crafty_packrat: Heart design on whorl of a polymer clay spindle (Default)
I went to see Rams at the AFI last night. The description is: 'In a remote Icelandic farming valley, two brothers who haven't spoken in 40 years have to come together in order to save what's dearest to them - their sheep'.

My initial reaction was 'my god, it's Norwegian Bachelor Farmers!', except they're Icelanders. But I was with [personal profile] ellen_fremedon; and the Vegan Knitter, and she agreed it was totally Norwegian Bachelor Farmers. Though when we got to the end, she pointed that once you've run away to the mountains, that's the last step to becoming an outlaw and your story is over; so the ending was perfect, at least in the context of Icelandic sagas.

This afternoon I went to see Chandu the Magician with [personal profile] greenygalas part of the William Cameron Menzies retrospective. It had a good bit of painfully dated orientalism, and a good bit of raygun gothic with a 'death ray' as the central macguffin, but it also had some amazing set design consider it was made in 1932, some nifty special effects (and lots of van de graaf generators and tesla coils) and correct use of 'thou' and 'you' between a master yogi and his student Chandu. You could definitely see the seeds of both the Jedi and Indiana Jones in the movie.

Next up, there's short run of Harryhausen films, including King Kong and Jason and the Argonauts at the AFI that I'm going to go to, and a two-day only run of Project Itoh: Empire of Corpses, which is a steampunk anime alternate history -- 'Ever wonder what the world would be like if the British Empire had been built upon a working class of reanimated corpses?' -- so I will go see it even though it's only showing weekday nights.

Success!

Jan. 1st, 2014 02:38 pm
crafty_packrat: (foodie)
Pear cider cardamom caramels are a thing! Take Smitten Kitchen's apple cider caramel recipe, switch pear cider for apple cider and three ground cardamom pods for the cinnamon, and it totally works!

... Lard

Oct. 26th, 2013 03:24 pm
crafty_packrat: (foodie)
Splendid Table is talking about lard this afternoon, and mentioned lard caramels. I have several tablespoons of leaf lard in the freezer, and this sounds like a tempting recipe -- lard caramels.

I'm also considering that the next time I get a pork shoulder from Many Rocks farm, I should just trim and save the fat and wet-render it for later.
crafty_packrat: Apple Tarts for all! (baking)
Purple sweet potatoes (pie!), gold rush and pink lady apples, batard of country white, dragon's breath cheese, chicken empanada, apricot tartlet, green bell peppers, rutabaga, candy onions, ground bison, and a bison hanger steak (on sale). I also asked the bison vendor if they ever sell suet -- he didn't know, but gave me their head of farmer's markets person's card so that I can contact them and ask.

I'm currently rendering the 6 oz of leaf lard I got a while ago with this method. We'll see how it turns out. I will say that cutting it up with my ulu was quite like cutting butter in texture, so I hope it turns out well. At the very least, it should be an interesting attempt.

Later, I'm making the Indian-spiced tumeric-potatoes-cauliflower-peas dish. Yesterday, I used the gingerale recipe to make galangal ale, but in doing so broke my 20 yr old food processor -- turns out that galangal is a lot harder root than ginger. Oops.
crafty_packrat: (foodie)
I made this for Thanksgiving, and it's excellent.

Ingridients )
Directions )
crafty_packrat: (foodie)
Batard of white bread, two spinach plants, chorizo, weisswurst, pork fish, naranjilla, Wallaby cheese, chestnuts, and a chicken empanada.

The naranjilla I'll probably make into a drink, though not a shrub -- something more on the order of an agua fresca. The chestnuts will be roasted.

Right now, I'm making another batch of White Bean Spread ... I need to get some more sumac for the next time I need to make za'atar. Sometime this evening I'll plant the spinach seedlings -- given that I tore out all of the mint yesterday, I'm a little bit gardened out...
crafty_packrat: (GardeningPots)
Shortly after I arrived at the new apartment, I planted hibiscus in front of the hedge with the hope of harvesting them for red zinger and agua fresca making. However, they were shortly weed-wacked out existance by the groundskeeping staff.

So, my solution -- since tenants are allowed to plant in the flowerbeds and even lay out raised beds if they spring for the supplies themselves, was to buy supplies and make a bed for my plants that was unambiguously a maintained, not to be weedwacked, in-cultivation bed.

I did it this morning -- with some help from [personal profile] holli last night to get the bags of topsoil, compost, tools and such to my place she has a car. )

Also, I went with a neighbor up to Behnke's Nursery, and came back with fish fertlizer, microrhyzia innoculatant, and some pamphlets on amaryllis care. We had fun looking around, and she might go back for some indoor paperwhites. If that happens, I might go with her for saffron crocuces and maybe a few more amaryllis bulbs. They had already sold out of all the fall vegetable seedlings they carry, which surprised me. But I picked up two dill seedling and planted them when we got back. At the very least they'll give me fresh dill for a while -- they might seed and give the caterpillars something to eat next spring, if I'm lucky.

Surprisingly, all the work on the flowerbed (including cleaning up) only took two hours. We'll just have to see how sore I am in the morning, to see if I'm up to digging up all the mint some ex-neighbor planted in that bed -- it has to come out, but it might be next weekend.
crafty_packrat: (GardeningPots)
I potted the collard green seedlings this morning -- they seem kind of delicate, so let's hope at least some of them survive the transition.

I also cut two runners from my strawberries, dipped them in rooting hormone, and potted them. They look pretty in small pots on my windowsill, don't you think )

I'm hoping that they make it into independant plants -- I might like to put them in the ground later, though that might in fact have to wait until spring.

Also, I'm trying to determine what exactly the gorgeous flower one of the other tenants gifted to me because she's moving out. It think it's some kind of lily? )I'd like to know so that I know how best to take care of it. If it'll do better in the ground, I'll need to figure out where to plant it and what can be near it, especially if it needs acidic soil. The local soil is clay for the most part, and needs a lot of compost for vegetables, but that's not neccessarily the case for ornamental flowers.
crafty_packrat: (foodie)
Just bought eggs, apples, nectarines, and red pluots today. Because of Hurricane Irene I went to the SS market yesterday, picked up 3lbs of bone-in pork shoulder, some donut peaches, nectarines, apples, white bread, tomatillos and cherry tomatoes -- which was a good idea, because the entire business district here is blacked out, which means my bank's ATM is down.

I did make chili verde yesterday, which was just as yummy and sinus-searing as I remembered. Next time, I'll make sure the chiles are seared black before I set the to cool; if they're not totally blistered over, it's hard to get the skin off in spots. I need to pick up more sour cream sometime this week, and get ready for Labor Day.
crafty_packrat: Heart design on whorl of a polymer clay spindle (Default)
Iow, yes, I felt the earthquake. It felt like someone had turned on a jackhammer on the roof -- in fact, at first I thought maybe someone was working on our roof, which leaked badly last year and was a bit of a hazard considering what we do at my job -- but it went on too long and was too loud.

The new assistant project director herded us all outside afterwards so that a quick check of the building could be done. There was nothing, and when we went in, we did a sweep of the running equipment -- all 300 units, to make sure no alarms were going off.

The most I was impacted was the fact that the Metro was only running at 15 mph, so my normal 10 minute commute took 26 minutes. Still, I'm home and I'm fine.
crafty_packrat: (foodie)
We had to set these in a skillet with water as a double boiler of a sort to loosen up the caramel bottoms of these, but these Orange-Vanilla Caramel Cremes turned out wonderfully when we upended them.

Basically, we made flan with a melting orange caramel top by flipping them out. Next time, I'd slice the orange peel into much thinner slivers, but [personal profile] ellen_fremedon pointed out that they really nicely countered the rich sweetness of the custard, so using the peel so aggressively worked out.

So tasty! )



So the great Cook-In was a great success, though we both wished several times for a bigger, better laid-out kitchen. And more people to eat all the food, because seriously, it seemed that we Cooked All things.

And I seriously want to try more recipes from Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume -- these are fabulously tasty recipes.
crafty_packrat: (foodie)
After the ice cream and walk, [personal profile] ellen_fremedon and I came back and contemplated giving up...

but we had already grilled the sliced zucchini (and has to hastily save the ice cream, since we had both forgotten it on the countertop. Oops. It was soft and a bit melted, but should be okay by tomorrow evening).

Anyway, we retrieved the zucchini and decided to make only a half recipe, reserving the rest of the ingredients for later. Which is when we discovered the squash blossoms were still at [personal profile] ellen_fremedon's place. Oops again.

All that cleared up, I weighed out the feta cheese (Bulgarian, I believe, and wonderfully sharp) and [personal profile] ellen_fremedon whipped up the dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and toasted seseme seeds (since we didn't have nigella seeds -- talk about a speciality item).

Grilled zucchini are quite tasty! )

I don't know if the squash blossoms would have improved the salad or not, but it was pretty darned tasty anyway.
crafty_packrat: (foodie)
Bloated with all the food we made and consumed, [personal profile] ellen_fremedon and I scooped out cones of the Strawberry-Hibiscus ice cream I set to set this morning and went for a post-prandial walk.

Sweet and purple )

The ice cream itself was somewhat soft, and I think I might modify the custard next time to use only yolks instead of whole eggs -- and use smaller bits of strawberries. I think on the verge strawberries gave the best flavor, considering I used both them and some bought from the co-op on Saturday.
crafty_packrat: (foodie)
After we were able to contemplate food again -- at least an hour later -- [personal profile] ellen_fremedon and I fried up the falafel we made with red chard.

The recipe said to make falafels about the size of golfballs. I'd say smaller would be better, given the problems we had with falafels about that size. Bits of chards tended to float off into the frying oil, and sometimes the falafel just broke apart.

They were very tasty, though, because after we took them out of the frying oil [personal profile] ellen_fremedon sprinkled them with salt. Chard, especially the stalks, apparently gets a wonderfully sweet finish when fried, and who doesn't like crispy bits with salt? I liked mine with a healthy dash of tumeric as well, but your mileage may vary.

Tasty balls of chard and chickpea )

[personal profile] ellen_fremedon suggests that shallow-fried chard might be a tasty thing indeed to sprinkle over popcorn some day. I've fried parsley, and seriously cruchy greens are kind of irresistible.
crafty_packrat: (foodie)
[personal profile] ellen_fremedon and I wisely got together on Saturday and figured out our meal plan for today, so we could get the best ingredients and split cost.

Of course, we chose Jidi Bel Zet -- Veal Shanks with Saffron and Seven Spice -- before realizing that first, no one was selling veal shanks, and second, the goat shanks (the recipe is adapted from a recipe for goat) were two-and-a-half-dollars more per pound than osso bucco from the bison ranch. Otoh, there was no guarantee that the bison people had osso bucco availabe either, but their saleswoman promised she'd be able to sell us stew meat and a marrowbone if the osso bucco wasn't available. Which was why I bought a marrowbone on Sunday.

The first thing we had to do this morning was make Baharat -- the blend of sweet paprika, cumin, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, hot paprika, and coriander -- which is the titular Seven Spice. Hand grinding 4 tsps of black pepper is a chore, especially with a mini-grinder, and I finally resorted to cracking the black pepper with my mortar and pestle. After dredging and browning the meat, we stuffed it in the oven and worked on prep work for other dishes, with just a timer to keep us going.

Cooking the shallots, garlic and saffron in one skillet and the sweet potatoes in another, and then dumping them all back in the dutch oven to cook on the stove top worked well. Once they were cooked through, [personal profile] ellen_fremedon showed me how to get the marrow out of a marrowbone with a butter knife, and put the blood and juices she saved when we opened the meat packages to enrich the dish. Adding a half a lemon's worth of juice, we set back and let the whole thing rest.

Instead of serving with saffron rice, we just ate it with the pita bread left from the first course... omgGOOD )

It doesn't look like much in the pot, but trust me, it smelled wonderful and tasted fabulous.
crafty_packrat: (foodie)
[personal profile] ellen_fremedon came over to watch the end of the local Independence Day parade -- two pipe-and-drum corps, two steel drum groups, 5 troops of Girl Scouts (represent! 1 troop of Juniors, 2 of Daisies, 2 of Brownies), lots of classic Thunderbirds, a Delorean, a Cadillac ambulance, a bunch of historic fire trucks, a basset-hound brigade, a Sons of the Desert Marching Club and a push-mower precision drill team.

Dip made from white beans, roasted garlic and goat feta pureed with olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and toasted cumin seed, topped with za'atar. Yum! )

Smashed cucumber salad with mint, toasted pistachio, greek yogurt, dill, black raspberries (because you can't actually buy mulberries), and homemade pomegranate molasses. Fabulous! )

The smashed cucumbers were kind of fun, but getting a seedless variety is going to be very important when I make it again.
crafty_packrat: (foodie)
So, the pink peppercorn meringues are finished -- they came out unexpectedly huge, and I will probably give many of them away.

The orange vanilla caramel cremes are finished, but I think I went past caramel into 'butterscotch hard candy', so the bottoms have a crust like a creme brulee. Ooops.

The strawberry-hibiscius ice cream is in the freezer setting up, and it tastedfabulous.

The white bean dip is half done -- the spices, oil and lemon juice are the only thing that needs to be added. The chard for the falefel is cooling now, after being blanched.

The meat is thawed, so after the parade, I'll get that started.
crafty_packrat: (foodie)
Garlic, onions, red chard, bison stew meat and marrowbone (substituting for bison shanks), apricots, methley plums, black raspberries, zucchini, cucumbers, cheese danish, chicken empanada, lemon balm plant, quart of pie cherries, half-gallon milk, and batard of white bread

Plans for a quark cheesecake in abeyance until I get a springform pan.

Tomorrow will be the cook-in (like a cook-out but indoors because it's too damned hot out already) where I try out a bunch of recipes from Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume. I'm going to do some prelim work today -- making the ice cream base, pre-cooking beans, roasting garlic, etc.
crafty_packrat: Heart design on whorl of a polymer clay spindle (Default)
batard of white bread, bacon slab ends (half the price of cut bacon, destined for soup), quart of creamline milk, garlic cheese curds, red bell pepper quark, pink lady apples, cheese danish, onions and asparagus.

Guess who is going to try making mushroom asparagus risotto this week?

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crafty_packrat: Heart design on whorl of a polymer clay spindle (Default)
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