Sunday, September 30, 2007


It has been a bit of a busy week. Class and babysitting all week until Papa took me to dinner at Mono Loco on Friday and then i took him to see The Clean House at Live Arts. A very enjoyable evening all in all. Saturday I did a little shopping at the boutique (I bought a black wool suit and a summer skirt) and then went to Tractor Supply to get parts to fix my weedeater. Nothing complicated, just replacing the stupid bolt I lost last weekend and doing a little cheating by purchasing the pre-wound spool of trimmer twine..... I am afraid I am hooked (I spent about 40 minutes last weekend trying to wind the spool. I felt like Sisiphus as every time I got it almost done, I would drop the spool and it would entirely unwind.....)

Then more babystiting and some knitting. GAD, I am SO dull. I am working on a pattern for a shawl and I want to change the boarder, so I am trying to speed through the boring part and then try out this idea. Theoretically it will work, but......

Today I made chicken soup and dill bread and scraped a windowsill and then realized I don't have the sticky sandpaper to put on the vibrating sander that I use for prep, so I stopped pursuing the painting and did some weedeating (or more correctly, string trimming). In addition to losing the bolt the last time I did the string trimming, I also got poison ivy all over my chest. I got into a big patch of it and I washed the exposed skin well, but apparently some of the oils went through my shirt or were otherwise deposited on my skin. Luckily, I am not so allergic. I was only miserable for a couple of days. This time I put liquid soap all over me before getting in the shower. Crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

For the Chicken Soup, I started with a whole lotta backs and necks and then took those out and added a whole chicken and some random potatoes and garlic and some onion. Cooked that for a couple hours then removed all the solid stuff and boiled celery and carrot and potato in the stock with some thyme and black pepper and then added the chicken in when that was all cooked. Yummers. Simple and delectable, the way I like it.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I promise to one day post a picture. right now it all seems too great an undertaking though I will do just abut anything to avoid my statistics homework. This class is kicking my butt. Hard. I feel like I stepped off a cliff day one and am just waiting to hit the ground. Hard.

In avoiding stats, I made potato soup yesterday. I ran into my friend /neighbor Dr. H (he is a doctor of food. A chef. The guy that makes simple and delicious simple and fantastic) at the health food store Friday. He mentioned the lovely leeks. I agreed and bought some to go with the plethora of potatoes that I have been getting with my vegetable subscription.

Yesterday I made the simple delicious soup of leek and potato. Saute two washed and sliced leeks with 3 cloves of garlic and a big chunk of butter and a bay leave or two. Cut up 4-5 large potatoes. If the skins are thin I leave them on, if not, I peel them. I prefer yukon gold, but anything will do. Throw the taters in the pot and fill it up with chicken or veggie stock to about a half inch over the vegetables. Simmer until soft. You can either mash or puree or some of both. Then add some whole milk/half and half/whipping cream/creme fraiche - maybe half to three quarters of a cup and a big dollop of plain yogurt to add some tang. Serve hot or cold, with some parsley if you like or bacon if ya got it. Sooooo remarkably easy!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Weekend of Domesticity

I headed to Blacksburg this weekend to see my Sweet Baboo. We didn't do much of anything, but had a nice domestic weekend. Friday we made stew from a chicken that SB had made in his crock pot and had a neighbor over for a late dinner. Simple chicken noodle soup and delicious bread from Albemarle Baking Company. This was just a chicken cooked with onion and bay and carrot. When I reheated it with some potato chunks added and then poured it over cooked noodles. Simple. Delish. Bread and butter really made it more wonderful. Also we managed to hit on a nice chilly night.

The next night I made a pasta with bacon, winter squash and fresh spinach over pasta. I cooked the bacon while I was baking the squash. Then I poured out most of the bacon grease (OK, some of the bacon grease) and added onion, cubes of cooked squash, some water from the cooking pasta. AT the end, I piled a bunch of fresh spinach on top of the cooking squash and let it wilt. I chopped a few pieces of bacon and folded it in. This got poured over pasts and we had butter lettuce and fresh tomato salad and fresh bread and butter.

The next morning it was leftover squash /spinach/onion/cheese omelet with wheat toast and lots and lots of coffee.

Cooking just isn't much fun by myself. Anyone up for food swapping? I make a big pan of lasagne and you make some chili and we swap? Anyone?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Blog for Peace Damnit

I joined. And not just because Starrhillgirl said so, though that would, of course, be reason enough ....

Sunday, September 9, 2007


OK, here goes. I feel like sort of an impostor here since I don't really do that much popcorn...Cho-girl and Starrhillgirl are both pros....

Microwave or pan-popped?
Microwave.... I like pan popped better, but I am lazy.

Dinner or snack?
Snack. To keep me from ordering a 16 inch pepperoni pizza as a snack.

Sweet or savory?
Savory although the occasional carmel corn is not unappreciated.

Eat out of a bowl, bag, or out of the pan?
The bag when I don't burn it. A bowl when I do so that I can sift out the smoking clods of blackened corn and put them on the porch so as not to set off the smoke alarm.

All popped or leave some kernels?
Usually they are all pretty well popped by the time it starts smoking.

During a movie, would you throw it or do you prefer to make out?
Depends on if you are at home or in the theater. That seat arm is a little awkward.

What is the weirdest thing you have put on your popcorn?
I am a traditionalist. I don't do weird popcorn.

What's the best popcorn addition experiment that worked out well?
When I was a kid, we made it in this great steel wok. It never burned that way. But then again, my dad was cooking it.

Who do you share your popcorn moments with?
The SB (Sweet Baboo) and my walkin' buddy P.


Man it is dry out there. The Ville is under water restrictions. Plants are going belly up left and right. The garden is a desert. The creek is dry. It is all very demoralizing. I keep checking the weather and we get promises of rain which then are withdrawn 2-3 days before they are to materialize. They are calling for it tomorrow afternoon. Earlier it looked like rain all week, now it is just a couple of days. At least it will be cooler.

I hate this. It makes me feel panic-y. Not just because we have lots of precious shrubs and plants that will die, but that we seem to be getting more and more droughts and things don't seem to be changing. People still take long showers, run tiny loads of dishes and laundry, and expect there to be water every time they turn the tap. It won't last, but we seem to be in the same denial that we are with oil.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Labor Day. I celebrated by doing as little labor as possible. My sis in law and I went to Joann's which was a mob scene of people buying Halloween stuff. Huh? It's like two months away, dude. Isn't the fun racing around at the last second trying to find a costume? But perhaps this is the reason people always ask me what I am supposed to be. I hate Halloween especially for this reason.

Also, at Joann's, there was wrapping paper. That would be Christmas wrapping paper, people. I am not kidding. It made me want to hide. Hide my checkbook anyway.

Today I started by Survey Research Class at UVA. I haven't applied to the program yet, but I have been merrily taking classes in program evaluation, research and statistics. Well, not merrily taking statistics but.....What is keeping me from applying... one stinkin' essay that I can't seem to get on the schedule. I am such a loser.

To combat my guilt from not doing what I was supposed to this weekend (you remember the "paint the house thing?) I have allayed my guilt by coming up with another project. Which I need like a hole in the head. I want to get the neighborhood involved in the Red Scarf Project. I think we have a couple of knitters around, and it would be a nice way to ease into the holiday season . Last year we sponsored a family and did a cookie exchange. I hope to be able to do that again, too.

With all the CRAP that happens in the neighborhood, I think it is nice to be able to forget our differences and come together to support folks who are less fortunate. I think it makes us remember how lucky we are to live in such a lovely and remarkable place.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Step Away from The Man

On my good days, I torture myself over the choices I make daily, like buying lunch that comes in a disposable container, buying cheap yarn off the internet instead of visiting my local yarn shop, and drinking WAY too much seltzer water in plastic containers. I think it was about this time last year I was trying to start buying more stuff locally, even if it wasn't locally produced. You know, buying from the little guy instead of conglomerates like Giant and Food Lion (you know, The Man). I had success for a while, then went back to my old ways. Well, I am trying again.

My big success in my last round was getting fed up with all those yogurt containers that aren't recyclable. I bought a yogurt maker from Amazon (yes, Amazon is also The Man) and since then have made 95% of my yogurt. It is awesome and I love it. This time around, I have purchased a soda siphon. Yup. My very own homemade club soda- no bottle disposal required.

Now if I can just find a local purveyor of ground beef who is open on Sundays....

Saturday, September 1, 2007

CANNOT Believe This

How many times must one make the same mistake before one learns one's lesson? I cannot tell you how many times I have done this particular thing. The fact that it is simply more than one is mortifying enough. If I gave you the actual number you would laugh. Unless you had done it too. Then you would shake your head and say "Yeah, I did that once" and tactfully not stress the ONCE.

Once AGAIN, I have assembled a pair of pants I am making incorrectly. Sewing front leg to front leg, back leg to back leg down the inside seam. This is no big deal, other than I have made this particular annoying mistake soooooo many times. I will begin ripping as soon as I have a glass of wine.