Sunday, January 27, 2008

blog #049 >> apple rose tart

Look at this delicious thing I made this weekend!
You too can make one and I found the recipe here:
Martha Stewart's Recipes
Of course I didn't really follow the recipe. I don't generally like Martha Stewart's recipes. She obviously doesn't wash dishes by hand, goes to several different grocery stores for those obscure ingredients and has a least eight hours to cook her meal. But she is good for inspiration, like these lovely apple rosettes. I made my apple tart with a shortbread crust instead of puff-pastry and I didn't run my custard through a cheese cloth. But it wasn't missing, it was perfect and fluffy and smooth without it. I did wish I had used an extra apple though. I ran out about 3/4 of the way through and had to take apart the ones I had done earlier. Oh, next time I'll be all the wiser.

Oh, and I made créme brûleé with the leftover custard.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

blog #048 >> Meet Herbert

Theodore needed a friend. So here's Herbert.

blog #047 >> my new spice rack



I realize it was cute before, but it just didn't match my kitchen.
Thanks Dad for painting it for me.

Monday, January 21, 2008

blog #046 >> Happy T-Day!

I was excited to see that even McDonald's was celebrating my
birthday today by giving away " T " action figures to commemorate
my greatness.

In case you've forgotten... today is my birthday.
I can't say it was as eventful as last year's birthday. (Last year I signed the lease to my apartment on my birthday.) But it was extremely fun none the less.
This year my Grandma Ide took me and my family to the beach. I just love it when my birthday falls on M.L.K. day. We took advantage of the national holiday and flew the coup. The beach had lovely weather for being the middle of January. Sunny three days out of four isn't bad. My parents and brother and sister-in-law stayed with us at the beach house in Taft. (It's just one block away from the world famous restaurant Mo's.) And my sister, brother-in-law, and their two kids, Little Miss. Maggie and Master Charlie came up for the day on Saturday. All was lovely, except I sprained my ankle pretty bad on Saturday and couldn't walk for the rest of the day and half of the next. I took a bad landing after stepping/jumping off some driftwood. But not being able to walk did make for a restful vacation. My brother even knew of a beach you can drive your car down to so I wouldn't have to walk down the beach. (and I mean actually on the sand. I wouldn't suggest it during high tide.) It was very nice and a really neat beach. I'd want to go there even if I could walk. And happily my ankle is feeling much better today.
And tonight my parents brought over a delicious coconut cream pie for dessert. Thanks!

Photos: T-Day the Beach

Photos: T-Day the Party

Saturday, January 12, 2008

blog #045 >> Daring and Dangerous Books

I will most certainly get a lot of criticism for this posting. But fortunately, I'm most certain, that the certain people, who would most certainly complain, don't read my blog. In fact hardly anyone reads my blog, which is kinda nice, so I should be safe. (Please note: this is one of the first times I have ever blogged about anything remotely political, so beware.) That being said... continue on:

Book Review: The Dangerous Book for Boys

“Don’t worry about genius and don’t worry about not being clever. Trust rather to hard work, perseverance, and determination… You hold your future in your own hands. Never waiver in this belief… Be honest, be loyal, be kind. Remember the hardest thing to acquire is the faculty of being unselfish.”
Sir Frederick Treves
The Dangerous Book for Boys

The Dangerous Book for Boys encompasses all the things boys should know, but few do. It's a much needed book in an age where boys would rather sit and play computer games than spend an afternoon in the mud. This book reminds me so much of reading my old "My Book House" books from the 1915-60 or the dusty topical encyclopedia from the 50's at my parent's house. It's contents are full of pages that teach how to do things like make a periscope, grow crystals, how to make a bow and arrow, and how to skip rocks. It also teaches stories of courage and valour such as Scott and the Antarctic and it teaches values like The Ten Commandments. This book not only helps boys be boys but it helps them become men. It's a piece of a mind set that's almost extinct in our culture today: That boys should be boys and girls should be girls.

Book Review: The Daring Book for Girls

Unlike it's masculine counterpart this book... well... it sort of... um... it sucks. What I loved about The Dangerous Book for Boys is that it challenged boys to do boy things. The Daring Book for Girls does not encourage girls to do very girly things. You might as well buy your little girl The Dangerous Book for Boys. It's much better written, and honestly has cooler stuff. And some of the same things like paper airplanes, knots, and pirates. At least with The Dangerous Book for Boys your daughter will learn about virtue and selflessness, which is great for both boys and girls to learn. I thought The Daring Book for Girls would include that too, only use different stories to illustrate that same great lesson. It did not.
I guess I was expecting better after reading The Dangerous Book for Boys. I thought, well, the girl one must be great too! I was wrong. I thought it would have all the stuff I liked to do when I was young. It really didn't. Once again I think its intro says a lot:

"For every girl with an independent spirit, here is the guide to everything from school yard games to great women in history! The Daring Book for Girls is the essential manual for everything that girls need to know—and that doesn't mean sewing buttonholes!"

Hey, I like sewing buttonholes!!!! I think it's important for girls to know how to sew buttonholes! Sewing buttonholes doesn't mean you don't have an independent spirit, nor is it derogatory. The problem is, women in today's culture don't want to be women, and this book just encourages that mindset. Personally, I like being a girl and that includes cooking cakes and sewing dresses. The Dangerous Book for Boys is helping boys remember or learn for the first time how to do guy things. I want a book like that for girls! Here is an example of some of the content in The Daring Book for Girls: palm reading, public speaking, modern women leaders, yoga: the sun salutation, finance: stocks and bonds, how to change a flat tire, (and my personal favorite) how to negotiate a salary. This is CRAP! Instead of teaching girls about real women role models like (my personal favorite) Mother Teresa, it's teaching them about Cleopatra. Yes, let's all be slutty like her and sleep with both Mark Anthony and Caesar at the same time in order to climb to power... Sorry... I will admit The Daring Book for Girls does have some decent parts: pressing flowers, jump rope, and cartwheels, but it doesn't have a single section on cooking, sewing, knitting or manners. What ever happened to women enjoying these things? This book makes me want to write my own book about girls being girls. Heck, any Martha Stewart magazine would be a decent replacement for this book. To say the least The Daring Book for Girls was a huge disappointment. And reminded once more that I do not share the views of our culture.

To end it all: The Dangerous Book for Boys is a daring book that challenges boys to be boys: get outside, build an electromagnet and be honest and loyal towards others. The Daring Book for Girls is a dangerous book that encourages girls to throw away their feminality and be just like the boys, and it certainly doesn't teach much in the way of virtues.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

blog #044 >> two years of covers...
well not all of them

As most everyone reading this knows... I quit the paper.
I will say no more about it.

But I know some people reading this never even got to see the paper.
So here's a few of my favorite covers so you'll know what I'm missing.

blog #043 >> of Alice in Wonderland
& The White Rabbit

While speaking of Alice in Wonderland here is the white rabbit I made a few months ago.

That was the first neck tie I've ever had to tie. I had to look it up online to figure it out. And it was still hard! It took me several and by several I mean about 32 times to finally get a successful tie. How do guys do it?

blog #042 >> of Alice in Wonderland
& Mock Turtle Soup

Ever since I read Alice in Wonderland I wondered, "What is Mock Turtle Soup?" and "What is a Mock Turtle?" Is it a soup made from tofu that tastes like turtle? Is a Mock Turtle an type of bird related to a mocking bird or is it a type of turtle? So began my quest to find a recipe for Mock Turtle Soup. Last night I finally found a recipe, not online but in my old The American Family Cook Book.

I don't think it will be a recipe I'm going to try.
But it's fun to finally know what it is.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

blog #040 >> I am a nerd.

Almost anyone can tell you that when I say the phase, "I was at Good Will the other day..." It is almost always followed by an, "...and I found an amazing ______." This blank is usually a noun and can range from "toast rack" to "pirate mug." But yesterday I found a find to equal if not surpass The Hobbit on vinyl.
Behold! I give you...

The first edition of The Simarillion! complete with original map and dust jacket. I was pretty stoked.