Thursday, September 20, 2018

Things I keep thinking of blogging about but do not

Before I kick into the list of things I have failed to blog about, let me begin with a list of the critical barriers paralyzing my blogging effort:
  1.  I am also writing a book. Ha, yeah. Stick that between your judgy squished eyebrows.
  2. I got a food dehydrator that I need to amortize. Turns out, I wholeheartedly enjoy dehydrating practically anything and then stuffing it into little plastic baggies for the zombie apocalypse. On the downside all that chopping and zip locking is a hella time suck.
  3. Other miscellaneous pursuits which I cannot recall at this time.
That was sort of a bust, so let us transition to the part where I list all the things I haven't been blogging about:
  1. Pascal's wager
  2. The twelve pack of colorful socks I recently purchased online.
  3. Basilica Hudson Soundscape
  4. Getting mistaken for a minister and having someone's father confess to me.
  5. The guy with the Gay AF t-shirt on and the high altitude straddle kicks
Also other things that may or may not happen.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

I believed you, dude

I wanted to talk about the time I was supposed to have a video Skype meeting with this guy. We got on the call and he said that unfortunately he had to go. 

He had badly burned his foot. The burn had turned into a huge blister and the blister had just popped and he needed to go to the emergency room. 

He lifted his foot to the webcam and I got to see the bloody wound. 

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Very observant

Tom and I were over at Sloan Kettering meeting with one of the doctors for a consultation. We walk out of the exam room.

"What did you think of the doctor?" I ask.

"He favors one knee," says Tom.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

My Basketball - Don't Even Think about It

Tom said he was going to write his name on the basketball with a sharpie marker. He didn't want to get mixed up in a who-owns-this-basketball fracas with the kids who always play on the half court on our street in Chelsea. We had just been talking about going down there to shoot some hoops.

Good idea about the name on the basketball, I said, except it's my name that is going to get written on the basketball. Because it's my damn basketball.

Tom disagreed. He said he was sure it was his basketball. And anyway, it had been pretty flat and he used his bicycle pump and pumped it up again.

I said I know it is my basketball because I got it at the office Evil Santa gift exchange. I stole that basketball fair and square. I said there were probably a dozen witnesses and they weren't that drunk. They would remember whose basketball we were looking at here.

I probably threw in a small fingerwag at this point because I even knew who brought the wrapped basketball to the party in the first place. He originally bought it for a disabled five year old, but then realized you can't give a little kid a full-sized basketball. That would be suboptimal. Five year olds have tiny hands and soft skulls.

The next day at the office, everyone agreed I should just put my initials on the basketball. That would be cooler than writing my whole name.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Dairy-free Yogurt in the Instant Pot

I am now fully into making yogurt out of soy milk. There are three to five reasons for this which I will make up right now:
  1. Store-bought non-dairy yogurt is super pricey. I prefer to spend my money on Dona chai turmeric latte supplies that come in totes adorbs bottles that look like tinctures from the days of yore. I love stepping away from my desk for a moment to transform myself into some sort of herbalist shaman centrifuging a potion on the rotating glass plate inside the office microwave.
  2. Store-bought non-dairy yogurt has all these weird gums and gellans in it and comes in plastic one-use containers which I dislike for all the same reasons some people wear organic bamboo shmatas and eat tiny scraps torn from Mother Jones magazine.
  3. Fresh Direct sent me 4 quarts of soy milk that expire in two weeks. I over-ordered to stock up and then noticed the tragic flaw in this plan.

As with all my endeavors, this dream of yogurt also required a lot of online research, mostly on Amazon. I read reviews like some people do actual research. My strategy is to add ninety-five things to my shopping cart and then delete the ones I don't want. Not only is this efficient, it is a great way to consistently surprise yourself with items you would swear you deleted.

Finally, after exposing my eyeballs to much blue-light way too late in the evening, I purchased this yogurt starter:

incomprehensible instruction card enclosed.

Upon receipt, I snapped into action and read the enclosed card with great anticipation. The first sentence of the instructions said to "whisk or blend pouch contents." This proved difficult as the product came in a plastic bottle, no pouch to be found. Such obstacles generally cause me to abandon the mission for five days to a year, and so I looked at pictures of #weldporn on Instagram for the rest of the night.

OMG that is a buxom TIG weld.

Maybe three months later, I was talking to Audrey who reignited my interest in the non-dairy homemade yogurt. I vaguely remembered buying the starter on Amazon and jamming the little bottle into the cabinet behind Tom's electrolyte drink mixes. This time I would not be deterred. I did a google search for "non-dairy yogurt instant pot" because if you're going to do it, you might as well do it at high pressure.

Making non-dairy yogurt in an Instant Pot is seriously easy it turns out. Fuck that little card. All you do is add 1/8 a teaspoon of starter to a quart of nut-milk and then stick it in a jar in the Instant Pot for 14 hours. 14 hours?

14 hours seemed like a hella long time, but I excel at leaving and doing other things. Also, I can follow instructions. Except when they involve micro-measuring units. I decided to make a quart of yogurt but I didn't have a jar that held a quart, so I used three jelly jars. I considered doing the math, and dividing 1/8 by 3, but it felt like a very taxing operation and I don't have a teaspoon measurer smaller than 1/8 anyway. So I just eyeballed a less-than-full 1/8 teaspoon to all three of the jelly jars and called it good.

Only 1 hour and 19 minutes to go.

 The results were impressive, if I do say so myself:

I'm practically a homesteader now.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

My Recipe Novella - Pressurized Rhubarb in the Instant Pot

It’s a thing, you know. These days, when you look up a recipe on the interwebs, you don’t just get a straight up recipe with just the facts ma’am tablespoons and cooking temperatures. 

Now the recipe is like the climax after paragraphs about grandmothers and prairies. There is talk about heading out to a well-tended garden on rainy days. After sniffing the fragrance of a good simple life, the recipe author will gracefully kneel to clip perky stalks of nostalgic vegetables sprouted from the pink hearts of homemade whole grain bread baked with love in shiny retro appliances covered with artfully arranged Hello Kitty stickers.

Also there are a lot of ads for Pottery Barn for Kids and photos that make you want to paint your kitchen butter yellow and make yourself an apron out of gingham.

Rhubarb dessert

I love moss-covered table decorations as much as the next gal, and so I became inspired. May I present to you my first, and probably last, Recipe Novella:

I went out in my ancient slippers to pick up the CSA box. I threw all the vegetables in the fridge. Then I ignored them for about a week, until everything became somewhat flaccid and clearly on the way out. 

This is when I normally snap into action. 

I extracted everything from the fridge and besides the easily identifiable kale and turnips and romaine hearts, I found some long red celery looking things. I smelled them and cut them in half, but to no avail. I had a mystery produce item on my hands.

Mystery Blood Celery

In a burst of epiphany possibly accompanied by 80’s electronica, I recalled the photocopied sheet that always lists the contents of the CSA box. I fished it out of the recycling bin and by process of elimination identified the stalks as Rhubarb. 

I should have moved the sheet from the counter
before I started washing things

I do not have a treasured box of family recipes. Both my grandmas were somewhat questionable in the kitchen department. No worries, the google found this narrative about stewing Rhubarb including a decent backstory and plot line:

These photos seem a lot nicer than mine.

It looked amazing and such cute rubber boots. I couldn’t be bothered with the whole stove part of the operation so I just threw all the ingredients in the Instant Pot, guessed at the timing (8 minutes?) and hoped for the best. And when I say “all the ingredients” I mean all the ones I happened to have on hand. 

My Pressurized Rhubarb turned out pretty well. Good enough to add to my smoothie. I could barely taste it.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

MidSummer through Jenga

Corridor to Midsummer in Battery Park, NYC

After we left the Midsummer fest on Friday, we marched up to El Vez for corn tacos. But we only made it half way there. Someone spotted a half empty patio with twinkling Christmas lights and Casey had us a table in T minus 20.

Personally I couldn’t keep my eyes off the party of six next to us. Two gentlemen took turns slapping each other across the face for about ten minutes. Then a skinny Asian girl fell underneath the table and simply could not escape. The table legs were like the bars of her personal prison, impossible to circumvent when you're flat on the floor. Finally she managed some sort of yogic sunrise and rejoined the world of chairs.

After that, they all did body shots of tequila.

Earlier, at the midsummer fest, Anna Karin told me her American husband got the Swedish Rosetta Stone but he quit because he was learning sentences like “The girl is under the table.” Whoever would need to say “the girl is under the table” in Swedish, she griped. Well, now we know. 

Don’t underestimate Rosetta Stone.

The waitress, it turned out, was moving to Croatia the very next day. Our fellow patrons had come to see her off very emphatically and in a fashion that no one would recall in the morning.

Meanwhile, over at our table, we felt experienced. We’d been out hopping like frogs around the midsummer pole for something like 8 hours and yet were totally able to sit in an upright position and grill the waitress for solutions to everyone’s unique dietary restrictions. Also could she ask the kitchen to make a corn taco.  

We went inside when it started to rain. Someone noticed a ping pong table. Tom and Jo teamed up for a little doubles action versus Casey and Steven. Their moves were daring and terrifically bouncy. Surprisingly, we only found one ball lodged in Petrina’s tote bag after the match.

Jenga seemed like a good idea for a cool down. Our first game was total anarchy. We only figured this out after Jo got back from the bathroom and schooled us on every single Jenga rule. He has a keen eye for compliance. The game ended in a towering ruckus and then we had to leave because they turned the lights on in the bar and started picking up the salt shakers.

Considering that now we were going on pretty much a full day in the field so to speak, including serious solstice action, teaching “Helan Går" to the unwary, getting bitten by children, enjoying svenska punsch with a lot of ants, learning that spiked seltzer exists… it was an achievement. Kind of like a triathlon.  But that's next week.