I had a lovely salad earlier, composed of lettuce and peppers from our CSA. A few minutes ago I was taking the rest of the unused but washed lettuce out of the salad spinner to put in the fridge and I popped a little handful of lettuce into my mouth.
It had an unusually crunchy texture, followed by a nasty taste. I spat it out and this is what I saw (after the break, for the weak of stomach or heart)
For me thanksgiving is all about the Food and the Family (F is for… ) We go to my cousin’s house, have a delicious meal (eat way too much – I wish I could do a 48 hour square bolus for thanksgiving) and enjoy seeing relatives I don’t get to see often enough. When I was younger, I found the whole family thing overwhelming and stifling, but I think I’ve mellowed and my family has mellowed as well.
I made a baked brie (world’s simplest appetizer: take frozen puff pastry sheets, defrost. I was supposed to roll them out but I forgot and it turned out fine. Place wheel of brie in center of frozen puff pastry sheet. Top with canned organic whole berry cranberry sauce or the preserves of your choice. Fold puff pastry sheet around brie. Top with second puff pastry sheet. Brush with egg yolk and milk. Bake on cookie sheet at 400 for 10 minutes and 350 for 30-40 minutes until brown. Listen to your family admire you.)
I also baked two really kick ass pies, which I forgot to photograph before my family demolished them. The pecan pie recipe in particular is mind-blowing. I upped the pecans a bit (two cups) and toasted them lightly. Oh, and I used the Pâte brisée recipe from Joy of Cooking for the crust. Make sure to freeze the butter beforehand, and use ice water and crust-making is Not That Hard.
The F is for Family pictures are friends-only on flickr. Make me a flickr-friend and I will surely reciprocate, unless you’re George Bush.
I hope everyone who celebrates it had a lovely thanksgiving. I enjoy the idea of a holiday for giving thanks. I try to avoid thinking about its nasty imperialist origins and stay away from the pilgrim hats and cartoon native americans. I’m thankful for Pili and for the family we are making together. I’m thankful for my family of origin, who love and support us, and for my family of choice, who sustain us. And, I’m thankful for the internet and for the virtual communities I’ve found on it. Which brings me to my virtual navel gazing (widening thanks to those thanksgiving pies)…
When I first started my blogroll, I thought a fair bit about how I was going to set it up. I deliberately didn’t want to differentiate between people who were coming to parenting through adoption and people who were trying to get pregnant, or who were pregnant.
I didn’t want to differentiate between queer families trying to conceive and non-queer folks who were also trying to get themselves knocked up. I didn’t want to draw a line between new moms (plural) getting frustrated that their kid wasn’t interested in the boob and new moms (singular) getting similarly frustrated. I wanted you to click on a link and maybe have it take you somewhere you wouldn’t go intentionally – but where you might discover an ally you wouldn’t have expected to have. Along the same lines, I haven’t separated out people with type 1 vs. people with type 2 vs. parents of kids with diabetes. By not putting people in boxes, I hoped, as grandiose as it sounds, and it sounds plenty grandiose to me, to help break down the edges of some of those boxes a bit. I’m not sure if that’s worked.
On the other hand, sharing categories has helped me to see what I share with people whom I might otherwise, honestly, have a) never gotten to know, and b) never given a chance, without the shared fact of diabetes or adoption or both to bring us together. And I am (once again) thankful for that.
Oh, and by the way, Andrea has had a bunch of really interesting posts about breaking down boundaries in the blogworld. Read them and realize that she is a far more thoughtful human being and a better writer than I am. Also, I’m linking to every single post because, there doesn’t seem to be a category for these posts. And there should be!
Right now I have blogs on my blogroll that are marked private. This is not because I am deliberately keeping things from you, but mostly because listing them as public would make my blogroll very long and unwieldy – whenever I find a blog that looks interesting, that I might someday want to come back to, I try to subscribe to it. And I also have a number of blogs that I don’t know how to categorize – firstmoms writing about their experiences, friends in real life, cooking blogs, etc. etc. There are um, over 500 blogs on my bloglines account. And no, I don’t read them all every day. I just collect blogs the way some people collect pets or precious moments figurines or shot glasses… Yes, I feel a little sheepish about this.
And by the way, if your blog gives you the option to publish an rss feed – please, please do it. I am just too damn lazy to go in and update my html every time I find a new blog. Much easier to let bloglines do it for me. This is why the wonderful ladies at babycakes are not on my blogroll, damnit.
So the question: should I reorganize? do you want more categories? fewer categories? what do I do with people who fall into multiple categories?
This big guy came in our CSA basket this week. He was promptly chopped up with green onions (CSA), cilantro (CSA), jalapeno (CSA), salt, cumin, and lime juice & made into a delicious salsa.
Here’s Big Dude with Pili’s laptop for a sense of scale.
I didn’t post the tomato tart recipe because, although it looked purty, I think I’ve tasted better. But since you insist… I followed this recipe, more or less. I added some pesto to the inside of the crust after the first bake, and then broiled the tart for about 10 minutes instead of serving it with raw tomatoes. Because that seemed weird to me.
On a totally different note:
So about a year ago, I asked if anyone wanted to be interviewed. The rules are: I ask you five questions. You answer my questions on your blog (heh, evil cackle) and then ask if five of your readers would like to be interviewed. They respond in the comments, you ask them questions, they post the answers on their blog and the fun, it never ends.
- What advice would you give to fellow partners of people with diabetes?
- What draws you to adopt from China?
- Toe-may-toe or toe-mah-toe?
- What was the happiest day of your life? Why?
- Are you and your husband planning to raise your kid(s) strictly Jewish or will traditions from his family be mixed in? How did you come to this decision?
- How did a fire-fighter/carpenter & an academic meet and fall in love?
- Can you imagine yourself living in Bucolia for the rest of your life or do you think you’ll move eventually?
- Okay, assuming the kid has ten toes, ten fingers and everything else inbetween in the right proportions. Do you prefer male or female? Why? What about MrPD?
- You said you wanted a big family. How big is too big?
- How are the chickens doing?
For Susan – I promised I wasn’t going to ask baby questions. We’ll see if I can do it:
- Do you also hope to give birth someday? If so, how did you decide who tried first?
- What is your dream job?
- How do you think having a chronic illness has shaped you as a person?
- What is your favorite body part?
- Tattoos, yea or nay?
- If you wind up adopting – domestic or international – and why?
- What do you enjoy about teaching?
- If you could only pick one for a year, which would it be – chocolate or sex?
- Do you like living where you live? Why?
- Toe-may-toe or toe-mah-toe?
For ANON HS BF (just answer in the comments, babe):
- Care to update my lovely readers (and me) on your Super Hunk (SH)’s adventures in the diabetes world? Do you have any questions you’d like the diabetes blogosphere to answer for you?
- What would you say are the two biggest ways you’ve changed since we dated in seventh grade?
- What would you say are the two biggest ways I’ve changed since we dated in seventh grade?
- What’s the most memorable meal you’ve ever eaten?
- What’s your favorite airport?
But first, I’m sure you have all been wondering what happened to the world’s happiest tomato.
|Well, first I made it
|Then I made it into
heirloom tomato tart with
So I have to write about the State Fair. The State Fair is one of the best things about living in a place where people think that Olive Garden is an ethnic restaurant. This year, I decided to take photographs of all the deep-fried things at the fair that g-d never ever meant to be deep-fried. Witness:
I didn’t see them, but new this year at the fair was deep fried spaghetti and meatballs on a stick, served of course, with a slice of deep-fried Italian bread. Now I am as big a fan of fried dough and apple dumplings as anyone out there, and the maple cotton candy that I bought from the maple syrup producer’s booth (yes, MinnNice, I totally disregarded my own advice to you) was delish. But I did try a bite of deep fried oreo, least you think I am a big snob who just mocks without trying. And ugh. Some things, believe it or not, were not meant to be deep fried.
There’s lots of other stuff at the fair. For example:
I’m too lazy to cut and paste each photo into blogger, so click through to flickr to find out what you’re looking at and read my commentary.
First of all, what comes to mind when you see this tomato?
Please do share your thoughts. I will use them as the basis for your diagnosis.
So what does this have to do with Photo Friday?
The topic for Photo Friday this week is “politics.” Post a photo which in some way showcases your politics. Funky tomatoes? Politics? Yes.
This tomato comes from our CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. We pay $400 in the Spring, and get beautiful boxes of locally grown organic produce all summer long. By doing so, we benefit – we eat delicious, fresh, healthy veggies and far more of them than we normally would – the farmer benefits by sharing some of his risk with us (if he gets screwed by weather or bugs, so do we) – and the earth benefits. No harmful fertilizers and pesticides being washed into our waterways, and no fossil fuels being used to truck our produce 3000 miles across the country.
These are my politics. Consume thoughtfully. If you’re going to be a consumer – and oh boy am I ever one – try to create relationships through your consuming. My CSA has connected me with friends in my neighborhood. I hear the life story of my tomatoes in the newsletter that comes with my box. I treasure the rug I bought from a coworker’s aunt 10 years ago. Minimize impact. Am I going to foreswear lettuce from California in the midst of a brutal northern winter? No. But during the summer, when lettuce and corn and all manner of fabulous fruits are being grown right around me – why should I buy lettuce that’s been trucked from g-d only knows where?
The added benefit? I’d have to post a picture of me eating these tomatoes like apples, juice dripping down my chin, to convey how unbelievably rich and lush and tomatoey they taste. And the salad greens we get last two weeks in the fridge before they start to wilt.
I’ll leave you with a recipe of sorts for my favorite summer treat:
Cut rounds of locally baked italian bread. Place at bottom of baking dish. Layer fresh heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella on top. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over them. Sprinkle with sea salt and ground pepper. Repeat layers. Try to stop eating it.
10:29 am: Vaseline Teeth appt in an hour. STOP. Very nervous. STOP. Voice sounds like a cheap hooker. STOP.
10:30 am: Rejected for job I didn’t really want. STOP. Should not have bothered applying for assistant level position. STOP. Do not want “assistant” on my resume at age 31, unless it comes with “director.” STOP. Still kinda pissed they didn’t even interview me.
10:32 am: KitchenAid wonderful. STOP. Makes better pizza dough than me. STOP.
10:33 am: TMI. STOP. Antibiotics giving me diarrhea and yeastie beasties. STOP.
10:34 am: Blood sugars punishing me for suggesting they were smooth. STOP.
10:35 am: Conference proposal not done. STOP. Anxiety level RED. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. MAKE IT ALL STOP.
I do a lot of whinging here about where we live, otherwise known as “The City That Always Sleeps (But you can buy a really nice house for under 150K).”
But there are some things I really like here.
One is the new friends with whom (aren’t I formal!) we had dinner tonight. We talked about our Guatemala plans, their adorable daughter, and about the difficulty of being the Trailing Spouse. Talking over our agency choices with them, Pili and I realized that we knew what mattered to us. That we’ve made our decision. And our first social worker meeting is next week!
This is the second thing:
These donuts are sold at the Saturday regional market, which is quite easily the Best Thing about living here. And the donuts are the Best Thing about the regional market. A husband and wife team have this stall. They’re there every Saturday, selling fresh hot fried cake donuts for fifty cents apiece, your choice of plain or sugared. If you order sugared, they roll the donut in cinnamon sugar for you on the spot. It is impossible to describe in words the goodness of these donuts. I will try to convince you with photos.
The line continues outside the building.
The donut machine.
Pili would like me to stop taking pictures and let her eat her donut.
But the regional market is not all hot sugar and flour.
Mennonite folks sell delicious cold sugar and flour.
Farmers sell fresh local produce, free-range meat, and plants.
Lots of plants.
I love the regional market. There are farmers’ markets in many places, but they do not have four huge covered pavillions of fresh produce and annuals and perennials for me to drool over. And, most importantly, they do not have the donut stall.
For Julia and Katie. Drool on.
Thank you all for choosing my shadow pictures for Photo Friday. I put probably far too much thought into these photo friday things, which is why they don’t usually show up here until saturday or sunday or even tuesday, and it feels really nice to know that people like them. There are always so many amazing and interesting images submitted, so please check out the Photo Friday pool and look at everyone’s pictures!
Pili was very grateful for this week’s topic: What I ate for dinner
A few words of explanation.
I like to cook.
I especially like to bake.
I spent two summers working as a cook.
I am incapable of making a small amount of anything.
Whenever I cook, we wind up with enough food to feed a frat house. Leftovers for lunch, dinner, breakfast, lunch, dinner…
This also means that whenever I cook, it’s a big production.
Which means that Pili, wonderful wonderous Pili, is the primary cook in our house, when it comes to everyday meals.
But this topic required me to cook.
Black bean and sweet potato enchildas with mole sauce
The sweet potatos, all mushed up and ready to go in the enchiladas
Mole sauce in the making
The whole enchilada
Yummy salad with mesclun, stilton, and pears
The lemon ginger bars
Because how do you segue gracefully from mole to miscarriage?
I’m so grateful for your comments on the previous post.
Your confidence, faith, and support mean more than I can say.