Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The (Fresh) Egg and I

Is it weird to come back after a year of not posting? Does that make things awkward?


Let's just ease into this gentle-like, just like exercise.  If you do too much too soon, you'll just hurt yourself (though I'm pretty sure nobody's ever pulled a hamstring while reading this blog).






My crazy disco dancing Asian neighbor has chickens.  It's strange because every time I peek over their fence (not that I'm nosy, it's just their yard is so much more interesting than ours) there are six beady little chicken eyes staring back at me.  He used to let them wander the neighborhood (so we'd occasionally have a chicken convoy), though that's stopped (I believe my dogs had something to do with that). The other day he saw fit to give me some eggs, actually reaching into his coop and snatching one right out from underneath the hen (if it's possible for chickens to give you dirty looks I was getting the dirtiest) then handing it to me.  So after cleaning them I now have about two dozen farm fresh eggs:



And no idea what to do with them. Some ideas that have been floating around my head that will probably surface in future blog posts:

- boiled, poached, fried (I mean, obviously)
- custard based ice cream (I've always been afraid of the 8-10 yolks this demands, but maybe knowing how bad it is will slow down my consumption? it absolutely totally will not)
- throw them at small misbehaving children (though the kids in our neighborhood are actually pretty good... almost... suspiciously good...)
- mayonnaise (let's Julia Child this place up)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Like exercise, it will get easier. Or you'll break something.

< Random whining > Oh Lord it is PAINFUL to get back into the swing of posting 2x a week (or maybe I'm just lazy... ... ... ... naaaaaah).




We installed screens on our windows!  (Though as I believe I previously mentioned, one ended in spectacular failure.)  I'm not sure why (perhaps the Laws of Home Ownership) but the first screen went in perfectly, which of course made me cocky, and then the remaining 3 laughed as I sweated and struggled to get them into the window frames without bending the daylights out of the screen frame.  What's the lesson here?  Never let your guard down around your home, because it will immediately find your weakness and exploit it mercilessly.



Ultimately the screens look pretty good (aside from the master bedroom one, which makes it look like we should have a car on cement blocks in our front yard).  And it's finally getting warmer, which means we can open our windows and not have a million billion bugs come in our home (if nature is so great then why is it always trying to get into my house?).

You would never know it, but this was 2 hours of work.





And yes, that is tape on the window.  My temporary (possibly due to temporary insanity from the heat) solution before we installed the screens was this:


(That's just a cut piece of screen taped to the window.  Yes, my neighbors love me.)

 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

HelloooOOOoo! (say it like Mrs. Doubtfire)

Could it be?  After so many false starts (I'm looking at YOU, third week of May...) is it possible that summer is finally here??  Dare I hope?

DON'T YOU MESS WITH ME, GOOGLE WEATHER


So!  We've been busy... we tested our hands at installing window screens (one ended in utter and complete blazing success and one is totally worthy of Cheezburger's There I Fixed It), dug out a bush in our front yard and cut down the other four (if you don't understand why I'm very proud of that you have obviously never dug up a bush), pulled up a molding laminate backsplash (disgusting!) and of course, have been trying new recipes left and right (and left again).  Sunny weather makes me manic, and I will have to blog just to find a way to use all my nervous energy (I mean without exploding).  Updates are coming.



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday!

I have nothing interesting to talk about!  Wait.  I played Final Fantasy 7 and found a bunch of holes in my air mattress (it's been rolled up in the closet ever since we moved in here!  You only had one job, air mattress...) that I sealed with glue.  Does that count?


No, I didn't think so.


I'm going to try my hand at gardening again (har har har), so far our victims choices are tomatoes and strawberries, which we haven't planted yet because it's still too cold (yay for April):

Don't be fooled by that blue sky - it was raining five minutes ago.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My first (mostly successful) attempt at bread!

So.  Confession time: I love bread, but I hate yeast.  Well, that's not entirely true.  It would be more accurate to say "yeast does not like me and I am terrified of it".  Whenever I tried making bread in the past I'd end up with some weird, lumpy thing with the density of rubber.  It was bad.  So for years I resigned myself to just accepting that yeast and I were never meant to be, kind of like star crossed lovers.

I was sitting around last weekend, going through my spice cupboard (I would show you but it's embarrassing -  it's currently just a big pile of bulk Winco bags that I haven't sorted through yet!) and realized that somewhere along the line, I bought three packets of yeast.  Well, I rationalized, since I already have the yeast, wouldn't it be more of a waste to not use it?  Yes.  That was my logic.

So I made Kim's Garlic Breadsticks and Chinese Cocktail Buns, neither of which turned out atrociously!


The breadsticks:




Proofing the yeast:
I even got to use my handy little thermometer I bought  from Amazon for about $8.

 15 minutes later I had this... which (from its lack of bubbles) probably meant it wasn't fully alive.  But I plunged ahead anyway (partially from stubbornness and partially from ignorance... okay mostly it was the latter), and proceeded to mix up the dough.  Let it sit (I like this part about baking very very much) and then cut it into strips.



Resting in the sun... ignore that strangely deformed breadstick on the right.



After a few...um... hours... (sidebar: I realize you're not supposed to let them sit for like 3 hours, I just got busy).  I had fat, puffy little breadsticks:

Even the little dinky one!


Brushed with garlic and butter and baked for about 10 minutes.  These turned out... dense (but not necessarily in a bad way, unlike my previous attempts).  Maybe I over-kneaded it?  Either way, they were still really great with our pizza.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fun with food! And oh yeah, you too, writing

Hi!  I didn't forget about you, blogger!  I just suffer from ELS (Extreme Laziness Syndrome).  Symptoms include not doing much of anything for weeks at a time during the winter (hard to accomplish but somehow I manage) then randomly (usually coinciding with arrival of spring) deciding EVERYTHING MUST BE DONE AT ONCE.  The laundry, the vacuuming, the window washing, the weed pulling, the garden planting, the gutter cleaning, lawn mowing, and painting (it's not easy being me).
 
So!  I finished writing my book.  Which sounds crazy.  Does it sound crazy to you?  I feel pretty crazy, when I think of how I quit my job to do this thing.  It comes in at just over 100,000 words (spoiler alert: that's a lot).  I'm currently dredging through it, trying to clean it up a little.  The plan afterwards is to edit it for grammar and spelling and etc., then print it out and do a third edit for the storyline, then send it off to a professional editor.  I'm totally not ready for this.  After I wrote "THE END", I sat back in my chair and looked at the story then promptly decided the most responsible thing to do would be to go out and have ice cream, so I did (fun fact 103: calories don't count when they're celebration calories): 

Victory made this taste all the more delicious, though it probably would have been pretty darned good without the victory, too.
Spring is just around the corner, and I've been gazing lustfully at the raised garden DM installed for me two springs ago - the same raised garden bed that randomly decided it would grow tomatoes for us last year without our knowledge or consent.  This will be the first spring where I'll actually be around at the start of the season, so I've been listing out things I think we could potentially grow - tomatoes, of course, but also onions, garlic and strawberries.  We've also been toying with planting a fruit tree somewhere in the endless grass that is our backyard, but maybe that's too ambitious?  (Then again, no project feels too large when you've been cooped up for 4 months with only the Home Depot website to peruse sadly as it rains and rains and rains outside.)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Still Alive (again?!)

I am still alive!!  Sadly, winter makes me lazy (...lazier), and prone to not do much besides sleep and eat.  Which does not make a very interesting blog, unfortunately.  But my brain is slowly working its way out of hibernation and waking up to spring!  (In fact, I even saw the sun yesterday.) There's stuff to be painted!  Things to be baked!  Windows to be washed!  Lawns to be mowed and gardens to be planted.  Super excited for this year - this is a year of change, I can feel it in my bones. :)