Tuesday, July 29, 2008


"Food made by hand is an act of defiance and runs counter to everything in our modernity."

]- Bill Buford, Heat, pg 301

The pizzas came out really good. To accompany them, I recommend the Yellowtail Pinot Grigio, cheap as dirt, girly, fresh and tasty. In fact, you can get pretty drunk on this without realizing that you have actually drunk anything. Like, literally, anything. Like, water, for example. You will be drunk and also mysteriously parched.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Just read:

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise (Paperback)

by Ruth Reichl

Now reading:

Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany (Vintage) by Bill Buford

Now raising in the kitchen: pizza dough

Finally finished: Rebekah's cardigan

Frogged: sock yarn wrap - the slantedness of the stitch pattern (turkish) and the slantedness of starting from the corner (Clapotis-ish) canceled each other out, and so it was coming out too right-angle-y.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Awesome Dinner

No kidding, this is totally delicious. It's ridiculous.

Greens and Shrimp

2 big bunches sweet potato leaves plus whatever else is lying around
heaping spoonful minced garlic
salt and pepper
some shrimp, not even a pound. Whatever's on sale.

Wash your vegetation, cut it into pieces, and shell your shrimp. Set both aside.
Heat a wok or frying pan; add oil and heat until the oil shimmies a little.
Add the garlic to the pan, and for God's sake keep it moving. Do NOT let it turn black. Or even dark brown. A little golden is fine.

When it starts to smell good (instead of tinny), add the green stuff. I has a couple dispeptic-looking green onions, so I put those in after the garlic, with some salt and pepper. Then I added the leaves, stems, and some edible pea pods I had left over.

Stir fry the green stuff until the leaves are dark green and wilted, and the stems and whatever else are bright green and a little soft. Plate this and add a little salt. (We're big sea salt fans here, and this is a good choice here because the bigger flakes don't just dissolve into the dish - they keep some personality.)

Turn the heat down in the pan a little, add another splash of oil, and throw in your shrimp. A little salt and pepper - very little - is all they need to add, because the stuff that's stuck to the pan gets stuck to them and makes a little coating. If you really wanted to, you could throw in a spicy dry seasoning, but I think the subtle garlic thing is just right.

Stir-fry the shrimp until they turn pink (with a tiny bit of golden brown) and throw them onto the greens. I served this with coconut rice, but you don't really need it. (For some reason, I always think coconut rice - that is, rice made with coconut milk - is going to be better than it actually is. It's good, but not really good enough to justify the massive carb-and-fat intake.)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What we got at Artscape:

This sweet felt flower brooch, made by Jen Menkhaus, who was supernice even as she refused to sell me an even more adorable flower that she was just too attached to. You'll see if if you click the link - it's the one in the banner of her site. Artscape devoted one block to "new-wave hipster" Esty crafters. It was pretty much the best block, and it reminded me of the Artscapes of long ago, back when I lived in that neighborhood in the 80s. (When these new wave hipster Etsy crafters were in utero.)

YARN! from C-eye-ber Fiber. (okay, so they aren't great at keeping up their website. They're good with the spinning and dying, though.) Interestingly, a similar palette to my new brooch; they both go with the turquoise and teal side of my wardrobe. This will be a shawl or wrap of some kind before the hard freeze sets in at my office. Also, ran into Jolene and some other Wednesday Knitting Meetup buds at the booth (because it's not Artscape if I don't see at least someone I know. Usually, someone on a unicycle, but not this year.)

Practice with the safety scissors at the Target Family Art tent. (Target supports both Artscape and The Spendid Table. I'm never going to WalMart again.)

(Except for gas.)

Oh my Lord Jesus save me, a kazoo.

Tired feet.

In fact, tired everything.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Five: What's in a Name?

Over at RevGals, RevRod asks
This got me to thinking. How do we come up with all of these names? There must be at least a few good stories out there.
well, funny you should ask....

So how did you come up with your blogging name? And/or the name of your blog...

My Funky Fat Girl identity - it's my domain name, my Flickr ID, my Tumblr name, all the way back to my original LiveJournal account - started because I once had plans to open a women's boutique. Called Funky Fat Girl. Seriously, I can show you the sketches for the sign. I hatched this plan years ago, when I was spending a good deal of time at the Fat!So? Gab Cafe forum, so it must have been 10ish years ago - maybe more - and I loved the name so much that I wanted to stake my claim right away.

Occasionally, my feminism and my advancing age make me wonder how long I can claim "girl" as the punctuation on my most-noised-about identity.

My title is a line from a 1960s Peanuts cartoon. Lucy Van Pelt, being disciplined in school, spends 3 panels writing "I will not talk in class. I will not talk in class. I will not talk in class."
In the fourth panel, she sets her jaw and writes "On the other hand, who knows what I'll do?" A literary moment that has stuck with me since elementary school.

Are there any code names or secret identities in your blog? Any stories there?

I used to be kind of uptight about people finding out what church I served at, and having a bad impression of us because of my endless whining and my repeated 'oversharing'. Truly, ministry is hard enough - I don't need to mess it up further because I made a joke about ovulating on my blog. I used to refer to our parish as St. Joan's, because I thought that Joan of Arc - dirty from the battlefield, inapproprately gendered, treasuring her visions, wildeyed - would feel at home with us.

But when I started preaching, and I wanted to be able to link to my sermons so that my far-flung friends would see them, it meant letting go of even that much anonymity. But honestly, this is not a widely-read blog - barely anyone that I don't know in the flesh reads this.

I do still consider the googleability of certain words and proper names, and occasionally go all jokey-euphemistic about it. YES I know one slightly famous person, goody for me.

What are some blog titles that you just love? For their cleverness, drama, or sheer, crazy fun?

Snackreligious, Whoopee, Mimi Smartypants, Beauty Tips for Ministers, and I Blame the Patriarchy. And Going Jesus!

And, incidentally, why has no one gone to Going Jesus and bought me one of these tshirts?

What three blogs are you devoted to? Other than the RevGalBlogPals blog of course!

Along with the ones above, I'm devoted to Fluid Pudding, Sweetney, and Brandy at Loosetooth.com. In my work life, Jonny Baker, Maggie Dawn and Addison Road. My fav blog ever is Chez Miscarriage, which no longer exists.

Who introduced you to the world of blogging and why?

Charon, my sister-in-law, back when you needed a personal invitation to get an LJ account. My blogiversary is August 11, 2003. My first post mentioned ovulation and cargo pants. (Not in any implied causal relationship.) And I don't recall why, except blogging just seems like "me".

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Triple Feature

So I was familiar with the Who album Tommy

(side note: my husband was born in 1961. There's not even a full year separating us. Somehow he grew up being a Who/Moody Blues/Beatles person, with a decent dash of Herman's Hermits. While I - born in 1962 - grew up a Clash/Talking Heads/REM/Devo person. My point is this - I was familiar with Tommy the album because of Eric.

And he is completely, utterly sick of Stop Making Sense and Murmur because of me.)

So while I was waiting for Project Runway Season 5 to start, I tuned into VH1Classic (oh, don't start) and watched the last third of Tommy the Ken Russel movie. I think I missed all the good parts, and was left with the too-long messianic holiday camp part. While this is not actually a good movie in any recognizable sense, I would certainly watch it again - and especially if I had copies of Godspell and Superstar on hand. That would be quite an afternoon.

Dinner tonight was this, which was wholesome, nourishing, and tragically dull. It needs SOMETHING mixed in with the potato filling, some texture, some big flavor - maybe roasted onions or big chunks of olives. Or some capers in the pan sauce.

Hmmm, sounds like I'll be making this again, doesn't it?

Since dinner was boring, I made cupcakes. They are delicious.

Honestly, I am not a dependable cake baker at all. I like making cakes, but they don't usually come out delectable. I have a couple of go-to recipes - an almost-flourless chocolate cake from an old La Madelaine cookbook that my brother found for me, and the very best pound cake in the world - and they always work. But chances are that other recipes will be a little dry, a little heavy, just not as lovely as I imagine.

I actually have a suspicion that these are a little dry, from being overcooked, but I ate two earlier and cannot possibly squeeze in another, even for the purposes of critique.
The flavor is great, though.

Monday, July 14, 2008

What not to cook

Please do not use your perforated aluminum baguette pan to make french bread pizzas. Oh, it seems like a genius idea - it seems like it would cradle the halved loaf beautifully, keeping it from listing to one side and dumping its cheese. And it seems like it would ensure a wonderfully crisped crust.

And it does both those things, perfectly. And the pizza will come out really really good.

And then you will spend your evening wondering how to get the baked-on cheese off the pan, intertwined, as it has become, with the hundreds of tiny holes.

So any effort that you have saved by making a simple, barely-any-cooking-but- still-pretty-delicious dinner for the fam will be more than made up for in clean-up. And then you'll remember - oh, right, cooking is the part I LIKE. It's washing dishes I hate.

In the crock pot for tomorrow night - some kind of weird chicken thing, an improvisation based on this recipe (from the library) which I started making and then realized that I had hardly any of the ingredients called for.

Full report if we survive eating it tomorrow night.

EDITED TO ADD: It's been almost 4 hours, and apparently we are not dying, despite eating chicken legs cooked at the low setting of our 30-year-old crock pot. Not bad. Needs more ginger and more vegetation.

It is taking absolutely all my intestinal fortitude (uh, heh?) to not google "salmonella".

I should just google "hypochondria" instead.

CSA: The Mystery Leaf

Bet you don't know what that is.

I certainly didn't.

I cooked and ate them anyway - threw them into the poaching liquid with last night's fish (an ancient frozen tilapia filet that, you know, helped keep body and soul together for the night, and, perhaps more importantly, is no longer taking up space in my freezer.)
(Aged frozen tilapia: not that bad when poached in orange juice and served with salsa and diced mango.)

The leaves were very tender and tasty, and I liked them a lot. So I was pleased to find that they weren't, like, poisen sumac or anything.

The internet tells me that these are sweet potato leaves. They are a staple vegetable of Taiwan (stirfried with garlic, in a dish called chao fan su ye) and west Africa; they're a good source of vitamins A, C, Riboflavin and lutein.

Also in last week's farm share: onion, more chard, sugar snap peas. kale, lettuce.

I had set a goal of eating 85-90% of our CSA share overall - I knew we wouldn't be able to get through it all every week, and there are a lot of fibery things that the World's Greatest Husband can't eat. But I was pretty worried about things composting in the crisper, and so far, we're eating nearly 100% of our vegetables!

I have mentioned this before - I feel a sense of accomplishment every time we eat our groceries, rather than throwing out furry stuff.

Dude, how boring am I?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

“He’s pretty nerdy, but he’s very charismatically nerdy. That’s what fascinated me about him.”

Our old friend David London profiled in last week's DC City Paper. It's pretty excellent. I like the photos, too.

{Is it really possible that I've known David since he was in (gulp) high school? Really?


Go read this, it's interesting. No, really, I'm serious. It actually is.

Dude, Seriously.


This is Mrs. Kennedy's dog Peewee. She says:
"...over the course of several weeks, my dog, Peewee, has burned the word oui into the grass outside our condo. Peewee peed a "oui." Or, in other words: Pee? Oui!"

Mosaic Meme from Renee


Use Flickr search for the answers of each of the questions below, using only the first page, choose an image, copy and paste each of the URL’s into the mosaic maker.

The questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you attend?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your Flickr name.

1. Hanging with Betsy, 2. Citrus-y ingredients for Tom Ka Gai, 3. former location of higher education, 4. liquid crosswalk, 5. Jay & Silent Bob (Explore), 6. Venti Iced Coffee, 7. Times Square at Dusk, 8. Tres Leches with BLUE CHERRIES!!!, 9. Bishops, 10. Untitled, 11. 133: SOTTS will make you jump!, 12. Creamy Dreamy

Hey, pray for my friend R. She is going through some shit. For weeks. And for weeks to come.

As for me, I am back from Cincinnati, having spent a week with this
family. And another family. That would be 10 people in the house, including 3 moms, 6 boys (ages 9,7,6,4,2, and nearly 2) and one poor dad who was trying to work at home.

This whole concept (from the 12 hour-each-way car trip on) sounded COMPLETELY MOONBAT CRAZY and I have no idea what possessed me to say yes.

It turned out almost completely perfect from top to bottom. We had so much fun. I am so glad we went. I am so grateful to all 9 people:
Stacy, Rusty, Liam and Sean; Deedie, RJ, Trevor and Ashen; and to Ian, who was 1000% more wonderful a traveling companion than I would have imagined.
(Plus to Eric, for not giving me a hard time about wanting to go, and surviving a week without us, and taking my million cell phone calls at all hours.) (And calling and texting me at all hours. We've been married 17 years this month, and we are still pathetic when separated. Nauseating? Adorable? True.)

It was so great. It was crazy.

I also have to say something: I am really proud of my church. Of course we are a normal church, full of damage and screwed-up-ness. But church this summer has been awesome.

That may be a sentence that has never been written before.