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2017-09-18 07:57 pm

Harvest (The Festival of Genius, 2nd of the Complementary Days, Year 226)

I harvested two of the candy roaster squash today -- on was 8lb and the other was 13.5lb.

Someone stole the third one of the garden sometime in the last week -- so I have a terrible neighbor, somewhere.

The table gold acorn squash are progressing well. I might harvest one of those soon as well.
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2017-09-16 08:31 pm

SPX (Pack Basket Day, 30th of Fruits, Year 225)

I went with [personal profile] greenygal to Small Press Expo today. [profile] ipleasance was supposed to come put came up sick; [personal profile] greenygal got her hardcopies of Check Please!.

There was, as always, a lot of incredible talent on display! The stand-out for me was the art forReturn of the Dapper Men (available from TopShelf)-- I talked to the artist Janet Lee brief, and looked a some pages of artwork she had brought. It's decoupage!

Also, I picked up an A to Z minicomic of dinosaurs. It was adorable, and I wound up talking to the artist about opposite birds. There weren't nearly enough dinosaur or science books this year, in my opinion, but I admit it's a niche interest.

When we were gearing up to leave, we chatted with a librarian from NY (city or state, I don't know) about some of the middle-readers we'd seen. She was there on a press pass, so I hope she can get a good story and write-ups for some of the more interesting books into the library trade publications. There are a lot of really interesting and diverse works out there that need more exposure.
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2017-09-11 08:53 pm

Sausage marinara -- Crayfish Day, 25th of Fruits, Year 225

I made a quick marinara sauce by browning the hot Italian sausage I bought yesterday, adding a 28oz can of crushed tomato, garlic, dried oregano, a fresh bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. When it was finished and the pasta was al dente, I hand shredded the basil over the pasta, and then ladled on the sauce. It smells wonderful, and I will have delicious lunches all week!
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2017-09-10 06:16 pm

Peach and fish pepper salsa...

I just made a batch of Peach Salsa with fish peppers instead of salsa. I had a little bit of the salsa that didn't fit in the jars, so I saved in a plastic container and will see how it goes with crab cakes after mellowing in the fridge for a few days.

I have high hopes, but I also bought anaheim peppers to try varying this recipe and see how it works. It's just refrigerator salsa, but it looks tasty.
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2017-09-10 04:37 pm

Farmer's Market -- 10 Sept 2017 (Sorghum Day, 24th of Fruits, Year 224)

Chocolate and ivory bell peppers, poblano chiles, anaheim chiles, shishito peppers, yellow Bartlett pears, Magness pears, Italian prune plums, dill quark, chocolate milk, red and yellow onions, Blondee apples, loose hot Italian sausage, rustic wheat bread, chicken empanada, and tamale del elote.
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2017-09-09 08:04 pm

The Limehouse Golem (Hops Day, 23rd of Fruits, Year 225)

I went to see The Limehouse Golem with [personal profile] greenygal, [profile] ipleasance, and A Fan to Be Named Later.

It is an excellent movie, well-plotted, well-acted, and beautifully shot, and I recommend you see it if you can.

It does have brief scenes of gore -- it's about the search for a serial killer in the Limehouse district of Victorian London -- so be warned if that's a dealbreaker.

Also, when I looked up the screenwriter, Jane Goldman, because I was impressed with how she'd got the jigsaw plot to resolve, it turns out that I've already seen and liked quite a few of her works, including Kingsmen, X-men First Class, and Stardust!
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2017-09-02 03:13 pm

Farmer's Market -- 02 Sept 2017 (Teasel Day, 17th of Fruits, Year 225)

Figs, Magness pears, smoked salmon and tilapia empanadas, crab cakes, ham and cheese scone, vegetarian quiche, green fish peppers, lamb ragu, smoked paprika papadelle, spinach & burratta ravioli, and 23.5lbs of peaches (there was a bag sale).

I'm planning on making peach-and-fish-pepper salsa, and maybe a couple of other recipes, like spiced pickled peaches. But that's for tomorrow. Right now, I'm getting warm again as today is non-stop drizzling, which sucks all the heat out of the air.
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2017-08-29 08:49 pm

Rain and Exhaustion -- Fennel Day, 12th of Fruits, Year 225

I had to help with the inventory of a -80C freezer at work today, and wound up feeling extra-tired as a result. So I decided to stop at Whole Foods, pick up some prepared food, and not worry about dinner or lunch tomorrow. And I picked up a bottle of soy sauce, since I was out.

And since it rained all day today, it was cold and damp and slippery when I got off the bus, and I dropped my grocery bag.

... the bottle of soy sauce shattered.

Luckily most of my groceries were wrapped in plastic or in sturdy cardboard containers, but I had to quickly get everything home, transfer everything for lunch tomorrow and Thursday into different containers, and wash all of the soy out of my reusable grocery bag. I suspect it will still smell.

But I have had dinner that I didn't have to cook, I have lunch for tomorrow all ready to go, and I can go to bed without worrying...

...but I do have to go to the grocery to get another bottle of soy sauce, damnit.
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2017-08-27 09:02 pm

Jigsaw Puzzle Party (Ladder Day, 10th of Fruits, Year 225)

The party went well, lots of fun, snacks, and conviviality. However, it turns out the Visit Mars puzzle from the New York Puzzle Company is far harder than most of the 1000-piece puzzles because of highly irregular shapes and the big blocks of primary colors. I think I'll look to get one of their 500-piecers, maybe Kepler-16b or Farmers Wanted, for the next party.

Also, I have far too much left-over kettle corn, so I'll take it into work tomorrow.

Lastly, I trimmed back the squash plants today, but I suspect I will be giving away a goodly amount of the things anyway by decorative gourd season. The candy roasters are enormous! I've only spotted one of the acorn squash, but I suspect there are more lurking under the leaves.
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2017-08-26 07:55 pm

Farmer's Market -- 26 Aug 2017 (Licorice Day, 9th of Fruits, Year 225)

Three flavors of kettle corn (for the jigsaw party tomorrow), baby ginger (for ginger ale, likewise), purple seedless grapes, muscadine grapes, cherry tomatoes, tiropita, spanokopita, beet and red pepper spread, pita, figs, shishito peppers, and a framboisine.

Met with [personal profile] fabrisse at the US Botanical Gardens to see the corpse flower -- it hadn't bloomed yet, but it was at 93.75 inches, which is enormous. Also, it apparently stank badly, but I've been stuffed up (mild hayfever, maybe?) so the only scent I really noticed without rubbing leaves was from the allspice tree later on. I did get some photos, which I may put up later. The staff had part of the frill from the blooms early in the week on display as well, which was interesting to see, as well as another species of Amorphophallus -- the Kyushu Voodoo Lily, which was much smaller but still an impressive size.

We went to NMAI for lunch at the Mitisam Cafe -- she had the Plate of 4 Colors, and I had Salmon with Peach compote. The peach compote was savory as they'd add chile pepper (powder, at least) to it. It made for an excellent accompaniment to the salmon, and I think next week if the peaches are still cheap at the market, I'll try making peach salsa with some of the fish peppers I have. She tried their peach agua fresca, which was pleasant, and I had the pineapple ginger, which was superb.

Afterwards, we went up to the third floor for the exhibit The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire. It was amazing to be able to see khipu close up, among other things -- I could actually see the difference in thread colors and the handedness of the knots that I'd only read about previously. I rather want a SF/Fantasy story where the Inka are used as the basis, instead of another fake-European medieval fantasy...but that's probably as much research as an alternate history novel where the Mongols conquer Europe all the way to France...
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2017-08-21 10:01 pm

Out and about, pizza edition (Salmon Day, 5th of Fruitful, Year 225)

After having dinner at B Too with [personal profile] fabrisse on Friday (Restaurant Week meant I got to have beet salad, venison with eggplant, and a 'donut' waffle) and going to Rus-Uz (Chicken Kiev and Kiev cake, and Mors to drink) with [personal profile] greenygal yesterday after helping her assemble a bookcase, I met up with [profile] ellen_frememdon and the Vegan Knitter for dinner at Pete's Pizza, as they have half-priced pies on Mondays as long as you eat in and order something other than the smallest ones.

So I finally got to try the pineapple pizza, Q Bridge, which was excellent and had way more argula on top than I was expecting. But since argula is one of the few green I actually like (not bitter, like most Brassicaceae, and not leaf-flavored, like most lettuce), that was all right.

Also, I got to use a pinhole project at work today to see the eclipse -- 80% partial in my area, since we weren't in the path of totality. But still, very neat.
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2017-08-13 08:32 pm

Farmer's Market - 13 Aug 2017 (Myrtle Day, 26th of Heat, Year 225)

Dozen eggs, chicken empanada, corn tamale, donut peaches, yellow-fleshed plums, blueberries, batard of country white bread, bag of mixed greens.
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2017-08-12 08:31 pm
Entry tags:

Shelving! Also, Toshiro Mifune

I met [personal profile] greenygal to see Rashomon today, which is one of Kuraoawa's more famous films and a seminal role for Toshiro Mifune. There's a documentary on Mifune on Tuesday night that I might go to.

Walking back to my place, I was bothered by a man who complimented me on my hat and asked where I got it, but then asked if I wanted to make a friend. Given that this indicated he was either trying to pick me up or try to talk to me about Jesus, I told him I was full up on friends and walked away from him faster. Further home, another man tried to get my attention and when I ignored him, called me 'a fat bitch'. I turned around and called him out; his only come-back was 'fat bitch' again.

I'm really tired of men, and it's almost always men, that think a woman being out in public is required to give them the attention they want. It was really annoying because I was obviously walking with someone, but I guess they think that because I was with another woman, that doesn't count.

Anyway, we got both my Kallax units put together, with only a minor mishap. I'll get things moved around tomorrow and during the rest of the week. Hopefully having that much more shelf space will help with the de-cluttering!
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2017-08-12 11:43 am

Farmer's Market -- 12 Aug 2017 (Otter Day, 25th of Heat, Year 225)

Tiropita, mini-spanakopita, seasonal olive oil lemon cake, bougatsa, pita. I'm meeting [personal profile] fabrisse at the Takoma market tomorrow, so I'll buy fruit then.

I looked at the various wineries and breweries for gift ideas -- my parents' 75th birthdays are next month, and food or alcohol is generally a reliable gift. One of the the brewers pressed when I wouldn't try their samples and just wanted their suggestions based on what their popular items are and my parents tastes (Mom likes Negra Modelo and cafe con leche -- so coffee liqueor made with caramel syrup? maybe?) -- so he got the blunt explanation that all alcohol tastes like cat piss to me -- though next time, I might say 'tastes like soap'; it's similarly inaccurate, but viscerally repulsive to most people so might get my distaste across better. It did make me less inclined to buy his products, that's for sure.

Huh... my sister's 50th birthday is also next month. Maybe I should get her a bottle or two of the fancy vinegar. They had Wild Rose, Wisteria, and Chamomile vinegars today, and while I didn't like the taste of the first, the other two were interesting. Maybe one sweet vinegar and one savory, like Ramp or Heirloom Pepper?
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2017-08-05 03:38 pm

Farmer's Market -- 05 Aug 2017 (Almond Day, 18th of Heat, Year 225)

Spanokopita, pint of cherry tomatoes, donut peaches, red raspberries, blueberries, early apples, bell peppers, and onions.

I'll make red raspberry jam soon.

Also, I went to Behnke's with the Vegan Knitter and got my orchids looked at. Two are in bigger pots, one got its medium changed, and the other is doing just fine. I'll go back around February and have them checked again. I spent a good while chatting with a couple and their godson about fall vegetable gardening (including a plug for growstuff) as we all waited to be seen, so that was nice. I did successfully make a saving throw against the 40% off sale, even though that included 'ornamental' pepper plants. I did pick up some seed packets, so it looks like I'm going to try Romanseco Broccoli again. Maybe I should start the seeds now..?
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2017-08-01 08:04 pm

Sporadic downpours (Basil Day, 14th of Heat, Year 225)

I got caught in a downpour after getting off the bus. After 90 minutes, I'm more or less dried off and warm, but my clothes are still hanging up in the shower, slowly drying out. I'll probably have to wear my parrot jacket to work tomorrow as my blue jacket is likely to still be too damp to wear in the morning and I need something in case the A/C is too high.

I think I'm just going to turn in early and wrap myself in blankets.
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2017-07-30 12:56 pm

Farmer's Market -- 30 July 2017 (Glasswort Day, Month of Heat, Year 225)

Red-fleshed plums, donut peaches, blueberries, sweet yellow cherries, shishito peppers, lion's mane mushrooms, boneless pork shoulder, red raspberries, hot-and-spicy oregano plant, Texas tarragon plant, lovage plant (free!), garlic cheese curds, pint of chocolate mik.

Max's Degrees the spice company was there with new blends, and will be back on August 20th, so I might make it a point to go to the Takoma Park market then. For right now, I'm going to make some Korean cuisine for work lunches this week, and plan on making the pork shoulder tomorrow (or Tuesday, if takes longer to thaw in the fridge).
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2017-07-28 09:09 pm

Mixed Stone Fruit Jam -- Watering Can Day, 10th of Heat, Year 225

I finally put up the mixed-stone-fruit jam. It's about half sour cherries, with the rest being shiro plums, donut peaches, and nectarines, with a bit of lemon juice. I had enough left to put up about 3/4 cup in the fridge, so I'll try it tomorrow on waffles or something. I expect it will be nicely tart.

Oh, and yes, today is the 10th of Thermidor -- on this day in 1794, the Reign of Terror ended with the execution of Robespierre.
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2017-07-25 09:02 pm

Dyeing again -- Mugwort Day, 7th of Heat, Year 225

I got my hair color touched up and my ends trimmed after work today. I should not find the student hairdressers as cute as a basket of kittens, but they are -- mainly because of how enthusiastic they get.

For example, the woman who was working on my hair kept exclaiming about how much I have -- it's both long and dense -- and how far it extends down my nape, which she noticed because I maintain a severe undercut. She also called my hairline 'crazy', but in an affectionate way; it definitely make it a challenge to overdye my temples, which are almost completely silver now if I don't dye my hair. Also, she's probably the first student there who didn't blink when I said I wanted my undercut at zero. It'll be back by Friday, and shaving it to the skin only makes sense in our near-100F weather. It was nice to meet someone who trusted that I knew my own hair.

I do wish I had a job where I had no chance of encountering clients -- I really want to dye my hair burgundy again. It was an awesome color on me.
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2017-07-23 06:52 pm

Dunkirk (movie rec) -- Ram Day, 5th of Heat, Year 227

I went with [personal profile] fabrisse, [personal profile] greenygal, and A Person Without A Psuedonym to see Dunkirk today.

I highly recommend it, especially if you can see it in a dedicated 70mm screen. There are deaths -- it's a war movie -- but gore is actually fairly minimal. The tension, otoh, is intense. Hans Zimmer scored the movie with the recurring motif of a ticking watch, and even when you can hear the watch, there's a relentless rhythm under the score. And when there's no score, it's usually because the music is replaced with something awful, like the screaming of a Stuka bomber.

The movie is surprisingly short -- just 106 minutes -- and has three intertwining sections: The Mole, about the soldiers on the beach and the mole which is the only way of loading soldiers onto the big ships, as there is no harbor they have access to and loading from the beach would require ships with a draft of three feet or less; The Sea, about one of the Little Ships of Dunkirk; and The Air, about an RAF pilot.

I do suggest you go with someone whose hand you can grab, because as I said, the movie is intense.