Thursday, February 24, 2011

H-u-n-g-r-y, you ain't got no alibi!

One of the bloggers at the Times Union recently posted something that actually made me nod my head in agreement:
 Many of us feel hungry when we aren’t and then eat when we don’t need to.
Here are just some of the things (other than an empty stomach) that spell hungry for me:
  • time of day
  • deadline at work
  • watching a movie
  • watching someone else eat something good
  • being bored
  • being tired
  • feeling anxious
  • procrastinating
  • being in the same room as ice cream
  • the Food Network
  • peer pressure
  • knowing I won’t be able to eat later (I call it preventive eating)
  • the smell of baked anything 

Don't you just agree with everything on here? I'd only make a few changes:
  • being in the same house as ice cream, baked goods, or Halloween candy
  • watching food commercials (especially ones that feature cheese or chocolate)
  • watching TV without something in my hands like knitting or magazine-recipe-culling
What would you add to the list?

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011


    My family plays a card game called Liverpool. Very few people have ever heard of this game. A.Leo's family plays a card game called Liverpool. When we discovered this, we knew immediately that we were sisters from different misters.

    We brought her then-roomie into the fold. Epic tournaments took place. Names were called, hands were slapped. I perfected the art of amassing as many points as possible (decidedly not the way to win). We took turns hosting and ate delicious food; I fondly remember the nutella pound cake we had one night, and the fancy grilled cheese sandwiches we had another. But eventually, time went on and everyone moved out of Albany and the games became few and far-between.

    And so it was with great excitement that A.Leo and I planned a weekend in Long Island to visit her former roomie.  We drove down after work on Friday, ate dinner at a diner - omg the curly fries - and went to bed early.  A. and I went for a run Saturday, and then the 3 of us got breakfast sandwiches and took the LIRR into the city.

    After a very cold walk from Penn Station, we got cupcakes for lunch at Magnolia Bakery in Greenwich Village, which is very famous as evidenced by the numbers of women stuffed into the tiny storefront. Then we walked (and walked and walked and walked) to dash, which is also very famous as evidenced by the honest-to-god LINE on the sidewalk. We did not enter the Kardashian's store. Then, one final stop at Macy's so I could see the wooden escalators which were so cool. I am embarrassed that we didn't get any photos of our day.

    The true highlight of the weekend was Saturday evening. We played 3 games of Liverpool. I won the first game. I was perhaps a bit rude in my celebrations, as karma struck me down and made me lose the 2nd (ok, in reality, the tv was on and she is a cruel mistress. I felt compelled to watch it. Wouldn't you?). I fought back, though, and won the 3rd, too. It was glorious. As a habitual loser, I relished the feeling of victory - especially since I know it will probably never happen again.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    My first!

    During this week's menu-planning process, I decided I needed to make fasolakia to counteract the obscenely large amount of ice cream I consumed over the weekend. While my version is simpler and is basically just green beans, onions, and garlic stewed in tomatoes, water, and olive oil until somewhat soft, the dish in the link brings back fond memories of Greek tavernas.

    A discussion of the merits of Greek cooking is not, however, the point of this post.  In an attempt to actually use some of the food I put up this past summer, I got out a jar of tomatoes in water. It looked a bit odd, but they were Brandywines. But then, I opened the jar with surprisingly little effort. At first I thought I had finally happened upon an easy method of taking off the stupid damned lids, but no. I am not that clever.

    Instead: my first seal failure!!!

    Ick. There was totally green mold growing across the inside of the lid, and chunk of white something floating with the tomatoes. I was skeeved. Now I have to figure out what went wrong - all of the other jars from that batch seemed to seal fine.

    Last night was not simply a night of failure, though.  I checked on my pink sauerkraut and it's slowly but surely fermenting! I'm considering moving it to a warmer part of the house; it's already been close to six weeks and it doesn't have much kick. Still, given that last year the sauerkraut had to be trashed due to an overly generous application of salt, I am pleased.

    Next stop, une choucroute garnie! Who's coming to dinner?

    Monday, February 14, 2011


    M and I went to Woodstock VT for a 3 day weekend and had a great time. We spent most of Saturday on rented cross-country skis.  It was my first time x-c skiing, and for the most part I didn't feel like an idiot. The first 2-3 miles were practice miles on a golf course, which I enjoyed. The next 5ish miles were on Mt. Tom. I should have questioned the wisdom of skiing on something called Mt. Tom. All told, I fell only three times, a respectable number considering the sheer terror that consumed me.

    Here's a brief pictorial essay of me skiing down a hill:
    I survey my kingdom and assess my options for descent.

    Panic mask firmly in place, I begin my descent. Note that I have not yet employed the snowplow braking technique.

    I chose a graceful swan dive to finish.

    This, kind readers, is why I prefer snowshoeing.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    The Greening

    Here's what my garden looks like now:
    It's currently 3 raised beds with trellises at the back of each one; I'm trying to convince hubs to build me a 4th.

    In 4 months, it will be filled with:
    bush beans
    peppers, hot
    peppers, sweet
    tomatoes (many types!)

    It's a little late, so I anticipate reduced availability, but seed shopping begins! I'm trying to determine which varieties of everything to get. At this time last year I was just beginning to think that I could produce some of our food, and it was an exciting thought.

    Last year I had unnecessary success with the Sun Gold grape tomatoes and whatever jalapeno I planted, and pretty good success with the Brandywine tomatoes. Ultimately, though, we just don't eat enough fresh tomatoes to warrant planting more than one Brandywine - I hope to find more of a paste tomato and I have my eye on one that's designed for salsa and is nice and meaty.

    Moderate success with the lettuces, though I didn't plant enough seeds to make it really worth my while. My sweet peppers didn't do so well - gorgeous foliage, but small peppers that seemed to take forever to mature. I bought them as starts from a local store and don't know the cultivar, but hope I pick a better one this year.

    I don't even want to think about the tragedies that befell my cucurbits. Even though I managed to get some summer squash out of the deal, on the whole the entire group was just a colossal waste of time and resources.  I can't decide if I want to bother trying again this year or not... Today I lean towards not, to give the evil larvae that I'm sure made it into my soil a chance to die. I'll have to find another source of organic summer squash... And I think I know just the neighbor (cough*Marissa*cough) to grow them!