Monday, April 27, 2009

Link to the shrimp recipe (if I can get away with it.)

I know the NY Times occasionally objects when civilians link to their content, but I'm going to give this a try.

Here is a recipe I've been making for a really long time. I saw it in the Times, a Wednesday food section, and I had it tacked to the corkboard in my kitchen for years. Now I have it memorized (though I rarely trust my memory for recipes, since, as my recent birthday cake slip-up* indicates, I'm not that precise even when I have the text in front of me.) I believe (guessing, from the notes in my kitchen notebook) that I clipped this recipe about 1997 or so.

I made this tonight for friends, which was a bit of a risk - it's got very strong flavors, and I can imagine someone finding it inedible. Happily, both the shrimp devotee and the more hesitant friend loved it. Even Ian ate a bite!

I usually eat this with white rice, but was too lazy for rice tonight - I bought a baguette, which we made very short work of. We had green beans and asperagas, which was also well received. (I cut up some cucumbers for this kids, and that made me realize that some kind of cucumber side dish would be really good with this, to contrast the salty and sharp flavors. )

In related food news, Ian and I had a tremendously successful first trip to the Grand Everyday Fresh Mart in South Laurel. Large selection of very nice produce at low prices, first of all, which is what I was looking for. (Seriously - Driscoll strawberries for 2.19 instead of 2.59, grapes for .99 a pound instead of $1.99. Large (don't know the official designation, but they were BIG) shrimp for 4.99/pound )(cheaper if I had been prepared to deal with the heads, which I was not). Live crabs and lots of fish on ice, which, along with making me what to cook them, make the trip much more exciting for Ian. The prices are competitive with the PanAm Latin American market, but it's much bigger and the produce looks nicer. Like the PanAm, it's pretty chaotic, but that suits me fine.

*The cake mistake - I have a lovely recipe for pound cake, from this excellent book which I totally recommend. Yes, it's got some jello salads and some things which require cans of mushroom soup. So don't make those. Duh. The things that are good are really good, including the sour cream pound cake recipe, which is what I made for Eric's birthday Friday. I used yogurt instead of sour cream, and where the recipe calls for 6 eggs, I only remembered to put in 3. It's still absolutely delicious. It's just a little more, um, "substantial".

Friday, April 24, 2009

more evidence of my awesome maturity

People who spin their own yarn apparently use a tool called an orifice hook. Yes, they do. It's true. I know this because someone who advertises on Ravelry mentioned them in her ad.

Disappointment: her Etsy shop is out of them, so there are no pictures there to reign in the imagination.

Tomorrow, if I get a chance, I will post the recipes for Eric's birthday cake and for the picnic fare that will proceed it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dinner Tonight: Chickpea Tangine.

* 2 Tbs. olive oil
* Half a gigantic onion, thinly sliced
* 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs. minced from the jar.)
* i lb dried chickpeas, soaked about 18 hrs and rinsed
* several baby carrots, sliced into small chunks
* ¼ cup raisins
* 1 tsp. ground turmeric (shocked to find I had this in my cabinet)
* 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
* 1 tsp. ground cumin
* ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
* 2 tsp. honey
(I used Really Raw honey, but didn't see any of the usual miscellaneous bee parts - Eric must have eaten them all in the top layer.)
* ½ cup plain Greek-style yogurt

The night before:
pick over the dried chick peas, rinse them in a colander, and put them in a large pot with 6 or so cups of water. I left them on the counter overnight, but transferred them the fridge before I left for work.

When you plan to cook them:
Take soaked chick peas out of fridge, rinse them one last time, cover generously with cold water and set them to boil until you can crush one with a little effort. It took about 30 minutes here. Raw chickpeas taste a little like raw chestnuts, which I don't recommend either. Cooked chick peas taste a little like roasted chestnuts, and retain some of their springyness. Stop cooking them before they get mushy.

(The original recipe called for canned chick peas, rinsed, which would make this a 20-minute dish, and I'm sure that would be fine too. I'm just a dried bean snob. And cheap.)

Heat oil in dutch over over medium heat.
Add onion and garlic, and sauté until onion slices are soft.
Stir in cooked, drained chickpeas, carrots, raisins, spices, honey, and 2 cups water.
Cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Keep an eye on it - I had to add about a half-cup more water at the 11 minute mark.
Serve, with a spoonful of yogurt.
Benefits from some salt and pepper.

THIS was a total winner, didn't take long, was definitely not technically challenging, and all with staple foods! We had everything except the yogurt already around the house. It's really delicious.

The original recipe is from last October Vegetarian Times. As I said above, it's even faster and easier.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

to get this off the server, I'm putting it here.

Doing church and being church: blogroll

People on the journey
trends in culture, business, connecting through technology, church planting and leadership; especially focused on multiracial and Asian-American congregations
Bob’s personal blog – ideas, trends, politics, music, and church. Bob reads everything and knows everyone, and thinks ENORMOUS.
personal blog of a minister with an emergent congregation in London – excellent resources like “worship tricks” and tons of links to other alternative worship stuff.
Andrew looks at culture, trends, media coverage and whatever catches his attention. He travels all over the world and has great perspective. Plus he’s funny, and not afraid of an argument.
pondering life and community in a small liturgical Baptist church in TX. Excellent writer.
Steve pastors in New Zealand; their church does especially interesting thing with visual arts and contemplation
Paul’s art and thoughts on art, music and worship, as well as family. Pronounced monastic leanings.
Cheryl Lawton ministers in Australia

Designing worship – big ideas and nuts and bolts
alternative worship photo archive – pictures from services and events, with links
If you need an idea, a prayer or a structured liturgy, this searchable ECUSA book is the best place to start.
a great music resource.

Jonnybaker’s worship tricks (see personal blogs – he has links in the right-hand column)

Cheryl’s blog has some beautiful liturgy (also above)
Dylan’s lectionary blog
the very best place for church graphics
of course

Some Books of interest:
The Complete Library of Christian Worship
(Indispensible! You’ll need to assemble this set from used book distributors – Amazon always has some volumes – start with Volume 5, services of the Christian Year, then branch out to 4 (Sacred Actions) or 6 & 7 (Music and Arts.)
Spaces for Spirit: Adorning the Church by Nancy Chinn
Excellent big vision for worship environments
Emerging Worship by Dan Kimball
The primer for creating creative worship gatherings, from theological underpinnings to how-tos. The best introduction, and good to share with people who are nervous about the ‘weird stuff’, because the author is really grounded in the Bible and adamant about sound theology, right motives, etc.
Worship Evangelism by Sally Morganthaler
This book changed my life. Back in the early 90s, Morganthaler went looking for what had been lost and gained in ‘seeker sensitive’ (I hate that term used this way, but I know you know what I mean) planning. Even if this isn’t you situation, this book will help you think critically about worship planning.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What we did today


hung in the streets

looking old-fashioned

photographed random things
Posted by Picasa

admired my current work in progress in the sunshine.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I love this photo!

Del Primo Boots
Originally uploaded by Mama Grouch
this is gorgeous.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

illustrations from yesterday's post

fig. 1

fig. 2
(This was taken the first night I worked on it - it shows the base row of triangles plus 2 tiers. Much more is finished now.)

(Also, I made a decent dinner tonight. A successful experiment. More experiments on the same theme to come.)

(Also, I have posted a couple Easter photos on The Mulligan Years (first post in 5 months!) Go experience teh cute.)

(Also, I am distressed by all this 'imbed disabled by request' business which apparently has come into being while I was on blog hiatus. How can I post the ridiculous Killers video of the song that reminds me of the summer before my senior year of high school? Perhaps MTV will help me.)

Ah yes. MTV comes to my rescue once more.

don't watch the video. Just listen to the song and think about sitting in a car in driveway, wearing shorts and no shoes. Your curfew has just passed. The grass is wet.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I have been told to update my blog.

1. Happy Birthday Natasha!

2. Finished a great shawl with handspun yarn from Three Irish Girls. It is fabulous if I do say so myself (and I do.)

3. Making a Lady Eleanor entrelac shawl from Scarf Style.

4. However, I have no photos of these projects because my computer is pretty much full and so I when I download my camera, FAIL.

5. We survived Holy Week! And the groundbreaking for the farm. No casualties. I am exhausted.

6. I'm watching a cable rerun of Criminal Intent.
Villain: Neil Patrick Harris, looking like a cleanshaven Unibomber. In a hairnet.
Attempted murder weapon: a power drill.
Sponsor of this episode (I am totally not kidding) The Awesome Auger, which is basically A POWER DRILL. You'd think it was a Google Ad Word.

7. Made macaroons last week, for the first time in years. Recipe will be forthcoming. These are even easier than the peanut butter cookies, though far, far less nutritious.

8. Zoloft is a freakin' miracle. Praise God - really, truly, no kidding - for modern pharmacology.

9. I wonder if it freaks Seth McFarland out to see that animated alien come out of his navel in the Hulu commercial.

10 This is Ian's favorite video of the moment:

we both dig the moment at about 41ish seconds where the hamster (hampster?) is tapping to the music.