Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Adventures with vegetables

There are very few foods that I feel uncomfortable around. There are some I don't like (water chestnuts), there are some I wish I could handle (mushrooms), there are some that I don't even bother with (organ meats) but there are very few that make me anxious.

Enter the artichoke.
I LOVE the taste of the artichoke (particularly when mixed with spinich and cheese) but I've only ever dealt with the canned heart variety. But these landed on my doorstep and I had *just* had a conversation about how I thought it was kind of crazy that I had never actually had a real, live 'choke. So I decided it was time to rumble.

I went to the interwebs, the answerer of all questions, and discovered there are a whole crap ton of ways to deal with these suckers. Not being one to get down with rules, or directions that are complicated, I decided to just do what I want.
I boiled the shit out of them. Seriously, for like 40 minutes. Because I read that number somewhere, and I figured that if there was nasty bacteria in them, it'd be gone after 40 minutes...of course, its very possible I boiled away the taste or most of the meat but what can you do when you hate rules?

And then I took them out of water and felt very, Now what? I had been told that the meat of them was at the center of all the leaves. So I took off the leaves.
Apparently you can eat off the leaves, but thats tedious and weird, so I just got rid of them. And seriously? So.Many.Leaves. This vegetable is so dumb. Anyway. I got to the bottom of the leaves, and what did I find?
Furry shit?! What is this - an ear of corn? Holy crap. I go back to the internet, because I have no idea what of this plant is toxic and what isn't and at this point this has been about as much work as I put into eating a hardshell crab and there are parts of that that I know are no-nos. So I figure out that the edible part is that teeny part in the middle. Ugh.

So little stuff for so much work and it does not even taste like crab. Sigh. Not my favorite food.Anyway, I mixed it up with some eggplant and red pepper and a little garlic and then ate it with some left over injera bread from Ras Dashen. It was pretty good. But there is a lot of work involved in something you can just buy in a can...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

like a big kid with walls

Finally! My own personal nation-wide nightmare is over! There is art on my walls!!

I've always had a serious affinity for stuff on the walls. Which totally comes from my parents, who are huge art people (thanks MomandDad). My art is pretty random. A vast majority of it is pictures I've taken myself. Which is pretty lame, I know, but I like them and that's really all that matters, no? The rest is a mix of paintings my great grandmother created, impulse buys and gifts. The one above was given to me by my first ever roommate in college - D. She bought it because she was a vegetarian and it was a reminder of all the animals I ate and how cute they were and how I probably shouldn't eat them because it made the house smell like bacon.

Well, obviously that plan backfired. But these guys have hung in every kitchen I've lived in for the past eight years. It is originally from IKEA, and their frames are a-not actually glass and b- not really built to last. If you get too close to this sucker, its so filthy from eight years of bacon grease splashing around. But it makes me smile.

Its one of the many pieces I've carried from place to place. I use to hang all my own art, mostly by just sticking pushpins in the wall, occasionally taking a hammer to the bad deal. But now this kid lives with me, and its made me super lazy. He wants to feel all strong and man-shaped. So I let him, which means sometimes things take a lot longer than I want. Empty walls are so terrible, especially when they're white. But art helps. I don't really feel like I live somewhere until there are things on the walls.

Naturally my collection has grown extensively in 8 years - and amazingly its always fit into where I lived. Although, I guess it was good that Boyfriend did not come into the relationship with much in the way of art but his collection is growing as well. So we came to an unfortunate realization on Sunday.

What happens when we don't have a nice, long convenient hallway/gallery to put stuff up?

Friday, May 14, 2010

The best-worst part about working at home

She is quite distracting and demanding of affection...and beyond that, she makes it kind of difficult to type. Particularly when she is pulling these kinds of shennanigans

No, no its cool - I don't need that third of the keyboard anyway.

Monday, May 10, 2010

its like a swirly, twirly circle

So. I easily had one of the best Mother's Day humanly possible without actually hanging out with my Mom.

J-bomb and I went to a bottom-less mimosa all-you-can-eat brunch, and let me tell you, we tested that pledge. And happily, the mimosas kept coming along with delicious food (lox! mac and cheese! chocolate fountain!) We walked into the sunshine and perfect spring weather around 12:30 and were delightfully intoxicated. So, obviously, we went shopping. And then after some clothes shopping I decided I would walk the 2 miles home and enjoy a lovely Chicago day and sweet Sunday Funday buzz.

Thus began a 4 hour solo adventure of lazy (the walk, according to google should have taken 45 minutes). I decided to stop at whatever stores caught my fancy and came away with some vino, a few second-hand books, cute clothes and a feeling that I had thoroughly enjoyed the gorgeous day to its max capacity.

My last stop before home was at the Brown Elephant, one of the best second hand stores in the city where I found a copy of Blackhearts in Battersea (one of the best children's books ever) along with some other stuff. While paying for my stuff I told the cashier to keep the change and put it in whatever donation bin they have. The guy was legitimately excited about the change (I think it was 45 cents) and I felt really nice (and still a little drunk).

Cut to today when I was at the bank for work. I was depositing quarters, along with other forms of currency, but the quarters were the important part, because it was totally ridiculous to be depositing $10 worth of quarters into a business account but welcome to the life of a teeny-tiny non-profit. So I have already filled out the deposit slip and entered everything into quickbooks - and at the very end of the transaction, the nice teller gentleman tells me that I am a quarter short. Twenty-five little cents separate me from leaving for the day. Naturally, I brought nothing with me to the bank except a phone and a drivers licence, because that is going to make this better...

I am going over my options with the teller guy, and its looking rough. Extraneous paperwork or trips to the bank for twenty-five cents. I mean, at McDonalds when you go through the drive-thru and you're a quarter short they just kind of wave you through but not at Chase. Oh no...they will nickle and dime you because they are So I'm throwing my hands up in "whatever-ness" and suddenly a quarter appears from the nice postal worker lady in line behind me.

"Here you go," she smiles and goes back to the queue.

I hand it to the bank teller, get my receipt, thank the lady profusely and walk out.

In hindsight, she probably just realized her time was worth way more than 25 pennies and she just wanted to get the eff out of the bank, but at the time it felt like a totally stranger doing something nice. Which is pretty refreshing. And feels wonderful.

And now some nice lady at JetBlue Customer Service is making my day even better by fixing my colossal bone-headed screw up while simultaneously restoring my faith in this airline that I have come to have a pretty serious Ike-Tina relationship with.

Its a pretty crazy world we live in, when the opportunity presents itself, go ahead and make someone else's day better.

She's pint-sized and amazing.