dreams )

In waking news, yesterday was AWESOME. I went over to Rina's house to color a cartoon for her, and she paid me in dinner. So usually when I go over, I pack up my knapsack with liquor and other delectable things (like sometimes sorbets or whatnot) and bring them over and mix drinks. But I didn't because we were going to dinner and figured Rina would want to get the coloring done and just get out the door, and then I got there, and Rina asks if I want a drink. My only regret is that I didn't bring over some of the pickled cherries and my bottle of Root. But Brendan has these bottles of Royal Rose syrups, which are phenom, and some wormwood bitters I hadn't tried, so I played around with those, and then went up and did some coloring, and then we walked a few blocks to this new restaurant in our neighborhood called SALT & FAT. Yes, that is the name.

This place was seriously the best meal I have had in my neighborhood. The only problem is they don't have a bar, although they have a great spot for one should they wish to remedy this (they should). First off, they give you pork fat cooked popcorn as soon as you walk in, and, um. Unlimited little bags of hot pork fat popcorn. Rina and I shared a bunch of small plates; we had scallops and meatballs and little porkbelly BLT Beijing kao ya style buns, and omg oxtail. Seriously good oxtail with seriously good roasted mushrooms. And a couple of beers, and we chatted a while about writing and stuff and oh my god that oxtail. So we are definitely going to be going back there. If they had a bar, I don't know if the rest of you would hear from me ever again. I need to go back with my camera and do a proper review.

Oh, also: I wrote this excellent post about ice cream and dinosaurs night before last but a couple people said it didn't show up on their flist. So I'm posting a link: ice cream and dinosaurs. It also has my friend Steve's excellent old timey folksy band playing Folsom Prison Blues.
teaberryblue: (Default)
So, I wanted to write down some stuff about the dream I had the night before last.

I have long and involved dreams )

In waking news, yesterday was AWESOME. I went over to Rina's house to color a cartoon for her, and she paid me in dinner. So usually when I go over, I pack up my knapsack with liquor and other delectable things (like sometimes sorbets or whatnot) and bring them over and mix drinks. But I didn't because we were going to dinner and figured Rina would want to get the coloring done and just get out the door, and then I got there, and Rina asks if I want a drink. My only regret is that I didn't bring over some of the pickled cherries and my bottle of Root. But Brendan has these bottles of Royal Rose syrups, which are phenom, and some wormwood bitters I hadn't tried, so I played around with those, and then went up and did some coloring, and then we walked a few blocks to this new restaurant in our neighborhood called SALT & FAT. Yes, that is the name.

This place was seriously the best meal I have had in my neighborhood. The only problem is they don't have a bar, although they have a great spot for one should they wish to remedy this (they should). First off, they give you pork fat cooked popcorn as soon as you walk in, and, um. Unlimited little bags of hot pork fat popcorn. Rina and I shared a bunch of small plates; we had scallops and meatballs and little porkbelly BLT Beijing kao ya style buns, and omg oxtail. Seriously good oxtail with seriously good roasted mushrooms. And a couple of beers, and we chatted a while about writing and stuff and oh my god that oxtail. So we are definitely going to be going back there. If they had a bar, I don't know if the rest of you would hear from me ever again. I need to go back with my camera and do a proper review.

Oh, also: I wrote this excellent post about ice cream and dinosaurs night before last but a couple people said it didn't show up on their flist. So I'm posting a link: ice cream and dinosaurs. It also has my friend Steve's excellent old timey folksy band playing Folsom Prison Blues.
teaberryblue: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] sileri gave me this meme. Here's the deal:

You comment to my post asking for five words. I will give you five words that I think of when I think of you. You will post them to your blog and post what those words make you think of, in depth.

The words [livejournal.com profile] sileri gave me are as follows: crusader, honeycomb, natural, egg, mix

my take on these words and how they apply to me below the cut )

Do you want to play? Let me know you want words, and I will give them to you!
teaberryblue: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] sileri gave me this meme. Here's the deal:

You comment to my post asking for five words. I will give you five words that I think of when I think of you. You will post them to your blog and post what those words make you think of, in depth.

The words [livejournal.com profile] sileri gave me are as follows: crusader, honeycomb, natural, egg, mix

my take on these words and how they apply to me below the cut )

Do you want to play? Let me know you want words, and I will give them to you!
teaberryblue: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] sileri gave me this meme. Here's the deal:

You comment to my post asking for five words. I will give you five words that I think of when I think of you. You will post them to your blog and post what those words make you think of, in depth.

The words [livejournal.com profile] sileri gave me are as follows: crusader, honeycomb, natural, egg, mix

my take on these words and how they apply to me below the cut )

Do you want to play? Let me know you want words, and I will give them to you!
teaberryblue: (Default)

We’ve been growing strawberries for a couple of years now, but somehow, some way, this year, they have completely outgrown our expectations!

Here’s our nifty little strawberry patch:

They are covered, as you can see, with a little tent of netting that is high enough for people to go inside to pick the berries, and also high enough to keep birds away from all but the berries very, very close to the outer perimeter. We still get some slugs this way, but it is the best way to keep your berries from being eaten before you get to do the eating! Notice also that the wide netting means that bees can get in to pollinate! They are good at that.

When the strawberries are ripe, you go under the netting and pick them. Here’s a ripe strawberry along with some not-yet-ripe ones!

So pretty and red!

So far, we are getting tons of strawberries this year:

We got about 3-4 quarts the first week of strawberry picking, and 4-5 quarts the second. And they are big and ripe and juicy. We’ve had strawberries for a couple years now, and each week, we’re getting as many strawberries as we’ve ever gotten in a year before, which is pretty exciting!

We made a whole lot of things with strawberries in them! For two weekends!

so many strawberry foods are under the cut! )

That is the end of the strawberry adventure! FOR NOW!

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

teaberryblue: (Default)

We’ve been growing strawberries for a couple of years now, but somehow, some way, this year, they have completely outgrown our expectations!

Here’s our nifty little strawberry patch:

They are covered, as you can see, with a little tent of netting that is high enough for people to go inside to pick the berries, and also high enough to keep birds away from all but the berries very, very close to the outer perimeter. We still get some slugs this way, but it is the best way to keep your berries from being eaten before you get to do the eating! Notice also that the wide netting means that bees can get in to pollinate! They are good at that.

When the strawberries are ripe, you go under the netting and pick them. Here’s a ripe strawberry along with some not-yet-ripe ones!

So pretty and red!

So far, we are getting tons of strawberries this year:

We got about 3-4 quarts the first week of strawberry picking, and 4-5 quarts the second. And they are big and ripe and juicy. We’ve had strawberries for a couple years now, and each week, we’re getting as many strawberries as we’ve ever gotten in a year before, which is pretty exciting!

We made a whole lot of things with strawberries in them! For two weekends!

Let’s start with a cocktail. I’m going to give you three variations on a similar recipe. I made one for my dad, who pretty much only drinks highballs and punchy drinks with a very little liquor in them, and then I’ll show you how to make a stronger and more sophisticated drink in two ways– one sweeter, one less sweet.

Here’s the Daddy Version:

Daddy Version Ingredients:

1.5 oz vodka
.5 oz limoncello
6 strawberries
Lemonade or Pink Lemonade to top

Daddy Version Instructions:

1) Put vodka in glass with strawberries cut into chunks and muddle well until strawberries are thoroughly pulped.
2) Add ice, limoncello, and lemonade

Here’s the Lady Version:

Lady Version #1 Ingredients:

2.5 oz Dogfish Head Brown Honey Rum
.5 oz limoncello
.5 oz cognac
4 fresh strawberries, plus one for garnish
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon thyme

Lady Version #1 Ingredients:

2 oz Dogfish Head Brown Honey Rum
.5 oz limoncello
1 oz cognac
2 fresh strawberries, plus one for garnish
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon thyme

Lady Version Instructions

1) Add rum, thyme and strawberries (cut into chunks) to shaker with ice
2) Muddle well until strawberries are fully pulped.
3) Add cognac and limoncello
4) Shake!
5) strain into chilled cocktail glasses and serve with a whole strawberry.

But that is only Strawberry Cocktail #1!

Fraise

Ingredients
2.5 oz Rogue Pink Spruce Gin
.5 oz Ramazzotti
.5 oz Domaine de Canton
3 ripe strawberries plus one for garnish
2 dashes Fee Bros Whiskey Barrel Bitters

Instructions
1) Add gin and strawberries (cut into chunks) to shaker with ice
2) Muddle well until strawberries are fully pulped.
3) Add Ramazzotti and Domaine de Canton
4) Shake!
5) strain into chilled cocktail glasses, add two dashes bitters, and serve with a whole strawberry.

This past week, I had the sublime pleasure of having [info]quizzicalsphinx in the house. The thing is, when it comes to our imbibement habits, we could not be more dissimilar. In that I drink copious amounts of excellent liquor and she drinks non-alcoholic beverages only.

So I made her her own very special strawberry drink:

Red Beer

Ingredients
6 strawberries, cut into chunks
3 oz GUS grapefruit soda
.5 oz grenadine
.5 oz pomegranate molasses
Newman’s Own Pomegranate Lemonade to top.

Instructions
Put strawberries in glass with ice and crush with muddler.
Add all other ingredients and stir!

And finally, the last drink, which is a more negroni-style one.

Fragola

Ingredients
2 oz Comb 9 gin
1 oz Carpano Antica Formula
.5 oz Fernet Branca
4 strawberries, cut into chunks
2 dashes Bitter Truth Grapefruit Bitters

Instructions
1) Add gin, ice and strawberries to shaker.
2) Muddle until strawberries are fully pulped.
3) Add Carpano and Fernet Branca, shake.
4) Strain into short glasses, add bitters!

But that isn’t all the strawberry things we made!

My mama also made strawberry shortcake. Let’s talk about strawberry shortcake a little. This is one of my favorite foods. When I was a little kid, there were a couple years when I asked for this instead of for a cake-cake on my birthday. Excellent, huh?

It doesn’t really need a recipe, because all you need to do is whip some cream, make a batch of your favorite biscuits, slice open the biscuits and there you go. Beautiful and delicious!

I also made strawberry ice cream. I’m not as good at fruit ice creams as I am at chocolatey and herbal and caramely type ice creams, but this one came out really well!

Ingredients
2 3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup half & half
1/3 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
2 cups chopped strawberries

Instructions
Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar together until frothy and pasty.
Mix 3/4 cups of the cream and the half & half together in a saucepan, cook just until boiling, remove from heat, wait until it stops bubbling.
Add 1 Tb of the hot cream to the sugar and egg mixture, whisk quickly to keep the eggs from cooking.
Keep adding the hot milk to the sugar and eggs in small increments, whisking and pausing between additions, until 3/4 of the hot milk has been added.
Pour the milk/egg/sugar mixture back into the saucepan, heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and chill for at least four hours.
Once chilled, add heavy cream and stir until well mixed. Stir in strawberries.
Put entire mixture in ice cream mixer and follow instructions for your ice cream mixer until frozen. Put finished ice cream in freezer.
Chill for at least two hours in freezer.
Serve with strawberries, whipped cream, or just plain!

That is the end of the strawberry adventure! FOR NOW!

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

teaberryblue: (Default)

Yesterday, I opened a bottle of Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ Ethereal Gin. Anyone who keeps sharp tabs knows how much I love their Greylock, so I was really eager to try this.

I’m not sure how to describe it. Ethereal has one of the most unique flavors I’ve ever tasted in a gin, that I can only explain by likening it to the flavor that you get in your mouth when you’re sitting around a bonfire and you breathe in the scent of burning wood. So, really fascinating and complex and difficult. It’s not something I’m just going to sit around and drink, but mixing it was sneaky because I didn’t want to cover up the burning flavor. I tried it with like seven different things and I’m still not 100% happy with this one but the sorrel is something I’ve never used in a cocktail before and that part worked perfectly.

Ephemera

Ingredients

2 oz Ethereal Gin
1 oz Ramazzotti
3 large sorrel leaves
1/8 oz Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur

Instructions
Chiffonade the sorrel leaves.
Add Gin, Ramazzotti and sorrel to a pitcher and muddle.
Coat a cocktail glass with Zirbenz, pour out excess.
Strain drink into glass!

Tonight, we had a dinner party, and on account of having to get the house ready, we just ate sandwiches, although saying “just” when discussing these sandwiches is a bit of an understatement. This is my sandwich:

The is prosciutto, salami and capicola with provolone and arugula and a tiny bit of rosemary olive oil. It was to die for.

Also, yesterday: Do you remember my giant asparagi? Well, this one is giving them a run for their money. Also, I think it is getting a job in the adult film industry:

Oh my word.

Then, today, dinner party! )

So I like making negronis but usually when we have company and I am like “negronis!” the company is like “gross!” which is sort of devastating because negronis are my go-to drink. This time, everyone but my father said yes to negronis so I was sort of tickled and I got to make a whole pitcher of this:

Blood Orange Negroni

Ingredients
1.5 oz Rogue Pink Spruce Gin
1 oz Campari
.5 oz red vermouth
Juice from 1/2 blood orange
1 blood orange wedge
10 sage leaves

Instructions
Add gin and 9 sage leaves to pitcher and let sit five minutes
Add campari, vermouth, and juice, plus leftover orange pieces, muddle
Strain into glass and garnish with blood orange wedge and one sage leaf

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

teaberryblue: (Default)

Yesterday, I opened a bottle of Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ Ethereal Gin. Anyone who keeps sharp tabs knows how much I love their Greylock, so I was really eager to try this.

I’m not sure how to describe it. Ethereal has one of the most unique flavors I’ve ever tasted in a gin, that I can only explain by likening it to the flavor that you get in your mouth when you’re sitting around a bonfire and you breathe in the scent of burning wood. So, really fascinating and complex and difficult. It’s not something I’m just going to sit around and drink, but mixing it was sneaky because I didn’t want to cover up the burning flavor. I tried it with like seven different things and I’m still not 100% happy with this one but the sorrel is something I’ve never used in a cocktail before and that part worked perfectly.

Ephemera

Ingredients

2 oz Ethereal Gin
1 oz Ramazzotti
3 large sorrel leaves
1/8 oz Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur

Instructions
Chiffonade the sorrel leaves.
Add Gin, Ramazzotti and sorrel to a pitcher and muddle.
Coat a cocktail glass with Zirbenz, pour out excess.
Strain drink into glass!

Tonight, we had a dinner party, and on account of having to get the house ready, we just ate sandwiches, although saying “just” when discussing these sandwiches is a bit of an understatement. This is my sandwich:

The is prosciutto, salami and capicola with provolone and arugula and a tiny bit of rosemary olive oil. It was to die for.

Also, yesterday: Do you remember my giant asparagi? Well, this one is giving them a run for their money. Also, I think it is getting a job in the adult film industry:

Oh my word.

Then, today, dinner party! I forgot to take pictures of the salad, but it was a plain old tricolor. Here is the other stuff we ate!

Antipasti!

This is my invention. It’s polenta spooned on a cookie sheet in disk shapes, topped with prosciutto and baked until the prosciutto is crispy and the polenta is firm, then covered with fried crispy sage and brown butter.

Linguini primavera covered with seafood!

Tiramisu and a raspberry-rhubarb crostada!

So I like making negronis but usually when we have company and I am like “negronis!” the company is like “gross!” which is sort of devastating because negronis are my go-to drink. This time, everyone but my father said yes to negronis so I was sort of tickled and I got to make a whole pitcher of this:

Blood Orange Negroni

Ingredients
1.5 oz Rogue Pink Spruce Gin
1 oz Campari
.5 oz red vermouth
Juice from 1/2 blood orange
1 blood orange wedge
10 sage leaves

Instructions
Add gin and 9 sage leaves to pitcher and let sit five minutes
Add campari, vermouth, and juice, plus leftover orange pieces, muddle
Strain into glass and garnish with blood orange wedge and one sage leaf

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

teaberryblue: (Default)
I got back from Delaware yesterday, and went for a nice walk for an hour that culminated in not doing anything but walking, although the original idea was to go to H-Mart for some of those marshmallows with the grape jelly in them. I don't know! I had a hankering. I got back and had some pasta with fava beans and cleaned my kitchen. Hooray, productivity!

I also cleaned up part of my bedroom, so now you can see some of the floor. And mixed myself a little drink with gin, Zucca, Tenneyson absinthe, which is one of my new favorite things, and a little rhubarb bitters.

I watched Fringe (HOLY CRAP MAN) and Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice from last week. Fringe and Grey's Anatomy made me cry! Aw. I would like to say I'm not ashamed, but I am a little.

Today, I got a lot done at work, and went to lunch with the usual Monday lunch folks, and we were outside and it was very pretty! And people, we NEED to have a cocktail party. Need, need, need.

I went back to work, and then went to my psych appointment. When I got out, I was thinking about heading to Astor Wines but I walked right into the makeshift food court in Madison Square, and had the most delicious ad hoc dinner of a hot dog on a pretzel bun with really good sauerkraut, an iced tea and a little vegetarian bun full of fresh veggies and tofu, and a little scoop of bitter chocolate ice cream. And I bought a bottle of hibiscus syrup which is exciting because getting hibiscus flowers to make the syrup myself is a pain in the butt. And I can use the ones I have right now to make liqueur instead :-P

It was just really lovely, standing there surrounded by all these people and bouncing around from stand to stand smelling all the things and picking things out to taste. It would be fun to go back with people! If I'd known it was there at lunch, I would have gotten some for lunch, too. Next week!

Also also, I have this huge bag of shoes at work. Not Betty Boop shoes, lady shoes that I either don't wear enough, or that don't fit me well enough. Mostly in black or brown. If you are a ladies' size 7.5-9 (Most in the bag are 8 or 8.5) and would like some shoes, let me know, and I will put some in a medium sized flat rate box for you. Some of them are exciting Victorian-looking-type shoes that are appropriate for cosplay. One of them is the ridiculously shiny pair of beribboned granny shoes I wore on American Idol, but that are actually way too small for my feet.

New Yorky Types: check out this post if you haven't already seen. I would love to see you on Thursday.

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