Saturday, February 27, 2010


New prompt responses should probably trickle in throughout the day. Mine is already up. I like it. It's kind of dirty. Kind of.

Hazelnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Last Sunday I baked cookies. Ostensibly this was in order to give my neighbors, who watched Zul over Christmas, a thank you gift for their efforts. But, of course, there were a lot of cookies, and not all of them went into the neighbors' bellies. I did a bad job with photoshop, please disregard the color cast as best you can.
This weekend I'm thinking about an oatmeal golden raisin cookie, perhaps with chocolate or dried cherries to boot. Cookie crazy-dom!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Breakfast Omelet

On Saturday I made myself a tasty omelet. Yes. Yes I did. It had a slice or two of bacon, chopped tomatoes and fancy Whole Foods cheddar inside, and was accompanied by another slice of bacon and a little ketchup.

My cast iron skillet had been ignored, and a little abused, over the last year, but I finally got around to putting things right between us. In other words, I worked the little rust-spot off and re-seasoned the thing. Since then, there has been a renaissance of cast iron cooking. A renaissance I tell you! Giant drumsticks! Corsets! Jousting! Wait, no, that's not right.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cards and Drinks

After work last Friday, L. and I went to Kite and Key. Once there we drank some drinks and played Rummy 500. I had a beer with "Pretty Things" in its title. Actually, I had two. L. ordered a Manhattan, and maybe a second beer that I forget? I believe I trounced her in the game...look, I have the devil's sixes. Heh. Though she regularly beats me at tic-tac-toe poker, so, you know, we come out even in terms of game playing skills. Hm. I wonder if she would beat me in Scrabble. Something to consider.
We then went to Jack's Firehouse. I ordered a Rusty Nail. It was delicious. To me. We met strangers and talked to them for a while, which was nice because they weren't stupid. I strongly feel that there are bars that somehow, through their ambiance and magic, are conducive to good bar conversations. Jack's Firehouse, which is more a restaurant, really, definitely has that kind of spirit. Or it has the three times I have been there drinking.
A good night.

Dinner Salad

Last week I was on a salad kick. This particular salad had roasted beets, avocado, and frisee lettuce with a little ground pepper and balsamic vinegar. Maybe something else. Left over chicken? It's possible.

Also. It is snowing. Again.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Big T c/o Primo Hoagies

Last week Primo hoagies were purchased. This was mine. It was a 'Big T.' It let me down a little bit. Instead of long hot peppers, there were pepper shooters, instead of pickles, there were none...those were actually the two main complaints. I think I may be temporarily over Primo hoagies. This never lasts long, but the coworkers have been talking about ordering again this week and I am not overly excited.

On a completely unrelated note: wouldn't it be nice if it was spring already? I miss dry, warm, sunny days. I miss them something awful.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Poached Egg Paradise

Last week I went grocery shopping. Among my purchases were frisee lettuce, potatoes, bacon and organic eggs. These ingredients expressed a sincere desire to become a Salade Lyonnaise and, for the most part, that is actually what they turned out to be. Except that I didn't feel like crisp-iying the potatoes, so I just used some of the chicken I roasted over the weekend instead (I know, not the same at all). While the finished dish was quite tasty, let's take a moment to discuss the perfection of poaching I managed to do. I tried a new method: put giant ladle in sauce pan, crack egg into giant ladle. The water looks murky in this picture because I didn't have any white vinegar to firm the egg up, so I used red wine vinegar instead (do with what you have, dontchaknow).
The result? I mean. Look at it. It is globerrific, just bursting with yolky yumminess. It is, as far as I am concerned, exactly what anyone should look for in a poached egg: firmly together, a distending oval of oozing yolk, hidden by shiny white-ness. You wonder about the oozing?
Behold! Oozing! But not so much oozing that the whites weren't cooked all the way. No clear white icky for me. My faux Salade Lynonnaise was just so happy making. I can't even begin to tell you how long I have been trying to poach an egg just right, well, I could begin to tell you: years. I have been trying for years. Putting eggs into funny little contraptions that only bore hockey puck eggs, coralling eggs into saran wrap and tying them with butcher's string or rubberbands, hoping that the plastic wouldn't melt into the egg or leach toxins into the finished product. Years!
I have not tried to recreate this experience, so scared am I of a possible set back on what I am still deeming an absolute triumph of poaching will. What? I'm pleased, is all.

Spreading the Internet

New responses and prompts are up, in case you're looking for new things to read.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fish and Chips c/o National Mechanics

Last weekend I received an email from a cousin I met once at a pig roast. He said he was going to be coming into Philly and asked for suggestions of historic things to do. It struck me, not for the first or last time, that I don't have any real good sense of Philadelphia. I think cities appeal to consumers. Like, there are a million lovely little shops and restaurants and coffee shops and stationery stores, but if you don't feel the need to see them all, or if you don't have the money to try them all, then the draw of the big city and its options isn't quite a draw; it's almost a nuisance. So, when it came to historic, I could only come up with the Liberty Bell and the Mutter Museum (the latter of which I haven't actually seen). He went with the Liberty Bell. After work, I rode the bus to meet up with him at National Mechanics. I had the fish and chips. Fried things are tasty. The cousin seemed well. He has an interesting job. He is an inspector of organic farms and processing plants. The next day he was going to see an organic avocado repackaging plant. And the day after that he was going to go to an egg cracking factory. An egg cracking factory! Such a thing exists! He has also gone to chicken farms. I want to see what he has seen. I think. It was nice to see him and I hope the rest of his trip went well. And I thank him for dinner:)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Brined and Roasted Chicken, Part II

Last weekend I cleaned up my life a little bit. Or, at least my room. I do love my bed, I truly do. Now, if only I could purchase all the paint supplies to enhance my already lovely sleeping space.
Last weekend I also brined a chicken on Saturday, and roasted it on Sunday.
I also cooked some beet greens with garlic and vinegar. Delicious.
I was looking over the blog the other day, going way back into my archives (fancy me, I have archives), and found that my eating habits as of late are extremely repetitive. If I make something at home, there is a good chance that it is a chicken or pork shoulder. If I eat something out, the chances are it's a sandwich or pizza. I miss a greater variety in what I put into my belly. This is something I am working on...I poached a perfect egg last week, that was pretty exciting (though eggs, also, are frequent edibles in my life).

La Roux c/o La Roxxy

Eventually La Roux came on stage. When I called beforehand, to make sure they allowed cameras in the joint, I also asked what time one could expect La Roux to perform. I was told that they would be on between 10 and 12, but, as I said earlier, that ended up false ... there was no La Roux until almost one. As enthusiastic as we were, C. and I didn't brave the pit of humanity to get to the stage, instead we were standing on stairs trying to get a good look. Because my camera seems official, a bouncer ushered me and C. to a little side area of the stage, which gave me a better photograph opportunity that, for the most part, I managed to squander. Here are the best pictures I could take.

She played Bulletproof, In For the Kill and, shoot, C. would know. I had hoped to hear As if By Magic and/or Cover My Eyes, but I'm not surprised that those were not the songs chosen for this quick set in the midst of douchelandia.

Still. All in all. It was totally worth it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Before La Roux at the Roxxy

Last week C. and I realized that we were both fans of La Roux. Soon thereafter we learned that she/they were going to play a show in Philly. We decided we were going to attend. The venue for this show was the Roxxy (I encourage you to actually go to the website so you can see how they present themselves). C. convinced R. to come, and I met them after their extremely fancy-nice pre-Valentine's Day dinner. Seriously, they went to Le Bec Fin for drinks and ended up meeting Georges Perrier! R. wasn't familiar with the music and was still wearing his lawyerly garb. We took a cab to the venue, and the line quickly confirmed our worst fears: tiny skirts, high-ass heels, and plenty of under 21s. We saw three girls get turned away because they didn't have proper identification and/or they were under 17. There were metal detectors, and relatively thorough body checks. We checked our coats and headed upstairs.
We stayed in the same three seats by the bar the entire time we were not watching La Roux. This was approximately three hours, maybe a little less. I think we got there a little after 10, and the performance didn't start til 12:30 or later. This place was populated by a whole range of people I didn't understand existed in such massive quantities. I am going to betray some snobbery in this post, and I think I just need to own it while recognizing that regardless of hair style, fashion-sense, music choice, or general life view, douchebags are people too. There were two screens in view of the dance floor, on which one could text messages so that the entire club could read them. These messages ran the gamut of a 'happy birthday wish' to veiled propositions.
Downstairs there was additional dance space, I think for the kids under 21. There was also a woman in a bikini dancing. I tried to take a good photograph, but I didn't.

This girl liked R.'s suit. R., it must be said, was a good sport about the whole evening. And was almost definitely the only person dressed like a proper grown up:)
The songs kept insisting we put our hands up. This was the closest to raising the roof R. got.
This is the picture of the night.
The music was a little repetitive. But I don't mind a little Lady Gaga, so it wasn't completely unpalatable. What was unpalatable was the the radio station's on-stage competition. The radio guys brought up three (I think? I couldn't actually see) women and three men, and made the women get on their knees while the guys held plungers between their legs. The plungers had been marked with a sharpie around the top handle, and the women were given sandpaper. The goal was to use the sandpaper to rub the mark off the handle, which was being held suggestively between a man's legs. Whichever woman could sand the mark away the fastest won a prize. This reminded me of dueling pianos, and how some things really do make me feel like the world is much less lovely than I like to think it is...which isn't necessarily saying that much, you know?
I need to photoshop the La Roux pictures a bit before I put them up.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Museum Market Hoagie and Snow Dragon

On Friday I walked to the Museum Market deli and ordered a ham and cheese sandwich with tomato, hot pepper rings and pickles. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
I started making a dragon on the deck. Nobody else sees the resemblance. I worked on it a bit more since these photographs were taken, but I lack the skill or overall vision to make wings and a proper, toothy mouth.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Stumble Upon

I just stumbled upon this. I wrote it. But I have no idea what prompted me to do so. Sharing.

Knowing you was like being loved by a demon. Seductive but with a high incidence of blistering on my hands, arms, cheeks and inner tongue. You would enter a room and the smell of sulphur would mix with patchouli and leave me wondering whether I had just smoked weed or made deviled eggs. You would sit down, and I would lurch in your direction- each step combated by common sense and my olfactory glands- as you would toss the remote control back and forth, changing channels with a smudge of your thumb. I would arrive at your knees and plop ungracefully into your lap, nuzzling your neck with with my nose (not breathing in) and squeezing your inner thigh with my tiny hands, just because I could. Inevitably you would choose a show I considered boring and clamp your own grandiose palms on my shoulders, forcing me to breathe in your heady mix of coal, hippie and sex.

No one else seemed to notice this potent combination of smells that enveloped you in the same way certain rose perfumes cling to an old woman's skin, even after a bath. And it's fine that you made me crazy in the eyes of all my dull-nosed and pragmatic friends. Knowing you was like being loved by a demon, but you were not a demon. So why did you smell like that?

The Day After: Snow in the Art Museum Neighborhood

On Thursday, after all the snow had fallen, I got up early enough to take a walk around the neighborhood before work. Was that Thursday? It was some day last week, not Friday. Regardless, the sun was out, which made the still-fresh snow shine. I wore my sunglasses, taking them off to take pictures and remember the true tone of white. .

Poor Duckie.
The roads were mainly dead. A few cars were out and about, but you could safely walk in the center of many of the streets without having to worry about being run down.

I stopped at Little Pete's Diner and had two eggs and sausage. I didn't really eat the potatoes, because I did not like them. I like my breakfast potatoes on the crisper, cube-ier side of the spectrum of such things. I overheard the conversation of a young Catholic couple and a priest as they had a morning breakfast together. Her sandwich looked good. My eggs and sausage were good.
The snow is still around, but it ain't so pretty at this point. The garbage men didn't come this week, so people have started leaving their recyclables and whatnot out on snow drifts in an attempt not to miss them when they finally come. There must be a website I could go to, in this day and age, to know the schedule. I mean, there has to be a plan of some kind, yes? Yes.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow Accounts and Car Igloos

I believe these were all taken on Wednesday while it was still snowing.

Hello, I photoshopped the hell out of you. Oh, and hello Duckie, Ambassador Iron Face, you sure are covered with snow. You know what might be fun? If I were to see what it's like to be you from the inside!
But first, there sure is a lot of snow falling all at the same time. Yes, yes, yes.
So, after work, I decided to see how the car was faring with all this snow. I recall, relatively fondly, snowstorms of my college days and how peaceful it would be to get inside my car and just, well, hang out. It's like a secret lair in plain sight.
Me, in the car igloo.
This feeling of secret peace was felt, though knowing that I was actually on a busy road, even in the midst of the snow, did impact my ability to truly lose my sense of place, which I guess what part of the idea.
A yup, photoshop.

Clear Lake Dreams

On Friday night I got home rather late, futzed around briefly, then went to bed. I dreamed that I was at a lake with an old friend. We had been to the lake together before, and it had been choked with plant life, algae and mud...but at this point in my dream, it was like a totally new lake. In my dream I kept saying 'I can't believe how clear it has become! It's so much clearer!' It was such a memorable dream I woke up and did a perfunctory google search for dream interpretation. Seems that this clear lake could be a good omen. If you believe in omens. According to my questionable sources:

To dream of clear water, foretells that you will joyfully realize prosperity and pleasure.

I would much rather joyfully realize something than to miserably realize it.

To dream of sailing on a clear and smooth lake, with happy and congenial companions, you will have much happiness, and wealth will meet your demands.

I wasn't sailing as much as standing on a dock but, hey, I have always wanted wealth to meet my demands.

Clarity of Water
No matter what form the water in your dream takes, have a look at its clarity for more insight into the symbol. Muddy water may indicate emotions that are muddled or may mean that your intuition is somehow blocked. Stagnant, algae filled water may indicate feelings of being stuck in some area of your life. Clear water can indicate feelings of serenity and clarity in your emotions.

While I do not feel very serene or clear, I still am going to take what my dreams can give me.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Writerly Prompts

So, JK was inspired to start this little blog, and I decided to try to jazz up my writing life (and by 'jazz up my' I mean 'have a') by participating. It will be an uphill battle. I think I really did forget how to use a big chunk o' my brain space over the last couple of years.

Fresh Squeezed

On Wednesday I was one of two that made it into the office in spite of all the snow. I was feeling a mean desire for juice, but hadn't made it to the Wawa to pick me up a little V8. What I did have was a grapefruit. So, I squeezed it and made me a small glass of fresh grapefruit juice. It was delicious.