Friday, 27 August 2010

Culinary Adventures of H. and E: Italian--Of the One Pot Gooey Squishy Variety

This week, H. and I ventured into the world of Cooking-Pots-Of-Somethings-For-An-Unknown-Length-Of-Time-To-Produce-Unknown-Results.
Or more simply put: we decided to try recipes we've never tried before.

Risotto has always been a great mystery to me. I grew up in a household where cooking rice was only a matter of closing the lid and pushing the right button. Rice served as an accompaniment, but never the main course itself. And what was with all of this stirring?

Moreover, a failed risotto experience from the past made me doubt that the highly praised "Arborio Rice" could produce anything other than a sticky yet crunchy mess. 

I was more than happy to be proven wrong.

H. and I asked, and the Risotto delivered excellent results!

We opted to omit the peas,
And double the spinach. Hoorah!

(Sorry for the horrid picture lighting.)


Comfortingly gooey and delicious. 
H. and I supped well that evening. 

Later in the week, we decided to roast the leftover heirloom baby tomatoes and use them in Frittata. 

Even though the above picture looks rather unappetizing, the Frittata broiled beautifully, 
And again, we had another splendid supper.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

A Breather

A lot has happened since I moved here:

-I chose my bedroom (The Owl's Nest).

-I was contacted by a Chinese family looking specifically for an "Asian Nanny". Oh...

-I baked a cake, which is something I haven't done since I started college. Moreover, I wanted to bake
 a cake. Also something I haven't wanted to do since I started college.

-H. and I successfully cooked up a pot of Spinach and Asparagus Risotto. Pictures to come.

-I started reading for fun. I'm currently reading The Little Princesses: The Story of the Queen's Childhood by her Nanny, Marion Crawford. And If Teacups Could Talk is my bedtime comfort book. You know, the kind of book that fills your mind with jolly plans. I'm putting the Economics Textbook and Financial Guide on hold for now. (Plus, they're too big to hold in bed. Desktop books.)

-I've started learning how to sit still and enjoy the view from the window seat.

And maybe, just maybe, H. and I will go to New York this weekend for this (!!!!). We have plans. And we also have awesome hats. 

But I must rest up for the weekend since my body is more tired than I thought.

I shall retreat to my Owl's Nest for now.

Risotto stories and videos of the house will follow at some point. Sorry for the delays! 

I shall be back in a few days. 


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

NM to VA: Owl-y Breakfast, Southern Lunch, and Lots of Trees


Whenever you visit Santa Fe, you must always eat breakfast at Tecolote Cafe. This is a must. But you do not need to pose like a pathetic-broken-winged-owl in front of the Tecolote Wall.

Pa and I drove and drove and drove.
We do not have many pictures of Texas, mostly because I managed to nap the entire way. 
We did, however, see this:

(I guess it's ironic that we later passed a town called "Atkins".) 


Pa and I did not stop for beef.
But we did drive, drive, and drive some more towards Pork. And Elvis.

And I guess Elvis is about as cool as Rare Bears. ....
Or so he wishes. 

Pa and I found our Pork.

And after making a solemn pledge to someday bring Ma to such Pork, we then drove and drove and drove some more. 

Until we finally arrived in the land of trees.
Hello, Virginia!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

VA: With NM to VA Coming Shortly

So, my camera is hiding, along with many other items that seem to wander away when you move across the country and begin unpacking everything again. But all is well. All is splendidly well!

And why, you might ask?

Because there are window seats in this house!

I often nestle myself in the kitchen window seat, which provides a wonderful view of the forest-y backyard. The nook is also a good place for reading, or eating a dish of ice cream. (I've tried the latter, and would suggest it to anyone who visited.)

I am so happy to be here. But it is not the bittersweet "happy-to-be-here-and-hoping-to-stay-forever" feeling. Even though I feel relieved to take a sabbatical of sorts from the demands of an academic, fast-paced, busy, driving-and-traffic filled life in Southern California, I know I will want to return to my family. Family and community, at least for now, seem to be part of the nebulous idea of "Home". And I think I will always want to be "at Home".

Yet I am also discovering that other things, such as window seats, good books, homey meals, pianos and music, and even pleasant weather and beautiful flowers can make me feel "At Home" even while thousands of miles away from my family and friends.

So to my dear family and friends,
I want to assure you that I am very happy and content where I am right now. Of course there will be times of homesickness. But isn't it a lovely thing that my home is somewhere or something I can miss?

I think I shall play some piano today. And then I might unpack my things into my Owly Nest. And then I might write some letters. Or maybe I'll fall asleep again. Who knows?

Hoo, Hoo, Hoo!

I hope you are all well! Please feel free to tell me how you are doing, and tell me what the weather is like, and whether the cats caught any more grasshoppers (Ma/Pa/Alli), etc.

I promised Sam a video of the house, so I shall post it once I find my camera.

Cheerio for now!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

CA to NM: "And they decided that all cars bear some semblance to hippos..."

Road Trip Revelations: Day 1

-Cars and Hippos. Don't the side mirrors on a car remind you of hippo ears? Or is this observation a result of spending most of the night packing and re-packing the car? Hmm. 

-The Beach Boys like geography. And girls. At least this is what my Dad thinks when he listens to "California Girls".

-I missed New Mexico more than I thought. It is so wonderful to be back, even if for a short while. I love the fresh mountain-y air, the reddish dirt, and even all of the adobe houses.  My dad and I ate dinner at La Casa Sena::La Cantina. (My dad used to take me here on dates when I was 6 or 7. I love my dad.) The building brought back many memories, and I fell in love with New Mexican architecture all over again. New Mexico, I love you I love you I love you.


A dog standing on its' hind legs? A woman with puffy bangs?

I love the highways of ABQ because they always lead our family to the zoo! How handy!

Hello, Jeep. Hello, rocky rolling hills. 

So, so luscious and green right now. :)

And so piercingly blue is the sky. 
"Puff!" say the clouds.

And we are happy. 

Cheerio for now!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Course List for Fall Semester 2010*

Soul Cheering Literature 101-Works by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Childhood Books I never read (Narnia series? The Hobbit? The Adventures of Tom Sawyer?), Inklings and Faith texts, and of course, the occasional Cooking Memoir (Emily Franklin, anyone?).

Art-I'm bringing my sewing machine with me, along with an antique suitcase stuffed with my favourite Softie-Making-Fabrics. I also have some unfinished rag dolls that I hope to finally clothe. There are also water colours, pastels, coloured pencils, and plenty of letter writing materials.

Science: Astronomy/How-To-Catch-A-Lightning-Bug/Tree-Hugging-I hope to see stars. And lightning bugs. And lots of trees.

P.E.-Walking, Shrimpy Prawn, and physical therapy exercises/stretching for knees, back, and upper-body.

Bible/Spiritual Formation-Daily prayers from Red Book/And Not Red Book. Hopefully supplementary reading from other books dealing with Soul Care, etc. Learning to take time to "be"--I think this can be done inside and outside of a set schedule.

Electives: Breakfasting and Tea Time, Cooking and Baking (?), and Sleep 412. Mmm. Upper-Division. 

*Who knows how much of this I will actually accomplish. I needn't conquer this list. Rather, it serves as a rough-draft plan of my agenda. Here is proof that I shall try not to be idle. Then again, I think my problem lies in being too busy.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Home: A Tuesday Evening at 6:16

-The sound of my Dad working out to his Walk Fit Exercise Video."Walk walk walk walk, one two three four, hey hey hey hey, ooh ooh ooh..."

-Eating a peppered turkey sandwich on buttermilk bread, and snacking on baby spinach out of a bag--just like potato chips.

-Trader Joe's Salsa Authentica.